Ahh, shucks - thanks for your kind comments on my children. On second thoughts, here's the whole brood. Though I do think in my motherly/auntly way that they're quite nice-looking, the important thing is that they're all lovely, caring young people. The photographer said to me afterwards, "They all get on very well, don't they?" - and it's absolutely true: they do. I think you can see it in the photo. The five of them are more like brothers and sisters than cousins - lots of fun and giggles and in-jokes. It's a pity that my nephew and niece live down south of London.
I have two aunts but no cousins. Deprived.
I always wanted four children, but alas, my husband would never agree. He was an only child, so three seemed quite a lot to him. I shall always regret my missing fourth child - even though I know I'm very lucky to have the ones I do.
My mum took us out for dinner tonight: the three "children" and their significant others, my husband and me. It was a nice occasion, but of course it seemed very odd, and sad, for my father not to be in the party.
When I consider the last few child-centred posts, I don't want anyone reading this who has no children to feel I'm suggesting that life without descendants isn't worthwhile. I love our children with a passion; but on the other hand, children do remove any chance of achieving anything much in the way of other self-fulfilment. Or so I've found it, though some less clingy mothers do seem to manage to write books, star in films, run companies. But most of us just go to work (or not) and wash the kitchen floor and pack the schoolbags and so on. Which is fine. Life is infinitely various and interesting, even if not when one is washing the kitchen floor.