Sunday, 31 August 2008

Credit crunched

We have been sitting here today doing some sums over what paying off the mortgage would save us in accrued interest payment. Reads like a telephone number aye!!

Also realised there are reports of an announcement about house sale tax imminent next week so maybe the buyer is holding back to see what happens.

Then again overall things could be worse.

We have the credit crunch.

The yanks have the credit crunch, a hurricane about to hit land and the village idiot on his way down to take personal charge of the relief effort.

Poor sods.

We had a rare event today, the Nurse came to do the looked after childrens medical. Yes a professional on a Sunday!

Now it's so long since I started working weekends that the concept weekend off has ceased to have meaning for me.

This professional came to visit today because otherwise the children would have their education disturbed.

That is so child focused as to be unprofessional, unprofessional in the sense that professionals would not do it that is.

It's funny, all the kids, including our own, love her. Visits allways run over time and we allways find something new to talk about.

Today it was "pockets of happiness" how small periods of good time can have life long benefits.

It rang very true for us, we could think back to several young people we knew who had spent relatively short periods in places and that had been enough to turn their whole life round the effect often not kicking in for many years.

This could generate a whole new strand of "evidence based practice", as my late and missed mentor Barrie Aldridge would have said: "There's a project in there for someone".


Saturday, 30 August 2008

It's wealth jim but not as we know it....

So I went to see my Adsense account and have made an earth shattering discovery.

I am in the money!

Wealth beyond the dreams of avarice, errrrrrr



18 dollars.

Still - better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, well unless you like that sort of thing.....


Playing poker.

Yesterday it was off to Daycastle and a big family wedding.

Managements rellys posturing and politicing with her mum's death maybe looming.

Nice day though, that said, when I heard how much they paid for the room and stuff I went white.

Late home though, the girls came with us since of course Sir Bruce was official photographer.

An eBay morning at the post office whilst Serenity was off being serene and leaving the childer for as many mealtimes as she can get away with.

Stop off in the inastate agent.

Poker continues.

Neither side will crack, then again management is getting restive.

That I can do without.


Thursday, 28 August 2008

The offer....

So anyway this morning the in a state agent called with an offer.

Stressing it was preliminary, not to be taken seriously, no need to worry on that score....

Now the house was worth 500 K earlier this year maybe a 100K more than that had we sold in the heady days and mad hectic market of last year.

So really the guy was not serious, still the game is on as they say.


Tuesday, 26 August 2008


Times are starting to catch up with us.

Management has retired to bed.

The holiday is taking it's toll I am a bit tired too.

Can they start school tomorrow?

People who "work" have holidays, foster carers just end up knackered, hang on, do "workers" launched into weeks with children end up the same??

Bethan is sat on her new GCSE laptop.

We are in limbo, will these people who looked at the house drop us an offer.

Management has been looking up various scenarios of the money kind.

We are in that state we hate: not knowing.

P has featured little if at all on my blog recently.

He is off with mum and the jury is seriously out over whether he comes back or not.

Well liked locally they all hope he will stay.

He was placed here to try and break his strong links with mum.

Good reasons; based on putting him first then.

Nothing at all to do with adoption targets of course.

Unfortunately he was placed somewhere that worked for him.

Mum has realised he should never have been moved from her.

Where were these lawyers who told her that now, when she was ill and she needed them?

Where we go no one knows.....

We have had a really nice summer.

I hope that can continue for us, especially me and management.

Next year I think the girls will want to be themselves and stay home.

I will miss them.

I wonder if we will ever be able to pay for those weeks in Brittany again.


where are all these buyers coming from?

We have gone a few months with nothing happening at all - zilch - rien - not a dicky bird.

The viewees yesterday are apparently off to see planning about what they would like to do here and are generally mustard keen.

The phone has just rung and there are more viewees on their way to see the house this afternoon.

Bloody hell!

She is sat there working out how much our mortgage is worth so that we could try and see how much of it we could lose by moving where.


Monday, 25 August 2008


There comes a point in the selling of a house where you have done everything you can and you have to just sit and wait.

Clearly the house was a hit, they have sold and have to move, quick too.

We should know either way this week.

We have been here before admittedly but I dare say that I do feel a bit of a buzz.

Maybe not.

Time will tell.

The lady does not do waiting, I don't really do moving.


