Sunday, 26 October 2014
Secondly there is the dreaded sock beetle. Jim often finds holes in both ankles of a pair of socks around the ankle bone level. It looks for all the world as if something has eaten through all four layers of sock in one go. The holes match in size and everything! Sock beetles are invisible and immune to mothballs. We did theorise that Jim has unusually sharp ankle bones, but when we checked, they looked pretty normal.
They had a wonderful fort for the children to play in at this hotel. It was much bigger than I have drawn it, big enough for grown up people to play in with their kids, should they be so inclined, without banging their heads. It wasn't really pushchair friendly though. The boys ran off some of their energy and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
Personally I love steam trains. I think they are the most romantic way to travel, and I adore the noises - hisses, hoots and whistles - which punctuate the journey. I would jump at the chance to drive one myself, but it seems unlikely that I ever will. The engines are so huge and exciting, all full of fire and steam and smoke. I enjoy looking at all sorts of engines - there is a lovely steam museum in Brentford ( The London Museum of water and steam) where you can go and watch the giant water pumping engines in full swing. Wonderful! But you really need children as an excuse to go and visit such places, otherwise, somehow, it tends not to happen.
"Daddy's train" was the one he commuted up to London on every day. It was not exciting.
The view was lovely though and we had the terrace to ourselves, mainly due to the screaming and the aforementioned aromas. I think Jim got us a cup of tea just after this, which was very diplomatic of him.
Jim is a natural provider and nurturer. His answer to any crisis is, "I'll put the kettle on", and "would you like to stay for dinner?" This is often closely followed by a request for me to fix the crisis. He has this charming idea that I can fix anything, and that a good meal will help. He is very good at acting as support and commissary, so we make a good team.
Friday, 10 October 2014
Still, the boys loved going kite flying, partly because they loved to see a really good kite smash! It was really windy that day. The kite did not make it home.
Once we had a lovely little booklet with patterns for kites. We made them all with the tissue paper and straws that came with the booklet. I think they needed a specially moderate wind tunnel to fly in, with strict speed control on the wind. They certainly couldn't manage to stay together in a gentle breeze. We did try blowing them up in the air at home with the fan heater, but they still disintegrated and fell like little moths. I can't understand how Mr Banks in Mary Poppins did it. Maybe he should make a video?
When we were woken at the usual time by Clara and the boys champing at the bit for their breakfast, we certainly didn't want to rise and shine, but we were terribly impressed when we stumbled from our room and shambled into breakfast. The lady who made us the horlicks was there on duty, bright eyed and bushy tailed despite having only had 3 hours sleep. That's what I call fortitude!
Sleep deprivation is no stranger to most parents. I was horrified to find that I was expected to function whilst hallucinating from lack of sleep when I first had Sam. It was so different from the calm and orderly world of the office, where tea breaks and lunch were interspersed with periods of concentrated effort and productive work. I can remember feeling proud if I got dressed before Jim came home. . .
A few years ago, Jim and I used to go out and play ordinary tennis. We stopped when we noticed that other much older people were so much better than us and that they could return balls over the net. The best time was when we found a tennis court on one of our holidays, in the field behind our cottage. We had fun hitting the balls at each other and one day we even managed a rally! How cool is that? After two weeks we were almost good enough to play in public, but winter came and we lost our nerve. Back to tea and cake instead!
Wednesday, 15 January 2014
I was suffering from post-baby elasticated waist syndrome... Baggy T shirts over the waistband helped to disguise the fact that I still looked pregnant. Ah the joys of the third baby! Life just suddenly becomes too busy for Kegel exercises. After George was born I still had this crazy idea that it wouldn't alter my physique being a second time mother. I was deluded enough to try a cartwheel 12 weeks after he was born. Oops. Torn ligaments in the pelvis are interestingly painful, especially coupled with "You did what? What were you thinking of?!" From the doctor.
Life gets incredibly more complicated with three children than with two. Someone once told me it is because you haven't got enough hands to hold them all down at once. I suspect that is part of it. I felt terribly odd and even maybe a little bit guilty sitting in the jacuzzi while Jim (who still cannot swim) watched them in the children's pool. There were life guards as well so it was OK. Jim's mum had the baby because she thought she had to sit down a lot with her angina. Actually, she would have been better getting a tad more exercise, but there you go. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. At the time we were under the impression that her heart had to be rested all the time. We even took her to the beach and she sat in the car because the sea air was not good for it.
On the other hand, you can decamp to a gloriously sunny beach, settle the children, change into the swimsuit and break out the picnic, only to be deluged by a sudden squall which appears out of nowhere. We used to take a huge plastic sheet and huddle under it until the rain passed. It had the benefit of clearing the beach of all but the most hardened people - great for surfing just after the shower has passed, before the crowds return. People have no staying power in my opinion.
A bit of rain never hurt anyone...
Friday, 27 December 2013
It seems unbelievable now, but when we married in the mid 1970s, we had no telephone and no television for at least the first year. Life was very peaceful and slow paced compared to now. The only interruptions were by letter or visitor! Jim was quite keen to have a TV, whereas I wasn't so bothered. One day he came home from work with a small TV and that was that. Before that we used to mainly listen to the radio...
