Another glorious, sunny, relaxing Golden Week at Victoria's in the bag.
And I'm not going to say it's always the same, but different this time, because it was mostly just the same. Except for the mini-circus and me collecting injuries like girl scout badges (in addition to the broken toe, I spent the whole drive down trying to get something out of my eye. Tammy finally gave me some eye drops and the chair collapsed under me while I was leaning back to put them in, leaving me with a streak of purple bruising along my upper arm. Well, the chair was several decades old. Finally I collected a wasp sting at the bbq on the second night, which Victoria cured with ammonia, making me smell like a two-day old nappy all night until I covered it with a plastic glove).
Oh, and I never stepped foot in the temple once! I went up to the toilet 3-4 times, but we did all the cooking in the lower kitchen, and I slept in the corner by the sofas in the old kindergarten with Erica.
Amy and Lena slept in a tent in an old rice paddy out the back of the back garden with Sahara and Sasha. Never seeing them except for when they miraculously appeared at mealtimes is par for the course I suppose.
As is the G&T's on the lawn and the endless bottles of wine, cups of tea in Victoria's kitchen, the bbq and sashimi and chips and dip, shopping and onsen trip and women chattering loudly in English in the kitchen.
This year's parent was Karin's dad Issac, who made the hummus, and made it REAL good. Victoria's helpers were another French couple, this time the girl was the outgoing one, the guy kind of quiet. They were act two in the mini-circus with their hula-hoop routine, following Yuko the balloon lady. I have to say the BBQ night entertainment this year was top-notch!
I skipped the river swim due to my foot, and was happy that Erica didn't seem interested in the river - until the next day, when I knew about it only when she appeared in the back garden soaking wet. Erica being another year older and more sensible is probably why I felt this year to be particularly relaxing - instead of panicking whenever there was a quiet moment, I rested. Since Lena was 5 when Erica was born, I guess that means this is the *most* relaxing it's ever been for me, despite the fact that being an old hand now means I do a lot more of the cooking, cleaning up and shopping, since I know where things are!
The trip there was great.