Despite my feeling that I  didn’t want to get back to things after our holiday we have had a good week.  At the moment I think it is simply that we are carrying a lot of stress money wise.  I actually really enjoy our life just the way it is but  it is the constant worry that is so wearing.  This is the lowest we’ve been yet.  The  long term looks fine but we have to get  through the next year or so to get the software used by the whole orchestra before we can sell it to others.  It’s been 7 years in the making and we’ve run out things to sell to live off!  We’re just trying to cling on to the house somehow.  We misjudged recently thinking that we could also  sell our pensions and now find we can’t and haven’t got a plan B now.  Damn!  We’re racking our brains at the moment.  Ridiculously, we actually keep feeling very lucky.  There is nothing like wondering how you can keep something to make you appreciate it.

I went straight in to leading the Mozart Requiem the day after we got back from holiday which was fun.  And then even though I’d only had one day at work after our holiday we still had a family day out the next day as Joth rang me while I was working to say that they’d found the perfect second hand bike for Oscar.  Oscar is thrilled to bits and is contributing a significant chunk of the money and we’re selling his other one to cover the rest.   So that inspired us to go for another family cycle ride.  So Joth changed a tyre that had a puncture, took a couple of seats out of the van to fit the bikes in, I packed some food, we loaded the kids and the equipment in, we drove 35mins to get to Haldon Forest and then we realised we had forgotten Dante’s bike seat.  Note Joth I said “we”.  And for good reason.  I hate it when I have been the one to do all the tiring preparation only to be the one to blame when one crucial thing has been forgotten so there’s no blame coming your way Joth!  It’s always a palava with bikes it has to be said, but we all love it.  It’s a great feeling to be on a bike without cars around.  We’d love to do a cycling holiday in Holland sometime…

Anyway for now, we can’t seem to make it to our local forest without incident.  One of the other bikes got a puncture before I had even left the car park!   Yet another rearrangement and we got Anton’s little bike out so he could go with Joth and the older two while I played with Dante in the sandpit.  They all set off on the easiest trail which was a mile and a half, which was still rather a long way if Anton decided he’d had enough in the middle.  He hasn’t even got pedals after all!   The older boys were back fairly quickly but even that was impressive given that they were happy to follow the trail by themselves.  The last time I tried to encourage Oscar to cycle ahead at the Avon Damn he came back within a few seconds saying that there was rather a fierce looking sheep!  (Admittedly that was a couple of years ago!)  Anton and Joth returned after a while and Joth said it had been great fun.  They have activities on the trail and Anton had hopped off for each one (hitting wooden xylophones or walking on stilts) before carrying on.  I wanted to have a go and the boys said they’d go round again with me.  Half way round Oscar said he wanted to try a different trail and looking at my guide I said the yellow one was only 2.8 miles so that would be a good choice for them but I would stick with the easy one!  When I got back to the car park I started to question my judgement.  Most cars had left and I was envisaging them taking a wrong path and getting lost or Oscar going ahead and Lucas not being able to keep up.  Joth and I spent an anxious 20 mins pacing around but then they arrived together  – Oh I was so glad to see them!  Lucas was drenched in sweat and they were cursing me because it was a walking trail not a cycling route and it kept saying “no bikes” and there were steps!  Oh muuum!


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