It’s the Easter Holidays which means one thing for the Lights. Inshriach awaits an invasion. This year subsets of our group employ all means of travel. Most of the children accompany three adults who travel on the sleeper from Euston to Aviemore. The Perrymans opt to fly and hire a car. The old-timers drive themselves, provisions and family luggage the 550 miles needed to traverse this British Isle south to north to reach the Cairngorm National Park.
Nick and I have planned to leave early on the Saturday. Turning in at 10 p.m., we wake at 3 a.m. and are under way by 4.30. This means we cover the Dorset, Wiltshire roads before traffic has begun to clutter our route. We arrive at 2 o’clock in the afternoon just in time for the first activity.
There is an Open Day for wood carving on the estate, featuring WoodenTom. In a sheltered knoll of a small woodland across the fields an informal demonstration of wood carving delights the children and adults for an hour or so. All the larger work benches (vice, shave horse) have been constructed on the spot, as has the structure which forms a shelter for the tea-room.
There in the slightly chilly sunshine and under supervision, the children are shown how to, and are allowed to use the tools. On the way back to the house we swing by the hen-house to top up our egg supply, Joel feeds the hens. Meanwhile Barns has got three chickens roasting and a tray of vegetables. Whilst he preps the meal, games of my ancient set of Spillikins are played. I found the card tube of wooden sticks whilst tidying the toy cupboard at WK.
Dinner is eaten round the table in the dining room by hungry people. Baths, stories, bed…………. the routine is pretty familiar by now and once the children are abed Dan gets a chance to teach me how to play Texas Hold’em Poker. Nick and I sleep like logs.