Getting ready for the summer holidays

I know that I haven’t been on here very much.  My son breaks up for the summer holidays on Friday and we’ve had Sports Day, end of term performances, the summer fair (which I helped out at), my husband’s birthday etc.  It does feel a bit like the End of Days where I’m taking stock of what we have, what we need and what I need to do.  I’m having a haircut this afternoon and cancelling an appointment for tomorrow.  I’ll have to book in to see the hygienist in September as there isn’t time to do that before the end of school.  That sort of thing.

The Spike is doing a series on capsule wardrobes, which is interesting.  I think I, more or less, already have a capsule wardrobe.  Although the other day I moaned to my Mum that I only had one white T shirt and am in dread of the day when it is no longer wearable (it was made by Boden but YEARS ago and they haven’t brought out anything half so good since) and she bought me one of these in white:

http://www.marksandspencer.com/pure-cotton-slash-neck-short-sleeve-t-shirt/p/p22499070?image=SD_01_T41_1348_Z0_X_EC_90&color=WHITE&prevPage=plp

I was so pleased with it, I ordered another white one and two grey ones (which have arrived).  They’re only £6.50 each so this was not as profligate as it seems written down.

I’ve done a cull of my son’s too-small trousers and shorts.  Now all I need to do is start packing.

We’re nearly at the start of the summer holidays

Name tapes

It is that time of year again – the time to order new uniform for the next school year and sew name tapes into it all when it arrives.  Logo’d stuff comes from the school supplier.

The sewing kit comes out once a year

In the past I’ve bought shorts and trousers from them as well but, although they look good, the hems come down really quickly (infuriating) and they’re relatively expensive.  So this year I bought a load of shorts and trousers from M&S – because they were on sale – and then found that it was all stiff and shiny.  So back it went.

I then tried John Lewis, which was a bit more expensive but at least the stuff looked okay.

So far, I’ve sewed name tapes onto:

  • two pairs of swimming shorts;
  • two pairs of school shorts;
  • two pairs of school trousers (one age 6, the other age 7);
  • one school jumper; and
  • three school polo shirts.

My son will also have to wear a swimming hat but as this is silicon, there’s no way I can sew a label onto it.  My husband’s mum suggested I paint his initials onto it with nail varnish which is a terrific idea.  I’ll have to see whether I have any nail varnish that is not extremely expensive (waste) and is not pink (he’ll moan if his initials are pink).  Or I may have to resign myself to having to get a new one whenever he loses it.

Looking through his uniform, he still needs two more pairs of age 6 trousers, another school jumper (he has two from this year but one is getting really short and the other is covered in a weird red stain that won’t fade – think it must have been washed with a bleach cloth) and a swimming towel.  All of which have been ordered.

One (not very serious) problem I have is that there are now three pairs of faded, too-small trousers, one pair of too-small shorts and a couple of school jumpers that are no longer needed.  What do I do with them?  There is a second hand uniform sale on at the school every so often so perhaps one of the jumpers and the pair of shorts could go to that.  However, I can’t send in faded, hem-drooping trousers and a jumper with a stain.  It feels shameful to put them in the bin but I can’t see that any charity shop will want them either.  Plus, do I have to cut the name tapes off?  I have no idea.

Cooler

It’s far cooler this week.  I know that not everywhere in the UK has been roasting but London has.  On Wednesday (32C) we went to the Bleeding Heart, sat in the courtyard and pretended that we were in the south of France.  I had snails to start and then we shared the Cote de Boeuf.

The Bleeding Heart

I am rather relieved that it isn’t as hot this week – it might even rain today!  My friend N (who is from Malaysia) sometimes talks about “candle princesses” (people who melt in the heat) and I may be one.  Heat is super when you’re in the Maldives / Seychelles / you get the idea (although much about 25C and it gets a bit much) but it isn’t a whole lot of fun when you have to get the bus into central London.

