Thursday, 24 September 2015

September, One Big Contradiction

I (and I know that I’m not alone) spent the last few days of the summer holidays looking forward to getting back into the school routine. Then September hits and I find myself yearns for the Halloween Break.

It didn’t take long before permanent stains appeared on the once crisp polo shirts – Rules about ‘you must change your uniforms’ long broken.

The lunch supplies in the fridge seem to melt as soon as you shut the door (or is it just that the pesky kids want feeding outside of school hours too? )

The school jumper that was lovingly hand washed and conditioned so that super-sensory boy could have a nice sniff during the week, is still wet come Monday morning.

I lament the passing of the long summer evenings, especially this year’s weather just didn’t lend itself to late nights outdoors. Of course, that may be because I don’t have a social life that involves late nights ? Darn it. I think that’s it. I can’t blame the weather.

The lament is juxtaposed with an open-armed-welcome that is Children Going To Bed At A Reasonable Hour.  A few months reprieve from the protests ‘but it’s bright Mam, it CAN’T be bed time !!’, protests delivered with such passion that you feel like the worst mother in the world.

It’s the sixth year of Culture Night in Kildare, an (almost nationwide) event that encourages cultural bodies to open their doors to the public and provide artistic happenings free of charge. The first year, we had no idea if anyone would be interested in taking part, or attending. It could have been one big, very public flop. It wasn’t. It has grown and developed, with over 80 events taking place this year.

Yet every year, in the run up, I swear ‘NEVER AGAIN.’

I develop a queasy feeling as soon as I return from my summer holidays in early September and that feeling doesn’t leave me until it all kicks off on the third Friday in September. Once it kicks off, a different energy kicks in and I’m already planning ahead for next year. I always shed a wee tear on Culture Night, partly out of exhaustion and partly out of something beautiful that I witnessed, something that made me think ‘This was all worthwhile’.

Like the rest of you, my car and house insurance policies are for one year. Therefore, the renewal falls on the same date every year, in my case, mid-September. Not having insurance, and the idea of ‘not being covered’ puts the fear of God in me and yet, every year, the renewal notices in the post comes as a massive surprise to me and I’m last minute, gathering all of the bits and bobs.

Finding a bloody postage stamp for the envelope.

The last, last minute call from Nice Insurance Man to say that I forgot to send a copy of my driving licence.

Despite weeks of thinking to myself ‘I must order heating oil’, ‘I’ll never get caught out again’, I did. Last Friday. On Culture Night morning. Because of the day that was innit, my head was elsewhere and I forgot to call the oil company. I phoned on Saturday and got a nice voice message telling me that the office would reopen on Monday.

There was no special Bat Phone emergency numbers for distracted mothers, with children with sad faces and damp school uniforms. Thankfully, it wasn’t too chilly and we were out and about doing Culture Night stuff, so it wasn’t a big deal. It was lovely to feel the blast of heat when it did arrive though.

Note to self ‘I will never get caught again.’ I say it as passionately as I do when I say that I will never get involved with Culture Night again.

What do you bet that I’ll be having a déjà vu on this, this time next year ?

There I was during the summer, feeling all smug, with a decluttered wardrobe. Feeling full of morals that I had donated so many nice clothes to charity. Now, I’m kinda raging.

Maybe it’s part of that Batten Down The Hatches/hibernation thing, but I’ve started to lament the handing over of woolly jumpers, even though I never really wore them in the first place. They don’t suit my ‘Bellew Shoulders’. I like the feeling of knowing they were there if I needed them. There is only one thing for it. I may re-clutter and go shopping.

Actually, I don’t think it’s September that’s the contradiction, I think that it’s me.

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