Monday, 4 August 2008

Back to reality

Got Back from glorious week on Yorkshire coast last night, so to the general jumble-sale chaos of end of term items scattered throughout the house has now been added 472 loads of washing and 3 tonnes of shells/fossils/stones-that-aren’t-fossils-but-daughter#3-liked-them-anyway/and sand. (I’m sure it must be illegal to remove sand from beaches, even if not deliberately. Think that next year I’m going to tell my children that it is anyway, and unless they empty their pockets and buckets more carefully they’ll be arrested for causing coastal erosion, and malicious damage to the washing machine.)

So, we had a lovely time with some great weather—blazing hot, but with a thick haze of sea mist which was oddly romantic and atmospheric...

I do very slightly lament the passing of the days when the girls were perfectly content to potter around indefinitely on the beach with a bucket and spade while we adults lay on towels reading and drinking Pimms. Now they’re older, holidays definitely involve more in the way of physical exertion...

Like canoeing.

I can state with confident authority that it is impossible to paddle a canoe and read a book at the same time. I did try.

Anyway, no inroads have yet been made into the laundry as this morning I was up early to wash the sand and saltwater out of my hair and put on make-up for the first time in ten days before heading off to Liverpool to chat on Radio Merseyside about the Mills and Boon Centenary Exhibition, which has just opened in the Central Library there. Have to admit to a certain amount of guilty pleasure at finding myself alone on the train, wearing properly clean clothes and able to read a book without simultaneously having to referee squabbles and listen to Atomic Kitten. I was on the Sean Styles show, which was great fun because he’s one of those people who appears to be genuinely interested in what you have to say and was extremely charming. If you're very bored just now you can listen again here— fast forward to about 1 hour and 20 minutes into the show.

Afterwards I took advantage of a child-free day in the city and wandered around the shops (so many... so BIG!) In Retail Land it’s autumn already, but as I was still feeling windswept and sunburned from the beach I wasn’t remotely tempted to buy anything except some Super-Soothing Moisturiser for Ancient and Abused Skin, and new lunch bags from the John Lewis sale for daughters 2 and 3. Most uncharacteristically thrifty and organised I thought, as I headed away from the shops and towards the Walker Art Gallery to gaze at lovely Victorian paintings. (Uncharacteristically cultured too-- by that point I hardly recognised myself.) When I started to feel weepy and maternal in front of this picture I knew it was time to head home again.

Tomorrow I’m setting the alarm very early to do a phone interview on the breakfast show on City Talk radio. (It was difficult enough trying to sound professional and articulate at 11.30, so it’ll be interesting to see how I do at 7am.) Then I am NOT going to go back to bed with tea and 4 pieces of toast. Oh no, because then I am going to go through the entries for the competition (which have been piling up nicely in my absence, so huge thanks to everyone who’s taken the trouble to enter...) and pick a winner.


Rachel said...

Welcome back, India!

Really enjoyed the radio Merseyside interview, thanks for putting up the link. You oozed sophistication and confidence--marvellous!

That painting is a bit of a sob inducer isn't it?

Good luck with the washing machine.

Lots of love,


Kate Hardy said...

Welcome back - glad you had a great hols.

I bet that pic is really stunning 'in the flesh'.

We were nowhere near a beach on hols - smack in the middle of the country and rather missing the sea - so we don't have the shells/fossils/stones/sand thing... but we have been to the sea twice since we've been home. (Very cute baby seal pics on my blog tomorrow morning.)

Am sure you'll be your usual professional, sophisticated self re the interview :o)

India said...

Rachel-- you're so kind! (And fabulously untroubled by the need to be truthful, you gorgeous girl!)

The washing machine is pretty new and feels like my best friend, so I'm concerned for it. Where does all that sand go, do you think?

Kate, we were talking about you while we were away because the kids were asking where people who live at the seaside go on their holidays-- answer, to somewhere green and leafy! When you were at Sudbury you were a mere half hour from us: if we'd been at home we could have come over and met up!

Baby seal pics are just FANTASTIC.