Attempting to make it as a writer

Posts tagged ‘exams’

Running Rungs

Do you find there is a certain treadmill quality to life?

I know the seasons rotate in an orderly fashion; months following months, hot sometimes following cold.  Cold, wet winter chases the crisp frosty autumn days, just as blossoming spring precedes the fullness of summer and so on. The full moon wanes leading to the next crescent of new moon as the cycle begins again.

Was it only six or seven weeks ago we were all breaking up for that

Keep on climbing

long balmy summer ahead?   Plans of how we would survive those days trying to entertain the children were being drawn up.   Childcare being divided up between parents, grandparents and unusual educational activities.  Holidays to be prepared for, shopped for and enjoyed, precious days spent with loved ones.  The morning rush eased to permit treasured time to lie in or permission to watch CBBC. It already seems a blur on the fringes of our short term memory.

This weekend found me stepping back to the Rugby club with a new season already upon us.   Youngsters the country over will have been registering with their clubs, learning new laws as they move up an age level, meeting up with old friends they may not have seen since April.

I; too caught up with friends who I have missed over the months. Friends who have stood solidly by me over the years as our children have suffered injuries, lost important games and grown with the game.   There was a certain reassuring buzz of activity, smell of bacon butties and the constant flow of cheap instant caffeine that passes as coffee.

Even the forecasted sunshine kindly waited till the end of training to dry out the drizzle that had arrived on cue to welcome in the new season.   Routine resumed its rightful order as boots were tried out for size, outgrown shorts that had just about lasted till the end of last season were replaced and shiny new mouth guards bought to protect developing teeth.

This rugby heralded the cog in the ever moving treadmill of life; children will this week return to school.  Back from all the holidaying; now only a distant memory, flashing past on the digital photo frame.   The juggling with childcare is finished as we hand our precious children back over to their new teachers.   Some will be moving to new schools, colleges or universities; some will climb a rung on the well-worn ladder of their school hierarchy and some will be out in the world wondering where to go next.

I know this week will bring tears and heartbreak for mothers of reception aged children suddenly seeing their tiny tot in a complete new school uniform, breaking the baby bonds that up until now have been unyielding.  Little people venturing out into a world without their mother’s perpetually protective hand supporting those faltering fearful footsteps.

Other mothers will suffer the effects of their children’s nerves; they will tolerate the self-importance of young adolescence and take a step back as their little one grows independent and superior joining the masses at Top School.   Giving their once infants the space to be a big child in a world of even bigger children and learn to make their own waves in this ocean we call life.

There will be mothers who will reluctantly transport their offspring away to some way off university.   Leaving their homesick tearful teenager in some bleak utilitarian room to carve their own way in the world, knowing this is the final bond to be broken as they allow their child to grow away from them.     Reluctantly, leaving alarmed adolescents with reassurance, resolutions and reliance despite all their own reservations.

I feel lucky this year that I do not have to overcome the emotions of a momentous change in the cogs although No 1 Son is moving into sixth form.  The change for him will not be as dramatic as he stays at the same school; nonetheless he will have to make his own decisions about how much he studies, what he wants to achieve from his A ‘levels and how he will apply them to his life.  It will be a big jump for him to take control of his future; the same future he does not know what he wants to do with.

Middle Son glides up to this final year of GCSEs which he will find harder than before, not only due to the level of work from school but from the level of support for his schoolwork he will receive from his parents.    Here is a boy who could achieve so much if he only focused long enough to acquire the necessary information to apply it.   Had there been GCSE’s in BMXing, X-boxing or I-Padding he would be guaranteed straight A s.  Unfortunately he is going to have to work hard this year to get the grades within his grasp.

Mini Son becomes a big fish in the small pond as he joins year 6, the final year before moving up to big school.   He will be a role model for the younger classes a task he will fulfil brilliantly.  He will be coerced into independence as he learns to accept responsibility and study hard filling in the missing bits of his education before bridging the gap and joining throngs of know it all secondary school children.

I will also return to my job at the school this week, sad to say farewell to the summer that never really materialised in terms of the weather.   Reluctant to welcome those manic mornings trying to get all five of us out of the door in different directions on time with all the remembered kit for the day ahead.  Unenthusiastic to return to the drudgery of routine after my long weeks of freedom from humdrum tedium, I know that it is only a matter of time before the wheel of time turns further.

Before we know it, half term will be upon us with Christmas poking its pointed head in our direction.  The New Year will be here all too soon and then we will be half way through the school calendar.  Exams will be sat and then the long holidays upon us again turning yet another full turn of that wheel.

