Feeling Settled Now

The holiday over and a couple of days relaxing at home! Summer Bank holiday Monday here, not much going on! All playing with their screens or watching ‘Mr Magoo’! Daddy mowing his lawn, the dogs chilling beside me.

Another 10kg of Damsons brought in from our tree! I might just make some Damson jam later, perhaps tomorrow morning! Just the thought of de-stoning 1000 Damsons, not appealing!

A mountain of washing sat in the kitchen and lunch to prepare! How does homemade pea soup and a toasted cheese sandwich sound?

Still spending way too much time on Instagram! But still happy with my blog! ‘Another day in the life of’ still brings a smile to me as I hope it does to you.

On the subject of Instagram, a few more pictures to share from our Cornish holiday, hope you like them.

As ever thanks for reading…

Day 6, The Final Day!

Well, we just met local friends, David, Jo, Tara and hubby! The wetsuits are whirring away in the washing machine. Daddy has left, now 30 minutes, to buy the obligatory ‘fish and chips’, something a holiday is not fulfilled without!

Not a lot to say really, only that I appreciate your being there! You, the best people ever, the lovely ones that follow my blog! You are pretty wonderful people xx

Some random images to follow, including the fish and chips!

Caleb seems to be a little aloof!!!

Day 5, Luncheon with Friends

Good friends Bridget and Des called in for lunch with their children Malky and River. They were visiting from their holiday home in Looe, south Cornwall. We enjoyed their company at Golithia Falls on Bodmin moor on Tuesday.

Their golden Labrador Luna stayed at home with Bridget’s parents Malcolm and Jenifer! I like Bridget’s father Malcolm a lot! He is a Methodist Minister and used to be the Chaplin to the UK’s Houses of Parliament!

A very wise man and fun to boot! Not being particularly religious, I’m a bit more of a tree hugging pagan I guess. This does not mean that I do not regard and respect other people’s religion or beliefs.

So, I know I did ‘Daddy and Dadda’s Dinner’ yesterday, but I would like to add today’s lunch as picture of the day! Salmon, Shrimp, langostine, new potatoes, zucchini and samfire was enjoyed by us grownups and the children enjoyed spaghetti with 3 hour simmered bolognese with a snowstorm of parmesan.

After lunch an hour was enjoyed in the surf with the bodyboards. I remained at the holiday house and enjoyed an hours respite. Daddy then went off to do a lengthy zoom call with a client and we all said our goodbyes at 4pm.

Tomorrow being our last full day, I imagine one final frolic on the beach whatever the weather!

Pretty grey out there today, but an enjoyable day none the less. This picture taken in a fleeting moment of blue sky.

Aaliyah presently screaming as they debate where each of them are sleeping tonight…

Spaghetti Puttanesca for Daddy and Dadda’s Dinner. A break from fish! Lol

Hope you are having a good time wherever you are and my thanks as ever for taking the time to read my blog, diaryofagaydad.net

Oh Amritsar and Thor have adopted a rather large snail called ‘Biggy’ that they found in the garden this afternoon. Don’t worry, I made them all wash their hands before they ate this evening!

Even a little snail garden was created! Hehe…

Day 4, Daddy and Dadda’s Dinner

A very fish based menu this week! Being on the seashore this week has been very inspiring!

Sea Bass with roasted Jersey a royals and sugar snap peas

Crab cakes with lobster tail, spinach and fries

Simple skewered shrimp

Sautéed potatoes with plaice, muscles and samfire

Day 3, Friends Visiting For The Day

I sit here, early evening! The children running wild. That is 3 of them at least. Amritsar sleeping on the sofa in daddy’s arms, Aaliyah snoozing on the other sofa.

Friends Thea and a John left a little time ago with their four children after a day of mayhem and frolics, here in North Cornwall on the beach. Lunch was had, a walk on the windswept beach with almost cyclonic winds and drizzle to boot. Further grazing of the large left over buffet lunch and finally this period of exhaustion and the hope the children settle soon!

Now all wandering around like the drones from the matrix movie, just awaiting their pre programmed commands for finally settling!

