Train days and holidays

So we are into the summer holidays… always a time of year that I look forward to although with a little apprehension.

Who doesn’t love the thought of time off work, the warmth of sunny days and for me an excuse to celebrate my birthday in the sun.

6 weeks to entertain Charlie can be a tall order. Perhaps its a blessing in disguise that recently he is enjoying entertaining himself… although it worries me that he chooses to spend about 90% of the day in his own company in his bedroom. We are graced with his presence at eating times, however, we are now in a routine of being banished from the dining room – Charlie sits at the head of the family dining table, with the table perfectly laid for 1! The rest of us are banished to eat on our laps in the lounge… sometimes I think Charlie is king of this kingdom and we are the mere mortals employed only to serve!

Holiday activities that are suitable for Charlie are few and far between. Yes there are a few things set up but Charlie declines to engage with most of them. With a little gentle persuasion he might go to the play association but other activities like sports, art or entertainment is a no no for Charlie. Its sad because I know he would enjoy some of them if he gave it a chance – but anything new is frightening for Charlie and therefore, better off avoided. His standard reply to my suggestions are a very polite ‘no thank you’. If I persevere I would no longer get such a polite response!

Charlie’s personal plan for the holidays is to visit as many railway lines/bridges/stations as possible. It’s amazing how his passion for trains, which started with Thomas, has continued to grow. Last week we visited a dear friend in Weymouth. Of course this was an opportunity to travel on Southwest trains… Charlie gave a running commentary along the whole route. I had to chuckle to myself… I could see people in our carriage trying to pretend not to look at the landmarks he was pointing out but were just too curious… especially when he got very excited at the points at Warehem where you would change to go to Swanage (and he then went on to list all the stations from Norden to Swanage) and the points at Hamworthy where the old import/export goods would travel to the docks at Poole… I think he could spend literally all day stood on a bridge or platform just watching and waiting… We did a lovely walk from Surrey Road along the Bourne river to Coy Pond – just so we could stand under the old viaduct at Branksome!

Sticking to my ‘glass half full’ outlook has been a little challenging this week… I’m never ill. But this week what started as a sore throat and progressed to feeling like I was swallowing razor blades has now become an almost complete loss of voice! A rare trip to my GP confirmed it is tonsillitis and has signed me off work for a week… Not a great start to my annual leave. So the ‘glass half full’ bit is that I will get some holiday hours back and I can sit and veg at home and let Charlie enjoy his own company for as long as he likes!

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