Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Carry on Camping

We've bailed out of a camping trip in Dorset because the weather's too terrible and I wasn't born to camp.

We're going to return tomorrow, but I needed a night of hot bath, clean children and just not being damp for a little while.

GCSE results day tomorrow, too, so I have the perfect excuse: I need to be home. So, whilst here, I thought we'd better start on the holiday homework.  I was a good mother; Gilby is researching the Victorians, and we took a visit to the Lyons bookstore and the local library. We worked on how to use an index and created a template for his project together. He has a total of six books, including the Horrible Histories. Sorted. Plenty to keep him busy. Gertie was also busy doing her homework and Eddie was engrossed in Lego. Perfect. Some time for me.  I set them off.  A few minutes later, prompted by Gertie's giggling, I came back to find this:

I think the Victorians probably made me feel like this too until my thirties, so I can't blame the little chap. And he's been sleeping in a tent for the last few nights, so probably a little short of kip...but I strongly suspect he won't win any prizes for this particular assignment.

Currently reading: Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Tables Turning

We've just returned from our summer holiday in the south of France.  For the fifth consecutive year we've been to the same place - a practice that I previously believed, given that big wide world out there, existed as the preserve of the old and the boring. But the house is beautiful, the restaurants and local markets endearingly familiar, the pool is perfect and the kids have everything they need. The house is also large enough for lots of people and so there are a different cast of characters each time. And so we keep going back.

Swinging in Uzes

While we were there Gilby turned six, and, to celebrate, we went to Aqualand (just as we did last year, but don't judge...).  Having traversed all the slides before, I was quite happy to swap the adrenaline rush for a sun-lounger and a book this year. (Who said old and boring?) I could 'plot up' in peace, and be the repository for bags and towels, and the supplier of sunscreen as required.

My sis and Gertie on 'The Wave'. Been there, done that.
At lunch, I mentioned that I might like to go on something before the day was out.  At which Gilby slung a protective arm around my shoulders, conspiratorially whispering that he thought I'd like the 'Surf Rider' and the 'Tornado'. "Yep, you'll love them, Mum. I'll take you on there. Follow me, I'll show you what to do..." He may even have patted my arm.

It was lovely to see him so confident and assured and grown up.

And yet, bittersweet.

I can't help thinking that this is the beginning of the end in a gradual process of role reversal as he begins to lead me rather than the other way round.

Gilby standing tall
So it was a relief when he was dependent on me to steer and paddle and generally get us out of trouble kayaking on the Gard a few days later.

He does need Mummy for a little while longer, after all.

Currently reading: A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry