Ready For The Off…

So, today is the official opening of the Olympics, and therefore, as the next couple of weeks will undoubtedly be wall to wall crass radio and TV coverage, we’re off as far away from London as we can get without leaving Britain.

Our camping expeditions take a bit of organising, so we probably won’t actually hit the road until tomorrow or Sunday, but once I get into packing mode, I’m a woman possessed – nothing stands in my way! Once I’ve finished writing this, I’m switching off (well, perhaps just a little more browsing – and maybe even booking a camp site or two) – but basically, this is where the holiday starts.

Of course, this being England, our camping holiday appears to have been timed with precision to coincide with the end of the heat wave.

Yesterday, when number one daughter and I were walking the dog in near sub Saharan temperatures, we met this little fellow.

Can you make him out? I think it’s a slow-worm, but if not, please tell me what you think it is.

He was struggling in the hot sunshine the wriggle across a sandy path, into the shade. He got there without the dog being interested.

It’s not so hot today, which is better for me – I like to be warm, but too hot and I wilt.

Happy summer everyone. I’ll be back in a few weeks.

Taxi Anyone?

Well I don’t know about you, but one week into the school holidays and I’m pooped. What have I been doing to get so tired? I’ve been running a round the clock taxi service.

Being terrible planners – we still don’t know when or where we’re going on holiday – the girls are making up their daily social arrangements on a last minute basis. This is OK for them as they know that Mum’s taxi will be available to take them anywhere they want to go, but it’s playing havoc with my body clock.

It’s also costing a small fortune, even though my little car is fairly cheap to run, but what alternative is there? No public transport round here that you could rely on, or more accurately, no public transport. And the prospect of having the girls stuck at home, watching hours of cheap and nasty TV programming is even worse.

So, I’m sitting here, snatching a small interlude between taxi engagements, moaning. Arrrh, that feels better.

Hope you’re surviving.

Photo curtesy Mantas Razveltas

Get ready for bucket and spade time…

You know what time of year it is, when every weekend there’s a school fete, a church fete or a village fete, and when you need a rain coat over your t-shirt…yes you’re right, it’s very nearly bucket and spade time, or as you might know it, ‘The Summer Holidays’

I love this time of year – despite the weather doing its utmost to dampen our spirits. I love the way the children start to relax. Homework is either a thing of the past, or regarded with such derision that it doesn’t get done. The usual routine is changed as the children go off on school trips or have special activity days.

The school sports days are in full swing – as are the parents, manically trying to be in two places at once – have you ever had children at more than one school?

The end of term assemblies will soon be happening and then it’s the long holiday to look forward to. I’m getting a warm and fluffy feeling, just imagining six weeks without having to get up with the 6.00am alarm, make packed lunches and breakfasts, iron school uniform and shunt various children, bags, kit and musical instruments off to school.

Now there’s just one thing I’ve got to do – decide where and when we’re going on holiday. We’re not big planners, so we’ll probably wait until there’s a dry spell forecast and then take off with the tents.

We’ve considered Scotland – the West coast is my favourite place on the planet (OK, I haven’t been everywhere to compare it, but I’m a girl who knows her own heart), the only thing to worry about is the midges and the rain. Well, not quite decided on that one yet.

Photo by Michelle Meiklejohn