Thursday photo #289

When does Christmas start in your house? I’m not really a Christmassy person. Our tree goes up after the children break up for the holidays. They are absolute believers in Santa, but they don’t get anything huge from him. I only allow them to ask for one thing from Santa rather than having a long list. My one concession to early Christmas is mince pies, I’m more than willing to eat those as soon as they appear in the shops. It has amazed me that people already have their lights up and presents wrapped. We went to our first Christmas event at the weekend and it was wonderful, but I’m not ready to be festive yet. It’s still autumn after all.

Do I need to celebrate?

Every now and then, something reminds me that next year, I’ll be 40. Some of my friends have recently turned 40 and others are planning celebrations for next year. Parties, holidays or experiences. I almost feel obliged to do something to mark this big birthday, but doing it through obligation would be wrong.

I was thinking about new experiences for my 40th year. Then, I started thinking about the things I’ve done this week. I’m training to push Martyn around the Brighton Marathon in his wheelchair. So, I’ve been running and to the gym. I’ve also been swimming in the river, horse riding and had an archery lesson. I’m struggling to think of many things I’d like to do that I haven’t already done.

Perhaps I should go for a driving experience in a fast car. I’ve never flown a glider although I’ve flown a plane. Maybe I should consider going back to university to learn a new skill, or take a winter holiday and learn to ski. But none of it inspires me. They’re all things I’d like to do one day, but I feel incredibly lucky to do the things I already do. Perhaps it’s rather dull of me, but I don’t really want to do anything in particular for my 40th. It will just be another day, and there’s plenty of time to have different experiences in the future. After all, people say 40 is the new 30 and my 30s have been rather an adventure.

Hard work

Swimming is a huge part of our lives as a family. Both girls started learning when they were four years old and have already swam in lakes and rivers as well as the pool. Since starting swimming club a few months ago, Libby has become a very accomplished swimmer. She’s won medals with the club and moved up through the awards in her lessons. And Lia has sat back and watched her, openly pleased for her sister and quietly inspired to emulate her success.

The problem is, Lia isn’t one of life’s triers. She always does enough. She behaves well, does the work that is required of her at school and remains firmly in the middle of the pack. So, when she really puts her heart and soul into something it’s lovely to see.

Last week, she finally passed her stage four swimming award. This was an achievement, she had to reach a good standard in all her strokes to pass. But above all else, she had to try hard. Watching her sister doing so well has finally encouraged her to work at something. And now, I hope it has finally sunk in that it feels pretty amazing to achieve something that has taken a bit of effort.

Our Thursday photo #289

There were some lovely photo opportunities at the Snowdome Winter Wonderland on Saturday. We all had a brilliant day playing in the snow and getting into the (rather early) festive spirit. I love this photo of the girls and I’m sure in years to come I’ll eventually forget it was taken in mid-November.

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  1. Well done to Lia with her swimming! I’m totally with you on Christmas too. We don’t do huge presents and we don’t put the tree up until mid-December. I think what you are doing with Martyn in the Brighton marathon is incredible. Did I tell you I’m running that one too? I don’t suppose I’ll see you as it’s pretty huge.
    You do what you want for your 40th. I went out for a family lunch – with my parents, brother and sister, then in the evening I went to the cinema with my husband! My husband and I did go to Amsterdam a few days later, which was my parents’ present to us both (he turned 40 three months earlier).

    1. Oh your 40th sounds lovely. I really like Amsterdam, it’s a beautiful city. Yes, I did know you were doing Brighton. Sadly I doubt we’ll bump into you as you’ll be starting and finishing a long while before us I’m sure! I’m looking forward to it though, everyone says it’s a brilliant atmosphere.