And let me take you to the circus.
Giffords Circus is my heart’s delight each year. It’s everything you ever dreamed the circus would be and each year their shows are a feast for the imagination.
This past weekend we drove through the wilds of hurricane Bertha to visit our friends and to take a trip to the circus together. There was a languorous lunch, gossip, cooped up children, pudding photography and the shared excitement of our trip to the marvellous village green circus.
Here is a glimpse of the performance which I heartily recommend you see for yourself before the Summer wanes.
As the heat of the Summer day begins to wane the call of an evening adventure rises in my heart.
Knowing we had missed the peak but curious to wander the fields nonetheless we headed out to find poppies in the evening sun.
We searched the horizons until we saw a glimpse of silver and red up ahead…
It’s the kind of beauty that soaks into you; stirring memories of childhood poppy fields in the waning heat of a Summer evening.
Is it possible to find a balance between work and caring for your children during the holidays?
Up until last year my work fit in well with the children. There was the odd morning of writing while they played but on the whole my schedule could flex around them.
Last year of course I jumped in at the deep end by founding and launching a company over the summer. It was an incredibly difficult time to launch a new venture and if it weren’t for amazing friends and our home-working set up it would have been a mountain to climb. Not to mention being incredibly boring for the children.
We have done a few more holidays since then and with no childcare options viable for us we are learning the balance. I admire the stoic acceptance of my need to work and the wonderful way they entertain themselves throughout the day. I’m not going to pretend that it doesn’t come with a sinking feeling of guilt though.
There are so many moments that I wish I could be heading out for the day every day especially when the progress I’m making with my work day to day is s l o w. I may be ‘working’ but without uninterrupted head time, my productivity is way down and let’s not mention my inbox.
Despite my deep feelings of guilt we have built a happy rhythm since last year which keeps me from the depths of despair.
In stark contrast to last year; the children now play quite contentedly for hours. Their imagination for play, creation and exploration leads them into shared and individual games which have them absorbed completely.
We also plan small trips out each day. Sometimes we may only make it as far as the park but we get out and away from the computer. It’s clear from the attention they pay me and the pile of them frequently in my lap that they are craving more of my time.
As well as making space for daily adventures we are also investing quality time in our weekends. Last weekend we went to Winchester Science Festival (crazy awesome), this weekend we’re off to visit friends on the Isle of Wight and we also have Just So Festival booked in. I’m hoping there will be a trip to Giffords Circus, some camping and beach days to come.
Is this a solution to the competing demands of work and the school holidays? Am I doing neither job well? I don’t know and only time will reveal the answer. I would love to know how you manage the juggle.
This Spring we have been working on the big jobs needed to give us a garden we can use. The Winter storms blew down the fences and took our 70s wall with them. We replaced the fence posts as planned and the wall has been put to good use – see if you can spot where…
Last year you might remember that we were thinking about putting in a patio. We decided to take your advice and plan the patio well. We were in B&Q costing it and figuring out our timings when we looked across the aisle at the decking.
We just hadn’t considered it before but after a lot of research, planning and costing we decided a deck was definitely the right move for our garden. It’s more cost effective, quicker to build and less effort to take out should we need to.
B&Q, as ever, have a superb video on building a deck which I recommend you watch. We used the guidance from that video to plan our deck. We made the deck 2.4m x 3.6m, 2.4m being the length of on deck board. This gave us enough room for the expanding wooden table we bought which we love!
The whole deck cost us around £200 including all of the fixtures and fittings. We bought our materials on a weekend when there was an offer on decking ahead of a bank holiday. That’s a great saving compared to a patio of the same size not to mention the difference in time to build.
There is every chance Mr Kat could have built it in a day if he had got started early and not had the children rushing around. As it was it took him a day and a half which is not bad going at all. He built it over a bank holiday weekend so by the Monday we were enjoying our first barbecue on the deck.
I can not tell you the difference having an outside dining space has made in the last couple of months. After seven and a half years in this house we really appreciate the value of creating this deck.
Here’s a shot of the deck this morning, slightly different angle to the shot above to hide the fact that the remainder of the wall is a pile of rubble on the ground! All of our garden furniture is on the deck currently because – GRASS! Next post will be all about the return of the lawn I promise.
Here is the timelapse of deck building to show you just how simple it really is to make:
With thanks to B&Q for supporting Project Garden. For more information about this kind of post please read my disclosure for readers page. Kat xoxo
Read all of my Project Garden posts.