A Shared Journey

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As well as my university place being accepted, I have also heard that my student finance is now in place. The only thing left to do now is tell my boss I would like part-time hours from September. Ha! So easy to say but nerve-racking nonetheless. I have to work, unfortunately, but it’s true. I have a romantic notion of coming out of lectures, sitting in cafes with my laptop writing essays and hanging out with other like-minded individuals talking shop and being intellectual.  Yeah right. I’ll be hightailing it from my lectures like a bat out of hell to get to the office, changing into a suit and heels whilst driving at break neck speed to fit in a couple of hours before it’s time to pick the small person up. Phew.

One of the funniest things about me becoming a uni student is that my daughter will also become one. Our three years as undergraduates will run side by side but how different they will be. She will no doubt take part in freshers week, drinking games and initiation ceremonies that as her mum I don’t really want to think about. Me on the other hand will probably be curled up on the sofa in my pj’s with a cuppa whilst my classmates pour vodka down each others throats and run through the town half-naked.

It will be interesting to see how we both fair in our different journeys. She turns eighteen this week. She is just starting out and I’m excited for her. I feel that maybe I’m just starting out too, well certainly on this university journey and I’m a little bit excited for me too.

 

 

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Change is on its Way

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Well that went really well! After half an hour of summing me up and checking out my previous assignment scores, the nice lady at the university offered me a place on the degree course this September! Can’t quite believe it! I still have to  submit my ucas application through the usual channels but my place is secure!

I shall be a student full time and I can’t wait. The intake for mature students is quite high so I don’t think I’ll be the only oldie amongst the 18 year olds!

The lecturer has sent me a list of books that she thinks will benefit me. I have made a start this evening on The Great  Gatsby; loved the film so hopefully the book will be even better.

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Change is in the Air

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My UCAS application is about to be submitted and I shall wait anxiously for confirmation that I shall be offered a place.  I have decided to apply for university. A BA Hons. degree in English no less. I have researched the financing and have decided to go for it.

The last few nights have been taken up with perfecting my personal statement. It’s harder than I realised to sell myself. As a nation, we British aren’t very good at that. I didn’t want to sound pretentious and big headed but I’ve tried not to be too self effacing and have given it my best shot.

Tomorrow afternoon, I’m going to meet the head of the english department at the university. A short informal chat so she can sum me up. She has told me that I will have a small piece of work to do before the university will accept me. Hopefully this will go well.

It’s In The Job Description!

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Just when you are thinking your child is growing up too fast, they do something that says I still need you mum!

Today,  my daughter went with three friends to Alton Towers, which is approximately 20 miles away from our house.

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Nothing wrong in that I hear you cry! She has been many times before with me and her dad and other friends with their parents. Today, though I let her go with no parent and they made their own way there. They took the bus, which would take about 45 minutes and had to save their tickets, and be at the bus stop for the correct time for the return journey.

For most of this week, I have reminded her on numerous occasions to note the times of the buses, make sure she would be at the stop in good time because she wouldn’t want to miss it! It didn’t stop there either! Did her friends know which bus stand to catch the bus from?

Basically, I have driven her crazy! She even said she wasn’t going to talk about going anymore if I brought it up again! This morning we left the house early to pick one of her friends up and get to the bus station on time. I started to mention the times of the buses whilst we were driving, but she cut me off and said she KNEW what was going on and so did everybody else and could I STOP MITHERING HER!!!

O.K. Noted! She just wanted me to trust her. I did, but I can’t help being a mum. It’s part of the job description!

I am just being a concerned parent and I know that she knows this because when she got out of the car, she said “I’ll text you when I get on the bus and when we get there coz I know you’ll worry about me!”. Bless her!

I received two text messages before I arrived back home and we only live three miles away from the bus station, another when she arrived at the theme park and then numerous messages throughout the day telling me which rides she had been on!

She is back home now, up stairs absolutely shattered. She did get the right bus home, she didn’t lose her return ticket and they all had a fantastic day!

I don’t suppose you ever stop worrying about them, even when they get older. She is fourteen tomorrow (going on 18!) and even though it has been lovely for her to have this independence and go off for the day with her friends, she will always be my baby, fourteen or forty!

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Where in the world…?

