A belated end to the Summer holidays

A second update (bisected by the obligatory ‘First day back at school’ post) to try to make amends for the dearth of updates over the summer.  This is the follow-up to The Pox, The Summer and a Trip to Nanny Fran’s which covered much of the six week holiday and fills in the gaps at the end of that break to allow me to show off the photos that somehow we have managed to take on the precious few days I had actually managed to be off with the Baguettes over the Summer.  This was meant to have been posted a couple of weeks ago but unfortunately with a long continuous stint at work this has been further belated to the third week of term, I am hoping that the 30 photos at the bottom will allow you to forgive me!

With a position that requires working at the weekend, it means that my ‘weekend’ moves to mid-week.  When the Baguettes are at school, that is a problem, however during the school holidays it matters not and indeed is a little bit of a godsend when planning days out.  So with two days off in a row (a rarity at this time of the year for me, especially so soon after a weekend off – I am being spoilt) we decided to take full advantage.

We woke on the first of those days to a cloudless blue sky.  Lucinda was working so her ward joined us on a trip to Bushy Park, near Hampton Court.  It appeared to be a very popular choice and we were extremely fortunate to find a car parking space.  Indeed, when we left there was almost a fight over our space.  Nevertheless we parked up and took a short walk across the park to the children’s play area.  Factor 50 had been duly applied and so we were good to spend time under the August sun.

The children’s play area in Bushy park is well equipped with the usual slides and swings but also has a hug sandpit.  Two adults with four children should be fine but the excitement of the such a large play area with so many different things to distract the attention, it took all our effort to shepherd them in pairs, two each.  They thoroughly enjoyed themselves playing on the various equipment, swings, slides and climbing frames. We took our picnic in the shade of a wall and while they all ate their picnic fittle we could see the other parents and childminders having the same battles with their wards as we had just had.  As they had all eaten well and had been relatively well-behaved it was only right and proper that we had an ice cream.  So we wandered into the park itself and spent a fortune at the local Mr Whippy Ice cream van.  Again, searching for shade we sat down under a large oak tree in an attempt to give the children enough time to eat them before they melted in the heat.

As Brits we should know that one should not rely on the British weather, even in the Summer.  The next day we decided that we would head to the seaside and meet up with Lucinda’s Uncle David and Auntie Sally in Middleton on Sea.  As we know we should not rely on the weather, equally we are not put off by it and so undaunted we headed South.  Uncle David and Auntie Sally live a short walk from the beach and with some uncertainty over the weather after a drink and the obligatory biscuits we headed to the beach.  The tide was in and it was amazing how little of the beach was left, just a ten or so metres of pebbles.  Nevertheless it did not stop us taking full advantage before heading back to Uncle David and Auntie Sally’s house for a spot of home-made lunch.

Despite signs to the contrary the weather brightened up in the afternoon so after lunch we headed back to the beach.  In the couple of hours that we were away the tide had gone out and revealed a couple of hundred metres of sand.  It was amazing the difference and the Baguettes took full advantage of the wet sand.  Indeed it was only for the promise of cakes and drinks that they would leave the beach for Uncle David and Auntie Sally’s beach hut.  It was only as we sat outside their beach hut eating Fondant Fancies and drinking tea (how very British!) that we realised the time.  It was definitely time to head back home if we were going to get back at a reasonable hour.  The day had just flown by and so we tidied and headed back to Uncle David and Auntie Sally’s to load the Baguettes back into the car.  We had a fantastic time and promised not to leave it as long next time.  We keep saying that to people, hopefully we can keep the promise.

The neighbour’s extension is nearly done.  They were hoping to have it done by the beginning of September and Cath’s 40th birthday.  Unfortunately, that deadline was missed however it did not stop the birthday celebrations and they had a fantastic party in their back garden to which we were invited.  We have also joined in the construction party with the erection of a Tiki Hut.  Officially it is a thatched wooden gazebo but the best description is a Tiki Hut.  We ordered it back in May, ostensibly for the Summer, so we are a tad disappointed that it finally got installed at the beginning of September.  Nevertheless it is an investment for the kids to play in and for us to entertain so it will get plenty of use, even in the winter.

We had a slight drama for a week or so when Lucinda was without her phone after throwing it down the toilet.  It wasn’t out of any form of frustration but one of those one in a thousand slips.  She had seen that one of the Baguettes had left the toilet lid up and went to close it, slightly lost her balance as she entered the bathroom and somehow threw her phone in the air.  It flew, in seemingly slow motion, and landed straight down the bowl.  Luckily the toilet water was clean but it did not stop it killing her phone.  A trip to the Genius Bar, a claim on our mobile phone insurance and a £50 excess and she has a new phone.

Once again I apologise for this post arriving nearly a month later that I expected it to, but the start of the Premier League season, and the unexpected arrival of UHD has meant that I have had precious few days off.  I now have nearly a week off so expect a couple of posts over the next week or so.  If you cast you memory back to the antepenultimate post you may remember that we decorated the girl’s bedroom while they were at Nanny Fran’s, you can see some of the photos of the fruits of our labour below.  The girls still love their room, even if the promise of keeping it tidy has long been forgotten.  There are lots of other photos of our recent activities on Flickr if you are bored, but for now…

Peace and Love