My week … the one with a holiday, part 1.

This week is a quick entry. We’re on holiday (yep the blog title may have given it away) and I try to limit my use of digital devices so that I can distance myself from home life ( life admin, work etc..) and just focus on my little family. I’m writing on my phone as I still need this, particularly in Covid times when everything is on an app. I also have a rare 30 minutes on my own so am not using my phone in front of the children or Mr S, sometimes it’s really important to be present and holidays are an ideal opportunity.

We came on holiday on Friday so there were some highlights to my week pre holiday and then we’ve had some great times already. It’s simply a list this week

1. Catching up with friends. I was on holiday for the full week so took the opportunity to meet up in real life with friends and it just felt wonderful. I’ve missed the catch ups in cafes, although interestingly we all preferred to be outside for our drinks this week. Perhaps there are parts of our Covid life which have changed our routines and culture and also which question if we’re really ready for the no restrictions date of June 21st.

2. A Promising Young Woman. I’ve been meaning to see this film for a few months now and a wet Monday holiday afternoon was the perfect timing. It’s one of those films which haunt you once you’ve seen it, it’s a very clever film. (I also love that it’s director and writer Emerald Fennell, the great Patsy from Call the Midwife, won an Oscar)

3. Planning a holiday. I am in my element planning holidays, from activities, suitcases and menus to the holiday haircuts and all the beauty prep. This week I’ve had lots of lists and love ticking them off.

4. The boy who was raised as a dog by Bruce Perry and Maia Szalavitz. Perhaps not the most light holiday reading but an engrossing and enlightening book on childhood trauma. This came highly recommended by a colleague and I second her recommendation.

5. Things we’ve done this week on holiday that we haven’t done since pre Covid

– Gone to a indoor venue for drinks and entertainment. It felt strange to be ordering drinks via an app and not to be allowed to dance but to just be listening to live music was brilliant. Likewise the simplicity of having a drink on a bar terrace with Mr S was lovely.

– Family swimming. Again it’s all booked in advance, and you need to come ready in your swimming costume but it’s swimming together, having fun and it felt so good. There was also a tinge of regret for the missed holidays last year, as the children seem to have literally outgrown the games we used to play with them. They’re no longer the little children of olden holidays but nearly teenagers loving the new independence that a holiday brings.

– a parkrun route. I think there’s an official title for a parkrun not done on a Saturday morning on a course, freedom run? But thanks to great signage I ran the Hastings course this morning in the most beautiful weather. It won’t be long until parkrun is back and Saturdays will have that extra sparkle.

– Pottery painting and a natter. Little Miss and I had such a fantastic morning painting our pumpkin together. There was lots of discussion about colours and ideas and then when we were working on it, the conversation just flowed. We talk all the time and bedtime is a bit of a debrief of the day, but this conversation just felt different, more grown up. I know that every Halloween when we get our pumpkin out, I’ll remember the feeling of that morning.

The holiday chat will continue next week as we’re here until Friday. The weather so far has been stunning, I’m in shorts and tshirt for the first time this year and despite my apprehension, it’s becoming a very special holiday.


My week … the one with a first date.

Firstly a plot spoiler the first date is not mine, but more on the post title later. Its been another funny old week, the weather is awful and we would really appreciate a little spring sunshine and warmth. All my lovely summer dresses are yet to be worn this year and I’ve spent most of this week cold and in the evenings cuddling up under a blanket (we’re resisting putting the heating back on) But its been a nice week family wise , a day out with Mr S, albeit for his second vaccination, a good parents evening and a nice day out today with my daughter. I’ve also been able to create some hygge in the house, my candle subscription arrived this week, this month its a beautiful coconut and lime fragrance and I bought some fresh flowers at the market stall this afternoon to add more colour and scent to the kitchen. One of the pictures above shows a rare beautiful morning as I walked to school, its a delight to walk along the beach on a sunny morning.

The beginning of the week was a bit dull and as work is quite demanding, it was very much work, family, run and/or more work and bed. My escape has been the Archers and I listen to the day’s episode before I sleep, its a strong storyline at present and I look forward to these 15 minutes daily.

On my day off, Thursday, Mr S had organised to have his second Covid vaccination. There was a problem with his original 2nd dose date so he rearranged it to the regional hub on a day when I could accompany him too in case of any immediate side effects. This meant a trip to big town, we had planned to get the vaccination, potter around the town and enjoy lunch together. The weather did change our plans, it was horrendous and when we did a recce to check entrances for the vaccination clinic, they just invited him in to have his jab a few hours early. This meant it was hours ’til lunchtime and not the weather for pottering, so we went for a coffee in the beautiful (windswept) gardens and then headed home, via PC World to look at new laptops as our home computer needs replacing. Not quite the date day we had hoped for but it was nice to spend time with each other and we did have a nice homemade lunch.

