My Blog Library

My Blog Library | August 2015

Where did the summer go? Well, I hope you all had a wonderful time with family and friends. I’m sitting writing this looking at a garden that’s getting a good soaking from the rain clouds. We’ve just come back from a proper Bank Holiday weekend day out to Hobbledown Farm – more on that to follow – and it feels like that is a bookend to the summer of 2015.

It’s been a fun one, especially as I’ve been spending Fridays with Little B. I think I’ll look back on this as a golden era in the years that follow. As parents we don’t get long with our children when they are so young and changing so fast. One summer is a lifetime to a toddler. And I know he won’t remember it so I’m glad I’ve got lots of photos and some blog posts about our time together.

Anyway, back to what I’ve been reading this month. And my first choice is on that theme of time passing too quickly.

Baby reading books

  1. Growing Up Too Fast | Mrs H’s Favourite Things: This doesn’t need much introduction because it’s such a universal human desire, to pause time and hold onto those precious moments a while longer. Everyone feels it now and then but once you have children you become highly tuned to the relentless passage of time. I think it’s because once you’re an adult the years can pass by without you changing very much. The odd line, grey hair, twinge here and there, but from 20 to 40 you are basically you and it is scary how you don’t notice five years going by. Once children are on the scene you’re back to that awareness of time you had when you were a child – but it’s devastatingly reversed. When we are children time seems to go on and on for ever. Schools days are like a month. Waiting for Christmas and Birthdays is torture. Summer lasts for ever. As a parent you see the days and months flying by marked by the rapid changes in your children’s appearance and character. You can’t not notice a month passing or see the difference between this year and the last. And our ability to record these changes so easily, through digital photography and video, means there is no escape. Warning: Lucy’s plea to her beautiful daughter – not to grow up too fast – may bring a tear to your eye. So, let’s go back to the start. In fact, before the start.
  2. Preparing Your Partner For Fatherhood | First Tooth: Before we had Little B we read loads of books. And before we even thought about having children we used to interrogate friends who’d taken the plunge to the extent that one of the mums eventually said (in a County Antrim accent): “Jeazus, you two and your questions, what are you like, won’t you just go home and get on with it now and make a baby?” So we had Little B (not immediately after that conversation mind you – she’s not THAT persuasive) and realised nothing we’d read or heard could ever have actually prepared us for him. I am glad we went to some classes as well as all the incessant reading and questions however, as we were VERY AWARE of the imminent lack of sleep and tidal wave of bodily fluids that were about to enter our lives. Not all men are quite as prepped. Some may even go into a state of denial once the initial excitement of the wee stick has passed. So I recommend this very funny post as a crash course in what having a baby will actually be like. And all you need is a bag of flour.
  3. Slouching Towards Thatcham | The Secrets Of The Podcast: I’m not a fan of technology; I like what I can do with it but I always approach it like a wary rabbit approaching a juicy carrot, balanced on a sleeping fox’s head. So I really appreciate other bloggers who take time to reveal how they do things. In fact, without these generous souls who champion open source knowledge I don’t think I would have managed to start up this blog. There is still so much to learn and I have a very long admin list of things I need to sort out and tweak. Of course, there are bloggers who have mastered writing and photography and moved on to video and audio – or Vlogging and Podcasting. So I was delighted to read this post by Tim that revealed the secret of making a podcast. The technical aspects anyway. You still need to come up with a great idea for content! And having read his guide I think I may even give it a go. I even have GarageBand on this Mac so all I need is a microphone. But while I’m tripping over wires and being appalled by how my voice sounds do check out his new series of podcasts in which fellow bloggers read out one of their favourite posts.
  4. Why You Suck At Blogging And Should Probably Quit | Hello Archie: That’s not aimed at you personally, come back! In fact, this post is a trick. Following on from the above confession that I am not the greatest at doing what I should be doing to make my blog as brilliant as it could be, I loved this post by Kaye about how blogging can become a chore, an obsession but not about the right things, not about the writing or the love of creating, but an obsession with the 21st century version of keeping up with the Joneses. When everyone’s social media feeds seem to be about nothing more than promoting themselves. What do you do? Do you give up? No of course you don’t and that’s why this blog title is a trick. Kaye isn’t saying you suck. She’s suggesting ever so gently, like a moth fluttering at your ear, that you need to chill the fuck out. Go spend time with your family, spend five minutes staring at your child or a flower without taking a photo of them. Bake a cake and don’t put it on Instagram for once. But before you do that, take a look at this next post and then turn off your phone/laptop/tablet and go and make a dinosaur out of washing up liquid bottles like we all did in the 80s.
  5. My Little Rays Of Sunshine | What Katy Said: I started this post by thinking about the end of summer. So I need to end on a high note or I’m going to be feeling depressed all night. So I will leave you with this wonderful photo diary of what looks to me like the perfect summer family day out, the kind of day you pull out of your memory to get you through darker days, one to fall into like a warm blanket that’s been left out on a sun-drenched lawn all day, the kind of day you wish would never end. Sunflowers, lavender, children and happiness. Need I say more?

That’s all for now. I hope the summer has been good to you. Good luck if your little or not so little ones are off to school. If not, let them be little for another year. Let’s hold onto our memories as the days shorten and the rain drives us indoors. And let’s hold out as we always do in the UK, for one of those ‘Indian Summers’ where we’re treated to a surprise week of warmth in late September! Happy August Bank Holiday! 🙂

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