Grappling with the Jurassic

Our French sojourn has ended and before we know it Half Term has arrived with a bang!  Friday mid-afternoon Dan arrives at Winterborne K with Lola and Ruby, meanwhile Barns and Lukie are driving the tribe to rendez-vous with us a couple of hours later.  It being Friday Nick’s priority is a couple of jars at Sunny Republic, Barns and Dan joining him.  Meanwhile Maddy and Andrew arrives for their supper date with the clan.

Thirteen of us clustered round the kitchen table for a noisy and very good-humoured supper.  We played Up Jenkins and we laughed long and loud at the jokes of the young reaching a crescendo over the notion of the ‘Princess and the Carrot’.  Why could one not substitute a carrot for a pea wondered Amelie.  ‘Because a carrot is orange’ responded the quick-witted father.

On Saturday we all went to Hedbury Quarry, just west of Dancing Ledge.  It is a minor hike to reach the coast there and the old quarries offer wonderful climbing walls, including the only grade 1 and 2 climbs in the county – perfect for the youngest of the team.  Each child managed at least one climb, topping out successfully.  This is a sport which exacts trust in others and a bit of derring do, and is a great confidence-building exercise.  Nick left after a picnic lunch, taking the 4 youngest children with him.  I stayed with the adults, Sam and Joel.  In the evening we reconvened around the table for Coq au Vin and Chocolate Fudge Cake.

On Sunday, Barns, Lukie and Dan took Joel to Winspit for more climbing.  Nick and I fielded the other five at Winterborne K, being stranded by the lack of Dan’s car key to bring a second car into action.  Escorted by Nick the smalls ran off steam at the recreation ground, Sam and I tackled the Great Bears circular jigsaw, and completed it :).

When the climbers had returned we sat down to supper; Roast Gammon, potatoes, parsnips.  Chocolate profiteroles were served by Lola and Amelie.  The children retired to the waterbed room for more play, the adults talked and gradually fell into their various comatose states.  Weary people sought their beds, the following morning would be an early one for efficient departure.  Part 2 of the school term awaits.




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