Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Waving goodbye

I shall be seeing the EFG off on the train this morning as she makes her way to Leicester for a conference, from which she will head to Aberdeen for the next term and the beginning of her third year.  She will be coming back from Leicester to Peterborough, where cousins live, and I shall meet her there on Friday with her luggage; a cousin is taking her back to Aberdeen from Peterborough, and they are leaving at about 6am on Saturday, so it makes sense for her to stay with them on Friday night and make their departure on Saturday as smooth as possible.  We hope that her third year at Aberdeen will be good, and a little less stressful now that she has new flatmates who are hopefully a little more balanced than one of the ones she had last year who was rather volatile. I can't believe that she is 20 years old now and half way through her degree.......makes me feel old!

She's been here since mid-May and we have again to get used to being without her - but we are getting more practised at it now, so it should be OK!  We haven't got the foreign girls this year, so it is going to be quiet here, but the YFG will have to knuckle down and work hard in her A level year, and I have gone from 20 to 30 hours at work since last September, so we are both going to be busy and well occupied! The YFG has a pediatric first aid course to do this term, which will complement her gymnastics qualification, and she also has to do the actual Duke of Edinburgh expedition in September.  I'm hoping the decent weather continues for them as I think they are heading to the Lake District....

A new financial challenge starts here tomorrow on the 1st September, so we are also looking forward to getting started on that - we have had so many financial drains this summer that we really need to boost the coffers. The EFG will turn 18 next summer and all our bereaved parent and family-related benefits will cease [as they should: I am not complaining] but there is a real chance that she will stay at home and take on more study or an apprenticeship and so I will continue to support her financially without those benefits, so we are already looking at living on that amount.

God continues to bless us and provide all that we need, but we do have to be good stewards of that provision, and we are looking at what we really need and what we choose to buy sometimes that might not really be necessary.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016


It's been really hot here today - the temperature gauge in the car read 31C this afternoon when I had to get back into it reluctantly!  I had been at the office with my colleagues, redecorating it, and we had the good luck to be in a room which faces northwards, so we weren't bothered by the heat whilst we were busy but when we finished and came outside again - wow! It was hot!

Since getting home this afternoon, the YFG and I have had a clear out of one of the freezers, since it is rubbish day tomorrow - we have thrown away food which we realistically know we are never going to eat - and I found ratatouille dated past time it was moved on!  I hate to throw stuff out but sometimes, it is the only thing.  We run three freezers, and came to the conclusion this weekend that we should be reducing that down by at least one, so we have probably cleared out enough room in the largest one to move the contents of another smaller one over - but I am not doing that until the next bin day as there will surely be stuff  in the smaller one that we decide to discard as well!

I've also been cleaning some windows and doing some washing. Too much activity for one day - I am off to have a shower and read a book now.  Hope you are all well and I am trying to keep up with my favourite blogs, so if I haven't commented for a while, sorry, but I am still reading a few times a week xx

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Exam results

For the fifth year in a row, on a Thursday in August, we have made the journey to the school to pick up a brown envelope. It was GCSEs and then AS levels and A levels for the EFG, and then the GCSEs and now the AS levels for the YFG. One more year to go!

So we went with some trepidation this morning. We knew that the Geography hadn't been brilliantly taught in one half of the course, and we were all too aware that a good chunk of the Politics hadn't been taught at I was hugely thrilled at the result. The YFG is so disappointed with the E for Politics that we have to keep reminding her that the A for Geography is a small miracle and the B for Religious Studies is very very good. She worked so very hard for those results that I am one very proud mummy tonight.  She does mention often that no one in the family has ever got an E before - we reply that no one has ever tried Politics before.....she joked to her big brother that at least she knows she can rule out Politics as a career now! She will do those papers for Politics again next year when she does the A level papers, and hope for a better outcome. A new teacher has been appointed so we can hope that he will be more effective.

All in all - a good outcome, and far better than I had hoped. I hope that anyone else waiting for results today has achieved everything that they needed to progress to the next stages x

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Girls home tomorrow

The boat will dock early in the morning at Southampton and they will be off by 9am and on the bus back up here!  I am really looking forward to having them home again and hearing all their news. The YFG turned 17 yesterday and has a driving lesson booked for this week, so we have that excitement to look forward to, and I am hoping to make her a late birthday cake in the morning.  She and the EFG will be coming back to a different station and then we will be going to the supermarket to restock the fridge: I have hardly bought anything all week, and the fridge is looking rather bare - and there certainly isn't any of their kind of food lurking around the place.......I shall do a bit of a stock
take in the morning.

