It's half term and I have uprooted my two city kids from their two-bed apartment in the middle of London to go stay with my mother and step-father in their eight-bedroom pile in the middle of Cornwall. Firstborn and the Small(er) One don't know what's hit them.
The abundance of greenery and wide expanse of space has had the kids running around in a frenzy - the sort of frenzy you only usually see after a sugar-laden birthday party lash-up. Although the fact that my mother has a well-stocked biscuit tin and an unusual amount of generosity might also be a contributary factor.
Added to this heady mix is a TV the size of a cinema screen, hefty furniture that can cope with acrobatic children, two cats to torment, lots of stairs to absail down, and last but definately not least, an adoring granny who doesn't bellow at them for grevious lapses in manners/ pulling the cat's tail/ wiping their grimy hands on the curtains/ weeing on the upholstery/ etc. First-born and the Small(er) One are in kiddy heaven.
As for me, you'd think that I might be able to relax out here in the sticks, but no, it seems to be somewhat beyond me. When I'm not thinking about what might be going on at work while I'm away (yes, I know they can cope without me, but you know...), mentally remodelling and redecorating my mother's house (knocking a couple of walls down in the basement would turn the kitchen into an amazing space, while slapping a couple of coats of the finest Farrow & Ball onto the sitting room walls would be a vast improvement on the current wallpaper situation, but strangely my mother doesn't seem to welcome my helpful comments) and planning out the hopefully-soon-to-be-embarked-on garden project at home (currently no more than a pile of rubble and a few optimistic plant pots, decking and whitewash desperately needed), I'm dragging the kids on marathon treks around the local castle ruins, dodging the kamikaze oldies milling about the town, making endless fairy cakes and buying Christmas presents at this cute little shop I discovered yesterday.
We've only been here since Saturday evening - I don't know what the hell I'm going to do with the rest of the week.