bairn blog: a tale of three henleys

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03:02pm Sunday, 29th July 2007

another fortnight with no news from the henleys 3. well, we have been on a jolly down south to see p’s folks in deepest, darkest somerset for a week.

it has been a really relaxing week. we flew down on saturday and went straight to peta’s grandparents for a spot of lunch (including a vegetarian soup for cole with “only a little bit of lamb” in it). on sunday we all headed off to church as it was gramps’ last official service as a navy chaplain before his retirement from the forces. gethin seemed quite keen to roam around during the service so c and g darted off to play with some toys whilst gramps preached. then afterwards it was some beverages and fodder with curry for all. kurt, an old friend of peta’s from gibraltar popped round. it was lovely to catch up and hopefully he will try to come up to visit during the forthcoming fringe. then cole, p and uncle martin headed into yeovil whilst the grandparents babysat for a night at the flicks, martin checking out transformers (very excited about seeing that) whilst the henley’s took in the rather good new harry potter film.

on monday we went off to see the animals at longleat. the day was dour but we saw lots of animals – lions, tigers, giraffes, wolves, rhinos, monkeys (intent on ripping every car in their wake to bits) and lots more. we then went off to see p’s aunt and uncle claire and bill who live in exeter for the largest feast known to man – a four-course monstrosity that almost defeated cole.

on tuesday we headed into street for a spot of shopping. gethin unleashed his fiercest tantrum to date, audible from across the shopping village, after not being allowed to stay on those moving car thingys you see at supermarket checkouts – and that was without putting some money in. fiercely intent on driving he was not impressed when a paying punter wanted a go. anyway, he was soon placated by a trip on a merry-go-round, although he didn’t seem to enjoy it nearly as much as peta did.

on wednesday c, p, g and gramps headed into bath for a spot of site-seeing, pasty-eating and window-shopping. we hunted down some lime pickle for the neighbours (as a thanks for cat-sitting) and stumbled upon the loveliest kids shop known to man, my small world: floor to ceiling of wooden children’s gifts which could have consumed gethin’s attention until his teens.

on thursday cole and peta had a day off from bairn and headed to the historic city of wells, setting for the wells cathedral and the excellent film hot fuzz. it pissed it down all day, we got soaked, cole got told off for taking photos in the cathedral and we dined on a pair of gorgeous veggie burgers at the crown pub. yum.

friday was the last day of our trip south so we headed to the beach in lyme regis (where the sun finally shon) for a spot of fish and chips, sea-front strolling, gallery spotting and a snack at the town house bakery, well worth a visit if you happen to be in the area and are experiencing a tummy rumble or two. sadly, our day at the seaside had to draw to a close as we headed back to pack and get our plane back to northern climes. G was fine with the flying thing (more so than P who hates it) and depite a late night for all we got back in good time.

all in we had a very chilled and enjoyable week. it was good to spend some time with peta’s folks and brother and get a lie-in or two, even if it came at the cost of having drunk my volume in gin (now undergoing chronic gin withdrawal). plus baby g is now a fully fledged member of the walking classes, ably strolling about like he owns the place.

on that note, we all went to look at place that was for sale on saturday. we had seen it before when it had previously been available but it was now back on the market and this time at a fixed price, seeming the perfect opening for us to make a break from renting and start thinking about establishing a family home. hussah! that is, until we looked at what we could afford and cole had a mad day dashing about banks in edinburgh getting mortgage quotes. some of the family have super-kindly offered to help with putting down a deposit but even then the monthly repayments are likely to be extremely high and above what we can afford. i don’t know how the government/banks expect any young family to get on the property ladder. ten years of university education between us and our closest hope of buying a place to call our own is finding a shoe with an elderly female tennant on her last legs!