What a day we are having in the Olympics!  I am so chuffed with the men's gymnastics individual finals today - two Golds for Max Whitlock on the Floor and Pommel and a Silver for Louis Smith on Pommel.  You could see that he was desperately disappointed not to have achieved the Gold himself, but I think that in the spirit of comradeship, he would have been pleased for Max.  Andy Murray is playing now in the Gold medal match for singles tennis, and there's a Golf Gold as well for TeamGB. We're third in the medal table tonight and although I have no idea how long that will last, it is pretty special to see it for now! We were very briefly second, but that didn't last too long.....

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Girls on tour

You haven't seen any photos here for a while, so I am sharing some of the pictures which the girls sent back yesterday from their day in Vigo, Spain. The boat docked there for the day, and they enjoyed a mooch around the town, enjoying the seafront and a park in the sun. They went back to the boat for lunch and then spent time in the pool in the afternoon.

I think that this is the view of the town from the boat........

We had a hitch with the YFG's phone yesterday with the Tesco Rocket pack SIM not working so it meant I had to nip to Tesco here to get it sorted out.  I am waiting to hear from the girls today to see whether the problem is rectified.  My dad seems to be coping with the jaunt OK but is not going ashore and is enjoying time relaxing on his balcony........snoozing a bit I think!

Tuesday, 9 August 2016


The YFG is the kingpin of a relationship we have with another family in the village - she and their daughter are very good friends, I get on well with the mum and dad, and they have a son who used to come to the gymnastics club when I was coaching, and he is a lovely lad.  I don't get to see that much of them nowadays, as the couple are both working, as am I, and so the relationship really relies on the girls to hold it together. I did give the lad the opportunity to earn a few quid last weekend by painting the shed, which he did with some relish.

So that has set the scene for a conversation which the YFG reported at the weekend. She had gone to see the daughter and taken them a few veggies from the garden, and stayed for a chat. The chinwag got around to a wedding that they had attended and the mum then blew the YFG out of the water in a way by saying, "I don't suppose your mum will get married again, will she? She's very happy on her own........"

She couldn't have been more wrong, and the YFG knew it, but she also recognised that it may be too soon for the folks around here to know that, so she hummed and hahhed and avoided actually saying too much, apart from noting that I am only 43, so anything is possible!  I think I have said before that the YFG has keen ideas about me being at least attached loosely to someone else by the time she goes off to university, but given that that could be in a year's time, we won't worry too much about that time frame. Let's just say that I don't want to be on my own for ever!  And whilst I am not "happy" at being on my own [there are lots of challenges to being a single parent], please don't think that I am miserable or depressed or particularly sad about it. God's got it all in hand, I am sure.

What upset the both of us was the presumption that this lady could have an opinion about something like this, something so personal and so private in many ways, and then that she would vocalise her thoughts to my daughter, of all people? She has never had a conversation with me about how I feel and has nothing to base her opinion upon, so she really doesn't have a clue!

But that is the world that we live in these days!  Everyone seems to think that they have the right to have opinions about other people's lives, and that it is OK to share them.  I blame too much celebrity washing of dirty linen on the tv and it is rubbing off on the rest of us.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Glad that is over

What? Several things!

The silly traffic seems to have stopped, thank goodness, and the figures are more reasonable again. 

The way I felt last week - I had some kind of bug last weekend and couldn't shake it off all week, feeling washed out and fragile.

The packing!  The girls have just left on the train to meet up with Grandypops to get on the bus to head towards Southampton and their cruise ship home for the week. They will be on Ventura, heading for Spain and Portugal [well, one port in Spain, two in Portugal and then Guernsey on the way home] and the suitcases and the packing have taken over the house these last few days!  I'm a tiny bit sad that the YFG will be away from me for her birthday at the weekend, but she's looking forward to celebrating on board.

So I am up for a quiet week. I feel kind of reflective today anyway, as I spent a lot of time yesterday praying for a friend's father to die peacefully. He had had a stroke on Saturday and he had little hope of recovering, so the family were hoping for a painless and peaceful passing for him, without suffering. His wife had already died a number of years ago, and he had been wanting to go to be with her for some time. He died in his sleep just after 3pm.

Thanks for stopping by - I'll see you again soon!