We're just back from a week in Sark. Only it feels like we've been away far longer. I think that's probably down to the nature of the place - its a tiny island, with only 600 or so permanent inhabitants, whose ranks are swelled in the summer by people like my sister-in-law's family, who spend part of their time on the island, kicking back in an atmosphere far removed from everyday life.
Some of that atmosphere is no doubt generated by the lack of cars on the island. Running errands and exploring by bike is far more fun, and removing the fear of traffic, gives the children a much higher level of freedom.
Though, to be fair, what they wanted to do most was just to hang out with their cousins. I didn't grow up with extended family, and it's always a bit of a treat watching my boys do so.
The garden of the house is truly spectacular. Outdoor rooms, with their own atmospheres, lush growth and imaginative planting. This is the herb garden.
And there were the most amazing plant combinations, which I always think is the hardest trick to pull off in any garden.
Not the kind of week you can pop into a travel agent and pick out of a brochure. Thank you Tess - unforgettable.
Now we are back, and I am full of energy and conscious that these are the last few weeks of summer holiday remaining. There are shoe buying trips to squeeze in, play dates with chums and perhaps one last little break away from home yet to come. It's turning out to be a very good summer indeed.