Well, that certainly filled a weekend. Eight shrieking loons dragged to Guildford Airhop on Saturday, then the usual houseful on Sunday. Much lovely food, cake consumed by the sackload and, I dare say, quite a few beer and wine bottles emptied.
Abby is 12. I can't quite get my head round this. Her birthday gifts now include crap like Nike Airmax, hair-straighteners and hoodies. And cash (hurrah for Catholic families). On the plus-side, quite unexpectedly, she seems to have excellent taste in friends, old and new. Long may that prevail...
Where does the time go? etc etc
Two fantastic weeks away in one summer, lucky us frankly. I had no idea what to expect of Mallorca really, it was all a bit of a last minute decision - our best friends had found a super villa just North of Alcudia, we managed to find an apartment overlooking the bay about a five-minute walk away, a notional conversation one Saturday night a few weeks ago was suddenly a reality.
Well... I quickly dispelled any concerns that Mallorca might be a bit '70s-style Costa Del Sol, catering to a peculiar breed of English tourist that would rather have stayed in England on the whole. It's one of the most beautiful places on the planet
Sutton School of Gymnastics held it's 1st birthday gala yesterday - birthday on account of it being one year since it moved into dedicated four-storey premises in a vacant industrial unit in Willow Lane Business Park, in Mitcham. Quite remarkable what the club has achieved since that long-awaited move, fitting out two gyms, with a third on the way. Proper facilities, no longer sharing cramped space in a school hall as it has done for years.
It's a different world now, gymnastics - children engaged at many different levels to suit their ability, competing regularly against appropriately skilled opposition and branching out into freestyle, display teams etc. What I really like is the emphasis that Sutton puts on performance and the high expectations of the club, regardless of age or ability. The girls were both shredded with nerves over their performances yesterday - because they had a part in the gala, as did just about every club member.
Still early days for Hatty - but she will have got oodles from the experience. Abby is beginning to show a temperament and sense of performance, a desire to execute perfectly and with grace that I haven't seen in her before. No longer just a 'child that does gym club'. Seems only last week I was tickling her whilst changing her nappy. Ho hum.
A senior colleague of mine announced that he'd discovered YouTube the other day. Which made me smile - partly in that smug and supercilious geek 'Oh, FFS!' sort of way, but a bit for sharing the delight that someone must experience, chancing on the world's greatest resource for everything, for the first time, in 2013. I remember hearing John Chambers talking at a Cisco event a few years ago, speculating - promising - that 99% of the world's internet traffic would be video within a few years. At the time, I was a bit sceptical. Now, I get it.
What makes me want to write about it now? One of those almost everyday occurrences, where a Facebook friend draws my attention to something massively valuable, delivered in video, via YouTube. I am so envious of my daughters' access to this tremendous source of education... Hands up who knew all of this already? You fibbers...