Several of the families from our community, most of whom attend St. George’s Church have, for the past few years, spent a weekend together at Brunel Manor, a hotel near Torquay. Leaving school quite promptly on Friday we all zipped down the link road (Roger knew of some country lanes through Winkleigh and went a quicker route) and we all arrived just, just, just in time for the dinner gong.
We all fizzled out after a great meal with a few exploring the hotel, a few playing in the play room and a few of the children having fun in the grounds outside; a great play park that Brunel designed with many levels of gardens and woodland areas. Some of the adults even managed to have some social time after the children were asleep! In the morning, and with poor weather looming on the horizon, most of us (certainly the ones with children) drove into Exeter for an early and quiet session at Clip ‘n Climb. A frantic hour was had where… “actually it was quite scary because when you drop from the top it’s like falling off a cliff,” said Elizabeth. Matt Upward and Ben Cox raced themselves up the wall too (Ben won) and a few of the children even jumped the ‘Leap Of Faith.’

Instead of climbing, some of the adults went for a lovely walk 7-mile walk around Hound Tor where it was ‘lovely, beautiful, with only a little spit of rain, lots of wind and excellent carpets of native English bluebells which were absolutely fantastic,” said Julie Wines.
After making our packed lunches and sitting in the playroom having a picnic between all the Fireman Sam toys listening to Thomas playing the guitar and looking at Mike’s excellent photos of our climbing exploits, we packed up and got ready for the swimming pool. 8 families with nearly 20 children and a shark, actually a crocodile, anyway, Owen’s Dad was scary.

I’m being called to the games room… back in a second…
6 tables of mixed families all having a laugh with team games. Can you get a Jaffa Cake from your forehead to your mouth without using your hands? 1 point for each time. Can you whack a tray out of the waiter’s hand with a rolled up newspaper… When he’s trying to do it to you too?! (beware: Owen’s Dad has long arms!) Can you mould play dough so someone can guess it’s ToyStory, or draw a picture so they can tell it’s The Lego Movie?! …just some of the crazy games we got up to. The Real Winners came last… Team Epic won, with Micah being the youngest member.
Seriously late – YES, TIME FOR BED!
Tomorrow morning is Messy Church which Mike is running. I believe he’s brought Open The Book’s dressing up clothes and is planning on having children play ukuleles too… What on earth is he planning?!

So there you are… messy church was more of an acting-up church, the Treasure Hunt collected many things including dolphins, which left only the group photo and picnic before everyone either went to the beach for a last afternoon’s play or left for home.

It was a lovely weekend and I’m sure we’re all looking forward to sharing our time together again – certainly Daisy and Joe are!