Sunday, 26 June 2011

Glad that week's over

Not that anything went badly, just quite stressful.

A had her induction days on Tuesday and Wednesday, with a disco (and parents meeting) on the Tuesday night. She was really nervous, but there were quite a few friendly faces around - kids she knows who are already in the school. I think the size of the place, and amount of people, was a bit intimidating for her, but she seems to have enjoyed the lessons she had - apart from maths, why am I not surprised?? She particularly liked science, it sounds like the science teacher is going to be a favourite.
She had a great time at the disco, and appears to have made quite a few new friends amongst her soon-to-be classmates :-)
So now we just need to buy her uniform - sorry, I mean 'dress code', they don't call it uniform. And a school bag. And probably lots of things to put in the school bag!

I still feel like things are moving far too quickly, but I have the summer to try and adjust to it all. Its a weird state of mind I'm in, I'm not upset or sad about it, A's clarity about going to school makes me feel that this is what is meant to be. I think I feel a bit lost in it - life is taking its own course without consulting me. On one hand I'm pretty confident that things will work out well for A, but on the other - we've been HEing for 3 years now, and suddenly I've got to put all that aside.

Hopefully I'll get the job I went for and that will keep me busy! I had the interview on Wednesday, and although I knew it wasn't going to be an intimidating 'panel' job (I was told there would be a maths test, DVD test, then a one-to-one 'chat') I couldn't help getting horrendously nervous about it. Anyway, it all went very well, and I should hear at the beginning of the week whether I've got a position or not.

On Thursday night there was the performance of A's drama group, where she played the part of a high school emo. It was a fantastic show, the kids all worked really hard - co-writing and developing the play. They all did really well and have obviously formed a strong little team, there were surprise outstanding performances from some, and the play gave me a much-needed good laugh :D

I've been keeping up with my fitness training - have discovered that I was running too fast!! I was trying to work out why I can run for 15 mins on the treadmill no problem, but struggle after about 1 min outside!? Even allowing for the environmental differences (wind, temperature, bumpy path) thats quite a discrepancy. I suppose its obvious really, but its taken me this long to realise the other difference is pace - of course on the treadmill its totally regulated. When I'm out running I always feel like I'm running really slowly, but its difficult to judge, and by consciously slowing my pace just a little everything becomes so much easier.
The other change I've made is going out later in the morning. I used get up early and get out by about 7am. Now, I'm not particularly a 'morning person', so this was a great struggle, but I did it because nobody is around at that time to see me all red and sweaty and out of breath. But it did bother me a bit that I was going out before breakfast, and I'm not sure that was good for me - pushing myself energetically with no fuel in me. So I decided - to hell with the vanity - I'll get up and have breakfast by about 8, and get out running by about 9.30. That way at least I wont frighten small children as they'll be in school by then!
The result - running feels much more pleasant :-)
I'm going to the running group on Thursday for the first time, will let you know how it goes.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Guess What?

A wants to go to school.

She came to this decision one week ago, and I am still getting my head around it.

It all came out of the news that one of her HE friends is going into S1 after the summer. This made me think about the fact that this is the last chance for A to go in to secondary school as a first year, so we discussed this. As we talked it became clear that she was quite excited about the idea, and she immediately said she wanted to go back to school 'at some point'. I had to say that if that was the case then now was probably the time to do it, as going in with a new intake (rather than being the new kid going in to an established group) would be easier.

It amazes me how quickly she became enthusiastic about going to school, she's been on facebook talking to friends who are at school, and one girl in particular has been very supportive, she's a few years older so wont be in her year but will walk in with her and keep an eye out for her.

So, its been a bit of a mad week! I've enrolled her and she has two induction days (with all the P7s) next week. Its all happened so quickly that I don't feel I've had time to catch my breath. Our lives are going to change so drastically, it is slightly scary, but I have a real sense of this being 'right'. Even though there are lots of things about school I have difficulty with, and I have loved our 3 years of HE, no one way is perfect. I can completely see why she wants to go to school - I have always worried about the social side of things, and I think this is the main issue for A. She has lots of friends, and she's very sociable, but she has a real need to spend more time with her peers.

She is very nervous, but I can see the excitement too, and its really important that this is her decision, its something she has to do. She's most worried about maths, and they get streamed immediately for maths, so she may have to do some kind of assessment, which she wont be happy about, but its one of the things she'll have to get used to I suppose.

