What kind of person sees a pile of cow poop on the floor, and decides THIS is the medium in which to express their joy at being in an area of outstanding natural beauty?
I love this!
Even a big pile of shit can be joyful, and can bring joy if you just tweak it a little bit. It depends on how you view it, and what work you’re willing to put in to make a really shitty moment or situation a more positive experience!
I might be projecting too much here…
With the boys being away so much in the first 3 weeks of the holidays, and serious financial tightness felt for the latter few weeks, we honestly didn’t do much in the way of traditional Summer Holiday fun.
No trips to the beach, no picnics out and about, no BBQ’s.
We spent a lot of time just hanging out around our new home, tinkering with room configurations and doing odd bits of painting and decorating. Sam was outside a lot playing on the street with his friends, and Callum would spend time online with his more distant friends.
But for the weekend of the 25th, we did ALL OF THE THINGS!
Sam’s friend Roo came up from London and stole my baby away, so they could celebrate Roo’s birthday early. In return we stole her big kid Orlando and let him and Callum loose in the kitchen!
You know teenage boys have FEROCIOUS appetites, right? Turns out teaching them how to prepare their own food is the BEST thing you can do to save your sanity and efforts.
They cooked their own lunch, and made a few batches of pancakes! Not fully supervised or supported. I was hiding away in the next room while they did it. Close enough to run to aid if one of the kids stuck their hand in a blender (NO boys, you do NOT need a blender to make pancakes!) but far enough away I didn’t have to listen to their teenager boy humour.
Saturday felt very special, because we had visitors that I’ve not seen in freaking YEARS!
My niece and nephew live waaaaay south of us. It costs a small fortune and at least two vital organs to get the train to their area, so we’ve not been down to visit them since my boys father and I were still together.
The last time I saw my niece and nephew was about 4 years ago, when my littlest niece was still a wee baby.
They came with my ex brother in law whom I also hadn’t seen in a long while, and we were able to spend the day hanging out.
And by hanging out, it seems that means playing party games like Quiplash, and realising just how dark and twisted these young peoples heads actually are.
I wonder where they get it all…
With 7 of us playing the game together, there was such a great atmosphere in the room, with everyone laughing at one another’s jokes, and lots of fun mild natured ribbing. Each player uses their phone or tablet to join an online session, led by the main game based on either a console or a computer. In Quiplash, you need to try and make the funniest answer to a shared question prompt.
For example, one question we got was:
What would be the worst Salad Dressing?
Answers that were submitted were PEE and PHLEGM.
Cue vomit noises. Ugh.
I adore how quickly Quiplash can bring people together, and pulls down any delusions people may have about one another being decent people!
After a god few rounds of Quiplash and other Jackbox.,tv games, I managed to rally all of the kids (and adults) outside into the sunlight and fresh air. Once everyone had acclimatised, an epic battle commences along the street, with all kids brandishing weapons and trying to defeat the opposing team!
And once everyone had been brutally murdered and/or got bored of capture the flag, out come some other items to play with, like devil sticks and musical instruments.
Not only did Uncle Tim come play outside (woah) in the sunlight (Woah!), he also WILLINGLY engaged in some object manipulation! Tim and Devil Sticks go so well together.
And when someone has a high level of enthusiasm for olde style black and whiten movies, he gets turned into his own black and white movie star!
Also, turns out my Niece Tegan is a natural talent at the Ukulele! I lent her our spare Uke to take away with her while she was staying with her grandparents, and by the time she left to go back home, she had bought herself a brand new Ukulele just for her!
I love the Ukulele. It’s almost impossible for it to sound bad.
No. That is not a challenge!
We were lucky enough to go on a trip to the lake on Sunday. Roo and Orlando’s Mum had hired a car, and drove us out there in two runs. We picniced, played in the water, and created all sorts of wonderful tools and contraptions and fires!
The kids tended to separate off into their pairs, with the little ones playing mostly in the water, and the big kids conspiring on how to build a raft from dead wood around them, using tools they were making themselves from scratch out of sharp rocks, wood and string!
The lakeside day felt really amazing. It was pretty warm but not too much, and sitting by the lake listening to the gentle waves was almost hypnotic!
Sam decided to build a fire, and what started out as a fun joke for him, turned into a real goup activity! Between all of us there that day, we managed to get a solid little fire going! It took some work mind. I mean, out of the 6 of us there that day, 4 of us are involved in Scouting, surely it should have been easier than it was!
It was an amazing day all around.
And once we returned home we had my Niece and Nephew over again for a sleepover! It was legot the first time they had stayed over with us, and we did our best to ensure a safe and wholesome evening. (Read: we were introduced to Attack on Titan and binge watched the show ALL NIGHT!)
We did more things, and saw more people this weekend than we had done for most of the rest of summer. And it took some times to catch my breath afterwards and adjust back to having some peace in the house…
Sometimes I would rather have Quiplash than peace and quiet.