Sunday, 24 August 2008

A viewing - by heck

So of course we had our viewing.

The director of operations was away, off being hurled round the offshore islands in a huge RIB with about 500 gee gees prodding it along. This is exactly what I would call fun and she would call hell so naturally she went and I stayed and showed the viewees round.

He was keen she was towards the icy side of cool. No need to speculate over the result then, his masters voice will tell him what to do.

They certainly viewed the view though. 2 hours, fairly usual, they stay all day then go away.

Naturally with management and nearly everyone else not here it was an ideal chance to take my two daughters out for lunch.

Well, it would have been; suspisciously close to lunch time, Serenity my step daughter arrived and she just happened to have her four children with her and they looked seriously hungry.

She didn't stop though. as soon as she realised the cafe was closed, errr her mother was not here, away she went. There was no conversation really, she got back into the car and she was gone.

So the girls and I got to go out and enjoy a pleasant afternoon in the local hostelry. Branwen was defeated by a chicken madras, Bethan gamely stood in and went a multiple selection of hues as the ferocious curry ravaged her taste buds.

Of course the viewees are down for the weekend and may want to come and see the house again. So we cannot return it to a normal lived in state. Everything is missing hidden and lost, indiscriminately bundled into cupboard and drawer, sorting this tidy out could take weeks, months even.

I don't think I can take many more viewings.


Friday, 22 August 2008

Viewing some more.....

Today has been back to normal service.

Started the day with rotten petrol and nothing starting.

Of course this is the very thing for a green goddess.

All that rancid gone off old petrol and two stroke is eagerly accepted by the truck that finds modern fuel altogether a bit warm.

Then I broke her beloved strimmer. Yeah I snapped the Stihl which now needs engineering level repair. Into service went the one it replaced which, thank goodness sparked up immediately.

Then on to the lawn mower, this is the brother to our 5 year old one in Brittany that just runs and runs. This one though needs the carb draining down every so often as it tends to collect water. So of course a seal decided to move and lots of messing was needed. Swearing at it was a great help

Then on to moving the new (older than the IVECO) minibus which resolutly refused to start due to a really crap ford feature, their silly flat battery terminals that are impossible to get a good connection on.

These were rubbish on the Ford Anglia, so of course they have lived on with tradition...

Now, as well as this the proper trucks need a move.

Isabelle has not a drop of fuel so thats tomorrows first job.

Gloria has a problem oil seal on the filter, there's job number two.

Taff is minus a battery so there's job three, where did I put that and best give it a bit of charge. Thinking about it, that might be the first job really, while that is charging I can do the others.

Maybe I don't mind all this selling stuff. I get to drive green goddesses. Better than that, Bethan can drive Gloria.

She will love that.

It has been a very quiet few days.

Taliesin is in Spain.

P is with his mum and Little D with his nan.

It's been great.

Change starts tomorrow, D comes home.

I wish me and management were waking up in Guemene tomorrow, on our own.

That would be really good.

I suspect that when we do we will miss our lovely children.



The UK property market has got to a state where if it was twice as active you could almost call it dead...

Naturally we have the house for sale.

Realistically me and the management are resigned to not selling the house at all and are slowly changing plans to take account of that.

So of course in that mental climate, for the first time in Months we now have a viewing.

I never knew how complex selling a house really is.

All the lawns and grass will now be at the receiving end of a mega makeover.

The cars parked outside will be seriously shuffled. The fire engines moved round a lot and everything loose and random round the house will need picking up bagging and hiding away probably the back of the IVECO which will be jammed to the roof with gear all of which will have to come back out.

Probably just after the person who views has announced they didn't really have money, they were on holiday, bored and needed something to fill a day.

Well they will certainly have filled mine....


Thursday, 21 August 2008


The answer of course is 7 A's and 4 B's with an A* or two in there somewhere or other as well.

Looks like I am in for open wallet surgery at the lap top shop.


Wednesday, 20 August 2008


Well we got home and suddenly - nothing happened.

But it happened suddenly.

Since coming back a kind of lethargy has fallen over us, the van is sort of unloaded, the tent is still in there.

But most other stuff is out.

Naturally with the house in tip order we have our first viewing in ages on Sunday.

Management has been suffering a horrid chesty cough and I think the strain is telling.Also all the weather seems to manage is rain. We have even had the fire going occasionally.

