We've had friends over to stay for the past few days and it has been marvellous.
I'm just going to name them (for blog purposes) Belle and Sid, and their children, Edward and Emily. Their real names are, as always, much nicer!
Belle and I were at UCL together, we met on the first day of classes and have been friends ever since. (I was going to write 'studied together', but since we did as little of that as possible, I thought it would be dishonest!) She is smart, funny, passionate and compassionate, and happens to be beautiful too. She was my second bridesmaid 10 years ago, then she married a wonderful man 5 years ago. They now have 2 gorgeous children aged 3 (almost 4) and 1 (almost 2). We now live on either side of the Irish Sea, so we were delighted when they announced they would be coming to visit us.
They arrived on Sunday afternoon, and straight away the children went off together to play. Thankfully, Edward loves trains as much as my children, so he was perfectly happy. Little Emily stayed safe in her Daddy's arms for a while, and when she was ready, she went off with Lady to play in the garden. She liked the guinea pigs, especially Daisy, and busied herself feeding them grass. The children all bundled along together for the 3 days they were here, sometimes building tracks, sometimes watching TV, sometimes playing outside. Lady and Edward invented a game in which they were secret agents protecting a precious ruby. Belle was amazed at how seldom she even saw her son; he was too busy doing his own thing with his friends.
We went on outings to the transport museum and W5, 2 places our family visits often. Our guests were very impressed and everyone really enjoyed themselves. Gordon joined us on our trip to W5, and we all ate at the pizza restaurant. That occasion was the 1st time our whole family has ever sat down to eat together in a restaurant, and it was a most successful meal.
Each night, when the children had all gone to bed, we adults sat and enjoyed a lovely meal courtesy of Gordon's great cooking skills. I usually provided desert and bread. We so enjoyed our time together. They left for the airport yesterday afternoon, and we were sad to see them go. It was a special time. Belle is one of the 3 people I miss the most since moving back to Ireland.
Duncan was perfectly happy dealing with extra people in the house. He just carried on as usual and enjoyed having a few more adults to tickle and cuddle him.