Incredible family, incredible friends…

I am proud to say I have been lucky enough to marry into a family that truly makes the most of the meaning of the word and what it stands for. Every two years up to 80 of us gather in one place for a weekend of celebrations. Four generations and ages ranging across 98 years, we feast, drink, chat, laugh, sing and dance and most importantly we reconnect.

This weekend was full of bonding, from nattering in the kitchen whilst preparing the sandwiches and cakes for our Saturday afternoon tea, to belting out tunes arm in arm on the Karaoke later on after far too many bubbles. The children had the run of the house and within hours were racing around calling each other ‘Cus’. Hours playing hide and seek, taking it in turns to pound on the piano, games of pool, table football, the children were entertained enough to leave the parents completely alone…or maybe I just forgot about them whilst catching up with everyone else…

Friday night was quiz night and the whole family paused proceedings for a quick 40 strong choir rendition of Happy Birthday for my youngest to celebrate his 6th. He still believes they were all there for him!!

Saturday night was a full family fancy dress. Hero’s and villains… and the family did not disappoint. We had Mary Poppins, Dr Who, Walter White, Gangsta Granny, Peter Pan and of course the Incredibles…amongst many many more.

These were great costume ideas for the boys of the family as they were provided with enormous fake muscles, although the husband’s pants were a bit saggy! I on the other hand was stuck in a skin tight polyester cat suit…. not my best look!

Everyone had been busy making curries for our Saturday night event, the food was fabulous and plentiful, the wine flowed far too easily and I chatted or cried with laughter the whole time.

We had so much fun, before we had even left we had rebooked Oxon Hoath for our next event in two years time. The family group seemed smaller this year but it wasn’t, it was simply that we all knew each other a lot better, every gathering we get a little bit closer. All cousins related to the same original couple which baffled my eldest as he couldn’t quite believe every single person in the house was a part of his family. My hubby and eldest are both big family people and this really was a dream weekend to catch up with everyone.

We were missing the hubby’s Uncle Kevin and we’ve vowed to try to get him along to the next one. Coincidentally, when I got home I had a package from him, as he had sent me pebbles that he and his partner had collected for me on his holiday…. so thoughtful! Another super family member.

But there are incredibly thoughtful friends too. I seem to be inspiring everyone to get out there and beach-comb… one friend collected a selection of goodies from the beach in Norfolk a couple of weeks ago on her family Holiday.

I have never see real razor clams on the beach before let alone collected them. I’ll definitely have to find a good use for them and maybe even book a quick family break to Norfolk explore the coastline myself. Thank you Sharon!

So sometimes we would complain that we cannot choose our family, but mostly, especially as you get older you come to realise they are a constant in your life. There is an unconditional aspect to the way you care for each other. You don’t need to impress, you don’t need to compete, you can just be yourself… even if that is singing badly whilst wearing a cheap polyester catsuit, after drinking bubbles since lunch!!

Make the most of your family, they really are a part of you and of your legacy, even those you’ve married into… you’re all a part of that same family tree and you may actually like them….and gain new friends.

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