You know the phrase, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all"? I think I have realised that is appropriate for communication with the outside world. A blog is sharing experiences and feelings, and when those are warm and fuzzy it can be a pleasurable pastime. But when those feelings have a sour and moaning undertone, then they seem best to keep to yourself.
It has been a long hard summer, and we are now in the last week. Tom goes back on Tuesday, and Alex on Thursday. I am not even counting the days, as right now I just feel numb from the assault and battery that is described as 'holidays'. Holidays in essence to me are just round the clock on duty with every challenge you can throw in the pot. So coming on to post about our days, or even our week away with the family has been something I have avoided. A bit like Facebook - everyone shares in different ways, but I am definitely a poster who if you haven't heard from me I am burying my head in the sand til the storm blows over.
Now of course in the reality and truth bit - every family bumbles through summer in a chaotic way, using survival techniques that would not look out of place in a war zone. And of course it has not been hell, there have been some wonderful days and moments which are strongly embedded in my memory, but the overall feeling seems to be don't move, hunker down, wait till normality and routine return and then I will relax enough to open up again.
The last time I wrote Lucie had a terrible injury, and now over two weeks on she has healed really well. Having her poorly was a difficult challenge emotionally and strategically, and is another reminder of what is involved in the commitment. I am so pleased to report she is back on full active duty and playing like a two year old should. There was a small incident with the 'vet' which means after that episode I will be seeking another establishment.....I live in vain hope that people who are rubbish with people may be compensating in their good care of our animals, but not a risk I am going to take with that more than odd vet! But net result is we have one patched up doggy who has learned that strange things do indeed lurk in the woods.
And in between the vet visits we also managed a trip south, visiting Warwick Castle which included the boys first stay in a hotel and going to a restaurant, and afterwards staying with family for a few days, which was much more conducive to a holiday. The absolute highlight was visiting Legoland Windsor. One of the best - if not the best - family days out ever. It was exhausting, had its challenges etc, but presented us with moment after moment of unbelievable pleasure watching the kids just immerse themselves in the fantasy world of lego, shows and rides. On several occasions I was near tears watching them in full vigour enjoying the spectacle around. And their enthusiasm rubs off, watching Alex giggling is contagious, and Tom was ready to move in to Legoland, so the staff were equally enjoying their response, and were so lovely to us. One day - when I can figure out how it can be done I would love to take these boys to Eurodisney. Legoland was a day I will hold on to for a long time.
And as much as there was highs, oh boy, there was lows. I am not even going to share the disaster of Trentham Gardens just yet, and I think the echoes are still ringing South of Birmingham in some of the meltdowns we contended with, but the brain is good at suppressing memories. On the plus side, we did manage to gain so much attention, I think I will look into establishing a side business of selling tickets to view our family as apparently they will sell like hot cakes given crowds we can gather. Less said about all that right now the better.
And so today September takes hold, and that feels weird. After a summer of practically no sun we embrace for the autumn to take hold. I dare not think of school just yet, and next week is a long way off, though I am due a telling off from Dave, as I haven't looked to see if the kids uniform has any chance of fitting. For me September means different things, time to think about a diet, drinking less and getting my routine back. I have a 'to do' list that looks shameful, and some rather nasty things I need to face. And with regard to Lucie, after the last few weeks, I want to now return to some more formal work on my own with her, taking her out in the jacket. I have felt things slip as I have been stretched and we have all stumbled through, so a few command things need tightening up.
And so a new chapter starts to unfold. We have been in our new house exactly one year this week, a new school year starts, and to kick it all off it is Alex's birthday on Saturday, so we will endeavour to bring out some of his best giggles. I feel a session of cupcake baking coming on....mmm......