The summer holidays have ended and for a few hours each day, my lot are just about the only children around not in school or nursery. We needed new wellies; walks through the forest and down to the beach tend to leave one's footwear rather mucky from September onwards. So we went to the shops and noticed for the first time in months how we stuck out, even more than usual.
But since so many of their friends are in school and not tearing up and down the streets on bikes, my children were content to settle to some reading, writing and 'rithmetic (or Mathematics, as Thomas says gravely) and that sort of thing. As usual though the best part of their learning comes through conversation, asking questions, playing their games, reading, watching TV and whatever takes their fancy at any particular time.
Duncan has discovered Mr Men so has started collecting the books, watching the films, playing games on the PC and making pictures. He's quite taken with Sonic the Hedgehog too, and he and Thomas take turns to play a PC demo game he downloaded. Duncan gets Thomas to help him with the trickier parts. Sometimes he gets distressed when it's not going well. He's been distressed a lot about something or other these past few months. It's been hard for him and I lost a bit of my coping mojo for a while there (hence the lack of blogdom). So he was sad, and I was grouchy, making him sad and screamy making me tired and head-achy and so on.
But I discovered a great cure for these feelings of stress and inadequacy on the internet; a 3 night holiday in Portugal. Actually my sister found it for us. In an astonishing coincidence, she needed a bit of respite from life's arrows just now too! We both went to stay in a posh hotel where we lazed in the shade from a hot sun by the pool/beach, swam a couple of times, dined well, drank a bit and strolled a little and I read 3.5 mostly lowbrow books. It was the laziest most relaxing holiday I have ever had and it was marvellous. On our last visit to the beach we thought it wise to get off our backsides and go parasailing. But there were no slots left for us, so we stupidly handed over money to have some youngsters pull us behind the boat as we sat side by side on an inflatable dingy thing. I was not 100% sure I wasn't going to die while out there, gripping the handles and bracing with my legs as I fought to stop myself from crashing into the sea as we bashed and bumped our way through the surf. It was nice enough when they slowed down and went straight but mostly, it was hellish. Afterwards our arms ached and shook and even now, there's pain in many parts as I recover from that self inflicted ordeal. At least, I forgot my troubles utterly while it was happening as I focused only on the path of sea in front of me.
I returned to my family, a bit sorer, more freckled, but relaxed and ready to work. They'd all had a lovely time without me. They'd been for long bike ride on one of the days and Gordon enjoyed spending more time with the children than usual.
I'll be happy to get back into our normal life groove and hope to do more blog reading and writing again.