We had no children. Miss Glade was in France on a school trip.
So we did what any self respecting free parent would do and, met Ms Glade in Manchester before she started her weekend shift at work.
Himself wanted to check out The Lowry exhibition at the er…….Lowry .
It was interesting, there were some great works of art on display but they were mostly displayed in dimly lit rooms that didn’t photograph very well.
I’m not sure the lighting helped the student with her hangover ha!
On Sunday we went for a jaunt to a castle in North Wales. We had plans to enjoy a his’n’hers spa day.
Only it wasn’t quite what it seemed, therefore it deserves a post of it’s own.
Frankly, we were a bit lost, we spent most of the time texting the girls and wondering what they were up to. However, we did rally and seemed to spend a lot of time in the pub eating and sitting in the beer garden with the dog, watching the world go by, enjoying the rest.
Thankfully, Miss Glade has now returned home to keep her parents on the straight and narrow.
These picture were taken on July 4th 2005 and we were on holiday in Turkey. The girls had been delighted watching the dancers each night and, on occasion, joining in.
When we popped to The Bazaar, I couldn’t resist getting himself to barter for these little outfits. The girls were thrilled and they stole the show that evening when the dancers invited them to join them during their routine. It was very funny and very sweet. I love these pictures of such a fabulous evening.
I have used these pictures without the permission of the eldest, she is in Amsterdam, I hope she forgives me X.
I decided in 2004 that, despite living in the next street to our local high school, Ms Glade was not going there.
It was quite a controversial decision and one that needed careful management. You see, Mr Glade had attended that school and ALL of his nieces and nephews were either there or on their way.
When she was in Year 5, (age 9-10) we took Ms Glade to visit many High Schools in the area and beyond. When we walked into the school that she eventually attended, she immediately felt at home and decided that was where she wanted to go.
This was a bit of an issue because:
It was 17 miles from home, that is each way!
There wasn’t any direct public transport
I didn’t drive
There was an entrance exam to pass and criteria to meet
Ms Glade and myself made a plan, she would have tuition to pass the exam and I , despite having been learning for 16 years, would pass my driving test.
For the last ten years I have regularly been asked to defend my decision. I felt it was important that she went to her school because:
It was her first choice
The school had a lovely atmosphere
It was a Catholic Grammar school which was very important to her and Himself
It was a single sex school that worked hard to empower the girls
She was prepared to and did, work very hard to pass the entrance exam
I hoped she would stay for 7 years and therefore, wanted them to be the best years they could be
She passed and I passed!
As it transpired, it was a seven years that were punctured with events and revelations.
However, we both firmly believe they were the best seven years that they could have been. She received offers at every university she applied to for, a very competitive course. She was also delighted for her sister when she was offered a place at her school a year ago, I think that speaks volumes.
Ms Glade isn’t academically gifted, indeed she had learning challenges that were identified within the first half term she was at the school. However, she is a thoughtful, kind girl with a great enthusiasm for life and a deeply touching concern for others. Qualities that the school has nurtured.
How did you choose the school your children went to? Did you have to defend your decision?
I am linking with Mackenzie of Reflections of Me, a day late sorry Mac, for her Mummy and Us Link.
Update: Now that Miss Glade has begun her high school journey, we have moved house and now live on the bus route – well I couldn’t do that again for another seven years! 😉 x
Himself and I had been to Disneyworld before we had children and absolutely loved it. When Ms Glade came along we couldn’t wait to take her. I happily ensured that she loved Snow White and knew all the Seven Dwarfs – my favourite.
We had a week off work in early September 1998 when she was still 2, and found ourselves in a travel agents booking a mini break to Euro Disney. I was beside myself with excitement.
Upon arrival, Himself and I were delighted with Main Street, however the babe sat in her pushchair preparing for her morning nap. As we turned the corner into Fantasy Land, Snow White emerged and made straight for us. I could barely contain myself as she leaned into the pram and tickled the baby, “She is Grumpy!” I explained, embarrassed , the pun lost on me.
Snow White smiled and began to move away, just at that moment the baby realised what was happening and demanded to be released. Immediately, she ran after Snow White who turned, took both of her hands as they skipped and danced together in the middle of the path. It was a magical moment! But I wasn’t quick enough to catch a photograph.
I took this picture on the tea cups which was where we headed to next, still flushed with excitement and delight. Even the baby was impressed by then!
Although I went to many open days with her, I never actually thought the eldest would go to university. Whenever I considered, really considered, the possibility, I pushed it to the back of my mind and thought about something else.
Her first choice was Glasgow, about 230 miles away, 4 hours on a good run. Eventually, she was offered her second choice which turned out to be Manchester, a very doable 40 miles away. Phew!
So, on a rainy Saturday afternoon in late September , we packed the car up and dropped her off at her Halls of Residence. A cold, prison like place , with long corridors and a nasty smell. I made up the bed with her things from home and hurriedly said goodbye, reminding her that a call home every now and again would be greatly appreciated.
