Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Bedtime Story (8/8/2018)

When I was a kid, the summer holidays were always a huge treat - all that time off from school!  Now, as an adult, I work term time and still get that same feeling of excitement about the summer holidays.  This story is all about that sensation of being able to do anything!

This week's story is also available as a podcast.


Two weeks of the summer holidays had already passed by, almost without Leila noticing.  The sun had shone, she'd ridden her bike and enjoyed lazy mornings in her pyjamas, but something didn't feel quite right.

"This is our summer holiday," she told her older sister, Clare.  "We should be doing stuff."

Clare frowned.  "What kind of stuff?"

Leila shrugged.  "Anything," she insisted.  "I feel like we're just doing the kind of things we could do at the weekend, or after school.  We should be doing really fun stuff, instead.  The kind of things we couldn't do, if we didn't have all this time off!"

Clare put down the book she'd been reading in the garden and squinted up at her sister.  "Give me some ideas."

Leila chewed her lip for a moment.  "Well...  We could build a tree-house!  Or we could ask Mum to drive us to the beach and collect shells, then we could make necklaces with them.  Maybe we could bake cakes and have a tea party with our friends..."

A smile began to creep across Clare's lips.  "They are all things we'd probably be too busy to do after school, or at the weekend," she began.  But Leila wasn't finished:

"We could write a play and make props and perform it for Nan and Grandad when they visit.  Or we could make a den in the woods behind the house and invite friends round for a picnic, there.  Perhaps we could ask Mum and Dad if we can redecorate our bedroom?  We could even learn to play instruments and form a band!"

Suddenly, Clare began to realise that her sister had a good point.  They had so many weeks off school, but all they'd really done so far was play the same games they always did.

In an instant, the summer seemed to stretch out before them, full of opportunities for fun and excitement.

"We could start practising for the school's Christmas talent show," Clare exclaimed.  "We could learn a dance routine and get really, really good at it.  Or we could learn to sew and try to make a patchwork quilt, just like the ones we have on our beds at Nanna's house.  We could make a time capsule and bury it somewhere, for people to find in years from now!"

Leila nodded, clapping her hands.  "We could make a fairy garden in the back yard.  Or stay up late and go hunting for ghosts after Mum and Dad are asleep.  We could go to the library and get loads of new books to read over the summer.  We could volunteer to do jobs around the house for extra pocket money, save it up and buy ourselves something really cool to take in to school when we go back!"

Claire grinned.  "I think you might have been right, you know," she told her sister.  "We've got all this time off and... We can do anything!"  She scrambled out of her deckchair and headed towards the house.  "Come on," she called to Leila.  "I think we need to write a list."

And with that, Leila trotted after her sister, with a hundred and one ideas in her head.  Something told her that this might just be the best summer ever.


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