My weeks … busy times

It’s been a busy couple of weeks in the Sparkles household and I’m very aware that the promises I made myself about life post lockdown seem to be fading. Life is very full again, with things I feel I should be doing rather than perhaps really want to. It’s a difficult balancing act and one I feel I’ve not met in the past fortnight. Things will calm in the coming weeks as the school holidays start but I think Ive got some reflecting to do before September.

In my last post, I was writing it just before the Euro final, so didn’t write about the result. I was sad that England lost the final on a penalty shootout and it was quite hard having to tell our son in the morning that England had lost. He had stayed up til extra time and then despite his strong will to continue watching it, he conceded and went to bed. When I look back on special times, I think me and him sitting together on the carpet watching the match together will become one of those memories. I was simply disappointed and sad with the result but ultimately incredibly proud of the amazing group of young men whom were representing our country. I found it so difficult to read of the racist abuse paid to some of the England players in the following days and this only worsened in preparing an assembly feature for work where I saw some of the graffiti for my research. I have faith in our young people to be the change but feel we need to recognise that racism is a significant issue in our country.

We have enjoyed a heatwave after some dodgy summer weather in these past few weeks. One of my favourite things is to sit in the cool of the evening in the garden with a good book and Matt Haig’s Comfort Book has been a prefect choice. I have watched very little television in recent weeks, although a documentary on the London Olympics was a notable exception. The summer of 2012 was amazing, highlights included watching the torch come through our town, decorating the house and enjoying lots of sport with a renewed belief of what being British looked like in contemporary times. There was a pride, unity and joy in our country, which sadly I don’t feel now. However, I will be cheering on all our athletes in the next fortnight and no doubt finding a new interest in a new sport or two.

With the good weather and growing Covid cases, we have been doing lots of outdoor activities. Last weekend, we took a picnic and did a long walk along the costal path. Fortunately, with appropriate clothing and accessories and a a sea breeze we coped with the heat. We’ve also tried football golf, although as I have a dodgy foot I was the scorer. At the site you can also do traditional putting or frisbee golf, so perhaps a few new options to try. Both children have been to the local water park in the past fortnight, Little Man with Scouts on a wet and cold evening, Little Miss with school on the dream conditions of a hot and sunny day. Both loved it and are desperate to return during the holiday. I was very proud of our daughter’s trip, she was in the top 3 house points for her year group and the trip was a reward. Initially she was hesitant to go as none of her friends were but with careful persuasion and a lot of What’s App messages on the day she went and enjoyed every minute. At this time of year, she often becomes a little wobbly so there’s lots of TLC and reassurance needed at present.

Today was my day as parkrun returned after its Covid suspension. I ran the last parkrun on March 14th 2020 and whilst we recognised it was likely to be our last for a while, I never expected to wait 16 months for the next. I was so excited today to go and Little Miss decided to join me. At first, she was tired so was just going to sit in the car as it was a bit drizzly. Then we met some neighbours so she jumped out and walked over to the start, from where she was planning to watch. I think the enthusiasm of the runners and cheers and clapping in the introduction persuaded her to run the first lap. I never put any pressure to do the full 5k and after the first lap she chose to continue and finally take off the hoodie which signified she was getting serious! After lots of lovely chats with fellow runners we completed it with PBs for us both and she was first finisher in her age group. Her mood was lifted and she was so pleased with her result, the parkrun magic strikes again. Personally i was a bit emotional at being able to parkrun again. I welled up as I passed the start line and realised it was finally happening. I was pretty patient with all the lockdowns (although the hairdressers was hard) but this was the one I needed. Typically I can’t do next week as we have a family day out at a theme park, but from then on, its no longer Saturday but parkrun day.

Whilst Little Man is not a park runner (yet) he’s had a lot of cricket in the past few weeks, finishing off the season last night with a match, which is him in his element. It was a pretty perfect setting, sitting on the club terrace in warm sunshine with a drink. Life is always about the simple moments.

Next week sees the first joint week of holidays for the children. Mr S is chief holiday planner so activities are all booked and days planned. I’m still at work for a few more days but look forward to hearing of their adventures before joining them on a much needed holiday.


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