The journey back from our holiday in Italy went without incident, thank goodness, as this time we decided not to go via a mountain pass currently featured on dangerousroads.com. We were so traumatised by this route on the way out we decided we’d go back a different way; it took me three or four days to recover and I wasn’t even driving!
I was delighted to find the holiday laundry was done and dusted with only two loads needing doing. On the other hand, it did make clear the children and I didn’t need a giant suitcase of clothes each. For the duration of the holiday we were either in swimming costumes or a shirt/shorts combo when sightseeing. We each wore a single posh outfit the one evening we managed to get out to a nice restaurant.
This happens EVERY SINGLE HOLIDAY. It doesn’t matter how many articles I read on how to pack sensibly, I cannot help packing a million different outfits, plus shoes and accessories to match.
I wore the same pair of shoes every day. The same swimming costume, as its my favourite, so the other three stayed at the bottom of my suitcase. Nineteen dresses (NINETEEN DRESSES!) with a variety of wraps and little cardigans were unpacked, hung in the wardrobe, taken down and re-packed without being worn.
The most annoying thing is Rob packed a tiny holdall and wore everything in it and was always appropriately dressed. His smugness was infuriating.
The absolute best thing about the holiday was Son had no access to Fortnite. I was convinced he would spend the holiday suffering severe withdrawal symptoms, and would be constantly plugged into his phone watching downloaded clips of OTHER PEOPLE (he doesn’t know) playing Fortnite (which sames the most ridiculous thing ever in my opinion), but he didn’t. He argued with his Sister instead.
The only real issue over the holiday was the toxic energy created by my children arguing with each other. I have written about my children arguing in the past, but there’s something about being on holiday altogether with no distractions, which makes this arguing particularly brutal. They had to share a room (with their poor grandmother acting as referee and peace keeper in her bed between them) which caused a number of rows but they seemed to be able to argue about anything.
- Daughter suddenly discovered she couldn’t sleep with the light off. Son discovered he couldn’t sleep with the light on.
- Sharing a sofa
- Sharing a towel
- Who got to hold the remote control as they watched Sponge Bob Square Pants IN GERMAN
- Who was entitled to the last grape. (None of the adults had managed to get a single fricking grape before the children ravaged them)
- Son holding his hand really close to Daughter’s head yelling, ‘What? I’m not touching you!’
- Daughter running downstairs to dob in Son for sneaking a go on the iPad when he had been told he couldn’t use it,
- Who got to hold the camera when we went sightseeing.
- If one child was taking a photo with the camera, the other child would make sure they were standing directly in the way.
The list was endless and Rob and I were at our wits’ end. We ended up rowing with each other as we tried to work out whose bad parenting had created these monsters. As Mother-In-Law was in the next room, this rowing had to be done in hissing whispers. Much wine was consumed.
(As a side note – don’t ever leave newly purchased crates of wine in the boot of the car during a summer heat wave. All the corks popped out, exploding some very nice Riesling over the boot; we drove back with the windows open as it stank like a brewery, no matter how much we washed everything out. )
My children are cunning, however. Just as I was seriously contemplating taking them to the alps and leaving them there, Son sent me a video he and Daughter had made of them jumping hand in hand into the pool with the soundtrack ‘I Believe I can Fly’ in the background. The next day they spent an afternoon working out a synchronised swimming routine together, which they performed for us that night. It was so lovely, and so sweetly done, I ugly cried for the next hour – much to their bewilderment. (I thought you LIKED it when we got on! Stupid Brother/Sister that’s your fault, you made mummy cry!)
Getting Son away from Fortnite and Daughter away from the iPad did cause problems, but after a few days of adjustment they began to play with each other again the way they did when they were little. It was wonderful to see them rediscovering the fun they could have with a sibling, and it made me all the more determined to chuck away the devices and get them out in the fresh air when we were back home. My lovely kids are still under the techno-monsters… somewhere.
With a bit of a gap before the beginning of term looms, I have been trying to get back into my writing. I was inspired by a book I read on the mechanics of writing a bestseller*.
It may be complete nonsense, but I found this a very interesting take on what similar characteristics can be found in best selling books no matter when they were published, what genre they were, or who wrote them.
The reason this appealed to me is because whenever I have sent books I have written to publishers or agents they politely reject them saying although I can write, I don’t have any plot or decent characterisation! Oh dear.
So this book really got me thinking about plotting. I normally adopt a ‘taken by the muse’ approach, seeing plotting as ‘really square, man’ but this book made me throw all that out of the window. I am now working on something which I am trying to plot really carefully. I’ve sent the first three chapters to the Divine Mr B – my old English teacher and ex-boss – to see what he thinks. He is always brutally honest, and I am now waiting on tenterhooks to see what he thinks.
I really should join some kind of writing group or go on a course, as I would love to get something published, that will be my new resolution.
Finally, mid eyebrow shape with my lovely beautician, she started raving about a new eyelash product she has been using. It’s called Revitalash*.
I have never seen her so excited about a product so had to order it. It arrived today and I will try it for the few months they recommend and will let you know how I get on. Her lashes did look incredible, thick, long, and lush, but then she isn’t thirty yet and that could just be because she is young and as yet unbowed by life, but it’s worth a try, maybe it will do something for my stubby little prongs.
It’s all a bit random today, apologies for this, random is pretty much the state of my head at the moment. I will be back into a routine when work starts again, but for the moment I am enjoying wandering about thinking random things and working on my book, let’s hope I can think of a plot this time.
Happy summer, warriors!
PS Another to add to my summer book list, I read a number of very bad but mildly entertaining novels none really good enough to recommend, but this was very absorbing after a slow start. I love Jane Green and have read all of her books, I wasn’t very enamoured of her more recent ones, but this is her back on form with memorable characters.*
*if you click on these links I get a little commission.