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I think I spent about half of the night on the floor with Joy last night, before Bella woke up yelling that she wanted to do the washing up by herself and woke everyone. My husband landed in with her and the last hour until the premature morning was spent listening to ‘please don’t put your hands in my face,’ and ‘you can’t wear the cowboy hat in bed’ and other such things.

Eventually the girls wandered downstairs with Daddy and I closed my eyes for a bit before coming down to start the day. We all managed to be fed, washed and dressed in time to get into the church with a precious few minutes to prepare ourselves. The girls were tired today and while Joy yawned a lot and took short naps and frequent cuddles, Bella’s short-night took on the wound-up form of too much energy.

Her Dad took her down to the water to burn some of it. He took a camera. It was so nice to see her playing where I spent so much of my young adult life. It’s lovely to be staying where I first lived when I came to this country ten years ago. Driving round the area my mind is flooded with so many memories. It was a great privilege to live here and explore. In my time I knew where each path led and where to find waterfalls and cathedrals of trees and hidden bridges long disused and overgrown. Someday I’ll come back here with family and show my children. Until then I will look fondly and say adieu and make my way to my own country.

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