Our visiting friends and their families have now departed after drinking all our beer and eating all our food, in fairness, they did buy a lot. I managed to bribe the bin men with crates of beer to take away the mountain of rubbish and to keep quiet about all the empty gin bottles. The sofas are now free from teenagers, their faces eerily illuminated by a hazy blue light as they stared inanely into their iphones, giggling as they texted each other. There is now hot water when I have a shower and I am not tripping over all the shoes that littered the floor. In their wake, I now have a collection of three footballs, a baseball bat, an odd sock, a pair of barbecue tongs, a Saltrock T-shirt, a strange bottle of vodka... and a cold!
It was a whirlwind event, great fun, late nights, hangovers... even I had a good time! All this in our busiest week of the year, I might even go into the hospitality business, Basil Fawlty watch out!
And now? The birds have come back to the trees and I can hear the stream trickling in the valley half a mile away.. aah, peace and quiet! Time to regroup and prepare for the autumn season and, of course, Christmas (sorry to have to bring that up!).
There's lots of exciting things to come, watch this space. I will leave you with one of my new paintings of an old shepherd, contentedly watching over his flock, painted during that week. Somehow you can tell, can't you?
But for the time being relax... and breathe!