Those hot summer days when my daughters and I would make good use of what Portsmouth had to offer now seem like a long time ago.
Gone are the days of crabbing at Canoe Lake, playing in the park next to Baffins Pond and enjoying tag on Milton Common.
All because the weather has turned, shorts have been swapped for trousers, the leaves are falling from the trees and autumn is well and truly here.
For all parents this can only mean one thing – a thought which might send shudders down your spine at the mere mention of it.
I’m talking about rainy day activities.
When it’s pouring outside, the trees are swaying violently and the front door won’t be opening any time soon, I’ve got two little humans who require some sort of mental stimulation to keep them occupied.
Sometimes this can mean asking them to pick a DVD from the shelf.
This is not my favourite option to be honest as recently I had to sit through the not-so-thrilling Barbie The Movie not just once, but twice.
That’s a few hours of my life I’ll never get back, but at least Caitlin and Alyssa seemed to enjoy it.
However, the peace and quiet is pleasant and while their minds are engrossed in the movie it means that at least they are not arguing.
I much prefer to come up with an activity in which we can interact with each other and the girls can be creative.
This means the DVDs are returned to their cases and the new form of mental stimulation is a mini arts and crafts movement.
So now, when outside the clouds are looking grey and moody, the inside of our house is full of colour with various acrylic paints and glues coupled with piles of card and paper.
Then, of course, you need stuff to stick to the card and paper.
So now we have stocked up on small beads, coloured felts and fabrics and various stickers.
Now we are ready and the arts and crafts mixed in with some father and daughter bonding can begin.
Don’t get me wrong, we had fun and there were some interesting ‘arty’ results at the end.
But what seemed such a good idea in the beginning soon turned into a bad idea when it came to having to clean up the place.
Wow, arts and crafts can be messy.
For days I’ve been finding various bits of felt and stickers not just around the house but also stuck to me.
And then there is the one thing that has now become my enemy – glitter.
I was wondering why I was getting some funny looks while out shopping.
I later found out it was because of my pretty glittery stubble.
How it got onto my face, I still don’t know... but I have a pretty good idea.