musingsponderingsandrants

Parenting, profundities and humour

Dual control… — November 17, 2021

Dual control…

Over the last 17 odd years of parenthood there have been quite a few times I have felt totally out of my depth.

As soon as Eldest popped out (and that’s a kind way of putting it he didn’t really ‘pop’ more sort of extruded in a long and anguished battle of wills that, I cannot lie, felt at times personal) I was out of my depth. We couldn’t work the car seat, I had no idea how to ‘latch him on’, he cried for hours and I was totally unable to work out why.

It slowly dawned on me through my sleep deprived haze that there is no handbook for parenting. I had read books. They all said totally contradictory things. Yes there was no one way to do things and certainly no ‘right way’.

As a natural rule follower, list maker, control freak and fine detailer this was intensely terrifying.

The longer motherhood goes on the more you realise that the roles it involves are myriad and diverse. Some of them fit easily into one’s natural psyche (I for instance never miss a school letter, return a form late or fail to have the right child at the right place at the right time) but others…don’t.

In this last week I have been:

  • chef
  • maths/ English/ biology teacher
  • taxi driver
  • therapist
  • logistics manager
  • gaoler
  • confidant
  • baker
  • cheer leader
  • repairer
  • finder of lost treasures
  • cleaner
  • team manager
  • boss
  • tester
  • entertainer
  • party planner
  • butt of jokes

and that probably only scratches the surface. But there is one recent role that I absolutely loath and that is ‘driving instructor’.

Firstly I want to say that the mere fact that that child I extruded the blink of an eye ago can sit behind the steering wheel is unfathomable to me.

But leaving that aside (which I really can’t but that is another blog) being a driving instructor to one’s offspring is frankly terrifying.

I am not a good car passenger. Over the last 17 odd years the amount of driving I have done has been astronomical. I am the main driver now (partially due to my ‘bad passenger’ vibes but also because I do not drink) and as such my ability to tolerate others’ (and here I mean Husband’s) driving is probably somewhere below zero. I am a terrible passenger. I squeak at late braking, I grab the handle above the door on corners, I get stressed and tense and I offer ‘advice’. All of which are intensely annoying.

So when Eldest asks to go out in his car with me to practise my heart literally sinks. Probably how he feels when he hears me say ‘lets have a family board game evening’.

When I learnt to drive my parents never took me out driving. It took me a year of lessons to finally pass. Eldest does not want to wait a year. Frankly neither do we. We need him to take up some of the logistics slack. Leaving aside the eye watering cost.

So although I agree that I should take him out to practise I still do not really want to. It’s scary. He is not a terrible driver. Just not me. So he does things when and how I would not. It takes all my will power not to let out little shrieks of distress when he pulls out into a gap I would not. I breathe in when he passes parked cars. We fall out. I undermine his confidence.

So this morning at 7.10am (I kid you not) we went to the local village car park to practise manoeuvers and I determined not to speak/ shriek/ offer advice/ breathe in.

It went quite well. I think.

I am not sure teenagers really understand what it is like to just have to assume these roles, for which there is no training, which you would never do as an actual job, and for which you are totally ill equipped. No I am absolutely sure they have no idea. And why should they?

Still a little understanding wouldn’t hurt. Or a dual control car.

How was Saturday? — November 10, 2021

How was Saturday?

So Youngest plays football and this year got signed on a training contract with a big league girls academy.

It’s an amazing opportunity one that is sometimes quite tough to deal with. All that pressure to do well and make the most of it.

It is also tough because the contrast between where she is playing her matches (grassroots boys) and where she is training (girls academy) could not be starker.

For instance at training last night the head coach asked her how her match on Saturday had gone.

I was quite interested in her response because this is what Saturday went like….

Her U15 side played an U16 side in the County Cup. She rocked up to take her place on the field with a bunch of 14, 15 and 16 year old lads. She does this every week, usually without the 16 year olds.

The parents were mouthy. Afterwards she said that when she had won a free kick near the opposition parents there had been quite a lot of, how shall I put this politely, scepticism.

At one point our goal keeper was taking flack from an opposition player. Boys rushed in to defend their mate. It got quite lary. A punch was thrown. Cards were shown. One team went down to 10 men.

The opposition persistently referred to her as the ‘little girl’ and mimcked her shouting. ‘The little girl says she has 3, poor her’ etc etc.

At one point 2 of them tackled her at once and she won another free kick. One of them told her that’s why she should be playing with the little girls. She told him to f*** off.