I'm aware that A going to school will make this blog kind of redundant :-( but I think I'll leave it up, even just for myself as a record of what we did.

Other news - I have a job interview! Its just for a part time supermarket job, but would bring in a regular income, which would be very useful! I plan to carry on writing as well, seeing as I'll apparently have lots of time on my hands by the middle of August.

Sunday, 12 June 2011


That totally deserves capitals!

So, we did it - A, me, my Mum, and A's Nonno set off yesterday morning at 8am from Inverness, and started the climb at 10am. We were passed by loads of army guys running (yes - running!) the mountain, but there were also lots of other walkers.
We couldn't have been luckier with the weather: very little wind; cloud above the summit all day; and although thundery showers were forecast, only a few spots of rain. There was snow in the air at the summit, but just a few little flakes, and we didn't care, in fact it was quite pleasant :-)

A says it is the hardest thing she has ever done, but she coped with the sore feet and aching legs and kept on going. I am immensely proud of her.
I found it really hard going, as I expected, but it was a great experience. I definitely want to do it again (A doesn't!).
The grandparents were amazing - Nonno just sped off ahead of us all, I don't think he would have stopped for breaks at all if we hadn't made him! My Mum struggled a bit, particularly on the way down (which is murder on the knees), but what an achievement!

The best thing for me was the absolute beauty surrounding us (no, I don't mean the running guys, although they looked pretty good too). I took about 70 photos, and it was very difficult to decide which ones to put on here, but I didn't want to bore you too much! So here are 10 of them.

Water break

A resting in a patch of snow

A at the summit!

Monday, 6 June 2011

Beach Hike

Prepare yourself for some beauuuuutiful pictures :-)

We set off this morning and did a few miles westwards along the beach. Had a really good laugh along the way, discussions ranging from designing our ideal house, surviving a zombie attack, general self defence, strategies for our Ben Nevis climb, how weird our accents are (apparently when I say 'house' it sounds like 'arse', which caused a great deal of hilarity, and although A was born and has always lived in Scotland she has no trace of a Scottish accent). We also played various word games, and generally monkeyed about.

Blue skies when we set off

Sky getting greyer

View across the Moray Firth


Tree corpse

Dramatic sky on the way back

We stopped at a little cafe by the harbour for lunch, where I had the most delicious lentil soup.

Later on we had writing group at our house, I always get really nervous about leading the group, but all went well (I think!) And this evening A cooked tea for us (veggie sausage sandwiches and salad - pretty good) and (after a small amount of prompting) she has done the washing up! What a star :-)

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Best pizzas ever

We had a Saturday night pizza-making session - very tasty indeed :-)

Pre oven

Post oven

And we scoffed the lot while watching Dr Who. Happiness.

I forgot to mention last time - our Ben Nevis climb had to be rescheduled (due to a forecast of gales and blizzards!!!!) so we now plan to do it next Saturday (11th June). Will let you know how we get on.

The insomnia continued into the earlier part of last week, so its all a bit of a blur. A got on with bits and pieces, and all the usual clubs/classes, I was in the background trying not to fall asleep! I'm feeling a bit better about things now, but job hunting has to become a priority I think.

With the prospect of employment, and less time around for A, I'm trying to prepare her and encourage her to do more self-directed work. I've just signed her up for a K3 science course, I'm thinking it will give her a taste of science as an academic discipline (we've done quite a lot of 'sciencey' stuff, but nothing structured) so she can see how she gets on and decide whether she wants to take it further. So with that, and her essay-writing course, and the new maths website we're signing up to, as well as all the unstructured stuff she's doing, I feel we have quite a lot covered! And - most importantly - she seems to be quite up for it all.

I got out running a couple of times this week. A bit disappointing this morning - I thought I could increase my running time a bit, but soon discovered this was not going to happen (really thought I was going to collapse in a sweaty heap). After a few minutes walking I went back to 1min run/1min walk, which was fine, seems to be my level at the moment. Really hate this newbie stage, although of course its necessary to achieve anything. I feel the same in the body pump class, because as much as I love it, I have the tiniest weights while everyone else has got big heavy weights. And I still struggle with some of the exercises. The instructor keeps saying to us "if its getting too much just take some of your weights off", but if I did that I'd just be lifting the pole! I suppose I have to swallow my pride and focus on a future where I am running marathons (or my more realistic short term goal of getting round my 2 mile loop without stopping).

We're off for a hike tomorrow, along the beach, not sure if A's legs know what they're in for next Saturday ;-)