End of the summer holidays

Dear Bloggers,

As it is the last weekend before the summer holidays are ending and the kids are getting ready for going to school again. We did all the lousy work as placing covers around the school books and buying stuff that you would need this coming semester. It has been a long summer this year as in 90% of the days rain was pooring down in large amounts that even streets flooded.


Show me any parent of young children and I’ll show you a person breathing a massive sigh of relief today that the six-week break is finally over. Some may even crack open the bubbly tonight to celebrate surviving what has become an almost impossible mix of childcare juggling, stretching the household budget to the breaking point, to simply tuning out to the constant moans of “I’m bored”.

Add into the mix more than one child and a parent will need to have developed the skills of an UN negotiator as the fight for boundries and territory for brothers and sisters, they intensify dramatically when school’s out for the summer.

Yes, six weeks can be a very long time when there’s youngsters to entertain. I am one of those parents that is constantly in the midlle of this unfair war called summer holiday. Running around through the trenches of battling kids that are trying to fill their days with silly things.

For working parents the need to find temporary childcare during working hours is not just expensive but far from easy to organise as grandpa and grandma are fun for a few days but after that they are also boring. If you are so lucky that your childcare is well organised the kids will find other ways to get your attention by nagging that we are never doing anything fun. And for those that are in the luxury position that they can be at home there is the constant demand for something to do. And that is not easy to think up things that are not that expensive or even free as most budgets are limited

Now I am a firm believer in the great outdoors and the limitless amusement to be had from letting your imagination run wild. But with the best will in the world today’s youngsters are not the greatest at making the most of these open and, more importantly, free commodities. And to be fair parents, in a world which appears to have more potential for harm, are not that great at letting them.

Most families will also want to share at least one special treat over the summer, if not one a week, and that is far from cheap. For example take the cinema. After Christmas the summer is the key time when most family blockbusters are released but with new 3D technology, taking a family of four can cost almost €60. That’s a fair old dent in the household budget and one which few can afford.

In fact there are not many family friendly attractions – A bit of a funpark charges you approx. €25 per person and than you need something to eat and to drink during the day. although bravo to the smaller funparks as they have normal entrance fares like €7,50 per adult and half price for kids up to the age of 15. Also Qbuzz public transport service in my part of the country adults pay the full price of €6 and take two kids for free up to the age of 11 a great ride for a bit of promotion. At least some kind of helping hand is needed for those who will have been tearing their hair out two days after the summer term ended. And that’s no exaggeration.

Attending a summer fair on the weekend after the schools broke up I was chatting to two mums who were watching their collective brood, five between them, run among the stalls like wild animals before they are taking over the bouncy castle in what can only be described as a frenzied attack. The best example of those battlegrounds that I desribed earlier in this blog.

One looked to the other with that what I thought was an “ahh factor” face only for it to dissolve into clenched fear while she joked in an almost whisper: “Good job I have a stocked up on wine because something tells me I am going to need it over the next few weeks.” Hmmm....living the great outdoors live and being half pissed all the time.

I really doubt she was alone in having that thought at the beginning of the summer.

The new term – it’s definitely good news for some.

The Old Sailor,


  1. Goedemorguh Old Sailor,

    En wat zijn we blij de vakantie is weer voorbij ;-))

    fijne dag,
    liefs que.


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