Wednesday 3 August 2016

Summer Unrest

Suddenly August is here.    Essentially this means we have begun the second part of school summer holidays.   We are on the last leg.  In other words, they will return to school in four weeks.   Already there has been a couple “my tummy feels funny “complaints.  

There is no denying it’s getting closer.   I am not one bit happy about it for a variety of reasons.

I need to make a little confession here.  Really quickly. 

I haven’t enjoyed the holidays so far.

I know.  I can’t believe I am saying that either.  

I feel extremely guilty, shame-faced, guilt ridden and more than a little awkward all at the same time with this admission.    I look forward to the summer holidays every year and admitting to being fed up upsets me.

I think partly it’s because I feel like we haven’t had a single break from school stuff.    Before the schools broke up at the end of June I had already embarked on the trail that has become the school curriculum for 2016/2017.   School books were purchased before the old ones came home to be chucked into the recycling.    Immediately after that we needed to obtain crested school jumpers.    We segued into July which saw school bags being picked up and filled with newly labelled and covered books, colouring pencils, and miscellaneous school supplies.    More uniforms were collected.   Of the trousers variety.   Then we had to get shoes.  Yesterday I chased up crested track suits.  They are not in stock yet.    With four weeks to go until the school gates open, I have been busy accumulating school supplies for the last 6 weeks.  It’s been tiring.  

Then there is the getting used to a new routine, routine to settle into.   That didn’t happen for the longest time.  Until last week in fact.  We were grouchy most mornings, on go-slows, breakfast went on forever, and it appeared I had swapped one morning rush for another; that being the school run for the swimming pool one.  So I took a deep breath and decided it wouldn’t be the end of the world if we entered the blue body of water at twenty minutes past the hour instead of exactly on it.

However, I feel the main reason for this mutual dissatisfaction is our annual family holiday doesn’t happen until the last week in August.   The week before they return to school.

Again, I know.  Poor us, whinging about our holiday being too late.  I am aware our fortunate selves are in the enviable position of being able to go on holiday to the beach.  It’s the highlight of our year.   The kids love it.  I do too.  It’s all we’ve spoken about for the last two months.   Everything is held up in comparison.    No-one wants to be penny pinching on holidays so any and all disposable income goes towards spending money for this week away.   This means we can’t do any other activities on the weekends because we need our money for August.

It’s getting us down a little bit.   

I could mention the weather and its contribution but as there is nothing anyone can do about the absence of sunshine, I’ll let that one pass.

So after another day of kids asking is it almost time to go yet, how come it’s taking so long and one of them presenting me with a list of what we are definitely not going to do* I resorted to an old trick.  

I asked them to tell me what they are most looking forward to about our seaside holiday.

The answers came thick and fast.   The drive there.  I think he meant the anticipation.   Our upside down house.   (The kitchen is upstairs and the bedrooms, downstairs) The beach.  The sand box.  The BBQ.  The bread shop across the road from which we have croissants and chocolate twists most mornings.    Centra.  (strange child) Coca cola cake in The Yard Restaurant.   Tides Pub.  (How did that get in there?) *day trips without houses with furniture and wallpaper.  (So no guided tours then!)  Spending all day on the beach.   And just being on holidays.

Just being on holidays.     There is a lot to be grateful for in that last sentence.

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