These big old houses though need ventilation. That's the thing with the log stove, yes it does warm the house but it also moves a hell of a lot of air and when you lock a house like this for a few weeks all locked and sealed the water builds up in the air.

Of course all was not good news.

Serenity has been going out with a man, and he is Mr Sensible. Naturally he has been Mr Sensible and run screaming out of the house. No, I am sure that Serenity has not done anything daft, but he has gone. We await the next drama with our breath bated.

Finally of course number one daughter is dumping her first ever boyfriend on the phone as I speak and, she gets her GCSE results tomorrow so breath is even more bated.

If she does well I am told I am buying her a laptop. This is partly for doing so well but mainly to get her off her mothers.


Sunday, 17 August 2008

A change of day......

There is more.

Yesterday bright and "good lord" we awoke and did our well rehearsed drill of van loading.

As you all allready know we were out of there seriously early and ready to run.

Got through the day and off the ferry bright and quick, could not believe our luck.

Till of course we saw the doors of customs open.

Through the whole of my life, whilst the rest of you have been waved on by smiling customs officers, I have been the one pulled in with a fierce scowl.

At least this time they smiled.

The effect was the same though but the delay a lot less.

With Taliesin sent off to Spain we got through we made for Daycastle and our next drops.

Another two kids down and home was beckoning.

So of course the boat decided to get out and walk off the trailer.

Which was OK as it only took an hour to sort that because the kids all needed a wee.

That caffine really did not suffer from water.

Dunno what it was but it got us home.


Sorry that was De man sitting on the keyboard.

Our three legged cat who has struggled outside for a few weeks.

And spent last might making sure he was ready when I headed for the corkscrew.

8 am and we were up and buying into what has gone down since we left.

Now I just forgot to take her more hot water for her bath or so she says.

Anyway, it's late enough and time for rest


Long way home....

Long way home.

I write this in peace on the Bretagne as we calmly plough our way back across “le manche”. Peace of course being secured by me and she who is now reading the indie booking an additional cabin and not telling the kids….

3 weeks of children and now we are hiding.

We arrived at Dinan a couple of days ago and true to our usual holiday form things took a turn. We don’t seem able to just go somewhere do something and go home, something always has to happen.

Sure enough; with us having committed ourselves to meeting friends in Portsmouth who are taking Taliesin off for another three weeks in Spain, something that required us to make a day crossing from St Malo which was best expedited by a stop the night before closer to the terminal (the alternative being a 5 am start) the weather broke, or rather shattered.

With a load of shopping to do we went and hid in the intermarche in Taden as the thunder crashed, lightening flashed the roof rumbled and shook, adding the odd buzz and click to the piped muzac…

There was a useful gap tween thunderstorm and tempest which was just enough to allow the tents to go up before we somehow got the kids to bed.

“I am really going to enjoy this” I thought.

I lay awake long into the night listening to the relentless barrage of water on tent.

Next morning, as if by a miracle the rain had gone. Unfortunately it had not washed away the neighbours.

By 6.30 they were fully awake, one had obviously over indulged the night before and young daughter, whose name I quickly learnt was Kayleeeeeeeeiggh was despatched to shout and rouse the long and presumably much suffering dad. I am not saying she was loud and strident but her second attempt was enough to set off car alarm somewhere else in the site. So was her fifth and about her ninth.

Then of course someone took the sensible course of removing the carpets from their tent hanging them over the line and beating them. Finally someone somewhere put up their camping chairs, not your run of the mill fold up types, these were held together with nails which took a lot of hammering in.

This was not the end of it, OH NO, later, with management a bit tired and in the tent on Siesta bent, someone decided the vaccum their caravan. The washing machine and spin dryer having finished mid morning and no, I am not making any of this up.

Holidays are a funny old thing, you see groups of people on the ferry going out, the prospect of two weeks together fueling a wave of excitement.

Fast forward a few weeks and you have a relationship in meltdown.

One of them will not have had enough sex. The other will be struggling with the realisation that they married a beast of limitless libido whose tortured and peverted taste for variations on the basic act would require the flexibility and stamina of an Olympic gymnast and make the Marquis de Sade look like Tufty.

On the boat, adult maturity (and mental exhaustion) will prevent them hitting each other with bar stools and bottles, but relations will aspire to cold.