I shall continue to climb the rungs of the treadmill expecting to reach the haven of happiness at the top but never quite arriving there as the wheel turns again for another season.

Whatever stage of the wheel you are at, keep climbing and keep focused.  It is so easy to fall off the spinning circle but never easy to climb back on.


Check out my cooking blog at Teatime Treats with Tiggy

Boredom Blues

The exams are over, the summer holidays are not quite upon us and 16 year olds all over the country are bored. There is nothing to do.  All that intense studying now forgotten and a couple of weeks of doing nothing are beginning to take their toll.   It was great at first, ten weeks of no school stretching into the distant future; there were end of exam parties, end of school parties, parties to end all parties so the first fortnight was spent sleeping and nursing sore heads.

Admittedly the weather which could make so much difference is not being kind to them; but a blanket of despondency envelopes them from the outer world leaving them with nothing to do.   Our Wii has been in much use this past week, alternating between the play station, the tv or computer.  Thankfully despite the rain Colts training began last week with a very wet but hard training session.   I have to be grateful that No 1 Son is keeping fit and he does at least one fitness activity each day, but he is still bored.

My suggestions are met with the derision and disdain they deserve. My offers of paid work are met with cynicism and scepticism at the effort of having to get dressed. I as a parent do not have any good ideas after all I am old and have never had fun!

Maybe a girlfriend might give No 1 Son an interest. He could go and meet her in town; we would probably end up driving him and her to places or events; but there are no free young ladies of the exacting standards he requires, available at the moment.

It would be good if he could get a proper paid job, not odd jobs that his mother could find for him.   He is due to have an operation at the end of July and although it should not cause him much time out, he already knows he will be away from rugby for 6 weeks;  a fact that plays heavily on the spirit.    The unknown quantity is whether he will be able to walk or run directly afterwards or how long it will be before he is able to so is unable to commit to working at the moment.

The operation date we have been expecting has arrived and falls two days before we travel to France on holiday.  A planned early start to catch the 8am ferry for a 6 hour crossing, followed by a 5 hour drive the other side to find our campsite.  Thankfully we will not be in a tent but a chalet which will afford him some comfort once we arrive.   I have managed to delay the ferry for one day but if he is not fit; we have a plan B.   Plan B in my mind is the less favourable option although Sexy Sporty Dad and No 1 Son are rather in favour of it.

I will travel as planned with the other two all the way down through France on my own.   It is probably 8 or 9 years since I have driven in France, so my French is rusty  along with my map reading skills; I can see us ending up in Madrid or Frankfurt.   I do not have a problem with the idea of driving abroad.  My problem is; the time it will take having not had much sleep the night before in order to be there on time,  6 hours of hyperactivity on board an enclosed ferry, then the solo drive.  My nerves are jangling already and there are still two weeks to go.   Sexy Sporty Dad and No 1 Son will take a ferry / train combination or fly to a convenient town nearby for me to collect them.    I am even now investigating all the alternatives.

A chink in the armour of ennui appeared at the end of last week.  Sexy Sporty Dad’s brother El Capitano rang

damp and drizzly

damp and drizzly

to complain he too had bored 16 year old twins and was tearing what is left of his hair out trying to get them to do something, anything.  He had hatched a cunning plan and was setting off from Derbyshire down to Falmouth to pitch a tent; he happened to be planning to tow his pride and joy boat with him.   Would No 1 Son be available to join in?

Naturally, I leapt at the opportunity for him to have some fun before the others broke up and his impending operation truncated any sense of adventure.  The lethargy was so embedded that he however declined the opportunity, not only leaving his parents in despair, but El Capitano with two reluctant participants not really wanting to go either.  Forced into going, the conniving cousins called as they reached the M6 to travel down, urging him to reconsider with stories of mayhem, mishap and mischief.    Minutes later he was packing a rucksack and we spent an unplanned Sunday taking him to the motorway junction to meet the weary travellers.

A fistful of cash, his phone topped up and a party pack of drink; we waved him away.  He is adamant he wants to be home for Mini Son’s 10th birthday celebrations later in the week so El Capitano will put him on a train from Cornwall and hope he manages to change enough times to get home.  Having not been on a train alone before, this will be a good experience and practise in case Plan B has to come into play for our holiday.

The rain has returned and the forecast does not foretell of improvement so it may be that the whole party returns earlier than planned and he will not be called upon to rely on his survival homing beacon.  At the very least he will have seen his cousins, had an adventure and even maybe a sail, so he can come home with a fresh attitude to battle the boredom.

Thank you El Capitano!


Check out my cooking blog at Teatime Treats with Tiggy



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