Sunday, August 20, 2006

Yearning for mists, mellow fruitfulness and all that

So-- Whitby. Barbeque on the beach-- tick. Fish and chips on the pier-- tick. Fossil-hunting, sandcastle-building, rockpooling and ice-cream at every verse end-- tick, tick, tick, tick. I'm now officially ready for Autumn.

The trouble is there's still two weeks of the summer holidays to go, and I'm definitely feeling that the term 'holiday' is something of a misnomer. Find myself utterly worn out by lunchtime each day from the hours of psychological wrangling/bribery/threats of physical violence required to get 3 daughters out of their pyjamas and into clothing suitable for a trip to Sainsburys. (Three weeks ago I would not have included a scarlet lurex party dress and fairy wings in this category. However, standards are slipping.) The freedom from routine that seemed so intoxicating at the start of the holidays now feels oppressive, the garden has degenerated into a damp, bedraggled jungle and the house seems to have been colonised by Polly Pockets and turned into the headquarters of the rubber fetishists society. (For those who are blissfully ignorant of Ms. Pocket-- she is a tiny blonde doll with an improbably large head and an extensive wardrobe fashioned entirely from rubber. I shudder to think what subliminal messages the daughters absorb from this.)

I love autumn. I love the huge harvest moon and the scent of woodsmoke and the feeling you get that first morning when you step outside and feel a hint of frost in the air. I love the fact that it's time to do away with salads and start cooking proper, robust food again. I love the colours, and the way that even our garden manages to look like a Pre-Raphaelite painting (if you half-close your eyes and ignore the yellow plastic slide in the centre of the lawn), with knee-deep drifts of russet leaves and the apple tree laden with fruit.

But after countless years happily buried in the education system what I really love is that Back To School feeling. And this year, with a second phase of revisions awaiting my attention, not to mention the book that has been stuck at 11 000 words for months, I'm particularly looking forward to it.

Especially as it's not me who's going back to school...



Blogger Amanda Ashby said...

Imogen. Take heart. You are the nicest mother ever. Someone bought my daughter a Polly Pocket and everyday I threw away more of the clothing, until I had finally disposed of it all. Ditto on small beads, small animals and any other toys that seem to be loitering with intent on my carpet.

12:30 pm  
Blogger Amanda Ashby said...

And I forgot to say a big OMG on second round of revisions. That is soooooooo brilliant. Quick, lock those kids in the cupboard and get to work!

12:31 pm  
Blogger India said...

Amanda, you mean you now have a petite, posh-spice-esque NAKED blonde doll languishing in your toy cupboard? I'm feeling the need to put a tiny rubber sarong-thing in the post to you straight away.

12:51 pm  
Blogger Eva said...

Along with autumn, I love those rainy day Sundays, as long as they come once in a blue moon. Yesterday we banished the pollies to the storage bin and started our back-to-school shopping. My daughter has seven days before school resumes. Best of all, she and I both are ecstatic!

1:48 pm  
Blogger Amanda Ashby said...

Okay, so I guess I will have to fess up. I threw the doll away as well. And I don't even feel guilty because we all know that toys have a tendancy to multiple at night when we're not looking.

5:07 pm  
Blogger Eva said...

If toys multiply at night, I shudder to think of the shenanigans afoot last night in the polly pocket storage bin. After all, we tossed males and females in there willy-nilly. And with enough modern luxuries - a limo, aeroplane, ski resort, not to mention clothes aplenty - to outfit the most posh modern-day romance.

I shan't hazard a look when I get home!

5:25 pm  

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