We later discover that the bell rings on the hour from 7am until 10pm with a few half hourly chimes thrown in sporadically for good measure. The bell is housed at the top of one of the buildings four turrets. The turret that is the closest to our bedroom. Obviously. The bell's chime is quite loud making the impromptu 7am alarm call difficult to ignore. This, together with the fact that The Seven Year Old is so happy to be here that on waking up he immediately explodes into excited chatter, causes me to brace myself for early mornings for the duration of our stay. The Husband however, offers me a much needed lie in whilst he entertains the boys. After a night of little sleep due to sharing a room with three males of the species and the associated disturbances that can bring - sleep talk, light snoring and an inability to sleep in the allocated bed - I can’t refuse. I proceed to enjoy a series of half hourly naps interrupted only by the intermittent tolling of the bell until I awake to a cup of tea and a baby who needs feeding.
Our day ticks along nicely. Our friends arrive, we enjoy a walk in the surrounding countryside, hold a table tennis competition, do jigsaws, eat roast chicken and chips and decorate cardboard crowns which are then worn for the remainder of the weekend. We spend Bonfire night up on the roof amongst the turrets writing our names with sparklers and releasing sky lanterns. Who knew that so much fun could be had without the technology we usually flood our lives with. We barely even notice there is no television. We eventually fall into our beds, exhausted, but in a good way.