Four-day week's just started, and Katy of course reminded me this morning that she's only doing a three-day week herself - but I don't begrudge her that under the circumstances, needless to say! The weekend was just about as good as hoped, getting away for a few days with a houseful from our church cell group.
Everyone made their separate ways down to Devon on Saturday, but all arrived in remarkably simultaneous fashion at the twelve-person cottage we were renting, and we swiftly tracked down the key-holder and made ourselves at home in our various rooms. We'd travelled down via Dorchester, calling in for a cuppa and lunch with my mum's cousin Catherine; she ended up making a big contribution to our wedding cake and also gave us some really thoughtful, meaningful presents, so it was lovely to be able to spend some time with her. I think we were on the road for about four hours in the end, which was pretty much as the AA route planner had predicted, and apart from missing the turn into the farm right at the very end of the journey, I don't think we made any mistakes at all. For Katy and I, the early evening was taken up with a mixture of watching athletics on the television - including Kelly Holmes' and the sprint relay team's gold medal runs of course - and preparing chicken and pasta for tea for a dozen as we had promised. The cooker was a bit feeble for the task in hand, but we got there in the end and it was well appreciated by all - by the time we'd made adjustments for individual tastes. Silly games ensued, and beds were generally crawled towards at about midnight, with some vague ideas for spending Sunday.
Those ideas turned into a plan, which more or less came to fruition. We packed into three cars and drove over the Cornish border to Bude for the day. Wes fancied catching some waves, though Katy, Becca and I were the only ones up for following him down to the beach, and Katy and I didn't feel much like paddling so ended up going off separately anyway... And then the rain started, getting harder and harder until there was nothing for it but to dive into a cafe for a coffee and a bag of crisps. But we timed it just right for watching Amir Khan in the boxing final, though of course that wasn't to be quite as successful as Saturday's triumphs. Not that boxing does anything for me in general, but I can cheer along the Brits as well as anyone else when it matters, you know! We all got back together for lunch, mostly going for the monstrous twelve-ounce - we were told - bacon-cheeseburgers at a nearby cafe, and then hitting the obligatory crazy golf course, a little the worse for the earlier weather! All good fun, but there had been some confusion over how many hours of parking we were paying for, so we didn't stay quite as long as maybe had been planned. Never mind though, it was a good day out all in all, and - like the holiday in general - it was lovely just to be able to spend unhurried time with friends.
Although some of the others were staying for the whole week, quite a number of us were just down for the weekend, so returned home yesterday - with others travelling down to replace us and make the most of the cottage booking! There had been some talk of doing something as a group before those of us who were leaving did so, but that didn't really come to anything so after some silly television, a few more games and a snack lunch, Katy and I hit the road back home. This time we came back mainly on the A303, which may or may not have been a particularly good idea. When we had come down via Dorchester, we hoped that our alternative route would have saved us the worst of the traffic chaos, but that turned out to be pretty bad too, so I suspect there wasn't really a lot to choose between the two routes. The '303 would be a perfectly fine road if it wasn't for the infatuation with changing from single to dual carriageway every few hundred yards, causing one bottleneck after another, but at least it was a fine day, and we weren't in a hurry and did fleetingly see Stonehenge. We arrived back home a bit before six, pretty shattered nonetheless, and were very glad of our home comforts and nice comfy bed I can assure you. Not that our experiences in Devon were bad, but sometimes there is no place like home...