We had two very welcome visitors last week when our grandchildren Catherine (4) and Teddy (18mths) came to stay with us for a few days during the half term break. Marion was, as always, incredibly well organised and made sure that there was plenty to keep them both occupied.
Teddy loves playing at cooking so this little stove kept him amused for ages.
There's a very good children's playground near us. Catherine was very adventurous and had a great time going on all of the activities.
She loves crafts and when we told her we would take her to the castle on Friday she made us this picture montage of how she imagined the castle would be.
The castle was holding one of its regular knights activities during half term and the children loved joining in with the sword fighting. All of the kids who attended were impeccably well behaved. Last time we visited some little monsters were well and truly putting the boot in and spoiling the event but the knight in charge was a great instructor and each blow of the (foam) sword was accompanied with a polite "sorry". It was all good fun and nice to see the children also learning a little bit in a talk about becoming knights.
There's a lot of work going on at the castle at the moment so there's not as much to see as usual. To compensate English Heritage have installed this temporary slide. It was a huge hit with Catherine and Marion who rode it together three or four times.
A sad casualty of the visit was Pop Up Pirate. We bought this game about thirty years ago and it was a huge favourite with both of our children and more recently all of our grandchildren. It gave them hours of fun but when we put him back in his box after Teddy and Catherine left for home on Saturday he finally fell apart and the springs on his mechanism expired.
We enjoyed a great meal with friends on Saturday evening but then I went and caught some sort of bug or cold on Sunday and found myself in bed with an overwhelming tiredness, a few shivers and a sore throat. It seems to have cleared up now but it's the first time that I've been put out of action by an illness in donkeys' years. I hope its donkeys' years before it happens again.
We've got tickets to see Twelfth Night at the National Theatre on Saturday. It's a play we enjoy and have seen several times (including the famous Ken Dodd's take on Malvolio). This time it's Tasmin Greig's turn to play the part (renamed Malvolia). Being fans of The Archers and Black Books we're both looking forward to it very much. I went to book train tickets on the computer this morning and find that there's still a replacement bus service operating at weekends. The investment in the Senior Rail Cards has been a waste of time and we'll have to drive to London again.