Thumbs up to Summer 2013

The school holidays are officially over *sad face* and we are now fully back to routine and alarm clocks, packed lunches, school uniform, after school clubs, school run morning rush, “have you remembered your *insert required object here*?”, early morning squabbles. You know the usual things. The things that can easily be forgotten when the holiday switch is turned ON.

But turning the holiday switch to OFF is much harder especially when the summer holidays have been so completely lovely.

It went too quickly, way too quickly – as good times always do. We haven’t had an actual “holiday” this year. I’m talking about a real abroad packing suitcases type of holiday. A spending numerous weeks getting prepared, writing lists, organising pet care, sorting out passports, foreign currency, travellers cheques, buying new clothes, sun-cream, washing, ironing, supervising the hand luggage packing, is transport/transfer booked, leaving travel details with relatives, arguing about which entertainment products the kids can take, sorting out the chargers for the phones, does the mobile work abroad?, having the “how many pairs of shoes do you need?” conversation with the Husband, (and that’s all before we’ve even left the house) type of holiday.

Kids and Husband playing Lego

Kids and Husband playing Lego

No, we’ve had a holiday at home this year. And what a fabulous holiday. Scorching gorgeous sunburny temperatures, almost every day. A summer filled with days in the garden using the paddling pool (and probably doubling our water bills – sorry Husband), crabbing down at the back-waters (not necessarily my cup of tea, but the kids loved it!), beach trips (we are very lucky to live 2 minutes from the beach, but it hasn’t stopped me lusting after a beach hut *note to self must win the lottery*), picnics in the garden/park, visits to the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary (fabulous fabulous fabulous) more picnics and sun there, Lego playing (still undecided on whether finding the big box of Lego was actually a good idea – it hurts when you stand on it – but thoroughly enjoyed watching everyone (Husband, 20 year old s/son, L – 9y/o, T – 4 y/o and G – 2y/o) sitting around on the lounge floor building Lego houses – no telly just background music and conversation).

We even went across the Channel and spent an utterly fabulous day in Le Touquet, France. This required Yours Truly to be very brave – we went via ferry from Dover to Calais – I DON’T DO boats, of any kind;Β  I get seasick and have a real fear of the sea. I put this to one side however, so that the kids could experience it. They loved it and although I wouldn’t say I enjoyed it, I am glad I did it.

Kids bundled in car on way to ferry in Pjs

Kids bundled in car on way to ferry in Pjs

Beach at Le Touquet, France

Beach at Le Touquet, France

Husband and Kids - Le Touquet

Husband and Kids – Le Touquet

We had an early start; leaving our house at 3am to catch the 6.40am ferry from Dover. The kids found being dragged out of bed in the middle of the night and bundled into the car still wearing their PJs very exciting. Did they fall back to sleep? Erm, a big fat NO on that one. In fact it was chat chat chat all the way to the boat. Did I mind? Not in the slightest, I had a flask of very strong coffee to hand. And I’m pleased to report that I survived the ferry crossing.

Our day in Le Touquet was absolutely deliciously lovely and re-ignited my love of France. So much so in fact that at home 24 hours later I was looking, more accurately dreaming (another lottery win needed) of buying a house there.

We’ve also done the obligatory holiday activities: Cinema – Smurfs 2 (numb bums, over expensive popcorn/fizzy drinks and of course a trip to the toilet right at the good bit of the film), Pizza Hut lunches, shopping trips, taking L to get her ears pierced, staying up late, visits to Colchester Zoo which include face painting, attending the Great Bentley village fete – more face painting, tombola, raffles and donkey rides.

L's ears very newly pierced

L’s ears very newly pierced

Face painting at Great Bentley village fair

Face painting at Great Bentley village fete

Donkey rides at Great Bentley village fete

Donkey rides at Great Bentley village fete

The kids and I also had an unexpected “sleep-over” at my Parent’s house. We drove to Southend for the day while Husband and S/son went to a rugby match (was my nose put out of joint at this? Yes, very much so, but that’s for another day). So it was Saturday 24th August and the heavens opened. It was very possibly the worst rain that Southend and a majority of the South East has seen in many years. It became obvious mid-afternoon that we would be unable to come home. Road after road in and around Southend were being closed. The thought of going out in the car with the kids, not much petrol or any supplies did not appeal to me, so we bunked down for the night. The kids shared the spare double and me on a makeshift bed on the floor. It was good though despite not having come “prepared” and it dawned on me that actually I don’t need to carry with me things I would have previously deemed essential.

It also was lovely for me to almost revert back to being a daughter; kissing my dad goodnight for example. It made me realise how much I miss doing that.

So a good summer all round in my mad-house. Roll on summer 2014….(please repeat the sunshine!)

Me and kids at Colchester Zoo

Me and kids at Colchester Zoo

Fun at the Owl Sanctuary

Fun at the Owl Sanctuary

Painting in the garden

Painting in the garden

Fun at the beach

Fun at the beach

Kids posing with giant Meerkat at Colchester Zoo

Kids posing with giant Meerkat at Colchester Zoo

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