After a day and a half to tidy the house and buy some guinea pigs (!), our next visitors arrive and bring with them a comforting dose of Stoke Newington. The kids just disappear and play brilliantly together (actually that never happened with Joe in Stokey - he must have grown up a bit) and we congratulate ourselves on no longer having babies or toddlers.
Coaxed by 'walker treats' we route march the troops across fields and moorland - a necessary part of visiting
, specially when the sun is shining. It's lovely to see them frolicking on the pirate ship in the middle of the lawn, and hair-raising to watch them totter over slippy rocks to collect water from the river (to wet the ship, of course). Sheep Poo Land
Halloween is a brilliant excuse for a party. We light the conservatory with pumpkins and nightlights and eat crisps and hotdogs. The kids look priceless in their fancy dress: Witch (Rosa), Witch's Cat (Liv), Skeleton (Joe) and Pumpkin (Johnny). Jen's fab festive game is apple bobbing followed by no-hands retrieving sweets from a cake of flour. Crusty white faces all round. Then sparklers and toasted marshmallows by the fire before rushing in to watch the Strictly Come Dancing Halloween Special!
We get that back-to-school feeling after our friends have gone, coupled with a reminder that we've very far away from the bustle and familiar faces of Church Street. At least we know that they're still there and we can always go back. Would be nice if they could all move here though.