Oh June you have been extraordinary. Impossibly wet, to the point that I took a week’s holiday and never managed an afternoon sat in the garden in the sunshine, crazy busy, though when does that ever change, and in the last week the wider world feels like it’s fallen down the rabbit hole and we’re all dazedly roaming around Wonderland trying to work out what happens next. And yet it’s been lovely.
This month I took my first decent stretch of holiday since Christmas, which was long overdue, H went to Majorca with his friends and came back with the world’s ugliest golf trophy (again), and I spent a couple of days drinking in inspiration at Blogtacular.
We’ve celebrated the Queen’s birthday, H and my birthday, our brother-in-law’s birthday and our sister-in-law’s birthday with a surfeit of cake and Kitty bounced her way through half term and on to the final stretch of her Reception year.
Little Miss Elma took the second of her preschool gym badges; I have no idea what she actually has to do to get it, and she mostly demonstrates by doing a downward dog, so I’m none the wiser, but she’s very proud of the badge, and we’re very proud of her.
And as you can see from the photos, our little tiny Pip Squeak becomes ever the more determinedly attached to any golf club/hockey stick/cricket bat/stick he can lay his hands on.
A lovely dear friend came to supper on Monday night (well supper and picture taking, but he’s known me a very long time so it can’t have been too much of a surprise), and when I arrived home from work they were all out in the garden playing hockey, with Pip getting stuck in at the centre of things. Even when we went to sit at our patio table for supper he wriggled down and headed off, favouring practice over pudding.
There has been so much in the wider world this last week that is not good: a country revealed to be deeply polarised in its opinions; hurt and confusion reigning supreme on both sides of the ballot box; racism brought to the fore under the sham of legitimate political opinion. It’s been a week which will set us off on the next part of our history, a “choose your own adventure” moment, turn to page 212 for Brexit. I’m not ashamed to say that I wanted us to stay part of the EU, and I’m proud that the little part of the world where I live and the little part of the world where I’m from both voted Remain; small bastions in a sea of rural Leave votes.
The EU is far from perfect but I think that the solution would have been to roll our sleeves up and get stuck in to making it better, rather than thinking of it as the slightly camp, made to be laughed at, bureaucratic version of the Eurovision Song Contest; the sort of place where we send Farage and his ilk to keep them out of the way. I spent Friday in a little cloud of shock and gut wrenching dismay; in my little bubble of friends and family almost everyone I spoke to was firmly in the remain camp, and I wasn’t expecting the result we got. Actually Kitty did vote “out” in her primary school mock election because as she later told us, she really liked Europe when we went last summer, she wants to go again, and you can only go to Europe if you go out of the classroom. Perfect logic, but a little something was lost in explanation!
I worry about our future, about the legacy we will be leaving to these three little ones and their generation, and about the people who voted Leave truly believing that nothing could be worse than their current set up, who I’m afraid will find that not necessarily true as straw promises come tumbling down around them.
Somehow taking our family photos was a marker of normality in a week where I’ve listened to more Radio 4 than ever before in my life. A constant in an increasingly crazy world. They are my world and my confidence that when the dust settles and the negotiations are over, and we’ve looked around this new world and made it our home, I know we’ll still be taking family pictures, even the ones where Elma pulls a funny face, and Pip’s eating a ball and H and I look like we need to sleep for a week and Kitty is more fidgety than an imp.
My family, in June: