This summer holiday has been wonderful in many ways but it has not been well balanced. It is quick, much too quick, then slow. Crazy, hectic, rush-around days followed by spells of inactivity and relaxation.
We break up for the holidays and I set about my to do list with in a perky and efficient manner.
All wardrobes and chest of drawers are emptied, sorted and refolded. Nothing is spared.
I throw out, among other things, eighteen tops, eight bags, five belts, two bikinis and one bridesmaid's dress. There are things in there from ten years ago! My name is Gillian and I am a shameful hoarder. We give six bin liners of clothes to the local charity shops.
Then to stay with Abigail for a week of fabulous sloooow; lavender farms, cricket matches, village fairs and day trips. Bliss.
But then we're back in Leeds - for only forty eight hours - and its quick, quick; unpack, washing, ironing, emails, appointments, constant rain, re-pack, Then garden is a mess but there's no time to do anything about it. Then we get to Durham and it's slow again; trips to the park, a little shopping, coffee and cake, family time, relaxed breakfasts, long evenings and time to finish some crochet bunting for a friend.
Then home, and quick!, rush-rush, unpack, wash everything (oh look, it's raining again, hello tumble dryer) and prepare for the arrival of my sister, Anna, and nieces who are coming the next day. Sweep and vacuum, shop and bake. I forget to put the chocolate chips in the peanut and chocolate cookies because I am so distracted.
We set the alarm clock every day and are up and out early each morning for the kids' swimming lessons. The car is given it's annual pre-holiday, once-a-year-only, wash and wax.
We go to the farm and the park. Lawns are mowed, hedges trimmed and weeds pulled up from the garden. John paints the front door and garage doors. The car gets new tires. The house is delightfully noisy all week with the sound of small people busy playing. We make yogurt push-up ice lollies and they are a dramatic failure. Not sweet enough for the kids and the yogurt has "bits in" which is about the worst thing that can happen, apparently. I liked them.
Homemade pizzas were much more warmly received, thank goodness.
Then we wave goodbye to Anna and the next day our good friends from university and their children come to spend the night, More washing, vacuuming and cooking ensues. In between that we just about remember to buy Bella and Angus their school uniform. John makes a pot of chilli. We have a lot of fun, drink a lot of wine, laugh a lot.
The kids make dens.
I have to have a two hour nap on Sunday afternoon. I honestly could not keep my eyes open. I very rarely sleep in the day. I associate napping with being ill or with the dark days of early parenthood. It feels like such a waste. If I had the time to indulge myself like that, to absent myself from John and the kids, then I'd at least like to do something nice with my time, like read or crochet. Not sleep. I think it was my body's way of telling me to stop.
I will slow down, soon, just as soon as I've packed and popped into town for baby wipes and contact lens solution. I feel like I'm in one of those anxiety dreams where you have only ten minutes to pack and you're going to miss the plane and you can't find your passport.
Oh, holiday. I am ready for you. I am going to re-balance. Are you better at balancing things than me? Please share your tips.