Without a doubt, the hottest day of the year so far, and whilst summer may not technically start until the solstice in June, I can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t have been calling it summer today!
Nice weather for riding a motorbike home from work, especially as I managed to leave a little earlier than normal, while it was still especially hot out. Its even nicer if you can keep that bike moving at speed, to keep cool, but as soon as you get stuck in traffic and slow down then you start to get a bit of a sweat on with all those biking leathers! I may have to pay a visit to the local bike shop and see what they recommend for the warmer weather!
I gave myself a few minutes to cool off once I was home before I walked round to the nursery to collect Olivia, and even though it was at the back of my mind, she’d already suggested the paddling pool before I had chance, and so we thought, “why not?!”. A good pair of cyclists lungs meant it was blown up in no time, and the girls were quickly in it. Just what kids want on a hot summers day to cool off.
Putting the girls to bed meant I still had to consider the cooling process, as the rooms are so warm, and so I was into the loft and bringing down the fans to keep the girls cool while they slept.
For me… a nice cold glass of cider that my sister had brought me for my birthday! Not a drink I have any other time of the year, except for on days like this! Perfect!
Sunday really started to feel like summer was finally here, temperatures on the rise and the ground drying out from all the rain we’ve had. Likewise, the pollen count starts to rise and almost as if to punish us for enjoying the sunshine, it brings with it misery for hayfever sufferers like myself. Each year is different, and thankfully this year hasn’t been too bad so far, I am sure there is worse to come!
We’ve had a childrens party on the calendar for quite a while for today, from one well prepared parent at Olivia’s nursery. It seems that the popular choice for children around this age is to have it at a soft play centre of some description, and thankfully this one wasn’t far away from us. It was one we were unfamiliar with, and one we may well consider using again, as it was especially suitable for smaller kids. Half the problem with a lot of soft play centres is that they are geared up for older kids who are bigger and a bit sturdier, not only are some of the areas difficult for smaller kids to climb up, but the bigger kids tend to be much more reckless… and the parents rarely watch what they’re doing! The real bonus at todays party was that the entire place was hired out to just the one party, so it was closed off to the public. We still didn’t know a lot of the parents in there, but it was a little more reassuring that everyone was somehow connected and all the kids were a little safer. Soft play centres can be a little chaotic at the best of times, and you always have to watch your children like a hawk, being able to relax a little is a welcome relief.
Back at home the sun was out and it was time to get a little gardening done, pulling up a few weeds and tidying things up a little, with some help from Olivia. I happened to notice how the clematis that my sister had bought me for my birthday a couple of years ago had flowered again, and how pretty it looked. It was worthy of a photo for today. I’m still waiting for the rest of the flowers in the garden to blossom. Growing them from seed is a lovely way to do things, but they always seem to take a little longer.
Well, its the UK, sunshine and dry weather can’t last for long, the rain never came yesterday, but today its arrival was inevitable. This morning was a wet start to the day, which used to be a minor annoyance when I cycled to work, but now I am riding the motorbike it makes me a little bit nervous. The motorbike is considerably heavier than a bicycle, and just as liable to slip on a bend, as it has done previously! Having such a small 125cc engine, my bike also has small tyres, as they are all that is needed for an engine of this size, but the downside is that there is less rubber in contact with the tarmac even at low speeds, than on a bigger motorbike!
I made it to and from work without any issues though, I have learnt how to handle the bike a bit better now, and know where I have to be more cautious, especially in the wet. hence todays photo, rain drops on my living room window from when I got home from work.
Today wasn’t a day I wanted to be having any balance issues on the bike, as I was already feeling rough. Pushing myself at the gym on Saturday had done me no favours, and a lack of sleep over the last week or so was finally catching up with me. I monitor my sleep during the night with my apple watch, which I leave on, and my iphone, and over the last seven days I have averaged five and a half hours sleep a night… that’s pathetic! How am I getting only five and a half hours, not just one night, but every night for a week?! No wonder I am run down and my immune system has left me an “out of office” notice for the weekend!
I promised myself that I was going to start working on earlier nights, and so far I clearly haven’t done a great job of it! Oh well, if at first you don’t succeed, then try, try again!
Today I decided to have a little play with my macro lens and go for a slightly different close up shot, without resorting to flowers again, as they’re always such an easy target. After getting home from work, I had been to collect Olivia from nursery when she spotted one of these dandelion seed heads close to home on the way back, like most kids would be, she was straight in there, grabbing it from the ground and blowing the seeds into the air. I asked her if I could take a quick photo before she finished it off, and being as polite and obliging as she is, she said yes! She’s such a well mannered little girl, it makes me very proud.
I picked up a macro lens shortly after getting into photographing weddings, for things like ring shots, and close ups of the flowers and dress details. It has been used far more then I ever imagined outside of weddings as well, especially on previous 365 projects, and on the girls too, as it makes a wonderful portrait lens.
Welcome back! Its nice to see people returning. It has me wondering, what is it that people come back for? Are you here for the daily photo, or are you feeling compelled to read my ramblings?
