On high days, holidays and routine


On being on holiday…

The children are on holiday and I love that they are enjoying halcyon days of unfettered freedom; I love the fact that there is no television here, that the sun is always shining and that we have, thus far, only used the iPad for FaceTime. I’m not going to pretend it’s been an unending idyll and I haven’t once raised my voice. That wouldn’t be a white lie, it would be a whopping great fib. Of course we’ve had some massively cross patchy days (me), we have had squabbly days (H. and P.) and one of us has had non-stop-grizzle days because her teeth are hurting and she’s too hot and everyone else can do things which are frustratingly just out of ability, reach or both (La Principessa).

H. and P. decide to have tea in the fig tree.

However, on the whole, the children are finding a grove; they are inventing and playing and creating and making and for much of the time they are doing it together and becoming a veritable double act. They are coming up with a plethora of new games and some of my best moments have been when I have been getting tea ready in the house and they have disappeared into the olive groves on an adventure to which they alone are privy.

P. builds a dam at the cold springs.

On needing a routine…

Nevertheless… Mamma has the potential to be ‘on call’ from 5.30 am for bambina piccola through to 10 pm for bambina grande who needs little sleep and relishes her evenings chatting on the veranda. But ‘I need a little time’ as the Beautiful South sing, ‘to think it over’.

Thus, we are attempting some structure in two ways: first, I am instigating rest time, if not proper siestas. When la Principessa sleeps in the afternoon the children must have down time: this is supposed to give me a little breathing space. I’ll keep you posted on the success or otherwise of this.

drawing 2

Secondly, a few times a week, on ‘home days’, we are doing a little activity together: either writing to friends or family or recording in some way our highs and lows; sentimentalist that I am, I want the children to have a tangible record of this experience. My lovely mummy gave the children scrap books before we left. ‘Scrap books’ is a bit of a misnomer: they are beautiful ring bound books with heavy pages and lovely covers, (the kind of books coveted by English teachers such as I); I like to think of them more as ‘these-are-for-your-best-writing-and-most-beautiful-pictures-so-please-do-them-nicely’ books.

P.’s picture of the tall pine outside our house with the mountain in the background.

P. has filled some of his diary with drawings of rockets and aeroplanes but today he drew the noisy cicadas in the tree outside the kitchen and the mountains in the background. He’s also quite obsessed with butterflies at the moment. For those of you who’ve been in touch with his alter-ego, Doggy Za’atar, you will now have to become accustomed to ‘Butter the Butterfly’. He has several records of butterfly incidents and was delighted when one landed on him at the cold plunge pools. Since then, he’s been filling his book with colourings of butterflies, which he delights in telling me are symmetrical.

butterfly 1

H. decided on a story map of last weekend’s Dog Escapade. La Principessa spent 20 minutes snatching the pens and pencils, scribbling ‘wow’-ing her scribbles and dropping all the pens and pencils on the floor.

H story H story 2


2 thoughts on “On high days, holidays and routine

  1. Margaret McCoy

    Tis me again. You seem to be doing a magnificent job, Amy and making a wonderful record. Do you have any friends there and when do the ninos start school. M Sent from my iPad




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