Monday, 7 June 2010

Half term

I wonder if I am the only mother who spent the Monday after half term doing nothing except staring blankly into space listening to the ringing in her ears?

For once, for one glorious once and despite the Bank Holiday Monday, the sun ignored all the usual rules and shone in its full shiny heat for the best part of half term. This was welcome as we were staycationing, keeping an eye on things while mum was away and having builder type jobs done (DIY and Jim the builder) while the sun beamed.

Vests and socks were cast off. Shorts and flip flops were the order of the day and of course we went to the beach. Our new shortie wetsuits arrived from Big Orange Watersports so body boarding and splashing about in the sea became a whole lot more fun.

The ponies were ridden too. This activity has been delayed for a few years as the children had to grow to a size big enough to fit the ponies that we have. They had sat on Pippin before, but found her at 13hh too big and too scary. Now they are big enough and confident enough to have a proper go. Pippin too is older and wiser and took her job as schoolmaster very seriously. She enjoyed ambling about as they took turns as much as they did. Perhaps she sees this as investment in a not too distant future of pony fun involving her friend Itsy, two little girls and 22 acres of space.

Another thing that has been cast off is bicycle stabilisers. R6 is off and away, with H8 a little behind but nevertheless flying solo. They had interestingly different attitudes to the no-stabilisers thing. R6 found wobbling funny and worked out the pedal and steer conundrum by herself. H8 found the wobbling made her angry and cried furious tears when she couldn't immediately conquer the problem. Both ultimately succeeded in their own sweet ways.

We had lovely visitors, the kind that bring Prosecco and mini bars of G&B chocolate, stay for lunch and dinner, walk around our farm enjoying it and then have to shake off my clutches as they leave, me sobbing: "Don't go!" and having to be peeled off their ankles finger by finger.

Mum was away for second half of the week and I was left in charge of cats, one indoor, three outdoor. The indoor one did that aloof cat thing and went off in a huff for a day or two. Cats don't like being left. Then there was a hint of rain and she reappeared, ravenous and aiming to spend the rest of her time on the duvet. There were the two orphan lambs to feed - Maary and Snowdrop - but H8 and R6 took care of that, I just made up the Lamlac. The sheep meanwhile managed to swap fields without leaving any actual evidence of how they achieved such a miracle. They're impossible beasts to herd with their lambs in tow and when we want them to move they usually scatter to all four corners of the farm. This time they were all in a different field with the gates closed behind them and all ewe and lamb combinations intact. They were also completely silent. How? Who knows!

Lots of gardening was done too. Courgette plants were planted, strimming was strum and the lawn that I sowed on the Friday before half term grew from clean shaven to stubble to beard by the end of the week. It will need a shave soon. Brian was on 'digging the new path' duties. He installed our old Belfast sink outside as a boot washing facility which gave him the excuse to dig a trench. A Brian is a happy Brian with a trench to dig.

Then, with perfect timing, it rained an hour after the girls had gone back to school and Brian had gone back to work. I was left with an empty house full of silence and housework.


  1. It was an amazing week, weather-wise. Do you think we were dreaming?

  2. Sounds pretty damn perfect to me. I love the description of the different ways the girls conquered their bicycles!

  3. Sounds a perfect half term, body boarding in wetsuits, what could be more fun ? brings back the memories.

  4. Yes, most of half term was blessed with sunshine wasn't it. Very lucky children indeed.

    CJ xx

  5. The Dotterel - It did seem like a dream on Monday when it didn't rain.
    Elizabethm - It was pretty good. Children are funny aren't they? They got there in the end.
    Sally - I just hope the summer hols can be as good.
    Crystal - Yes, lucky children. We really seized the sunny days after the wash out of the last three years.


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