The Griffiths family were blessed with a wonderful trip to Chatsworth Farm this week, organised by Special Matters, a local support group for families with children with special needs. It was wonderful to see the animals up close, and so special to be in the company of other families just like ours. It was extra special for Tilly as she took along her friend Rebecca who would also staying for a sleepover.
Back home, whilst I rearranged Tilly's bedroom so that both little girls could sleep on the floor, the girls threw themselves into games of Monopoly, Uno and The Great British Game of Steam. After a favourite tea, they played on the Wii and eventually snuggled up on the couch with a mountain of Easter eggs and drifted and dozed through a DVD. Perfect! What made it even more perfect for me was the welcome arrival of Sue from the Children's Airway Support Team, who came to do a 'night sit', and would be in charge overnight. Sue had a very quiet shift as the girls hardly stirred at all.
Whilst the girls played the next morning I reassembled Tilly's room and tried my best to spring clean the house ready for the arrival of Uncle Frank and Auntie Pat, (Rolf's brother and wife). Fortunately they didn't arrive until late afternoon so I had plenty of time to unearth their bed that was buried under mountains of 'ullage' in the spare bedroom. I do prefer to live in a clean and ordered home, but housekeeping does seem to slip down my agenda which does leave me a bit sad.
However, we were pretty shipshape for their arrival and we all scampered off for a trip to the local carvery which was delicious and a great treat. Frank and Pat just marvelled at Tilly's arm support as she independently took care of her food.
The next day was glorious so Rolf took off with the gang for a splendid day at Shugborough and I stayed home and took care of the 'U' bends at the B&B. When finished I was able to polish off the article for Rudyard Sailability to submit to Geoff Holt which was a great relief. It should appear next month in Yachts and Yatching.
Whenever we have family visitors you can usually guarantee that Rolf will be called upon to do an evening meal for the B&B guests and this, of course, was no exception. Rolf and Frank trotted out and picked up supplies to cover this extra duty as well as a wonderful salmon meal for us. We got away with it and the girls weren't too late going to bed in preparation for the Saturday morning dash to swimming and rowing.
Uncle Frank and Auntie Pat were thrilled to see Tilly swimming on her back and were most impressed with the new float and Tilly's movement through the water. We got to the Lake on time to collect Candice from rowing and were pleased to hear that she'd done very well and appears to be a 'natural'. Bless her, she really does give 100 per cent to everything.
With the sun shining we took the opportunity of spending a couple of hours with Rudyard Sailability. Tilly was feeling a bit dizzy and 'vertigo-ish' so we took up shore duties (catching boats, holding ropes, talking to new members), Candice took out Auntie Pat in an Access dinghy and Uncle Frank assisted Richard out of his electric chair; into a manual chair; into a buoyancy aid; down to the pontoon; into a sling; onto a hoist and then into the boat. Then Richard took control of the boat and treated Frank to a glorious sail around Rudard Lake. The whole process was then repeated in reverse. Frank and Pat were impressed with the whole operation and charmed by the cameraderie, mutual support and ambience at the Lake. We all sat out and enjoyed lunch 'al fresco' followed by a slice of Richard's wife's amazing Bakewell tart. Life really doesn't get much better!
Rolf had had a very busy time at the B&B whilst we were away in the sunshine so he and his brother disappeared off to do a bit of shopping! Meanwhile, the girls played cards in the garden with Pat who enjoyed a pint of warm beer. An interesting juxtoposition of events which tickled me.
We finished off the day with yet another trip out for dinner which was lovely, except that I left Tilly's arm support and suction unit in the pub. Fortunately we were able to pick them up this morning from the Cleaning staff so my panic was over. I just couldn't imagine Tilly now without her magic arm!
After a hearty family Sunday brunch Rolf carried Tilly into Uncle Frank and Auntie Pat's new Motor home. It was fantastic. Guess what! Tilly now wants a holiday in one and is currently searching the internet for a wheelchair accessible version.
The relatives have now moved off up to Huddersfield to see Rolf's Mum and we're left with that 'end of the holidays' feeling - bigtime! It really has been a magical break and we're now getting ourselves organised to get back into the old routine. The girls have got their piano lessons this afternoon and then we're going to have one of Rolf's famous 'Roasts' for tea; catch up on the 'Dorothys' and have an early night.