This week there was a very minor "end of an era", which I imagine will be the first in a long line of end-of-an-era's for 2014, what with the end-of-primary-school, end-of-college, and the dreaded end-of-living-at-home for one (no not me!)
It did give us reason to reminisce and to ponder the rate at which the children
are growing up and changing.
We spent several hours gardening at the end of the bank holiday weekend, neither of us are gardeners and I am especially clueless. However I have found myself inspired a little lately (a regular occurrence at this time of the year; it'll wear off very soon) so I've been digging and planting whilst The Builder strimmed edges and mowed the lawn.
Our garden is a little unusual in that it's all one big square, we don't have a front and back due to the arrangement of the house. Our house sits in the corner of the plot, very close to one neighbour and has a narrow driveway from the road but at the top of the drive sits our big square patch of garden. It does have advantages in that it's been perfect for football and that other ball game they play, what is it? Oh yes that'll be cricket! There has always been room for a trampoline, now many years old but which has been worth it's weight in gold for the endless entertainment. There have been swings and playhouses (long gone) but the one ever present, well used fixture has been the climbing frame.
It has a cargo net and slide as well as monkey bars along the top. At the time we bought it I would have ideally got the fabulous wooden one costing many hundreds of pounds, we didn't for the obvious reason that we were broke (some things never change!) We got as many bits as we could afford for the boys joint Christmas gift.
At the time we just had the two boys and most of the garden was a flat, bare, newly laid lawn.
I remember the evening we assembled it so well, in those days the boys went to bed at 7pm (now at least one of them goes to bed sometime after us) and, as it was Christmas eve we decided to enjoy a little quiet moment in front of the log fire and watch a little festive telly. I'm not as optimistic as the Builder, he was certain the climbing frame would take a matter of just a few moments to assemble;
I wasn't too sure but who is the fixer in this house?
(actually it's probably me!)
We settled in on the sofa, both in our dressing gowns, with cheeses, pate and crackers and also a bottle of Port. I'm not a big drinker and can topple off my bar stool after one glass of chardonnay but I do love a ruby port. The evening went on and we got through a good bit of the bottle, it was getting late and we really must put the thing together, it didn't seem fair for Father Christmas to deliver some boxes containing metal poles and a set of instructions for the boys!
We laid all the bits out in the kitchen and started to assemble it, there were many drunken giggles and the port was pretty much polished off. We may or may not have staggered around the kitchen a little but the end result was pretty good, the climbing frame was big and impressive standing there in front of the cooker at midnight.
Now have you spotted the error of our ways? (apart from being a little squiffy) something we didn't realise until the end; how do you think we got a fully assembled 8 foot high climbing frame from the kitchen into the garden??
Unfortunately we then spent several more hours taking it apart and reassembling it on the patio, drunk and in our dressing gowns!!
Anyway back to the point of the story, after many years of being a den, a pirate ship, a picnic deck and many many other things it appears the big old rusty climbing frame is ready for a skip,
the leg has rusted off! It's only a small thing and I know we've been very lucky to make it last so long, but they were two little tots when it arrived and now one of them is nearly 6'3". And it also made us realise that the days of sitting alone on the sofa drinking port and eating cheese seem to be in the distant past - these days we have to remember the calories
and anyway we're always asleep on the sofa now!
The times they are a changing, rapidly!