My husband is a superhero because he takes the children swimming on a bank holiday.
My husband is a superhero because he cheers me up by emailing me about amusing patent applications.
Like this one:
And the last day of the holidays! John has the day off! He and Sam are going to the barbers. I send John to post the work that I did on Saturday (because it is raining) on his way to the barbers with Sam, and sort out a few work emails and stuff. We have still to get Sam's PE shorts and tracksuit bottoms, and some jumpers. We try Sainsbury's first, where they have the PE kit and some shirts, and even one solitary maroon v-neck cotton knit jumper in Sam's size (plus a little growing room) for a fiver. Sam likes it! So we buy exactly two new stripy jumpers at the school shop (how much? are you sure the next size up will be too big) with the promise that we can buy one more jumper another time. We check out the cheap ink shop; he can sell the extra large ink cartridges I need and sounds hopeful of his ability to get cheaper clones at some point in the future, so definitely one to look out for. Then I have only to sew nametapes, take up Sam's new tracky bottoms, write a cheque for dinner money (a whole term, and I don't have to think about it again until January), organise bags and PE kits. John polishes shoes (perhaps I should have double checked Hannah's outdoor shoes; we can do that some day soon, I think). Also, in preparation for the 'what did you do in the summer holidays' assignments, we remind our children of a few things we did in the holidays.
We still have to buy Hannah’s dance shoes, and the Bridgewater hall have a free lunchtime concert of percussion music, which I think the children will like. So we toddle along. Unfortunately, John is too busy to come, but never mind. The concert is by a quartet known as 4-Mality (Four mallety?)
which includes the very famous Adrian Spillett. He is famous because he went to my sixth form college
probably about the time that my sister went, and his father taught me A level physics, and he was the first ever percussion winner of the Young Musician. I had not actually seen him before, I think. But the group is very good, and their music very exciting (or soothing, depending on the piece), and I am glad I went. I had thought of buying sandwiches at the Bridgewater, but it is a proper posh cafe, and the children aren’t sure what they want, so we postpone lunch until after the concert, for the chinese buffet, and then go on to buy the dance shoes. The shop lady is friendly and helpful, and I am proud that Hannah has a nice point (pointe?) and good turn-out. Then home again, but there is just time to buy some more forgotten birthday cards and also indoor shoes for school (school is excessively pretentious, and I’m not prepared to let my children wear plimsolls, which have no support for growing feet and never come in the right size) on the way.
It is a hot sunny day; we get the paddling pool out. The children put the sledge in it and find a bamboo stick, and play at punting. Then they play nicely while I sort out my emails. We are tired from our trip to Cambridge, but I succeed in a grand trying on of school uniform and writing of shopping lists. Hannah has hardly grown at all; we can put off buying her clothes until she grows a little more.
There are still ages to go of the school holidays. I decide to take the children to see my sister's family. This is cool, because Benedict is not there, so there will be room for us, and after the baby is born, there won't be so much room. Also, we can do stuff we don't do at home. We visit three different playgrounds. We go bowling. We eat a new chinese buffet. We visit the zoo
which is cool, because we see the owl fly and be fed, and the tiger being fed, and stroke a wallaby and a muntjack deer, and see lots of cool animals. We play new games. We have a pub Sunday lunch and see the very charming Alex-the-cake-making-genius. We even get to visit my friend Sally-from-school and her children. She is as nice as she was 24 years ago (is it really that long ago?) and her children very charming and we both enjoy the Sedgwick museum
and the grasshopper clock (the grasshopper escapement is on the outside and done up to look like a grasshopper)
and gorge ourselves at Pizza Hut and the cafe in the tourist office, both of them very nice.
We have arranged that the children and I will go and see my sister, the ever-lovely Kirsten, and, of course, the tall and exotic Colin for the purposes of fun and companionship. So we have to pack some bags again. I persuade John to buy us some train tickets, because talking to a real person at the train station is easier than being confused by a computer screen (which seemed to be overcharging me by £20 as it was).. We remember to finish Sam’s homework (a prayer to fill in the gaps) and Hannah has a viola practise. The children are very excited.
Still feeling lazy. Judith wants to phone us, but I don't get there in time, so she leaves a message. We remember Sam's homework (review lifecycles, with example of grapevine). Then off to the Small Cinema
to see Bedknobs and Broomsticks. I'd not seen it before. It's not bad. Very good, actually, although there are one or two things that I would not like to become take-home points, and one very confusing part, perhaps because the film was different from the book? Also an interesting appearance by Bruce Forsyth. Sam keeps telling me that he is bored, but likes the fish bit, and after the football bit decides that he is not bored. By the end of it, he is crying that he has not won the DVD in the raffle, but I explain that we can always buy one some other time. Then to Sainsbury's cafe again because we could use a drink, and we need something for tea. We choose pizzas.