The May Bank Holiday weekend was spent on the Isle of Wight visiting my family. It had been planned as a meet-and-greet visit for Housemates J and D, since my parents are always keen to meet TA’s family, but in the end I was the only visitor. Many friends have remarked on the civilised approach my parents take to showing guests a good time and this visit was no different. Essentially, every day is planned around eating large quantities of food, punctuated with short leisurely strolls and naps. I woke up late on Saturday and helped myself to a very large helping of homemade muesli while munching I read the Guardian that my father had bought for me – sadly, I cannot wean them from their Daily Mail habit. That day we went for a pub lunch, when we arrived we found that there was a car boot sale in the field next door. Dad was eager to sniff out a bargain so we pootled around looking at old records, books, battered tea sets and the sad ephemera of other people’s lives. We were three quarters of the way around the field when my eye alighted on a bargain. A slow cooker! Granted it is quite an ugly beast of 1970s vintage (I used to own a rather smart slow cooker but it got left behind in a move years ago), but the earthenware pot looked immaculate and the stallholder said it had only been used once. I paid the princely sum of two British pounds and sauntered off with the beauty under my arm, thinking the pot alone must be worth more than a couple of quid. Another stallholder called out, “How much did you pay for that?” and was amazed by my answer. After enjoying a cheddar plowman’s lunch, famille Badger went to look at the bluebells in Godshill village, then we went to Borthwood Copse to look at more bluebells. On the way home we took a detour up on to Brading Down to get a Minghella ice cream. When we got home my parents remembered that there were scones, clotted cream and strawberries that needed to be eaten, it was five o’clock. That evening my brother came over for dinner – pork casserole followed by summer fruit sponge pudding and cream. Sunday was porridge, soup, bread pate and cheeses, chocolate biscuits, wild boar pasta, chocolate torte, wine and amaretto coffee; Monday was an enormous bowl of muesli, chicken and ham pie with chips and apple and raspberry pie with cream. I feared that the boat might sink when I clambered onboard. Understandably, I went without dinner last night. This morning I placed a boned joint of mutton, some bacon and veggies in the slow cooker.