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…


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

Memories of My Own School Holidays

This weather really sucks. The rain,wind and more rain is more akin to my memories of the school summer holidays ‘back in the day’. Though back then, we were allowed so many more freedoms than children have today. I suppose that it was just as well as growing up with only three television channels really sucked! I remember that the BBC would rerun rubbish old shows, even the likes of the ancient 1930’s Flash Gordon and movies like ‘Beau Geste’! What was that all about! I remember really hating the summer rain. If you couldn’t go out – there really was not a lot to do. I think today’s options are a lot more stimulating. Well I must finally add that our Kindle 7’s were on overdrive this afternoon. The children are not allowed them before midday and even then, we do monitor the amount of usage. Who invented ‘Crossy Road’? The children love that game. Though I am not sure that I like the addictive nature of ‘candy crush’ as Amritsar has just become very upset that she can not progress through a level. Did I say, this weather really sucks?

Workout and Workin’ on it Finally

There’s only so much you can do in an hour isn’t there? And on the fitness front, I had my first meet with the fitness instructor Adam this morning. Some interesting exercises, I was most impressed. Seeing him again on Saturday to go through the same routine. I will obviously continue my more sporadic regime alongside. Also hoping to cut back on the calories too, otherwise this assertion would be pointless, wouldn’t it? Having said that, I have already sacrificed Dadda and Daddy’s portions of the oaty peach crumble with cream to the children tonight for their dessert. Cottage pie was made whilst our nanny Sindy and the children went to the park this afternoon. On Friday they visited a local common where the ponies graze freely. She took an amazing photo of our bunch and kindly said that I could put it on my blog tonight. Thank you Sindy. I personally have always found ‘The Family Portrait’ a difficult one given that there’s always someone looking down, eyes closed, running off, you get the picture, or indeed not! Anyhow, Tara was in awe of a group of 10 or so ponies that they saw. She is really longing for her own dream horse, though sadly we can not take that route as it is such a huge commitment. We will have to wait to ‘borrow’ ponies as and when. They had such a great time the weekend before last at ‘Epsom Polo Club’. Thank you again to them and we are really looking forward to our next visit sometime soon!

Feeling Exhausted at This Point

Good evening all! Here I finally sit at the small dinner table in our living room, completely exhausted from our busy yet fun weekend. John arrived home an hour ago from his gruelling journey that is the Sunday afternoon flight from Dublin to London Heathrow. Thank you Air Lingus (British Airways) for the fourth delayed flight home on this very popular route at this time in the day in succession.

We’ve just finished a roast dinner of our family favourite, roast leg of pork, home made pork scratching straws, Dadda’s apple jam, roast potatoes, garlic and butter fine green beans and petit pois with home made bisto gravy. Phew – and all that served up at the drop of a hat!

John now settled in front of the Antiques Roadshow (that I recorded earlier), I have a few moments to reflect on the weekend.

We had a busy time, what with children being children and just me to corral them and manage our time of arts, crafts and play. Lots of screams and laughs and plenty of debate with Thor and Aaliyah. Caleb is still using the power of pure scream to deliver himself, so Dadda did have to say that he was getting ‘one of his heads’ a couple of times, quickly followed by Thor agreeing that he was getting a headache also. He raises his tone and says’ please Caleb (or Aaliyah), you must be a little quieter as my head is hurting a little bit’. He does make me smile.

Aaliyah’s fingers in her mouth is something that I have held back on overly mentioning in the past as I believe that we all went through that stage in our earlier years. Of our crew, Tara spent some time managing the ‘wrinkly finger syndrome’. Though with regards Aaliyah, many of our family photos going back to her very early days show her with her right hands middle and index fingers firmly inserted! We’ve talked about it a lot in the past couple of weeks. She is aware that she has to try a bit harder to stop it in these weeks leading up to the start of ‘Big School’. Anyhow, today we came to a compromise. She knows that there is a lotion available from the chemist that helps to quell the habit, but we discussed the wearing of a single woollen glove. She was very good and kept it on for the majority of the day. All in all she did not deposit her fingers into her mouth. Well done Aaliyah. But I do have one thing to add! And that is that like me she shows the signs of being ambidextrous, so she was quite confident to plug her left hand in when she felt needy enough for the comfort of sucking fingers. As a matter of fact I always lay her spoon or fork on the left hand side every breakfast, lunch and dinner! Like me she mostly uses her right hand but has the capacity to use her left hand in just the same way. I do hope her new school do not try to make her choose when she starts in September. I can actually write with my left hand in reverse to what my right hand is writing if I practice for a few minutes. Perfect symmetry with reverse wording or shapes and patterns come to think of it. I remember that it used to come in handy when I worked in design before the onset of ‘Family Life’. I often found myself doing totally different jobs with either of my hands.

Okay, my last thoughts for today have been scuppered with my very snotty nose, excessive sneezing and coughing a plenty. I noted about six months back in a diary entry headed ‘The Three Year Old Cold’ that it has been a constant in my life ever since the girls started preschool. And when they left, the little ones started there and have been there these last two years. Well this disgusting cold has constantly prevailed. It’s not just the wiping of the children’s noses week in and week out, but I have caught every single cold that has been brought home! I wash my hands some 40 times a day, however with the children’s sharing of toys at preschool from mouth to hand to mouth – the viruses prevail. Funny however that the moment that Amritsar and Tara went to ‘Big School’, they have not brought home a single cold. Another amazing fact is that they have also not once ever picked up one of these new colds (clearly great immunity). I look forward to a future life without sneezing and coughing on a daily basis as the accepted norm. Some pics and video of the weekend tomorrow perhaps.