My laptop and I have been reunited and are on our way to Lake Garda where we are going to spend a week finishing To Hell in High Heels. I have left Rupert alone with five children. It was six, but one of them went back home today, so he really has nothing to complain about.
It’s a shame he can’t take them all the stay with my friends Norrie and Mary in the Savoie where I took Bea and Leo last week. They have the perfect recipe for a successful summer with children. I am going to reveal it to you.
One large wooden train decorated with flags
One donkey (possibly the most essential ingredient)
Lots of chickens (preferably two breeds)
Lots of ducks
Countless rabbits in hutches willing to be stroked and stared at
A box full of old toy cars
Fields all around with cows in them
A skinny cat that pops in from next door
Endless patience and interest in children.
It was the first time I had ever stayed anywhere and heard someone say to my children “when you wake up, don’t go bothering mum, come and see us and we’ll give you flying biscuits and milk”.
Are these people too good to be true? No, it gets better. “How can I help?” I asked one evening. “By lying on a sun-lounger,” came the reply. Then a glass of chilled white wine magically appeared. Bea must have seen the look on my face as she skipped past clutching some poor animal.
“Thank you Norrie,” she said. “You’ve saved my mummy’s life.”
For those of you who don’t have a Norrie or Mary, a friend of mine called Tina Richards (who is a holistic dermatologist) is running two workshops in London in August where you can learn all about the best anti-ageing strategies for your skin. You can check her out at www.holdbacktime.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I don’t think Rupert will like that idea much, but maybe when I get home I will send him to Norrie’s for a few days to recover. That way by September he may be speaking to me again.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2007