Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Could try harder

The children brought their reports home the other day.  They were much as expected, and couched in the kind of language that requires a bit of decoding.  It got me to thinking about my old reports, several of which I seem to recall said things like "Could try harder" and "Could do better".

I see some of my various different attributes in the boys, especially the younger two.  And it occurred to me that some things haven't changed.  I still don't have huge confidence in my abilities and I prevaricate quite a bit and wait for a sign, or encouragement, or everything to align itself before I steam ahead with things.  I do so admire people who achieve things, who inspire me with all that they do.  And I'd like to be like that too.  But somehow I never quite manage it.  I'd like to come up with a goal and work hard to achieve it.  But somehow I never get round to it.  I could do it, I'm sure I could.  I just need to try harder, to do better.  It occurs to me that one day I might be telling the boys to try their best.  It would come across a lot better if I'm doing my best too.

So I'm trying to channel a little more energy in a positive direction.  To achieve a little more, even if it's only on the domestic front.  I've decided to do the writing course, probably starting in September, although maybe earlier.  In the meantime I shall try and force the house, garden and allotment into some semblance of order.  Today was a good day.  I repotted lemons and tidied some plants in the garden.  I swept and snipped and dead-headed sweet peas.  Tomorrow I'll attack the allotment.  Little by little I'll accomplish what I want.  I hope!

You may recall that on Saturday we had a wedding to go to.  It was a hot day, made a little hotter by our frantic journey to get there.  I suggested leaving quite early, being as it involved the M5 on a July Saturday, and the posh schools have already broken up for the summer.  OH felt that it was not necessary.  I said we ought to leave earlier than 1pm.  OH said he definitely would not be leaving any earlier at all than 1pm.  At 12.59 the bride sent a text advising that the motorway was completely blocked.  Because of various rivers, it's a very difficult place to get to without going down the motorway.  Google was consulted, which wasted another five minutes or so.  The alternative route was also really busy, so a fair amount of sweating was done before we'd even got close to the venue.  It was particularly tricky as OH was to give the bride away.  We did get there, later than requested, but in time for the ceremony.  Thank goodness for deep breathing.

The wedding was fab.  Really, really fab.  I wasn't expecting it to be as good as it was.  I think it was so good because the children were so well catered for.  There was a basket full of drinks, crisps and sweets for them to help themselves to, which was a huge novelty in itself.  There was a bouncy castle and lots of space for running around.  They ate in an orangery adjoining the room the adults were in.  The staff looked after them beautifully.  They had sausage and mash and then a huge chocolate ice-cream concoction.  They had colouring books and games.  And after they'd eaten, while we were still on our main courses, they got to play football on the lawn, yes they did.  (We asked nicely, it was allowed).  They popped in and out, scavenging the little cakes we ended the meal with, and they were thrilled to get a token to spend at the bar. There was a video thing where you could leave a message for the bride and groom, so they dressed up in the silly wigs and glasses and left a few (dozen).  The day ended with a disco, and me and the littlest boy danced to "Sweet Child of Mine".  The bigger boys got to go behind the starry curtain with the DJ and look at all the exciting computers.  It was a very good day.


Some of you expressed an interest in seeing the feathery thing...  When he first saw it, the biggest boy said, "No offence mum but it looks a bit ridiculous".  The littlest boy said, "It looks awesome".  The middle boy said, "You look really terrible".  Me, I quite enjoyed swanning round with feathers in my hair.  I think I may take to wearing hair things more often.


It's blended into the sky a bit here.  Here's a blurry selfie.  I only used my little camera, I didn't want to lug the other one around all day, plus it's a bit noisy and obvious.  The small camera is silent and really good for taking unobtrusive snaps.


I found OH's buttonhole in the littlest boy's room earlier on this evening.  He does like little treasures and mementoes.  Well, actually, he just likes to have stuff.  Not sure where he gets that attribute...


A final garden shot.  Somehow a small boy and a football got in the picture.  Story of my life.


29 comments:

  1. You looked gorgeous CJ, I'm glad the day went well after a shaky start. Love your feathery thing and the rest of your outfit.
    Jacquie x

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  2. You really looked beautiful. I'm glad the day went well. I love the things they did for the kids. That was really nice. I understand about arriving late to things. I'm never late when it's up to me. :)

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  3. The feathery thing is lovely, and my goodness you're a knockout! Beautiful shoes too.

    The wedding sounds ideal - how nice to keep the kids happily occupied so that everyone could have a good time.

    I too struggle with getting things done - then I tell myself that the world needs us laid-back people (for laid-back read ditherers), to balance out all the achievers. :)

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  4. I think that is outstanding that you are going to take up that writing class! I find myself telling the beans things and then thinking hmmm am I doing what I ask them to do?!?! I feel you on this...I guess that is why they say that children grow us up in a way. As for the wedding I am glad that you all got there on time and how awesome that the kids had a place in the event! What is a wedding without the spirit of children! You look smashing! Absolutely stunning friend! The feather with your dress and your shoes...perfect! Glad you all had a wonderful time!!! Happy week lady! Nicole xoxo

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  5. God I love your shoes. Actually I love your whole outfit including feathery thing.

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  6. You look really lovely - the feather fascinator is really great. My reports always said things about trying harder and could do better!

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  7. Your outfit is gorgeous, just right for a Summer wedding I think, I love all of it (gorgeous shoes!)
    Well done on signing up for a writing course, I'm not a very motivated person, and I'm becoming more and more scared of trying new things as I get older - I'm having a panic attack about work today!
    Enjoy the rest of your week - it's nearly the school hols!

