So in my first half term in my new school, we have already had two Prime Ministers and are now awaiting our third. With two monarchs and two PMs, my classroom display has been more regularly updated than anticipated. I don’t actually think I can describe the farcical political situation this week, so much happened and Wednesday was genuinely so mental that the PM’s resignation was inevitable on Thursday. However even when we thought it couldn’t get any more diabolical, it appears that Boris may be running for PM again. As a politics graduate, part of me is loving this daily political feed, the intrigue and theatre and then I realise this is our government and our country and then it doesn’t feel so amusing. I dread the coming days and can only hope that we get a PM who can bring stability, security and gravity to the position.
We have needed light relief from the politics, and we have a new favourite streamed series, Welcome to Wrexham, which is on Disney. It is an unlikely true story, the takeover of the national league club by two Hollywood stars but is fascinating. As someone who has always supported teams in the lower leagues, it’s great to see the real life of a club, its players, supporter etc.. I think anyone who watches it, will become a Wrexham fan, it’s a great little series.
We continued our days out with a trip across the ferry and a sunny walk along some of the beautiful beaches which make up the coastal path. It is a great route for house spotting, with some of the most expensive and architecturally interesting properties situated on this beach. We went for the walk after parkrun rather than today as the weather forecast was awful (and proven to be correct with some amazing thunder and lightning today) After yesterday’s impressive number of steps, we have enjoyed a quiet, sorting day at home today. I love when the bad weather allows you to be cosy inside.
I am very much looking forward to this, my half term week and it’s the time when I turn my attention to proper Christmas planning. I use my holidays to plan and organise and always feel so much better for it. For example, this week it was my old school friend’s 50th birthday, the first of our year group and I was so relieved to have bought a lovely present in the summer which I sent off last week with the minimum of fuss. Being organised makes me so feel so much more relaxed and able to enjoy the now.
Our half term week starts tomorrow with a trip to Haynes Motor museum where we are meeting my dad (my mum is currently in Spain to develop her language skills) On Tuesday we have a home day and are baking a Halloween gingerbread house and carving our pumpkins, before a football camp and then our rearranged Longleat trip. I’m hoping this is a good mix of home and special trips to relax and rejuvenate us all.
This half term, we have made a real effort to have a family day each weekend and spend time with each other with no distraction. We have done lots of our family favourites in the past few weeks, so this weekend, we decided to explore somewhere new. It was a garden / sculpture park that we’ve read about many times and considered it, but never quite got there. However, we went this weekend and what an unexpected delight, we all loved it. There were lots of different themed areas and the views were stunning. The children loved the tropical plants and the different of textures and colours of the bark. There was also a fun rope bridge to cross the water. I really appreciated the sculptures and water features and simply breathing in the smells of all the different plants. It was an awe-inspiring visit, and we all want to return in a different season to see how it looks with different colours and flowers, it is a very special place.
Our weekend days out have helped to give the week a focus as I still am acclimatising to my new school and working full time for the first time in twelve years. The family day gives something to hook the week on and spend quality time together. All our days out this half term have been to outdoor venues, its been a mild and beautiful autumn and we’re keen to be outside whilst we can.
This week we finished the miniseries, This England about the first few months of the pandemic. Whilst I acknowledge it is a series and subject to dramatization for effect, it was also supported by factual information from the time and made uncomfortable watching on the conduct of ministers and ‘special advisers.’ Given the political chaos at present in the UK, it feels that our political system is an anachronism in modern society. Our current PM was voted in by Tory party members (81,000) rather than the general electorate (47 000 000) and was not even the first choice of the Conservative MPs. The only positive from the current state of affairs is that topical news comedies are very humorous. I am reading the third book in the Rotter Club series by Jonathon Coe, Middle England and there is a strong political theme in this book too, some of the writing is so pertinent to current events, it is quite spooky.
Next week is the final before half term, so I am busy finalising plans for our holiday week with a few treats, some lazy days at home and the Covid rearranged break to Longleat. I like to plan as I feel it makes the most of the break.
With busy weekdays, the weekends are special. A time to relax, do something nice, be with my family and catch up on little jobs. It’s surprising how rejuvenating a busy weekend can be if its the right things you are doing.
This weekend saw me catch up on some health checks, an eye test and my flu jab. In an impressive feat of organisation, I had both done in the same building and neatly went from one to the other. This was done in a neighbouring town, so my daughter tagged along and after my jobs we had a nice time picking up a few essentials and spending some birthday gift vouchers. There was of course the trip to a coffee shop for seasonal delights. We returned mid afternoon, just in time to watch the football scores and read the paper, with the sunshine streaming through the window. Having had a beautiful early morning run and then finishing with Strictly Come Dancing in the evening, it was a pretty perfect Saturday.
Each weekend, we do try to have one family day with a trip out somewhere. This weekend courtesy of a National Trust offer we enjoyed a complimentary day out at Kingston Lacy, its not our local NT property but we thought we would peruse the house and then take a walk in the grounds. It’s such a large property that the woodland walk which is only part of the estate is 5k. The house was interesting and a decent size which kept the children’s interest and curiosity for the tour. There were some really lovely volunteers who really made the house and it’s history come alive. We then walked around the different gardens, the Japanese garden and the kitchen garden were delightful, before doing the 5k woodland walk prior to our picnic lunch. The colours in the woods were just stunning and with the bright blue skies it was a kaleidoscope of colour. It was one of those days in which nature invigorates, inspires and relaxes you.
In thinking about my week, it all seemed rather routine and monotonous. However, despite the similarities of the days, I am really enjoying my new job, it’s fun hence the photo above of leaf animals part of our Forest School work. Sometimes routine is comforting and inspiring.
As a result of my new job and work that I knew would be needed on my car this winter, I decided to upgrade it. My old car was a basic little run-around (and much loved!) perfect when my commute to work was 1 mile. However, it is not so good for a 35-minute commute, which in winter will be more challenging along country roads. I also only had a FM car radio and wanted to be able to listen to DAB radio and podcasts on my commute. I really don’t like buying cars, I’ve had a couple of poor experiences in the past, so Mr S offered to do this for me. I simply gave him the make and model and he did the rest, totally stress free for me. He’s brilliant at negotiating a deal and succeeded again. I actually never saw my new car until it had been paid for and delivered and the first time I drove it was on a night out with friends on Friday. This did leave to a rather amusing midnight problem as we tried to work out the child locks. I am delighted with the car it ticked all the boxes at a decent price and mileage. I can’t get over all the mod cons, it’s made driving very exciting!
My running is not really back into its routine yet, but I have still being going out at weekends. Last Sunday it was a beautiful morning and when I ran by the new statue in town, I paused a few minutes to appreciate its beauty. This statue commemorates a local hero, Trevor Chadwick who was a teacher and also lived on site at the school in which I used to work. In 1939, he helped to rescue nearly 700 children from Prague, a story that was hidden for decades and has only recently been shared. As a result the community not only raised the funds for this statue but also the children’s playground it overlooks, was renovated and renamed in his honour. It seems so fitting that he overlooks the children’s playground and out to sea and it is a special place to pause and reflect.
Today, I’ve not run a parkrun, my knee feels a bit sore but my son and I went up to our local parkrun to volunteer. We were there early to set up the course and then later drove into the next town to do a few jobs and treated ourselves to a rather, lovely little lunch. Life may be routine but there is always joy in such moments.