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Summer 2021 has been a fucking shit storm

Summer 2021 has been a fucking shit storm ....

I'm in bed at 8.51pm on a Sunday night not even able to keep my eyes open for Suranne Jones & her submarine full of murderous crew in Vigil ( which is bloody ace btw ) .. even my other half has raised an eyebrow at that significant throwing in of the TV towel.

But I'm knackered, knackered, knackered KNACKERED. And it's that kind of knackered when you can actually feel your eyes closing .. it's not a metaphor for being tired or a slight exaggeration for dramatic effect and sympathy bedtime tea making. I'm on the sofa before 9pm and my eyes are actually closing. This evening as well, the latest Menopause character to join the ever growing angry mob of symptoms and unpleasantries, has reared it's ugly head and it feels as if there's not a joint in my body that isn't aching like I've gone 12 rounds with The Rock. I know i've got clean PJs straight out of the dryer and the pug is following me round waiting to snuggle into the bend in my knees, so I grab my laptop, wash my face, take my Over 50+ vitamin and start writing this down.

The Summer shit storm has been primarily made up of 3 converging elements

1. Major renovation works .. like the cooking on a camping stove in the loo and moving to your mother in laws type of renovation works

2. The teenager leaving home for University

3. Working full time over 6 weeks of Summer holiday

I lied, 4

4. Peri/Menopause having a riot in my brain and body

Jeez, I lied again

5. ALL my tomatoes got blight and died

= SHIT STORM

Massive first World problems I know, but on a low ebb of energy and emotional fortitude it's been a bloody struggle I'll be honest. And tonight in my PJ's with the pug snoring like a drain, i've had a chance to write this down and have a think about the last 6 weeks.

Our renovation or #reno on Insta baby, like so many other best laid plans over the last 18 months, was delayed and delayed and delayed and of course when we finally got the green light it landed smack bang in the middle of the holidays. Which meant no house to live in over the holidays and all our pocket money for potentially, a few weeks away in the staycation Mecca that is Cornwall, was spent on taps and a new boiler. Suffice to say my lofty ambition to spend 'quality time' with the kids ticking off the list of 'Best free things to do with the kids over the Summer holidays', evaporated week 1, I believe ?

For any working parent / carer out there, holidays are always a mixed blessing. Yes, the kids get to hang and relax and you're not on a constant treadmill of driving them to friends houses for sleepovers and 'gaths' and after school clubs and all that shite, but you've got to work and at the same time try and keep the them doing something, anything to keep them off their screens for LITERALLY 10 hrs a day and turning into some nodding TikTok junkie by the beginning of Year 9. That's just not possible some days and is when my anxiety levels go stratospheric and i'm panicking about being a crap Mum and why has everyone else on Facebook been at the seaside #SummerHolidays ???????

The parent guilt of not spending enough time doing mega fun stuff that is secretly educational and creative and adventurous and character building, hit an all time high this year with the brutally rapid arrival of the day my daughter leaves for University. It was only last week and i'm not sure I can put it in to words just yet. I'm still bursting in to tears at random moments and awkwardly over hugged her bestie Lily this evening when she popped round to deliver a birthday present for the little one. She's off to Uni next week and it set me off all over again.

All this, I think, would have been just about doable on the ole emosh front had it not been for losing ALL, I mean ALLLLLLLL of my tomato plants to blight this year. Whatever the reasons ( rain & humidity & muppetry from yours truly ) they were my plant babies that I grew from seed and re-potted 3 times, and watered and fed. I even went out a handful of frosty mornings with trays of candles to warm up the tinee tiny flimsy greenhouse to try and get some paltry heat into their vines. It was to no avail and I pulled them all up in a teary rage before shutting myself away in the shed with a tin of John Smiths that was meant for the slugs. All time lowwwwwww.

So this evening I'm a bit flat if I'm honest and I'm trying to manage some overwhelming feelings of loss .. one brilliant young woman, our daughter, delivered in to the big wide world, the little one back off to school for a 3 week boarding stretch, my achy bones reminding me I'm no longer biologically built to bear children, the renovations at a standstill now the kids aren't here OBVS and my withered tomato plants playing with my horticultural confidence. Remind me what it is I'm supposed to do now ?

I know what I am going to do in the morning however .. enjoy the alarm not going off, a cup of coffee in bed without any doors being slammed or pre-breakfast demands for gaming money and I'll work out the rest after lunch.