a few days with mum and dad

Mum and Dad came to stay in Somerset with us from Wednesday to Saturday last week. We invited them to stay in the local hotel since we are still camping on the ground floor while our first floor refurbishment continues. Mum was quite keen to join in the camping experience and sleep in the dormitory with the children but luckily Dad prevailed on her to stay in comfort at the Walnut Tree Hotel. They had just spent a great weekend at Jacobs with George and co.

They were both in great form and enjoyed fitting into our upside down lives for a few days. Mum came to watch Imo in a hockey match in which she was captain of the team. Now M&D are in Germany.

I am glad to say that our building work has definitely got some light showing at the end of the tunnel. The heating was switched on last week. Boiling hot water flows from taps when expected. Three rooms were carpeted yesterday and we will get the boys sleeping in their new rooms this Saturday. The third room to be carpeted was my office so I hope to move my desk and computer etc out of the 'bedsit' this weekend. We will be mightily relieved to start returning to normal.

Jacobs is still standing

Ruth, Trevor, Gavin, Alex and I went down to Jacobs on Saturday. It's still standing and Granny and Grandpa are as hale and hearty as ever. We got lost on the way there. Alex drove his Range Rover down and asked me if the M20 was the right way. I said yes without thinking and he took my advice, oops. So we had a scenic ride (two sat navs and 4 back seat drivers) and arrived for a late tea, closely followed by dry martinis. How Alex managed to drive so calmly I do not know.

On Sunday we did some serious walking and inspected the Vinehall Berlin wall. We took the famous path from the five turnings to the reservoir where you have to walk on the wrong side of the wall, because they built it on Grandpa's territory. Then you come to that impressive gate, you can see Trevor helping Gavin to climb over and Alex observing at a safe distance. Alex took the sensible way through.

From the Brandenburg Gate we found our way to the reservoir. Being winter, it is easy to walk through the woods. On the way back we followed a path, which I have rarely seen. It is now equipped with two magnificent wooden bridges provided by some East Sussex council quango. It peters out when you leave reservoir land, but (in winter) you are almost in sight of a camouflaged hut. Granny says that it belongs to the neighbours. We found a gas heater and an empty crate of Waitrose wine when we peeked  inside it.

Behind it you can almost see the fields tha take you straight back to Jacobs, except that there is an impassable hedge, so you have to walk along it to find a gap.

When we got back for a delicious lunch Ruth was awake! After lunch we went to inspect a tree that Grandpa is chopping up/down. Well actually, it's a huge branch off a tree. Ruth was able to walk by this time, and Trevor stayed behind reading Tintin and Asterix. Granny gave us the job of burying a (dead) chicken, which had been languishing in the bin shed. We gave it a ceremonious burial and sang a dirge. Gavin made a video which I don't have yet, so I cant't post it here, but its probably blasphemous or something so that's OK. You can see Gavin digging the grave and Alex looking on, no doubt figuring out a much better way to do it. Note his excellently suitable clothing.

There is another pet dog grave in on Alex's right (not in picture). It got a better cross than the chicken. Quite the graveyard.