Oops! I blinked and missed four months. Yes, life is busy. No, life is not so busy that I could not make time to write here reasonably regularly. Somehow I never seem to make it part of my routine. At the times of the year when I have more time - school holidays, mainly - I write. The rest of the time not so much, or not at all. I'm sure it is a matter of habit, and if I could only get into the habit it would stick. I like blogging. I do better with keeping an online diary than I do trying to keep a personal one. Having an audience, even a small one, motivates me to write more and better than I would if I was just writing for myself. So, next year, more blogging!
What has been going on in the last four months? The usual routine of work and school for various family members. Senior daughter changed jobs for three months then went back to her previous employer in a different role, which a month in she seems happy with. Middle daughter changed schools for Sixth Form and has gone to a grammar school in a nearby town. (Cultural note: in the UK grammar schools are selective entry state schools. Admission at age 11 is by examination, at age 16 for Sixth Form it requires certain grades in the GCSE examinations taken by all 16 year olds here. The grammar school system used to be universal, but since the 1960s/70s it only survives in a few areas, of which our adjacent county is one.) After a slightly wobbly beginning middle daughter has settled in and is enjoying the school and the more challenging environment, despite having to leave home an hour earlier in the morning to catch the bus. She is also working a part time job as a waitress in a local cafe, which together with a heavy studying load keeps her very busy.
Small daughter has been looking around local middle schools as she is due to move school next year. (Another cultural note: Our area has a three tier school system in which children change schools at ages 9 and 13. I think there may only be one or two other places in the country which operate this system.) We have a realistic choice of two schools - there are others but not in walking distance. She has decided she prefers a school which was very oversubscribed last year, but liked the other almost as much so will not be too disappointed if she doesn't get her first choice. The interesting thing about looking round was that the was like a moth to a flame with the science labs. At both schools she spent a long time engrossed in the various science activities they had laid on, at the second school to the point where she decided it wasn't worth bothering to look at the parts of the school we hadn't yet reached, she would rather just stay put with the science until they chucked her out! A chemistry set - which she describes as "science heaven in a box" - is now top of her Christmas list.
Small daughter has also taken up a contact karate and kickboxing and hopes to get her first belt in the new year. As she is an extremely petite 8 year old (more 6 year old sized and very lightweight) it isn't exactly an obvious hobby to pick, but she was very determined she wanted to do it and seems to be very much enjoying it.
For me life goes on much as normal. Working hard during the week, but under less pressure as we have some new staff members which has made things less stressful. Still playing lots of trombone. Generally feeling less stressed than I had over the previous year for various reasons, most of which have now more or less resolved themselves. We went on a last-minute short break to Kent at half term, just two nights in a chain motel near Canterbury but we enjoyed exploring the area and it helped to recharge our batteries. If this app will cooperate I will put some pictures into a follow up post.