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Monday 11th June 2018


The Black Dog died in the night and we had a wonderful day in the sunshine down by the swimming pool. Most of my holidays in far flung destinations have been spent sitting round a swimming pool in the sunshine and doing little else, and there was nothing really to distinguish today from those other days (apart from having to look after two children, which makes it harder to do anything constructive, like read). We had lovely weather, men with foreign accents brought us drinks and pizza, I didn’t really apply proper suncream and turned pink - just like all those expensive holidays and we hadn’t had to fly anywhere.
I mean, sure, the weather may be less reliable here in the UK (indeed the weather projections had been for cloud and rain most of the week, but it’s been constant sunshine so far). But Devon is beautiful and sitting by a pool is sitting by a pool wherever you do it.
The kids loved it as well. I had fun larking around with them both, though unable to totally enjoy it for fear that my daughter’s bravery when it came to diving under the water would result in me somehow not spotting she was in trouble and her drowning.
It didn’t though.
Not yet.
She laughed as I backed into the water feature which flowed like a mini waterfall at one end of the pool and I had to do the joke over and over until there was no suspicion that I might be somehow doing it accidentally. But subtlety is not yet required in comedy. Ernie loved the water too. Catie has been taking them both to swimming lessons, but I haven’t seen them in the water for a long time. Phoebe played alone in the kids pool as I drank a pint of beer. She was happy to chuck her toy into the water and retrieve it herself, after saying “On your marks, Phoebe, go.”
My niece and Catie’s brother turned up together - they have become the best of friends since meeting at our wedding and maybe wedding bells will be ringing for them one day, (though seems unlikely it will be with each other). Luckily all the Herrings and Wilkins seem to like each other and it was a mildly boozy and fun meal, with Ernie sleeping in the pram and Phoebe managing to stay awake until the end (at about 8pm). I tried to gather more material for the unwritten episode of Relativity, but aside from my mum saying, “I’ll let dad tell the story and chip in if he gets the facts wrong” there wasn’t much I could use. Useless family. I paid for the meal, though, so I believe that gives me intellectual property rights to all that was said. It was not cost effective.

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