I was reared on long school holidays in Ireland where we’d get (and still get) at least 2 months in the summer for primary and over three months at secondary school. Long, languorous, lazy….lovely. Here in London I feel indignant on behalf of my kids. Five and a half weeks – not even long enough to move up a shoe size. And certainly not long enough to get bored. Boredom is good. It breeds creativity. Instead it’s as if a timer has been set and we are working against a clock with so much to do – friends to meet, places to go- until the alarm sounds invariably before all our tasks are ticked. And don’t get me on to the late start….end of July and kids are still trooping in and out of school. It’s unnatural.
DH, wanting to squeeze every last memory out of the summer of 2013, planned a trip to the Dorset last weekend. Leaving at dawn on Saturday and returning late on Sunday night with a stop for sausage rolls by Stone Henge en route. We reached the Jurassic coast in time for lunch. The kids skipped along the sandy path with buckets and nets. My daughter was torn between building sand castles; collecting shells; chipping the chalky cliff face for fossils and frolicking in the water with her brother. She’s a beach scavenger. Whatever the weather. Show her a strand and she’s in heaven. By the Atlantic in February she was filling her coat pockets with sea shells and stones and using the same to create great sandscapes.
On Sunday we hiked across the headland from Durdle Door to Lulworth cove. And back again in time for a swim when the tide came in. The late summer light sealing the picture perfect seaside scenes.
How could I not approve my girl’s purchase of a shell dream catcher. It hangs in her room and will remind us all of the summer we’re leaving behind with the promise of more summers to come.