Since I last posted on Friday I have been genuinely amazed that people have actually read my writing, I’ve had 178 views from as far away as Mexico and Australia. This has left me rearing to go and get my items checked off so that I can ‘blog all about it’. With my new found enthusiasm, I’ve even managed to add a couple of things to the list:
17. Take Queue (Steve) for a beer
18. Start and keep a blog to track my progress through to 30 (ok, this one is a bit of a cheat but I still feel it will be an achievement if I can keep it up for the next 20 months)
Despite being a bit sniffly this weekend, I’ve taken a short break form feeling sorry for myself to read lots about blogging and I’m excited to start to put some lessons into practice. I’ve also been looking at family breaks and have started to get Mum on board (pictured with a scared face, above). Being the only daughter of 4 children, and the eldest, I can be known to occasionally be a little bossy and take over planning these things for us. It doesn’t always go to plan, the boys (my collective term for my brothers) don’t respond well to family meetings being called or my organised fun, so it will be a challenge to find something that appeals to all of their interests and a time when they are all available and willing to come!
Tom, the oldest of the boys, is based in Scotland and is a Royal Marine. His adrenaline junky ways make everything I suggest seem tame and it is difficult to hold his interest for more than an hour at a time… When he is not working, he can be found skydiving, bungee jumping or abseiling somewhere. The last time he spent an afternoon with me he taught me a knife disarm, a gun disarm and explained to me how to deflate a lung and put an IV into someone, all while I was trying to watch re-runs of the American Office on our relaxing sofa afternoon.
Andrew, the middle of the boys, is also based in Scotland, though not located close to Tom. He has the closest interests of all of them to me, so should be keen for this break, but he doesn’t often get time off work. He is in the Navy, working in the submarine service, which I think might have added to his already warped sense of humour (a bunch of people in a confined space under water for months at a time have to find ways to amuse themselves!). I took him with me as a guest to a wedding a couple of months back, we had a brilliant time, lots of laughs. I’m sure he will agree, it is just a matter of pinning him down!
Joseph is the youngest of the boys. He will always be my baby brother, as much as he towers over me. He is still in Nottingham at home, which means I get to spend lots of time with him at the minute. He has been busy at university open days (which is where the mummy and me selfie was taken), finishing his college qualification and looking for some summer work before he leave us to go on his uni adventure this September. Next summer he might just be too cool to come away with us boring old fogeys, can always play the guilt card to get him there though.
The last time we all had a weekend away together it was… Challenging… Mum and Dad very kindly (and a bit nostalgically) booked a family caravan weekend for us all, like the ones we used to have as a young family. In theory, it was a great idea. It had 3 bedrooms, near the coast and lots to do in terms of on site entertainment. Joe was too young to join us at the pub then, so I spent a lot of time in the bingo hall with him and Mum, collecting tickets for unusual and unnecessary prizes. Tom and Andrew, newly old enough to ‘hit the pubs’ spent a lot of time doing what most boys in their late teens / early twenties would. They were quite unruly! It seemed a stressful weekend at the time and I’m sure we all vowed “never again” but some of our favourite memories come from that break, I only hope that the next one creates something similar for us to build into our family back catalogue of embarrassing stories.
So the difficult task begins. A break with enough space for everyone, enough to keep people entertained yet still together, somewhere far enough from a pub to deter the boys from abandoning my organised fun but close enough to activities for us to do together and not get bored. All at a time that 6 adults can clear their diaries.
Wish me luck!