Saturday, July 28, 2012

Out to Play

We all know that back in the day, pre electronic-screen inventions, kids were kids. They went out to play in the morning and were not seen again 'til the evening, or meal times. They even *shock horror* knocked on their friends doors for them to come out to play, and it wasn't even marked in their mum's diaries. Imagine that? Simple times...

I was a single child once. For six years. And I went out to play. There were lots of children where I lived to play with though. We played games like skipping and kerbs and we went exploring and making 'secret dens' a la The Secret Seven - way before Horrid Henry's time! I also had lots of cousins to play with too, any time we went visiting. When on my own I used my imagination and played happily with my dolls all by myself. As a teen I 'hung-out' on our street corner with other teens with loud stereos on their shoulders. It was fun and memory-making. But I won't be sharing them with you, not in this post anyway ;-)

So, what to do with a 12 year old pre-teen screen lover, when there are no friends to play with and no summer camps he wants to do? I know I have to be creative and I know I have to organise trips etc to occupy him but jeez, he's 12 years old!! He should be able to occupy himself, without a screen, for some of the time at least.

And no self respecting pre-teen wants his mum playing kerbs or anything else with him outside. Those days are sooo over. 'Whatevs mum'.

I'd love nothing better than to shove him out the door with the immortal words 'go out to play' or 'go hang-out' ringing in his ears. Well, maybe not the latter! There's no-one out there to play or hang out with though.

He's done tons of after-school activities over the years but I can't manufacture friends for him to play with out of thin air! Nor can I manufacture some siblings for him. Now.... don't.even.think.about.saying.a.thing...!

So, for now he's stuck with me and I'm lucky that he still wants to do some things with his mum. This year anyway!

So far we've had Beach PopNics and Hill Climbing Picnics...



Rivers and Waterfalls...




Fun Parks and dog walking Forest Walks....





Sealion Spotting and Kitten Minding..




And if he does happen to meet any school friends when we're out and about then I do the reverse I'm-too-cool-to-be-seen-with-my-mum teen-thing and pretend I'm not with him. Everyone's happy.

This has all been in the week and a half since we've come home from holidays. It's tiring, for both of us so we have lazy days too when there's lots of screen play! In fact every day there's some screen play. So what? I make no apologies!

We're having fun though, my boy is great company and we're looking forward to secondary school when there will be lots of opportunities to take up new activities and make new friends.

And if there's one thing my pre-teen can easily do its join in and make new friends...


So, how are you getting through the long summer break?

xx




Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Paradise and The Cat's Miaow.


You may have noticed that  I've been missing-in-action again lately. Never fear though, all is well, I've just been on holiday. A holiday I wasn't sure we were going to get to go on until very close to departure. We did, although it wasn't without its preceding Jazzy-style dramas!

Two days before departure was a particularly demanding day. You know, one of those days when it seems that everyone, including family pets wants a piece of you? It started with a sleepless night in a very hot and humid Dublin, seeing me eventually snoozing on the downstairs sofa with a demanding cat for company. She was like a cat on a hot tin conveyor belt - I'd throw her out the backdoor for her to immediately pop back in again through the bedroom window. I repeat, it was a hot, humid night in Dublin. I 'solved' the problem by closing the kitchen door, too tired to care that she had been pregnant three days earlier and was now no longer so. Silly, silly Jazzy...

The next day a sleepy-headed me ploughed through a day of getting my child to a day camp (thank God) and getting into the hospital to feed the ill patient who seemed to be staging a Lazarus-style recovery and also becoming increasingly demanding! Then back home to deal with demanding child, dinners and the increasingly demanding and miaowing cat who was now trying to climb walls to get into coat pockets. 'You're trying to tell me something. aren't you',  I said to her. Oh boy, was she ever! I just didn't want to hear it.

I snook a sneaky snooze and contemplated packing suitcases for the holiday that now seemed possible. Feeling a little rested I went into the spare room to sort suitcases and clothes. I wasn't there five minutes when I heard a distinct but seemingly distant cat's miaow. Or, was that cats' miaows? After a perfunctory and pointless peek in the wardrobe I finally released myself from denial and looked in the only other place possible. I poked my head under the bed only to witness a lovely scene: a happy pretty mummy cat and her four (yikes!!) pretty kittens...



Oh yes terribly cute and excitement all around from the pre- teen but terribly inconvenient too! What the hell do we do now? I mean we couldn't leave them there for two weeks now, could we! A bit of panic ensued and we weighed up a few options. The easiest one was a Cat Refuge but although she is not our cat , she just thinks she is, I didn't want to do that. Eventually thanks to excellent advice from some wonderful twitter and facebook pals, you know who you are, we moved and confined them out into our safe and secure shed.




We had to confine as she kept trying to move them and might desert them. There they stayed and were expertly minded by our cat loving neighbour while we were away.

So, with the pretty cat and pretty kittens drama sorted with one neighbour and with budgie, goldfish and tomato and melon plants dispatched to another we headed off on a very relaxing and relatively drama-free holiday! We have seriously good neighbours, you should know this.

And so it was, in need of serious rest and relaxation, that we arrived at our holiday destination.

My view for almost the entire 12 days was this...


Or, if I deigned to turn my head slightly to my left I was treated to this view...


Irish and Uk readers should note that the blue colouring at the top of both photos is called sky. Also, just out of shot is a big white ball emitting brilliant beams of light and glorious rays of heat to rest on ones tired bones. It's called sun.

Yes, you guessed it, we were holidaying in Paradise. Oh okay then, Lovely Lanzarote if you must be pedantically precise about it! Staying at the fantastic Vik Hotel San Antonio. 

Lanzarote, a land that hasn't seen rain in a whole year, where a glass of wine costs between €2 and €3, petrol €1.10 a litre, yet sun creams are slightly more expensive. Although I must point out that the latter observation is based on a comparison with similar products that have been reduced to half price in Ireland. Says it all really. 

Just so you know I did actually haul my lazy ass of that sun lounger on occasion. To slip simpering into the icy cold, salt-water pool where one could almost see the steam rising from ones body once one was immersed. Glorious. I also participated in most of the 30 minute  basic  aqua aerobics classes in the same pool. Don't worry though, I also achieved total redemption afterwards by treating myself to a lunchtime glass of shandy or wine. Heaven.

So now we're home, relaxed and ready for the usual melee of family life for what remains of the summer holidays. Of course I use the term summer very lightly insofar as it refers to this rain sodden country of ours. I did try to do my patriotic duty whilst on holiday though. I endeavored to put our country's most bountiful 'National Asset' to good use by offering them a Sunshine/Rain Share Scheme. Makes perfect sense to me, but we'll have to move fast! The hot Lanzarote sun may have gone to my head though, just a bit....

Yes, we're home to the budgie, the fish, the beloved plants and the proud pretty mummy cat and her 4 babies.

See how they've grown, aren't they gorgeous?


,


Go on, you want one, don't you? You know you do!

They're seriously cute and very, very pretty just like their mum. Honest.

In fact, they're The Cat's Miaow.

xx