Over the last few weeks we have had some lovely times with some lovely Northern friends.
First cousin Caroline and Craig came down from Scotland to visit with their little girls Daisy and Poppy.
When we were younger we thought the definition of the word 'holiday' was a trip to Scotland to stay with our Scottish rellies. We would pile in the car to sleep through the journey with the back seats down wrapped in duvets (how wrong is that now?) So it is nice that we are keeping this tradition going as adults of the next generation.
It is an odd but happy thought that one day Alfie or Sonny might visit Mabel for a holiday, with their children in tow.
Daisy, being a year or so older, was a big hit with Mabel. We had a gorgeous day of sunshine playing in the paddling pool (until Mabel did a poo and since her nappy was already sodden and hanging round her ankles Granny rightly suggested a water change).
Then over the bank holiday weekend we visited 2 of our best friends' new holiday home in the lakes (for the record they were already best friends prior to this recent purchase, though a boat and house in picturesque Ambleside has only served to cement our love for them - ha).
Ceri and Paul recently had baby Monty so this was good practice on being 'gentle' for Mabel. She did pretty well and aside from a book on the head and nearly being kicked with a welly boot, Monty came out unscathed.
It helped that Ceri and Paul were pretty laid back parents and didn't jump every time she patted his head a little vigorously.
The weather wasn't particularly kind but we ploughed on with outdoor activities anyway, including visiting a very surreal 'Grasmere show'.
Hound racing, a brass band and childrens wrestling anyone? Yep, as weird as it sounds.
Add in a tent of 'crafts' (you know the type of craft; home made cards from the 1980s, home made soap - mainly lavender, scarves from dodgy coloured & textured wool and always a glasswear stand) and some fairground rides (Mabel went on her first one. A 'first' I was keen to delegate to G Kisby. She got cocky and kept pushing his hand away as he tried to hold her still on the plastic truck she was sat on, only to slide all over the show. I took pictures smug in my decision that this one wasn't for me. I didn't, however, hang around to take pictures as she then refused to get off and was carried away screaming).
We managed to just about get away with a BBQ, ate lots of lovely food and enjoyed the company of our friends.
Mabel even became slightly more o.k with their huge dog who is friendly but giddy. Only once did she get a major face licking (to be fair, even I wouldn't be that keen on an animal, bigger than me, slobbering all over my face and nearly knocking me over in the process).
The stream running through the garden was also a particular success.
It felt like a proper break and I was slightly perturbed that we had to return to work on the Tuesday.
Can't complain though, only 4 more weeks to go now, 8 weeks 'till we meet our baby!