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Monday, March 11, 2013

A big white horse on a cold, bleak hillside. It can mean only one thing...

The Cheltenham Festival starts tomorrow. Oh, and we're at Big Sis's house in Devizes.

Back in the good old days, when I was footloose, fancy free, and untroubled by paid employment, the Cheltenham Festival was one of the television highlights of my year. Unfortunately, since being forced off the sofa and out into the workplace to support my needy family, I've missed it every time. So I decided this would be the year that things changed. I deliberately booked the last of my annual leave for this week, so that I could relax in front of the TV with a feast of horse racing action.

At which point I remembered I have children. And Amelie barely allows me to watch the weather forecast, never mind four days of non-stop sport. I haven't even had time to read through the runners and riders, let alone study the form. So I've fallen at the first fence, and the Cheltenham race meeting has been abandoned. Which is a shame because I could have put our insurance money on a horse.

Fortunately, however, my week off hasn't gone to waste. Big Sis offered us the chance to spend a few days in Devizes (you wouldn't want any longer), so having driven 150 miles back home from Norfolk on Saturday afternoon, we drove another 135 to Wiltshire yesterday. I feel it's important for the children's development that they're able to encounter a wide variety of environments and feel stimulated by a range of new experiences, so a trip like this is invaluable. It means Amelie can watch Netflix on a totally different sofa...

We actually left for Devizes about three hours later than intended, but the drive only took two and a half hours, so I'm now thinking we could come here for a day trip. Amelie was a lot better behaved this time (if you don't count the twelve times she wound down the window), and the highlight of the journey was the game of 'I Spy' she had with Lisa.

Now, you'll have to take my word for this, and to be honest, if I read it on someone else's blog, I probably wouldn't believe it, but I swear on Lisa's life this is true. When Lisa said this:

"I spy with my little eye, something beginning with H."

Amelie responded with this:

"Is it Ancient Egyptian?"

I'm not sure if that owes more to a grounding in historical Egyptology or the fact that she pronounces 'ancient' as 'aitchant', but either way it's impressive. And it makes a change from her constantly putting her hands either side of Toby's head and shouting "Baby Antlers!"

But in reality, the answer was house.


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Peter Chapman said...

I want to see a picture of her doing 'Baby Antlers'  please.

Phil's Mum said...

Has the white stuff reached you yet?  We are snowed in here.  You could be taking an extra week off work!

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Peter Chapman said...

I've been stuck on the A23 for SIX hours..... well I would have been if I went shopping in Brighton today.

Phil's Mum said...

Fortunately I was stuck on our drive, so could easily walk home to get warm.