1. Rain, rain, rain ... it has been raining all week, though the temperature has been hanging in at the low seventies, which makes it feel muggy. The nights are getting cooler, and a cool wind on Tuesday made it feel positively autumnal. I'm not ready for summer to be over, particularly as August really hasn't felt summery. Autumn always used to be my favourite season - I love breezy autumn days with a slight chill in the air - but as I get older I find the long winter nights more and more oppressive, and the thought that winter is just round the corner has taken the glow away from autumn. These days I'm more of a summer person, but British summers are rather elusive. At least this year we did have a few hot, sunny weeks in June and July.
2. School holidays finish next week. This year they have positively flown past, and it has been lovely having all three girls home. The downside of school holidays, though, is that all routines fall apart. Housework, laundry and menu planning all become hit and miss (with more miss than hit!), and sleep patterns are all over the place. The older girls go to bed and get up later and later, while Cherub sticks to her normal routine of being in bed by eight and up before seven. My nights seem to get squeezed at both ends, but I compensate by lazing around for half the morning in pyjamas. Poor old Tevye, on the other hand, is still in his normal work routine, which has become more and more disconnected from everyone else's. Much as I will miss the girls when they go back to school, I have to admit we could do with getting back into term time routines.
3. My checklist of plans for August? Total fail. I'm not going to embarrass myself by checking off what I have and haven't done. At least I did well on the "places to go" section. I have unexpectedly found myself with a pile of overflow work from Tevye's office, which added to my day a week at the record office, and taking girls here, there and everywhere, has left us with far less chill out time at home than I anticipated.
4.Yesterday's trip was to London, to take Star (my would-be fashion designer) to this workshop at the Fashion and Textile Museum. Cherub and I had a (brief!) look at the museum's current exhibition: Horrockses fashions from the 40s and 50s. This blog post has lots of pictures, including one of a white / yellow / floral housecoat. I was kind of surprised by the housecoats on display, as I had imagined them to be much more utilitarian - a kind of coverall to use while doing housework. Not so ... these were designed for lounging around looking elegant. Apparently it was entirely acceptable to wear a housecoat while receiving visitors.
5. Poor Cherub was dragged along to the workshop with us, without any Cherub-style activities to compensate. Normally I would have taken the girls somewhere that would be fun for both of them in the morning, but a combination of inertia and abysmal weather meant we didn't bother with anything except the workshop. No matter, I had things on hand to keep Cherub happily entertained in the museum cafe while Star did her thing. Or so I thought. Cherub loves these Usborne Things To Do write on / wipe off cards, so I took them along. Got them out to use ... no pen! On to Plan B, which was to let her play on my iPod Touch. Her favourite game had got deleted. Result, one very sulky Cherub. Fortunately she was eventually mollified enough to settle for crayons and a colouring book.
6. Cherub is getting increasingly independent with things like dressing herself and taking herself to the toilet. I forgot that this can have its downside in four year olds. Angel discovered a blocked toilet ... turned out Cherub thought using half a roll of toilet paper in one go was a good plan!
7. Eek! Yet another morning is running away with me. I am taking Cherub to her friend's for a playdate in an hour, and still have to eat breakfast, shower, and reboot the laundry. At least Cherub has got herself dressed and is ready to go!
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