Summer is slipping away. I can feel the days spinning out from between my fingers like grains of sand. It's something I feel on the ambivalent side about - I do love the adventures of summer, but it does also feel like this summer started some time back in March. Yes, Sally went back to school for half a term, and Pip and Cleo have been back at nursery and I was working all the time they were here - but we've all been bundled up together for so long I'm not sure if I'm excited or dreading it. I'm also sort of looking forward to going back to work, but nervous about teaching Latin and dreading the morning dash and all the marking!
But it's not for a week, so I'm not going to fret about it just yet. Today we had an adventure. I ended up getting a family membership to English Heritage when we were on holiday, so time to go somewhere historic that isn't National Trust. Love National Trust - and Stonehenge turns out to be on NT land even if EH runs the site.
Last time I was here it was with Ed the summer we met - thirteen years ago. It was supposed to be our last day together before I went back up to Glasgow and our summer romance was done. Ed, for the only time I've known him, bunked off work and we spent the day walking around near the stones and exploring the barrows of the landscape. I have a photo somewhere of a much more youthful looking Ed with a buttercup in his hair. It was a lovely day, and spoiler alert, it didn't end up being the end our of story.
Fast forward a little to today and a mini-Ed in the making.
I got the kids Gummy Sunnies this year on the promise that they're infinitely mashable by the small people. The promise so far has held true and I've popped the lenses back a few times already. I expect they'll get lost before they fall apart.
The neolithic worker's village was pretty well blocked off - not that it stopped these monkeys from sneaking around a fence.
And of course they read the no-climbing sign.
A hundred men to move a stone - they really wanted to build Stonehenge.
The Visitors Centre is beautiful - no crummy toilets here!
It is however a mile and a half from the stones - such enthusiasm on the start of walk...
it had ebbed a little by the time we'd reached the woods at the top - but we managed to stumble on till picnic time in sight of Stonehenge.
Another mum saw me trying to line the kids up for a photo and offered to take one for me - so here I am under a pile of children.
It is an amazing place. Another time I'd like to look more, herd less and actually go to the exhibition, but aside from a slight drama with a wasp on the car on the way home it was a lovely day out.
I watched other families around us as we walked along the processional way and around the stones. Families with kids a bit older; families with teenagers; families with grown up kids; some with grandparents or a mix of friends too - and you can see glimpses of the future, of walking a little faster, talking a little more and nagging a little less, of children being strong enough to help carry the lunch. I'm not in a rush to fast forward the children's lives or wish away the hugs from tiny, soft, small people. And whilst I'm not going to pretend that I'm not exhausted a lot of the time and don't ever moan about the awkwardness of small people and their utter lack of appreciation for the fact that sometimes stuff just needs to be done, I do love the now of life and the now of my children - it was just nice to see little windows into what new nows might be down the line.
and a couple of the silly pictures....