It’s not good to rush around in the heat

Shopping trolley

Yesterday I got a shopping trolley off my husband’s super mum for my birthday.  This is very exciting – I’ve wanted one for ages but either I hadn’t got round to getting round to buying one for myself or my husband has point blank refused to get me one.  I think he thinks it’s either (1) grannyish, (2) an inconvenience or a combination of the two.  He’s wrong though – it is just the thing if you live in central London – I keep seeing tattooed hipsters with them.  Plus, the other day I collected my son and his friend from school – each child had three bags with them, I had my handbag and a cotton shopper.  Result: I completely took over the luggage area on the bus.  It would have been a blessed convenience to have been able to shove all those bags in a shopping trolley.

Anyway, here it is:

Rolser shopping trolley in blue
It folds up really small

My friend E used to live in Barcelona and she said that absolutely everyone there had one.  They don’t have supermarkets there so everyone goes out to the market every couple of days.

I am particularly looking forward to using it at sports day.  It’s just the thing for lugging a picnic blanket, load of picnic stuff and a bottle of Pimms to a playing field.

Hot

It is pretty hot here right now – about 31C (getting on for 90F) in central London.  I am ratty, my children are ratty.  I have sunburn (I did put cream on but it wasn’t enough) and I can’t concentrate.  I had a piano lesson today and it was quite embarrassing because I just wasn’t getting the rhythm right.

Summer

Not a whole lot has happened here.  I’ve ordered my son’s uniform for next year (it will be nice if he starts the school year without a load of pasta sauce stains on his polo shirt and with shorts that aren’t too tight).  I need to get him to do his reading and piano practice but haven’t quite managed to stir myself.

Sorry, this was a bit of a pointless post.

Lavender

I’m watching the Election 2017 right now – I won’t comment on it here because whatever I write will be wrong, wrong, wrong by the time you read it. Instead, I thought I’d mention how nice the lavender outside St Paul’s Cathedral is looking.

The lavender outside St Paul’s Cathedral has started to flower

The gardeners have been doing quite a bit of new planting.  I’m sure it will look brilliant once it gets started.

Like this

A bit off topic but I’ve just read a super book, “Only Ever Yours” by Louise O’Neill.  It was recommended by someone on Mumsnet – she did tell me that it makes The Handmaid’s Tale look like something out of Disney.  It has a terrible title but basically it is fairly dark Sci Fi.  Someone else said that we should all make our teenage daughters read it but I’m not certain that I would want my daughter to read something so unpleasant.  In any case, she is three so we have a bit of time to go.

Islington

I read a column in The Times today by Rod Liddle (called “Greetings from Corbynia, home of yak cheese and grinding poverty. Wish we weren’t here”).  I know that not all of you will have access to this article – The Times is behind a paywall – but this article is about Islington.  It irritated me no end so I am going to RANT about it here.

  1. “… the bistros doing an excellent trade in iced vegan coeliac-friendly lattes”.  All lattes (in fact all coffee) should be coeliac-friendly – I can see no reason to put gluten in a latte.  Friends of ours have a daughter who is coeliac – it is a real (incredibly inconvenient) condition, not an excuse to be poncy.
  2. “Islington North is safe for Labour, whether the candidate is Corbyn or a pig’s bladder on a stick (which is what they have in Islington South and Finsbury. Yes, Emily Thornberry).” Emily Thornberry is my MP.  I am quite irritated with her so I’ll let this go.
  3. “In the leafiest bits of Islington the average house will cost you not far shy of £2m”.  Ha ha HAAAAA!  In the very leafiest bits (not mine), a house will cost a lot more than this.  Check out Zoopla.
  4. “…yet there is enormous poverty in the borough … two-thirds of residents don’t own a car”.  Not owning a car is not necessarily a sign of deprivation, particularly in the centre of a city.  My parents live in the centre of Brighton, are definitely not poor and don’t own a car.  It’s a hassle that they can avoid by getting taxis.  In fact, the father of a boy I went to school with lived for part of the year in France – when he came back to Brighton (and managed to park in front of his house), he would then refuse to move his car until it was time to go back to France.  Otherwise, he’d have had to look for another parking space.
  5. “Upper Street is the kind of place where Waitrose actually lowers the tone”.  No it isn’t.  There’s a Wetherspoon on Upper Street.

I’ll stop whining now.  This probably isn’t a very interesting blog post, particularly if you live nowhere near north London.

Anyway, here is a picture of a demonstration that went on outside the Town Hall a few days ago.

Pensioners who want everyone to stop being horrible about Jeremy Corbyn