The Summer holiday races past; the kids – though they’d never admit it – miss the familiar rituals and routines of school. They crave and demand attention and entertaining, and when asked to fall back on their own resources end up niggling and squabbling with each other. It’s exhausting.

Looking down from Hognaston, where we’re staying, to the calm grey expanse of Carsington Water, the boat feels a long, long way away, despite the proximity of water.

So I content myself watching swifts dart with stunning speed to and from the barn, and marvel at their acrobatic grace and agility.


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