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  8. You look beautiful!! Dress, shoes, feathery thing, accompanying football, the whole thing. Well, perhaps not the football, but all the rest and definitely with accompaniment of your little man! The wedding sounds wonderful, and how great that they planned and catered and cared for the children so well, they will remember it fondly too I am sure. I hope that the writing course goes well for you and that you enjoy it too! I look forward to hearing all about it and give you a big thumbs up for going for it! xx p.s. you should definitely wear more feathers in your hair! xx

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  9. You looked lovely. As for comparing yourself to others we are all really swans, We look calm and serene floating through life's pond but under the surface we are all frantically paddling just to move along.

    I remember days of having to write 40 of those reports half wouldn't be read other than by the headteacher looking for missed commas, a quarter given quick read and popped away in a drawer and a quarter pored and agonised over.

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  10. Well I think you look gorgeous, feathery thing, football, little boy and all.

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  11. You look gorgeous :). Sounds like you had a wonderful day.

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  12. You looked fab & well done for taking the plunge with your writing course! The wedding sounded a wonderful event for kids & you all had a great time.

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  13. You look gorgeous, I love the feathery thing, opportunities to wear something like that can't be ignored ;-) And I absolutely adore the shoes! As for the M5, we went on it a week earlier, and have not seen as many emergency vehicles ever before, as well as blockages where they had not arrived yet! But however much we peered at the map, no way around the blocked parts even when announced in advance... At least there didn't seem to be anything serious, and the boys were excited about the amount of blue lights... Great you will do the writing course, I'm sure it will be fun!

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  14. I love weddings where children are included - this one sounds even better with so many activities and child friendly food. The jumping castle is an inspired addition - bet some of the adults were jealous! As for the could try harder could do better, there's always more to do, be kind to yourself, don't mark your report card too hard. I'm with Sue, I love the shoes, and the rest of the outfit. I really look forward to reading your blog, all the allotment and garden activity, and the wonderful excursions you take your boys on, beautiful photography - keep it coming, oh and enjoy the writing course.

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  15. Oh, I think you look lovely, the colour is gorgeous and your shoes!!! Typical boys comment to your "feathery thing" - that made me laugh. As to achieving things - well I think just bringing up a family of 3 children is achievement enough. To many of us, I think our lives almost come secondary to our children's needs so it is difficult to "achieve" great/bigger/higher things in life but a happy/loving family is a pretty good achievement in my book, don't be hard on yourself.
    Caz xx

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  16. You looks so beautiful with the feather on your hair. Looks so natural and elegant. I like the last picture.

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  17. You look beautiful, love that dress and the feathery things looks great, good luck with the writing course.
    Clare x

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  18. A delightful post and lovely photos. My reports nearly always said that to which my mum said to try your hardest and do the best you can.
    Good to see that you enjoyed the wedding as there's nothing worse than going to one and not having a good time.
    Flighty xx

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  19. Yes, it's funny how we tend to sit and wait for encouragement to come from outside instead of inside ourselves; it's something I've been consciously dealing with in recent months. I have found that once we become aware of it, it's a habit we can break - and the rewards are pretty amazing.

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  20. Hey CJ,
    Firstly I'm thrilled that you are going to go on the writing course. It takes guts to put yourself out there, so bravo. And who knows where it will lead....
    And of course you look stunning in all your feathered glory. I adore the last photo of you and your boy.
    As for reports....I hope mine never see the light of day. The boys would be HORRIFIED. As far as they are concerned I was the model pupil ;)
    Leanne xx

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  21. I think the last picture is the best! I don't know if I would be brave enough to wear a feathery hair thing, but it is also not what Americans do. Yours is rather low key and lovely.

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  22. You looked fabulous in your wedding outfit with the feathery thing :o) Well done for deciding to take the plunge with the writing course - I did a Writers' Bureau writing course, oh, too many years ago.... And as a non-native speaker and writer hoping to make a living out of writing, it was extremely helpful - I spent the next six years doing pretty well as a freelance writer, until life interfered and made it too difficult for me to meet deadlines, so I had to go out and get a job.... ;o)

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  23. You look gorgeous and it is a great idea to cater so well for the children! Saturday seems to have been a popular day for a Wedding. We went to one too and luckly must have escaped the block on the M5. Sarah x

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  24. I love your dress and you look so beautiful! That's so wonderful that they catered to the kids so much at the wedding. So many weddings are not kid friendly, even when the kids are invited... and it's so awkward for us moms!

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  25. You looked fantastic in your outfit for the wedding. Glad you had a fab time. x

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  26. Your dress was lovely and the feather thing --- simply perfect. I'm sorry. Second boy was wrong!!! LOL You looked terrific! I love the picture of you with your youngest and the football. That's the life of mothers with boys ......I remember those days well even though my boy is now 31.

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  27. Ahh lovely, you look so pretty! Don't sell yourself short CJ, being a Mum is a massive achievement in itself, but it's so great you are still thinking of doing the writing course down the track x

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  28. You look so beautiful CJ, and I'm really glad you had a good time at the wedding. Isn't it wonderful when these things are truly child friendly and parents can relax a little?

    And no more talk of "only" the domestic front, missus! It's like when people say they are "only" part time. I bet you work you ass off from dawn to dusk. Don't sell yourself short, you are extremely intelligent, talented, witty and perceptive. xx

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  29. You look absolutely beautiful, CJ! I love your dress and the hair accessory is just perfect! Sounds like it was frantic getting there, but it all turned out well. I would have loved to be a kid at that wedding--sounds like they were very well taken care of. Glad you had so much fun, lovely lady:)

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