My week … the one with a new fence

And so to the final full week of summer holidays for my son and I, although my daughter still has another week and a half until she returns to school. It’s been a busy week with a trip to my parents and then a final family day out. I really feel that we have made the most of our holidays this year but am looking forward to what always seems a new start as the school year begins and autumn envelopes the summer.

The children and I travelled to Somerset this week to spend some time with my parents. Mr S stayed at home to be on hand for any problems with the new fence we were having built. It’s been a long, long time coming, we’ve wanted to change the fence for years but the neighbour has never been accommodating (second home owners!!) However, a storm in the spring meant that the fence was destroyed and needed to be replaced. Fencing is definitely a business to go into, as this was the earliest we could get it done, other companies were offering dates in November! We went for concrete bases and posts, so if another storm hits, it would only be any damaged planks to be replaced rather than the entire fence. It looks amazing, I never thought I could get so excited about a new fence but it has transformed the look of the garden. The company who did it were brilliant, and Mr S who regularly gets stressed with most trades people, remained calm and happy throughout.

At my parents, we did the annual school shoe shop as they live next to a Clark’s outlet shop, which makes it much better value. It was momentous this year as my son now has bigger feet than his older sister, which delighted him and he reckons it’ll only be a few months before he is taller than her now. When we adopted him, Little Man was so fragile and tiny and to see him as such a strong and healthy 12 year old is a blessing. Fortunately for the rest of the time with my parents we did much more fun things than school shoe shopping. My mum had bought a treasure trail for us to do in the nearby seaside town of Clevedon. It was great fun to do on a warm and sunny day and we explored so many lovely parts of the town, we also found a delightful cafe halfway round where we stopped for drinks and cakes. It’s the simple things which can make the happiest memories. We also played crazy golf in Weston Super Mare, at my son’s request as he wanted to continue his winning streak. Unfortunately for him, I played a blinder, including two holes in one and victory was mine. However in our grand crazy golf contest between the two of us (it’s s our thing) he currently leads 3 games to 1.

When we were away, we also achieved one of my 21for21 by taking the children for their first KFC. It’s been a bit of a joke that they’ve never had one (and their visits to McDonalds can be counted on one hand) It’s a combination of living in a rural location where the nearest KFC is a 50 mile round trip and when we do go out for a meal we prefer home cooked food in a pub or indie restaurant. Like many things, sometimes the anticipation is greater than the event, and whilst the children enjoyed it they don’t seemed too fussed to return. Personally I really liked the watermelon and lime cooler drink I had, as a vegetarian my food choices were very limited (non existent)

As well as seeing my parents, I also got to catch up with an old school friend who lives near them. My daughter is quite amused that my friend knew me at the age she is now. I think the concept of mum being a teenager is difficult to imagine. In the best 2021 tradition, it was an outdoor meet up at a park. I’m thankful its been a good summer for all these outdoor activities.

Our final family event was a day at a country park with a Go Ape course. I have to admit on Friday morning, I was lacking enthusiasm, it had been a long week and I just wanted to relax at home. However, the activity was part of a county summer scheme and as we had paid in advance, off we tootled. As is often the case some of the things you’re not so excited about become some of the best days. As it was a county scheme, the children were supervised by play leaders, meaning Mr S and I had time together to walk and talk, have lunch together and simply sit and relax (yes, another beautiful day) We watched the children do the Go Ape course and then left them to do the play trails with their peers and supervised by the play leaders. We all loved the day and it was a perfect way to finish the holidays en famille. We did have bonus family time today as we spent the morning on the beach, a rare treat as apparently its quite uncool to go to the beach with your parents. However, normal service resumes tomorrow when my daughter has arranged to be on the beach with friends.

Whilst Covid and its risks have impacted our plans this summer, we have enjoyed our time. It’s been an outdoors summer and as a consequence it feels a more wholesome summer! I was reflecting today on what I had missed and again like last year it was the summer firework displays, watching them from the seafront with a bag of chips. Let’s hope that next year, all our summer traditions are back and we cherish them all again.

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