Oops I did it again. I aimed too high. In a flurry of over-confidence inspired by the glorious sunshine over the previous two weeks I planned half term to death. Charming and edifying activities were organised for each and every day and every single fucking one of them outside. I hate the British Summer. I have spent the last week fighting off the kid's asthma attacks and hypothermia. This has lead to endless whinging, ice cold picnics standing in the rain and hour upon hour of nursing a single hot chocolate in a Cafe Nero. A cold half term is so expensive my bank account is still shivering.
Day one - Whoooo! bank holiday! So many plans. Instead all four of us got to sit inside watching the pissing rain. Bastard English weather. Eventually there were attempts to venture out. The children rode bikes and scooters outside unsupervised. I wasn't going out there, it was brassic. Heroic husband took grumpy children out to the park so I could get some kidmin done - this was the day of a stand up picnic.
Day two - Play date with a mate which was lovely, but more indoors than we would have liked. Unfortunately I had also made the rash promise of a trip to a park with monkey bars and then realised I have no clear memory of which parks nearby contain monkey bars - honestly, it's like I just sit there on my phone not paying any attention to the kids, or something. Cue grumpy and recalcitrant children kicking stones around a monkey bar-less park with me barking that they should be bloody grateful I take them anywhere.
Day three - Play date with a (different) mate which was just as lovely but also more indoorsy than anticipated. The children behaved beautifully but by the time the four of them were through playing with ALL OF THE TOYS I could no longer see a single bit of my living room carpet. My mate took her little cherubs home as one of mine threatened to break out the PVA and glitter. I am eternally in her debt.
After that big kid went for another play date and took the opportunity to mess up someone else's house. I took small kid to a fire station open day... along with every other bugger in the village. It was very busy and very nice and small kid's Elsa costume was appropriate to the temperature if not the fire theme. However, during the cutting a car in half exhibition Elsa discovered the cold did bother her anyway, so we called it a day and went home to watch Hotel Transylvania 2 for the millionth time.
I was too knackered to tidy up so I drank enough wine that it wouldn't hurt if I stood on some of the lego still scattered all over the floor.
Day four - A reunion with old, dear friends and my lowest ebb of the holiday. We had decided that a stroll along the South Bank would be just the thing. We had not anticipated the arctic weather conditions. It was too cold for the human statues even. Every Brazilian bar, every beach themed window display, every shack selling summery foods seemed sad and diminished in the squalling grey wind. There was no joy on the South Bank that day. I lost the plot when the big kid covered himself from head to toe in wet sand. I beat it off him like a Victorian housemaid with a particularly dirty carpet, hissing "What were you possibly thinking? We are three hours from home. Don't even think about whinging if this starts to chafe." It was not my finest hour. The kids fashioned nunchucks out of Wagamama chopsticks and straws, which was admirably resourceful but left me a little unhinged as they swung them towards innocent passers by.
Day five - Bekonscot. I bloody love a model village, me. It's the one place where feeling absolutely massive is actually fine. This will be covered in the Days Out section so I won't say too much here. Suffice it to say we wore layers and there was an acceptable level of fun.
Day six - The kids watched endless films whilst I swore at the rain.
Day seven - Weeping. So much weeping. Also excessive use of iPads.