The Summer Summary

High fives and belly bumps, people.  We made it. Summer holidays are over and the children are safely back in school. *insert celebratory emojis here*

I want to tell you about all the great adventures we had, how we seamlessly blended the work and kid juggle and how great it was...and it was in parts, but the truth is that I found this summer hard, and I am glad it's over. Summer is always a perfect storm of being both the busiest time of year work wise, prepping for an autumn and winter of releases, events and workshops and the slowest in terms of income.  And while we did really awesome, fun things, we also sat around and watched a lot of TV in our underpants, me working, kids eating cereal for every meal.


There were a few moments where I was able to pry them out of the house.  Usually it involved throwing them in a loch or river, sometimes with Kevin as well.  

We also, 

  • worked steadily on building up natural dye samples for the upcoming Foraging for Colour workshop
  • perfected sourdough croissants
  • swam, swam, swam
  • got a new billy goat, named Red/Harry/Oi You!
  • visited the glorious Seacliffe Beach near North Berwick.  What a place!!

However, the absolute highlight of the holidays came on the Monday of the 2nd week.  I was working on a deadline for the Great Wave KAL and needed to knit like the wind.  Ells, tired of being ignored, climbed into bed with me to watch a film.  Luna the cat crawled between us.  As the movie went on, I noticed Luna acting a bit strange.  I checked her out and realised she was having kittens on my bed!! An amazing experience to get to watch them come into the world and we have absolutely loved having these 6 bundles of fluff running around the house. 

And that's that, really.  On to P2, P3 and P6, a very full autumn and deadlines galore. 

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Life On The Edge of Summer

It happens every year...a slow panic that starts on June 1st and builds up as each day ticks by...the end of term and summer holidays.

Part of me craves the break to the routine. The alarm goes off and I spend a good 20 minutes fantasising about not having to start the uniform/lunch/breakfast/teeth/chore cycle. Something is usually missing or forgotten, someone is usually upset at having to go to school, we are usually late for the bus. One morning, our neighbour/electrician popped up to look at the studio at 8 am and bore witness to full chaos - naked and crying children, goats escaping, sheep in the house, and worst of all, pre-coffee me. He left just about as fast as he could get in the van and it took all the control I had not to ask to hop in with him and drive away with him. 

 The prospect of lazy mornings aside, summer holidays mean an end to my working routine for 8 weeks.  With my children more and more independent and clear expectations of what I will be able to realistically achieve, school holidays are marginally less stressful than they used to be.  I structure my work so that I have some clear computer days where the kids are with Kevin or friends and the rest of the time I plan work that involves things I don't need to concentrate as much on usually small making projects that I can cart along with us as we go. Also, this summer's main task is getting the farm ready for the programme of workshops and retreats (more on that later) that are starting this September.   Kids can usually be roped in to help with painting and tidying if a bribe of ice cream or swimming can be offered at the end.

Sometimes I look back on the early days of Kat Goldin Designs with amazement.  I started with all 3 kids at home full time - Ellis was 4.5, Georgia was 18m and Theo was 6 months when I started selling handmade hats and patterns.  I blogged every day and I even wrote books before they were all at school! HOW ON EARTH DID I DO THAT?  or more accurately HOW ARE KEVIN AND I STILL TOGETHER AFTER THOSE YEARS?!?

Because, that really is the crux of it.  Kevin and I don't fight about anything, except who gets to work. Part of me recognises that my work is more flexible than his, part of me hates that it feels like time and again his work comittments trump mine. On my good days, I accept it and work with what we've got - he tries to take 2 days off a week to work at home and look after the kids. On my bad days, I see it for the patriarchal nonsense it is - my work constantly having to  fit into other people's schedules and needs. He says he would choose differently if he could, and makes up for it by doing all the laundry and vacuuming and chores and we call it even as I lay in bed with the kids, blissfully enjoying my slow summer mornings.

Regardless of how I feel about it, summer break starts in 1.5 days...and the juggle begins. 

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