My parents drove us to the Dorset countryside today to spend a week with the whole of my family in a huge converted barn.
Unfortunately, our journey ended rather embarrassingly when we followed our satnav's directions across a mountain track which gradually got bumpier and narrower. After navigating through various fields and gates we literally ground to a halt. There was nowhere to turn around and we were scraping the bottom of the car on the rutted track beneath. As local cows wandered over for a look, Ava and I headed off to try and find help, eventually persuading a local farmer to rescue us in his Land Rover by offloading passengers and luggage which lightened the load sufficiently for Dad to tentatively crawl down the rest of the track! Not a great start.
On arrival, however, we've been blown away by the barn conversion cottage which really ticks all the boxes - quaint, clean, modern and spacious. Being miles away from anywhere (except an Iron Age fort on a nearby hill), it's quiet and surrounded on all sides by rolling hills. Our bedroom is huge - the photo below only shows half of it - and the kitchen, dining and sitting rooms are big enough for all 13 of us to sit and eat together. It's the first time my family have spent quality time all together for a decade or more, so it will be really nice to relax a bit and "share our families".
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Paul Hider lives and works in Kunming (SW China) and regularly updates this blog about his life there.
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