All just heading to their rooms – kiss and hug later! Let’s look at an image or two of the day!

Thank you for reading!

Day 2, Golithia Falls

Just back from a day out to Golithia Falls near Bolventor. The home of the ancient travellers resting stop in Daphne du Maurier‘s famous novel of the same name, Jamaica Inn. Of course a hideous tourist trap serving miserable food and offering a dismal service to the unsuspecting fools that happen to stumble upon the windswept moors of Bodmin!

On our way back to the car, Thor hung back a little. He found a packet of something. A few rustling’s later caught up with something he was clutching tightly! Look dadda he whispers, look, a mouse, I found a mouse! I look down to find Thor coveting a tampon (new). The 4 women passing us noticed our conversation! Much laughing was had to be sure.

All now in their bedrooms shouting from the rafters! I’m sure, give it an hour or two, some peace and quiet for daddy and dadda.

Day 1, Wind and Rain

Our first morning and the Atlantic coast looks true to form! The grey, windswept coastline is looking beautiful, though a little inhospitable!

We arrived yesterday afternoon and all of the children erupted into mayhem and screams to the highest order. I personally blame the large volume of gummy bears that were had to stave the final hour of hunger in the car! The packed lunches were clearly not enough. Though to be honest, there has not been a holiday as yet without vast amounts of screaming and disorder! The worst, I remember was going to Wexford in Ireland on the ferry. We had a cabin and I think all 5 were still in nappies at that point. Oh dear, trying to calm them all at auntie Sara’s house, took us well into the early hours. Thor’s screaming ended up with four of them huddled into one room and Thor alone in a travel cot in a room on his own. It took 3 days for them all to settle down. 2 days of bliss and then the inevitable journey home. I swore then ‘Never Again’. But here we are. They are much older now, though they can still be just as screamy! Only, they vocalise their angst between their crazy episodes.

Their dinner and supposed bedtime, followed by daddy and dadda’s dinner, they finally passed out last night at around 10pm and daddy and dadda enjoyed cheese and crackers and a movie on Netflix.

So back to this morning! The wind is howling, the rain bucketing down, all the children are shouting to go down to the beach. Oh dear… happy holidays.

I am going to try to find the video I took on that ill-feted journey over the Irish Sea, 3 babies and 2 toddlers

There will be updates!

And We’re Off!

To the rhythmic tones of the Primitives Spin-O-Rama, we take the slip road onto the M4 motorway…

And we are off on our long awaited Summer Holiday to Northern Cornwall. Hip hip hooray everybody chants!

Just entered the Holiday House postcode into google maps and she has told us 3 hours and 33 minutes, allowing for traffic.

Musically streaming from my iPhone is our summer hits station on Spotify. Now enjoying James ‘You’re Beautiful’! The word ‘Fucking’ has just been sung. Sounding rather beautiful however! I do love this song. Don’t worry, the children know nothing of such words, I think we’re alright!

The vista today, the view from the beach house!

And now, the Chambers Brothers, The time has come today… ‘HEY’!!!

More later…

Preparing for the Family Holiday

We are at present organising our ‘Big Summer Holiday’ to Northern Cornwall. Saturday is the big day. I am reminded of our first ever big family holiday. You know, the first one when the children are children, past the final baby and toddler stages!

At the time I really enjoyed chronicling every moment of our trip along the A303 road, mid country, from the East to the South West of the country!