The children of course will show no such inhibitions, and all around you the biblical Cain and Abel tale will unfold in real time.

Peace amongst the children will, so far, will only have been bought by expenditure that would bankrupt a third world state.

This in turn will generate mail from the likes of Visa and Mastercard that will cause yet more recrimination, statement shaking, finger waving and questions about whether it is really necessary to buy food.

By the time that is all dealt with someone will notice it is now Xmas and when that crisis is passed there will be the plop on the mat of glossy brochures showing happy families on the sand and another competitive school gate round of note comparing over who has booked two weeks in Benodet and who has decided to explore Bradford.

Now, I should add that this does not describe us. Management the kids and I have spent a really good few weeks away. That said, we are not home yet; Wait a minute, whose parents were they just calling for on the tannoy

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

down amongst the boaty folk

Down amongst the boat folk……

A lot of money has been spent this holiday in ensuring that we have our power boat with us.

For that reason entirely we have left it almost entirely alone. Until yesterday, then safely hitched behind the IVECO we set off for Guerledan and the lakes, this inturn involved going through the small town of Seglien which was closed for a cycle race.

The ideal thing to come across in a huge IVECO with a trailer added for good measure. Some enjoyable anarchy of small narrow street with lunatic parking with matching lunatic driving and we were safely back on course for the lake.

Boating is a strange activity, even in France some level of competence is necessary before you take off in a car but anyone and his brother can simply arm themselves with Euros and get a boat.

A day or so back, Taliesin and I watched in silent amusement as a couple tried and eventually gave up at launching their boat. Ohh yes they had the hull, a superb rigid speed boat, perfect compliment for a 455 cubic inch marinised chevy V8 which was putting down 320 horse power, so we were assured. Naturally the trailer was high spec as was the tow truck that had I reckon donated it’s original motor to power the boat and which was now running some big meaty diesel that sounded like it had come out of a HGV.

Make no mistake, they had the boat they had the trailer they had the tow truck, all they were missing was a clue……

Ten minutes and they were no closer getting the thing in the water, much shrugging arm waving and they gave up.

That is not that I am holding us up as paragons.

We had successfully left our long ropes in Wales so naturally when we had to drag the boat out of the water, the height restrictions meant the IVECO stoped a few yards short by the height barrier, well OK about 100 yards up the slipway.

This in turn meant that we had to struggle out of the water and drag the boat up to the van. The surrounding boat people helpfully watched us struggle and, in a blaze of profanity we eventually got it hitched.

For some reason the enthusiasm for the boat and indeed boating has dimmed a little.

Today we are off to the bat museum and then maybe I am off to the internet café, you will be the first to know…..

Sunday Sunday…..

Time continues to flow by at an indecent pace.

We bathe in the mild sunlight and listen to tales of gloom on the BBC UK weather forecast on radio 4 long wave which with radio breizh is about all we listen to.

Management clatters away some work of fiction for her blog meaning I have time to write something more factual as I wait for the kettle to boil for the second time today.

Now, it’s Sunday and of course that means the Intermarche is closed and in turn guarantees with certainty that the gas bottle will run out today. Such are the things I can take for granted.

We have been spending our summers here every year since 2003, but before that many other years starting in 1993 when the twins were barely 2 months old, and I find it very odd. Initially, with children our times here were a delight, then some terrible teenage years of decisions to cut our time short and return to the UK with a van full of rioters. Now we have a party of adults, some younger than others, and the times are far more civilised.

Every day management and I slip away for at least an hour of peace. A quiet trip into town on the excuse of shopping. A lovely interlude at the Intermarche, I can’t explain why Intermarche is interesting and Tesco’s is tedious, it just is.

A stop in the café on the way back is totally unnecessary so we do it anyway and collect fresh bread from the boulangerie while we are there.

I could really get used to living here, which is in itself not a good sign as children get older and independence looms.

€8 bought us a kilo of crevattes rose yesterday; I sat with four children and demolished the lot in a few minutes. The children only one of whom is mine would almost certainly never have known crevattes rose or moule or four course lunches for €9 where the plates move steadily round the table as everyone trades the things they don’t want with others who like them, or indeed Brittany itself if we had not known them. And the financial rewards of knowing them are what have allowed us to spend our summers here in the house that they bought for us, next door to the house that one of them has announced he intends to buy and live in himself!

