Things were really starting to get on top of me the last time I wrote, and I couldn't really figure out why. I think it is partly the fact that I have forgotten some of the techniques I used to use at work to keep myself straight. Things like using my diary, and making lists, rather than trying to store everything in my head. Things like prioritising, allocating time to particular tasks, breaking down the big jobs into smaller ones. All that good stuff. Carie reminded me with her tips on my last post. I guess it seemed a bit over the top to approach my current life in the way I used to approach life as a solicitor, but actually, being a house-wife/stay-at-home mum is no less of a job than being a solicitor and involves just as much juggling and attempting to appease imperious foot-stamping children... Especially when you take into account my voluntary job (which is proving way bigger than I imagined... or at least, it is that way I have been trying to do it so far - changes will be attempted on that front) and the fact that I really want to keep some sense of myself outside my role as home-maker and family caretaker.
So a fair chunk of the last few weeks has been spent trying (and largely failing, but hey-ho) to organise myself a bit better, trying to bring some discipline back into things, and trying to (a) bash through some of the backlog on my voluntary role and (b) figure out exactly how much time and energy I am prepared to devote to it and marshall my resources accordingly.
Then on the more fun side of things, there was that glorious weather in late March and the small matter of a trip to Somerset and Devon for the long overdue wedding of two good (but rarely seen) friends. We might only have been away for three nights but boy did we cram a lot into that trip.
We broke the journey to Bampton, Devon down by stopping for pizza and then stopping for a run round Stonehenge. I appreciate this may not be the traditional way to view this revered ancient monument but it was Baby Bird's preferred approach and all we could really do was try to keep up.
The next day involved a trip to Minehead to play on the beach, and
cream teas for all. Clotted cream was, unsurprisingly, a big hit.
We then headed on for a nice pub lunch on Exmoor before spending the afternoon at Exmoor Zoo. This is a fantastic little zoo and we are already planning to go back, as we didn't really have time to see everything.
We did get to watch the penguins being fed though, which was great fun.
The day was rounded off by a family trip to the Bampton Fish Bar, where Baby Bird was introduced to curry sauce and mushy peas (can you tell that one of her parents is from the further north than the other?).
It was all a bit much for some of us.
Saturday was, predictably, the only day that actually looked and felt like the end of March, so unfortunately, the wedding was somewhat chilly and overcast, a fact made all the more disappointing by the fact Saturday was flanked by two stunningly warm and sunny days. Still, the wedding was lovely, the bride and groom looked fantastic, and Baby Bird was very well behaved for her first big occasion.
There will be more about this particular day later as I want to show you the dress that I made for her to wear, and I am very much hoping that the photographer will have got a good shot or two of her since we failed miserably.
Sunday we packed up and headed home, after running off a bit of steam in the nearest park, stopping off for the obligatory Little Chef lunch. I don't know about you, but Little Chef features strongly in my memories of childhood trips and I wanted to get Baby Bird off on the right foot.
Spaghetti & meatballs wasn't on the menu back in the day, nor was the smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on toast that I had, but the pancakes that we all shared for dessert most definitely were and it was a jolly way to finish our hols. People screw their noses up at Little Chef and places like that. I say it's horses for courses: as a family-friendly spot for a bite to eat on a long journey up the A303, this was perfect. We didn't want or need fine dining; we needed clean, easy and providing crayons. Job done.
Easter was altogether quieter as all three of us managed to get sick (to varying degrees) over the course of the week either side of the holiday. However, that did give me some time to do a spot of knitting and also some sewing. I'm looking forward to showing you what I've been up to.