During the contratend two spectators stormed onto the pitch and had to be ordered off again.

They drew 3 all in full time and went to pens. They then lost in sudden death. To be honest I just wanted it all to end.

I asked her what she told her coach when he asked her how it had gone. Her answer?

Fine…

Not sure it really did it justice.

School run — September 10, 2021

School run

On Monday all three of mine went back to school for the first day of a new year.

I forced them to have the obligatory ‘first day back’ photo which has happened every first day back since 2008 when Eldest started in reception.

Actually I lie there was one year when I forgot. That came up on my FB memories recently. I did a second day back shot instead.

This year’s shot had the same poignancy as that first ever photo in Sept 2008. And that is because it is the last time all three of them will go back to school for the start of a new year.

Somehow those 13 years since that little boy set out into the academic world in his grey shorts and with his shy smile have trickled away.

When you have a baby and the days seem interminable, one long round of feeds and nappies and crying, older and wiser parents tell you to cherish the moments as the years will fly by.

Of course no new parent takes this advice on board. We all rush for the next steps. The weaning, the crawling the standing, those precious words, using toilets. The first question is always ‘Is he crawling yet?’ or ‘How much weight did she put on last week?’. Wishing away the time, striving for the next milestone. Worrying about any perceived delay. As if it matters. Which it doesn’t.

To be honest I did find the early months of Eldest’s life long and tedious. The days were cold and the nights long and dark. I was bored and tired. I didn’t enjoy his babyhood. He was hard work as a baby (and I only knew this once I had his siblings) or maybe I made hard work of it. Probably the latter.

But once Middlest and then Youngest came along life sped up. I enjoyed their toddler hoods and their preschool years. We were a tight knit foursome and had a great social life.

But then the treadmill of school kicked in. The years suddenly became punctuated by half terms and reports and parents evenings and the holidays rushed towards me at hurtling speed.

And then the move to secondary school sees time hit the turbo button. The tests and assessments. The week full of clubs and sport and music lessons and driving. The endless driving. The holidays offered some respite but were still full of activity.

Even a pandemic didn’t seem to slow it down much. Those terms with them learning at home, which I secretly enjoyed, still whipped by. Even when only allowed out once a day.

And then you suddenly find that you are at the end. You paste on a happy face whilst discussing unis and being treated almost as an irrelevance by your teens, except for that endless driving (which of course you are doing all wrong) and food and cash.

I dropped mine off this morning as I have done every day for years. I remembered the countless days of discussing homework and teachers and mates in the car. Singing along to disney hits. Cursing the traffic. And it hit me that those countless days weren’t countless at all. They were finite and precious.

And although I have made the most of them I know that many have been done unconsciously, almost carelessly. With rush and stress and hurry.

And I think it will be those moments I miss the most. The little gems of conversation and humour. And also the rows and annoyance that dragging 3 kids to school entails.

Even though I will still have one year left with Middlest and another couple after that with Youngest, once Eldest leaves that dynamic will change.

And so almost too late one realises that all those older and wiser parents were right.

Time really flies.

Positive thinking — July 16, 2021

Positive thinking

So in the 16ish months since the pandemic took real hold in the UK my family has done really quite well isolation wise.

None of us have been ‘pinged’. None of us have been called to self isolate by track and trace.

The kids have managed all their in person school without coming into close contact with a case.

it is probably mostly luck but there is also an element of me being a raving, anal control freak and (mostly) making us all stick to the rules. I am not sure anyone can hand on heart say they have never broken a COVID guideline but we have been pretty compliant. In the very early days some of us may have left the house for a walk more than once a day. But generally we have done as we were told.

As a result my older teen has missed out on an awful lot. Many an illicit get together, too large a party or a sneaky meet up with friends. I even banned him from meeting up with one mate last summer and ‘accidentally’ bumping into another pair of mates ‘who happened to be in the same park at the same time’….

To be honest I have got a bit sick of being the bad guy. All the time.

On Monday everyone will be free to do what the hell they want. As terrifying as that seems.

Both my husband and I have been double vaccinated and so I have got more relaxed about my pneumonia history.

So when Eldest asked to go to a party (well he didn’t really ask he just said he was) I decided to be a more ‘chill’ mum. I remembered back to being 17 and the summer between lower and upper sixth which I spent nearly exclusively with my boyfriend or mates and decided we could risk it.

In any event the guest list was limited to 30 and the party outside which was all in line with government guidelines although I severely doubted the 2m social distancing rule would be followed. Especially with the alcohol flowing.

