Mad Half Hour

When Was in my twenties I spent a few years working in Germany. One of the things that sticks with me was our team “mad half hours”. The job was quite high pressure, not in a astronaut/surgeon/air traffic controller kind of way, but lots of challenging personalities and politics to deal with. Normally around 3ish, just after we’d all grabbed a coffee from the staff canteen, something would spark one of us off and we’d all get a bit silly. This might involve chair racing of hiding under desks and jumping out on each other or just a general throwing rubbers at each other thing. After all we were the childrenswear team, we were just big kids. After the blow out, we’d all get our heads down and carry on with our work. Having that moment everyday made us really bond as a team and blew the stress away.

It was great.

I don’t know when I stopped having those mad half hours, when I got so serious, but I’m sure my life is poorer without it. Granted it’s not the easiest thing to incorporate into a day when you work remotely from home, by yourself. Well it made a come back today. This morning I wanted to tackle a bit of my garden before we met friends for lunch. As I got dressed I asked my daughter if she wanted to give me a hand with cutting the lawn. She hid under the covers and made it very clear she intended to stay in bed. If I was silly enough to not enjoy a rare Sunday morning lay in, then be it on my head. One of her feet stuck out from under the duvet, so just as I used to do when she was a toddler I grabbed her by the ankle and tried to pull her out of bed. This used to be a great game every morning when she was little, she would try and crawl away from me and I’d have to grab her by the ankles and pull her back again. She would collapse in a fit of giggles and we’d do it again and again and again. She’ll soon be turning 11 and is blossoming into a young women in front of my eyes, so lets just say she won this round. No matter how hard I pulled, her grip was stronger.

As we lay giggling on my bed I asked her if she remembered how I used to lay on my back and stick my legs in the air with her balanced on my feet, then she’d let go of my hands and ‘fly’. Since the op, my strength has dwindled a lot, but we gave it a go. I couldn’t lift her at all, I’m not sure if it was from the laughing or just lack of strength in my legs, but we gave up after the second attempt.

I finally managed to spend a couple of hours in the garden after a very competitive bout of ‘pinging’ socks at each other and a bit of a pillow fight. I enjoy getting out in the garden, I feel very at peace working in it, but this morning I had an extra spring in my step.

This evening we finished up with a bbq and a session of burning some of the wood I’d cut back. We took it in turns to try and jump over the clump of poppy growing in the middle of our lawn. Then as we sat together, enjoying a cuddle on the grass in front of the log burner, I thought to myself how much I have to treasure such moments and our ‘mad half hours’. She’s off to high school in September and this is the last summer I will have with her being my little girl, by the end of the year she’ll be a on the next step on the road to adulthood.

As I sit in bed writing this blog, my ribs are still aching.  I’m sure some of my friends would be telling me off to trying to lift her, I know they’re trying to look after me, but this evenings sore ribs are good pain… pain from too much laughter and that’s definitely a good type of pain!



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