Whether from friends or from those who guess that Little Lewes is my blog, I sometimes hear remarks such as ‘your life looks so idyllic’ – or worse, ‘your blog makes me feel so guilty, you do so much stuff with your kids’.
So here’s a quick post to put that to rest. Now don’t fear, I am not getting defensive here, it’s just that I’m worried. I absolutely do not want this blog to be a source of guilt to anyone!
I just need to say that everyone’s life looks idyllic when passed through an Instagram filter, and that’s what happens to all the Little Lewes pictures. Like on Instagram, this blog only shows you snapshots of my family’s time. We are most certainly not out roaming the countryside or walking around museums all the time. If I was a full time blogger and could post a couple of times a day, I would simply not have enough content to post, because we probably go and do something I can write about once every two or three weeks. It’s why I’ve started branching out into the odd post about design, fashion, blogging and books.
Here’s the reality: I have to freak out at my kids sometimes (actually quite often) to get them out the door to school. They watch a good deal of TV, some of which is not age appropriate for the younger one. I don’t do any crafting or baking with them (and I don’t feel bad about it). When people ask ‘how do you fit it all in?’, my answer is always: ‘because my house is chaos.’ My son turns six next week and still has a baby ABC poster on the wall of his bedroom because I never get around to rethinking it (because I am lazy). Also we have drawers and drawers in our house that are just full of crap – spare buttons, loose paperclips, old batteries etc. These will never ever get sorted out, and I can’t bear to open them because they are physical manifestations of my own disorganised mind (and because I am lazy).
I am also an EPIC failure at birthday parties – I am not joking. Last year I made a green – GREEN – birthday cake with an edible sticker of Lightning McQueen on it that I ordered off eBay. None of the children at my son’s party wanted to eat it because it looked disgusting. No exaggeration. And I forgot to bring any food at all for the accompanying adults. And I organised the party at a play farm as I always do, so that I wouldn’t have to stage any party games. This year I was hoping to do it at the cinema for minimum effort/engagement (but I think my son cottoned on and it’s back to the play farm we go). Someone else is making the birthday cake – and I will post a picture of it on these here pages next week because it’s going to be stunning and it’ll make him happy. And children will eat it.
But I figure that in every situation, something has to give, right? For me it’s drawer-loads of crap and age inappropriate TV and outsourcing birthday cakes.
Then, this past weekend, we had to de-moth our house from TOP to BOTTOM. Every single drawer, cupboard, nook and cranny had to be hoovered, wiped, steamed and then sprayed before we could let off toxic ‘foggers’ in all the rooms to really make sure we were killing the moths that have infested our house. And everything – EVERYTHING – had to go through the wash or be dry cleaned (or tragically, be thrown away). All the wool had to spend 12 hours in the freezer. I am generally quite scratchy about this whole sitch.
I have become a total moth bore, so I will not continue with this story here (although I do want to say, we all love vintage but DO NOT BRING IT INTO YOUR HOUSE UNTIL YOU HAVE HAD IT CLEANED. SERIOUSLY, TREAT IT LIKE IT HAS THE PLAGUE. This problem saw me pull my older son’s bed away from the wall to reveal a bed-sized web of threads where the carpet used to be. Imagine my guilt? This problem has also so far cost us about £500, and we now have to rip up all our carpet and lay floorboards in the upper two floors of our house. Terrifying with Christmas around the corner).
So my children watched acres and acres and acres of television and were basically ignored for 12 hours on Saturday, and most of Sunday – and bear in mind that it was the first time in a while that it was not raining! Talk about the guilts. Finally, on Sunday afternoon, we let off the toxic moth killing fog bombs and because we had to be out of the house for four hours we drove to Eastbourne and the beach.
I have been to Eastbourne only once since we’ve lived in Lewes (I know, nuts!), and it probably deserves a proper post, but the gloriously long beach is obviously the main draw, as is the Towner (free to get into!). It was one of the most beautiful evenings I have seen in a long time and such a treat after our horrific moth slog. It was also our 10th anniversary, so we all went for a homemade ice cream at proper Sixties Art Deco-style ice cream bar and café call Fusciardi’s where they have sundaes called Moonraker and Pink Panther and Melon Melody and Palm Peach.
Anyway, I am probably driving the point home a bit too hard, but I just want you to know that Little Lewes is a real person with a real life full of complications, stress, disasters, and stuff that’s a total drag, and whose children, while being pretty OK, by no means spend their every waking hour being connected to, engaged by, and beautifully parented by us.
Please don’t let my blog be a source of guilt, or I will feel so guilty about making you feel guilty that I will have to shut it down!
P.S. How’s this for idyllic: check out this picture of Cuckmere Haven! Taken out the window of our moving car in the semi-dark as we drove home. Gotta love Instagram and those filters… (And click here for the post on biking at Cuckmere).