That might give you a clue, friends! I'm to commute to Queen's in Birmingham on a weekly basis, beginning in September, for a two year course. I shall start in the first year with a Certificate in Theology, Mission and Ministry, and aim to convert it to a Diploma in the second year. There's the opportunity to convert it to a BA and continue to do it as probationer studies, but let's not put the cart before the horse, as they say!
It's a challenge I'm looking forward to but I have to be honest and admit that the thought of going back to uni in my later forties is a bit daunting. No one that I have met in the process so far is doing that same arrangement, as they are all either doing the part time option or already live in Birmingham and will come in on a daily basis. I dare say, though, that I shall find new friends and cherish my existing contacts through email and messages, and will meet up very occasionally. We shall be ships that pass in the night, as they will come to Queens for 7 weekends each year on the part time pathway, and I shall be at home on weekends!
It is a term-time arrangement over 33 weeks of the year, and so I shall still be at home for long periods at Christmas, Easter and the summer, which is good when one has not long got married!!
The OH is a bit peeved though that my half term is not closer to our first wedding anniversary - Queens seems to go along with Birmingham school holidays rather than Cumbrian ones, naturally, and my week off falls a week later........he had something up his sleeve apparently and he is "sad" that we can't take that week together. For "sad", one can actually read, "very sad, verging on devastated." But that is life, and we are now, more than ever, going to be bound by terms!
I have handed in my notice with my job and will finish at the end of July. We've a Norfolk holiday planned in August and I shall see my family as well in that window of opportunity. Form filling will be the next chore - I had just got my tax return done, thank goodness - but there will shortly be forms to fill in for the college, and then for the church, to apply for funding etc. The course is fully sponsored by the church, so I have no loans to apply for, which is a blessing, and they give me a monthly bursary to keep me fed and clothed. And, joy of joys, I have discovered that despite being far from the 16-25 age range, I can apply for a railcard as a mature student, which will help the finances of the weekly train journeys to and from Birmingham no end.
The girls are doing well - the EFG is busily doing her dissertation and has her head down, working hard, but managed almost a week here with me not long ago, and that was lovely! The YFG has her last exam of the year tomorrow and then she will be home a week on Saturday, for a short while, before she heads off to Uganda for three weeks...... My stepson is in the midst of his GCSEs and I had a lovely message from him tonight, reminding me that it is a maths exam tomorrow and he will "just do his best" - he and I have worked together on some maths and he has a brilliant mental maths ability but doesn't always write down all the workings so he misses out on vital marks. He hopes to do A levels in September so we are praying he gets the results he needs to do those.
Your comments and good wishes are a wonderful encouragement to me. Being completely honest, these last six months have not been a bed of roses. I'm still coming to terms with all that I have left behind in the Fens, and the distance between me and those I love there still. I'm getting used to being married to a man I had only really seen on high days and holidays, and the nitty gritty of working life for both of us has been quite different - and he is a younger man with a much more independent streak than the FH ever had, so I have to get used to allowing him to do things his way (and ooh, that's hard sometimes, when of course, I think my way is better ;) but I am getting there!) I'm also dealing with the loss of my beloved bridesmaid, a different job which I haven't really enjoyed very much, although the people are amazing, AND not really having had much opportunity to really make connections within my own denomination here. But God is GOOD, always, and I have been blessed with some brilliant new friends, some dedicated old friends who go the extra mile to keep in touch, daughters who are loving, mature and kind, a stepson who has taken me as I come, and most importantly, a very loving husband who adores me. There is much joy in all of this, despite the challenges, and whilst I do occasionally look back and wonder, I am doing that less and less as God points me forward to the way ahead and asks me to bloom where I am planted [Jer 29.4-14].
We have just had a week off together in the Cotswolds, and when I can move the photos from the phone to the laptop, via email, I shall share that with you too: it was lovely!