Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I miss them

Charlotte and Rebeca, that is.
We were all warm as toast this morning, huddled beneath freshly laundered bed linen.
In the holidays, we'd still be fast asleep at 7.30. It felt rude throwing the duvet aside with shouts of `morning, quick, hurry, we don't want to be late, do we ?`
It was so sublime lying in bed until nine ( or later !) throughout the holidays.
I felt so bad for Gavin, rudely blasted awake by rock music on his I-Phone. I complain and yet get an extra hour each day. It's why I don't mind him having a long lie in at the weekend and it's why I don't mind him playing World Of Ruddy Warcraft to wind down after work. Ok, perhaps I mind.
A little !
The world is a happier place when Spring arrives. The girls swap their winter trousers and pinafores for cheerful gingham and pretty ankle socks. Still, Charlotte managed to be quite tearful on the way in to school yesterday. She enjoyed the holidays and I don't think it finally dawned on her, until we were stood outside her class, that it was over.
School, with its sharp edges, stale air and indifference, is back again. Until the end of May, at least.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Last Day of the Easter Holidays

How unfair.
The weather is now gloriously dappled spring sunlight, the kind which envelops everything in a flattering sheen and makes every step seem lighter. I drank coffee at the table in our garden whilst the girls read `Rainbow Fairy` books and grunted requests for Ribena, water, sunglasses, sunscreen etc. at various intervals. Connie danced around like a baby lamb chasing butterflies.
All was serene except the occasional muted yelling from a neighbouring property. Usually, I'm the one closing windows to yell at the girls for some minor dispute or three, so it was refreshing to live in a state of harmony for one soft-focus afternoon. The calm was broken only by a hurried trip to the supermarket, where it's impossible to buy ` a few things` for less than £32.90 apparently.
Rebecca (6 and in Yr1 ) spotted a couple of friends and gleefully ran over to hug them. She's excited about going back to school. They must make school more interesting these days because I never ever got close to an excited state throughout my entire school career.
My default setting for the school years was one of melancholic resignation !

Sunday, April 19, 2009


I found a page on facebook for Biggleswadians and pop over occasionally to see if anyone has bothered to add photos or comments whilst failing to add any of my own !
It was interesting looking at photos of the VE day celebrations pouring onto the streets over 50 years ago. Is community spirit the same anymore ? I think not.
We've created a world where people use cars all the time, speak via the web rather than face to face...mind you, I can't imagine the London underground ever being a friendly place. It's quite distracting, trying to avoid eye contact with anyone whilst at the same time keeping an eye out for your stop/dodgy looking folk with large rucksacks/etc...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Easter Holidays

Ah, the school holidays are back.
Deepest joy of joys.
Each school holiday is an opportunity for me to exploit my job ( as Mother ) to its fullest and grasp every chance to show Charlotte and Rebecca what a hands-on, creative, inspiring, wonderful Earth Mother I am.
But I don't.
Instead, I nag incessantly at the state of their rooms ( they are 9 and 6, they can't help it ! )
grimace at the grey clouds, moan at the cost of doing anything that doesn't involve a picnic at the park, encourage them to get arty then scream inwardly at the sight of paint, glitter, felt and things-salvaged-from-their-bedrooms..... whilst every other Mother worth her salt seems to be off down the local play barn/zoo/beach every day, regardless of thunder or lashing rain.
But, we had fun. We did. Despite me !
We went to Blackpool and walked the dogs in the sunshine, ate good food, had sleepovers at their Aunties, made birds nests in the woods, swam, painted, saw a couple of friends and relaxed.
When I was a girl ( a phrase I swore I'd never use ) holidays were for doing nothing. We had no schedule, no itinerary, no routine.
We woke up and there were no plans.
We slept in, read books, rode our bikes, played in the field, got muddy and dirty, picked caterpillars off the cabbages on our neighbours allotment, watched cartoons on the one channel which played them for kids in the daytime ( and when they were over, that was it... no skyplus, no video even then ), went to bed early and stayed up chatting and watching the moon, writing a diary, playing connect 4 and snakes n ladders.. no nintendo, playstation in sight.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The blazing sunlight started the motor on a solar powered rainbow maker Charlotte got for her ninth birthday. ( from my sister Vicky, giver of great gifts )
She awoke to a brilliant light show of rainbow coloured sunbeams across her room. She was so very happy. There is no greater happiness than watching Charlotte or Rebecca happy.
What a gorgeous day. I changed my gym membership to a swimming pass. The gym is joyless, truly joyless. There is nothing gratifying about running on a treadmill when the temperature rises.
Swimming, I love. I went again today and managed 46 lengths. Swimming is effortless, relaxing and invigorating at the same time. I take refuge in the water, visible only from the nose up.
When I start swimming, there is nothing else to think about but the water and me.
There is no programme to key in, no ipod to plug in, no complicated assortment of gym shoes and garments to wear and no sweat soaked armpits afterwards.
I try classes, the gym and other new fangled ways to get fit and stay fit, but I always always return to the water. I love swimming.