River Wissey Lovell Fuller


September 2001

Staying Out for the Summer

Well, the long hot summer is almost over! I'm sure for many Mums, the start of the new school term will come as a blessed release. We only had two grandchildren to stay this summer and then only for a week. However, both had a friend staying with them so we ended up with four young, energetic children to entertain for what seemed like 48 hours a day. And inevitably, with two teenage girls and two 9 (going on 18) year old boys, the chance of finding items of mutual interest was, to say the least, difficult!

What ever happened to football, cricket and other physical games? These, when our kids were young, were guaranteed to generate sufficient tiredness to ensure an early departure to bed thus granting stressed parents at least a couple of hours of blissful silence. Not any more! Our four mostly wanted to watch television until the latest possible hour, often after we had decided to retire.

With some persuasion, we did manage to get them to visit some of the more popular local attractions, but if these weren't playing music at maximum volume, one or more of the children very soon became bored. These activities really brought home to us the high cost of living if you have children. Even with the availability now-a-days of family tickets, two adults and four children seemed always to exceed the stated maximum. Perhaps it is a pre-requisite after all to have 2.7 children? At least the children were exposed to the healthy Norfolk air and a change of scenery. It also gave us, the grand parents, an opportunity to explore some of the local delights normally barred to the childless.

I must say, the house is now terribly quiet and I can even find the TV remote control. What's more, the house has returned to a near normal state and the daily wash has reduced dramatically! But I guess we'll look forward impatiently to the next visit. It's funny, isn't it, but human fledglings never really fly the nest do they?

Ray Thompson

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