Summer update, part one

It’s been so long WordPress, and I’m not sure why. Periodically, I’ve been logging in to catch up with your posts but haven’t felt inclined to write much myself. I’m not sure why.The last weeks of school were particularly hectic. Alongside the usual end of term activities, we had a new Headteacher, an Ofsted inspection (don’t ask) and I organised a whole school event. I was exhausted and felt like life wasn’t my own.Due to the Ofsted inspection, on the last day we held parent meetings which meant I finished at 5.30, not at 1.30pm like the rest of the school. I came home flagging, threw some clothes in a bag, camping gear in the car, and my children and I set off for our annual summer camping trip.For the last few years we have started the holiday with camping, my sisters and their families and some friends joining us. I love camping. I don’t know whether it is because I spend most of my life stuck inside a school building or because I’m a farmer’s daughter at heart, but I love being outside. I love waking to a quiet campsite, sneaking out to put on the kettle and sip my coffee in the silence of the morning.We had a good time but, unusually, we had a few minor dramas whilst we were there. I’m putting it down to a difficult period for all of us in our own lives. We still had fun, and that’s all that matters.On Wednesday, everyone but me packed up. I packed the children up and drove them home to their Dad’s house then picked up my friend.I was still exhausted and was coming down with step throat. I’m not sure how I drove the 1.5 hours back to the campsite, but I did.My friend was very understanding and we spent the first day at the site, reading and drawing. It was bliss after the dramas of the earlier part of the week.The weekend was enjoyable and more relaxed, but on occasion there was a little tension between my friend and I. I felt it on our last trip to the Lakes too and wonder if it is now because we have had so many trips together. She’s a strong willed person and so am I – I didn’t always feel like accommodating her every whim. Nonetheless, we had a nice time and I enjoyed the weekend.I felt like I spent the rest of that first week at home catching up on a month’s worth of washing and cleaning. So-be-it after a hectic work schedule and a rushed camping trip!Friday arrived and we were off camping again, this time at a local music festival. It coincidences with my youngest sister’s birthday so we always have one kid free night too.This trip went much better than the first and was much more relaxed, and fun.Lost Soul and his girlfriend came on the second day. I like his girlfriend. She seems a lovely person – I’ve already warned him to treat her well. He was put out by that but as we all know what he can be like, it had to be said. He wasn’t happy about it, but I’ve noticed a change in him since it was said.He ended staying the night in a friend’s tent whilst she went home. At one point he started with his usual heart felt/less banter but I brushed it off: I’m not going there again. The next morning he told me that we’d “nearly had a heart-to-heart”. Part of me was intrigued by this. The rest of me knew the well rehearsed script. He would either tell me how much he was in love with his girlfriend or he would try to massage his own ego by dredging up what we once shared. I’d wanted no part of either so on the whole was glad that I’d blocked that conversation.I was home a day, packed a suitcase, and the next morning got on the train to the airport. I was off to Austria with my Irish travel buddy.

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