As the old saying goes, all good things must come to an end. This week is the last of the Summer holidays for myself and my siblings. To quote many an effervescent X-factor contestant – what a rollercoaster this experience has been! The Old Goat has tried her very best to keep us entertained these past weeks. I’d like to share with you a brief run down of some things Summer 2017 had in store for us.
We were herded to the woods with our Tupperware boxes held against our body as shields. Fighting through the nettles and thorns to reach the juiciest blackberries was meant to be a team building task, I am sure, and not the horrific torturous ordeal it actually was. For some reason we were all dressed in either shorts or dresses thus allowing for maximum affliction to the legs. If anyone dare pipe up about the nasty welts which were appearing one after the other the Old Witch chucked a dock leaf at us and told us to rub ourselves with it. ( I have a sneaking suspicion they were not remedial dock leaves but dandelion leaves which did nothing what-so-ever to help the burning sting). She sauntered about the brambles bellowing out encouragement and offering advise on whether a berry was fit to be carted home or not. I was quite shocked at this sudden nature loving side of my mother. I had never once seen her revel in the fact we could forage for sustenance before today, yet here she was skipping about like a chubby, dishevelled woodland fairy plucking berries with a whimsical look in her eye.
It was short lived.
The bickering and moaning broke her and we were all thrown into car with our bright red legs and purple stained fingers and told to, “Shut up” when a voice from the back helpfully suggested we all partake in an evening meal from McDonalds.
Back home we sorted through the mess of squashed fruit and we were all assigned jobs, which involved stirring the pot, adding sugar to the mixture and squashing the fruit.
Whilst we boiled the blackberries with the sugar we were all eager to try the jam as the smell emanating from the pan was truly delicious. Unfortunately, this was misleading. Once the jam had been decanted into small glass jars and allowed to cool it turned into a solid lump which was more like dried up No More Nails than a seasonal preserve. It was wholly disappointing.
We have spent a large majority of the holiday in the woods walking the dog. On one particular uninteresting wander we literally stumbled into a clearing where glorious makeshift rope swings had been cleverly wrapped in the branches overhead. The fact they looked like a first class ticket straight to A&E made them even more enticing. Too busy collecting great piles of dog excrement to sufficiently supervise, our mother let us play on the contraptions despite other dog walkers disapproving stares.
The next fabulous activity we were allowed to indulge in was sleeping in the big bed. Whether it was permitted with intention or complete and utter exhaustion just kicked in I really could not say. We were all just grateful for the chance to sleep in a huddle on the Big Ones king size memory foam mattress with her. And on top of her. Until eventually she gets pushed out and has to sleep on the sofa. Co-sleeping promotes the child/parent bond so I personally think this practise should be introduced as standard. However, the baggy eyed one will never agree as long as she has the excuse of school and the need for us to have a good nights rest.
Nervous Marshmallow Roasting.
Another cheap activity that we were forced to undertake was roasting marshmallows in our little chiminea. The anxiety levels of my mother with this particular exercise in family team building were the highest since records began. Being micro-managed with a marshmallow is not much fun especially when it is accompanied with shrieks of, “GET BACK, GET BACK!!” and “BLOW ON IT, FOR CHRIST SAKE! YOU’LL BURN YOUR BLOODY TONGUE OFF”. By the time we had roasted a few treats it was apparent to all involved that although delicious the sweets were not worth the angst created in the production process.
All in all we had a pretty good Summer. But now the air is getting crisp and the leaves are turning golden brown. Soon Autumn will be upon us and with it will bring my birthday. Three years old next month! How time flies.
Until the next time, dear friends.