In the old days, this would have been a great excuse to drink like a fish.
I'd, obviously, have overdone it on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, and I'd have found excuses to start drinking by midday, continuing on for much of the afternoon.
By now I'd be feeling like death, and would have slunk into a pit of despair.
But these days my Bank Holiday weekends are all about family.
It struck me recently that I've spent much of the last decade trying to avoid my children. Isn't that terrible?
I would look for day time activities at weekends where they could play happily somewhere, while I would sit and watch from the side lines with some adult friends and lots of booze.
In the evenings, I would try to feed them relatively early, then there would then be a frantic rush, with lots of kicking and screaming, to get the children into bed 'on time' so that Mr SM and I could settle down for a boozy, 'adult' dinner a deux.
Over a bank holiday weekend I'd often arrange a 'family lunch.'
These generally involved inviting round another 'bon viveur' family. We'd eat lunch with the children down one end of the table and grown ups down the other, then pack them off to watch a movie/destroy the house, while we got really stuck in to the vino.
They'd leave at around 5pm (and probably stop drinking at that point), I'd keep on going until I eventually passed out on the sofa at around 10pm.
Despite the 'family lunch' description, I'd have spent barely any time at all actually talking to any of the children.
This weekend was different.
I booked tickets for us all to go to a wonderful Roald Dahl exhibition on South Bank. We then had lunch by the river, and walked along the Thames, pointing out St Paul's Cathedral and Big Ben, and ogling all the street performers.
We stopped, along with over a hundred other onlookers, to watch an amazing Australian escapologist doing a Houdini style show. He picked two young men out of the crowd to help tie him up. Then he looked around for a female assistant and....picked me!
The smalls were thrilled that Mummy got to be a star in a show and we all had a ball. (I lied when he asked me my name, so every time he addressed me as 'Sheila' the children cracked up).
Our evenings are different now too. Instead of wrestling wide awake children into bed too early, we've relaxed all the rules for non school nights. We all eat together, and we find programmes on TV that we can all enjoy.
The current favourite is Britain's Got Talent.
(Runners up are The Durrells and The Wives of Henry VIII - which counts as revision, and the children love the gore and sex references. You need to watch this sober, as you get thrown questions like "what does he mean 'Anne Boleyn had relations with her own brother'?")
None of the smalls got to bed before 10pm, there was no 'adult time', just one big mess of family.
But that's the way I like it now. And, needless to say, so do the kids.
Hugs to you all,
P.S. Thank you all so much for your messages yesterday. You, and just the act of writing down my fears, helped enormously. I am 90% sure I've just strained my arm (probably as a result of an over-enthusiastic dog on a lead), and I'm not going to die (yet). I know that these cancer fears will fade in time, just like the wine witch does when you quit the booze....