Now both he and in turn me have COVID. And so my attempts at being ‘cool’ mum have spectacularly backfired. We are all locked up until Thursday (him and the others) and a week on Sunday for me and both he and I are locked in our rooms bored stupid. Middlest and Youngest are running the house and Youngest has forfeited her 14th birthday tomorrow as even to open presents will mean a Zoom call between us all or a massively socially distanced garden event.

And that’s if I feel up to wrapping her gifts which I haven’t done yet. I feel rough in the extreme and pray it doesn’t get much worse. And that that claim that both vaccines are a panacea (which clearly they are not) and will prevent me ending up in a hospital pan out.

In a month’s time I would have been gaily walking around free from isolation as a double vaccinated individual for those days between Eldest getting it and my symptoms (c 4 days) spreading it on.

When the local council called to check we were all isolating she asked if anyone had had the vaccine and I said I had and yet I had still caught it and she said ‘we are hearing that a lot especially when kids bring it home’.

So a word to the wise people.

I will be going back to anal, control freak mum. Eldest may have hated me if I had put my foot down last week. But if I had we’d be sitting here now (or actually walking around freely now) watching all his mates fall like flies (at least 10 have tested positive since) smug and healthy. Instead of which we are in this COVID hell.

Trying to be something you aren’t hardly ever pays off does it?

Break a leg…. — July 4, 2021

Break a leg….


So a year last December when we were all taking our daily lives for granted Middlest decided to audition for the school production.

This came hot on the heels of his appearance as one half of the Fool in Twelfth Night.

This sudden interest in treading the boards took me by surprise. He had never shown any interest in theatrical endeavours up to that point despite a few of his closest friends being school production stalwarts.

He had a small but funny part in his Year 6 Christmas show as the gadget man Q in their remake of James Bond (the title character played by Luke’s oldest friend, a flaming red head hence the reinvention of the character as James Strawberry Blonde) and had a blast.

But once the compulsory nature of such shows waned Middlest lost interest.

I am not really sure what drove him to audition for a musical production. Middlest never sings in public to my knowledge. I like to think it was my repeated stories about the fun I had taking part in Oliver Twist in Year 10 that had finally sunk in but I think it was more about mucking around with his mates.

Anyway over Christmas 2019 Middlest practised and practised his audition song for the part he wanted to go for. He auditioned (the scariest thing he has ever done apparently ) and faced call backs and disappointments.

But in the out turn he landed a small part with a couple of solo bits and a spot in the chorus. And rehearsals duly began in Jan 2020 which he mostly enjoyed despite being slightly bamboozled by the theatrical terminology and failing completely to learn the chorus dances.

Then we hit, well, you know what and the whole shebang came to a grinding halt.

Late that summer after a period of relative freedom and with the return of school beckoning I got a call from the Director. We were in Edinburgh castle at the time. She was calling all Year 11s to see if they wanted to carry on in the show which they hoped to put on in late autumn.

I signed him up. He was furious, worried about fitting rehearsing in with studies for his GCSEs. He accused me of interfering and not letting him make his own decisions. Bad mum….

Well in any event rehearsals never really got going as the pandemic resurfaced with avengance and I thought the show was dead in the water.

This spring with the exact nature and timing of Middlest’s GCSE replacement assessments unknown we got the letter asking him to recommit for a summer showing. Dealing with a lot of uncertainty Middlest’s immediate reaction was to decline.

I tried to back away and not ‘force’ him into something. I tried to let him make his own decision despite my disappointment after all the work he had put in up to that point. But then a chance encounter in the school car park with the drama teacher/ Director saw him recommit to his part and drop the chorus to allow more revision time.

And so rehearsals began again carefully planned around the Year 11 not GCSE GCSE assessments, year 8 activity weeks, self isolations, sports fixtures, internal year 10 and 9 exams and bubbles.

Middlest has just finished a 4 day run of the show. With actual PHE approved socially distanced audiences.

I picked him up after his last night and he was on a complete high.

We saw the show on Friday evening and it was a total triumph. An uplifting story, stunning sets, carefully planned costumes (many of which had to be altered several times over the 18 months) and truly breathtaking performances from these children.

His siblings and harshest critics were blown away by the whole experience. Middlest himself was brilliant if I say so myself.

The effort, time and dedication put in by not only the cast and band but also the staff is staggering. The whole show epitomised the very definition of resilience.

