Every year for the past 10 years or so we have an annual family get together with my extended family.
We go to this amazing place called Tarn in The Lakes
Over the years the idea of a theme has grown and
the last 6 years or so have settled into a wonderfully comfortable tradition which goes like this:
Friday night - arrive, get giddy, catch up
Saturday - a little shopping trip to beautiful Kirkby Lonsdale, decorate the barn with said theme, campfire (weather permitting), games for the littles, massive dress up party with games galore
Sunday - cooked brunch, big clear up, decide the theme for next year, bemoan the fact it hasn't been long enough.
This year the theme was Calamity Jane.
Bit weird I know - but when we adults were young the annual holiday was a 2 week trip to stay with the cousins in Scotland or vice versa. One of the holidays involved watching said film about a hundred times (on video, taped off the telly!) to the point where we all knew it word for word. It's long been a family favourite ever since, and one which all respective partners have bought into.
For a little while Cleggy and I were the only ones with children - now they are outnumbering the adults at an alarming rate.
One of the best things about Tarn is that the large living area is brilliant for all ages playing together. The mixture of dorms and bedrooms mean that we have been able to alter the sleeping arrangements as the family dynamics have evolved. It sleeps 24 and we just about fill it!
Cleggy has an 'entertainment budget' (which he ignores!) and always does us proud with the decor and games - and G Kisby (my brother in law) has a food budget and cooks brilliant food all weekend.
Nelly has taken the mantle of entertainment for the Littles, and due to unforeseen circumstances ended up managing the purchasing of food as well this year!
The weather this year was brisk - but we found opportunity for the fire...boys favourite!
Literally 10 mins later the weather turned and we watched a great lightening storm from the windows!
The littles loved a game of pass the parcel
playing with bubbles
and a good old fashioned 'pin the tail on the donkey'
Then, when they were all tucked up in bed, we all became cowboys, Indians, and various versions of Calamity Jane!!!
|how pretty is our littlest boy?
Unbeknown to each other Cleggy and G Kisby both bought the very same costume from Ebay!!!
It came with a motor - you blow it up around yourself.
|even if it did turn the evening into Brokeback Mountain!!
My poor mother was away on her long walk when the costumes were being organised....so, we assured her we would sort her out and decided she HAD to be Calamity Jane! The bit down by the creek with Katie Brown where she becomes a lady!!
Poor Granny. Luckily she took in her stride. Bloomers and all.
|Kenzie came as a horse!
We were in two teams for the games - and I can't stress enough how seriously this is taken. Seriously. Team talks and everything
The games included
'pin the moustache on the Granny'
|(feel the need to point out that these faces have been cruelly doctored!!)
A brilliant tin can alley
a singing and chime bar rendition of our favourite
songs from the film
A game involving wafting the hat with balloons
(which got more than usually competitive)And most bizarrely a game where each team had to lassoo their respective Granny, who was dressed as a cow!!
Sadly too few usable photos as I had drank too much wine and this game made me wee with laughter.
We also got it together for some family photos
The following morning came all too soon
with a stunning post storm sky
and treats like Nutella on toast
building a den of cushions and finding a sneaky spot to play minecraft (he's addicted)
And enjoying the cow masks a little too much!
Thank you Alison and Philip at Tarn - I hope you enjoyed seeing what we got up to this year!
Next year we've decided to stick with the film theme
and are 'doing Grease'.
The Granny has agreed to be Olivia Newton John at the end of the film...in black lycra. I'm not sure she realises what she's agreed to !!!!