I can’t believe I’ve got this far. The final countdown to holiday. All I can think about is putting on my OOO and taking a break. I’m shattered. It’s been a long year with very little reason to stop because there hasn’t been much to do. But now, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I can’t wait.

But hang on. I’ve not left yet. There are still a few days and there is still a mountain to climb. Not only do I want and need to get a whole stack of things completed for work. I’ve also got to make sure the family has everything they need to go on holiday, the clothes fit and are clean plus any needed items are scored.

So just at the point when I’m ready to collapse in a heap – certainly not helped by the current heatwave – I must find the strength and the hours to get this all over the line.

The hardest bit is remaining focussed on work. My head is already visualising beaches and English sunsets. We’re off to our favourite place, Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight. We know what’s coming up and we just can’t wait. Fish and chips. Crabbing. Swimming in the sea. Shopping in my favourite boutique, Blue by the Sea. Hanging out with family. Gin and tonics looking over the sea as the sun goes down…..

This period, the build-up to holiday, is one of those crunch points as a working mother where you must find a way to fit it all in so you can switch off and enjoy the family time that is coming up. For me, I’m finding the getting ready to go away harder than usual. I think it’s the lack of practice due to lockdowns – I just can’t remember what everyone needs to take with them so I’m constantly writing lists and doing another online order. My husband keeps reminding me that they do have shops on the island!

I know I’ll get it all done, by hook or by crook. I always do – somehow. What I tend to forget is that in the rush and adrenaline to get everything done I don’t half find it hard to switch off on cue.

It takes me a day or two to unwind from everyday life and slow down. I can feel it happening. That moment when we step on to the ferry to leave the mainland is when I start to exhale and leave work behind. But for the next couple of days it’s head down and all I can do is savour the anticipation.