The holidays are busy times here at Bruton Mansions. First we had us going down to Birmingham to see folks. Then just a day after returning, we had a full house of visitors coming up from Birmingham to see us.
Busy, busy, busy indeed.
We headed out yesterday for some history. First it was off to Helmsley and a visit to historic Helmsley Castle. Following that it was a few miles to Rievaulx Abbey.
Of course, I say we were off for some history. Yet what these things actually are is a huge playground for Molly and her three guests. Those monks in particular really knew the best way to make superb climbing frames. Every wall, every staircase, every structure seemed to demand to be climbed, hung off, jumped off and, on at least one occasion, fallen off.
Bless them, Rievaulx Abbey at least tried to point out that the historic monuments are historic monumnets rather than a huge adventure playground, but let's not kid ourselves. Every single parent taking a child to these things knows exactly why they're going, and it isn't just for a stroll round a spectacular ruined abbey.
Tired yet happy from the day's exertions jumping around the old buildings, we headed back to the local campsite. And of course this is where we knew we were going to potentially have problems.
Even though Molly was absolutely convinced that she wanted to spend the night under canvas, we weren't so certain. It was a very dark campsite, it was cold, wet and miserable and most importantly, she'd never done this camping lark anywhere but someone's backgarden before.
Louise and I just weren't convinced that she'd be alright. But she really wanted to try it and we relented. After a rather wet barbeque, us adults spent a relaxed hour in the drizzle peering out from the tent watching the children involved in one huge game across the campsite until we started to lose the light.
At this point Louise and I set off home.
It took two hours for the call to come.
Poor Molly, she tried ever so hard to enjoy it, but once the dark came down and they stopped playing out in the campsite with the torches and had to settle down for the night it all got to be a little too much for her.
So we ended up driving back to the campsite and bringing her home. A very dissapointed little girl but very glad to be back home:
"even the creak on my bed is comforting" was her final comment as she settled down for the night.