So it is finally hot here. Seriously uncharacteristically hot. More than 30 degrees.

We (and by ‘we’ I mean the British) have been moaning on for weeks about our lack of summer. Discussing precipitation and lack of UV.

Someone was listening and so now, almost out of nowhere, we are basking in Mediterranean style sunshine. And of course now we still aren’t happy. We never are. Most people’s kids are still in school. People are having to commute still. Soon the railways will shut as the tracks have become too hot. The shops had given up on summer ever materialising and put all their summer clothes on sale and so now we have to trawl the stuffed, disorganised racks to find some linen trousers that aren’t size 20. And so we are now moaning that it is too hot.

Most schools break up on Friday. And everyone is assuming the rain and mid teen temperatures will then return. It is quite likely.

I am fortunate. Mine are already off school. Yesterday we spent six hours shopping for footwear. Yes six hours. In the heat. That is a whole other blog though.

So I had planned a lazy day for today. Some friends are popping round about four for tea. I had to nip to town for a birthday gift. But otherwise I thought filling the paddling pool was as ambitious as it was going to get.

I achieved the gift purchasing within an hour before it got too hot. I also made the most of the Debenhams swimwear and lingerie sale. Must try all that on later. I don’t try on swimwear and lingerie in the store. There is something unnerving about stripping down to one’s altogether in semi public. And in any event the lighting in those changing rooms is soooo unflattering. At least that is my excuse. I find I look my best in dim lighting.

I got home and hung out some laundry to take advantage of the oven baked temperatures. Then I went into the shed to retrieve the paddling pool.

Part of me thought that if I set it up early enough then the sun would heat the water over the course of the day and allow me to merely use the outside tap to fill it. This is probably nonsense. But I did not really fancy hauling buckets of hot water from the kitchen tap into the garden. In the heat. Have I mentioned the heat?

I located the paddling pool under a dust sheet at the back of the shed. We purchased this paddling pool about two years ago. It is large. Not as large as those that come with filters and require a licence from your water company to fill, but large.

I decided on a large one when Eldest slid down the slide into our old ‘Spiderman’ paddling pool (diameter circa 1.2m) and promptly slid straight out the other side. They could all stand up in it but had to take turns to sit. The new pool was quite expensive. Certainly more than I remembered paying for the Spiderman set up which also came with a free beach ball AND rubber ring- both of which were still going strong. But I remember being extremely impressed when this new pool came with a heavy duty patching kit…well, I thought, years of service will negate the cost.

So anyway as I said I located the pool. Unfortunately our ‘friendly’ mouse family that reside in the shed had also located it and torn it into shreds. I like to think that we have a family of ‘friendly’ mice, all pink ears and twitching whiskers, because the alternative is too awful for words. The nest I found was small and so I do believe it is mice. Hopefully endangered harvest mice or something equally cute. And please do not get back to me with statistics which say things like ‘you are only ever 200m from a rat’….and such like. It won’t help.

So the paddling pool was a no go. I calculated that each ‘use’ had cost about £17…but at least it had kept some friendly rodents in nesting material. Moreover I had promised the friends a paddling pool. And my offspring. So a ‘hunting out new paddling pool’ trip was on the cards. The old paddling pool was not only shredded but also smelt a tad…..fruity. Putting it politely. A ‘tip’ trip was also on the cards.

I have needed to go to the tip for a while. The garage is full of cardboard. And used jars. And a few used bottles. And old clothes that no one else wants. And of course after my footwear escapades of the previous day my house was full of old shoes.

So I emptied a fair proportion of my garage into my boot. Along with the fruity, shredded paddling pool.

Off we went. I promised the kids they could post glassware into the bottle bank as a sort of bribe. They still like doing this. Odd people. We got to the tip. It was hot. Have I mentioned that? It was only after depositing cardboard, supervising glass posting, getting rid of that paddling pool and manhandling large sacks of old clothing into a bank two feet taller than me that I realised all those old shoes were still on my kitchen floor. Damn it.

Anyway there is a large superstore near the tip which to my mind was bound to have a paddling pool. It did. But it was only 1.2m in diameter. Never mind we bought baguettes for lunch. And went off to the DIY store opposite. Some paddling pools were on offer. Again only 1.2m. Yet more shops that had been taken off guard by our sudden and unexpected summer.

By this point the heat and exertion had made me very, very hungry. As I filled up with petrol at the superstore forecourt I was in a quandary. Whether to go to the toy store on my ‘way’ home. Or go home, eat and return later.

In the end we went to the toy store on the way home, ignoring our rumbling stomachs and, according to Youngest, parched mouths. Youngest had remembered seeing the exact same paddling pool, without holes and mice wee, at this toy store when we were in there yesterday purchasing water guns as a slight detour from shoe shopping hell.

She was right. There was one pool left. Once we got someone to serve us we left for home.

We really enjoyed our baguettes.  During them Youngest checked to make sure I would be adding hot water to the pool when erecting it. Damn it. Again.

I am now hiding with a cup of tea before braving setting up the pool. I need to find the electric pump. There is no way I can manually blow the thing up. Not in this heat. And then set the hose running. And I guess ferry the odd bucket of hot water out there.

I am going to get them to sign affidavits in blood swearing that they will stay in the pool for longer than ten minutes and go back in tomorrow even if there is cut grass and the odd dead fly floating in it.

I don’t think it likely though…

Footnote: Handy Hint Service-During the filling of a paddling pool it is always wise to see if the paddling pool has a plug, and then check if that plug is in…my lawn is nicely watered anyway…