Random summer holiday frugal fun so far, in no particular order:
- Picnics. We've been back to our favourite local river picnicking spot with a bunch of friends, and everyone from the 2 year old to the over 50s, as well as the teenagers in between, enjoyed themselves.
- A long weekend trip to stay with relatives in London, made cheaper using a Family and Friends railcard for part of our transport.
- Parks. Whilst we were in London we visited two fantastic free parks: Bunny Park in Hanwell, Ealing (which has a small free zoo (except they call it an animal centre) and an amazing maze as well as play equipment and extensive green space), and Dukes Meadow in Chiswick which has a wooden adventure play ground suitable for both younger and older kids. It also has a water play area (which sadly wasn't working when we were there).
- Decluttering. I've attacked a very neglected pile of paperwork. Not owning a shredder, I tried out a means of disposing of personal paperwork suggested by a friend. It involved soaking bank statements etc in a washing up bowl, mushing them up, drying them in the sun, and then recycling the whole lot. My methodology was queried by some but it was surprisingly quick and easy, and much more pleasant on a hot day as well as lower in carbon emissions, than burning it. Fortunately Husband is so used to my strange ways that he didn't bat an eyelid at discovering a ton of squodged pay slips sunbathing in the garden.
- Reading. We all love a good read in the holidays. Inspired by our visit to the big smoke, one child is reading A bear called Paddington by Michael Bond and the other has his nose in Bob, No ordinary cat by James Bowen (the children's version of A Street Cat named Bob). I've finished Talking to Zeus and am about to move on to Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman. Husband doesn't do fiction but is happy with his newly arrived CTC Cycling magazine.
- Guests. Friends from up country coming to stay with us for the night en route to their holiday destination. There's nothing like a houseful of boys fuelled with pizza and icecream performing magic tricks and gymnastics, sharing their loom band expertise, playing the guitar, fiddling and twiddling on their technological gadgets, and doing all this seemingly simultaneously.
- Haircuts. Son and I have let Husband loose on us with his clippers; a number 8 seems to do both of us just fine! (Who needs a Cleopatra fringe anyway?!) Thanks to fellow bloggers Lovely Grey and Simple Suffolk Smallholder for convincing me that clippers are the frugal way forward when it comes to short hair cuts for ladies as well as gents...
|A rare appearance on the blog |
by me complete with clippered hair.
If there's one thing I want to give my kids, it's the learning that real happiness comes from their relationships with others - time spent with the people that are precious to them and the people around them, not from desiring and owning lots of stuff and looking beautiful and having expensive haircuts and living a virtual life through Facebook, Instagram, or the like (blogs included!). I may never be able to persuade Daughter to let Husband clipper her long flaxen locks but in all other respects I think I'm just about winning in my mission this holiday...