A Day of Two Halves

With all the building work going on and a range of other life things it’s been very hard for us to all be together to relax lately, so after the debacle of Attempt One last week at Elvaston Castle Food and Drink Fayre (excellent things on offer but no dogs allowed so we had to divide up), we found a Family Fun Day at Kelham Hall in Newark – so Attempt Two at Family Fun…

The location is just beautiful, Kelham Hall is quite lovely and the grounds are well worth a visit. We checked about the dog, and drove the 45 minutes to have some family fun… mmm it was a bit disappointing. We had a great walk in the woods and enjoyed the Hall itself with lots of rooms with kids toys etc. We then paid lots of money for the kids to go on some dodgy fun fair rides, before finding out that there were free inflatables just around the corner. The only food on offer was a BBQ, great for Mr Average, but no good for the rest of the Averages who are veggie. There were no stalls, no charity tombolas, no WI cake sale… It was a bit frustrating as it would have been so easy to make it brilliant. We started to get cold and hungry so decided to call it quits and head home.

But then the second half of the day shone out as we found a pub in Kelham itself called The Fox Inn, and all was well. To be fair it’s not that great from the outside, we thought they might let us sit on the grass with the dog and popped inside to check. What a warm and friendly place – we were welcomed into the ‘snug’, doggy too, and spent a very happy two hours eating and playing. So, the day ended with smiles and a great new place on our list to visit again. How quickly a day or hour can spin from disappointment to wonderful surprise.

One’s philosoph…

One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes… and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility. Eleanor Roosevelt.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/e/eleanor_roosevelt.html#ytG6ZgAjEMUwWMro.99

Evaluating Time!

Sorry not to have posted for so very long, there was a holiday in there and some time dedicated to the whole Average family taking turns to have a virus; I’ve been evaluating a million things in my head, but no time for typing. I’m now on a mission to get it all out of my head, so be prepared for a flurry of typing time made possible by the magic of a Bank Holiday Weekend and Mr Average here to kiddywrangle.

Time is seems is the most elastic of things, you can measure it by a clock but in our house they all say a different time so are quite unreliable, you can measure it by changes; some seem very fast – the Average Babies starting school seems to have happened extraordinarily quickly, but then some things take such a long time to come around, like the recent sunshine which I feel I’ve been waiting for since last September. You can measure it by events, we have some lovely annual things we always look forward to and they are all waiting for us on the calendar.

What I never seem to have is quite enough time at the ‘right’ time, but I’m working on just enjoying and appreciating what is going on now and not always trying to anticipate the next thing, or wishing away until something else starts. Sometimes the very average day is actually great for just being average, we don’t need to conquer Everest or have a significant event everyday of the week. People often strive to have a ‘perfect’ day, and the media also talk about this all the time via adverts and stories, but there is no such thing. A perfect day might just be that we got to the end of it with all our limbs attached, or that we were together, or that Average Baby 2 found a ladybird and was totally transfixed by it and then spent the afternoon making it a new house out of shoe box.


Yes, it’s me!

Some of you have noticed that this is a reincarnation of me – and that I used to have a different blog – you’re quite right, and I’ve been found out.

My previous blog www.myhouraday.blogspot.com was an attempt to figure out how to match being a person in my own right with also having other roles (mainly wife, mother, daughter, sister, employee, small business owner, dog walker, cook, cleaner you get the picture!). I attempted to  have ‘an hour a day’ to do things for my own amusement/advancement to avoid becoming overwhelmed by the ‘groundhog day’ experience that having a family can be.

I didn’t manage it is the main outcome! But, not in a sad way – I just began to realise that the stuff of life was in learning to enjoy the repetition of filling the dishwasher and loading the washing machine, that I was so very very lucky to have such luxuries and to have lots of kids washing that needs doing. I wanted this family life and am trying really hard not to wish any of it away.

I have my moments of course – this morning in fact was one of them. But generally I’m embracing the joy of the ordinary and average, and although I don’t always get as much ‘me’ time as I would like, I’m sure there will be many times in the future when I have nothing to do and no one to sit on my lap when I will wish the loads of washing back again as they symbolise something truly amazing happening here in this house.

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Loveliness Abounds

We are all a bit below average today, the grip of flu has now reached us all and added to a busy week everyone is pretty tired. I thank goodness for the invention of TV at a such times. It’s made me think about the cost of things, and their value. If I worked out how much our tv cost per day it would be down to pence as we’ve had it for quite a while – what a bargain. Then there are some things in our cupboards that never get used – what a waste. 

…Which led me to think about my favourite thing we have bought (I’m stuck under a sleeping baby and don’t want to watch Paw Patrol), currently I think it’s the toaster tongs from Lakeland. It’s such a simple gadget, but I’ve not burnt my fingers since Christmas, and I smile every time I use them – which again per use is a complete bargain. There are some things we need to get that I can’t face spending money on, like tea towels which seem so expensive and feel frivolous to get ‘nice’ ones, maybe if I do the daily cost it will feel better…

Of course to even have all these choices seems so luxurious after watching Sport Relief, we are so very lucky to have to worry about which is the healthiest cereal or most efficient kettle. Average HQ have been trying to buy local lately, our new sofa has been ordered and built from a shop in our home town – it’s being made by Gary, who went to the same school our son is going to. It’s been great to make connections and build relationships with new people in the area. The new ‘thing’ for the family room is also being made locally by a friendly joiner and will be exactly what we want. It feels good to engage with real people and support independent businesses, I would heartily recommend it. 

There’s a car under your patio…

Just to add to the busyness of our lives, we decided to build an extension (rather than move) to accommodate our beautiful family more comfortably. Our builders seem very genuine and down to earth – they call me ‘flower’ which I rather like.

Nothing happened on Day One (Monday) so no need to share anything, made tea and then they went off to book in all the stores and equipment. Easy, thank goodness as I have Flu.

Day Two lovely Tom arrives to clear things away and make preparations, tea and all done in two hours…

Mmm, Day Three of our extension and more tea made…most interestingly they have taken up the first part of the old concrete and found a mini – yes, a real rusty old mini car from the 60’s. Words escape me to be honest, nothing with this project seems straightforward. It was a tough decision but I decided to laugh over crying, mainly because we’ve run out of tissues after the latest snot virus has done the rounds. Just to spice things up 3.5yr old had a 2 hour meltdown. It’s one of those days that lasts forever and we haven’t even got to swimming and then dinner… wish me luck.

Average is Good.

Some people have politely asked about the name for my blog – so I thought I should explain…

I’m wonderfully average, always have been. I was average at school, college and have always been a version of ‘good’ in the many years of work appraisals. I’m average height, slightly over average weight *ahem* and have a super average family, for a while there when I was pregnant last year I actually had 2.5 children. But average is good, I have excelled at it – and finally feel that I’m coming to terms with being average as a positive thing. My formative years and schooling were spent encouraging greatness, that at any moment something amazing would be done or achieved and I was often disappointed with my own exploits as they were never quite worthy of a round of applause. I also compared myself to others a lot – and I was never quite as pretty, clever, talented, slim, etc etc. 

it’s now that I’m a bit more mature I can appreciate the value of things like being happy, content, at peace and that constant striving to impress others is a great loss of energy and time – and most importantly I’m unlikely to ever reach the ‘top’. So, I’m learning to use my ‘inner compass’ and just impress myself… here goes!