Perhaps this month it’s appropriate that our pictures are a little bit out of kilter and definitely nearer the unintentional outtake, because as we get to the end of July, the whole month feels out of kilter.
This first week out of school is known to be a bit of a humdinger while everyone shakes down and gets used to the rhythm of family days again and tries to recover from the end of term exhaustion, and there have been parts of our week that have duly hum-dinged, and may indeed explain why a certain very tired young lady, who is more than smart enough to have realised that if we’re all looking at the camera we can’t see what face she’s pulling, looks as though we’ve just served up a picnic lunch of worms pickled in over-cooked cabbage.
The car crash threw us all for a loop, especially Elma, who sits in the middle seat in our cars, saw the whole thing unfold, and now says “don’t crash this car Daddy!” whenever we set off anywhere, even though if you ask her she’ll happily tell you that “an idiot made our car crash”.
Right now on Saturday evening I should be sat in the late evening sunshine at our favourite campsite in Germany, sipping something cooled by being sat in the stream for half an hour, while the children make friends and run off the wriggles of the long drive at the start of this year’s European adventure. Instead, I’m sat at home, with my arm still bandaged up because it starts to hurt pretty much as soon as I take the tubigrip off, desperately trying not to twitch because it’s been nearly two weeks since I’ve done any knitting, crochet or sewing and it appears that I wasn’t joking when I said I needed to make things as a sort of daily multi-vitamin for general wellbeing. Accepting that our dream trip wasn’t going to happen quite as we wanted it has taken a bit of coming to terms with but thanks to some very creative thinking on H’s part and a good dose of charm, all is not lost and we discovered today that we will still be going, just not yet.
The upheaval has thrown us out of our routine, and filled our time with calling insurance companies and car hire and writing statements and drawing up sketches. So perhaps it’s a fair reflection that in these pictures the camera had slipped down, decapitating H and me, though framing Pip perfectly, and in most of the others, at least one person is frowning, looking puzzled, or both.
They’re just us, sat in the back garden, on a day that was warm, but threatened rain at every turn, hoping that we could make good on our early morning promise of a picnic picnic not a carpet picnic,
My little family, in July:
And yet if I’d been able to persuade everyone to look at the camera and smile angelically, that’s what we’d have been going with. Because I think that is how our life is most of the time; filled with love, and laughter, and quite a lot of yawning. There have been some wonderful highpoints this month; watching Kitty finish school and reading her first ever school report with a mixture of awe and pride, spending time with my aunt (and her strawberry fields and her pool!), finally recruiting a new team admin at work (sounds like a small thing I know but it’s going to make a huge difference), and my top of the list moment, celebrating my cousin’s wedding.
It was lovely to see him so happy, and to meet his wife, and to see my uncles and aunts and cousins and have a whole day together to catch up and we’ve got some definite plans for a few more catch ups over the summer. That by itself would have been more than enough to fill my cup to overflowing, but there sat just in front of us in the church was the very familiar face of the only one of my cousins who doesn’t live in the Northern Hemisphere. That H has only met him once before tells you how far away we all live, and it was a brilliant surprise to see him there and to catch up and compare notes (his two little ones being of very similar ages to our littlest two.
So I’m cheating (when am I every not) and sneaking in one more photo with which to remember this month, and not just to prove that Kitty really can smile – Me and Mine and my cousin!