Summer in the city

It’s a beautiful balmy evening, the height of late summer. Not a breath of wind. I sat outside just now as it grew darker. It’s always slightly bittersweet these last days of August, as you know that the weather will turn in a few weeks time. My bedroom is in the attic, which can be overwhelmingly stifling and lead you to just lie down and not do anything else.

Is this so bad though? My boys are old enough now to not need to be taken to the park or the beach. Indeed they snort in derision at the mere thought of it. I’ve told myself that it doesn’t have to stop me going, so I’ve taken myself off to swim a couple of times and gone for walks early before the heat of the day.

Being self employed, I can take time off in the summer holidays, which is a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I can lie down and unwind – indeed, for good mental health it is a necessity, not a luxury – because I juggle a lot of plates workwise and personally, being a single parent. However, it’s hard to rid myself of the nagging sense of things that should be done, need to be done. I’m well aware of encroaching events, documents and workshops that need my attention. The buck mostly stops with me as a company director.

I’ve done some bits of admin in the last couple of weeks, but find it hard to concentrate. Even though the boys remain sequestered in their rooms on screens a lot of the time, their body clocks out of whack with daylight hours, it’s hard to settle. Certainly my idea that I’ll ‘write a bit more of my novel without the regular appointments I have in term time eating up the day’ remains an elusive pipedream. The thought that one of them might pop up at any moment shrivels my intent. (I KNOW JK Rowling managed it in a busy cafe, I’m clearly just not as disciplined!)

Then there’s the guilt that I should get them off their screens. However, I pat myself on the back a little here because these summer holidays we’ve been away to visit Scandinavia (including staying with a friend of mine in Sweden), to see my Dad in the West Country and are shortly off to Ibiza. On these trips, they are ‘forced’ to sightsee and converse, as well as lounge on screens and swim in pools or the sea. It’s a hard life, eh…?! I’ve decided I won’t feel guilty about having holidays. For many years when they were small I didn’t have the money to do so and also had both parents living in France so it made sense to go there. Some catching up is in order, especially as they’ll be fleeing the nest in a few years.

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