Middlest wants to do it all over again next year and I am overjoyed he has finally found something I knew he would love. The fact that he can do it with his mates (some of whom are immensely talented) is an added bonus. And he has made many new friends and forged great relationships with the staff of a whole new school department.

Massive congratulations to everyone involved in Wind in the Willows my new favourite musical. What an uplifting experience for all involved. Including the audience. Bravo indeed!

Beautiful moments — May 22, 2021

Beautiful moments

So life has been pretty shit over the last 6 months.

All the lockdown rubbish, the lack of Christmas, home schooling, the short dark cold days with unrelenting miserable weather, the uncertainty and anxiety of the slow re-opening, our new and wonderful fame as a virus hot spot.

Added to that the trauma of a serious mental illness which has ruled over all our lives like an iron rod beating us relentlessly over the head, shrinking our lives to small pin pricks of their former albeit quite restricted glory. The claustrophobia of family life in a melting pot of mental ill health and all the knock on effects on everyone. The slow and painful clambering up the sides of a slippery near vertical shelf with many many slips, very little light and not a whole lot of hope.

Within and amongst all this is the grief of the events and people missing from our lives. The family and friends missed. The rites of passage forgone. The exams not taken. The trophies and cups not won, the concerts not attended, the birthdays not celebrated. The music not sung.

And on top, the natural but painful pulling away of ones offspring. The beginning of their emotional detachment. Their preparations for their physical removal.

In this dark time there are few fleeting moments when one feels joy. A brief period of shining light.

Today on the way to school to drop off Middlest he wanted to share a new song discovery with me. And so we spent the next few minutes belting out Careless Whisper. He was impressed that I knew all the words. We bonded over it’s soaring notes (too high for Middlest), the power of the bridge, the pain fuelled sax solo.

It’s a great song. By a great singer/ songwriter.

It also today gave me a beautiful moment. A small shining raindrop-like jewel of time glinting in the weak sunlight.

Thanks George.

Negative vibes… — January 16, 2021

Negative vibes…

As per my previous post Hope we are currently struggling through this third lockdown.

Our daughter is really unwell and daily life is a struggle for her. And when I say struggle I really mean it. Not a struggle in a slight feeling of ‘meh’ as each day dawns in its groundhog fashion but proper struggling to even carry on.

She is 13.

The reasons are on the one hand fairly obvious but on the other complex and proving hard to untangle. There is a lot of anger and guilt and depression and unhelpful thoughts. For all of us.

And so what I find the most difficult to deal with other than watching my beloved daughter be completely wretched are the endless posts and assemblies and articles on thinking positive.

We actually had to leave an on line school assembly yesterday when the speaker suggested it was impossible to visualise negative thoughts. That one should merely be an optimist and look on the bright side. What a load of crap. Of course it is possible to visualise negative thoughts. My daughter is a pro. She sees no bright side. A year of her short life has been taken away. Fact. Hard to find any bright side in that.

We all have a right in this unprecedented situation to feel like shit. And when one feels like shit being told one should not feel like shit is not going to change that feeling. It is going to make it worse.

If mental health was as easy as ‘thinking positive’ there wouldn’t be any mental illness.

So, if like us, you are struggling in this lockdown I am not going to say that you should think positive, look on the bright side, find the upsides, look forward to a rosy future. Because for some of us that is not currently possible.

I am going to say feel angry, feel sad, cry, rage take each day one at a time, or each hour, or each minute. And try to keep yourself physically safe until your mind can deal with the shit it’s been dealt.

And try to stop feeling guilty for not coping. Not coping is fine. And actually perfectly understandable.

And seek help if you are able to.

And if you feel fine and feel positive and are optimistic and can look forward I am pleased for you. But please don’t ask my daughter to. It’s too hard.


Hope — January 5, 2021

Hope

A life without hope is an almost impossible thing to live.

Last night I stroked my 13 years old daughters head for over an hour whilst she struggled to sleep. She just kept saying that she did not know how she was going to survive this latest lock down. Her heart was racing. She felt sick. She is broken by this struggle.

Her world has shrunk into a black hole from which she can see no way out.

There is no point trying to give her hope. She no longer believes in it. She has been promised things for nearly a year that do not happen. She has lost faith in adults and the world.

Her pain is very very real and I am frankly sick of being asked to look on the bright side.

So here in this house we will just live each day at a time. And if necessary each hour.

Or each minute.

Here we go again on our own… — November 1, 2020

Here we go again on our own…

Perhaps my favourite Whitesnake track. I have slightly paraphrased.

