The week … in which I catch up with my blog.

I can’t quite believe we’re nearly at the end of the month, its been a busy one which started with our holiday and has included a mum and son weekend, family celebrations, Euro 2020 and a running challenge.

I’ve taken today what I recently heard referred to as white space day, a day deliberately blank in your diary. It’s just what was needed and I am feeling slightly more in control now. It’s been nice to have the time to stop and chat with our neighbours, potter around town doing a few errands and to catch up on life admin.

As its been so long since I last wrote I won’t detail every week, simply some of the highlights. I love a football summer, football on the tv throughout the day, the anticipation of an England match and the hope that this year is our year! Our son has the Euro bug too, he has the sticker book, a flag in his bedroom window, a new England top and is busy filling in his wall chart after every game. I’m pleased the next game for England, the first knock out round, is on at 5pm, perfect timing on a school night. I’m someone who doesn’t watch much tv but my viewing habits are very different at tournament time, I always have a game on and I find the non England games less stressful and a little more relaxing.

Euro 2020 began on our mum and son weekend, Mr S and our daughter went to stay with my Father in law to help him with some jobs, so we had what we call SAM (Son and Mum) time. We had lots of little treats planned, crazy golf was the best. We’re both competitive so there was no allowing for age, it was a genuine contest, which sadly I lost, much to the absolute joy of my son. We also had those mini hot doughnuts made freshly to celebrate the win.

This month also has seen a little running challenge. Sometimes, I like to do something a bit different with my running, this year I am attempting to run the 874 miles from Lands End to John O’Groats and decided to try to do a RED month, that’s run at least a 5k everyday which I could also double up as a 100 mile month. This all seemed like a great idea as I was relaxing on holiday doing my early morning runs. However the reality of long, intense work days, the Euros, solo parenting for a weekend, heat waves and cold, wet days etc.. has certainly made this a challenge. Some days I’ve been out at 5am, other days at 10pm. On one day when it was just my son and I, we ran to the park and I would do one lap, play a little football, do another lap play more football, that was a toughie. However, I’m now on the last week and looking forward to the end. I’m not planning on repeating the challenge, I like my routine of 4 runs a week and I’ve missed the longer runs.

Other things we’ve done this month is to get a new bed for our son’s room. It’s one of those cabin designs so he has room to play underneath, it took a few hours to construct but amazingly no arguments as we made it up together. It does look good and we’re really pleased with it. I also had a much delayed and rearranged ophthalmology appointment due to the pandemic. My eye pressure was raised as a concern at a regular eye check. However, all is just within acceptable parameters at present, but I now will have 6 monthly checks in case further action is needed. Ive tried to not Google too much and get scared but I will make sure I get those check ups.

Now I’ve caught up, I hope it won’t be so long until my next post.


My week … the one with the hot and sunny holiday

This week was special, the perfect mix of a holiday, superb weather and everyone in excellent humour. It was a week of more firsts following the easing of restrictions and despite my initial apprehension I was able to relax and feel comfortable whilst eating out in a restaurant, watching Peter Rabbit 2 at the cinema and being in busier places. The week made me realise how careful I have been over the past year, I did what I felt comfortable with and on reflection it was very limited, however it kept us safe and now is the time to gently return to life.

There are still restrictions on daily life, but I felt on holiday that the restrictions improved the holiday, no more queues for activities with everything being booked in advance, nice numbers of people in venues, good hygiene measures etc.. Mr S had been brilliant in organising all the children’s activities in advance, so we had lots of swimming both indoor and out (the outdoor pool was so lovely and warm) climbing, pottery, Segways, football, target shooting etc.. to enjoy during the week. One of the children’s highlights was the hour we allowed them to go to the play areas on their own and ‘hang out’ with new friends, we also gave them £1 for sweets so they could go to the shop en route. Its always the little things which become the big things.

Our holiday was one of the best we have had, this did surprise me as it felt quite a casual holiday, its not our big holiday of the year but one carried over from last year. The weather was amazing and after the cold and rain of the spring, it felt so good to be wearing shorts and tshirts everyday and simply being able to be outside in the sunshine and heat all day. Sunhats and sun cream were a must wear. I suppose that after all the months of not being able to do some of the simplest activities, for example swimming, these little things were a joy. I’ve not swam in a pool for over a year and to be able plunge into pool and swim was lovely.

We stayed near Hastings and I was really taken by the town, parts of the old town reminded me of the Lanes in Brighton and I enjoyed pottering around. We found a wonderful family run Italian restaurant for dinner one night and it was just so good to read and choose from a menu. When on holiday, I do enjoy exploring my local area on runs and the prom was the perfect route to either Hastings or Bexhill.

With the children being older and more independent, I did get to read a few books. I listened to the audiobook Snowflake by Louise, and read All on the Board by TFL, which showed some of the quotes and comments written on the information boards at Tube stations in London, a great mirror on contemporary events. I also read the very emotional (and unputdownable) account of a doctor on the frontline in the Covid pandemic, Duty of Care by Dr Dominic Pimenta.

It was great to be back at the cinema and Peter Rabbit 2 was pretty good, I felt it was better than the original. I have read a fascinating biography of Beatrix Potter and parts of her story are interwoven into the contemporary film plot which I liked.

Its now back to school on Monday, Little Man has a great week, they are unable to do a residential this year but are having some days out at local activity centres instead, so more climbing, kayaking etc.. for him this week (and the weather forecast remains good) Its back to normal for Little Miss and I but at least we have some lovely memories from our holiday to sustain us until our next little adventure.