Nobody else caught the lurgy before our holiday. In fact, it worked out well, as I lost a couple of pounds, feeling queasy while looking after the four-year old. Surely I don't need to explain why that's a good thing - but it certainly is when your mother-in-law is a closet 'feeder' and served up enormous, fattening, delicious meals, then added ice-creams and chocolate in for snacks, just to keep us all going.
We got back yesterday, slightly sunburnt (me) after some incredibly sunny weather; a little cranky and tired (the four-year old); and ready for a rest to recover from it all (me again). We made it to the beach every day, creating memories for old age. We played Taboo and Boggle while the kids slept, and I realised anew how much time the television steals from me every day, with my full cooperation and complicity. I read Sebastian Faulks's latest book - I love the way he writes, the rhythms of his sentences, the marriages of words - but have to admit I'm finding the subject matter less gripping. I paddled in the sea, and flew a kite that went so high it made me dizzy to look at it. I cuddled my children, and wormed my toes down to the cooler, wetter sand. We visited a Welsh hospital when the two-year old dived from a chair onto a ceramic floor and needed his head glueing. I had melted ice lolly dripped down the back of my neck by a sticky child. I had to sit through a Punch and Judy show, with my jaw ajar as the children laughed at a baby being thrown down the stairs, the arrival of the Devil, and a man being hung on a gallows. I scooped the four year old up as he cried through the Punch and Judy show, thinking, 'I'm not surprised', until I found out he was only crying because he'd laughed so hard he'd banged his nose on the tarmac. We climbed the Great Orme and basked on rocks at the top. I got on fine with all the family, although my brother-in-law and I squirmed a bit on the last night when Steve's mum had a sherry or two, and spoke her mind, but I won't dwell on that.
And I ironed out what I thought was a large plot wrinkle, that close up was only a soft crease. Then I patched together some other pre-written scenes into the whole, which was less satisfying, but was better than standing on a squashed strawberry. I could have got used to having so many extra pairs of hands to help out with the children.
Another week before I have to go back to 'real' work!