Monthly Archives: September 2015

A big day.


No3 son has headed off to university this morning – N is driving him up to Aberdeen.  I did want to go to, but as No2 son is away this weekend, someone has to stay home and dog-sit.  Plus, when all his stuff was loaded into the car, there was only room for two people – driver and passenger!

But I have made good use of the time – I went and started mucking out his bedroom!  I’ve stripped his bed, collected the towels and assorted laundry from the floor, and the first load is washing now.  I have also raked out all the rubbish I could reach from under his bed and his desk, and two bags have gone to the bin.  The room needs dusting and vacuuming (and the rubbish I couldn’t reach fetching out from under the bed), and then when the bed is remade, it will be fit for human habitation!

I am very proud of all my boys – and somewhat proud of us too – we have managed to raise three boys who do well enough at school to get onto good university courses – the ones they want to go on – and who can live independently away from home – well No1 and No2 have done this successfully, and fingers crossed No3 will manage too.  He’s not going to be close enough to come home regularly with his washing, so he will have to work out how to work the laundrette – he has taken lots of clothes with him, so the ‘Must do laundry otherwise I will be naked’ point should be a couple of weeks in the future – lol!  He does know how to work a washing machine – but machines you have to pay to use will be a bit of a shock for him, I think.

I am envious of them all – university is a brilliant time – you get to fly the nest a bit, and try out your wings, but it’s still pretty safe – your accomodation, once paid for, includes all your bills, so the rest of your money just has to be divvied-up to pay for food, books, laundry and fun.  And you are somewhere full of clever people who want to share their knowledge with you – and learning all you can is your main responsibility.  I loved university – I did my nurse training, my theatre nursing course and worked for a year or so before going to Keele – and whenever I drive past a university campus, I do have a hankering to be back there again.  Which is why I am considering doing an OU degree – I don’t want my mind to stagnate (and I fear it has, a bit) and it would be good to do some more challenging things.

Plus I am practising the piano, and working on improving my extremely rusty skills there – so I do have goals for the future, which is a good thing, because there is a part of me that feels that, once all the boys have finished university, and headed off into the world of work – once they’ve left home, I won’t be ‘Mum’ in the same way I was when they were all at home – and I am in the transition phase now, from full-time mum, to detatched mum – and I need to work out who I am, when I am not primarily Mum any more.  I need to find out who Ellie is, again.  Scary – yes – but exciting too.


A piano – both sad and happy.


My late mother-in-law’s piano was delivered today.  It is lovely to see it in its new home, but I found myself a bit tearful too – though the remover said this was not at all unusual – pianos, he said, can have a lot of emotion attached to them.Piano

I would far rather still have my mother in law, and no piano, than have the piano, with her gone.

A few missed days.


I didn’t manage to post here over the weekend – but that was for happy reasons.  On Friday my good friend and her daughter arrived for the weekend, and then on Saturday, I had my belated 50th birthday party.  I did fret about it beforehand, but it went well, and everyone seemed to have a really good time.  One friend from my nursing days, and her daughter, drove up from Bradford for the party, and drove home afterwards!!

It was a really good evening, and I felt very loved.  My friends were definitely the positive things all weekend, with their lovely words, kind gifts and just being there.  The friend who stayed organised a present for me – a journal that all the party guests wrote in – I still haven’t read it all, but I think there will be the odd tear.

Sunday morning did have the odd tear too – No1 son packed the car, and headed south to start his new job and his new life, as a grown up who has left home.  I know he still loves me, and I know he will come home, but this is another step away from the closeness that you get in a family with school-age children, and it was a bit of a wrench (a lot of one, if I am honest).  But I am proud we have raised someone who can achieve a good degree and find himself a job that excites him and that has really good prospects, and I must hold onto that pride.

My friend and her daughter headed home yesterday, and I went to knitting group – where everyone told me what a wonderful time they had had at the party.  N dropped me there, and came in for coffee, then came back later to pick me up.

Lots of positive things from my friend – but the thing I am choosing for my one positive thing was a lovely conversation I had with an elderly gentleman.  He’d spotted me crocheting, and when everyone else had gone, he plucked up the courage to come over and tell me about his mum, who used to crochet all the time.  In the course of the conversation I learned about his five sisters and their talents, and about his career as a physics teacher.  His degree is in maths, but like many really talented mathematicians, he struggled to explain concepts that he found natural to people who didn’t – so he chose to teach physics, which had always been a struggle for him – so he could empathise with pupils who found it the same.

I told him about my dad, who used to teach maths and who, as Head of Department, got to allocate teachers to classes.  As such, he could have chosen to teach the top sets, the brightest and most motivated pupils, but he always chose to teach the lowest sets, what they called the remedial groups back then – because as he said, it was so much more satisfying to help someone understand a concept that they were really struggling with, and see the light come on in their eyes when they did understand it, than to teach the motivated pupils who grasped things easily.  The chap I was talking to said he liked the sound of my dad, and was sure he’d have got on well with him – and he was right.  I do miss my dad.