"Is it alright if Wicked Uncle Cliff comes to stay this weekend?" asked my daughter. Now, he's not her wicked uncle, no. This is the name that Miss Em calls him, sometimes reduced to the three-letter acronym WUC. He is a long time friend of ours who went away for a while but is now safely back in the family.
I said it was fine. My daughter replied that he was bringing a friend so a day or two after this Miss Em helped me prepare bedrooms and she dusted and polished her way around the upstairs of the house - and I let her.
The reason for the visit was a re-enactment weekend at the Roman Amphitheatre in Caerleon. I suppose that when you live in such close proximity to things you cease to notice them, and when someone reacts the way WUC reacted the first time he saw it, you suddenly realise that you are a pretty lucky person.
They arrived on Friday evening and we liked Anna immediately, and we spent hours talking and laughing until I simply had to go to bed, but one of the things we decided to do was to get up fairly early and take them to see the other Roman stuff we have "round yer".
After a hearty breakfast we went to Caerwent and showed them all the excavations there. Mr M told them all about the place. He carries a lot of information in that head of his and always surprises me with the things he knows.
We then took them to Caerleon via Christchurch hill (to show them the view over Caerleon) and then dropped them off by the amphitheatre to enjoy their day. We had to go back home to empty the drip pan... did I tell you about the leaky pipe? No? Oh. the bit of pipe that has the connection to the washing machine and dishwasher started to leak. I was afraid to fiddle with it in-case it went whoosh and I had a fountain instead of a leak. On Thursday Mr M rang the plumber but he couldn't come until Monday. Now I don't know about you but I tend to hang on to a good workman so I didn't want a strange plumber and was prepared to wait. This did mean that we had to put the roasting tin under the leak as nothing else was shallow enough and yet big enough to hold more that three tablespoons of water. The roasting tin would last all night - as long as someone was up at 5am - and could be emptied fairly easily.
Anyway we spent the afternoon snoozing, collected them from Caerleon when they were totally re-enacted out and spent Saturday evening laughing and then again on Sunday morning we talked and laughed the whole time.
I was reluctant to say goodbye and I am now looking forward to the next time WUC and Anna arrive for a stay.