Who doesn’t love a holiday? Even in Britain, where the weather can be unpredictable? And we have been having a ball in rain and shine this week in Suffolk. Last year, Easter weekend at Potash Barns was absurdly warm: I think we had to do laundry every day because I hadn’t packed many summery clothes for The Girls. This week I found myself begging DH if I could step into Joules and buy myself a sweater (OK, I just wanted a new Joules sweater, but he didn’t need to know that, and the weather conveniently played along.)
Easter Sunday was everything you would want: it stayed dry in the morning so that DH and his man-friend could hide all the eggs whilst the children and I made Resurrection Rolls. Then they baked whilst the kids ran around screaming looking for plastic eggs, aided and handicapped by the men, who had paid very little attention to where they had hidden the eggs and were therefore useless in pointing the children in the right direction. All was resolved in the end and four very happy children were delighted to exchange their baskets of plastic eggs for bags of treats, and then sit and eat their ‘magic’ rolls. Later in the morning we were joined by BIL, SIL and their children and pretty soon the gang-of-six were having a blast playing with toys, running amok and going bonkers on the trampoline. They stayed for lunch, fed lambs, ate supper and then headed home to Sussex bringing a brilliant day to an end.
On Monday we spent a couple of wet hours in Southwold, mainly in a tea room and Joules. I was delighted to pick a 15% off flyer from their ‘tombola’ so bought two sweaters and let LBG choose one too. She happily selected a pink fleece, the same style as my navy one. She hasn’t taken it off since. Back at the ranch, the big kids went swimming with the dads whilst I keep the smalls occupied baking and feeding lambs. They played so beautifully together that it was very easy to keep them busy: unsurprisingly they were all exhausted and went to bed easily, leaving DH, Man-friend and I to watch Those Who Kill whilst Lady B (wife-of-Man-friend) read.
Tuesday saw Man-friend’s departure, so to distract his children we all drove out to Warlberswick and went crabbing. I appreciate the potential for smutty jokes, but I had never caught a crab before. And I was childishly delighted when I succeeded. In fact we all succeeded: between the twelve of us (we bumped in to the other farm-stayers there) we amassed about 40, which were then dispatched (read: dumped) onto the sand to race back to freedom. DH and I then took a detour around Walberswick and had a delicious meal with our Little Misses at The Anchor. For dessert we wandered round the corner to the Parish Tea Rooms and stuffed our faces with cake, before driving back to feed lambs and hosting an impromptu drinks party for Dave and Claire, who run the Farm, and the other Farm-stayers who we ran into that morning: neither of our Girls got to bed before 9.30pm.
On Wednesday we took a day trip to Norwich to visit Granny and Babar, who were delighted to see us. The journey gave both Girls a chance to sleep and so they were on fine form for the GPs. The Littles Misses were only too happy to help fill bird-feeders, inspect the foxes’ lair and plant lavender. They watered and played and laughed and generally enjoyed their time with GPs, whilst we had a chance to hear about their holiday plans and brag endlessly about Our Girls’ talents to very willing ears!
A recommendation, via Facebook, from an old school-friend saw us drive out to Snape Maltings on Thursday. Sadly the tide was very low so boat trips weren’t a possibility, though it’s on our list for next year, but we still had a wonderful time wandering around the Craft stalls, Galleries and shops that can be found in the old malt buildings. We had a delicious lunch in a nice cafe before shame-facedly carrying our screaming children out of the toy shop before heading back to our holiday cottage for delicious Pulled Pork Fajitas and packing.
Friday dawned bright and clear, making the journey from Suffolk to The Kent Coast fairly event-free and by lunch time we were feasting on pasta in Broadstairs. After playing on the beach (Dimples in her underwear) and watching a flock of seagulls raid a family’s picnic, we headed to the Beach House to chill. Unsurprisingly, we were all in bed exhausted before 9.30pm.
Even more of a surprise was waking in my own time on Saturday morning, whilst the Girls slept on. For the third night in a row, DH and I had slept all night, uninterrupted, in our own bed, which is pretty much a record.