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You have a chance to take an all expenses paid trip to anywhere in the world for three months. Where would you go and why?

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If I could choose anywhere in the world to go all expenses paid, it would have to be Bora Bora, in the South Pacific. I would fly first class to Los Angeles, have a couple of nights stay in the Regent Beverley Wiltshire Hotel (Pretty Woman!), then onwards to the islands.

I would stay at the Bora Bora Lagoon Resort Hotel in one of the over water bungalows, where you can feed the fish through the glass coffee table. Apparently, the hotel provide you with a crusty baguette and the coffee table slides off so you can feed them!

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My days would be spent floating around on my back in the crystal clear waters watching the fish nibbling at my toes. I would lie on the pure white sand letting my fingers bury themselves. I would go to the spa every day and have the most delicious sounding facials, exotic wraps and sensuous massages. I would drink cocktails in the afternoon. I would fine dine every night, whilst watching the sunset over the lagoon. If I was feeling energetic, I would learn to jet ski, paraglide or maybe even snorkel!

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Oh, how indulgent I could be!

I have chosen this type of dream destination for it’s total ‘away from it all’ feel. The Robinson Crusoe effect. I want to feel shipwrecked. I want to stand outside when there is a deluge of rain and feel the water running down my face and not shiver!

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I want to feel free from the routine of daily life, get up when I want to, get dressed or not when I want to and not answer to anyone except myself, even for just a short while.

Perhaps though, I would put my husband and children on a neighbouring island and visit them from time to time!

Where would you go?

100 Years Young!

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Yesterday, my parents took my Nan to her sister Anne’s birthday party. She was 100 years old! My Nan is 97 years old. If this is down to genes, then yippee! My Nan and her sister don’t see each other as often as they would like, albeit both are generally in good health. They had a great time catching up and Nan chatted to family members she didn’t know she had got! Hopefully, in a few days Anne will receive her official telegram from the Queen for this momentous milestone!

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It made me think though about everything they must have seen during their lifetime. The world would have still been full of news of the Titanic disaster when Anne was born. When my Nan was born, the world was at war!

During the second world war, they lived through rationing, air raid sirens, loved ones and friends away at war. Post war saw the advent of the National Health Service, health care for all. It’s something we take for granted now and hard to imagine having to find money to pay for healthcare like they did.

The fifties saw the birth of rock and roll. Elvis and his swinging hips must have been quite the scandal.

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In the sixties, they would have seen man fly to the moon. Mini skirts were the rage, as were beehive hairdo’s, and the Beatles. What must it have been like to be there through all these changes? These events we look back on and think wow! It must have been fantastic.

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After the sixties, technology took over. Computers, mobile phones, the worldwide web, to name but a few. In nan’s day, letter writing was how you communicated with others. How unreal it must be for her to see me punch buttons on a mobile phone and have it bleep a message back to me!

All these momentous events that Anne and my Nan have lived through and experienced first hand perhaps seemed like natural progression to them.

In fifty or sixty years time, will we look back at 2012 and think wow?

What do you think?

My Biggest Fear

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I had a horrible dream the other night. I dreamt I went to pick up my daughter from a party, which was at her friend’s house. I walked into the house and it was quite obvious that she was on something. “What have you taken?” I shouted at her. She cried and mumbled and was totally incoherent.

I asked her what had she been doing and she pointed to someone behind me. I turned to see a six-foot, drink fuelled teenage boy with a look on his face that said “what are you gonna do about it?”

He became aggressive, shouting at me to get out, that she didn’t want me there. I shoved him out of the way, grabbed my daughter and we left.

She is 13 years old. She is growing up too fast. She is my little girl in a woman’s body. I want to protect her from all the vile things that this world contains but I can’t. I don’t want her to see adult things but I can’t stop it. I want her to have a certain amount of freedom but I’m scared that she will want more. All these worries are inevitable though. She is growing up. I can’t stop that.

I see her now, applying makeup and straightening the life out of her hair in a bid to look older. I tell her she doesn’t need to, but I just get an exasperated “Mum!”

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I can also look at her and see her dressed up in fairy wings, a tooth missing on her front row, arranging her teddies on the carpet ready for a picnic. It is this little girl that I see when she is trying on clothes that are too old for her. It is this little girl I want to protect.

