(Semi) Silent Sunday: Showtime

It was our town carnival and garden show last weekend. Very tacky in places, very expensive when you have three children who want to ride the rides, very exciting when you win a prize in the craft show (I got a first for my pink crochet bag, my rhubarb chutney, a black and white portrait of The Middle Miss and a second for my hanging heart decoration) and generally very good, old fashioned fun. Are these shows a British (and ex-colonial) eccentricity or do other cultures do them too I wonder?



IMG_8242Three cupcakes (children’s class – 3rd prize)






IMG_3452Winner: Best fancy dress, dog and handler (not best behaved dog though)





























September’s Over Already

I read this post a week or two ago about the speed that September was passing by and found myself nodding along with it. Today is October the first and I feel like I have so much from September that I still want to remember and write about.

New School Shoes (only half of these children belong to me!)

September is stuck in most people’s consciousness as ‘Back to School’ month. My children didn’t go back until the 6th, leaving us time for our last minute caravan trip. The start of term went of pretty smoothly. Our family routine has changed slightly now that Son Number One has joined the junior school. There’s no more dropping him off and picking him up in the playground. He goes up the path by himself now, while I retrace my steps with the Middle Miss, back to the comfort and familiarity of the infants playground. It’s only now that he’s at this stage that I realise what an opportunity the first three years of his schooling were. Meeting other Mums in the playground is often seen as a bit of trial but it’s the only chance you get to ‘suss out’ potential friends and make connections with other families. I feel as if I’ve failed a bit on his behalf when it comes to socialising. I’m trying hard not to make the same error with The Middle Miss.

The second weekend of the month saw us getting ready to join in the fun at our town’s annual carnival and show. I know there are a lot of people who are put off by the fairground aspect of the weekend. There’s no doubt that it’s noisy, brash, expensive and smells of diesel fumes, however, the children love it, the weather is always good and it seems to have become a family tradition.

In order to fund their love of fairground rides, we always try to enter several classes in the craft show part of the fair. It’s free for children to enter and with a few tactics you can nearly always win something. This year it was all a little bit last minute. We managed to organise the children into creating a vase of flowers and a vegetable animal each. Honestly, they pretty much threw them together just before we had to take them to the hall to be displayed.

There is rarely much in the children’s miscellaneous class so we entered The Middle Miss’ kit dolls that she had sewn. Actually we hedged our bets and entered one in miscellaneous and one in the hand stitched item class. Son Number One wanted to enter a miniature garden, as he did previously. This year it was an extravaganza of fake flowers and lego people.

All in all we did quite well. The children managed to win three first prizes and a second. My Mum and I managed four firsts and a second between us. If you have been reading this blog since January, you might remember my marmalade. I was very pleased to win first prize with it.

When we finally managed to drag the children away from the fairground rides, we went to inspect the garden show. I have never been organised enough to enter anything in this. I love the giant leeks, onions and cabbages and always wonder who has had the dedication to produce such monsters. Son Number One was astounded to read about the £75 first prize for the best leek. Maybe he’ll want to have a go when he’s a bit older. The rows of prize chrysanthemums and dahlias always impress me, they look so perfect. They remind me of a neighbour from my childhood who used to grow them. They are sold off on the Sunday afternoon of the show but I’ve never been there are the right time.

The following day the weather was still summery so the paddling pool came out for one last hurrah.

The next weekend was the third of the month but it still felt like summer. The Husband’s Mum and Aunty came to visit and we spent most of the time outside.

Nails were painted….

Lunch was al fresco…

There was insect life in abundance, making the most of the last chance to feed.

We managed to squeeze in a little birthday celebration, with a bought cake, hastily decorated with more enthusiasm than style.

That was the last weekend where you could still wear shorts and sandals and pretend it was summer.

Since then we have had some lovely sunny days but there is a definite chill in the air. We’ve even had a hint of frost and a threat of flood. The nights are starting to draw in and we are back in the familiar routine of school uniform, homework and spelling tests. We’ve been thinking about harvesting too but I will save that for another post….

September is over, summer is over and now we are stepping on into autumn.