An Early Night For The Children

What with my being in London last night, I returned to stories of theft! It would seem that at around 10pm last night, daddy asleep on the sofa, Tara and Thor descended the stairs and sneaked past the open living room door where daddy was snoozing and surveyed the kitchen for booty. The others were sleeping upstairs. Now, moving on to this morning, Aaliyah awoke to a squashed flat peach stuck to her bum (not pleasant) and Caleb devoured his surprise manna with gusto. Amritsar did the right thing and gave hers to our nanny Sindy to return it to the fruit bowl. Tara and Thor said that they were sorry for their actions…

The story continued on my return to the house and whilst cooking their dinner I looked for dessert options. The cupboard was bare on that front so I ventured into the housekeepers cupboard where lies (in a bag) several chocolate bars and a dozen mini packs of Haribo fruit gums. One of the 200g chocolate bars was open and half nibbled and four of the Haribo packets were empty of their contents!

It also seemed that Amritsar’s peach that was replaced in the bowl had also once again been stolen, no one came forward so at dinner tonight when it came to dessert, I placed the half eaten chocolate bar and empty sweet packets on the table. Tara and Thor were quite bold but both declined to comment on the matter. When I said that there would be no dessert tonight due to the situation, Caleb decided to hurl his drinking cup towards me. Thankfully it was both empty and he missed (due to his aim not being that great). ‘Okay, that’s it’ I exclaimed ”off to bed, everyone’! Lots of screaming and a few ‘sorry Dadda’s’ later, they all marched up to bed.

I don’t really have a ‘summing up’ of the situation. But I hope that my decision to send them up to bed resonates in the form of the guilty parties not doing it again as it does affect everybody – doesn’t it?

I Think They’re Getting The Hang of It!

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Regarding Time Off

I have been a bit reclusive of late. For that I am sincerely sorry.

On the home front, the children are still enjoying their summer holidays and we are all back home in ‘The Shires’ after our fun, yet exhausting time in Cornwall. Week two in Cornwall was great, spending some of the week with friends Bridge and Des who also have twins and we rounded off our holiday with two nights in East Devon with friends Alistaire and Lorna. Last Thursday John and I feasted at ‘Steins’ in Padstow and we ate well at ‘The Pig’ at Combe on Saturday. The overall journey went without too much drama and our arrival home was greeted by two extremely excited Dalmatian hounds. They didn’t go to kennels as a friend Jo came in thrice daily to water, feed and run them. Much nicer for the dogs and also a little cheaper than the local kennels would have been.

The terrace has continued to be rather active on the bird nest front! I imagine the chicks will fledge the nest soon enough. Also, this years crop of tomatoes, courgettes and peppers are looking well and almost ready to pick. An awful lot of watering and attention for a single meal of ratatouille. I’m not sure that I will bother next year. Mind you I say this every year.

Haven’t slept well of late, I might just try a few early nights, though whenever I try that option, I always find it impossible to nod off!

Well, that’s it for now. I might try to cobble together a couple more holiday videos over the next couple of days. Over and Out…

The Children’s Bedtime

You may have noticed that thus far I have limited my holiday diary entries to but a single postcard home. Rather than a daily entry that is ‘fly in the wall’, I have chosen to make a couple of videos in these last few days that show one or two of our activities from our beach holiday in Cornwall. This is a holiday after all isn’t it?

We are now on day eleven and the sun has eventually started to shine, those grey clouds have dissipated and the wind has finally been quelled. This day could well be pleasant summers day at the seaside!

Another family holiday video tomorrow then…

A Postcard Home

Six days into our summer holiday and I finally remember to send a postcard home…

Dear All

Weather has been foul. The greyest week on record I believe. The rain has not stopped. The visits to the beach have been daily, due to the holiday home being on the dunes, so we’ve seen our fair share of sand and pretty much moved into the shower. The little ones have been a bit destructive, a Chair was scraped badly, the dining table also, plus the living room wall was deeply scratched by Caleb. We ventured out to Barnstable today to Homebase to buy polyfilla and a spatula, plus a match pot of a light sage green paint, almost indescribable from the original. Fingers crossed on that score.

The children have been a little chaotic from time to time and have chosen that 9pm is their new bedtime. Of course, not being a ‘school night’ and being on holiday, we have allowed them a few extra freedoms.

