To badly quote. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a child at the start of their summer holiday must be in want of a few days relaxation. It is certainly true of my merry band. They all pretty much collapsed and were beyond doing much.
The first proper day off, I took two of them to the library. One refused to budge, although she loves reading. So I sent photos of the library shelves from my phone. That was enough for her to text back the books she would like me to bring home for her. She ended up borrowing the most. Sometimes, slightly devious ways have to be adopted.
(library books read and ready to go back to the library)
Youngest is the only one who can officially join in the library challenge this year. (Read six books and collect a prize) It’s for eleven year olds and below. We do it most years. Mainly as it’s such a good way to start the holiday off as we mean to go on. The other two are providing moral support by picking books from the library (either in person or from a distance) and reading along with him.
There is a lot of reading going on. Partly helped by revisiting screen time rules. Initiated by the children, which…and you may want to sit down before you read this next part….means less time but spread throughout the day.
I know. I keep checking. There is no catch and they are sticking to it.
Apart from the reading, and less screen time, they have been drawing, going through the board games and playing cards. Most of the time nicely. On my summer list is to play more card games with them. This month, I’ve taught them a couple of easy ones. Go Fish and Old Maid. To get them started. We’ll move on to something a bit more involved next.
While the children have broken up for the holiday, I have not. Fortunately, I can shut myself away in my office, at the side of the house, and appear in time to eat the muffins they have kindly made and organize meals for my ever hungry
gannets growing children. When I venture back into the house, I’m greeted by a chorus of “Go Fish”, find they’ve retuned the radio from Radio 4 to Kiss, and turned the kitchen table into a card playing den.
They are growing up.
It seems my friends have kicked off their shoes and are relaxing. As I sat working at my desk, two of them texted to say they had recovered from the end of term and were in full holiday mode. Within half an hour of each other. Thanks.
My turn soon.
Having the children home has its uses. Apart from the supply of muffins. The Teen helped by taking photos of me wearing my latest handmade dress. Blue joined in too.
It is the one disadvantage of making clothes for me. I can’t be on both sides of the lens at the same time. It’s frustrating. I like the control. In the absence of a body double, I hand over the camera and hope. I think she did well. Apart from accidently making me stand on an ant nest, it all went without a hitch.
(spaghetti squash and cucumber in abundance in the garden, Blue keeping me company in the office, latest sewing and first apples nearly ready)
They’ve enjoyed a relaxing week. Next week, I’ll take more time off and hopefully it will be a bit more active.
Joining in with #wotw
Sometimes you just need to take the bull by the horns and go for it. I guess that’s why so many people have the childhood memory of sitting on a seafront promenade, eating soaked fish and chips in the rain. Hood up. As they look out over the sea, they promise themselves that they will never ever put their own children through the experience. (But of course they do. We all do.)
Life cannot be put on hold just because the weather’s not ideal. We’d never get anything done.
This week has been wet and windy, with a splattering of sunshine for us, but when I look back, we’ve spent more time out than inside feeling sorry for ourselves.
We went to the Bath and West show, which everyone enjoyed. There was a short burst of rain, but on the whole, we were lucky.
Seeking more time outside, at home we put up our garden shelter and had a fabulous evening sitting out and toasting marshmallows over the fire bowl. There is nothing more wonderful than being outside with my family in an evening. Joined by our resident bats swerving in their evening flight, to investigate what their
mad humans are doing, this time. They are curious like creatures, and so wonderful.
The children put on a light show. It became a competition on who could make the clearest image. I captured a few on my camera by changing the ISO setting to 6400. No-one went to bed early. I think this may become a family favourite.
Unfortunately, the wind picked up the garden shelter, a few days later, and impaled it on our oak tree. It took the whole family to retrieve it. The oak tree won. I’m afraid we won’t be using the shelter again, but at least it’s no longer in the branches.
There is no doubt, however, simple playthings are the best. I’m so impressed by how the children can have fun with the most basic of objects. Give a child a tree, a rope and a piece of wood and they will play for ages.
My parent’s dug out the tree swing when we visited and the children set it up. Taking turns to swing. Higher each time.
They really did have fun. It was quite a wrench to see them back in their uniforms on Monday and heading off to school. Although I did bring youngest back home again, when I realised that they had an Inset day. Oops! He tagged along for the day with me instead. We popped in to see my parents again, and he stayed with them while I went to the dentist, so the day was good. Apart from maybe the dentist part.
We’ve been out noting all the changes in our garden and local area. We took a detour on our morning dog walk, through a local meadow which was splattered with common spotted orchids, as far as you could see, and more wild flowers than I could identify. Photos taken and we’ll research them soon.
Back home in our wild areas in the garden, it was noticeable how the the insects started buzzing as soon as the rain stopped. Waiting at the bottom of the stalks and under leaves to avoid the raindrops. There was a cloud of blue damsel flies triggered by the sun coming out.
These bugs are new to me, but are currently on my awesome list. I know they don’t look much and I would hate to meet one scaled up, but they are amazing little critters. This is the larvae of the dock leaf beetle. I included a photo of adult beetle last week. If ever a bug was a good reason not to spray an area with herbicides and insecticides, I’d put these ones forward as candidates. These guys annihilate dock. We are talking shredding it. Amazing. (Understandably, farmers don’t want dock in their silage as it reduces fermentation and quality, but hopefully you can see where I’m going with this.)
During the week, I visited a friend who has recently moved, to see her new house. We had lunch at the local lavender farm. The flowers weren’t quite out, giving us an excuse to go back in a few weeks. It was still a relaxing lunch alfresco, overlooking the purple fields.
Looking back through the photos, it is amazing how much time we do spend outside. My youngest summed it up so perfectly. He reminded me that we’d never see all the interesting nature if we were in the car. You have to get out and look.