‘The Bunk House’
settling in
Last year in October GD and I were trying to keep warm one evening, the day had been dark and cold even for October. We had both been toying with the idea of a family holiday, mum had left me a little bit of money and this was the night we decided  what we wanted to do with it. Something to really look forward to for the next year. There would be fifteen of us and a Molly dog, we put an email to the family with our intention not really expecting everyone to be that enthusiastic about spending a week in a bunk house, but to our delight everyone was really up for it. now everyone had to begin to try and match time off of work, C2 had to fit in around shows, dates could not to clash with A level results, and other commitments, there was a fair bit of juggling around to be done, but the owners of the farm bunk house were more than accommodating with our changing dates. Eventually we settled on the first Monday after the schools broke up to the following Saturday. All year we talked about it and read and re- read about the indoor swimming pool, the skittle alley, the sauna, the pool table, the ping pong, we looked up wild swimming on the Dartmoor rivers, looked at the good food available at the local farm shop. The nearer it got the more excited everyone got and me and GD were just overwhelmed with the joy of it all. The big day arrived and Molly did the whole hang dog jowl face until we picked up her bed roll and she jumped in the car, we did not hear a peep out of her for all the world like she was pretending she wasn’t there in case we changed our minds. The journey was good, a five hour drive, C2’s family were the first to arrive and were already in the pool when we drove up, over the next couple of hours everyone arrived until all were in, beds claimed and had had a dip in the pool. C 2 and I had  brought between us a chilli  dish prepared back at home and we just had to heat it all through at the bunk house, the first meal was laid out on the three joined  tables. Another night C1 prepared marvellous lasagnes. It was wonderful to see the whole family together and spread out, we are even bigger than GD and I had realised. We felt so blessed too to have our daughters in law and son in law joining right in as if they had always been with us, we are just so blessed and so thankful for them. After dinner C 2 and DI 1 set up the ice cream bar. Brilliant it opened every night after dinner, simples and the kids and adults loved it.
Dinner Time
Ice Cream Bar

The farmer was very kind to us and on our second day brought his wife’s archery set and target down for us to get antiquated with, it was just as well the cats stayed clear of the hay stacks, which was where the farmer very sensibly had positioned us before he let us loose with his arrows. Each day after the bacon had been cooked on the veranda, which was actually a second breakfast as some of us earlier risers had already had cereals and been in the pool already, each family went and explored. For one it might be the amazing dam for another a ruined castle, for me and GD it was a dip at the salmon leaps fall.

top pool at salmon leaps
Our best archer C5
Loom band making

We had great volley ball matches in the pool, loom band mega making sessions by the kids, ping pong knock outs, skittle challenges. We flaked out at night like a pack of lazy lions, limbs lying draped across sofas and chairs, bodies sprawled out in one’s, two’s, three’s and more and watched Disney films like ‘Tangled’. We had the chance on holiday to wake up and go greet the horses, or sit by the little pond and just be. I literally could chat for ever about the best holiday we have ever had. It was not because it was the best place in the world or the best of anything, it was because we were together, celebrating our uniqueness, each with our own little quirkinesses and yet knowing we belong to each other and always will, come what may. We have been back a couple of days now and its been a different coming home this time from other holidays, there has been a hankering after the sense of being together. There has been a missing of something, we have all felt it.Well it seems the clan would like another shot at a family holiday GD and I will see what we can do. GD put in for reduced hours at work today, GC3 wants  his dad and GD to carve wood with him, he wants to go kyacking next time we are out on the water, he wants to come camping. As from September it will be a six or seven hour drive to see C3 and DI 2, we want time to do these things. A famous radio guy just died aged 59, almost our ages, it brings it home to us. We used to build our beds and tables from old pallets, now we work to buy things from shops, it runs deep, life shifting. Life runs along and then something confirms a value, reminds us of something that gets laid down in all the rush, for us its family it is love and that is the thing that matters to us.

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