No mean feat, going on the annual family Gamble holiday. Great to be there, great to enjoy it, but heck of a thing to get sorted. Packing for three small children is a mission best left to competent and responsible members of the team, so I get out of that one fairly easily, but loading it in the car takes a few goes, and any monkey can lift bags so I get wheeled out to spring into action for that. Then there are the rabbits, mental puppy, cat and various work related matters to sort out for the duration of our ’10 days annual leave’. Route planning, hotel booking and paying fall in my court as well. Should be able to handle it by now but still managed two small errors before we actually got underway.

The first one was managing to book the family holiday starting on a Wednesday rather than the Monday we all thought up until two days prior to departure. On the plus, it gave us an extra two days to gear up towards the event. On the downside, this meant I had a moment to challenge myself to some domestic duties such as painting one of the downstairs rooms and nipping into the practice to say hello again. Just when they thought they were free of me.

The second error involved the DIY I attempted around the house when undertaking said domestic duties. Goes without saying, I always need help when doing anything practical at home – and it doesn’t come in any finer form than from my 4 year old son and 2 year old daughter. But just before you are due to go on holiday, I maybe should have though things through a bit better. Unleashing Noah and Sheba on the paint sounds great fun but in hindsight, it wasn’t my best decision of responsible parenting – particularly as they found a pot of radiator paint to get stuck into. Surprisingly resilient stuff. Suffice to say, I created a few more jobs to do on my return.

Anyway, we made it. And it was a holiday of power. Action packed, entertaining, gluttonous and utterly exhausting. Fowey, in Cornwall. Thoroughly recommend it. Although crabbing is harder than you think so brace yourself on that score and it is indeed easy to get lost in the Lost Gardens of Heligan. Although we did find them without too much trouble so I can’t help but think renaming them as Found might make more sense. Eden project is worth a visit, dead impressive and if you want to see where all descendents of 18th century pirates hang out – go to Kidszone in St Austell. We also bumped into Dawn French a couple of times, she smiled at Cords – as she drove past – twice. So there you go. The hotel was also a total winner. We’ve had mixed reactions with family hotels. Not many ‘family hotels’ are generally cool about taking a 4ft red plastic spade to breakfast every morning – an absolute essential if you are part of Team Gamble – but this one was. Likewise they didn’t seem to mind too much about the fact we collected things throughout our week and stored various ‘treasures’ in places that housekeeping might find challenging. Put it this way – I think we blended in fine at Kidszone.

And so we are back. And recovering. I sometimes get asked if I find emergency calls at work stressful. A prime example was one I had yesterday to see a horse with a large lump of wood stuck in it’s mouth. Completely wedged between it’s upper molars from right to left. Horse was taking it fairly well all things considered, but it was, a bit of a drama. Got the wood out no problem and all ended well. Doubt my pulse got about 65 from start to finish. But now I am thinking about next years family holiday and already I need to lie down in a dark room. Wouldn’t change it for the world though.