Staring down the barrel of a new lockdown here are my thoughts so far.

It felt inevitable. And now it feels late.

It is slightly better than March as there seems to be a genuine desire to keep kids at school. Which is a good thing.

And yes I get that teachers are scared. Hopefully less community interaction for all, students and staff alike, will mean less incidence in the classroom. And safer classrooms. Whatever the pros and cons I am grateful to teachers and other staff. My kids cannot take another extended period of on line education.

It feels worse than last time. This won’t be a cure. Like we hoped the last time was. It’s a braking mechanism. And this shit will probably happen again.

It’s really quite simple. That helps the message. Stay at home. No really. Except for all the bits of life that aren’t fun; education, work, medical shit, exercise and caring. Otherwise stay at home. If something makes you want to leave the house it’s probably not allowed.

We need to give up on Christmas. Grieve it a bit. Not live in a false hope. Others have given up Eid and Diwali and other major festivals, Easter was locked down. We can and should give Christmas up too. Yes it’s shit. But hey what isn’t.

It’s winter. Enough said.

I need to start getting my head around all the stuff that will never be the same at least not whilst my kids remain at home. Things that probably won’t happen like their last school orchestral concerts, proms, first XV or first XI matches, ever seeing a teacher in the flesh again. So far I have been too chicken to face them. But I need to face this shit. Grieve and move on. Act like the adult I am supposed to be.

Being the adult is shit.

I am going to miss fireworks.

The tardiness of our inept Government at least means we got a 2 day caravan holiday and I got all my kids’ eyes and teeth checked, Middlest’s shoulder and neck osteo’d and all their hair cut.

By a strange co-incidence I have a haircut booked for Weds. I had a haircut booked the week before the last stay at home order. I may grow my hair. I seem to be tempting fate.

I don’t like having to have to console my weeping daughter who cannot conceive how she will get through the next four weeks without sport. She will of course. She has food and warmth and love. And is ok. Shifting down the Maslow hierarchy of needs is never fun though. In fact it’s shit.

Although I am glad school is open learning without any of the fun bits could be quite shit, especially with all the windows open. I pray for mild, unseasonable weather.

My second child looks increasingly likely to miss his GCSEs as well. And no, no one wants to not take them to avoid them. It’s stealing; the experience, the opportunity, the hard work to date, the sense of achievement, or failure.

I need to get my Christmas mojo on and actually order some gifts. It is going to be shit enough as it is I cannot give into despondency and not buy thoughtful and welcome gifts for my loved ones. Especially my kids, who need whatever magic we can wring from the festive season this year.

I am bit low on loo roll. Which would be literally shit.

I might read some of those books I meant to read last time; after I have finished re-reading Riders. Which is all my shit for brains brain seems able to cope with currently.

It could be worse. Could it?

It occurs to me that I have used the word shit a lot. Whatever your position in all this I think we can all agree that that is highly appropriate.

Stay safe folks.






Storm Fuckwit — August 26, 2020

Storm Fuckwit

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There comes a point in every holiday when the pervading mood tips from ‘enjoyment’ to ‘endurance test’.

This is usually on the way home when you may have been up at the crack of dawn to get that coach transfer which crawls along picking up people all feeling as depressed as you from 8 billion hotels before depositing you at the terminal where your flight is running 3 hours late and the only shops open sell dried up cheese croissants and terrible coffee.

Or maybe when you have been chucked out of your hotel room at 10am so the next lot of guests can sit on your veranda with a pina colada whilst you try to ‘enjoy the facilities’ whilst living out of a suitcase and using the communal shower facilities (which on one memorable occasion for me were smeared with human excrement) before getting on that coach and… see above.

Or you have to catch a train from Biarritz to Paris and then from Paris to London and then from London to home and you are finding it nigh on impossible to get the hire car into the incredibly tight multi storey in Biarritz , return 3 car seats across a very busy road whilst wheeling 5 suitcases and managing those three car seat occupants and it is 40 degrees in the shade. 

Etc.

Currently I can only dream of such privations.

On our current staycation we have hit the tipping point on Day 3.

Of 10.

We are currently caravanning in Northumberland and in the first 2 days we had weather. The weather did not stop us enjoying Lindisfarne Priory and Holy Island on Day 1 (including a cycle across the causeway for hubby and kids) nor Alnwick Castle and Gardens on Day 2 (although not Seahouses on the way home which hubby asserted was ‘lovely’ and which really wasn’t and turned out to be a step too far).

