I have had this in draft for a while and have therefore decided to try to finish off the details of our Summer holidays before I have completed forgotten what happened! Part 2 can be found . As was perhaps to be expected, after the excitement of my big party, the rest of the week was a little very quieter and we spent it pottering around Maidstone and its environs. Fortunately, the weather improved (it could hardly have rained any harder!) during the course of the week and allowed us to catch up with M, and N and J and for most afternoons the kids were able to play together. This included a visit to "Go Ape" at Leeds castle which allowed V. to overcome her concerns about traveling down zip lines and for all the kids to walk around the treetops. It actually looked a lot of fun (although as with everything else it was not cheap). We also managed our traditional trip down to Hastings - this time on V's birthday (9 already! - a separate post to follow on this) where she had expressed an interest in visiting the traditional sweet shop in the old town followed by lunch at White's fish restaurant where they do excellent platters of seafood which the kids tucked into with gusto. I drove the kids down and we had a great time singing a medley of songs from the musicals (mainly Mary Poppins and Chitty, Chitty Bang, Bang) and more recent hits from Katy Perry et al. We were met down there by E., M. and Dad and parked up on Rock a Nore car park where I was able to admire the new apartments (some still for sale even though they were completed 2 or 3 years ago) built in the style of the Fishermen huts.
Whilst not exactly freezing, the weather during our time in Maidstone was a bit wet and overcast so we were hoping for some better whether during our forthcoming trip to Ireland (although avoiding rain in Ireland is perhaps not the most likely of outcomes!).