Weekends in my house are strange occasions. Due to both parties being on second marriages, each weekend is different. This weekend for example, we have the kids. Next week, we won’t have any kids!

At least, that is what has happened until recently.

So, the kids in order of age are 21, 19, 17, 13, 11.

21 year-old boy has left home, and is currently in Australia staying with his uncle. We don’t see him very often. 19 year old girl has full independence but still lives at home. She has a boyfriend who lives a couple of hours away in Devon. This weekend she is visiting him at his place (she went down on the train, so I am sure we will get a customary pick-up request from the station). She has recently passed her driving test so now she is able to flit anywhere. The downside with this is that she now appears whenever she feels like it! No longer can we relax on “our” weekends, for she may just wander on in, plonk herself down and start chatting away about not too much at all! Normally I greet her with a cheery “WRONG HOUSE!!!!!” which is always met with the same level of contempt.

17 year old girl is a sociable, acty, dancy luvvie type. Which is a real pain. “Can you drop me, can you collect me, if I give you petrol money…” are quite common. Happily though, as her friends start driving, this is becoming less frequent, although when it does happen it is at a moment’s notice!

This leaves my two little urchins, both girls. They are at that age when homework is an issue, swimming galas, guide jamborees and so on. So the weekends where the girls are with us, it’s always busy.

Coupled with that, my wife is desperately trying to edit and polish her third book, while at the same time trying to juggle a full time job.

I also work full time, and am desperately trying to find something that will make me truly happy in life; owning my own café/bistro type thing. I love cooking and baking, but could not handle the pressure of a professional kitchen, but as the owner of my own place, I could do what I wanted and really annoy chef!

So next weekend is “our” weekend. No plans, except we are into preserving season, so I will be making all manner of jar preserves. This weekend is a spiced apple and shallot chutney. I have had so many apples this year it will be so nice when the new season comes around and I can start looking other things!

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