Friday, 1 August 2014

Countdown

I smell of chlorine. I could lie to you and tell you this is from a Hallmark Family Outing, but it isn’t. It’s from me, going to the pool, on my own, yes, bloody well on my own, five early mornings or late evenings a week, depending on my other half’s shift pattern, for 45 minutes of blissful peace. If anyone now mutters pissful peace, thinking of how many kids have weed in the water during the summer holidays, I will fight them, whilst wearing goggles. There’s your enduring image for the day. No, don’t thank me.

Unfortunately I’ve already had today’s quota of blissful minutes (unless the bloke is feeling frisky later, but let's face it, 45 minutes is a touch ambitious), so I’m sitting writing this with my kids’ National Squabble Championship Summer Holiday Training Regime in full flow behind me. I’m trying to fob them off with a George Of The Jungle DVD. It isn’t working. There are thirty two full days to go. Carol Vorderman and Rachel Riley can decamp, vacate and vamoose (6, 6, and 7 letters) because I’m the Countdown Queen. (In the sense of being very interested in counting down the days, that is, not in picking out vowels and consonants. Or being foxy).

But I’m being disingenuous (12 letters: Get in!). We’re nine days in, and all right, I'll admit, it has had a whole bunch of highlights.

First there was the Perfect Start (detailed in blog post Spacebats). Since then, we’ve been on treasure hunts, been presented with Explorer Certificates, picnicked like it was a national sport, visited water parks, ridden trikes and bikes, had more home movie nights than a minor film festival, seen friends and family, and been to the library twice (although my daughter’s annual anxieties about whether there’s enough time to complete the Summer Holiday Reading Challenge have been bubbling under and over). If this list sounds improbably impressive, please take into account that before, during, and after all of these activities, my daughter and her brother have been arguing and I have been shouting at them. It’s the rhythm of life, man.

Still, yesterday we done good. It was the return leg of the Prader-Willi Syndrome Best Friend Forever Quarter-Final.  We used our trump card: the free family ticket to a Farm & Adventure Centre, gained in our amazing Everything Bar The Fondue Set Generation Game-style raffle win (Karma). PWSBFF, my teenage daughter, and her pint-sized, pork pie-hatted brother squirted water from a real fire engine hose (yes, yes, they did, it wasn't just the Rude Boy whizzing in a cornfield, honest), cuddled rabbits, held hissing cockroaches, stroked snakes, tickled tree frogs, and got equally excited about the visit to Sainsbury’s on the way home to choose their tea. Within reason, and calorific allowances, obviously. What do you take me for?

The day was completed by an evening session of Miranda’s Maracattack fitness DVD, which PWSBFF threw herself into with wild abandon, despite my girl ducking out of it it after the warm up, followed by a showing of Horrid Henry The Movie, some girly bedroom chats, and a surprisingly long sleep. This morning we walked to the sweet shop to buy some no-sugar sweet treats, and headed to a local watering hole for Virgin Marys and diet pepsi. Although I was sorely, sorely tempted to ditch my maidenhood and vodka my Mary right up.

They had fun. You can tell, can’t you?


Song is Floyd Newman - Frog Stomp. No frogs were stomped today or during the making of this video, I hasten to add. This is worth checking out for the sublime dancing, by the way.

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