We made the car journey home in silence and went to bed early, unsure of how we were going to deal with our ‘new’ normal. The house was quiet, meal times became sedate affairs with the youngest no longer competing for attention. The house stayed tidy and the bathroom toiletries remained, for the most part, well stocked. It was horrible!
I had to close the door to her bedroom because I couldn’t bear to see how tidy it was, it is never tidy when she is at home. We all just danced around one another not actually saying what we were feeling, not wanting to upset anyone else.
In October, she celebrated her 19th birthday, we couldn’t get up the motorway quick enough to collect her. We went to the local pub for dinner and we all just fell back into our sarcastic, poking fun at each other, way of being. The girls constantly talked, laughed, joked and were very noisy!
A few days later, when we were walking the dog, I just said it – ‘I missed her!’ Suddenly, the three of us began to chatter and admit that it we were all feeling the same, the house was too quiet, too empty, it didn’t feel the same anymore.
From then on, we stopped being scared to tell each other, it became ok to miss her, we didn’t have to pretend we didn’t!
However, we agreed that it is fantastic that she has made it to university and was following her dream. It is amazing because she has learning challenges that I will write about one day! She has had to work so hard and continues to do so.
We are so very proud of you E and miss you everyday, but thankfully when you come home, it’s like you have never been away! Now about that room of yours…………………… X
There are seven and a half years between my girls. We didn’t plan it that way, indeed given a choice we would have had them much closer together. But there you have it, we don’t always get to decide!
By the time she was about five, the eldest was getting quite desperate for a sibling. As an only child, she had joined every club, scheme, choir and class imaginable. She made friends wherever she went and, all her friends seem to have siblings. In desperation, she even asked Father Christmas for help, who rather sweetly looked at me with panic!
This picture was taken on the day that the baby was born. It is of the moment that the eldest, having been spirited away from school early, held her new sister for the very first time. The look of sheer excitement on her face is absolutely genuine. She was beside herself with joy!
I am delighted to report that after eleven years, their adoration of each other has never waned. The eldest remains as delighted, for the most part, as she was that day. For the youngest, there really is nobody to compare to her big sister, she is her world. They each miss the other so much now that university often separates them.
This picture means so much to me because, I was in a morphine induced stupor in the corner and, vaguely remember a conversation about Orange Tango, or I might have dreamt that.
I am notorious for buying furniture that is too big!
The problem is that I like sturdy pieces that were probably designed for a castle, but I live in an ordinary English house.
Late in 2004, our solid pine table was gifted to Mr G’s friend’s girlfriend as she set up her new home. Mr G’s friend had tragically died in July of that year.
Our new table was delivered in time for Christmas. We installed Miss G’s high chair at the end, and I spent the whole holiday complaining that it was too big. I decided it couldn’t stay because we could barely open the French door to get out in to the garden.
We made the best of it for now and ate our meals around it discussing our days, but the table’s days were numbered.
I started a college course, things got even busier and the table woes took a backseat.
In May, I studied at the table all night to finish an assignment as Mr G flew to Istanbul.
When he returned a day later, an almighty breakfast was served at the table.
The girls did crafts at the table, entertained friends for tea and we celebrated birthdays.
Around the table we discussed the possibility of my going to University.
We decided that we were going to break with tradition, and look for a different high school to our local one for Ms Glade, whilst sitting at the table.
Ms Glade leaned on the table to study hard to pass the entrance exam for her chosen school.
We celebrated, with food and cake, eaten at the table, when she was offered a place at the school.
The table continued to host craft/homework sessions, friends for tea and birthday celebrations.
We celebrated Miss Glade starting school with a special tea at the table.
We sat around the table to decide what to see in Liverpool, it was The European Capital of Culture, the Lambananas being the most popular around here.
The table housed the gifts and cards I was given for graduating.
We sat at the table to discuss whether we could afford for me to do another Post Graduate Diploma.
We left our tickets on the table for my call night as I became a Barrister.
The table was hauled into the garden as we celebrated Ms Glade’s birthday with a bonfire and fireworks.
The table was relied upon to host crafts, friends for tea and sleepover breakfasts.
Miss glade celebrated her birthday with a Cupcake decorating party and the table was covered in a plastic cloth.
We planned our ‘trip of a lifetime’ to America at the table.
We put all our clothes on the table as we packed for Disney!
We put all our clothes on the table as we packed for Disney again!
Mr G and I leaned on the table to complete our new mortgage application to move here.
Ms Glade applied for university whilst sitting at the table.
Miss Glade leaned on the table to study hard to pass the entrance exam for her sister’s old school.
We celebrated both successes with food and cake served at the table.
We moved – Mr G said “Are we getting rid of that table?”
I said “Gosh no, that table has been through it all with us.Let’s try to fit it in”.
It fits perfectly here in The Glade.
It’s like we bought it especially for the space it now occupies.
And I love it!
Do you have a piece of furniture that has a story?