We are now well into summer, the kids are off school, the parks and attractions are busy and my train into work substantially quieter than normal.
Typically, the weather hasn’t been great since the kids finished up but that doesn’t seem to stop my two grandchildren having fun and playing outside.
Jack starts school in August and his mum and dad took advantage of not being tied to school holidays to get away on a term-time deal to Spain and, while they did ask me to come along - no doubt to be on hand for baby sitting duties - I declined as I was going away with my friend.
But then she lost her job unexpectedly and our holiday hopes were dashed.
So now, I’m stuck at home all summer and have to plaster on my best fake grin when colleagues and friends show me their holiday snaps. Unlike most people, I actually like looking at pictures from foreign trips. I make mental notes of the places I’d like to visit too, and the ones I think I’d best avoid.
But now the pictures are leaving me with a sour taste in my mouth.
This time last year I was preparing for my holiday in the Caribbean courtesy of my friend winning a competition. But this year my two weeks off work will be spent doing odd jobs.
While my garden will be grateful for a bit of long overdue TLC and it’s been an age since my windows were scrubbed, it’s hardly comparable to lounging around in the sunshine, sipping cocktails and making eyes at the dishy waiters. I was bemoaning the fact I wasn’t getting away to my mother when she snapped.
‘For goodness sake Kate,’ she said.
‘You should think yourself lucky you manage to get away most years. Think about your poor friend losing her job.’
And, of course, she was right. I was so wrapped up in my self I hadn’t really thought about how my friend would be feeling.
So now, I’ve planned a wee day trip for the two of us - on me. Loch Lomond may not have the sunshine of the Costa Brava but who needs it when you have good friends and excellent wine?