This evening we had a visit from friends from the UK, planning their own exile here. The four mobile children spent a large part of the evening running around deck and garden (E5N1 is not quite up to joining in yet). They all played very nicely together and even when Exile #4 found it hard to keep up she was very good-natured about finding something else to do. We all managed to eat outside before evening brought a sharp decrease in temperatures. We're expecting a thunderstorm later.
Maybe it's the effect of driving everywhere or the weeks when it was too cold to be outside for any longer than necessary, but we seem to have had a quite outdoor-heavy existence here over the last few weeks. We have certainly seen a lot more of the neighbours (assuming you don't count seeing cars coming and going). One of our next door neighbours introduced herself over a non-existent fence between our back yards the other day. I'm slightly ashamed to say that we had assumed the house was empty (possibly deserted in favour of Florida for the winter) but apparently she has been there the whole time.
Exile #2 has now nearly completed a week of 'normality' including doing the school run in the minivan (or minibus as she calls it). Very soon we will have to commit to acquiring cars and accommodation of our own - it is going to be something of a shock to the system to start to make these significant decisions. Although we have complained about having too many options to choose from, the choices have mostly been fairly trivial and for the last 100 days we have been largely following a path we chose before leaving the UK. Not for much longer.