Despite it being September we are still enjoying some cracking days and are having fun seeking out every little outdoor opportunity. We’re just back from a morning at the skate park where tricks, turns and slides have been practised under a bright blue sky.
Whilst its another day of bright sunshine, I think its nearly time to say good bye to the summer of 2018, the summer of sunshine, heatwaves, flip flops, sunglasses and so many happy memories.
This was the summer when
We stopped needing to check the weather forecast, it was hot and sunny every day and we planned outdoor events weeks in advance knowing it would be ok.
Sports day took place on its allocated day, unlike last year’s 3 attempts.
The grass wasn’t lush and green but yellow and straw like, running took on unusual hazards such as minding the cracks in the dry ground.
Every item in the summer wardrobe was worn, for months no long sleeves were needed.
The school summer uniform was revised to simply an open topped shirt and shorts, no ties.
Everything happened on the beach, Brownies, Beavers, school lessons.
Ice cream became a temporary food group, even better if it was a fruity flavour, thus surely counting as one of your five a day!
We decorated our house with a St George’s cross, wore England tops and even painted patriotic nails to cheer on the football team. England made us all proud at the World cup with their young, talented and eager team. The cricket team played brilliantly too.
Mum created the costumes for her little cat and dog in the school play, Little Miss shone on stage remembering all her lines and Little Man enjoyed singing.
Mum, Grandma and Granfer enjoyed an alfresco lunch on a roof top with a stunning view to sea.
The dance show rocked the town and sold out for 5 performances.
Dabbing and flossing were key moves of the summer.
Baby shark and 3 Lions were the ear worm songs of the season.
We went to a festival in a field and listened to some amazing local talent.
Mum learnt to kayak.
We ate salad and vegetables grown in our garden by Mr S and his gardening squad.
We screamed and shrieked on the rides at Paultons Park and Crealy.
We splashed and squealed our way down lots of water slides at the water park.
We rock and rolled at roller discos.
Little Miss and Little Man went on adventures on school and Beaver camps.
We swam at a retro inspired lido.
Mum got a spa treat at Butlins and found the snow in a heatwave.
We trained, played, watched and scored cricket.
The girls sang and danced in their seats at Mamma Mia 2
We celebrated lots of birthdays and anniversaries.
Little Miss finally reached ear piercing age!
Little Man and Little Miss learnt to drive Junior Segways and do the High ropes at Butlins, making a summer of thrills and spills.
We loved exploring Cornwall, playing on the beach, walking through the dunes, swimming outdoors and enjoying ice cream sundaes and chip shop chips.
Our hair became blonder, faces more freckled and our bodies a little browner
Whilst I went back to school on Monday, my two had another 2 days of holidays. On Tuesday morning Mr S sent me a little video of the children shooting a few hoops and dribbling with a basketball. It was a bit of a surprise as when I had left a couple of hours earlier we didn’t have a basketball post and hoop! The three of them had been planning a morning of chores and on taking some things to the dump (aka Recycling centre) they had discovered this basketball post in the upcycling corner. I don’t know if this is a feature of most dumps but at our centre anything reusable is put in a section for people to take as needed. Over the years it’s been a great place to leave things that were useful but just not suitable for us anymore, stair gates, table, chairs etc.. It is amazing what you find in the upcycling section, it is a great community initiative and benefits our environment.
So we are now the owners of the basketball post and it has given us so much fun this week, I’ve been going old school and practising my netball moves whilst we all are finding hard to resist a shot as we walk past it. A freebie which has brought a smile to us all this week.
So August was the month we needed to relax and just ‘be’ after a hectic few months. It was a quiet August but it suited us perfectly, at the start of the month we had a long weekend at Butlins and then later a holiday in Cornwall. The rest of the time was spent simply pottering around at home.
Little Miss and I finally got to go the cinema to see Mamma Mia Here we Go Again. I loved it for what it was, a cheesy, feel good film with a cracking soundtrack. Yes the plot was a bit flimsy but it was escapism and sometimes you just need 2 hours to smile, laugh and lose yourself in a film. The audience all cheered and clapped at the end and everyone including us left a little more summer sparkly.
I enjoyed watching the children trying new activities this month, Junior Segways, a High Rope course, Aqua jets, an aqua assault course. Summer is for new adventures.
It’s not a surprise that during my month off I read so many more books than normal. I read in the evenings as I normally do but also read in bed in the morning as I still wake up early and then take a reading break at lunchtime for 20 minutes. I only wish I could keep these habits up during term time. This month I’ve read 8 books and there have been some cracking reads. I gave the books on the top line of the photo 5* reviews on Good Books, they are all brilliant in very different ways. The Perks of Being a Wallflower has such strong characters and storyline, Notes on a Nervous Planet discussed the worries of our society whilst This is Going to Hurt is such a powerful snapshot of our wonderful nhs.
The children have also been reading lots, they did the summer reading challenge and gave just got their medals.
Another month of shorts and t-shirts, flip flops and sunglasses.
