This is unheard of.
Lakeland has long been the centre of the country's pencil-making industry, with cottage industries in the area resulting in the creation of the UK's first pencil factory in 1832.
We saw the special top secret pencils made for airmen in WWII. These were assembled after dark when the factory had closed, and had a tiny map of Germany and a miniscule compass inserted into their hollowed-out centres. We saw pencil-making machines, and pencil innards in various stages of refinement.
Pencil engineering history is all very well, but it was the vintage packaging that took my eye. I took this photograph for Lynn. I know she'd want it. It was a in glass case, though, so I couldn't shove it in my rucksack and run.
These tins, below, Mr Coffee and I recognised from our childhood - they were the standard-issue pencil tins in both our schools. I wished I could have bought one as a souvenir - maybe the tiny tins with six pencils in that would have been perfect to carry in a handbag for those bored-in-the-waiting-room moments.
It was vintage I was looking for in the shop, but in the shop it was all Serious Pencils. We managed to nearly bankrupt ourselves by buying fancy watercolour painting pencils so expensive that from now on, colouring in the Coffee House will be undertaken with a hushed reverence befitting the creation of the Lindisfarne Gospels. Incense may well be burned.
We went on one of the walks from our new book.
Please note how Littlest's brand new cardigan blends in with the landscape.
The rest of the Bank Holiday weekend passed ridiculously calmly. There was the Unveiling of the New Pencils. There was a trip to Matalan for bits of uniform and socks. (Seriously, how is it possible to spend £83 in Matalan? Everything is only £2.50.)
And on the Monday, the children played together with the Polly Pockets for over two hours. Do you know how strange this is? It is a year last October since the children played happily together for over two hours.
I made a dress. I MADE A DRESS.