Not even four o’clock and ‘are we there yet’ has raised its beleaguered head. Caleb has been shouting and Thor has been saying ‘be quiet Caleb, stop shouting’, now he is shouting, ‘Caleb stop shouting’. Now I am shouting ‘Thor and Caleb stop shouting’. The others are quiet, it’s a long journey ahead. Now approaching the world heritage site, Stonehenge. This part of the A303 is notoriously slow. You have to smile at the innocence of this. Thor has just said ‘I see a small deer asleep besides the road. His leg was near the car. He was asleep’. A very observant little boy. You do realise this paragraph is going to be condensed down from our entire trip, don’t you? Thought I should say that in case you’re thinking that an awful lot is going on. A Bi-Plane has just been hovering and looping above us, very cool. Just found a lay-by and stopped for Thor, Aaliyah and Tara to have a pee in the shrubs. Just spotted Stonehenge, we’re all very excited. ‘Tara pinched me’ just came from the back seat. ‘Stonehenge, Stonehenge is coming, look, look’ Amritsar is now screaming. Aaliyah is more interested in the cows on her side however and Thor is screaming about cow poo. Sonny and Cher have just come on the music system. We play a lot of 1960’s music for the children. It just seems so much more appropriate in its innocence and optimism. Now Caleb is saying ‘I am a spaceman’ and Thor is shouting ‘Caleb hit me, Caleb hit me’. They can’t actually reach each other with Aaliyah sat happily in the middle! All is now quiet. Now Aaliyah has stuck her sticker she was given at the library visit with preschool today on her belly button and is shouting ‘look Dadda, look’. Amritsar is giggling maniacally in the back seat and tickling Tara. Alliyah and Caleb have started doing the same. Thor looks on uninterested, staring out of the window. Just spotted a mother on her knees in a lay-by cleaning off her car seat with wipes ‘There but for the grace of god go I’. ‘Own kind of music’ Cass Elliot just came on. Respect! Some of the rolling landscape either side of the road is a real treat for the eyes. Thor has just remarked about the long shadows and how it will soon be dark. Clever boy. Another several ‘are we nearly there yet’ in quick succession from Amritsar and now Thor and Aaliyah have joined in. John is bored of the music and wants ‘music to watch girls by’ and I said if there are two rubbish songs in a row, we can change music. He asked well who’s going to be the arbiter? I thought and as Thor was nodding his head I said ‘Thor can arbitrate’ and added ‘Do you like this song Thor’, he replied ‘Yes Dadda’. Hehehe. Two paraglider’s are floating past us in a nearby field, good spotting Amritsar. The last song was rubbish! We eagerly awaited the next song… ‘up, up and away in my beautiful balloon’ is playing and Thor was asked wether he liked it… a resounding yes. But then again we all secretly like it don’t we! ‘Sheep, sheep, sheep’ is all I’m hearing now. I guess we just passed some sheep. Caleb has been clutching the nappy change bag for the entire trip and keeps opening the zipper. He seemingly can’t close it so keeps screaming ‘Dadda, Dadda Help’? I’m getting a neck ache at this point with turning around so much. Out of sympathy, Thor and I are now allowing John his fix of Andy Williams as ‘Music to watch girls go by’ is now playing. The sun is preparing to set in front of us. A magnificent display of mottled cloud and the suns exhausted rays besets us, as does Gene Pitney. I’m now screaming ‘Are we there yet’? Thor has just pulled a handful of Aaliyah’s hair from her scalp. She is screaming and kicking about something completely unrelated. We can now see a Lama in a field of sheep – does this get any more surreal. Tara is shouting ‘Hello Lama, Hello Lama’. The car is at a standstill besides the Lama. They are all shouting ‘Hello Lama’. We see a statue of Buddha in the sheep and Lama field! I have just found half a bag of wipes pulled from the packet at Caleb’s feet. He is no longer the nappy bag monitor. Naughty Caleb. This half term traffic sucks. Usually things speed up once we have passed Stonehenge – but it’s been a constant crawl for the last two hours now. Thor and I have the thumbs down for the song playing, will we be swapping musical genres again? Thanks Bobby Rydell. Though Tara is now singing or whining in tune to the song! How very theatrical of her. The Mavericks are a compromise for john and I but the children have decided they all want ‘Shake, Baby, Shake’ by Lush. We are teaching them the art of compromise – they can have their song next. Just passed a restaurant called ‘The Hawk House’ hmmmm, interesting! Caleb, bless him is trying to join in with Tara and Aaliyah singing the lyrics. He’s finding it hard so he’s resorted to grunts and a sort of squealing sound… The traffic has improved vastly as we are now hitting 70mph. Are we legal, we’re going with the flow however! I don’t drive but I sympathise with those at the wheel. As slow as a tortoise for so long and now running with the hare… I spoke too soon. Back walking with the tortoise. But the children get to see a ‘Blue Tractor’ on the opposite side of the road. Sun pretty much set now and the moon is shining on my left hand side. It should be full in a few days, I hope it’s not cloudy on Monday!!! We’re talking about Lorna’s cats now, the ginger or the black. They all want the cats. Oh dear, Thor now says he smells something strange! ‘Is it coffee’ Aaliyah asks. ‘What is it, what is it’ she is now screaming. Thor looks at her calmly. ‘You don’t need to worry Aaliyah’. Thor then adds ,The moon is following us Aaliyah’. It’s dark now and I have resorted to google maps for directions. Tara is shouting ‘Hey Google’ as she is on the car speaker. To no avail, google does not reply. You have to smile and sorry if you don’t understand some of my dialogue today as i’m not sure I do either…