We also had our daughter’s virtual parents evening on Thursday. I love this concept and hope it stays post Covid. The online system was flawless, we saw all the teachers from the comfort of home, no stress on whose turn it is next, nor a parent overstaying their time. We thought the teachers’ reflections were honest and true, all said how bright, friendly and chatty our daughter is but that she can be distracted when its time for written work. So, focus is a little something to work on for next year. There was a lot of talk on GCSE options, our little girl is growing up very qucikly.

This brings me very nicely to the title of the post. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been hearing a lot about a boy in chats with my daughter, and he has now become her boyfriend. So far she’s only talking to me about him at home and I’m trying my best to strike the balance of being interested and relaxed, the ‘cool’ mum. She asked if they could meet up in a neighbouring town this weekend and as we’ve plans for the next few weekends, I agreed to this. Her school has a large catchment area as it serves a mainly rural location, so the town 20 miles away is actually near enough equal distance for them both to meet up. I drove her over, but I had very strict instructions, that whilst I was allowed to walk with her to the train station where they were meeting I wasn’t allowed to come over and talk! He was there waiting for her and I waved her off to enjoy her date. The town is based on a high street, so despite having a list of things to do and genuinely not stalking them, it was inevitable I would see them at some point. When I did, they were sitting on a wall, laughing, chatting and drinking a milkshake, all very innocent and sweet. When I met her a few hours later, she was more relaxed and did introduce me to her boyfriend and we talked together. I was able to check train times for him so I think my daughter was relieved that this was useful and not embarrassing!

Whilst my daughter was on her date, I had few hours in the town. I needed to pop to a couple of shops but I’m not a big shopping fan and had planned to walk along the quay and go to the local museum. Its been so long since I went to a museum, I just wanted to look at a few paintings and interesting things. As well as the permanent exhibits there was a new exhibition on animation, so Morph was there, happy childhood memories! For me the highlight was a painting of four women at the seaside at our local beach. There was just something about the picture, that resonated. It reminded me of some friends whom are sea swimmers. Quite often as I finish my run on weekend mornings, I stop for a chat with them as they are get ready to go in for their swim. They have this quiet excitement and thrill of going into the sea (even when its freezing cold). I felt this painting reflected this feeling too, its a different era but despite the years we’re all pretty similar.

Next week is a bonus week’s holiday for me, though I have some work to do so I can relax and enjoy the second week when we are away on a caravan holiday in West Sussex. I also have plans to meet with friends, have my hair done and simply potter. Its a week I always look forward to, although I’m trying to relax my expectations, in previous years I’ve tried to do too much, sometimes its okay to have an empty diary.

Have a happy week.

My week … the one with more rain.

It’s a quick catch-up this week as it’s already Monday night and I’ve not written yet. I think its quite hard to write when everything seems so dull. It’s also been a week where I’ve learnt of some really tough times that friends and acquaintances are facing, they’re not my stories to share but I’ve hugged my little family that little bit tighter his week.

The highlight of my week was a night out with friends. It was rearranged from last weekend due to storms but rain was still forecast. However we were all keen to meet and agreed to simply come weather ready. Fortunately my friend has a shelter and a fire pit in her garden and we survived the night by being totally distracted by the weather with such good company. It was a real feel good evening, I’ve missed the face to face contact with friends.

There are always walks in lockdown and these continued this week. I tried to add a bit of variety by taking some photos of the colours we saw. It was a nice little project to contrast the very grey skies. I also added a little more colour by having a manicure, I really like the varnish, I can’t remember the name but it’s a shade of taupe and looks lovely. It’s an unusual choice for me as I normally choose pastels.

I’ve continued to watch This Is Us on Amazon. It’s such a good series and Mr S and I do make an effort to sit down and watch it together. I’m also reading Nora Ephron’s Heartburn. It’s a book I’ve read reviews and articles on for a long time and it is as good as predicted.

Today, May 17th indoor activities reopened. When I picked up my son from Scouts it was great to see the warmth of the lights on in the pubs and restaurants open. Perhaps normality is finally returning.

My week … the cold, wet and windy one.

I feel a bit of a fraud writing about a lousy weather week when the sun is finally streaming through the window. However, it was a vile weather week and its difficult not to feel a bit fed up when the only activities we can do at present are outside and so weather dependent. I had a night out on Saturday planned and then postponed because of the rain and heavy winds, fingers crossed for our rearranged date next week. With Mr S decorating our kitchen this weekend, I had planned activities outdoors for the children and I over the weekend. Whilst Sunday was great, Saturday was so depressing and by the time we got home we were all so wet and miserable 😦 To add to frustration with the weather, our fence was destroyed by the storms on Monday night, so another job to add to the to do list.

