Finally. It’s stopped raining. And just in time for some summer holiday fun, which makes a pleasant change (half-term and Easter were both sopping wet, as I recall).
We have six weeks (and a bit) of the holidays still to go, but so far I’m enjoying it. Work’s quiet at the moment which, while not fabulous for the bank balance, means we can spend lots of time with the girls. In our business, things have a habit of changing very quickly, so we’re making the most of it while we can, just in case we have to suddenly ramp up the working hours.
There’s no holiday away on the horizon for us this year, and I do feel a little sad every time I read about people off to France (where we’ve been the last three years). But in those years we’ve been incredibly busy for weeks either side of the holidays, and often found it difficult to wind down properly. The week in France has been the extent of our holiday, with just an occasional day out with the girls and the rest of the time their being with my mum. This year, even if we’re not going away, we have the opportunity to spend a lots of quality time with the girls at home, which in a lot of ways is better than the week away (not that I wouldn’t be on the first boat over the channel if we won the lottery tomorrow, of course).
On Friday they did actually go to my mum’s, as I was ill and Chris had some work to sort out, and they had a lovely time – they’d be very happy to spend the whole summer there, though I’m not sure my mum could cope with them for the whole time, since they hardly ever sit still for a second!
On Saturday, we went off to Stratford Park for Stroud Show. Sadly, this had been cancelled due to water-logging (and, yes, just like in our back garden, despite the fabulous sunshine, there were still squelchy bits, which would have prevented tent-pitching), so we played in the park instead, which was great fun, and we had a picnic (which we had brought with us). Then Chris took LaLa swimming and I took RoRo roller-skating. Once she found the right skates, she had a great time and is keen to go again. She has added to her collection of bruises that she’d been cultivating since the whole school roller-skating trip last week. Chris took LaLa home and RoRo and I popped into Tesco for some supplies.
On Sunday, I took the girls to Cheltenham for a birthday party – my oldest friend’s daughter was turning four. We went on the bus and had to wait in Painswick for twenty minutes while an ambulance was called for a lady who had a fit. LaLa was a bit concerned, but seemed fine with my explanation of her being ill and that the paramedic would look after her and give her some medicine. RoRo was most interested by the fact that the lady looked like a man and they both thought the paramedic was great – which I’d have to agree with. The bus driver was also brilliant. So we arrived even later than we were planning to (that was the first bus of the day), but the girls still managed half an hour of playing in the soft play, before getting to eat party food. LaLa even won a runner-up prize for her costume (the theme was princesses and pirate and LaLa went as a pirate, which made me very pleased – always like when anyone bucks the gender stereotypes). We then went back to my friend’s house for an hour or so where the girls fortunately missed the cat getting a bird – and the more painful distressed tweeting of the bird’s mate, who may well have been silenced by the other cat. I loved seeing all three of them giving each other a big hug and RoRo saying ‘Family hug!’ Because I think of them as family (we’ve known each other all our lives). The bus trip back was pretty bad as LaLa was very tired, but didn’t fall asleep until very near the end of the journey and spent much of it screaming and kicking. I then had to carry her all the way home from the bus stop, with a fairly heavy backpack on my back, too. Thankfully, RoRo was being very helpful and we made it home without any mishaps or shouting.
Today, Chris took the girls out to the library, the shop and the park in the morning, while I did some work. Then the girls and I made bear-shaped biscuits and sandwiches for our Picture Book Picnic (watch out for our post about this in a couple of weeks) and headed off to the park. We found some great shade and had a lovely picnic, eating our sandwiches, fruit and biscuits and reading lots of picture books. The girls also ran around a lot and RoRo made a video about nature (which may well make an appearance here at some point). Then we went to the play park and they had a good run around there, though it was so hot we were chasing the shade somewhat.
I shall gloss over LaLa’s sleep issues – getting up far too early, so falling asleep late in the day and sleeping through, until… very early morning.
OK, it’s only been a few days, but I think it does show that it’s possible to have a very enjoyable summer holiday at home, without breaking the bank. Especially when the sun shines. And, of course, if it doesn’t shine, we know lots of things to do on a rainy day.
What have you been up to so far in the summer holidays? Or are yours coming to an end already? Do you find it easy to find things to do at home and around home?