Arrived!

The…

The loudest? Definitely Tara. The screamiest, still Thor. The most methodical, Amritsar for sure. The bossiest, Tara. The lover of animals, Aaliyah. The artist, Amritsar, followed by Thor and now Aaliyah!

On the subject of follower, Caleb for sure! The best eater – Thor! The best at sums, Amritsar, but OMG, Thor’s going to do ever so well, such NRG!

The most independent is Tara. But who says ‘I love you’ most frequently, Thor. The tightest hugs are from Tara. The most thank you’s erhem, I’d like to say then all, though I conceded, Tara, Amritsar and Thor for sure!

The messiest at mealtimes, Caleb of course. The tidiest at mealtimes, Amritsar, so precise.

The whiniest of all has to be Remus! Though Aaliyah gives him a run for the money!

The happiest of us all would have to be represented by all, Daddy and Dadda, Amritsar, Tara and Thor, not forgetting Aaliyah, Caleb, Remus and Gracie, again for sure!

Let’s now account for this moment in time…

Thor is running around our garden with his siblings, way past their bedtime, running with one of the neighbours children. Thor just opened the water pistol and held it besides his ‘winky’! Daddy just caught him in time before filling the water pistol with pee pee! Drama averted!

Welcome to my family…

And I was going to simply entitle this diary entry ‘Portrait’…

Daddy and Dadda’s Dinner

Some fine dining options this week, though I am not sure that daddy always appreciates the trouble one goes to! But isn’t that the same in every house?

Wholewheat spaghetti with clams

Salmon en-croute with petit pois a la Francaise and butter braised Jersey Royal potatoes

Lamb Filet with dauphinois and garlic green beans

Pulled braised pork, beans, potatoes and crispy cracklings

Sea Bass and Prawns, purée peas and potatoes

scallop, black pudding, peas and dauphinois

A take on a cottage pie. Beef, 3 hours braised in a tomato and onion sauce, sliced potatoes and a mountain of grated cheddar.

MiMi Has Been Found

Just where had MiMi been hiding? Maybe 3 weeks now, Thor’s beloved bear MiMi has been missing. And not for the first time. You see, Thor likes to protect his beloved bear and on occasion will find a little snug in which to place him! The last time MiMi was found after a couple of weeks absence, in the piano stool. The time before that in daddy’s small draw of the bedside cabinet. I remember on that occasion MiMi had been missing for well over a month.

Yesterday daddy offered a one pound reward to whom ever found MiMi and this morning that offered reward really paid off! It was a very proud Amritsar who claimed the prize, having found MiMi beneath the acer bushes on the terrace in the garden!

You can see the raw emotion in today’s photos! Thor is once again whole, complete. MiMi is home 💕

Tadpoles at the bottom of the garden

Actually a better title might be the ‘Mosquito Larvae’ incident. It was Monday afternoon. I was upstairs for one reason or another. Tara comes in shouting ‘tadpoles Dadda, tadpoles’. ‘Where’ I asked, ‘the pool Dadda, the pool’. We went down to investigate.