Well, Wednesday means hump day, the next weekend is now closer than the previous one, and Monday morning is almost a distant memory. We’re a step closer to a long weekend, but what to do with a bank holiday? The weather forecast isn’t looking great, but we should probably try and make a few plans anyway. It would be nice to get out somewhere that I could take some nice photos, somewhere a little scenic with the girls.
Todays photo was taken in the afternoon sun, outside the house, in fact just in my neigbours front garden. Bluebells seem to have spread like wildfire down our road in the last week or so, and even into our back garden. Such a pretty sight! I am really hoping we can go on a bluebell walk at some point, as we missed out last year.
On a totally unrelated issue, one thing happened to me today that caused me to stop and give some consideration. As I was browsing through facebook, which I often do several times a day, I was looking through my friends list, with the intention of having a bit if a clearout. Nothing significant, just a bit of spring cleaning, people I’d had little or no interactions with, when I came across someone on my friends list who had died in recent weeks. I was now faced with what is a fairly new moral dilemma, a sign of the times you could say, of trying to figure out what the correct etiquette is in this new, modern situation. The person in question happened to be a work colleague that had only added me as a friend a few weeks before he passed away, and although he seemed to be a pleasant chap, I can’t say I really knew him at all, or had even had a single conversation with him. I couldn’t even really say that we were actual friends, I only really accepted his friend request out of politeness, as he seemed fairly harmless and we’d seen each other around the place for long enough to know who each other was.
It was, of course, very sad when he passed away, it was very unexpected and the news came out of the blue, as a complete shock to everyone, and clearly a lot of the staff knew him a lot better than I did, he seemed to be quite a popular person. Of course, this doesn’t detract from the fact that we still barely knew each other. Instead of just ignoring this point and leaving it, the direct result of being connected via facebook was that I now kept getting daily posts from his bereaved family appearing on my page, expressing their sorrow. Yes, of course it was all very sad, but these are still posts from people I don’t know about someone (with all respect to him) that I barely knew at all.
Yet I still felt a pang of guilt when I hit the ‘unfriend’ button, but why? I had no reason to remain connected, it will serve no purpose, even though I still have other people on my friends list that have passed away, people I knew much better, but I don’t have the heart to unfriend them yet, even though it has been a few years. So what is the right thing to do in this situation? What would you do?
That’s the first day at work out of the way, things didn’t go too badly, and it fills me with a bit of hope for the remainder of the summer term. There is a sense of relief when the school is empty, you didn’t lose or kill any pupils, and your only job now is to get home and see your family.
Outside the front of our house we have a cherry blossom tree, and around this time of year it looks especially beautiful as it comes into bloom. Then, all of a sudden, the petals begin to fall one by one, until a slight breeze moves the branches and it looks like a pink snow storm is in full effect. I’d love to get a good photo of this, but its a tricky one. As I pulled into our road on my motorbike, I start to the the pink all over the grass verges and pooling on peoples driveways. As I pull my bike onto our drive, I see petals everywhere, and its not long before Olivia is outside to greet me. Then the fun ensues, its like running outside to play in the snow, but not needing gloves or a hat and scarf!
I’m just home from work, and would love nothing more than to collapse on the sofa and relax for a little while, but the girls have been waiting for me, and are excited to see me. They don’t care that I am a bit tired and want to sit down, its their time to spend with dad, and they’ve got other ideas… and so in the spirit of being a good dad, I have to give them the attention they deserve. In fairness, they are the reason I rush home from work each day, so its a small sacrifice really, but y’know… who doesn’t want to crash out on the sofa and put their feet up at the end of the day?! Having come out to greet me, Olivia is keen to stay outside playing with the fallen cherry blossom petals, and we run around throwing handfuls at each other. I do manage to take a brief moment to run inside and grab my camera so that I could get todays photo, which turned out exactly as I hoped it would. Just such a shame that within a week all this will be gone!
My attempts at getting to bed early recently have been stalled, as we have a new surge of teeth coming through with Chloe and her sleep has been a little tempremental. Thankfully, any waking up and crying seem to be before we go to bed anyway, and so is easily resolved with a cuddle and a dummy. Plus we have also started getting Olivia up recently, just before I go to bed so she can use the toilet, in an attempt to keep her dry through the night as she is now finally out of pull ups. She’s generally pretty good anyway, but she’s such a heavy sleeper that she doesn’t always wake up when she needs to go, and me staying up a bit longer to take her as late as possible before I hit the sack is a better alternative than being woken at 4am by either a “daddy I need a wee!” or the worst case scenario “daddy my beds all wet!”
Today had been a quiet kinda day, Olivia was at nursery, and Clare was out for lunch with friends, so it was just me and Chloe for the afternoon… that was until she decided it was nap time. Then it was just me! There was a ton of things I could be getting on with, but you just never know how long nap time is going to last, and I didn’t really want to start something I couldn’t finish… although that to-do list isn’t getting any shorter! Where does the time go?