My husband breaks up today for a mammoth eight week summer holiday. It has been a very busy few weeks, not helped by a bad cold, hurting my back last weekend and a heatwave. As always, I am looking forward to 'The Summer': I envisage lazy picnics, plenty of days out, late breakfasts, iced tea on the decking, lots of tidying and sorting, getting the garden looking lovely, concentrating on my writing, making fudge, playing games and finally being totally prepared for the beginning of term.
It's never like that!
This year, we have ten days in Cornwall booked, visits to both sets of parents and my two-week mission trip. We have three weekdays before we leave, ten days between Cornwall and my parents-in-law and then we are straight down to my mum's. A ten days after we get back again, I am flying out to Uganda. I get back three days before the start of term!
When I look at it like that, it is a reality check and I have to remind myself that I won't get it all done. Also, I need to remind myself that this is just eight weeks of my life, any deadline is artificial and self-imposed, and being together as a family is what makes it special.