Hello internet friends. I hope you are all well and many apologies for my prolonged absence. The combination of college work (which ended in June), continuously being around family during the summer and NOT writing, has led to my difficulty in writing. It’s not like I’m out of ideas; it’s more like my confidence in being able to write anything fluently and entertaining has dwindled. I read somewhere that writing is like exercising a muscle and must be prescribed regularly. My writing is unfit and in need of some regular exercise. It’s also that feeling that if I wrote something every day, then it wouldn’t matter if something was occasionally mediocre. But now that I’ve waited for weeks to write anything then of course I have to write something MONUMENTAL.
Sorry to disappoint, but I feel just getting something down on the blog is a start in this juncture. Below is a list (because those are easy to write) of what I’ve been doing and thinking about writing (but didn’t) and plan to:
- I’m enjoying the long summer holidays with my son. This is an unpopular thing to say and it’s usually best not to admit it. Why? Because other people think: a. I’m lying or b. I have an easy life because I work part-time (I’ll give them that) c. I’m being the intolerable smug mum (nobody likes them) d. It’s more popular to say that I need wine to get through the holiday’s with children. This leads on to an upcoming blog I’ll be writing:
- I need to write a blog post celebrating one child families. I tend to steer away from ‘bigging up’ my life because I can see how wonderful it can also be to be single, partnered or with several children. This diversity makes for an interesting world and it really is different strokes for different folks. That said, as I’ve been questioned, pitied and ridiculed for having one child in the past I think it’s right I get to celebrate what is good about my life too 😊 A little family wasn’t the original life plan. I had visions of large family gatherings around the Christmas table but this was not to be. Now that the judgemental fog has cleared around my family dynamics (by myself and others), I’m happy and satisfied with my lot. This summer has highlighted all of the reasons why (for us) it’s good to be a family of three.
- We went on a budget holiday to Edinburgh for two nights for under £100. We climbed a famous mountain (well, two big hills really); held artefacts from ancient Egypt whilst questioning an Egyptologist; visited Greyfriars Bobby (have you seen the film?) and the café where JK Rowling penned the first Harry Potter book. FYI they are cashing in on Rowling and so we bought a sandwich from a supermarket nearby! Most activities were free and myself and son had a lot of fun. I should write about it really, but my photos aren’t blog worthy and I’m inexperienced on the Travel Blog front. I’ll probably not write about it but if you’ve any questions for me please let me know.
- I realised how much I love Scotland. I also holidayed down the South Coast of England. It was lush and green and I could see their flowers were slightly more tropical due to the warmer climate. The hills weren’t as high and bumpy, the beaches weren’t as soft and sandy and the green didn’t seem so vivid as it does in Scotland (but that might be my imagination). I realised that of all the places I’ve been (apart from the Yorkshire Dales), there really is nowhere like home. More sunshine would be nice though!
- We’re skint. I’m watching every penny because my work has been more part-time than usual over the summer, with an average of 11 hours a week. My husband bought the MR2 convertible (car) to play with a few months ago and its taking a chunk out of our monthly outgoings. Having always paid for cars upfront, I’m not enjoying this debt. Which leads me on to the next thing:
- Children need to exercise more during the summer holidays and it doesn’t have to cost you anything apart from your time. At the beginning of the summer I read an article stating that the youth inactivity pandemic stems from inactive summer holidays. Children are recommended to have at least 60 minutes activity every day but the majority of children in the UK are not achieving anywhere near this amount. This worried me. I always try to ensure the children in my care play active games and get some fresh air every day. As I don’t drive (perhaps for another blog post) we walk everywhere. However it’s often raining and given the choice, my son would be glued to his Playstation. Myself and husband are both readers and food lovers and I’m trying to change it around a little and instil a passion for healthy living and exercise! I am lucky to be at home with my son and can therefore have some control on his activity levels. I wanted to start jogging again and my son said he’d like to join me. I’ve had to think of activities that a free or cheap (see point five) and also enjoyable. This is what we’ve been doing: 5km walk/jogs twice a week; weekly 10-15km cycling trips; weekly swimming (free for children during holidays); putting (free with own golf club and ball) and tennis (also free in local courts). Additionally, he’s been out in the garden playing with friends and children I mind. I’m aware that next summer it is likely I’ll be working away from home and in this case I’ll be sending my son to summer club for a few days a week. This isn’t free, but as it’s run by the council it’s reasonably priced.
- My dad was rushed to hospital in an ambulance and was there for a week. We’re still awaiting tests and so far all we know was that a Polyp was mentioned. My parents didn’t get to go on their much anticipated holiday to the Italian Lakes. I’m supposed to be dog-sitting at the moment. I am telling myself not to worry and not google his symptoms. It’s difficult.
- I’ve been blogging for a year! I may write about that, but it might be a “what not to do” type of post, given my recent absence.
- I still haven’t worked out how to properly format text in WordPress. I realise that point six above is a very long paragraph and I know the number formatting above isn’t consistent but I’m unable to fix it – sorry.
That’s all for now. Despite being skint, I’ll be away for a few days next week staying with friends up in Aberdeen. In my previous life, I was a HR manager for an oil company. I studied for a post graduate degree in the evening and when I handed in my notice (heading back to home town and pregnant) I had just been offered a promotion which would mean more money, responsibility and international travel. I know my trip will remind me of what I could be doing had the other life continued, but I also know I’ll be glad to return home.