KEEP YOUR CHILDREN CLOSE AND THEIR NEW UNIFORMS CLOSER

Time’s almost up. Those rolling weeks of sleep-ins and watching telly in the afternoon are nearly at an end. Days when the only meal I made was dinner. Ahhhh.

Our holiday in a nut shell:

There have been 2 camping trips – one long, one short. They involved 13 days under canvas, two meals at friend’s houses, three lunches out, fish and chips, meals cooked on a dodgy barbecue and no counts of botulism or food poisoning.

5 cinema trips

Countless cups of tea in bed in the mornings

Sleepovers and play-dates

1 chocolate fountain

A very short trip to a Sydney art gallery with sons 1 and 2. They lasted 45 seconds in the Yoko Ono War is Over exhibition, being dragged back onto the streets by their relieved father. (There followed a blissful hour for me which reduced me to tears at one point).

Countless episodes of British comedy. We watched the first series of Man Down in one sitting.

32 episodes of Doctor Who – two doctors, five companions and one metal dog

6 diet days

A game of backyard cricket and touch footie on the beach

Games of cricket and touch footie on the beach that involved me- 000000000

In this time there has been little rain, little writing and no making of sandwiches. Last night on the eve of the last day of the holidays I poured a large glass of red. My husband frowned, as I knew he would. “It’s the only Sunday that isn’t a school night for 10 weeks. I’m having a wine or two.” And I did.

Tonight is the mother of all school nights. New shoes that haven’t been broken in. Uniform polo shirts forgotten to buy for son no.2. Son no.1 has deemed his lunches too unhealthy and wants to make his own; using exotic ingredients.

Exotic ingredients = anything I don’t have in the house.

Tomorrow will be sad, glad and dangerous to know. I may just gather my children to me and insist on one more episode of Dr Who. The next one is the moon resort one and I really want to insist that David Tenant spends the day moon-tanning with Donna.

Let’s tread bravely into Term One!

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NEW YEAR INERTIA

Every year I seem to stumble into the New Year, depleted of energy and looking for somewhere to lie down. Everywhere people seem to be popping up, full of beans, telling me their plans for 2014. Some of them even exercise. You know who you are! Images of fireworks bursting into dark skies, people running around wearing lycra. I mean, is it just me?

I have no vim this time of year. I often wonder if it’s because of the weather here in Australia. But to be honest I’m pretty sure I felt the same in the UK.

It’s true I’m not the sort who forgets the past and runs toward the unknown future. The old year exhausts me before I can get to grips with the new one. The husband nags me to take down the Christmas decorations as soon as the sun sets on Boxing Day. Now why would I want to do that? I know that beneath all that tinsel and fairy lights hide layers of cobwebs and dead beetles. I mean, that’s the point of Christmas decs isn’t it. And Christmas cards.

Here I will also admit that any event involving cards – Christmas, birthdays, mother’s and father’s day – I keep them up, on the mantelpiece, until the next event involving cards. Therefore, only psychics and very very tall people can see the dust.

I think the idea of New Year is, to coin an old fashioned phrase, to take stock of one’s life. I like the sound of that. It conjures up images of me in a clean white coat, holding a clipboard. The clipboard has a list of things that I need to address. For instance:

1. Lose weight (it’s only people like me who say that you should love the body you have.) I know I will get knuckle-wrapped for that. By thin people.
2. Exercise more. Or, invent an exercise that isn’t hideously boring or hard to keep up. If anyone suggests running I will have to stop talking to them. If God meant me to run, he would have made me thinner already.
3. Stop procrastinating. I was going to put that last but thought better of it.
4. Tidy up as I go along (this gem came from my husband). I don’t think it’s going to work. I only clean in response to the shame of my friends discovering what a slut I am about the home.
5. Drink less wine. Obviously I put this one down using humour.

By now I’ve thrown the clipboard across the imaginary storeroom and there are dirty marks all down the front of my white coat.

So let’s get back to the reality of January.

I only change out of my swimsuit when I have to leave the house. It does steam on occasion. I might clean the toilet but that’s as far as I’ll go. If someone wants to visit I need 48 hours notice. I do very little writing as the kids interrupt every time – son no.1 did that just now.
And the only really constructive thing I do is fill in surveys and on-line questionnaires. It is important for me to know how middle-class I am or if I could ever become an assistant on Dr Who.