It is half-term and as usual we welcomed the break from school routine with friends coming round and a late night party. The format of the night has evolved as the children grow up and have social lives and work commitments of their own. The celebration remains just that a celebration that we have made it to the half term without too much stress and strain. A few bottles are opened and a take away ordered.
So what does the week’s break mean for my family. Sexy Sporty Dad still has to go to work, although he has managed to secure three days holiday with us. He plans to paint the downstairs rooms and try to find a few hours to do a practice cycle ride. Practising for what doesn’t really matter as long as he can get out on the road and feel the chill of the wind whipping past him as he pushes his body onwards through the pain barrier, ignoring the beads of icy sweat freezing before they have a chance to fall. I suspect the gym will be well frequented this week although he may use the better weather to go on a run.
No 1 Son will be bored. He should be studying and has a stack of homework he could be doing but he will go out of his way to avoid. He too will spend the time running, visiting the gym, playing tennis. He will train for a rugby match that he will not play in as it is for the older colts cup but he will train. He will turn his nose up at the meals I put in front of him because their calorific value is too high. He will forgo his breakfast in return for a whey product that he assures me is not banned or illegal. He will pick at his lunch only eating the bare minimum before exercising to the point of collapse and stuffing himself with a snickers bar, a wispa bar and a packet of crisps. Then he will return to bother his brothers; getting bolshy about their time playing x-box not through any concern for their slouchy lack of exercise but because they are hogging the machine. Still full of chocolate and crisps he will only allow a tiny plate of food in front of him at tea time.
Middle Son who should be spending his week revising for GCSE’s will entertain his friends and Mini son’s friends on the x-box, I-pad or PS2 before cycling down to the local supermarket to stack up on his private supply of chocolate, pizza, croissants and crisps. His allowance which is meant to help him survive the month with some independence will be blown probably in the first couple of days. He will do some studying for his maths module which he takes soon after the holidays are finished. The effort put in to get the studying done should guarantee an A but unfortunately the effort will be from Sexy Sporty Dad and I who will be drained by the end of the week remembering how to do factorising and line graphs.
Mini son will enjoy the holidays as his friends all live locally and he will probably go to stay over at his best friends for one day possibly stretching overnight. He will play on the x-box but get bored quickly and want to go out and run around. He will find himself playing rugby, football, cycling or scootering around the estate with any children prepared to forgo the constant trigger thumb of console battles. He will be up early so he doesn’t miss any of the holiday. He too will come up with elaborate plans and excuses not to do any reading or writing; despite my best efforts to get him to enter Chris Evans’ 500 words competition.
So what will I do with my week. It may be half term week but working at a school is only one of my many jobs. Having a school holiday will give me time to concentrate on
one of the other tasks that I try to balance. I will write some articles and get the magazine to the printers, I will update both blogs and the magazine web site. I will have my hair cut and coloured so that I have a few hours to read my writing magazine. I will come out revived and determined to find time to rewrite memories, planning my time to include editing time as well as writing time for new fresh copy. I will spend time cooking, clearing, chauffeuring, washing, shopping and being wife and mother on constant call for anyone else’s needs. I need to pop round and see a couple of houses for my mother who is toying with the idea of moving close by if her house sells. I may, late at night steal a few moments to browse some holiday destinations; I know we can’t afford them, we cannot pick a suitable time to go and do the boys really want the same thing as Sexy Sporty Dad and I; for that matter do we want the same holiday. I can dream! Sun, sea sand and someone on hand for my every need ahhhh. One day when my ship comes in the scales will balance until then I continue dream and keep writing.
I don’t normally double up on my blogs but inspiration comes in funny ways; this is the piece I have sent into the magazine for March.
Following the Dream When I was little I was subjected to the age old question; “what are you going to do when you grow up?” It was easy I wanted to write a book, I wanted to see my stories in print giving pleasure to generations of readers.
In those days my heroine was not J K Rowling but probably Enid Blyton whose Famous Five stories left me thirsty for adventure. I saw criminal conundrums or puzzling problems requiring solving in everything I did. My poor teachers would tear out their hair complaining that my imagination was just too vivid and could I not just do the homework devoid of embellishment and fictitious characters.
Obviously my parents were concerned about this ethereal world I frequented and over the years I was persuaded to grow up and get a job that paid money with firm foundations in the world of security and career paths.
It didn’t go away; that niggle, that itch to put down on paper a story made up in the dim recesses of my mind that had escaped my teachers’ tyranny and my parents’ persuasion. Recently I was rewarded by seeing a fellow blogger publish her first novel. Hannah Evans is someone I identify with strongly and her book MOB Rule epitomises my life nearly as well as if I had written it myself. MOB = Mother of Boys. She is me ten years ago except; she has taken the bull by his proverbial horns and accomplished what she set out to do rather than waffle around the issue and keeping the desire hidden. If ever I need a prod to kick start my flagging writing career here it is.
I have followed Hannah Evans for a while having met a friend of hers who commented on how similar my writing and hers is. I came away determined to find the blog the friend had shown me. All I could remember of her was she was a mother of boys and had a blog - you try googling MOB.
Finally my birthday arrived and unsuspecting, my sister asked me to wait for my birthday present; she would explain when she gave it to me. A week later I received the gift. MOB Rule the book had been published only that week; hence the wait. I had a copy literally hot of the press. It was not only finding this writer that delighted me, but Sexy Sporty Dad who rarely; except under severe duress reads anything I write, was hooked. He has not put the book down denying me any chance of reading it. However from his comments and gales of giggling I know he is identifying closely with FOB.
Go Hannah go and yes those scales will tip towards giving me time; after all my boys are old enough to join in and be an active participant in this family of ours. She is still coping with the young demanding 24/7 needs of tiny tots so here goes.
Check out my cooking blog at Teatime Treats with Tiggy