So. Where were we. I was – am – in Ireland, and suddenly four weeks have passed, and I’m looking around the house we’re renting, at all the shite which has mysteriously accumulated (also, equally mysteriously, a cat) and thinking I have to pack all this up in two days. And you know of course what that means; at some point – in the rapidly approaching future – I will be getting back on a plane and enduring the horror of The Trip Home.
But first – 4 year old girls. How great are they? There’s something quite magical about 4 year old girls. They’re still sweet and innocent and love fairies and glitter and showing strangers their bottoms, but without all of the demands and lisps and irritations of a 3 year old. Generally speaking, of course. Our own 3 year old become a 4 year old a couple of weeks ago, and I have to say that she is... well, almost exactly the same as she was as a 3 year old. HOWEVER! She seems to suit 4 better. Notwithstanding this, she is still as mad as a bag of badgers. Yesterday she was uncharacteristically quiet so I poked my head outside to see what she was doing, and, bless her, there she was sitting on the front drive squeaking to and petting some stones. After a few more minutes of silence I checked again – not that I don’t trust her or anything – and there she was licking the car’s hubcab. WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! I shrieked. Cleaning the car, apparently. AND THEN she demanded money for it (from her black-as-night mouth, teeth and tongue, to my horrified ears).
As if that wasn’t proof enough of her, um, eccentricities, here she is on the morning of her birthday:
I think it’s the most accurate photographic depiction I have of her. (Also, worryingly, it reminds me of myself, hugely.) Wild hair and mad eyes aside, her birthday was an explosion of sugar and Frozen, and I now know all the lyrics of every one of those damn songs.
Aside from letting stuff go, and pestering people to build snowmen, we have largely been pottering and beaching. While we’re looking through my phone, here's my favourite beach in the whole world, which is accessible only via a sheer cliff-face; easy peasy when you are young and lithe and unencumbered by off-spring, not so much when you’re not so much, have a terrified 1 year old clinging, sloth-like, to your neck, and two mentalers underfoot. The upside – it is always totally deserted.
If you look really closely in the distance - miles away from the very content photographer - you will spot these feral creatures:
Needless to say, an afternoon spent in the sun with the kids hundreds of feet away, safely playing and unable to go anywhere, won it first prize for Highlight of the Summer. (Here’s the beach again. Just ‘cos it’s so gorgeous:)
Next stop: Dublin - Dublin airport – Stockholm – Middle-of-the-Swedish-Woods – Stockholm – Helsinki – Singapore. No prizes for guessing the lowlight of the Summer.