Little Miss wore earrings for the first time as she had her ears pierced after years of persuasive arguments and also enjoyed lilac highlights in her hair as a summer holiday treat.
A lot of our garden vegetables have been harvested this month and I’ve been trying to use our fresh food in recipes. Sometimes it’s simple recipes which are the tastiest, frittata with home grown peas and spring onions was delicious and it was accompanied by a salad containing our beetroot.
I like to plan ahead in August so have been making lists and priorities for the rest of the year. I’ve lots to look forward to.
After Mamma Mia, we’ve been playing the soundtrack and other Abba classics in the car, I like a good sing a long as I drive. Happier by Gretchen Ruben is one of my favourite podcasts and she’s done two great episodes this month on your signature scent and a Labor Day special themed on work, these are always interesting and inspiring.
So now it’s time for back to school. I am a summer girl so feel a bit sad as the season ends but it’s been the best summer with lots of happy memories and I’m ready to embrace the autumn and all its delights.
Today we had a lovely family trip out to pick blackberries. It was only a few minutes walk down the lane from home but it was something we were all doing together on a gorgeous hot and sunny morning and all appreciated just having fun in the moment. We did really well collecting blackberries and the children and I then made a crumble for tea with our pickings. Sometimes it’s the simplest things which can give so much joy.
When I was young, my friends and I liked to look up the ages we could certain things, the rites of passage which would lead to adulthood. Life seemed a bit freer and relaxed in the 80s, we were always out playing in the neighbourhood and would come back when we were hungry or thirsty. As my secondary school was a fair distance away, just weeks after my 11th birthday I was on a 2 bus journey to school changing buses in a busy town centre. It wasn’t a big deal and I felt able to deal with it. However times have changed and we are thinking more about at what age we’ll allow our children to do certain things.
Yesterday my daughter had her ears pierced. She is so delighted and happy as she has been desperate to have them done for years and we agreed that she could when she was ten. I don’t know why we chose ten, looking back on old photos I think I might have had mine done a little earlier, I suppose we chose an age where we hoped she would have the responsibility and care to look after herself.
As parents we are finding ourselves more and more questioning our decisions on what we allow our daughter to do, it’s a very fine line between allowing her some independence and knowing what is appropriate for her age. Last week on holiday, we allowed Little Miss to go to the mini market on site for any little bits we needed, she loved it and we were reassured as it was a car free 5 minute walk. However, I still wouldn’t let her walk to town to potter around, yet when we’re off shopping tomorrow, I will allow her to browse the girls clothes whilst I pick up a few pieces with her younger brother on the same floor.
In the final two years of our children’s primary school, the pupils are allowed to walk to and from school independently with parental permission. Whilst we have given permission, the reality is that because we walk her little brother to and from school it’s likely that we would have her in view for the journey as it’s basically one street she has to walk with a lollipop lady at the only road crossing. Little Miss also really likes the social aspect of the walk as we tend to walk with a few local families and she would miss this aspect on her own. However I would like her to have a bit of practice as she will need to walk to the local secondary school.
For Little Miss the biggie is the the age she can have a mobile phone. I think that since about Year 3, she has had peers who have had mobiles at school, this is a real big bug bear of mine, I don’t feel children need them and do not have the skills or maturity to use them properly. Some of her friends have Instagram accounts under false dates of birth, full internet access etc.. The stories I have heard at safeguarding conferences (I’m a DSL at work) only strengthen my beliefs that primary children should not have a phone. However I am also conscious that Little Miss wants to belong, feel like her peers. At present we have a compromise, where by she has my old iPhone without a SIM card at home. I control the Internet access and it is only me who downloads anything onto the phone, it is password protected at all other times, although it’s a password she is always trying to guess. She uses the phone for songs on a Spotify list we make together and a few games for car journeys etc.. It is a compromise and she is still desperate for a SIM card, she asked Santa for one last year but thankfully he was a very helpful Santa who read my cues well! Mr S and I both agree that Little Miss can have a mobile when she starts secondary school, but again there are problems here too, I would prefer her to have a simple call and text phone but there is that pressure to have a more modern version, eg camera and internet. Again with my attendance at safeguarding conferences I am only too aware of YPSI ( new term for sexting; peak age 13) and online bullying and the long term effects on a child. We have a year to make a decision.
Over the next few years I’m sure there will be more difficult questions over the age my daughter can do things. We then have our son to consider too. Our daughter is bright and savvy yet our son has some learning difficulties but is very close in age, how do we agree on an age for her and not have the same rule for him? It’s all so difficult to be fair, safe and consistent. I guess as parents we’ll analyse each situation and try to follow our instincts. Sometimes it’s not about an age but a feeling and confidence in your child to be sensible and appropriate in different situations.
Im afraid that there wasn’t a photo last week as the WiFi in Cornwall was intermittent. However here’s a photo from Newquay taken on Monday. Whilst there were plenty of surfers on the beach to provide us with lots of entertainment I chose a photo of the little suspension bridge between the large rocks above the beach. I really liked the set up of the photo the symmetry of the rocks, the bridge, the sea and sand.