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It is almost a certainty that she will end up in situations where drink and drugs are, where teenage boys will try to get their way with her and I just pray that she is sensible. All I can do is steer her in the right direction and hope she makes the right decisions. This is my hope. It is also my biggest fear.

You must remember this…

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Last weekend was the 1940’s event at Churnet Valley and unfortunately I was unable to attend.  I have been thinking a lot about last years event so I thought I would re-blog this post.

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I love vintage, especially the 1940’s era. The hair, the clothes, the music all make up a little bit of a passion for me!

I have attended a couple of 1940’s themed weekends and had a marvellous time.

These events were held at Churnet Valley Railway ( http://www.churnet-valley-railway.co.uk/main/index.php). You can jump on and off the troop trains and go to three different stations. Everybody was dressed up too. At times it was quite surreal, especially when every ten minutes or so, an air raid siren went off!

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There were soldiers, sailors, land girls, spivs and not forgetting the forties housewives. There were tearooms, decked with red and blue bunting, a French Rene’s cafe, black market stalls selling everything from replica bullets to packets of ladies seemed tights. There were military vehicles on display and French resistance wandered about, with their rifles slung casually over their shoulders.

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Just outside one of the tearooms, a stage was set up for the ENSA entertainers, (Entertainments National Service Association). Three young women with their hair done in victory rolls and their neatly pressed uniforms sang Vera Lynn.

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There are numerous re-enactors strolling about, including Dad’s Army characters. “Don’t panic, Mr Mainwaring!”, (they must have heard that said to them a hundred times!). One chap had original old coins and notes in his wallet.

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At Rick’s Cafe American , you can get a bacon bap and a cup of tea for about £3.00, bargain!

At certain times of the day, Mr Churchill addressed the nation over a loudspeaker.

It all makes for a fabulous day out in the lovely Staffordshire Moorlands, enjoying what can only be described as a step back in time.

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Blind Dates

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A friend of mine recently went on a blind date. This was arranged by her work colleague and the chap in question was her brother-in-law. Text messages were exchanged between them and a date, time and place was set.

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Date day came around and she set off for the neutral meeting place, full of nerves and a little excitement. I did ask her how she was meant to recognise him, would he be holding a certain book or have a rose bud in his lapel? This was not the case. She had a description and was happy with that!

She arrived at the meeting place and there he was, already waiting. A good sign, I hear you say. Introductions were made and they headed off to the cafe. All was going well until my lovely, bubbly friend cracked a joke and he didn’t laugh. Apparently his lip muscles never moved. This did not bode well.  After a slight decline in conversation and coffee’s were finished, they left, separately.

Not to be put off by this, she is now being set up on another blind date! I would have a run a mile after the first date and gone into hiding never to been seen on the dating scene again. I am truly amazed by her. Her optimism and hope that there is someone out there for her is truly refreshing. She never bemoans her single status, is not cynical and she is ready to put herself out there and give it another shot. Well, hats off to you lady! You are an inspiration to anyone out there on the dating scene!

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My Top 10 Chick Flick Movies

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What makes a good chick flick a great chick flick?

What is it that makes us watch them over and over?

We know every line, we can sing along to all the songs. We all wanted to be Baby Houseman and do ‘the lift’ with Patrick Swayze! Who didn’t want to be Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman with unlimited credit cards to use in Beverley Hills? O.k. maybe without the being a prostitute bit!!

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It’s not just the fantastic scenery, the gorgeous leading man (this does help enormously), or the heroine we can all see a little bit of ourselves in but maybe it’s that good feeling we get after watching them. That feeling of hope, that feeling of ‘that could be me’ and it’s those feelings that makes us watch them over and over. For ninety or so minutes, we forget everything going on in our daily lives and laugh, cry and sing and live for the romance!

So this is my list in no particular order:-

  1. Dirty Dancing
  2. Notting Hill
  3. A Good Year
  4. Sweet Home Alabama
  5. Four Weddings & A Funeral
  6. Pretty Woman
  7. Pearl Harbour
  8. Bridesmaids
  9. Only You
  10. Sleepless in Seattle

This list was really difficult to compile and the ten changed quite often before I was happy with it.

I hope some of these, if not your favourites, make you smile.

What is your favourite?