It's good to be back. I like traveling, but I like getting home and after a round trip of almost 2,000 miles by car I'm glad of a rest, to be honest. We've sung in Salzburg Cathedral, given an open-air performance of Carmina Burana at a Bavarian Castle, driven on the windy mountain roads of Berchtesgaden and taken a boat round the waterways of Bruge.
Thankfully - and crucially - we seem to have children who are pretty good travelers, which is just as well given the distances we covered. Two things kept Charlie amused throughout the sometimes interminable journey: an impulse-bought copy of the CBeebies magazine replete with stickers, crayons, stories, games and activities and some in-car entertainment strapped to the headrest of my seat. And believe me - a film or a DVD can make a long journey more than bearable with small children. And for versatility, an iPad (or an ASUS Eee-pad) with a headrest mount (like the one Scosche have just brought out) might be the best twenty quid you ever spend.
Back home, we can amuse ourselves by flicking through our photographs. I might bore you with a few on here if you're unlucky. And if there are any good family group shots, we've been invited to submit them to Hotpoint 'Family Portraits' competition and give ourselves a chance to do some more traveling - specifically, a trip to New York in December. All you have to do is submit your family pic before October 10th on their dedicated website: http://family.hotpoint.eu.
Finally, now we're back it's time to get the barbie out again and enter another competition. This time, it's serious: a boys v girls barbecue challenge being run by Tesco. They're testing the theory that men are the kings of the barbie by looking for recipes that add a creative twist to tried and tested BBQ classics. Just visit the Tesco Real Food site, browse their brilliant BBQ recipes and enter your own recipe suggestion.
There's a different category each week for 3 weeks (e.g. kebabs, salads, fish and meat) and the winners will receive a great gas hamper from Tesco Direct and have their ideas featured on both the Real Food site and the Tesco Facebook page. I'm just disappointed there doesn't seem to be a category for deserts as my (only) speciality (apart from burnt beefburger) is barbecued banana. Still, musn't let the side down. I'll be posting my recipe as soon as I've invented it. So if you'll excuse me... it's time to light the coals.
Have a great Sunday!