Me and Mine - A Family Portrait Project April
Now this is what you call a holiday. Days that blend into one, bonus sunny spells and a month of birthdays.
We managed to eek out Easter for 4 weeks, more pottering than we expected, a few extra days in pyjamas than we planned. One chipped ankle putting paid to lots of play dates and plans. We all got a little fed up on more the one occasion with the wretched big boot. But I look back at these photos and think wow. Boot and all it was a brilliant school holidays.
I want to quote a line from our favourite musical (you'll see more of that at the end of this month... Hamilton party here we come...) but "Look around, look around, at how lucky we are to be alive right now."
I'm not sure when it happened that this all became normal life, weekends with friends, visiting family in beautiful parts of the country and even the days at home playing Greedy Gorilla feel precious. We are so lucky. Of course it's not perfect but that doesn't make us not lucky.
"Hey Google. How many boys does it take to show the Google PR team how to summon Dan TDM on YouTube?!" We had a surreal experience over the Easter holidays. Our one exciting overnight trip which involved washing a very mouldy buggy seat dug out from the depths of the garage and using it as a set of wheels for a very big baby!
There was no way we could go up and negotiate London with Sammy in his boot so we took our old Quinny and whooshed him around, up and down the steps in the tube stations and into the Google Offices to try out the new Google Home device.
The boys couldn't quite believe it when they handed them a gift bag with Google ribbon on it to take home and the next day when two emails pinged into my inbox about how delightful the boys had been I felt so proud and so privileged.
Basically it's amazing. We can control our heating, lighting, shopping list, music and basically our lives on it. And we made it to the Google wall of fame. Life goal - done!
We went back to our apartment - which was an absolute find by Battersea Bridge, we are booking again for when we take the boys for their Christmas present to see Hamilton in the West End, and haven't stopped playing with it since. The funny thing is I keep thinking what a perfect gift it would be for an older person. Someone to talk to, someone to read the news to you, play a game with you, tell you a joke. It's almost like having a friend.
All the guilt I felt about cutting days short, cancelling friends to play has disappeared writing this post.
What a month. Another month of memories, of best friends coming for sleepovers, of nothing but a couple of phone snaps to remember it all by. But that's ok. They print ok, they don't have to be studio sharp, because what they mean is so much more powerful.
One of the best things to happen because of blogging is photos, but more importantly photos of us as a family. It's not as often now that we all become models for an hour or a day and create some blog content, with the boys at school and three days a week being in after school clubs til gone 5 (and sunset!). I'm conscious that they need to want to be in these photos, they are too old to be bribed with chocolate buttons and now they have their own minds I want them to be part of this extraordinary existence on line, with full awareness.
So one Sunday afternoon, a few weeks into the boot, (Which could be removed for a short while without harm!) we created some content for the very lovely people at Joules for their blog and I laughed when an old work colleague from 10 years ago spotted us on their Facebook page this week and tagged me in her comment!
We are a real family, the boys are a complete mix of us both, although the photos would lead you to believe Sammy is a mini me and Ollie is the spitting image of Rich, no wait Rich's mum Jackie. And I truly believe that seeing real bodies showcasing a product or clothing or whatever it may be, is so much more emotive than catalogue models, drafted in for the day to play happy families.
I'm not a model, my hips don't sashay down a catwalk in a size 8/10 dress but I am a loyal customer and an absolute brand advocate. And we have a gorgeous set of photos we never would've had if it wasn't for a blog post.
Just like the Me and Mine series.
Everywhere I read "This year is flying", racing away for almost everyone and for once I am happy to rush through May. Birthday month for our biggest boy and a surprise trip back for my brother. Sammy won't believe his eyes when he sees him ready to watch his school concert on the last day of half term. Eeeeeek! Actually we are going to hang back by the door as they come in because Sammy will want to give him a bear hug!
This last photo has a few extras in it... but it's what is coming next. Oh April we actually couldn't have loved you more!