Something that has struck me is that this is possibly a last time. With Bethan at 16 and awaiting the results of her GCSE’s; next year she may well have a car (or rather expect that I buy her one) and next summer there might be a job and money to earn meaning that she will not come with us. The year after it will be Branwen and Taliesin, then university will steal them all away to independence and freedom, Maybe one day one of them will sit here as a parent and write their own account of time abroad with children who will drive them to distraction too.

The era of family abroad, and indeed family itself might be drawing to an end. That all makes me sad, then again, what excesses could me and management get up to without the kids?

That does not bear thinking about, maybe we need the kids to keep our wilder excesses in check, I certainly hope so….


luxurious living

Luxurious living.

There is something very civilised about living in rural Brittany. A place that makes the pace of life in rural Pembrokeshire seem a bit frantic.

Even with Sterling being worth about as much as a couple of sheets of andrex the cost of living here is still right down at the bottom of the bottom line.

You can also get proper white wine for making moules. Today we cooked our moule in Gros Plant Nantais, Gros should be the hint, this is a white of such violent dry acidity you could probably pour it in the car battery, in fact at €1.50 a bottle it’s cheaper than battery acid.

In a gurning competition it would be considered doping, take a generous gobfull of this stuff and the resultant involuntary grimace would guarantee a placing….

Not everything in Brittany though is the nadir of civilisation; driving being a notable exception, the average Breton places their brains in a bucket before taking the wheel. Well maybe even the word “driving” is pushing the limits of credibility.

They launch cars at each other, except for the truck drivers who need treating with extreme caution especially after lunch!

The cost of lunch has gone up a little, about 50 cents on last year but you can still get a decent four course meal for about 8 pounds “vin compris”. That’s where the trouble all starts, the truckers lunch is also “vin compris” so after 2 pm the average trucker is going to be flying 38 tons of artic bathed in the comfortable glow of a decent meal with courage and joie de vivre derived from the best part of a bottle of cheap Bordeaux.

Three sheets to the wind, trousered, call it what you will,, the result is 16 wheels formation flying at you at an indecent pace and sometimes they manage to stay on their own side of the road too!

The drinking and driving battle might be largely won in the UK, but combat has barely been joined over here. That said the gendarmes take no prisoners, fall foul of one of their mobile roadblocks where everyone gets to blow in the bag, and you are banned on the spot if the light flashes the wrong colour.

Of course it’s not so bad really, the IVECO is Italian and therefore designed for the cut and thrust of manic motoring. It does not really do motorways but the sort of rural roads you get round here suit it to a T. On supersoft suspension it bounces and lurches it’s way along but the wheels always stay connected to the floor. The brakes, product of a land of tailgating simply pin it to the road with an iron hand and kill velocity with ABS driven efficiency.

The fly in the ointment is the position of the driving seat. Or rather the passenger seat. Management, not known for her cautious style of driving, well OK maybe wheel turning is more apposite. Now, normally all is OK, but over here she is sitting an easy metre to my left this places her in the heart of the action but with no control at all. When that truck steams through the bend she is perfectly placed to see the potential for disaster, but the wheel that she automatically yanks at is not there and the brake pedal she stamps is a flat plate of steel.

Of course, worst of all when I pull out to overtake and realise there is a line of cars coming the other way, she will have known this for several seconds already and what’s more they are fully in her line of collision err vision.

All in all we have witnessed various responses, handfuls of seat clenched, feet braced against the dashboard and windscreen, face screwed up, eyes closed and “Nggggaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!” said, there are also periods of peace, where I glance across and realise she has her eyes firmly closed as if expecting to die in the very next instant.

This all makes me suspect that she does not always enjoy being driven. Funny though, she rarely offers to drive herself; her usual response to stress in Pembrokeshire. Maybe even her considerable courage fails her.

It’s still a very civilised place though, we took the tribe out for lunch: a meal for nine and change from €90, yes and it was “vin compris”.

awash with success.......

Flushed with success at the internet café, a place where I, very wisely let her get her posts out first so she could tell everyone how technically literate she is as opposed to me….

Off we went on adventure bent.

Now, one of the features of this time in France has been the need to collect a child from Calais. Calais for us in Brittany serves to illustrate the huge size of France relative to our tiny little country the UK. A run up to Calais would be easily a 1000 Km round trip.

