Well we were in Australia for the first half of April, and when we came back we settled nicely into our regular routines, with some new stuff thrown in.

S joined a new football club (to make it easier for her to get to practices on week nights) and she also started Fire Cadets which she was really excited about – she’s keen to learn to be a firefighter! I was vaguely worried she might end up hanging out with lots of older teenagers and they might not be a good influence on her, but then decided that the kind of teenagers who want to volunteer to be firefighters and spend their Monday nights rolling up hoses are probably fairly responsible and safe to be around! Although reading the reports of misogyny and sexism in the fire service is worrying to say the least. She will soon get her own uniform and learn how to run up and down ladders with huge boots on etc.

Anyhow she is busy settling into her new after-school clubs and activities, and A seems to have settled well back at school with her friends. And we are all slowly adjusting to the cat-shaped hole lovely Cleo has left in our lives. Poor Tiggy is rather bereft at the loss of her companion, but we are getting there slowly.

We’ve got various bits and bobs planned at the weekends here and there to see some friends over the upcoming bank holidays. I managed to use our airmiles from Australia to book (almost free) flights to France at the end of the summer so we can go on a little holiday to visit my cousin for a few days. And I have managed to book the children into a variety of holiday camps for the upcoming May half term as I’ll need to work. S is going to do a gymnastics club for 3 days – though it’s only 9.30am to 3.30pm, and A is going to do an intensive swimming course each morning followed by an activity camp – really hoping she will finally turn a corner and start swimming!! I never seem to have the time to take the girls swimming anymore so hoping somehow this will help!

I’ll be working over half term as I don’t have enough annual leave for everything this year, so I will have to flex my hours a bit to fit everything in – I’m lucky I can do that fairly easily so hoping it all works out. The clubs weren’t cheap (and neither are the summer ones I’m also booking in!) but it’s good to get the kids out of the house while I need to work, and also for us to have some scheduled space and time apart so we don’t go mad – last summer was a LOOOOOONG 6 weeks together!

Our summer plans are also shaping up well – we have booked a camping trip with some friends near the beach and we have got another holiday in July with my mum and family to Portugal booked in. Lots of fun holidays for a change! I am pleased we have managed to get so much packed in despite money being tight – thanks to my mum and dad and some airmiles we are in pretty good shape (plus camping is so cheap it’s always an excellent holiday option!).

It’s nice to have fun things to look forward to, especially with other things still looking quite bleak in the world like the cost of living crisis and wars breaking out all over the place.

Parenting has been somewhat challenging lately – there have been a lot of ups and downs over the last few months, especially with S, and managing complex sibling dynamics, and friendship problems and all sorts of things. S is clearly feeling more settled and safe with us now so some big feelings and anger are bubbling up and need to be managed and navigated without us all feeling under attack all of the time (not to mention pre-teen hormones etc coming into play). Right now it feels like we are in a constant state of combat which is exhausting to manage and ensure that everything is fair all the time to both kids. There have been some really complicated things to navigate with both of my daughters and sometimes it’s hard work keeping everyone civil and kind all of the time!

In other news I have decided to do the Refugee Ration Challenge again this year, as I enjoyed it so much last year, and it really helped me feel connected to the people I work with and support in my job. It was such an amazing and humbling experience to take part in. You can sponsor me here if you want to help!


It’s in Australian dollars because the UK charity aren’t running the challenge this year so have signed up for the Australian one – but all the money raised goes to support refugees around the world, and if anyone wants to sign up and do it with me feel free! The more sponsorship I can get the more extras I can add to my rations!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.