Week 1 = done.

I’m still getting used to the fact that here in Scotland the timing of the school summer holidays are quite different to what I have always been used to in England.  Here the schools break up at the end of June, rather than mid-July so, even after 2 years of living here, school holidays always come as a surprise to me.  And I’m not sure I’ll ever properly get used to the Autumn term starting here in mid-August because September has been ‘back to school’ time my whole life – although at least now I understand why Tesco et al starts selling their Back to School range just as the English schools are breaking up!

That time of year has come round again and we have managed to get through the first week of seven.  As much as I love my kids, school holidays are never easy – especially whilst also running a business from home.  Dividing time between essential work jobs and also keeping the small humans properly entertained/educated/happy/not fighting/safe/healthy is a constant balancing act whereby your own needs are at the bottom of the pecking order.  Every parent can relate, no matter the circumstances.


I begin the school summer holidays the same way every year: setting myself the aim of ensuring that the kids have a fun and interesting activity planned for every day, but in reality this doesn’t always pan out the way I might hope.  Take today for example.  After the 3 year-old had begged to go on an adventure, there we were, a quarter of the way into a lovely sunny walk to Drumlanrig Castle down the back road from Sanquhar when we stopped by the river for our picnic.  And here the 3 year-old ignored all his lessons from previous stone-throwing traumas, and opted to throw stones at the 8 year-old.  This exquisite display of behaviour was followed up by him tipping our entire drinking supplies onto the rocks.  Safe to say, it wasn’t the relaxing, idyllic and memorable walk that I had hoped for.  Kids really are ***** sometimes (choose your own swear).

But, yay to all of us for surviving the first week – especially those of us who literally won’t get a ‘day off’ for the next 6 weeks!  We will find ways to get through it though, I’m sure.  Here in Upper Nithsdale, we are very lucky in that we have a fantastic lifeline in the form of the Family Project Summer School at A’ the Airts in Sanquhar which we’ll be frequenting over the next few weeks.  Funded by Dumfries & Galloway Council, throughout the summer there is an amazing line up of workshops, classes, films and shows, 6 days a week and all completely free and with a free lunch for all kids!  If you are staying with us at Rigg House B&B, be sure to pop down to Sanquhar and see what is going on.

a the airts summer school
The timetable for the first week of the Summer School at A’ the Airts

So it’s not as bad as I’m making out; I think sometimes we all put pressure on ourselves to ensure that those aforementioned child-raising essentials are being covered at all times.  Are they happy?  Are they safe?  Are they learning something?  Have they really been playing on their tablet for 4 hours straight?  OhmygodImTheWorstParentEver (this is perhaps an honest summary of Summer Holidays Week 1 in our house; lessons have since been learnt).  But just as long as everyone goes to bed happy, then you know you’ve done a good enough job.

Lastly, as a side note to those of you who home school your children: You are the most selfless, incredible human beings on the planet.  I don’t know how you do it.  I like to think I am a good parent but I’m definitely not that good!  Your lives are like an endless School Summer Holiday – but not in a good way!  If you all weren’t so obviously busy raising and educating your children every waking hour of every day, you should all be forming your own parliament and taking over running the country.  I have more faith in people who have the confidence and passion to educate their kids than I have in the current ‘leaders’, that’s for sure!