A first look at the problem and the option of doing the run in a day was quickly dismissed. 1000Km in the van would be hard, 1000 Km in the van with the kids would be a recipe for riots…

A fall back plan was formulated. We would travel to Normandy so she and the other childer could see the sites of the 1944 landings and I would do the run heroic and shoot up to Calais and back in a day.

This all worked out rather well. An emplacement taken on the municipal in Arromanches, tent set up and a semi comfortable nights sleep.

Next day bright and early off I set for Calais to meet the coach at 4 pm at the tunnel. Naturally the first text I got suggested an arrival time closer to 1 and the loud pedal had to be pushed that little bit further down. Though of course licence losing speeds cannot be deployed as they time your progress along the “peage”. It is here that a contrast emerges; progress across Britain is rarely easy, rarely smooth and mostly tiring.

France has far superior roads, far lower traffic density and progress was easy. That said, if the attitude of drivers in Brittany is a bit erh “decisive” and “assertive”. Definitely “mirror, signal and get on with it” nearer Calais it was more a case of “mirror, signal, prepare to ram”.

I like the French style of driving; no one dithers but just gets on with it, though if you told me that their fatality rate was far higher than ours I would not be inclined to argue.

Certainly, when you approach a point where traffic merges, in the UK you will see lines of cars seamlessly slipping from two lanes to one. The equivalent in France will be more like watching a game of “chicken”; feature webs of black skid smears, serious bends in the crash barrier and a road paved with broken plastic and exterior trim.

Bethan, volunteered as ace navigator, and I made good steady progress and crossed the Pont de Normandy. I wonder what they were on when they designed that? High is certainly a phrase that sticks in the mind, a pair of roller coaster, sweeping bridges where the video was enough to silence management. When she saw there was both a walkway and a cycle track her nerve went completly…..

Definitely a way to take her at some stage in the future then!

But anyway the trip to Calais was fairly straight forward, Calais being signposted from several hundred miles out. The trip back was less simple.

Le Havre not being thought worthy of mention on the major sign posts, never mind Caen, Bayeaux or Arromanches!

This in turn made me think there might be something in this genetics thing. Bethan demonstrating she shares her mothers extraordinary map reading talents. At one stage she assured me we were actually 100 miles away from where the map said we were and that any discrepancies were down to the map being wrong!

Even the failure of the Pont de Normandy to re appear at the required moment was nothing to do with her; it was something to do with faulty geography…..

But I digress; we got back to camp to find management pretending that she had endured a really fraught day, whist we had of course been off on a jolly.

Saying that maybe we could have stayed home, let her do the driving, “by the way here’s the video”. Did at least produce a momentary silence…..

Silence if the only word to describe next day, with Taliesin as our guide a few of us went off to see Arromanches, 50 years may have passed and many of that generation with it. Nothing though can really prepare you for the beach and Mulberry Harbour.

The scale of it all defies belief. With the disaster that was Dieppe fresh in the memory, as early as 1942 the Allies had decided that capturing a Chanel Port would be a suicidal enterprise. Churchill simply decreed that a prefabricated harbour be built in Britain and towed into position off the Normandy coast. The result was an enclosed area larger than 1000 football pitches. For 100 days this brought in most of the stores troops and vehicles the allies needed to maintain their tenuous toe hold in Europe.

There were of course moments of comedy, the superb models of the mulberry harbour are somewhat marred by the depiction of lots of 1950 vintage Bedford RL trucks being loaded on the wharfs in 1944, only a decade out!

It’s being there that makes you realise how desperate the action really was. The decision to standardise on the Sherman tank came so close to costing the allies everything. Seriously outnumbered the Wermacht had little problem holding the Allies back with vastly superior armour. How many lives were lost because of the useless under armed and under armoured “Tommy cooker” as the Germans called them

As if proof were needed that we are a seriously argumentative species, we abandoned the coast and made for Bayeux and its bit of sewing….

Another war museum, lunch and home we came. Of course, she is her daughter’s mother and she who said leave the GPS off soon got us completely lost off the Rennes ring road thanks to the map of course being completely wrong again.

There were a few moments where the GPS too was making no sense at all, well so she said, and then at last we were on the right road and heading for home

Everyone was in bed by 10. Surprisingly it was 10 am when we awoke.