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Alexander Residence: Listography Seasonal Survival Tactics

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Listography Seasonal Survival Tactics

Kate's gone on holiday and asked me to sit her listography. I'm a little nervous, but I am told it's well trained and doesn't bite. I hope she brings me a stick of rock back from sunny Wales.


So, seasonal survival tactics. I'm thinking more of surviving the domestic jungle than the outback. I'm drowning in clutter and chaos. The washing pile rivals Snowdon. The peasants are revolting. Since we relaxed the rules and embraced summer no one listens to a word I say.  My children are free ranging on feral.

Yet somehow in a week's time I have to restore order before my oldest starts school. It's a familiar story around the country. Back to school.  But I really don't think you need school age kids to get that feeling as September looms.

This September, for the first time ever as a family unit, we must be clean, presentable, fed and watered before nine am Monday to Friday.  I confess I don't think we have ever achieved that five days running in the last five years, never mind the last six weeks.

So come on, survival of the fittest, what are your tactics?  I'm looking for the systems, life changing apps, fail proof techniques, honed routines, off topic distractions, tongue in cheek remedies, anti S.A.D. measures...whatever you recommend to survive the transition from summer to autumn.

1. Stationery.  September means stationery. No more writing to do lists in red crayon on the back of an unpaid bill, there will be new pens, notebooks and an academic diary.  I will dig out the Dodo family calendar I was given at Cybermummy, from under an avalanche of paperwork. There have been some violations of the cornerstone of family harmony, the family calendar of late. Come Sept the rules will be final. S/he who gets it down on the calendar first gets to do it.  I will write important dates and things to remember on it, and look at it at least once a day.

2.  Holiday. I think I might of just been on one, but that doesn't stop me planning the next one right?  It's my rule of thumb that you should plan your next holiday on your return journey, especially if you are prone to SAD or live in Britain where there's been so little summer to feel SAD about.  If we can wangle a weekend long babysitter and copious amounts of cash, there's a wedding we've been invited to in sunny Spain this Autumn...

3 Gadgetry.  Ideally that gadget that gets people out of bed and to the breakfast table from Wallace and Grommet   Failing that, I am seriously thinking of investing in one of these.

4 Capsule wardrobe - I want what he's got.  
It's not just the kids who need uniform.  A new season means new clothes. I don't do summer clothes very well, I much prefer cardigans and jeans to shorts and vests.   This autumn I will achieve a selection of clothes which mean I can pluck out an outfit in seconds, rather than scrambling round the floor, washing basket and clothes airer. Gok I need you.  It is also my dream comrades, that the rest of the family will finally graduate from their training in dirty washing disposal.

5 Bribery and mother's ruin. Ice creams, Pimms and Haribo worked for the summer. Perhaps September calls for harder stuff. Hard cash for their child labour and gin for mine. Pocket money will be paid consistently, gin will be drunk copiously.

Over to you, please share the wealth.  Looking forward to visiting and making some new friends.

And for lovers of small things and family traditions, life writers, family historians and those who have loved and lost, check out my Little Legacy project, you can link up posts on Thursdays.

Learn more about Kate Takes 5 Listography here.

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At 27 August 2011 at 18:33 , Anonymous Midlife Singlemum said...

I love the quote about the G&T diet lol. Good list. I guess I should start thinking about September...

At 28 August 2011 at 08:19 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this list, as I scrolled down you had typed the next thing I was thinking :-)

Alarm clock is essential mind that tea one looks great, need one of those for the dark morning!!!

But sadly looking at your list, a alarm clock is all I have ever achieved. With one going in to her 2nd year at secondary and one going to their last year in primary, well we survived!!!

Plus not one late for school in all those years even if I arrived wearing crumbled pink, orange and red clashes some days ;-) !!!!

At 28 August 2011 at 09:33 , Blogger The Alexander Residence said...

MLSM - I give you full permission not to think about it for a few more days!
Ali - you are so right and reassuring thank you x As a teacher I used to love sept and the new starts, clean books. It never lasts though! Never late, that is impressive!

At 28 August 2011 at 17:50 , Blogger Melksham Mum said...

Drink, new clothes, a holiday & spanking new paper products? Sounds perfect preparation for the upcoming chilly nights! x

At 28 August 2011 at 22:38 , Blogger @FayC said...

My top tip would be to make sure packed lunches are made up the night before. They were the bain of my life until I figured out it was less stressful to have them made up early! Plus shoes! Make sure they are by the door before they go to bed! That way you can guarantee they will be found the next morning!

At 29 August 2011 at 09:52 , Anonymous Reluctant Housedad said...

Great theme and great list. I will get on the case with this. I am counting the day to the kids going back to school. Just one more week, but the natives are very restless at the moment. I fear this week will be as long as the last 5-6.

At 29 August 2011 at 21:34 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets tweet Gok Wan and offer him a go on a teasmaid and maybe he will come and make over us both? what do you think?
maybe some gin first?

At 29 August 2011 at 23:21 , Blogger 1978rebecca said...

Great list. I went for bribery on mine too. Sorry for copying. Would love a Gok makeover but really do not want to get naked! Can he just give me lots of nice clothes please!

If you're still in need of an alarm clock will send you over my baby alarm clock. She goes off at 7 (if not before) without fail and emits a loud shrill cry which will have you running out of bed before you know it!

At 30 August 2011 at 12:00 , Blogger Zoe Paige said...

Pimms - yummo! Delish on a warm day! Stationary is the best - I love myself a pink highlighter - laminating is also always great.

At 30 August 2011 at 17:56 , Anonymous Debbie JJ said...

Stationery and a holiday- yes please!
With lists like this I can't help but almost look forward to September!

At 30 August 2011 at 22:11 , Blogger The Alexander Residence said...

melksham mum - could be good!
Fay - have promised myself I will abandon my slothenly ways and get stuff sorted the night before
Reluctant Housedad - get back under your duvet fast.
Gemma - Might need gin first, as Rebecca points out, he makes you get naked, had forgotten that bit.
Zoe - love that you love laminating :)
Debbie - its not sooo bad is it, in fact i'm starting to feel quite warm about it all now.

At 31 August 2011 at 21:42 , Blogger Kate said...

Eek - back to school tomorrow and haven't had a chance to follow anyone's tips. I'll have to write off this week as 'bad school mum' and then come back with a vengeance on Monday. Think I may start with your new clothes one ;)

At 31 August 2011 at 22:18 , Blogger The Alexander Residence said...

I wouldn't worry, think it has scared the pants off everyone! Hope you had a lovely holiday, maybe we could all reflect on those next week?


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