From St Margaret's Bay, we drove north, to our old neighborhood in Berkshire - did a drive-by of our home in Chamberlain Gardens and had a nostalgic moment before heading to the lovely home of our treasured friends, the Chapmans. BOTH of the gorgeous Chapman girlies are our Godchildren - what a treat!
On the Saturday, we loved catching up with the Bickersteths, for an (as ever) delicious lunch, full of fun and wonderful, soul-enriching conversation, followed by a lovely afternoon (and trip to the park!) with our precious friends, the Phillips.
Sunday was the date for our Berkshire picnic - no joke, I had invited most of the county! Thankfully, not everyone we had invited showed up, otherwise it would have been a real squeeze! What a joy to catch up with so many wonderful friends and introduce Daniel to everyone. We LOVED it.
Monday and Tuesday, I took on my alter-ego as international ROCKKKKKK sensation; Mrs 'Rock Chick' Nic Gilchrist! The Freeway boys (shout OUT!) had been hard at work during the months preceding our trip, rockording the music for our SECOND album (which is going to ROCCKKKK your World! Oh yes! THIS one is DEFINITELY better than 'Contraflow' - our first album - it might even be ready by Christmas, so start putting it on your Christmas list!), so all that remained was for me to add my voice to the mix! We skillfully combined a challenging rockording itinerary with giggles and fun, such that I absolutely LOVED these days. Hard work, but a great reminder of how fantastic (even if i do say so myself!) our music & lyrics are and how much FUN I have with these crazy ROCCKKKKKK boys!
While I was making sweet music, Ed spent Monday with his 'MUG' (Mad Uncle Guib) and Robert (his almost-as-mad son), watching England wrap up a 4 - 0 series win! What fun!
Wednesday and Thursday were precious days with the Chapmans - Ed got to play some golf and Caroline and I were released from child-care duties for a few hours to indulge in some retail therapy and morning tea + cake! WONDERFUL. Oh we are SO blessed to have friends that we can totally be ourselves with and relax and chat and just 'be' together. We love you!
It was while staying with the Chapmans that Daniel took his first steps! SO exciting! It would still be a few weeks before he would choose walking over crawling, but it was SUCH fun to know that he COULD WALK!!!
Friday we headed back to Winchester to do some washing (!) and re-packing before the drive down to the south coast to CAMP with Daniel's 3 Godparents (+ the lovely Emily & William!) in Ewelease! Although Jen and I had a sinking feeling as the boys put up tents in lashing rain, once that cloud had passed we had uninterrupted sunshine for the rest of the weekend. It was SUCH fun. Glorious views, lovely cliff walks, scrummy pub meals, warm campfires, Chinese lanterns, wine, toasted marsh-mallows, almond croissants, SOOOOO much laughter and deep, challenging and encouraging conversations. My idea of a PERFECT weekend! Amazingly, the children actually slept pretty well (although Daniel snuggled in my sleeping bag for most of both nights), which made the whole experience MUCH more enjoyable!