Today was the last day of my September sabbatical. A lovely summery day in which I had a coffee date with Mr Rush Hour, went for a meandering walk through some local Regency squares, made yet another batch of chilli jam, chatted to other parents at the school gates and took Eve and Leah to the park before letting them take most of their toys into the garden so they could play house until the sun went down.

Next week it’s back to work and a complicated routine of breakfast clubs for Eve and Leah and a combination of paid help and compacted/reduced hours so we can both take them and pick them up from school three days a week. Our annual leave has been carefully carved up so we can cover the school holidays. I think there’s a window at Christmas and one week in August next year when we can all be off at the same time. Let’s hope no one’s ill because there’s no slippage in the new routine. Trying to explain all of this to the girls resulted in a guilt inducing, “noooooo Mummy, don’t leave me in school for twenty hours” from Leah. All of which makes me appreciate what a cocoon the last month has been for us all. We are skint from a month without my salary but being there for the start of school was the right thing to do. I’ve loved every minute of it.

The picture above was taken in the Cocoon at the Natural History Museum at science night last Friday. It was the perfect way to celebrate Eve and Leah’s first full day at school. They insisted on carrying their new school bags, currently a third of their body size, everywhere with them.

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