Ice cream has been consumed by all on a daily basis. I’m looking in the mirror and noticing the bulge! I will need to re-engage with the weekly fitness regiment on my return to the Shires! John, like the children seems to have a very high metabolism, so he needn’t worry on that score.

I think that we will limit the little ones restaurant visits for a while, at least until they start to understand that screaming in shops and restaurants is really quite unacceptable! Really hoping ‘Big School’ turns around their tantrums, at least in public places where people deserve a pleasant time on the likes of their holidays. We all work throughout the year to deserve ourselves a good time when we set off on our hol’s to relax, don’t we?

Talking of relaxing, we have a few meets with friends next week and our nanny Sindy joining us for a few days so John and I can grab a little time out.

And I was just going to write, weather fine, missing you – wish you were here!

Nite nite.

In Memory of Granny Hazel

You may recall my last diary entry. John lost his mother to a long fight with cancer. His sisters were with her throughout her fight, along with husband Michael. She passed ten days ago and John and I said goodbye to granny Hazel last Wednesday (one week ago) at a chapel in Dublin.

The little ones don’t really comprehend her passing, but Tara and Amritsar did deserve an explanation of why we needed to say goodbye to Granny Hazel.

I started with a chat with Amritsar on the terrace last Monday, the day after Hazel died. I opened the conversation with ‘We are all made of stars’. Now, I am not so religious and honesty, I find works best! She knew that granny had been unwell for some time and I thought the scientific approach seemed appropriate. Our matter remains and one day in another billion years I explained to Amritsar, we might just be another star! We went in and talked with Tara and I said that granny had died. Tara, the more empathetic of them cried. We hugged a lot, some more tears and hugs, followed by my suggestion that it might be appropriate to eat ice cream. The girls agreed and that was that.

I recall the passing of my own mother ‘Grandma Jean’ four years ago. Her memory and spirit is always with us. She visited us from Australia where she lived, when the girls were two years old. We have photos of the girls in pink dresses and my mother wearing multi coloured earrings. The girls were playing with those earrings in the pictures. We now have those earrings in the draw of the compendium (games cupboard) and every so often we play with them and he girls wear them and think of the pictures with grandma Jean.

We really must do the same with the memory of ‘Granny Hazel’. Forever in our thoughts.

Time Off

Sorry for no diary entries in the last few of days. The Summer holidays can be a little ‘samey’ from day to day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner always at the same time for the children. Arts and Crafts in the mornings, a little tv now and then and a trip out in the afternoons. Plus a little screen time after lunch. That pretty much sums up the school holidays. Weekends are a bit more crazy as you know. We have just tried the children’s new wet suits in the pool in preparation for next weeks holiday on the beach in Cornwall. Now in the washing machine and the crew swaddled in towels with their kindle fire tablets, I have a few spare minutes to write this blog.

It is with deep regret that I continue this as we have just had the news from Dublin that Johns mum Hazel passed earlier this afternoon. John and I will of course be flying over for the funeral either being held on Wednesday or Thursday of next week.

I doubt that I will be blogging before the end of the week, just before our big journey to Cornwall. So, more from me and our family antics then.

My thoughts are with Johns family who have selflessly been at vigil these last weeks. Rest in peace Hazel, mother to John and granny to our crew…

@michellemartinoli

Do you remember back in the springtime I mentioned that a very cool chick Mich and age old friend, was going to take a few snapshots of me as it seems that I never get a look in! Well I have decided to publish a few of those pics tonight as I imagined that I could sneak the odd picture in every now and then. But guess what? It always seems to be about the crew and not I, poor Dadda behind the lens. So there is not much chance of me ever getting a starring roll.

Okay, this is something that you learn the older you get! With every passing decade it gets harder doesn’t it? Harder that is, to feel that a snapshot (portrait) of you looks as impressive as the decade before. Okay, I’ve got a few decades stacked against me at this point, so maybe the odds are not in my favour.

I recently published a few of Dadda’s pictures from childhood. Yes, it would seem that I was a real cutie back then. But more recently I publicised within my diary, a few images from my early 20’s… So let’s be honest – that it is a unique time for us all and those clean, fresh looks we had back then, we will never again enjoy in quite the same way. I do not feel the most photogenic participant at this stage. But here are some of the images that were taken on that day back in the springtime by @michellemartinoli