However this post is about the sparkles of the week and there were a few highlights.

Firstly, was the finale of Line of Duty. Some reviews criticised the ending, expecting a big stand off, but I felt the ending was true to the story. The bad cop, H. was not some big evil mastermind, but just a member of the team, always in the background, lazy, seemingly a bit incompetent, uninterested in work etc.. The motive was financial not power driven and it made arguments for corruption in public office today, rather touché given current scandals in government.

I also finished Three Women this week and what a book. There are three stories in the story and each shows the impact of early life experiences on later life. I finished the book just wanting to hug the women. For me the most disturbing part is that these stories are true. I was able to look up the teacher at the centre of one of the stories online and shivered to think he is still teaching in his community. Its a harrowing book, but so worth a read.

Although Saturday was a wash out, the children and I went to our local monkey sanctuary on Sunday and had a fabulous day out. The animals were so engaging and animated and we spent a lot of time just looking and reacting to them. There are also some great play areas so we were kept busy for the whole day. Strangely we needed to wear masks throughout the park as monkeys can contract Covid too. It was so good to have a nearly normal day out.

I am so pleased with my newly decorated kitchen, I have always loved my kitchen it is my favourite room in my house. Our cupboards are a beautiful pale sage green colour and previously we had apricot coloured walls, however this weekend, we changed to a lilac paint and it looks amazing. I’m hoping to purchase a few new accessories to complement the changed colour scheme.

And finally, I’m hoping this week will be sunnier to give us a chance to do a few more things. Its our last week until further restrictions are relaxed and the future is beginning to look a little more ‘normal’ It is strange to feel that we are slowly coming out of this pandemic. I’m genuinely not sure how I’m feeling but looking forward to lots with a little apprehension.

My week … the one with a return to the 90s and a Covid scare

As I write this its Bank Holiday Sunday and the countdown to the Line of Duty finale is on. I’m writing this as a distraction, all week I’ve been following #lineofdutyfinale tweets full of memes and theories and I can’t wait until 9pm to find out the conclusion of the police series. As well as the anticipation of the finale, its been a nice day. We had an impromptu barbecue at lunchtime as it was sunny and we had the time. It was lovely to all be in the garden and having a lazy, relaxed lunch. We then went on a walk and found that the new woodland trail had opened (its been taped off for a few weeks) so lots of fun was had by all.

This week was a little strange, unusually I didn’t have a day off as I had lots to fit in both work and personally, so I had shorter working days but was in for all five. This did throw me a bit and the type of work I was doing was different too. I also had steroid injection so this makes me feel a bit wobbly and then to add to all the confusion we had a call that Little Miss’ Covid bubble had burst at school and that she needed to self isolate for 10 days from Thursday. Practically, with Mr S at home this was fine but there was the emotional fallout of being housebound for the time and then that I had to postpone Little Man’s outdoors playdate. Whilst this would have been within the rules, morally I thought it wrong. They were friends from his old school and if our daughter and as a consequence our son unknowingly had Covid and passed it onto a different group of people I would have felt dreadful. I was extremely relieved (but not overly surprised) that the PCR test on Friday came from as negative and plans were all back on again. I had looked at the data on Thursday and the rate is so low now in our county, that the positive case did seem an anomaly.

On Saturday, I supervised Little Man and his friends on the much anticipated (cancelled and rearranged) play date. My son’s post lockdown wish was to invite these two friends round to our house and to play Lego with them. Whilst we can’t do this yet, he was happy with a trip to the park to play as an alternative. It was an easy play date to supervise, I looked after the drinks, snacks, jumpers, scooters, helmets etc.. and got to read lots of Three Women. What a book, I cannot believe it is a non fiction title (I wish it wasn’t) I will write a full review when I have finished but I think it is going to be one of those unforgettable books which you share with all your friends so you can talk about it.

Three Women wasn’t my only read this week as I borrowed from school an easy read Shakespeare version of the Tempest, my daughter’s latest set text. I needed a quick read as I didn’t have had the headspace to read it properly. I did A level English Lit but the Tempest wasn’t either on this course or my English GCSE. I have to admit I prefer the tragedies rather than the more lighter plays, but at least I can help my daughter with her work now.

On our shopping trip last week, I bought a pair of combat trousers in a camo print. They are so comfy and a great alternative to jeans which I find a bit heavy in the nicer weather. I did feel a bit like a member of a 90s girl band wearing them and a black vest, however given my age this was layered under a t-shirt. My daughter really liked the look and I got a rare nod of fashion approval!

This week I’m hoping for a quieter, less frantic week, I like my routine and order. Have a good week.