So I am stood there looking, squinting at the partially filled pool. No tadpoles were to be seen! We have one of those 2 metre by 3 metre vinyl pools that we set up last month with the intention of filling it. But quite honestly, the weather here has been pretty rubbish thus far this summer. Daddy had filled the pool with the hosepipe a few weeks back, but for some reason he stopped at maybe 20cms, about 8 inches.

I put my glasses on and squinted some more. Suddenly I could see them wiggling about! A hundred, no a thousand, strike that, 100,000 mosquito larvae wriggling about everywhere. On my god! What were we to do! I explained to Tara that they were indeed mosquito larvae and not tadpoles! The look of shock was apparent on her face! We all remember the holiday in Provence two summers ago, where we stayed for 4 weeks and the children first enjoyed the luxury of a proper swimming pool.

This was where Aaliyah first learnt to swim, closely followed by Amritsar and Tara. Anyhow, the area was completely infested with mosquitoes! Stagnant water from an adjacent property no doubt, but the children learnt all about mosquitos on that holiday at any rate.

Back to the present and here we were looking at a potential infestation. I pulled the plug, which was several inches above the base of the vinyl bottom of the pool! The paddle pool, no doubt made in China and sadly coming with the usual one or two design flaws, had a problem! It was far too heavy to simply tip over. I had to get daddy and Tara to assist…

Much huffing and puffing and maybe 10 minutes later we finally managed to lift and empty. The stagnant, mosquito infested water was thankfully washed away as it slowly seeped into our slightly sloping garden lawn.

The possible mosquito infestation had mercifully been averted!

How to Achieve Work-Life Balance When You Work at Home

Today’s guest contributer is Lacie Martin. So a big thank you to her for sharing her wisdom through this well researched article. See more of her great ideas and parenting tips at:

http://raisethemwell.org/

Working from home promises a great deal of freedom and flexibility, but it’s not always what it’s cracked up to be. Boundaries are often non-existent or easily crossed, which can then result in extended work hours or subpar work quality on the one hand, and unhealthy routines and a less-than-ideal lifestyle for the family on the other. Thankfully, there’s more than one way to avoid such scenarios and, instead, strike a successful balance at home.

 

Improve How You Work

 

When working full-time from home, it can often be hard to recognize where work ends and home begins—and vice versa. For this reason, it’s an absolute necessity to recognize opportunities where you can improve your setup. 

 

● There are steps you have to take to consistently stay efficient and productive.
● Delegation can be a wonderful way not just to get more work done, but perhaps even to improve the quality of your work. It can, indeed, be worth hiring top freelancers for tasks that you can outsource, so you can focus on the work that you do best.
● It can also be a very good idea to set up a home office when you work from home full-time and long-term to minimize distractions and keep you productive and inspired.

 

Install Helpful Tools

 

In this day and age, you know what they say — there’s an app for that! Indeed, there’s no dearth of tools like software that can help you streamline your work.

 

● With all the distractions of home, the internet, social media, and more, productivity apps can be a real godsend in helping you stay on track.
● Depending on the work that you do, it’s wise to have a solid toolset of work-from-home apps that help you collaborate, automate, communicate, and so much more.
● There are also amazing home and family apps that you can use to keep your home life drama- and fuss-free, running the gamut from scheduling to meal and chore planning.

 

Implement Healthy Routines

 

True, a healthy balance between work and home life when you do both at home full-time can be challenging. For this reason, it’s important to maintain healthy routines.

 

● Your morning routine essentially sets the tone for your entire day, so it’s important for the entire family to maintain a fruitful one to make the most out of every day.
● Make it a point to spend time outdoors with your kids, not only to keep spirits and energy high but also to boost the immune system.
● Keep your kids engaged the healthy way, so you can work distraction-free without relying too much on screentime.

 

Ultimately, it’s not how well you juggle but the measures you take to keep everyone and everything in their places that allows you to successfully balance a full-time work-from-home career and family life. Indeed, it’s more than possible, so take stock of what you can improve, install, and implement to achieve that elusive work-life balance.

 

Photo via Pexels.com