Monday, 9 May 2011

32. Hurrah! Return to Normality

I've had a little blogging break.  A couple of you might have noticed.

Am I the only person in the world who thanks dear God that this is a normal, five day week?  No bank holiday Friday, which means my children are back at nursery ALL DAY, and no bank holiday Monday, which means my cleaner does appear to clear up the domestic rubble.  Hurrah!

I found the holiday weekends exhausting.  I was banished from home for the first one, taking the girls to my aunt's (while Big Daddy, with the help of a cousin, partially rebuilt the garden).  For the second bank hol, I had un-entertained children with pent-up energy while we watched The Royal Wedding (their only entertainent was a crown made by a domestic Godess friend), and then later that weekend we had a BBQ to celebrate our newly-renewed garden.  There was simply too much chez nous and not enough out and about to run my she-wolf cubs ragged.

Cousin Andrew, Hatty the Spaniel with me and my girls during Easter at my Aunt's, where I was banished due to garden improvements that were under way back in the Big Smoke

I now realise that I find comfort in my reasonably rigid weekday routine (playgroup or playground Mon and Tues am; Bishop's Palace gardens on Mon or Tues pm (weather dependent); shopping on Weds am, my mother's on Weds pm and overnight; Creche at a sports club on Thurs am and nursery all day Friday.  Slightly Groundhog Day?  Err, yes.  What really gives my week variety is the work I do (when The Tank and Magpie are asleep), reading manuscripts and scripts for film companies.  Recently, I've read a book about American-Irish animosity on the stormy SW coast of Ireland; a teen zombie yarn set in Aviemore in Scotland, and a book about an imaginary island where atheists rule and people of faith are outcasts.  So my escape from the humdrum is when I read, and I only read prodigiously (instead of using my 'lunch break' to batch cook delicious toddler-friendly dishes) is because I am paid (but not well-paid) to do it. 

Another reason why I hate bank holidays is because I'm a freelancer.  This means that from mid December to mid Jan, Mid April to early May (depending on when Easter falls), and mid July to early September, work dries up.  Right now, having been reading - up until Easter - a couple of hefty novels per week, I have no work.  'Nothing yet.' as the people say in their emails.  'We'll let you know.'  So ergo, I have no excuse but to catch up with blogging.

So here's a little photo diary of recent weeks - Easter, The Royal Wedding and our inaugural child-friendly BBQ.

It's nice to be back.
The Tank is papped at her million pound rural retreat (aka her Great Aunt's Wendy House)

The Tank climbs - as per usual - and Magie sits contemplatively - as per usual - looking the spitting image of Big Daddy
Magpie, with the help of cousin Andrew, feeds her first chicken

Magpie tries to lift the chickens' water dispenser
This blog isn't called dummies and dog hairs for nothing....
Magpie tries to stare out the stone chicken and frog and turn them back into real animals
Princess Magpie (complete with scabby nose) tries on her crown for size
Her Majesty The Tank watches William and Kate tie the knot

The second bank hol nearly draws to a close with a London BBQ: adults mingle with children and dogs
Purdey, Magpie and a lot of grown-up feet
The Tank tries to make a break for the Illegal BBQ area while Magpie creates a distraction
He shouldn't be smoking, you know?
Children-whisperer Ella holds the kids rapt: from left to right, The Tank (standing), Matilda (sucking thumb), Magpie, pretending to be a babe-in-arms with dashing blonde boy Oscar