One of the weird things about living in Scotland (and there are a few) is that we start back at school for the Autumn term in the middle of August. To me, September is firmly established in my mind as the start of the new academic year and going back when the rest of the UK, and most of Europe, are still on holiday seems all wrong like an early whole school detention or something. To make it worse we don't get the bank holiday this weekend either. My family, and friends who live in England, are confused by the differences too, seeming amazed every year when we break up at the end of June and rather resentful, believing that we have an incredible 9 weeks off!
And so it is that Tuesday 20th August the school year began and the long languid days of summer came to an abrupt end in The Little House. This year I have been determined to get off to a calm start, and be organised, avoiding the school-term-induced mayhem that usually takes over our lives at this time of year. I bought new school shoes for S at the end of last term smugly believing that I would avoid the crowds and the whole 'take a ticket' experience of Clarks. Of course, in the last week of the holidays, perhaps nourished by lots of sunshine and ice-cream, her feet have grown a whole size!
|S ended up with these rather dapper|
brogues from Next instead
I made sure uniform was ready (believing it to be clean and hanging in the wardrobe) only to find mysterious pink stains on one skirt and one new school sweatshirt with what appeared to be a half eaten sleeve (Could it be giant moths? Did the school hamster escape and fancied a nibble?) Turns out that S had hung the skirt up dirty in the first place (pink icing apparently) rather than put in the laundry (at least she hung it up I suppose) and the sweatshirt didn't even belong to her. She'd brought home someone else's, from the name tag - a boy's of course!
We went to one of my favourite places - Paperchase, supposedly to stock up on school supplies. We spent nearly an hour browsing and indulging in stationery addiction and bought a selection of items that can neither be classed as essential or necessary. Then it was time for one of my favourite family traditions - the last ice cream of the holidays.
We sat outside in the afternoon sunshine and savoured them, discussing the best bits of the Summer and sharing school-related hopes and worries (it's an important exam year for H and the last year in Primary for S). Although I was dreading the 6am alarm the next day, I felt settled and, well, almost ready...