Wednesday, 24 October 2012

French exchange.

On Saturday night my 14 year-old daughter returned home after an 8-day trip to France with her school. We have known about this trip for a few months-ever since she chose to do French at GCSE and have been looking forward to meeting her French girl coming here next March. The preparation was fun-meeting with the teachers who would be accompanying the children on the trip,watching videos and photos of last year's trip, finding out a little about her exchange-partner- a 15 year old called Lucille who describes hersef as "sympathetique" and "seriouse", buying the necessary new clothes and, of course, presents for the French family who will effectively be her "family" for 8 days.
But suddenly, around about 24 hours before she left, it suddenly dawned on me; my baby was going to be in a completely different country for 8 days ; I would not be able to see her, hug her, chat face-to-face or feel in control of what happens to her-panic! Of course, K was blissfully unaware of all these feelings-she was too excited-not a tinge of anxiety or nervousness, unlike her 3 friends who would be going too.
Friday night arrived,we drove her to school at 10.45pm and said our slightly teary goodbyes and waved them off, feeling somewhat flat as we returned home.
There then followed ( for me at least) the longest week of the year-I couldn't settle to anything. My thoughts were not in Yorkshire, but in Normandy. I waited eagerly for the blog updates every evening  and the texts from K updating us on what she'd been up to.
Then came the phone call-the tearful, homesick girl who just wanted her family and to be home-if anything was to drive me straight to the computer to look at flights to France that was it! Thankfully after an hour of texting she sounded a little happier and was able to go off to sleep, and me to a sleepless, worried night. Next night brought another tearful call and again we spent some time chatting via text.
She assured us that she was getting on well with her French girl and her parents, despite them not speaking any English and she was really enjoying the day-time activities-she just desperately missed home and family.
Finally Saturday came and after making welcome home cakes (brother and sisiter) and banner we all set off to school to meet the coach.
As soon as she got off the coach she burst into tears-hugs all round and then finally home and lots of pampering and catching up on sleep.
What a learning experience!I hate to be separated from my children and worry constantly about them if they are away. I have also learned how much home and family mean to my children- not just K who missed us so much, but my other 2 children hated her not being here too and family dynamics were very strange for that week.
Getting up on Sunday morning and seeing K fast asleep in her (extremely tidy-well I had to do something to keep myself busy!) bedroom felt so good-life was complete once again!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012


What a fantastic summer it has been, not only personally, but as a country. First of all there was the Queen's diamond Jubilee, then the Olympics and Paralympics. We have been busy, busy, busy, and over the next few blogs I hope to share what we've been up to. The photo is a taster of my summer project-more next time!

Monday, 4 June 2012


It's been a weekend of celebrations

Such fun!

Friday, 1 June 2012

Mystery shawl

It's arrived! The first set of instructions for this mystery shawl TTL Mystery Shawl 2012 by Kirsten Kapur.
My first ever mystery project.
I have the yarn..

I have the first few instructions-now for a couple of hours to get started....

Monday, 21 May 2012

Wool eater blanket

I have to admit it- I am a yarn-addict.i can't go past a yarn shop without going in, and I can't go in without buying something.Yarn to me is like shoes to many other women.
The problem is-I can't knit fast enough to use it all up. The result is this;
a huge stash taking up room in the garage(this photo is only the tip of the iceberg).
The I other week I was perusing Ravelry and found this;

I thought this might be a good way of using up all that stash in the garage, so last night I sat down crochet hook in hand and a selection of needing-to-be-used-up stash.well -after a couple of hours of crocheting a few rows then ripping out- this is the result;
maybe this blanket will be one of my " long-term " projects -watch this space!

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Skiing adventure

Was my last blog post really on Christmas Eve?? Help! Time is marching on and I need to start blogging more! Well, a few weeks ago we returned from our annual "Adventure"-every year we pack up the car, set off straight after school on Friday, drive from Yorkshire down to Kent and board the train which takes us through the Eurotunnel to France.Then it's a LOOOONG drive through the night with R and I sharing the driving and little ones asleep in the back, through France, Belgium. Luxembourg, France again, and finally Switzerland. It's always exciting to see the Swiss border with it's white sail-like roof and security guards waiting to sell you the Swiss road tax disc.Finally we arrive at our destination-Lauterbrunnen in the Bernese Oberland at around lunchtime-head off to the ski-hire shop and get fitted for boots, skis, helmets etc, followed by a wonderful Swiss lunch...

Alpen macaroni with apple sauce...

....and delicious burgers for the kids.

And the temperature on that first day? -28 degrees Celsius! And it stayed like that for the next few days!

Chilly, chilly, but oh so beautiful...


This part of Switzerland is my very favourite place in the world-one day I would like to retire to this little bit of heaven on earth.

We stayed in this chocolate-box chalet...

...and every morning caught the mountain train to have fun,

lots of fun

in the shadow of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau.