We were having friends over to stay for the holiday… a family of five we hadn’t seen for over three years, and who hadn’t seen our place in West Cork since we moved down here nearly six years ago. Naturally we wanted the house and garden in tip-top shape before they came, and it was going to be a case of all-hands-on-deck to get everything done.
And then the winter vomiting bug paid us a visit.
The winter vomiting bug is a nefariously gregarious little microbe. It thrives on company, likes to spread itself around, and brings all of its friends along for the party. Once one person in the family gets it… that’s it, everyone gets it. It started with one of the twins… moved on to the other one and then hit the little one and my wife. Three sleepless nights and around ten wash-loads later it was my turn.
I’ll spare you the unpleasant details, but I will comment on how well behaved the children seem to be when they’re genuinely sick. They were little angels one and all – I’m talking complete personality transplant here. There was no cheek, no back-chat and they didn’t have the energy to run riot as they usually would. So apart from the vomiting (and the ceaseless cleaning and washing that entailed) things were in fact much more serene than usual around here.
Except of course serene wasn’t what we needed… not with visitors arriving. By the time we’d recovered enough to think about it we only had a day to prepare for our guests’ arrival. Instead of “action stations” it was more “panic stations” as we struggled to shrug off illness-induced lethargy and get everything done.
It was a little fraught, but we more or less made it before our friends arrived with their three children. Six kids, one house: pandemonium reigned.
I don’t know how my mother-in-law managed with six kids for all those years. It was complete and utter chaos… but in a fun way. While we were catching up with old friends, the children were busy making new friends… which, when you think about it is kind of neat.
I’m just praying for some good weather this week – because if we can get out and about with the children all will be well with the world. If we can’t, we’re pretty much snookered.
West Cork is terribly limited when it comes to indoor activities. If it’s raining there’s very little on offer, and lets face it, for all its good points it tends to rain quite a lot here. If the sun shines there are plenty of beaches, walks and all sorts of fun outdoor places to go… but everything is weather dependent. Unfortunately the weather is the one thing you really can’t depend on!
I often wonder why on earth nobody invests in providing more indoor activities in West Cork. Surely there’s scope for something like a bowling alley in Clonakilty, an indoor play area in Skibbereen, and other things of that ilk in Bantry or Dunmanway? I’d imagine such places would be packed to the rafters on soggy weekends, of which there is no shortage.
But that, as they say, is another story. For now we’re focussing on catching up with our guests, and making sure that the girls enjoy their school holiday. With their new friends to play with at least that shouldn’t be too much trouble.
(Photo by rbieber on Flickr)