I WAS away last weekend – a child-free jaunt to sunny climes.
I left my other half in charge of the girls. Days later I was still picking my way through the destruction wreaked in my absence. I should also have known it would take only 20 minutes for them to start wrapping him round their little fingers and directing him to the nearest Toys R Us.
A combination of happy/weary expressions greeted me on my return – you can probably guess who was sporting the weary, worn-down look and who were looking exceedingly pleased with themselves. None of the planned, paid-for activities the children usually attend had been managed, but a couple of happy, holiday-type days had been spent, which I can’t really complain about as I’d just done the same myself.
Still, there seems to be a slightly different dynamic at play when Mums go away than when Dads do. According to the people I have spoken to, Mums still do the washing, shopping, cleaning and tidying as well as the fun stuff, whereas it would seem Dads generally like to focus on the fun stuff and let the debris build around them. One friend said that on her return from a lunch out she momentarily thought her house had been burgled by somebody who had left a mountain of sand in their wake, before realising her partner had simply taken the kids to the beach in her absence...
This week we take a look at a beautifully renovated Georgian property in Edinburgh on page 4. South African-born owner Michelle Milnes has let the light in and even taken the inside out, using an old fireplace for outdoor fires in the courtyard. Paul and Linda Dunk, with the help of their architect daughter, converted a former Aberdeenshire mill that had lain derelict for 60 years into a fantastic contemporary home. The stunning results are on page 8. And on page 12, find out why interior designer Anne Hunter took her kitchen apart twice.