When L finishes reading his magazine it is Rat Cage Time, the acknowledged low point of our joint week.
We have already turned his bedroom upside down looking for the lost Blue Peter badge. The search was not successful but I did however find evidence of such large scale sweet smuggling and eating that I am astonished he has any teeth left at all, not to mention several rat (tame! I hope!) droppings, the remains of 800 nibbled Nerf cartridges, 7500 low value Pokemon cards, a Lego person drowned in one of my good bowls in a sea of hardened clay, 32 single dirty socks and two Mangas stuck together with an indescribably unpleasant sticky substance that I believe may be discarded strawberry bubble gum.
We also emptied the Hoover bag which is fascinatingly disgusting. So much HAIR! Still no joy. This badge loss was so inevitable it could have been written in letters fifty feet high on my forehead (no, I'm not quite sure how that would work).
It is VAT deadline time. Be still, my death-rattling throat.
I tried to take the boys out for a civilised 'it's a public holiday and we won't get a proper dinner because we're on a train' lunch, but my fish tasted of ammonia and the waitress was a hatchet faced crone (I especially liked the bit where I asked for the burger without cheese and she said "a burger is without cheese, it's not a cheeseburger" rolling her eyes, and then brought out a cheeseburger) and the children read magazines and would not talk to me.
We are going to my dad's Tetanus Manor for the weekend to pick apples. The children are touchingly excited to be used as unpaid labour by my father for yet another year. "MOVE THOSE TINY FINGERS MORE QUICKLY".
The sun is shining, possibly even in the Cotswolds. Yes, every day the sun shines in a non-seasonally appropriate way, I will mention it, because I am British and it is obligatory.
We have found an excellent, if almost certainly carcinogenic, trick whilst clearing out 89 drawers on Badge Hunt, which is fake smoke in a tube. You rub your fingers together with the sticky stuff on them, the give them a snap and a flourish and voilà, smoke!
I have run out of time and we risk missing our train, so no photos. Will compensate with bucolic apple slavery shots on Monday.