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Sunday 3rd July 2022


Even on the rare occasions we’ve found somewhere nice to stay when we’re away, the sitcom gods conspire to turn things into survivable disasters. The kids were both a bit ill yesterday evening and we’d returned to give them an early night, only to be greeted with a hand written message on our door saying there was a charity concert in the cider barn right next to our accommodation, but not to worry, the music would finish by 11.30pm and we were welcome to come along. It might have been nice to have been informed about this event when we booked, but there you go.
We couldn’t really attend, due to having kids and not wanting to end up in prison or worse if we left them in the cabin whilst we went out, but we also needed an early night. I put on my noise cancelling headphones and that took out most of the music, but not the drums. Luckily the kids had fallen asleep before it happened and were poorly enough that it didn’t wake them!
I had an OK sleep once it had finished, but woke to find a pool of water on the living room floor and the sound of dripping water. There was a hole in the roof and water had been coming through all night. I had all my computer equipment within about two feet of where the water was getting in, so was lucky that nothing had been damaged. I put a pan on the settee where the water was falling and it was a quarter full within the hour, even though it wasn’t even raining.
Apart from all of this it was a nice place to stay and Ernie and me had even managed to have a go in the hot tub the night before (Phoebe was too unwell at that point). It was a pretty expensive place to stay, especially given all that Somerset owes me and that everyone there should open their homes to me for free and offer me droit du seigneur, but what you make on the parking you lose on the leaking accommodation.
We went back to my parents’ house for the morning and the kids played games with their grandparents and I played football with them and we had a very enjoyable lunch. But then it was time for the long drive home, which I managed OK with an injection of caffeine and sugar.
We watched Man Versus Bee before bedtime, but it’s the kind of comedy that makes me feel unhappy because I can’t stand the knowledge of the impending disaster and horrible failure. My mum used to feel the same about Fawlty Towers - there was never any hope for Basil and as vain and horrible as he was, you wanted him to succeed, but knew that he never could. I just felt sad that Mr Bean was going to destroy all the priceless art in his doomed attempt to conquer a bee. As it turns out (spoiler alert) his ridiculous behaviour may not be the disaster that it seems, but even so, it all made me feel queasy. Perhaps this is how people feel listening to Stone Clearing, with a man deluded into thinking he can make his time here worthwhile by achieving something that is impossible (and would impress no one even were it possible). 

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