For the past 10 days or so, I have had a lovely post composed in my head for you all. Photos and everything. And I would have had it posted last week had not the Dreaded Lurgy broken out and brought Chateau Loth to its knees. All of the menfolk were struck down, reduced to lying draped on the couches watching DVDs of classic Dr Who. And coughing. Lots of coughing. And eating soup. It appeared to be some sort of viral flu-like bug which has now, thankfully, passed on from our house and gone off to bug someone else.
Which means I can now tell you all about the weekend-before-last which I would have posted about last week had I not been fully engaged in supplying industrial quantities of iced water and liquid paracetamol to the masses.
We went down to the Corbies for the last weekend in March/first weekend in April and were rewarded with quite lovely weather. Lovely enough to allow us to sit on the patio with my favourite accompaniments:
Add a book into that photo (my Kindle is out of shot) and you pretty much have my perfect afternoon. We did venture out as well, heading down to the villages of Ford and Etal for a wander. Etal is a lovely part of the world, a little village with thatched cottages and a thatched pub and a post office that looks like this:
There is a tea room in there and we succumbed to the lure of heather honey ice cream, which is every bit as lovely as it sounds. After that, we meandered around Etal Castle and were enticed into the Castle gift shop by a stuffed toy corbie in the window. He is now called Ronald and lives on our window sill:I think you will agree that he was far too cool to leave in a shop full of souvenir pencils and keyrings. That evening, the weather stayed mild and dry enough to allow us to have dinner from the barbeque - making use of the rare native "BBQ tool rack tree" which flourishes in our garden.
We even managed to give the fire pit its first outing of the year. There is something very, very nice indeed about sitting around a fire as the sun sets, playing silly games and incinerating marshmallows. It was well after dark before we finally gave in to the cold and went indoors.
And then it was time to come home. And then the plague hit and the rest of last week was a bit of a blur. Fortunately everyone recovered in time to celebrate Second Born's twelfth birthday today. SB has confirmed that he had a good birthday, involving the receipt of many new classic Dr Who DVDs (in case we all fall ill again soon, presumably) and a steering wheel and accelerator/brake pedal kit for his XBox (no, I don't know how a steering wheel and pedals work with a games console either. Probably best I don't ask.) Oh, and we also bought him a hat he has been pestering me to buy him for months. The hat added a certain rakish je ne sais quoi to his outfit of dressing gown and slippers this morning as he tested out his new toy.
And yes, I did get his permission to post this. He's 12 now and almost as tall as I am. Best not to get on his bad side this close to the start of the teen years!