Ignoring the fact that I have the healthy glow of a radiation victim, I'm slightly concerned that my daughter's dress appears to be exactly the same height as my wife's. Give it ten years, and I'll be grounding her for an outfit like that.
But hemlines aside, that photo was taken yesterday morning in my parents' garden in St Leonards. My brother was invited to a barbecue on Saturday, and his wife and daughter were so reluctant to attend that they decided to spend the day in another county, rather than risk being dragged along. So while he was forcing down an undercooked burger, they decided to visit my parents. And we decided to visit them.
We arrived in St Leonards late morning to find that they weren't there. My Mum told me they'd "gone to Battle" which made my sister-in-law sound far more aggressive than she is. In reality, they were just fighting their way to the nearest abbey. So having played a bit of swingball and posed for a few photos, I drove off down the road to pick them up. The journey back to my parents' house took fifteen minutes. Fourteen of which were spent discussing the loss of Amelie in Asda. We hadn't told them about it - they'd read it on my blog.
By lunchtime I'd convinced them not to report us to social services, and we settled down for a lovely afternoon of eating, chatting, and letting Amelie bother her cousin. Sadly for us, but luckily for my niece, who values her iPod and would prefer not to be locked out of it by a meddling toddler, we had to leave at four-thirty to get back to Brighton for another important event: the resumption of Lisa's stand-up career. Yes, after eight weeks of teeth-imposed hermitage, Lisa was due to speak at her first AA meeting since early July. And she opened with one of her best lines yet:
"I've been through a lot in the past two months. Firstly, a glass cabinet..."
I wish I'd thought of that one.