Thursday, 24 August 2017


While Ben is away adventuring in Switzerland with Aquila Explorers -
 (today he was in the snow and inside a glacier at Jungfraujoch) - 
I got to pick up his GCSE results.

I am so proud of him -
 7 (A) for Maths ,3's (D's) for English Lit and Lang, B for Science, D for Humanities, Merits for PE and iMedia and a pass for ICT !

When I think back to all the years of battling to get him the correct diagnosis and support - 
when I remember all the worries and traumas of Nursery and Primary School -
today the high school Senco recalled reading Ben's statement when she first met him - 
and her concern about how the school would meet his needs.
Then she said "He did it all himself"
And then I cried -
Because he really is a wonderful young man

Sadly the 3's in English proved to be a barrier to starting a Level 3 course in ICT -
 but after a day of battling at the Sixth Form College, and a bit of a strategic maneuvering on my part  
Ben will be starting a Level 2 course in Engineering, which I think he will really enjoy - 
plus there is a bonus that one of the lecturers is a family friend.
Plus we now have an agreement that he can move to a Level 3 course next September, even if he still hasn't got a 4 in English after retaking it. 
I'm calling that a win for us.
Ben is back on Saturday - 
but I've already had a text conversation with him - 
and he is happy about the course - if not about having to retake English.
Roll on September  - and new opportunities.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Clare, Emma and Titus!

With Ben still off at KISC Megs and I had a day trip to Stratford to see my lovely friend Clare, my Goddaughter Emma and Clare's mum Gill.

We had a wonderful day of strolls, lunch, coffee and cakes.

In the evening Megs and I saw Titus Andronicus at the RSC -
£10 teacher tickets for great seats :)
The play was very dark - but also very funny - a clever trick to pull off.

It was a long trip home - much of the M6 down to one lane, so it was 1.30 before we arrived back!

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Ben at KISC

Pictures of Ben at KISC - collected from various facebook and twitter accounts :)
Great to be able to see some of the things he is up too!

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Sunday afternoon at Quarry Bank Mill

With Ben off at KISC in Switzwerland - 
and Megs staying in Sheffield for the weekend -
after church we went to the National Trust Quarry Bank Mill in Styal.

Lunch in the new garden cafe -
then two woodland walks along the river Bollin -
with a stop for afternoon tea in the mill cafe on the way.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

A first visit to Harrogate

Ok - so not actually our first time in Harrogate -
and we visisted many times back in the 1990s when were frequently stayed in York.

BUT - this was the first of hopefully many trips to visit 
Jonathan, Karen and Katherine in their new home.

Katherine showed us around their house -
then we had the most amazing brunch at The Wild Plum -
{I had courgette bread, poached egg, haloumi and avocado!}
followed by a walk into town, round the shops and parks.
Tea was another trip in to town for pasta and pizza at Ask Italian -
then we drove back over the Pennines home.

Off to Kandersteg

We dropped Ben at Liverpool Airport at 8am -
he met up with the rest of the Aquila Explorers -
 ready to head off to the International Scout Centre at Kandersteg in Switzerland (KISC) 

He is away for a week - 
and with the usual support from the fantastic leaders 
(many of whom have known Ben since he was a tiny Beaver Scout - or earlier!)
I'm sure he will have a fantastic time!

Friday, 28 July 2017


Friday night - the boys settled down in the hotel
(Premier Inn County Hall)
Megs and I walked over to the Young Vic to watch the revival of Yerma
Last year Billy Piper won an Olivier Award for this-
So when we discovered that it was back whilst we were in town -
And that preview tickets were only £20 -
We were in!

If the prospect of seeing her original acting idol wasn't enough for Megs -
as we were walking in she looked up at a tall chap in a baseball hat and discovered it was the one and only Tom Hiddleston!
She smiled. He smiled. He said "Hello" She said "Hello" 
It was a special moment!

and so I know what being in the presence of a Norse god will do to a girl.
We were both giddy - and when he came to sit right in front of us -
hat still on, slumped in his seat - unrecognized by the people next to him -
we were in seventh heaven.

But back to the play.
Very very funny - right up to the point that it wasn't funny - but heartbreaking -
and ultimately devastating.

The transverse staging was amazing -
the sets and changes in utter black out stunning -
the music and lighting both electrifying.

And Billie Piper?
Funny and beautiful and sexy (that smile!)
And the most real performance I have ever seen.
She broke us into pieces - just as she did to Megs long ago when playing Rose.

After the curtain calls (and I've never been so quick onto my feet)
we sat - too stunned to leave the theatre.
We watched Mr Hiddleston leave
(the ushers were in the know - and were equally starstruck)
and then high on the performance -
we laughed and giggled and made our way back to the hotel along the South Bank -
in love with the city and the theatre and life.