Last times…

Last time we were on the Isle of Man, it rained. It rained a lot.
It very rarely stopped raining. And then we went to Sheffield in it rained some more.

Now I know that the UK (of which the Isle of Man isn’t part), has a bit of a reputation for this kind of thing, but the summer of 2012 was unprecedented in its raininess. There were literally a couple of nice days during our entire three week stay. The Flickr collection I made is testament to this.

We deserve better this time.

Of course, I not forgetting that we did get better back in 2009. The holiday where I regularly ended up taking our toddler son out (not in an assassination kind of way) at 6am before he woke up the whole household because he’d forgotten how to sleep:

This one was taken at the Calf Sound, where there was only us, some rabbits, some seals and a small yacht.

He’s twelve now, and does sleep occasionally. I’m hoping that this holiday is one of those times.

Positive

As a parent of school-age kids – much like when you were a student yourself – your family’s annual calendar naturally revolves around the school terms.
Term 2 of 2018 is at an end. And, having considered things carefully, I’d say that this term has been one of the most difficult that I can remember.

First “real” exams, illness, work stress, dark mornings, Eisteddfods, sad news, my effing knee: it’s all added up to a tough 10 weeks.

And yesterday was a very crappy day.

But… But… It looks like we made it.

As I switched off my early morning alarm for the next four weeks, and with just one more day in lab to go before a break of three weeks, I couldn’t help but feel just a little victorious.

There are changes on the horizon, but right now, all I have to do is get through two more meetings and put my bit of the lab to bed, and then I get to go home. And there are still quite a few jobs to do around the house before our flight in [checks] about 32 hours, but there’s time to do them. Suddenly, that first drink in the airport lounge – the traditional moment at which we feel that we can truly relax – seems closer than ever.

(Because it actually is, obviously.)

The weather looks absolutely amazing in France for the foreseeable future, flights, trains and hotels are booked and checked into. Luggage is (sort of) packed. The housesitters are primed and ready for action. There is a bone ready to distract the beagle from the moment of our actual departure. Spotify is ready to go.

I’m feeling positive. The next three weeks are going to be great.

Monday mornings

It’s Monday. Your alarm sounds at 5:30am. Ugh.

The last seven days have been the coldest and wettest (yay!) of the year so far. It’s been one of those weeks that Cape Town housing really isn’t set up for. The ambient temperature of the water in the shower is noticeably lower than usual. It’s going to be a battle to emerge from beneath the heavy winter duvet. The beagle has written a surprisingly good motivation for the immediate construction of an indoor dog loo. We’re all in this together.

The sun rose this morning at a lazy 7:45, by which time the kids were at school and I was negotiating the tricky Claremont rush hour. We’re fewer than three weeks away from June 21st – Cape Town’s shortest day of the year:

Sunrise: 07:51 Sunset: 17:44
Day length:9:53:32

…but because of the tilt of the earth’s axis and the unchanging nature of the solar day, sunrise will continue to be later and later until July 1st, at which point we will only begin daylight at a seemingly ridiculous 7:52am.

What’s more, the boy is in the middle of his first real set of exams (first set of real exams?), and we’re knee deep in revision timetables and the associated stress. No-one wants to even be awake, let alone going to school. I had to employ some pretty radical parenting skills to get the family moving this morning.

I’ve still got nothing on this guy though:

The sun is out today, slowly wandering across the pale blue, cloudless sky. But all I can think about is an early return to the warmth of my bed.

Ready to do it all again tomorrow.

Late final

A late one this evening. An unexpected lie-in, a Year 4 Science project and a horrendous visit to the local shopping mall – which was somehow full beyond even pre-Christmas levels – almost did for me before we headed out to see friends in the Deep South.

I selflessly fell upon my sword regarding the shopping mall, saving others from a similar hellish experience via the power of social media.

At least three individuals got in touch to say thank you, and it’s that sort of gratitude that makes my sacrifice worth it.

Also, I got lots of new coffee pods at a hugely discounted rate, which was a bit of a bonus.

Mums

It’s Mother’s Day here and everywhere else in the world that didn’t already do it in March. I was going to do a nice leisurely breakfast for Mrs 6000, but instead, I’m going to drive to Wellington at some ungodly hour and drop some kids off for a hiking competition. They can walk back. After all, that’s kinda the point, right?

We’ll do lunch instead, ok?

This post is just to say a big thank you to all the Mums out there who do an amazing and – all too often – unrecognised job at being the glue that holds families together, the giver of hugs and love, and the organisation behind everything from school uniforms to playdates to toilet rolls for school projects, and (more often than not) all while holding down a full time job.

Mrs 6000 also has to deal with a beagle. And me.

She’s awesome.

You’re all awesome. Thank you, Mums.