We're just back from a glorious family holiday in Wales. Sun-kissed, sea-aired and sandy-toed. With only one drizzly morning when we made the Very Chocolately Cupcakes pictured below, we were out and about in the sunshine all day, every day.
We made use of our lovely holiday cottage in the mornings; leisurely breakfasting, drinking whole mugs of coffee - not the usual hasty sip before rushing out the door - and making picnic lunches.
And then, much much later in the day when we fed and bathed our two happy, enervated and very grubby children.
With a super selection of books to chose from, bedtime stories were in great supply but they entertained a drowsy audience - Buddy and Daisy's eyelids drooped as soon as they flopped into their super-soft beds.
Evenings were spent with a glass or two of wine, a sumptuous supper and the opportunity to dip into the grown-up books on offer; I particularly enjoyed Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, the I-Spy book of Wild Flowers and with a squeal of excitement as when spotting a dear old friend, Enid Blyton's Five have plenty of fun. I found the Famous Five book on the last evening of our holiday, and its first couple of chapters had me hooked.
It's got it all; holidaying near a beach, 'She leapt out of bed and went to the window. Immediately she saw the wide sweep of the bay, sparkling in the morning sun, as blue as cornflowers. The sea-sparkle was reflected into the bedroom, making it very bright indeed.'; ice creams and picnics aplenty, 'The Five were on the beach again in two minutes, and Julian undid the basket. It was full of neatly packed sandwiches, and packets of biscuits and chocolate. A bag contained ripe plums, and there were two bottles of lemonade.' And with so much exciting adventure and mystery unfolding before me, I found it incredibly difficult to leave it behind, unfinished.
This evening we unpacked our suitcases, and in a rather Famous Five moment of mystery the book was found lurking in our luggage. How on earth did it get in there? Brilliantly, I can now find out what happens to Berta. Will she be kidnapped? How will the Five keep her safe? How many Thrilling and Very Suspicious things will they encounter before teatime?
The book will be returned by post on Monday morning of course, but until then I have a wonderful way to eke out my holiday vibe a little longer. What luck!