Today is the first proper day of the summer holidays. The ultimate Monday for a stay-at-home Mum. The kids all stayed up late last night but they still woke at alarm o’clock this morning. The weather is damp and muggy. We have just enough demands on our time to prevent us from taking off on an adventure but not enough to fill the day. They are tired, cranky and restless. They need a few days to find the new rhythm. Every year I worry that they won’t find it, that they will get too old for playing, that I will actually bash their heads together.
Teenage Son is teaching himself this song on the piano. I’ve tried to explain that our piano is like an elderly lady and that he might want to go easy on the pedal but to no avail. He pounds this out at full throttle and it is glorious.I highly recommend you sit back and enjoy a blast of The Rats, here. Seriously, who else but Bob could look cool in that jacket? I was only seven the summer this song took Ireland by storm but I remember it. For me, this is a song about sunburn, impossibly cool teenage boys and blackcurrants. It’s a song to shake off the Monday morning stupor. It catches frustration and smashes it. It is determined; I guess that’s what they mean by a driving beat.
Yesterday was a better day.
I could tell that the sun was blazing before I even opened the blinds. It was one of those mornings that sounds hot. The Beach. It had to be.
Swimming togs were unearthed from the dark recesses of the hot-press along with sand-encrusted scuba gear and past-expiry Factor 50. A slapdash picnic of popcorn, mandarin oranges and chocolate buns was packed. A rapid poll dictated that the dog should come too, his first beach trip. Small girl is currently obsessed with Mamma Mia so ABBA Gold was grabbed from the high shelf (where it has been languishing since Middle girl recovered from her similar obsession). With record-breaking efficiency six humans and a dog were moving beachward, some singing, some groaning, one bewildered.
Every single time, I am surprised by how much we enjoy ourselves, how much we laugh. Charlie’s reaction to the water, the salt, the sand was hilarious. He didn’t seem to want to swim but he followed Middle Girl out, as if to protect her, and got the fright of his life. He paddled back to dry sand where he was even more confused to be given a round of applause. His coat got really curly; seems even dogs can have surfer-dude beach hair.
Husband spotted a seal swimming ten feet or so away from the kids. They couldn’t see him from behind the rocks but we had a great view. I did try, but failed, to get a photo. Just believe me; he’s right in the middle of this photo, behind the green patch on the rock.
I’d guess that 75% of our family photos have been taken at the beach. They are always the best pictures, so much better than the line-ups on special occasions. There’s a quote I’ve seen a few times on Pinterest: If you want to learn what someone fears losing, look at what they photograph.