We had a lovely day with our niece and nephew yesterday: It began at 6.30 when they appeared downstairs as I was mid-blog so apologies for the delay in publishing, but we had breakfast together and then we made flapjack at 7 am, which they then enjoyed eating for brunch. At a more sensible time, when all of the adults were up and dressed, we walked up the road to our neighbours’ Open Farm. Joshua particularly loved feeding the goats : I would place food pellets on his knee and so he could stroke the goat’s head as it reached across to take the food. It really made him giggle. He walked passed the sheep, donkeys and pigs, but none were as satisfactory as the goats. After a drink in the cafe and a chat with the owner, we walked home leaving his cousins to enjoy the play area and maze without us.
A brief rest at home, then we headed out to a cafe for a lunch of fish & chips, which went down well with everyone. The sun was out and so we took our rugs onto the beach to lie in the sun and digest our tasty lunch. The children paddled and inevitably got their clothes wet and ended up in their pants, while Joshua dozed then went briefly to the shore to throw stones into the water. It felt as though we were on our holidays too, as it was so warm in the shelter of the breeze, and we realised how lucky we are live near the coast. When Joshua awoke, he was restless and managed to throw sand into his cousin’s face and so it was time to pack up and come home. There we enjoyed drinks with home made flapjacks and brownies, before our guests packed up their belongings and headed home.
The children’s presence was certainly a good distraction, as there was not much time for peace for sad reflections, but we all had a siesta when they went home! Joshua looks like a giant next to his young cousins but he enjoys watching them play and he loves to stroke their hair too. They are learning his funny habits now, though they still want to know why he says “oooooh” and why he smacks the settee cushion, as because they are fun noises, does not seem to be a satisfactory explanation. His younger cousin is fascinated by his splints and big boots, asking if he was wearing the same shoes as yesterday and I explained that he had to wear those same big boots every day. But apparently she had reported that there was a child in her school with similar footwear to Joshua’s, so he had heightened her awareness.
Joshua is lucky enough to have six cousins ranging from 5 years old to 25 and hopefully he will remain close to them as they all grow older. I have ten cousins and nine of them made it to their Aunt’s funeral, as they all loved her. We shared many holidays with our cousins as children, in Ireland and the Isle of Wight, and plenty of family occasions together as we grew older. Mum loved babies and young children, and so she would love to buy games and clothes for her nieces and nephew’s children. I have her calendar now in my house and I feel a responsibility to try to remember family birthdays as she always did.