In the days and weeks that we were home during the summer holiday, the weather was extremely variable here in North Yorkshire, not just day to day, but hour to hour. Some days we would wake up to beautiful cloudless blue skies, yet by mid morning it had somehow become cloudy and wet. Actually, yes, there were rather a lot of days with this pattern now I come to think about it. But other days it was the opposite way around and after a dismally wet, grey start where we slouched around in pyjamas till 11am (don't I have the hard life eh?), the afternoons were often bright and sunny, albeit with intermittent rain showers.
We learnt to act quickly during the dry, sunny spells. We kept a crate in the hallway filled with outdoor stuff :: rackets, balls, chalks, bubbles, water pistols, towels, picnic rugs. Scooters were always on standby and homemade fruity icelollies were always in the freezer. Unless it was absolutely peeing down with rain, the Little People chose to spend most their time outside.
We have a
small front garden with a teensy square of grass (small enough for me to
be able to clip it with shears), and as I mentioned yesterday, for some unspoken reason, our house/garden became the hub of activity for all the neighbourhood children this summer. If they weren't playing up and down the street, then they would be in our little patch of garden. I took to propping the front door open with a rock for most of the day so I could potter about inside whilst listening out for signs of trouble (often Little Lady wailing because she had been soaked with a water pistol, or Little Man crashing off his scooter).
We are fortunate to live in a relatively safe neighbourhood, a narrow street of terraced houses where everyone watches out for the children and cars drive up and down with care.
As this was our first summer in this house, we approached Street Life with real caution at first, would always sit on the steps watching over the Little People when they played out, making certain they were safe. But as the weeks went on we began to allow them to come and go as they pleased so long as they remained on our street and it was wonderful to see them thrive on the freedom and trust we allowed them.
These photos were all taken on one particular afternoon :: Thursday 7th August.
There was chalking :: most days the box of chalks came out to play. The age range of Little People in our neighbourhood goes from 20 months to nine years, with my two offspring (age 4 and 6) somewhere in the middle. But everyone loved to chalk. They decorated our front wall day after day and, chalked games of hopscotch or noughts and crosses on the pavement.
There were bubbles :: nothing elaborate, just the usual small bottle of magic liquid that I remember fondly from my own childhood. I love that in this age of computers and hi-tech games, the simple activities like chalking and bubble blowing are still able to entertain.
There was water :: After blue chalk was scrawled all the way up our front steps and consequently trodden in through the house on this day, I presented the Little People with tubs of warm, soapy water and scrubbing brushes and instructions to clean the place up.
They did indeed clean up thoroughly and enthusiastically, then decided to climb into the water. There was much excitement and the tea set was requested, and lots of soapy, watery fun followed. No need for big paddling pools folks :: a tub trug of water is just as good.
There were water fights :: oh yes, there were long, elaborate, calculating, scheming battles on our street this summer. I bought Little Man this "Blaster" for about £6, and he suddenly became a Force to be Reckoned with in the world of Neighbourhood Water Fights.
He had a good aim.
The jet of water could cross the street from one side to the other.
He had Power.
And he loved it.
There was scootering :: Many, many hours were spent this summer cruising the street on two wheels. We live towards the top of a hill which is perfect for whizzing down :: not too scarily steep, but enough of an incline to gather good speed. There were injuries, but it didn't seem to matter too much. A bit of a cry, some antiseptic cream, and then back out to play so as not to miss out on anything.
So that was our outdoorsy day that was 07:08:08.
It was ordinary, but oh so worth remembering.