Dandelion clocks

What a difference a day makes

The first working day back after a bank holiday was, as ever, slightly confusing.

Is it Monday? Is it Tuesday? Can I go back to bed? Where are my shoes? Why are you in my house?!

Anyway, at least it means one less day until the weekend. Grand! Though that also means, one day less to do a week of work! Buttocks.

You’d think I’d be used to this by now as I’ve somehow winged it so that by taking one day of leave, I’ve had four four-day working weeks on the bounce!

But no, it’s still weird and confusing, and no doubt it won’t be long until I’m sacked for missing something crucial (to someone else, probably not me) and shall be left destitute. cold and hungry on the streets.

Still, it’s been nice having the long weekends!

The extra day at the weekend, and some decent weather, seems to have given me a bit of a kick up the bum – getting more stuff done around the house and garden, and getting decent time with the kids.

This weekend has been more of the latter, doing something every day and neglecting the list of jobs I need to crack on with.

I’m debating making myself a new blackboard for the shed to keep track of all the jobs that need doing – if only because it would please my inner idiot to have ‘make a blackboard for the shed’ on the top of the list, with a tick next to it.

Wildlife spottingI’ll start working on the list of what needs doing soon, but the lack of noticeable progress over the last few days isn’t a big concern as I’ve had an ace time.

After a chilled start on Saturday – one of those mornings where they happily played by themselves without winding each other/me up – we decided to take advantage of the sunny weather and hit Kingsdown Woods for some wandering through the bluebells, and the kids hoping to seeing some wildlife (never likely as they’re noisy sods and anything with any sense would bugger off before they got within 200 yards).

It’s a great little woods for some stomping about, and they’ve done some clearing to let the sun through to encourage more wildflowers and insects which I love to see. It’s hugely satisfying for me to see the kids enjoying seeing the butterflies, and trying to find a woodpecker who was busy hammering away – The Girl’s face when she found a butterfly who couldn’t be arsed to fly away when she was inches from it was magical.

We had the first of three long weekend picnics on a fallen tree, with the sun beaming down on us. It sounds idyllic, but the tree was a bit pointy and jabbed their bums so I had to sacrifice my coat for them to sit on. I reckon they could have toughed it out, but the complaints weren’t worth the argument.

We were back out again on Sunday, this time for a picnic at Betteshanger with friends. These are other parents from The Boy’s school, who I’ve met a few times – but I still get a couple of the mom’s names mixed up which is incredibly annoying, but it’s now stuck in my mind like that so I just have to get used to being seen as a rude idiot.

That shouldn’t be hard for me.

TPlaying at Betteshangerhere was a charity fundraising event going on at the assault course thing, with bouncy castles and face painting. I may have suggested to one of the kids that their missing mother was on the bouncy castle and she loved them so much that when she says she’s working at home, she’s actually got a secret bouncy castle she plays on all day.

I do sometimes forget that other people’s kids aren’t as used to me flat-out lying to them as mine are, but the look on his face as he was clearly piecing it together was pretty cool.

I’ll probably not be invited on another picnic with them. Or at least, not left unsupervised with other people’s kids.

We had a good natter, the kids had a good run around in the grass and a play in the park, which is the most important thing. It means they were nicely knackered by bedtime so there was no to-ing and fro-ing with made up excuses for not being asleep.

Given the  number of picnics I was having, I was glad to be able to get out on the bike for a nice 10 mile loop up to St Margaret’s to burn off some sausage rolls. This was a nice enough pootle along the cycle path by the beach with a fun climb to the village before heading back along some bridleways with a bit of gradient to make it more interesting – especially when you’re not on a mountain bike.

Bank Holiday Monday began a bit ominously, with lots of rain and thick grey menacing clouds. These are normally my favourite kind as they’re nice and threatening, but as we had another picnic planned, it looked like it might be a moist affair.

We were heading to a friend’s 40th up in Langley Park – her parents had hired a sort of hut in the park with loos/kitchen (what a great idea!) so her friends and family could have a picnic to celebrate.

As a child of The North, who would never have left the house if rain was an issue, I just added the kids wellies and puddle suits to the bags of stuff we were taking, just in case – food, jackets, beach tent thing, car DVD player thing etc.

A couple of hours later we were there, and the weather had picked up. The parking meter was rubbish (couldn’t take new pound coins and didn’t have a cashless option!?!) so I dropped them and drove down the road to find a lay-by to park up in and schlepped back up.

Exploring in the woodsWe had a grand afternoon catching up with friends. You know the cliche: you haven’t seen them properly in too long, but it’s like they’ve never been away.

Another friend and I took the kids for some exploring the woods, kicking a ball around and generally having a pretty cool time burning off all the sausage rolls.

A couple of hours drive home were followed by wrestling the kids to bed, unpacking the car and the usual prep for the next day back at work – moving car seats (keep forgetting the child lock in the back, so had to clamber through the front to get out), ironing (weird doing it without Countryfile on) and sorting packed lunches. The latter compromising a large proportion of uneaten picnic items from the previous days, so technically it’s the fourth day of picnics for some of us.

Back to reality with a bump today, and I’m hoping to get my head back into the list of jobs at home that I want to crack on with. There’s a couple of projects coming up that might be interesting if I can get them sorted, so if you’re not too bored already, stay tuned for updates.

There’s another bank holiday at the end of the month, and I think it’ll be another unproductive one as we’re catching up with more folk. So need to knuckle down in the lighter evenings if I’m ever gonna get stuff done.

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