With relatively vast (by local standards) quantities of snow around, i hadn’t been out for a few days, though the children had played endlessly out. We were quite glad that the planned Brownie trip to Holiday on Ice was literally out the back of us, so we walked through the show (as we would have done anyway!) and avoided the huge queue of cars very neatly. It was rather muddy, so on the way back we trudged through the snow and sung carols about good kings and footsteps! The show itself was absolutely spectacular and well worth the money and walk; the kids all loved it and so did i. It was excellent to see skating being done as a performance rather than a competition for a change and all the effects were magical, brilliantly executed and huge amounts of fun to watch.
Walked back to a second birthday tea and some packing and tidying up so we could go off to Melrose. I was a bit (!) nervous about the drive but we’d all decided to just see how it looked in the morning and it was bright and dry; we set off by 11 for the quickest, easiest and pleasantest drive north ever. I was THIRD, arrived before the YH was open and didn’t get lost, several firsts for me!
I won’t do a blow by blow account but that doesn’t mean we didn’t have a lovely time. I barely saw any of my children at all, the first time Josie was really just off on her own, which left me more time to be marginally more helpful (felt like i pulled my weight this year!!!) and plenty of time to gossip. I actually got time to converse with Jax for practically the first time ever and even played a board game with her (which i actually quite enjoyed 😉 ) and also had plenty of time to chat with Papa Evans, adore little Pal and play Pandemic over tea, wine and biscuits (notable lack of cake this year!)
Fran had a lovely time with Angel and Gwenny and mostly negotiated the differences created between being a flipperty gibbit who adores a sensitive soul with only a few hiccups, Maddy played a lot with M and Ernest, moving into the circles of the other 8/9 year olds once the steam, dust and flying fur had settled, Amelie and Buttercup were surprisingly more open to other friends and so had a lovely time with E & R, A, C, HRH and others and Josie played either with them, or with mixtures of BB, Pal, Luna, X, S and… well, rather a lot of people. If it wouldn’t be so injurious to our souls and privacy, i’d have invited Mr Badman along to view these horribly unsocialised children who are at such risk from their parents 🙄 It never fails to amaze me how it is that we turn up somewhere with children who see each other a few times a year and who spend less time in groups than most and yet they always fall in together, have fun, play kindly, make themselves a holiday, behave thoughtfully, don’t trash the youth hostel, absorb new kids and are an absolute pleasure to be around. They don’t need supervising, they don’t need helping very much at all, they don’t spend hours telling on each other or being affronted by things, i don’t have to worry about my possessions not being respected even when there are 80 children in my bedroom (exaggeration? only maybe!) – in short, if ever there is an example to prove that home educated children are well socialised and able to function as they should, Melrose is it 🙂 I’m only sorry that on recent experience of some kids, maybe this means HE kids aren’t in fact normal. They are just what normal should be.
My favourite small points of the week were the Evans clan coming to bounce at me and tell me how much fun they were having and how much they’d liked a present we sent at Xmas (has to be a favourite as they were so gloriously lovely about it!), playing ‘dive over the chair’ with Pal (yep, i’m still broody), playing Pandemic several times, going to Rosslyn Chapel, the “Victorian Snow” effect of the first evening and my customary walk through town with Marcus to buy bug killers, shopping for 2 meals that filled 2 trolleys, the enormous fun that was had by the kids sledging and snowman building, a walk into town with Helen, Fran and Josie, seeing lots of kids Fimo and Hama-ing and watching Josie chatter away to X &S while perched no the edge of the table. I loved seeing her come out of herself this week.
My 2 absolute favourite bits of the week were music with Helen and Em, which Helen wrote a great cello part for and Fran adored playing. She tried so hard, because it was at least as hard as anything else she had ever played and she did not want to be defeated. She really kept at it and adored playing with 2 “good” musicians as well as alongside all the other learners like her. Helen did a great job of the music and all the kids who joined in loved doing it, even if they just played d or e a lot! I like recordering for it and wished i’d brought my flute.
Other favourite bit of the week was the kids doing a talent show on the last night, mainly instigated by Maddy i think. All the adults had slightly groaned and rolled our eyes at the thought of this so we pretty firmly got our comeuppance when we got presented with a slick, well ordered, supportive and organised show with a running order, rehearsed acts, nothing too long and rather a lot of humour. We were all very impressed. My big three did several acts; Maddy played guitar and sung Tomorrow, Amelie was in 3 (!) things, a fab cartwheel and rollypolly show with Buttercup and SB, singing Maybe and 2 other songs with Buttercup and A and ‘Lepeing Loontics’ (or so the poster said, it may have meant Leaping Lunatics!) with SB. All very funny. Fran did a gym display with R.
I think all the adults fully appreciated the show, especially the contributions by late entries and hecklers 😆
We were very sorry to come home the next day but grateful for the super organised clean-down, Jax and Alison being ‘last out’ monitors, sorry to leave behind the yummy communal cooking, glad to have an over-the-border convoy to leave in as we were all a bit (unnecessarily) worried that the previous days snow might still be hanging about there and very glad to have a last lunch with Em and co on the way home. And it was an easy drive back (we beat Max home from work!) and i felt like i had had a proper holiday from work too. That is a holiday like Steve Clarke has holidays, with a phone stuck to my ear… – but still a break from worrying 🙂
Still plenty of snow here on our return but it is mostly on its way out now and has matched our lazy weekend feel perfectly. We’ve gamed (new version of Cluedo is excellent) and i’ve tidied a bit and mostly listed the first 100 or so of our new products ready for them to arrive. Holiday is over.