A very simple Sunday, thats how we like them! No rushing to get out of bed, although we’re obviously not permitted a lie in anymore these days thanks to the biological alarm clock in the next room. It was a very slow start to the day, which included a break from the normal bedtime routine with the need to give Olivia a bath, as she was far too tired before bed last night, and at times like that it’s really just not worth the fight, but obviously she still needed a bath, and so Sunday morning it was! As we were celebrating the mother and father in laws 40th wedding anniversary weekend, we were due to head over to Clare’s brothers, where the family were meeting up to celebrate their anniversary, along with a bit of a bonfire and a few fireworks once the sun had gone down. It was a lovely afternoon, as Olivia got to see her cousins, there was food laid out, along with wine and beer on offer. It was a very pleasant way to spend the day. I’d already set the Sky+ to record the Grand Prix as I knew I’d never be home in time to see it.
I love family events like this as it reminds me of my childhood and all the parties we used to have, birthdays, christmas, engagements, where I’d get to see all my cousins and play with them for hour after hour. They were good times, happy memories, that is until the family started to drift apart and the aunts and uncles started talking to each other less and the birthday parties virtually disappeared, meaning that even the cousins, who hadn’t fallen out with each other, weren’t really seeing much of each other. It was starting to look like a bit of a sad time, but the reality is that it can’t be changed now, that ship has well and truly sailed. Families really are funny things, aren’t they?! I don’t even see much of my dads side of the family any more either, especially since my dad passed away. In fact sometimes I do wonder why family has ended up being so important to me, when some of my own family have so little to do with me? Perhaps some of it is down to the way I was brought up and the memories I have of growing up. It makes sense that a lot of our adult lives and decisions are shaped by our childhood memories perhaps a little more than we know, and without us even realising it. My love of christmas for example, and enjoying Christmas dinner with the family, my love of bonfire night, the importance of birthdays… I think it all comes from my childhood. I know of one person I work with who admitted to literally shivering at the thought of having to endure Christmas with her family, and another friend of mine who has just never got excited about his birthday ever. For my 30th birthday, my ex-girlfriend at the time didn’t even get me anything, as apparently “she’d ran out of money and it was just another birthday!”. I can’t deny that I was a bit gutted, a bottle of wine wouldn’t have hurt, and yet I didn’t even get a card! But that’s just how some people are I guess, maybe that’s just the way she’s been brought up? Its certainly not how I was brought up. Of course, money isn’t everything, but its nice to know that people have still made an effort and put some thought in even if they haven’t got much to spend.
Even if I don’t see much of my own family, I am grateful for the good times I have now and the memories I am making with my immediate (and relatively new) family, especially my wife and daughter, and of course the in-laws, and not forgetting my sisters. Making the effort for me, isn’t just about presents or money, but actually making the effort to stay in touch with people or even visiting and making the time to sit and chat over a cup of tea with them. In this age of online technology and being permanently contactable via text, whatsapp, facebook and twitter, it doesn’t seem to mean that we spend any more time actually talking to or spending time with people, if anything some people seem even harder to get hold of! I enjoy arranging get togethers and being the guy who doesn’t give up. We have the technology, lets use it to actually get together, then we can put it down or even switch it off, and just talk… the old fashioned way! Todays photo was a good old fashioned get together, where we had fun and food and drinks and the kids got to play together. Olivia got to see her cousins and continue to form friendships with them that I hope will last well into her adult life!