An Unexpected Holiday....

Scarecrow_1

Ok, so it was a nuisance and I missed you all terribly, but oh what fun we had, the week  my 16 bit sub-system (whatever that may be) went kaput!

I hate to be so interminably jolly, but in the whole scheme of things life is too short to focus on minor disasters like being ludicrously behind with everything I have planned for Brocantehome, so in the absence of my best friend, the computer, we have had the bestest time doing all manner of Halloween nonsense, far too much cake baking and a whole lot of  scrubbing of things that probably didn't need that much scrubbing.

Oh and I think you should know that I finally found time to paint my toenails, pluck my eyebrows and dive into the horror of the cupboard under the sink.

After spending last Friday baking tins and tins full of dracula cupcakes, complete with food colouring "blood" (inedible unless you are two), we loaded up the car and headed for the bliss that is my sister Helens house. Now if you are going to be a house-guest, then you want to be a house-guest at Helens, because she is the hostess with the mostest, complete with a divineley sweet smelling house, her trademark chilli (that even I, who doesn't like chilli, strangely adore)  and a breakfast table that is worth crawling out of your comfy bed for. Truly it is bliss. Or at least it would have been, were it not for the Halloween party she threw for a whole gang of tots on saturday afternoon.

At the risk of sounding like a miserable old cow (God, you could set your clock by my PMT!!), one toddler is hard to bear, so fifteen mini witches, spidermen and monsters is to my addled brain just to much to cope with. Especially when Finley, dressed as a pumpkin, seemed to have swallowed one E number too many, and spent the entire party hurtling around the house,  only stopping to steal another party bag.  Helen to her credit, handled it with the style and grace she is renowned for, even managing to make a room full of woman who didn't know each other, the best of friends in no time at all. It was fun. Kind of. And I only wish I hadn't forgotten to take photographs...

Cathtea

The next day we made a pilgramage to the Cath Kidston outlet shop at Bicester, where I swooned at the yummy florals and my Dad, singuarly failed to understand the appeal of "overpriced tea-towels": so to his chagrin I bought an over-priced tea-towel or two, and then we headed for lunch at Carluccio's,  the resurant owned by the chef of the same name, mostly because they serve a bread tin to die for and manage to make even the simplest plate of basil dressed tomato and mozzarella taste like the freshest most scrumptious food you have ever tasted. Afterwards Helen dashed around the clothes shops, while I browsed Carluccios food shop, bagging a delectable selection of almond macaroons, cinnamon chocolate, and fig jam, and poor Mum and Dad looked after our rather exhausted little boys (What? You mean Nana'a and GanGans aren't glorified childminders?)...

By the time we got home on Sunday evening I was exhausted, so thank goodness for living with a man like Mark. In our absence he had tidied and cleaned past himself, and although he was still at work, the lamps were lit, the heating on and the tea tray laid deliciously...

Happyhousewi 

The next day Finley went kicking and screaming to nursery and I, without a computer, found myself sitting quietly in a tidy house with The Womans Hour on the radio, a plate of toast dripping with salty normandy butter at my side, and a new and frankly wacky book about Happy Housewives on my lap. It was heaven, and let's face it, it wouldn't have happened if my computer hadn't been at hospital, so thank goodness for small mercies...

Adam

Then Tuesday we had been planning to go on a pumpkin trail, but the weather was appalling, and by the time my friend Julie, her son Adam (the scrumptious little babba above), Finley and I arrived at Rufford Old Hall, (where Mark and I are thinking of getting married next year)-a local National Trust manor house holding a day of Halloween festivities for the kids, the rain had soaked the grass, and the trail had been abandoned: but oh thank goodness, the morris dancing hadn't!

Morris

While I recognise that there is something a tad peculiar about old men dancing in tights it is performed with such terribly good British humour, that I cannot help confessing to enjoying it. As did Finley, who astonished by the spectacle of GanGan's dancing, to the audiences delight, took to the floor and danced a jig or two himself. Thats my boy!

Afterwards we went leaf-kicking in the grounds of the House...

Door

..watched Finley throw a rather fabulous diva tantrum because his precious curly locks got wet...

Finn_1

..said Hello to the scarecrow at the top of the page (or Batman in jeans as Finley would prefer me to call him) and finally took some really rather scrumptious afternoon tea in the tearooms...

So all in all, life without the computer was really rather wonderful. But now it is back to the really rather lovely BrocanteHome grindstone, and I for one, am glad: too much fun could spoil a person...