The half-term holidays are here again (again? So soon already?!) and have unfortunately coincided with a severe lack of cash, owing to the fact that
a) it's been a five-week month, and
b) a Visa bill has arrived with the Venetian trip expenses (hotel) and two birthdays'-worth of presents on it, and
c) it's car servicing, road tax and insurance renewal time.
The weather, so lovely and balmy over the weekend, has defaulted back to the distinctly chilly (although that's been partially moderated by some sunniness this afternoon). The husband, faced with the prospect of returning to his ever-increasing pile of responsibilities, was surprisingly upbeat. Looking out of the window this morning at the dull greyness, it was me who was distinctly fed-up. Daughter no.3 impressed me with her organising skills as she arranged to meet some friends for a trip into town. She was most dischuffed when they proved themselves to be both immature and ungrateful (she'd offered to buy two of them a Subway sandwich, which they'd initially claimed to want, and subsequently turned their noses up at - it was her pocket-money she was spending on you, you morons!) and cut short the trip to meet me and her younger brother in Starbucks where we were scraping a filter coffee and a small bun. That's the family allowance gone - and it's another three weeks or so before the next payment. It's no wonder that parents are getting deeper and deeper into debt. There's really no cheap way of entertaining the kids during the school holidays. Don't give me that guff about baking and sticking and board games. Been there, done it, got the jam stains. Nowadays children are far more sophisticated and intelligent than that. They'll go along with that sort of stuff, but it holds little of sustained interest for them. We've also done the gym, swimming, museums, art-galleries, nature walks, projects, workshops, yadda yadda....What would they really like to do? Travel: travel abroad and get away from this miserable, chilly, sunless land. Me too, for that matter!