I drove out of London after work on the Friday evening, picked Tom up from Heathrow (he had been in Geneva for work) and we headed down to Devon.
We spent that night staying up very late, getting drunk on the marina, eating delicious food, holding hands, and playing the 'guess the line from the film' game; stopping every so often to watch the next stag or hen party spectacle enter the bar.
I spent the following day massaging people's heads with a hangover, and Tom explored Torquay, read his book, and lunched while gazing peacefully at the sea.
That was the last time we had both been to that part of the country, until this weekend. It was Tom who was on a course this time, learning how to grow oyster mushrooms on coffee grounds, and build a profitable enterprise from it.
The main difference this time was that we had two little ladies in tow. So while Tom was on some farm in Totnes getting perhaps a little too excited about fungi, I was keeping the kids entertained.
We went on a wildlife boat trip around the coast, but while attempting to buy tickets, Dolly shouted crossly 'I AM NOT TWO, I AM THREE!' There was no charge for two year olds, but Dolly wasn't playing ball and successfully exposed me as a fraud and a liar.
While on board, and still trying to get over the embarrassment, we had a 'naughty lunch' as Betty called it (she has since told EVERYONE that I only fed them crackers and chocolate biscuits all day).
After the boat trip, I wrestled Betty and Dolly into their fabulous new wetsuits (very kindly supplied by MandMDirect), and they took to the icy cold waters of Teignmouth beach. This photo doesn't show the Siberian chill that was blowing that day. But it does show that absolutely no one else was in the sea.
Next on the relaxing itinerary: Betty and I had a massive argument about the lethal-looking, mile-high inflatable slide that I wouldn't let her go on. She stroppily had a bounce on the 'baby' bouncy castle with Dolly, but soon cracked a smile when I opened up the world of Penny Fall machines to them in the arcade. I'm not sure Tom would have approved, but he wasn't there was he.
We were all absolutely knackered by the time Tom finished his course at 4pm. So when Dolly informed me that she was not intending to leave the hotel room that evening, I was more than happy to stay with her.
At 6.30pm, I was in my pyjamas, tending to a vomiting child, and watching reality TV, while Tom and Betty were out eating tapas and having a ball on that lethal-looking inflatable slide thingy.