Sometimes you just have to stop and appreciate how good life is. Not how much money you have/earn, how flash your car is, how big your house is.
A favourite quote of mine is: “If you think of yourself as the woman in the Cartier watch and the Hermes scarf ads, a house fire will destroy not only your possessions but your self.”
Sometimes, you just have to be thankful for what you have, and simply enjoy the good times.
I love the school holidays. No more alarm clocks, no more making packed lunches, no more acting like an unpaid taxi driver to rugby/dancing/swimming/Indian head massage class (OK, so I made that last one up).
Now, I’m not saying it’s endless lie-ins for the grown-ups whilst the kids stand on chairs to reach the bread so they can make their own sarnies. Raised by wolves. No, that’s not good parenting.
What I am saying is that when the sun shines on the Borders, and we have yet another scorchio day, how lucky our kids/grandkids/nephews/nieces are to have the countryside and the freedom to enjoy their school hols.
There’s always something going on – inflatable fun sessions at the local pool or a sport passport with activities run by Active Schools and BSLT and the like. All our local grand houses and estates – Bowhill, Paxton, the Hirsel, Floors, Manderston etc – welcome kids and either put on something special (the Teddy Bear trail at Paxton House which we did recently with the excellent Richard; super-friendly guides with ‘secret doors’ at Manderston) or allow them to run riot in their acres (the ‘circuit’ play area at Floors Castle’s garden centre; the robust play areas at Paxton, Harestanes, Bowhill and Abbotsford).
Then there are events like the Family Fun Day, held by Play Borders, and numerous events during each local festival designed just for kids – shows, fancy dress, sports.
Heck, we have to have events guides in the Borders, there’s so much going on.
The shows and the circus always come to town. Then there’s the mighty Border Union Show, when for two days the showground by the Tweed becomes an agricultural mini-kingdom presided over so brilliantly by King Ron of Cowbog, each year offering something new whilst retaining all the traditional favourites. There’s the quieter day on Friday or the full-on family day out which is the Saturday. Something for everyone, whether you’re the knit-your-own-bunting-and-children type or more the makes-a-change-from-them-being-glued-to-the-XBox type.
Yes, I did used to work for the tourist board, and no, I’m not on a retainer from them, or from anyone else.
But I know when I’m on to a good thing and I almost envy the YMs the fantastic choice of summer holiday activities and possibilities that are on offer for them.
Beats the pants off endlessly cruising about the same two streets of your village on your dodgy, hand-me-down Chopper bike. Let the good times roll.