Saturday, 7 December 2013
We had bought this car secondhand a few weeks before the holiday, thinking it would be just the thing for trouble free travelling. It was a seven seater Montego estate with fold down rear facing seats. The garage must have seen us coming because it turned out to be a money pit. We got to know the Britannia rescue call centre people quite well during the three years we had it. The exhaust was the first in a long line of faults which cost us about £3k. The wiring caught fire on the way to scouts one evening, the rear tailgate piston broke one afternoon in the supermarket car park, the suspension went, the brakes failed, we had a fuel leak etc etc etc. Finally we gave in and bought a newer and more reliable car.
Paul loved his cars and was always terribly disappointed when they were broken, as they always seemed to be. We always seemed to get cars that had been made on Friday afternoons when no one was trying!
George the risk taker, a child with his glass always nearly full, found the whole thing a big exciting adventure. Sam the worrier, who really took after his dad and had his glass permanently almost empty, worried about the car falling off the back of the tow truck, the fact that he had a lap belt on, the fact that Daddy couldn't do up his seat belt and the possibility that the young man might exceed the speed limit. I said to George that it wasn't exciting, but actually I did find it rather fun. It would have been most unwise to admit that to Jim and Sam though, so I kept quiet.
So anyway, Jim's day got a bit difficult, and he had to complain to the garage where we bought the car, as the exhaust was held together with duct tape and paint when they sold it to us. I have tried this subsequently and it never works for long. We got home safely and it didn't snow, for which we should be grateful. It doesn't snow in July usually, but you never know.
Thursday, 28 November 2013
Sam did his thing again, panicking that one of us would miss the boat, or take too long or something of that nature. He was such a worry-guts. George, on the other hand, seemed to be collecting toilets, or maybe he was affected by the sound of the water, whatever the reason, he needed to go again. I was meanly making Jim take them to the toilet. After all they could hardly go in the ladies, could they? (Actually I didn't tell him, but that's where they usually went when he wasn't there). Consequently Jim was spending more time than he wanted to in the rather sandy and smelly public toilets that seemed to be available at the time in Cornwall. They are better now thank goodness.
Jim had been to the toilets with the boys and found that they were not terrible. He had a nice walk and stretched his legs. He enjoyed the view and altogether he felt the day had been pretty good.
It didn't last.
Children go through many phases as they are growing up. Working out what presses their adults' buttons is their main aim in life. As soon as they have worked it out, they press them unmercifully. Jim always wanted everyone to have a good time, particularly when food was involved. The boys knew this, so only ever really complained about the food! They didn't do it to me. I was always a bit of a dustbin, so they knew if they didn't like their food, I would probably eat it, at which stage they would suddenly find it much more appetising.
Somehow, looking at it with more adult eyes, we didn't like seeing all the strange creatures and deep dangerous looking rocks which had been underneath us in the water when we swam. They were always there, but we had pretended they weren't! In consequence, we both felt quite proud of ourselves, but we never wanted to do it again.
I see Jim is about to have to find another toilet.
Watch out for the next instalment where his life is about to take a bit of a downturn. (Nothing really serious, for those of you who don't relish cliff hangers with stress!)
Friday, 22 November 2013
My sister, being single, had no idea why we took so long and seemed so hopeless and indecisive. She was very brave about it and only moaned a tiny bit in the privacy of her own bedroom. Despite her verbal forbearance, I could still hear her thinking!
I remember Sam being a liability with that fishing net. He only wanted it with him in the car so he could poke George with it to ease the tedium of the journey. I put it firmly in the boot - I knew what he was like!
|IT RAINS AGAIN, SO WE GO TO THE POLDARK MINE. |
CAROL IS CHEERFUL.
Looking at all the moans and groans which I have drawn, despite the fact that we are on holiday, I perhaps ought to explain that we were still in a state of shock after Sam's hospital stay, and although we didn't realise it at the time we were quite low and stressy most of the time. So was Sam. He was so keen to pack every experience in and miss nothing. He was terribly worried that we would be late, or left behind, or miss out in some way. I suppose now you would call it post traumatic stress, but we didn't notice and just thought we were normal. We really weren't!
It certainly was a very wet holiday. Everywhere we went was muddy and as George was still a little unreliable in the toilet department. We constantly had our eyes peeled for the next facility!
|GEORGE HAS A GO ON THE GO-BIKES|
This was the best that we could find in the way of family entertainment in wet weather at the time. It was all outdoors but at least you could keep your clothes on and get a cup of tea.
George had no notion of steering, but he could sit on the bike and watch people whizzing past and that was enough for him to be ecstatic and want to do it again.
My sister was footloose and fancy free. Anything in trousers - honestly!
|SAM HAS A GO ON THE BOATS|
Sam was always keen on the water. He also had a good sense of things that would hurt if he fell off. He didn't fall well. They wouldn't let George on the boats because he was too young. Probably just as well, he wasn't able to swim at that age, and he definitely would have fallen in. Just saying.
The best bit of the visit was the actual mine, in my opinion, but tastes differ and the children preferred the rather insipid fairground style amusements to trekking along in the dark underground. The mine is still open and is now a part of the Cornish mining world heritage site. It is also much more visitor friendly. The horrible amusements have been replaced by interesting children's activities which certainly seemed popular last time I was there.
|AND WE ALL GO DOWN THE MINE!|