It is officially the end of summer. The end of warm weather and playing outside all afternoon. The end of laundry drying in an hour (and there's barely any laundry anyway, a couple of shorts and the odd t-shirt). It is the start of the mud fest, both in and outside the house. It is the start of needing to find shoes, socks, jumpers, coats, hats, scarves and gloves and get them onto 2 small wriggly boys every single time we go outside. It is the start of Everest style piles of additional laundry which takes weeks to dry. It is the start of very dry chapped hands which no amount of hand cream can sort out. It is the start of indoor play, day in, day out.
I'm not pleased about winter.
It has arrived in a classically Bosnian style. On Friday we were frolicking around outside in shorts and t-shirts, temperatures were 30C (86F), way hotter than an English summer, and we thought about having a barbeque outside. Yesterday Sarajevo got snowed in, cutting off roads, electricity and phonelines. They had forecast the same for us, it has mercifully not appeared just yet, but it is cold enough for it. This sudden and dramatic fall in temperature is not unusual here. No wonder everyone gets sick.
Oh yes, winter has arrived.
But this year, we are ready for whatever winter wants to throw at us:
Winter tyres on the car? Check.
Snow Chains in the car? Check.
Emergency provisions - chocolate, crisps (I like to feed them healthy stuff), the odd packet of dried fruit in case we get caught in a snow storm and can't get out. Check.
Rugs, Blankets, extra jumpers and warm clothes in the back, again just in case we get caught in an unexpected blizzard? Check.
Radiators in the house all checked for faults? Check.
Municipality Heating on? Check - oh, yes, check, check, check - came on on Tuesday. I nearly cried with delight, we were going to be in for a chilly few days if they hadn't got it all sorted in time.
Plans for indoor activities? Check - although will probably only last for a week then we'll have to fly by the seat of our pants until we all get into the groove of indoor play. I'm still working out how I'm going to burn off the excess energy of two small boys in order to proceed with all the planned indoor activities, but I'm sure we'll work it out eventually.
Plans for outdoor activities? Check - the sledge is in the garage ready to go. Outdoor activities with snow not a problem, it is the piss awful filthy days when it is about 3C, raining, no sign of snow and noone in their right mind will think about venturing outside that are the problem.
Boots that are waterproof and can be worn in snow? Check - the obtaining of said boots deserves a post all of its own, but the end result is a check with two frazzled parents still in shock from the experience.
Summer Clothes packed away (bye bye small boy Crocs, I shall miss you, you are a lot easier than shoes, socks and boots). Check.
Winter Clothes unpacked? Check. How is it possible for the jumpers take up that much room in a cupboard?
Stockpiled Calpol/Calprufen? Check - not needed yet, but surely only a matter of time.
Extra brooms to give the boys to help brush up the mud bought into the house by boots and filthy muddy dog? Check.
Ok winter. Bring it on.
A HUGE thank you to those who identified the random fruit given to us by the dear old biddy down the road, for a quince it was. And we made jam. And the jam? It is GOOOOOOD. I'm so excited as I've never made jam before. Anyone else finding themselves with a bit of left over quince should try this recipe for quince jam which was incredibly easy (a necessity for me, I'm no cook) and produces amazing jam.
Also, the Best of British Parent Bloggers Carnival is up over at Family Friendly Working, so get a cup of tea and settle in for more tales from the parenting front line.