The summer holidays are so near I can almost touch them. The children finished school yesterday but I need to go in to work for a few days next week before I'm finished. Bella's last day at primary school yesterday and leaver's assembly wasn't nearly as emotional as I'd feared; rather, I just found myself feeling tired, happy and relived that her time in primary education has been so overwhelmingly positive. She is really looking forward to starting secondary school in September, and so I must too. She's made me proud at every turn this year, in her friendships, her work ethic, her time management, her SATs results.
Summer and the heat wave rumble along, with rumours that it will get even hotter next week. Ziggy turned one on Thursday and I can't believe he's been in our life ten months, and also cannot imagine not having him in our family, for all his hooligan ways. I'm picking sweet peas all the time and watering the garden with less enthusiasm each week. I've been frantically working on a couple of blanket commissions for colleagues who were leaving, and finished one in time, with the other almost done. I'm ready to think about crocheting something for myself now. I had a lovely day today in the kitchen, cooking up a batch of tomato sauce for pasta with three kilos of tomatoes I was given, making pizza dough, turning my blackcurrants into jam and compote, and making some ice cream. I love days like this.
I sat down with the children a few nights ago and asked them to help me write a list of things they'd like to do over the six week summer holiday. We talk about this at the start of every summer break but the appearance of pen and paper focused their minds and they gave me some great suggestions. Of course they requested days out - to London, HMS Warrrior (Angus), Mottisfont House (Bella) - and asked that we could all go out for a meal in a restaurant, but I told them they had to think of free or cheap options too and this is where they came up with some lovely ideas:
- have a night in at home with a film and homemade popcorn
- organise a big family walk with all the cousins
- have an evening barbecue on the beach
- make our own freakshakes at home
- go and stay with my friend Abigail and her family
- go for a dog walk at a favourite place and then have fizzy drinks and crisps in the pub beer garden nearby
- print off lots of colouring-in sheets
- make a mini adventure room in a suitcase (Angus)
- do some sewing (Bella)
Isn't it a great list? Most of what we do in the holidays is low cost as I'm really not one for theme parks and would much rather drag the kids around a National Trust property, or go for a walk, or bake a cake, but I'm excited to do these things with them. It also gave me a sweet glimpse into what matters to them, what they value and consider a treat.
I've a similar list myself:
- eat a cream tea while on holiday in Devon
- start an English Paper Piecing quilt
- go blackberry picking and make bramble jelly
- start a new crochet blanket
There is also another, more practical agenda, involving cleaning out the loft and garage, deep cleaning the kitchen, sorting out the office, going through the filing cabinet and shredding, booking dentist appointments. Those don't deserve their own bullet points.
Do you have plans for the summer? Please tell me one thing you'd really like to do over the coming months, I would love to hear your ideas!