Saturday, 30 May 2009

The Joys of Half Term

By all accounts therefore this should be a short piece.

Actually I do really like these short school holidays , mostly because we get a week off the mayhem that is a schoolday morning.

Instructions such as ... Don't forget your breaktime snack .... don't forget to brush your teeth..... Don't forget to pack your homework ..... Tuck your shirt in , have become abbreviated to SNACK, TEETH, HOMEWORK, SHIRT - this last one said with a world weary sigh of exasperation that only comes with having repeated the same instruction over many years to no effect.

On the first day of the half term, the phone will inevitably ring and the caller will be told that Mum can't come to the phone as she's still in bed. By the second day the X box has usually overheated through constant use. Day three comes the guilt , I really should take them somewhere educational, inspiring, uplifting or all three. On day four a meticulously planned day out up in town is executed involving trains, tubes, snacks , searches for toilets, a London attraction or two, more snacks followed by exhaustion and a fractious train ride home. Vast amounts of cash will have been handed over in the pursuit of 'Having a Good Time'.

Sometimes we do actually have a good time. Yesterday was a classic case ... managed to park next to the station, didn't have to wait too long for a train, navigated our way effortlessly to Leicester Square ( my attempts at the educational element - teaching the bots how to read a tube map fell on deaf ears) , found comic book heaven in a shop called Orbital a minutes walk from the tube, dined at Inamo - a wonderfully hi-tech eatery in Wardour Street with interactive tables ( thanks for the recommendation Mary Anne) and took in China Town on the way home including the wonderfully tacky China Town market - a haven for lovers of kitsch ( that includes me) and then home. Not a cross word was exchanged and we didn't lose youngest son's brace for a change.

Friday is usually a chance to re-group ie. spend nothing for at least 24 hours and allow the bank balance to get over the shock. Then comes the weekend usually spent locating lost items of sports kit, and wondering how to fill the next 48 hours on a tight budget. The children start becoming a little fractious - fed up with eachother and me and counting down the remaining hours of freedom.

School holidays aren't cheap but you can still have fun without financial pain - this afternoon's trip is a bike ride to the Woodland Gardens , a pack of home-made Chocolate Brownies and a shady spot to finish my book before our Book Group meets again on Tuesday. The boys, in theory will spend many happy hours splashing through the streams and climbing trees. The reality is that someone needs the toilet for a pooh ( no WCs at the Woodland Gardens) and there will be an injury of some description with no plasters to hand. However at least it won't have cost an arm and a leg , maybe just an injured arm.

I used to get £50 from the shiny money machine in the wall where the boys used to think you got money for free, at times , I think they still do. This used to last a few days. Now it only seems to last a few hours. As the old saying goes ... Money Talks ... Mine says Goodbye.

The moral of the tale ? Marry someone rich.
Only joking , what I really meant was marry someone VERY rich.


  1. Hi,Claire.
    Hilary sent me a link to your blog.I LOVE it.Not only are you great at scrapbooking but writing as well
    Karen (Buzz)

  2. Found you!! Fabulous blogg sweetie! You are so right about the half term ....still i reckon they are simply a "trainning ground" for the BIG one which is (only) 6 weeks away (and counting!!) Aaaaarrrrhhhh!