September 2016

As the summer holidays drew to a close, the kids took one final opportunity to make the most of the sunshine with a visit to the Aldershot Lido with our next door neighbours. By all accounts the water was still exceptionally cold so no-one was happy staying in for too long but they were in and out for most of the afternoon.

Eventually, school beckoned - and Matthew's first day at secondary school. Cassandra, of course, was relaxed ...

.. but Matthew took a little while to get used to the idea of a blazer - which is okay because it will take him a while to grow into it....

Still, Cassandra will look after her little brother - although she has set quite challenging academic and behavioural expectations for him to live up to - not unlike Clare did for Chris 31 years ago.

Painting and Decorating still seems to be taking an unreasonable amount of our spare time - but at least room by room we seem to be making progress. Here's the lounge finished apart from curtains. Oh, and a replacement TV (after Chris's deeply-regretted use of an upturned washing basket as a makeshift table ended in misery some 18 hours after what appeared to be a perfectly reasonable idea as its structural integrity finally gave way. D'oh!).

The new master bedroom is also pretty much complete now - just waiting for some wardrobes and we might even be able to stop living out of suitcases and piles of clothes.

And still the sun kept on shining. Luckily, we had the perfect excuse to enjoy it having secured tickets to the Radio 2 Festival in a Day at Hyde Park. With Megan's mum joining us, we decided to drive up and parked around 2 miles from the event (although one mile of that was within Hyde Park itself!). Anyway, once we got there we just sat back and soaked up the atmosphere and the music...

... with occasional trips to towards the crowds next to the stage where Matthew frequently managed to secure one of the best views courtesy of Chris's shoulders.

Top performances on the day included Travis, Gregory Porter, LeAnn Rimes and Status Quo. The kids enjoyed Madness most of all...

... but were getting a little tired when Elton John (below, at the piano) performed his headline set - particularly when he went off on long rambling self-indulgent solos and instrumentals when all the crowd wanted to do was sing along to the next hit. Anyway, definitely a worthwhile day out.