Although we had weather we also had coats and hats and hike boots and therefore we could deal with it.

Then Day 3 hit. We had already decided Day 3 would be a day around the campsite. It did indeed turn out to be a day around the campsite mostly because we were hemmed in by unrelenting pissing down rain. It started in the small hours and was quite relaxing whilst we had a lie in with cuppas and the paper.

It got less relaxing once we headed outside and found that our awning was basically a river. Thereby rendering most of our shoes and kit soaking wet.

To give us a break from the Chinese water torture sound of unrelenting pissing down rain on caravan roof we eventually decided to venture out to Berwick upon Tweed, a place which you will know if you have read Winter is Coming is one I had decided never to return to. It is 19 years since I froze all my digits off walking the walls in November. It hasn’t got any less grim. That probably wasnt helped by the unrelenting pissing down rain (did I mention that already?) which had now hit 12 solid hours.

Anyway we found a cafe for lunch, spent a happy 30 minutes and a lot of cash in a sheet music shop (which I haven’t done since a year last April when I found a similar treasure trove in Penrith another town with many independent shops), was disappointed by the cycle shop and spent a small fortune in Go Outdoors. Along with many other people a lot of whom were in flip flops and shorts and were buying up the waterproof clothing aisle. They had not prepared for weather at all. We also bought more rock pegs to try to peg down more of the awning and prevent the torrent passing through. That turned out to be a good move.

We were then pushed back to the site by the unrelenting pissing down rain and a date with the campsite swimming pool. I demurred (having had more than my fair share of water for the day) and I spent the hour doing loads of washing in my in laws’ static caravan (considerably dryer than ours) and emptying the caravan toilet in the unrelenting pissing down rain.

We had a nice curry cooked in the caravan by Youngest which went some way to masking the hideous smell of 5 pairs of drying trainers and then decamped to the in laws for the evening for warmth, alcohol and less fetid air. I don’t actually drink alcohol. Its days like day 3 when that seems totally irrational. 

Anyway we had to eventually go back and transform the caravan from its day configuration to its night configuration (a process that involves a kind of sliding block puzzle of cushions and duvets and pillows and PJs and teenagers made more difficult by 5 pairs of wet trainers whilst husband is abluting in the shower block (every damm time)) and went to bed. Assured that tomorrow would be a better day.

About midnight I was awoken by the howling gale that was now besetting our caravan and driving the continued unrelenting pissing down rain sideways.

I knew the south had been beset by high winds from Storm Fuckwit but the forecast had not mentioned them getting so far north. Nose bleed north.

(I know, by the by, that it was not Storm Fuckwit but its actual name escapes me. I know we had Storm Ellen about a week ago so I know that it is an F and male (bloody men) and Fuckwit seems as good a name as any).

We were not particularly worried about the actual caravan it weighing more than a small house but our inflatable awning was flapping alarmingly against the side. The inflatable awning had gone up really easily. This now seemed more than a little alarming and I was starting to miss the steel poled edifice that took two days to erect in balmy Norfolk. We had visions of it taking off and acting like a some sort of kite sail and dragging us across the site. This probably would not have happened but in the dead of the night such things loom large.

Husband decided to go out in the unrelenting pissing down rain and gale force winds to try to secure it back down with those new rock pegs.

He did so and in the process woke up all the kids (and probably our neighbours too) so we lay there listening to the wind and the slightly less flappy awning and the kids sighing and wondering which shake of the van was the kids turning restlessly or the gale force winds for about an hour until the awning was once again flapping free.

This set a pattern for most of the remainder of the night.

No one really slept. The unrelenting pissing down rain continued. The gale force winds continued. Our paranoia continued. The smell of drying trainers continued. I prayed for day light. And deliverance. 

When we awoke at 6am we seriously doubted we could stomach our planned trip to Edinburgh. What I actually felt like doing was stuffing all the wet gear in the van/ car/ bin, hitching up the caravan and driving home to civilisation and brick walls. 

Anyway we forced ourselves to carry on regardless. And actually we have had a great day. The weather was mixed again. But it was warmer than here and there were dry shops and a castle and Costa and MacDs. And a great view of the sea from the train.

And I remembered my umbrella. I am sure after a (hopefully) good nights sleep we will be back to enjoyment again. 

Until Friday the weather forecast for which is ‘heavy rain and a fresh breeze’  all day. 

Ouch. 

 

 

 

 

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