The last few days have really felt like we’re on holiday. They’ve made me think of our holidays in France, but rather than feeling sad that we can’t do that this year, I’ve been feeling happy that we can get a very similar effect right on our doorstep: a true summer at home.
On Wednesday we went to the outdoor pool, which is a traditional lido and, in that hot weather, felt like one, too. There were were families with their beach bags, towels, books and inflatable balls; there were groups of young people chatting away and queuing up to dive; there were old ladies taking the sun, while having a quick dip. And, in the water, I really, really expected it to taste of salt – though it didn’t. Wednesday night, Chris and RoRo had a great summer holiday adventure of sleeping out in the back garden. (My adventure was less fun and involved spending a few hours trying to get LaLa to go back to sleep, before collapsing into bed myself at about 11.15pm.)
Yesterday, we had an enforced stay-at-home day – or a ‘rest day’, as I’m calling them. I say enforced, because the girls did really want to go out, but they’d been getting so tired that I wanted to make sure we had one day a week completely at home to wind down a bit. It was also a little bit about trying to stop LaLa from falling asleep at 4pm and then waking up in the middle of the night, though, unfortunately that didn’t actually work (though she did go straight back to sleep each of the times she woke, at least, which is a bonus). The girls did lots of playing – imaginative play mostly, including making potions in the garden – and a fair bit of drawing and card-making (we’re going to run out of card soon, they’re making so many pretend birthday cards!). They did watch a bit more TV than we’d normally allow, but a bit extra on a rest day isn’t too awful, is it? RoRo explored the StoryCloud site, which is great, while I cuddled up on the sofa with LaLa and read her stories.
About mid-afternoon, during a TV session, the girls’ complaints about not going anywhere became a bit louder and I pointed out that they were allowed to play in the garden, just not go ‘out out’. RoRo said ‘So we can play in the sandpit, then?’ in a tone voice suggesting that was going to be refused. They were a little shocked that I just said ‘Yes, of course you can.’ (The sandpit is in the front garden, rather than the back, so requires supervision and the dog has to be stuck upstairs, because it’s not ‘dog safe’, so it’s more complicated than other playing in the garden.) So, hats were dug out, sun screen was slapped on, my book was grabbed, along with a big bottle of water, and I went to sit on the stoop, while the girls made me lots of sandy food and drinks, built sandcastles, buried treasure and generally covered themselves in sand.
It was so hot that I was dripping with sweat just sitting there (pleasant image, sorry) and I had to go and get my own pint of water. I think we managed a bit more than half an hour before the heat forced us inside, but it was a fun half an hour. Padding about on the tiled kitchen floor, which had ended up sprinkled fairly liberally with sand, I was transported back to our French holidays – returning from the beach, with sand between our toes and having to sweep up every evening in a futile attempt to de-sand. The trip to the outdoor pool the day before combined with the sandiness really brought me there. If we’d just had a baguette and some cheese and salad for dinner instead of stir fried noodles, and some red wine, of course, the picture would have been complete (well, almost, it really does require the presence of a Grandma and Grandpa).
Of course, most of this summer fun was interspersed with Chris working for large chunks of the day and my squeezing in some work in the evenings, so it’s not quite the same thing.
Today we’re off to Painswick for some Granny time and to meet up with friends at the park. Grandparents are the best – we can do lots of little activities at home or around town, but the most exciting thing is going to see Granny and this time next week, they’ll have the extra excitement of their other grandparents coming for a nice long visit for RoRo’s birthday, and we’ll all get to feel even more summery – even if the weather has turned again, as it’s supposed to next week.