Sunny days in Sussex – let’s hope we get lots more of them as we start the summer holidays: One Thing or a Mother

That was more like it.

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 5:29 pm

That was the kind of weather I deem acceptable for a weekend in mid-summer. Please can we have lots more of those kinds of weekends, oh lovely weather gods?

As it happened, we didn’t have any plans this weekend, so I got the paddling pool out and let the kids have a couple of days of fun in the garden.

It was all going swimmingly (lol) until they found the water pistols and other equipment that fires water.

Katherine's barbecue portioning is not the best – but at least nobody goes hungry

Now I’m a journalist, so I don’t earn the mega bucks. And as such, while our garden is lovely, it’s not big enough for water-based toys to be fired without regard for the neighbours.

So, the finding of said water pistols led me to create a mantra that could be heard repeated approximately 14-million times over the weekend. It went a little something like this: “Not over the fence! And don’t shoot the washing.” Pretty catchy, right? Wrong!

I’m not sure what the neighbours found more annoying. Being hit by water pistol ‘offshoots’ every few minutes, or hearing my voice uttering those same nine words on a loop (a survey of my friends and colleagues would probably suggest it was the latter). It was pretty relentless, but despite the strict mummy water police, both children said they had ‘the best fun ever’.

And mummy may even have donned her bikini to get involved, too. So the water fun wasn’t just an audio and sensory experience for the people living next door. Their eyes also got offended by the site of me romping around in my swimwear. Lucky, lucky them...

We also managed a good ol’ British summertime staple – a barbecue. Why is it that when you do a barbecue, you decide that everybody is suddenly capable of eating 15lbs of meat and 16 bread rolls, each?

You’d never cook a normal dinner and give everybody a burger, sausages, chicken skewers, halloumi, salad, potato wedges, and enough bread to supply a small bakery.

But move to cooking and eating outside, and suddenly you’re all Adam Richman on a Man v. Food challenge (possibly a bit of a niche reference, but I used to love that show. Why is watching somebody eat their body weight in ribs so strangely compelling?.) And, actually, because it was warm and the garden toys were so enticing, if anything, the children were inclined to eat less.

It’s safe to say we absolutely don’t have the barbecue maths worked out in this house. But on the upside, the leftovers meant dinner was sorted for a couple of days, which on busy work/school/nursery days is definitely a win.

The only other thing we managed to do was pop into town to pick up a couple of things we needed, while my daughter was at her friend’s bouncy castle party. My son felt a bit left out, so we let him go on the trampolines/slide attraction that’s always parked up in Montague Place.

We may or may not be guilty of telling him it’s about to close, or he can’t get a ticket to go on it that day, but Sunday was his lucky day and it was open and accepting three-year-old dinosaur fans. He had so much fun, and got a good length of time on there. It was £2 well spent. I just fear for our next trip into town when we try to say he can’t go on it that day...

With the summer holidays beginning now, I’m taking a bit of time off from work to spend with my family. As such, my column will also be taking a break. I hope you all have the best of summers. I’ll be back in September to regale you with tales from mine.

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