School’s out for six weeks…

Tithonia (my current favourite flower in the garden), sweet peas and Setaria ‘Lowlander’.


The long summer school holiday is finally here. Last week was a round of school performances, farewell assemblies, farewell gatherings and, well, farewells. For my daughter (and me) it was all A Bit Much. So we’ve had a few days of being quite lazy – we’ve pottered in the garden, taken the dog for walks, been to the cinema and watched far too much tv ( the weather has not been enticing us outside). We are not going away this year, so we have the challenge of fulfilling the differing expectations of two teenage boys and an 11-year-old girl while getting the things done we need to do.

The eldest boy (15) rises late and tries to avoid family contact until he wants a lift to the station or a conversation about his various social engagements. We are trying to enthuse him about potential family days out or camping trips. (‘What?! There’ll be no wifi!’) My middle child (13) has his own fitness regime all planned out (he’s been out running – with the dog!) and has embarked on various artistic endeavours. I am totally impressed by this. He can teach me a thing or two about motivation and is quite determined when he sets his mind to something.

photo 2
My son is part-way through an acrylic painting of rudbeckias. He took the photo below and transferred it to my iPad so he had it close at hand for reference. I love his bold brushstrokes and colour mixes.

This is the photo he's copying from.

My daughter has been trying to get us organised. She has made a ‘Summer Holidays’ wall calendar and we’ve been making plans. Other than that she’s been helping me in the garden (a little) and painting her nails (a lot).

photo 1
A handful of recent pickings from the garden. The tomatoes and autumn raspberries are starting to ripen, the strawberries are nearly over and this is the first cucumber. I’m pretty chuffed with this and probably picked it a little too soon (it was delicious though).

Here’s to some sunshine, warmth and happy days ahead.



16 thoughts on “School’s out for six weeks…

  1. Hi! I well remember the joys of parenting a grumpy teenager! Oldest son was a doddle, luring us into a false sense of knowing what we were about when it came to youngest son.

    Who spent the years from 15 to 17 barely grunting at us, often with a sneer included. However, he left school part way through his A levels, then found work in London (in an astonishingly prestigious place) and so left home. At which point he gradually morphed into a delightful, sociable, pleasant fellow, and has remained so since.

    During the grunty years, I used to keep reminding myself that I didn’t know any adults like that, and he would grow out of it. It was a bit like doing the whole toddler thing again but with a much larger adult-sized person.

    Hang on in there, in case the ride is bumpy. You’ll look back and laugh!


    1. I’m delighted to hear that all turned out well for your son. Mine isn’t too grunty (yet) and he can be absolutely lovely but he’s definitely starting to separate himself from us and forge his own path. Which is quite right and how it should be.


  2. There is a total mismatch between parental rose-tinted memories of their own childhood summers (endless summer days of adventure) and their perception of their children’s summers (lying around on the sofa watching the cricket – don’t ask me why I chose this example). This is because we forget the boring bits of our own childhood (although being trapped inside a tent while it poured with rain is burned into my memory).
    The lesson here is that ultimately your children will remember the bright sunny day when you have a picnic on the beach and the boring bits will drift away. Which takes the pressure off – no?


    1. I think it’s precisely because I remember being bored in a caravan while it rained (again) that I slightly dread the summer holidays! I think you’re right, though, and they will remember the fun stuff. Fingers crossed we get some warm sunny weather for a few beach picnics.


  3. I think it’s great you’re letting your children find their own entertainment and they all seem to be making a pretty good job of it. We always used to have a week away at the beginning of the school holidays and another week right at the end of the standard six-week state school holiday, nothing glamorous, just a Landmark or National Trust cottage with access to the sea on foot and we were all as happy as can be. The weeks in between were filled with everything and nothing. This is my first summer in 21 years with no children at home … the consequences are proving interesting!


    1. I’m sure it is slightly odd not having children around after so many years. I hope you’re not missing them too much but I imagine you have plenty to occupy your time with.


  4. My abiding memory of going away in the caravan is that every time we turned the radio on Neil Sedaka was singing ‘raindrops keep falling on my head’!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My son was, and is, a late riser and, in contrast to me, is always grumpy in the mornings. I put it down to low blood sugar until he’s had breakfast. Now he’s at uni, he’s gone off travelling in Europe with some chums for his summer break but – made me smile – mentioned that we hadn’t booked our holiday yet and he’d still like to go somewhere with me later! He’s usually monosyllabic for the first day of a holiday then gets right into being away from media and reverts back into the friendly charming boy I brought up! You’re so right in your comment that kids should be allowed to separate and find their own path – I think that shows we mums have done our job right. Hope the holidays go well for all your family. x


    1. Thanks Caro. How lovely that your son still likes to go on holiday with you. I hope he’s having a great time travelling and that you get to go away together. This year the summer break feels slightly rudderless because we have no holiday booked but hopefully we will get away for a week or so all together.


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