Summer days

There comes a point every year in the last few weeks of the summer term when the activities and events pile up to the point when I think my brain might explode.

Today is youngest’s sports day (Remember water bottle, suncream and baseball cap not sunhat. She doesn’t have baseball cap. Remember to go to shops to buy a baseball cap. Remember to turn up at school at 2pm), and eldest’s school drama club production of Romeo and Juliet this evening. She is Friar Lawrence. (Remember to get her fed and back to school by 6pm, and have a babysitter booked so I can get to school for 6.45pm to watch it). Tomorrow is eldest’s sports day (remember water bottle, packed lunch, suncream and red clothes to wear. For some reason. Remember to turn up at field of local sports centre at 9.30am).

Tomorrow my brother is staying with us as he is in London for a work thing (remember to put clean sheets on eldest’s bed, and set up the folding bed in her sister’s room and cook something for dinner other than the semi-standard Friday fare of frozen pizza for the kids and either a takeaway or smorgasbord of whatever is left in fridge for us). Saturday we are up and off early to go to Oxford for our old college’s family garden party (remember forecast is 31 degrees, so remember sunhats, suncream, lots of water, entertainment for train journeys, snacks, change of clothes for youngest in case of accidents).

Next week there is a meeting at school to find out which class my youngest will be going into when she starts in September, and eldest will be finding out her new class and getting her school report. (Remember to try and seem like a friendly, approachable and halfway normal human being on the new class WhatsApp groups which are being created, so my poor daughter isn’t a social leper before she even starts school).On Monday they both need to wear yellow to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis research (remember to ensure clean yellow clothes for both of them, and accessible pound coins on Mon am). On Friday night husband and I are going Out Out with our uni friends, which involves picking them up from school and taking them to my MILs as she is babysitting them at her flat, then picking them up again on Saturday morning in time to get eldest home and changed and out again as she is performing with the school choir at the Walthamstow Village festival (Remember to buy black leggings for daughter as that is what she needs to wear for choir, and, of course, she inexplicably has leggings in every colour of the rainbow except black. Remember that I am going out, in Soho, to a nice restaurant on a Friday night, so I need to find something to wear which isn’t scruffy Birkenstocks and a grass-stained t-shirt. ) On Sunday it is my husband’s birthday (REMEMBER TO BUY A PRESENT AND BAKE A CAKE, and organise children in buying presents).

It’s almost all really lovely things, it’s just a lot to remember. And all the time I am conscious that the school holidays are almost on us, and I need to make sure that as much as possible is sorted for our holiday in Italy before they break up, so I am not trying to drag bored and grumpy children round the shops in search of a new bikini the day before we fly!

One thing about this spring and summer which is proving both lovely and relaxing is that we have started going on family walks in the country. Now our youngest is 4.5 and the days of buggies are behind us and she is big enough to actually manage a reasonable distance it is a lovely thing to do that we all really enjoy. To make the most if the day we pack a triple picnic – something like home-made banana muffins to have on the train to our destination, then a picnic lunch for everyone to have in a likely looking field en route, and then a picnic tea for the children to have on the train on the way home so that when we all arrive home tired and grubby at least we don’t have hungry children clamouring for immediate sustenance. The, ahem, super-cool insulated rucksack we got as a gift when we joined the National Trust is really coming into its own. And we are fully embracing the onset of middle-class middle-age by carrying it!

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