We're back and settled now. The journey south was, as anticipated, quite hard, at least until we got to the M6 Toll. We stopped for a late lunch at Warwick, a first visit for all of us (though I did work in nearby Leamington for a while). Surprisingly small and bland, considering its strong reputation with the university and the castle. Still, Alice enjoyed it because the fair happened to be in town. So she had a couple of rides, one of which was white-knuckle indeed! The fact that the town centre was given over to the fairground meant that most of the shops had taken the opportunity to close early, though as it happens I'm not sure we missed a great deal.
On southward, then, until we finally reached the greenery of the forest and the comfort of home for a substantially lazy evening. I did upload all the photographs onto a computer, and at first glance some of them were very impressive indeed. (In fact this was confirmed when I looked at them properly yesterday, and after about four hours of processing the photos are now on the site.) We were so lucky with the light last week that, aside from Ullswater, the ambient light features quite strongly.
So, sitting using Bibble was yesterday evening. However, prior to that, I did have quite an active day. Of course having been away for the week the cupboards were bare, so a supermarket run was obligatory. I took the opportunity to combine this with a visit to Cotswold Outdoor, where I came away with some new Merrell walking shoes, and some lightweight weatherproof trousers.
Now, I'm sure the smart money would say, "why didn't you buy all this gear *before* you went on a walking holiday?". And I can regrettably offer no defence to this argument. I could possibly mumble something about only realising I could do with this kit having spent last week in "normal" gear, but how convincing would that be?
So, returning home from our shop, it having been raining all day, Alice and I went out for a walk, accompanied by Jack. A nice little circuit which just took us through the fields above Downton, and at an hour and a half was ideal for the kids. Withdrawal symptoms, you see.
Homeward bound for the ultimate - and most draining - event of the day. Alice is an extremely untidy child and had let her room, once again, turn into a pig sty. Event something she had brought home from Grandma's, less than 24 hours previously, had found its way, crushed, under her bed. Needless to say, Alice's idea of "tidy" is somewhat different to my own, and ultimately Muggins ended up doing things like crawling under her bed with the hoover, and had to pick mouldy old apple cores off the floor. I can't believe I found six towels in there, all having migrated from the bathroom at some point, and the amount of dirty cutlery and crockery would almost have filled the dishwasher.
Needless to say, I was hardly in a good humour doing all this, waiting to discover what the next disgusting surprise would be, so there was inevitably some shouting as Alice and I fell out. And although the end result was a tidy room, I was forced to shun human contact in favour of sorting my photographs, just to retain a modicum of sanity.
So, a late night and, having forgotten to set the clock on the central heating, I woke up this morning in an oven feeling very stuffy indeed. All of which means that I should be using this journey for sleeping, not blogging!