The sun continues to shine; last week it was a bit of a novelty and so the housework was left undone, every moment possible was spent outside enjoying the glorious weather and pushing the routine and rigmarole of life to one side. But as I said, the sun continues to shine, the novelty has worn off, and normal service has somewhat resumed (though there’s still a lot of housework to be caught up on). My whinging about the heat has also vaguely abated (though perhaps not all would agree) as last Friday I headed over to Newcastle for a night out (yes, a proper night out. I wore a dress and drank (too many) cocktails) and as I drew close to my destination the skies grew grey and the temperature dropped to below 20 degrees. I was appalled, I had to wear a jacket. Rest assured though that returning to the baking temperatures of Cumbria on Saturday was a blessed relief.
So yes, normal service has resumed and I’ve been back at the farm this week, there has been sheep gathering, calf feeding, cow moooving (sorry), feeding up, scraping out and all the usual farm shenanigans. All done under the baking sun, sun cream applied liberally but the tan is still coming on a treat (as are the comedy tan lines). The livestock are probably experiencing the same mixed feelings as us about the weather, it must be nice to not be wandering through muddy fields, huddled under hedgerows from the pelting rain, but they now generally huddle under the hedgerows desperate for the shade, or I’ve seen some cows just lying flat out in it looking for all the world like they’ve been shot (they hadn’t), and the continued lack of rain means the grass is slowly (though perhaps not as slowly as the farmers would like) burning off. It also means not much is growing, seeds are stubbornly refusing to shoot and the seedlings there are, aren’t really doing much. Another season of an unproductive veg patch lies ahead of us I fear, partly due to my neglect admittedly as I could have got it weeded early and got more seeds in, but partly due to the fact the ground is being well and truly baked. Flies however seem to be thriving, I have a regular ‘flymageddon’ in the kitchen, I am now lethal with a fly swat, but within hours the number of buzzing little blighters is annoyingly high once again – one of the joys of living surrounded by farmland.
My ongoing efforts to be a more fun and relaxed mummy have also continued, I decided to do a solo trip down to the river for a paddle earlier in the week. It all started off well enough, the children and the dog running ahead “oh isn’t this perfect” thinks I, like a postcard of rural life, it could only have been improved if they were in tweed and I was chewing a stalk of barley. How very, very jolly.
“Can we have daddy just to ourselves?” says the girl in such a jolly voice.
“Can me and the boy just have daddy to ourselves?”
“What, like, without me here?” me. Not in such a jolly voice.
“Yes”, the girl, still really quite jolly.
“Well, yeah, if that’s what you want.” Me. Definitely deep into the realms of surly.
“But…will you still cook us tea?” The girl, always one to think with her stomach.
What followed was a stroppy full on sulking mummy, explaining that I wasn’t actually just a domestic slave and was actually very upset about what the girl had just said (especially as it was the girl who said it, I’m used to that kind of conversation with the boy). What followed that was a screaming hissy fit from the girl about how mean I was for being upset and much worry that I still hadn’t said I would cook tea, and concern finally raised from the boy that the hissy fit from both sister and mother might result in them not being allowed to go to the festival. I’d like to say the walk home was mainly silent, but unfortunately it was not as neither child would stop with the tea / festival questions and I was too angry to answer either, we were like one of those families no one likes to see out in public, out in public. Bob was very confused by the whole turn of events as he’d had a lovely time down at the river.
We have now left the whole “why doesn’t mummy just go away” debacle behind us however, tea cooking has been resumed (domestic slave back in action), and the kids are still coming to the festival, so for now we’re all getting on just fine (other than the usual uproar around lego / weeing around the toilet rather than in it / teeth brushing / name calling). However for the sake of sanity and life preservation, I think from now on, solo river trips will be saved for Bob and myself.