Six weeks in six paragraphs.

It has been quite an eventful summer for me, softened by the beautiful but unusually hot north east weather. I can’t remember the last time we had so much sunshine, over such a long period of time. I have loved every minute of it. Armed with my factor 50 sun cream, I have wallowed in the glorious heat trapped in our south-facing garden.

But the unexpected can be relied upon to jump up and bite us on the bum just when we least expect it. The beginning of the six weeks school holidays should have passed unnoticed by me, now that I am no longer tied to council timetables, but it just wasn’t to be. The first day into the holidays brought us a pair of house guests, in the form of two grandchildren. They may be little but by gum they make their presence felt, and our roomy home quickly diminished in size as the two boys settled into what was to become their home for the next six weeks.

How could I have forgotten the amount of space needed by two growing young boys? Just the physical space needed for their clothes, shoes, and coats can prove overwhelming to someone who is accustomed to having a neat and tidy living space. Add the toys, electrical and computerised equipment into the equation and the building, once more than adequate for our needs, shrank daily. Our dining room table groaned under the weight of laptops and Lego, Meccano and monster trucks. Bikes and scooters lay strewn both in the utility room and down the summer house till the house seemed fit to bursting. Luckily the sunny days allowed us to dining in the garden in the shade, away from the searing heat. Picnics became the norm every lunch time as we fought for space to breath.

Probably the hardest things for me were the meals. My husband and I are rather lacksidaisy when it comes to eating. We don’t have set meal times. We have breakfast when we get up, which is normally 7ish for my hubby, and about 9 for me but depending on how much sleep I have been able to get the night before. Tonight, for example we came upstairs about 9.45 because we were both tired and were nodding off downstairs.My husband is snoring gently besides me as I write, oblivious of the words being quietly typed.

Lunch is a very hitty missy event inasmuch as it doesn’t really exist here in our house. It has no set or regular time because we eat later some days, depending on how tired I am. And that leaves dinner. For six weeks whilst the boys were here, it meant a take away from either the fish and chip shop or our local Chinese. Unlike my own children who are virtually anything I cooked these two young fellows are so particular about food, I was tearing my hair out day after day finding food they would eat. So take-aways have been the best way of ensuring they had had something nourishing to satisfy them.

Yes, life can be very unexpected, not everything goes as planned, but we are usually up to the challenge. We enjoyed the lively company of two growing boys and my hubby and I benefitted from all the extra exercise we got running around from Dawn to dusk.