We have had one of those weekends when you feel you have actually been away on a holiday as you can’t quite work out how you managed to fit so much into a few days .It was one of those weekends where everything magically aligned and the weather was stunning, a weekend full of awesome moments and happy times.
We spent this weekend in the Bristol area, Mr S and I lived here until our move to our seaside town in 2004, so it was a weekend to see family and old friends. We drove up after school on Friday afternoon and arrived in time for a quick change and a walk to a local, family run Italian restaurant, which had been a favourite when we lived nearby, for a celebration dinner. There was lots to celebrate birthdays, fathers day and just being together and we had such a relaxed and delicious family meal with Granddad. The restaurant has a very clever design so our table in the ‘conservatory’ made us feel that we were eating outside on the hot evening with a gentle breeze. We walked through the park on the way home and as it was so light and warm we let the children play whilst we simply watched and talked, does anything beat a warm summer night?
On Saturday we planned to do lots with the children to tire them as Granddad was babysitting and we wanted to make sure the children were asleep before Mr S and I left for our night out. We drove over to Portishead to their open air pool for some swimming. The lido is gorgeous and retro with a real 50s vibe, it is painted bright orange and yellow and with the blue pool and blue skies it looked amazing. Its such a hidden gem and we had such a great morning here with swimming, games, sunbathing on the tiered steps and of course eating our picnic, which seems to become more elaborate each time. After the lido we walked along the promenade to the park and boating lake where we hired a pink flamingo pedalo. This was so much fun too, perhaps more for me as I was in the back so got to sit and relax whilst Mr S and the children pedalled around the lake. It was late afternoon by the time we got home and we succeeded in getting two tired children in bed and asleep by 8pm. The main focus of our visit to Bristol was for a friend’s 50th birthday party. Mr S has had the same group of friends since school so it was a lovely to meet up with them all at the party. Mr S remarked he had been at the host’s 21st, 30th, 40th and 50th parties and I find it incredible that such a large group of friends from school are still so close after all these years. I’ve known the group for the past 20 years and still feel a newbie! The party was at a stunning and impressive venue and we spent a lot of time outside as it was just so beautiful with gorgeous gardens. It was one of those parties when it was over so quickly as we were all having such a good evening.
Today we played in the park and met up with friends which meant for Little Miss the absolute thrill of meeting up with teenagers to discuss make up, clothes and piercings. We then got to watch the England match, for Little Man this is the first World cup he is really interested in and he knows so much, he watches the game with his World cup cards and looks up the players etc… He loved the England match and watching all the goals go in, he has that innocent belief in England, not the cynicism of us oldies. As we drove home we listened to Three lions which he is now singing along to and then switched to the cricket commentary where England in a thrilling match beat Australia to win the ODI series 5 – 0.
It really felt like a perfect weekend and one that will be remembered fondly for many years to come. I’m just hoping the adrenaline and memories will now see me through the week, as I am a bit tired!
This photo shows the app I’ve been avidly using this week, Google maps. My weekly driving miles are around 30, 20 of which are used on our weekly swimming lesson trip so it’s been a bit of a surprise to have driven over 300 miles this week! It was just one of those odd weeks when everything came together and was a mix of work and family miles. I have been all over our county and surrounding areas and Google maps has been amazing at route planning. I’ve enjoyed the driving, buzzing around with music blaring and the sun shining brightly. I live in a beautiful part of the country and the scenery has been stunning.
Last week, I found myself doing some quite different things; within 6 days I had been to a roller disco, done every slide at least once at a water park and had my first kayak lesson. Looking back on the week, I wondered if I was going through a mid life crisis trying to prove that I had the fitness, stamina and spirit to do these activities. Perhaps this is true, I was 37 when I finally became a mum after years of fertility treatment and the adoption process, much older than I had hoped. I always wanted to be one of those mums who did things with her children, who was present not simply physically but experiencing the moment too. I also feel that its up to me to be that sporty active parent as Mr S suffered significant injuries in an accident when he was younger so cannot do all I can.
The activities I did last week were all with or for the children, we went to the roller disco and water park together and I am taking kayak lessons so I can be confident to go out with them on the water. I want them to be active and adventurous and its up to me to be that example. This may sound all very noble, but the main reason I do these activities is for fun, to live in the moment and enjoy time with my children. We only have 18 summers with our children, I missed 2 for Little Miss and 1 for Little Man when they were in care so my 18 is reduced, we’re now half way through our childhood summers and there is still so much I want to share with my children. We have many more adventures to plan and experience and I intend to be the mum who says yes and goes for it, life is too short to live on the side lines.
Well on a week in which I did so much there is a real lack of photos to accompany the experiences. Understandably no cameras are allowed at the water park and I was too busy staying afloat and holding onto my paddle to take photos at my kayak lesson. It’s been a funny week, an Inset day for the children, 2 extra days of holiday for me and Little Miss on a residential but it’s back to our normal routine next week.
This week’s photo was taken in our garden where Little Miss and Mr S have been very carefully growing vegetables in our raised beds. Our pea pods started to appear this week and we’re all now looking forward to the harvest.
This is now the longest time we’ve ever been apart since we became a family eight years ago. I’m missing you; your cuddles, kisses and companionship. The house seems so much quieter and emptier without you. Its not the first time you’ve been away from home, as you have done a Brownie sleepover but this school residential feels different. It is an adventure and you are trying new and exciting activities without me there to encourage and cheer you on. You are now old enough to be creating special memories with your friends as well as your family and I’m sure the PGL trip of Year 5 will become a much treasured trip for you all.
Thanks to digital technology, Daddy and I have been able to see you throughout the trip on the school feed, we’ve admired the photos of you abseiling, raft building, fencing, whizzing down the longest zip wire I’ve ever seen and just playing with your friends. It all looks so much fun and there you are smiling, confident and looking so grown up. I’ve heard it was you that started the singing on the coach and I’ve seen the video of the raft and you leaping into the water with so much zest and squealing in delight as you splash down. You were so excited about PGL and now you’re there you seem to be relishing every moment and I couldn’t be prouder. This is what life is about its trying new things and embracing every opportunity, please never lose your energy, enthusiasm and passion for life, it makes you the very special young lady you are.
I am so looking forward to seeing you tomorrow and although I’ve missed you, this trip has been amazing for you. I can’t wait to hear of all your adventures and to start planning new ones too.
In a half term week where we were out and about lots, this picture has just stood out of being one of my favourites. It was a quick snap as I liked the contrast of the blue sky and white Ferris wheel and the sun streaming onto the image just adds to the effect.