So started off the day with a PSO meeting at school which lasted about 4 hours. I am on the PSO as it's Jenny's last year at school and I suddenly realised perhaps I hadn't done enough volunteering for her, when I did for her sisters. So it's a last ditch effort before she heads out the door. It's quite interesting to find out a bit more about what's going on at a school, and also to help facilitate improvements. Hopefully we can manage some of that over the year! There was also free cupcakes and pumpkin bread, so that was a bonus.
Then came home did a bit of work and then went for my Wednesday hike with the neighbours. And had the most bizarre experience. Just wandering along, chatting, enjoying the autumn leaves and the sunshine when - bam! - from branches about 15 feet in the air, and only about 4 feet in front of us, a random squirrel just dropped like a stone onto the ground. We nearly peed our pants and clutched each other like girlies in a horror film - since when did clutching each other solve anything I ask?? - and then got the giggles. It certainly woke us up and made us pay attention. We were freaked out. Imagine if it had actually landed on us!!! GROSS. A bit further along the walk we saw a fresh dead fox. Which was also quite gross. We were kind of wondering what was next. But it turned out that the only other surprise was a treat; lots of fit young men rowing down the river. Excellent end to the walk :-)
Interestingly my mother-in-law completely loathes grey squirrels and has a habit of saying "I don't like grey squirrels, I only like red ones. The grey ones are vermin, like rats in trees." Are they though?? I think rats are way worse. Don't you agree?
Yesterday I filmed the first book club segment with Debra, one of the neighbours who joined the local book club. She's a librarian so absolutely LOVES books and knows loads, so she was the perfect person to ask. Am getting excited as my website's filling up but then also freaking out a bit as I'll have to start publicising it soooooon! AND IT MIGHT BE A MASSIVE FAIL!
Ah well, as long as I'm having fun...
Had a really great day yesterday! In the morning I headed off to my yoga class at Maggie's house. Luckily the other three ladies couldn't make it, so instead of doing yoga we filmed the sessions for my website! Maggie had said she was happy to get involved and true to her word she did everything I asked for. We ended up filming lots of stretching moves, and the relaxation session she does. Got home and quickly uploaded everything and was happy to realise I HAD pressed the record button at all the right times :-) Spent a jolly few hours editing the segments and ended up with a 3 min and a 10 min stretching routine. Plus a 10 min relaxation. That was a bit more complicated as all I had recorded for that was Maggie's soothing voice. My editing skills were put to the test as I matched it up with random nature photos the kids had taken for art class over the years as a backdrop. Also downloaded free meditation music and put that on. Most complicated edit I've done so far, ha!
Then in the evening Fiona came round and we recorded the wine tasting segments from the first two tastings we've done. It was a bit weird as we didn't have the bottles of wine (obviously already drank those!) so we propped ourselves in front of our whacky Mexican bar and filmed us chatting. Now I'm going to edit in images of the bottles - luckily already learnt how to do that (see above!) In future we're planning to film the wine tasting on the actual evening, with the wines laid out at the host's house. Then do a round up at the end of the evening about which wines were the favourites. That could go well or badly depending on how sloshed I am!
All in all a very productive day :-)
So I had a very weird day on Saturday. Jenny was off visiting her sister at uni. My eldest daughter had been here in the morning but went out with her boyfriend to watch the rugby at a pub with friends. That would normally leave me and the hubby. But he'd got tickets to go to the rugby with a mate, so off he went too.
And I suddenly found myself, for the first time in about 23 years, alone in the house for dinner.
It was a bit surreal. I'm alone all the time during the day, and I've never even noticed it. But being here alone at night was bizarre. Mostly because it is obviously a sign of things to come, with Jenny off to uni in less than a year. My husband travels each week, usually Monday to Thursday, but sometimes Friday. So before I know it, I will have at least three nights a week on my own. Hence the weird. I had a tragic bowl of tomato soup and felt sorry for myself.
But it was only for about an hour as I then went out to do my first shift volunteering at the local art centre. I had to work the bar (another thing I haven't done in about 23 years!) for a classical recital concert. They were starting me a with the smaller, less rowdy crowd :) They also do comedy nights and shows, when you get max capacity and a bigger call for alcohol. This was mostly coffee. But the weirdest thing (another weird thing see) was that the other newbie who was being trained turned out to be another vlogger! With my site not even live yet I was making contacts. I took it as a good sign and decided weirdness can be positive, even the weirdness of an empty house, as the prospect of that was what made me volunteer in the first place. I know Jenny's not leaving for nearly a year, but I'm all about preparation!
Posted on 14th October 2015
So it was my youngest daughter’s 18th birthday yesterday. A bit of a significant moment when you don’t officially have any ‘children’ any more :(
But as she’s still (and always will be) my little girl, I arranged a surprise party for her. Even got everyone a paper hat and a popper. She didn’t have a clue and thought she was going out for dinner with us and two girlfriends. She was easily distracted for four hours (yes FOUR) getting ready in her room while I decorated the house and ran around organising. She did pop down an annoying number of times, so not sure how we managed it! Finally we sneaked 20 friends into the lounge and managed to keep them quiet (for an age) while she posed on the stairs for photos before heading out for the celebration dinner. NOT.
About to head out the door, my eldest daughter suggested a nice location for a photo would be the lounge and I told Jenny to take her friends in there (cunning planning). Jenny went first, and hey presto opened the door on all her buddies. She said afterwards she thought she was getting shot as they screamed and pulled the party poppers HAHAHA.
The look on her face was priceless and shows you that birthdays and surprises are timeless, and however old your kids get you can still make them feel special <3
Posted end Sept 2015
I took my middle daughter back to uni last week. Nice, easy drive up which took the normal two hours, unpacked and met a new flatmate and then had to get straight back in the car and drive home. The journey back down the M1 took twice the normal time - 4 WHOLE HOURS - and I got back twenty minutes before needing to head out to the local book club I started a couple of months ago. As I started it, I felt I should go but then ended up being glad as everyone is really nice. And they had nice wine :) Got to spend the next day tidying up the mess middle child had left behind. At least the room can get hoovered now, which I think will be the first time all summer…
I had signed up to join a tennis group earlier in the month. It is a group of mums at the school and we play at free courts locally. I signed up for singles and doubles because I thought a baptism by fire would be a good thing. I haven’t done any exercise except yoga once a week and walking to the supermarket since we moved back to England two years ago. Combine that with the vast amounts of Walkers Cheese & Onion I can now get on tap, and I am basically blubber. Anyway, ended up playing 3 hours of tennis, followed by a walk with people in the neighbourhood for an hour and a half. Staggered in the door and was obviously looking pathetic as my eldest ran a bath and cooked the dinner :) There are definitely some advantages to them coming back home to live after uni!