So bright and early - though much more emphasis on the early, than the bright - we fed the cats, threw our stuff in the boot and then set off on our little road trip. We got to Mr F's at about 8am, and Mrs F was kind enough to feed us and give us lots of coffee before we bundled her husband up in the car and kidnapped him for the weekend. Five hours and a lunch break later and we rocked up at Miss C's place feeling a bit tired and a bit zombified, while Miss C greeted us by jumping up and down excitedly.
It's been a while since we've all gotten together at the same time - mostly we just chatted and drank gin and ate things. I've known them all since I was about 14 years old so it feels utterly comfy just hanging out. When I see them it's like taking off a pair of shoes that you hadn't noticed were ill fitting til you get out of them. I get a bit weird when I don't see my friends often enough, they have a real grounding effect on me.
The tiredness theme continued throughout the weekend, as Mr F and I were sharing an air bed, which is quite customary - we usually have a nice little chat about life, the universe and everything before bed - in the lounge which was also where Miss C's pet rats live (Liquorice and Vanilla). Rats are nocturnal. I didn't know this, but I do now. As soon as the lights were out they had a good old jump about and a scrunch and a snuffle and a scamper and then they would fall silent for a while. I'd just be getting to sleep and then they'd start to party again. Of course, Mr F went to sleep as soon as his head hit the pillow, so it was just me and the rats. Sigh.
On the Sunday, we went for a walk around Drumpellier park and had an ice cream. (Because you're not really on holiday until you've had ice cream! Mine was a 99 with a flake. 'How retro!', Mrs Im exclaimed). The lake and the forest were really lovely, and they had beautiful trees and thistles and interesting funghi. It was also pretty hot. We stopped in the house afterwards to get sun hats and sun glasses and sun cream and other related items before going out to the garden centre for tea. And even then we ended up not sitting outside because the wasps were being a little too friendly for our liking. Really friendly. But I managed to eat all my food without swallowing any wasps and all was well. In the evening, more gin happened, as well as some general smuttiness ('Ring the porn alarm!') and some dyeing of hair and some doodling with henna.
On the Monday morning, we got woken up by the Junior Miss C at 8am so she could watch cartoons. As it turns out I really like Phineas and Ferb, who knew? Everyone was having a lounge and chatting so I went through and made us all breakfast. Mr Im had already made a massive cheese sandwich with olive bread, Mr F just wanted granary with butter. Mrs Im had some left over tacos with some houmous and hot sauce. Miss C told me to surprise her so I did her some toast with marmite, houmous and chilli flakes. I had one slice of toast with peanut butter and beetroot, but I didn't want to use up all the peanut butter, so on the other slice I had marmite, guacamole, chilli flakes and cheese. I love weekend breakfasts! Once we were all showered and fed, I did some of the washing up while everyone else got air beds deflated and packed up and then we were away back down south.
On our way down, we dropped off Mr F at his, and got some chips for dinner while we were there. We all sat out in the garden and ate and drank lemonade and chatted. After that Mr Im suggested that the kids swing on the swings ('To aid digestion!') to which Mrs F did not look amused, but the kids were all over it before they could be stopped. To his credit, Mr Im did join in, and there was much swinging and laughter. Then we kicked around a football for a while, and I taught Miss F how to do a little jive and she showed me her knitting and a delightful time was had by all.
The whole family came out to wave us goodbye (and waved until we were out of sight). And then there were three. By the last stretch home we were all knackered and said next to nothing. We fed the cats, checked they hadn't eaten anyone, made some hot chocolate (with Grand Marnier and nutmeg) and went to bed.
Perfect bank holiday.