The World According to Izzie

Mum of twin teens - nothing else scares me!

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Five Nights in Paris - Part Two

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about our trip to Paris. As promised, here's the second part, featuring all of the attractions we managed to cram in during our stay...

Musée d'Orsay

Originally a train station and opened as a museum in 1986. Home to a profusion of works by artists such as Renoir, Degas, Van Gogh, Cézanne, Manet, Monet and lots more besides. As the Impressionists on the top floor see the most footfall, we queue as the museum is opening and head there first taking in these incredible views from the clock.




View of Montmartre from Musée d'Orsay

After the d'Orsay, we take a short stroll to the Rodin Museum and are lucky enough to catch the Mapplethorpe-Rodin exhibition. Bringing together the work of Robert Mapplethorpe and Auguste Rodin, the combination of photography and sculpture is surprisingly seamless and worth of an entire feature all to itself. The Mapplethorpe-Rodin exhibition runs until September 21st. We have lunch at the café in the tranquil gardens and wonder why life isn't like this more often...


The Thinker

Notre Dame

One of the best examples of French Gothic architecture, it's hard to believe that construction began in the 12th century and wasn't completed until the 14th. It's oh so dark inside...


Rose window



Located in the 6th arrondissement, the Luxembourg gardens are perfect for a spot of relaxation after a hectic day taking in the delights of Paris.


View from the Luxembourg Gardens
The Medici Fountain and yes,that's me in the distance!


Montmartre

One of my favourite places in the city, Montmartre is vibrant and provides the perfect opportunity for people watching. We sit and enjoy a meal at a restaurant in the Place du Tertre.


Sacré-Coeur


Eiffel Tower

The most iconic view in the whole of Paris and it's almost compulsory to pay a visit no matter how many times you've been before. There was much deliberation over whether (or not) we'd go to the top, I try to bribe Mr A with the promise of a visit to the Champagne Bar, but as he's terrified of heights we settled on the second stage and had hot chocolate instead. The views never fail to impress.





Champs-Élysée 

One of the most exclusive shopping addresses in the world and with price tags to match. I stop to admire this magical window display at Lauderée. I may have popped in for a spot of research. And that, sadly, was the only shopping I did all day...


Yes, that's me!


Arc de Triomphe

We're lucky enough to visit on VE Day, which is a national holiday in France. Floral tributes were laid at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

 

And after the monument had officially re-opened, we climbed the steep spiral staircase all the way to the top, (284 steps) only to discover that it was raining heavily. On a fine day, we'd have been able to take photographs of the formidable traffic situation below and the 12 avenues radiating from the Arc. We stop and take in the small museum on the way down.


Model of the Arc de Triomphe in the museum


The Louvre

With over 9 million visitors per year, the Louvre is the most visited museum in the world. We soon realise that there's too much to take in during one visit and decide to seek out exhibits that appeal, rather than try and take in everything at once. This is a wise move. We promise that we'll come back some day.




We used the Metro a lot to save time and energy and cover as much distance as possible.




 
Random Gorgeousness...


L'Harmonie at Opéra Garnier
Jardins du Trocadéro

Padlocks at Pont des Arts








Repetto Ballet Store

Moulin Rouge

River Seine


I have to confess to loving every second of our 5 night stay in the City of Light. I may be ever-so-slightly biased as Paris happens to be one of my favourite cities in the world. But what's not to love when there's so much to discover?

You can read part one of the feature here.

Until next time...

Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton
All photography Copyright©2014 Mr Anderton










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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Nom Nom Nom...

So this is what we were up to on Sunday... the Food Festival at Gloucester Quays. Currently in its forth year, the festival features cooking demos, celebrity chefs, cookery fun for kids, a wide range of stalls, (food, drink, crafts) and live music. We arrive around lunchtime and our timing couldn't be more perfect. There's a vast array of foods sizzling, chilling and tantalisingly tempting us at every turn. I have just the one question though... what the heck do you try first?   


I have a feeling that these pictures reflect my passion for all things sweet and anything alcoholic and refreshing on a hot summer's day. Check out these scrummy strawberries and cream...


And beer from the Gloucester Brewery...


Lots of tea and cake...


And mint choc chip ice-cream from this super-cute camper van. Lots of equally scrumptious flavours were also available.


Loving the bar on a bus. Such a fabulous idea. I only wish this stopped outside my house.



There were also gourmet burgers, crepes, pizzas, Thai food, plus lots of other scrumptious dishes and snacks to buy. And it may have been oh so packed, but everyone seemed to be making the most of the great British summer and having a lovely time.


Sadly, I didn't run into James Martin (BBC1 Saturday Kitchen). I'm so hoping he'll be there next year though.

Here's to starting the diet all over again just as soon as I arrive home.

Until next time...


Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton
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Saturday, 19 July 2014

10 Tips for Shopping in the Summer Sales


With sales season upon us, temptation lurks in almost every store and it can be hard to resist the lure of a bargain. While the summer sales might be fabulous for tactical end-of-season purchases and stashing a few items that may come in handy later on in the year, it’s important to avoid some common pitfalls. Here are my top 10 tips for bagging the best buys:


1.      Make a list: check what’s already in your wardrobe and work out exactly what you need before heading off to the sales. If you already have 10 pairs of cropped trousers ask yourself, 'Do I really need another pair?'
2.      Don't buy something just because it's a bargain. Will the item go with anything you have in your wardrobe already? And when will you get to wear it? If you wouldn't give a second thought to purchasing an item at full-price, resist the temptation to buy, put it back on the rail and walk away.
3.      Stay comfortable: wear clothes that are easy to wriggle in and out of in the changing rooms and a pair of sensible shoes. Select an outfit that's neutral and will match almost anything you might want to try on. This will give the best overall impression of how something might look when you get home and help you to make the best decision on whether or not to buy.
4.      Utilise the sales to buy timeless wardrobe staples that you'll still love this time next year. While the latest trends might attract the biggest discounts, they could also end up at the back of the wardrobe in 12 months’ time if you've fallen out of love with last year’s fashion.
5.      Don't be tempted to buy anything that's not your size in the hope that you'll get into it some day. That bargain-basement pair of kitten heels might be a snip at 70% off, but if they pinch your toes, chances are they'll be heading to a charity shop without ever being worn. The same goes for jeans that are too tight and dresses that are too short.
6.      Keep the receipts: fitting rooms are often closed during the first few days of a sale, while others might have queues that are too long to even contemplate waiting in line. As you're going to need to try on at home, keep any receipts safe and you'll be able to return the item if you’re not happy. Check the sale returns policy with an assistant before leaving the store, as this can differ to the normal returns policy.
7.      Don't be tempted to sales shop with small children in tow. The same goes for partners who are not fans of shopping. Chances are that everyone will end up feeling a tad grouchy and you'll be under pressure to shop quickly and head for home.
8.      Take snacks and a bottle of water to keep your energy levels up. This will save time as well as hard-earned cash that can be spent on additional goods.
9.      Think ahead and stock up on gifts for any upcoming birthdays and maybe even the odd Christmas present as well.   
10.  If you’re not brave enough to venture into a store during the first few days of the sale, don’t forget to pop in at a later date. Any returns will have been added to the clearance racks and there's still plenty of opportunity to snap up a bargain.

Do you have any other great tips you’d like to share?

Until next time...


Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton







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Wednesday, 16 July 2014

What Am I Doing Now?

The talented Miss Cisco from the Ramblings of A Formerly Rock N roll Mum tagged me last week to answer the following questions about what I’m doing right now. I haven't done a meme post in ages, but as I love to read about fellow bloggers and get to tag 3 of them at the end of this post, here goes... 

Currently I Am: drinking wine (it's 10pm on a Tuesday night) and wearing PJs, while trying to come up with some inspired answers.

Reading: I always have a lot of books on the go at once and currently on my bedside table you'll find...
  • More Awkward Situations For Men by Danny Wallace.
  • On Writing by Stephen King.
  • The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan.
  • Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford and,
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain.

Depending on what kind of day it’s been I'll choose an intellectual, funny, or easy-going read.This is based entirely on the number of brain cells I have left and most nights I'm fast asleep with a book over my face 30 minutes later.

Listening to: whatever takes my fancy on the iPod. I love chart music, but also have an eclectic mix of older tracks as well; everything from Boney M, Pendulum and Enrique, to Dream Academy and Will Smith.

Laughing At: I love anything that’s clever and funny at the same time such as QI and Have I Got News For You. I also enjoy live comedy and I'm currently deliberating who to go and see next.   

Swooning Over: stylish interiors to fill the apartment I'm going to own by the sea some day. I've recently discovered the delights of Pinterest and may have been preoccupied with pinning everything I covet onto a board. I guess it's good to have a dream.

Planning: on finding a new job. I want to explore the possibility of an entirely different career after 26 years of working for the NHS. I may have applied for an internship at a well-known magazine; this has made me very happy indeed.

Eating Lots Of: real food at mealtimes only, as inspired by this awesome post from Sophie over at Franglaise Cooking. You can read it here. I’d always wondered how the French manage to stay so sleek and was inspired to try this out. It worked well for a while, but I was distracted (ironically) during a trip to Paris. I've recently started all over again and I'm feeling lighter already. As I have an incredibly sweet tooth and love the odd glass of wine, both are allowed in moderation and that is very good news!

Feeling: more relaxed than I've felt in ages. Both daughters are away at the moment and although I miss their company, the peace and quiet at home is a thing of beauty. The chaos kicks off all over again next weekend as Sophia heads home.

Discovering: that one of my daughters is turning into an adult. She’s spending the summer in her university home town, plans to get a job and is turning into a rather awesome young lady. It's lovely to be able to talk to her as a grown-up and the discovery is a very welcome one.  

Looking At: I've been watching a lot of the T in the Park coverage on BBC iPlayer during the past few days. I particularly enjoyed the performances by John Newman, Rudimental, Pharrell Williams, Clean Bandit, Paolo Nutini, Ed Sheeran and Calvin Harris. Right now, I'm feeling the need to book concert tickets and thinking maybe Paolo Nutini in November.

Wearing: I've already given the game away on this one, by admitting to wearing pyjamas earlier. Today's outfit however was: beige cropped chinos (Fat Face), a black T-shirt (Laura Ashley), green jersey cardigan (Filatures Du Lion from TK Maxx), red Converse (Office) and this cute key necklace that was a present from my daughters.


Cooking: I love to cook (I’m kidding). I don’t like the monotony of coming up with meals every single day of the week only to have someone say that wasn’t what they felt like eating today. Does it ever occur to any other member of the family to cook a meal? You can guess the answer.  

Wondering: how I manage to come up with so many daft nicknames for everything we own? Meet latest addition to the family, Vin Diesel Auris…


Trying Out: recently, I’ve been inspired to try out new things and have been to the cinema (alone) to see The Fault In Our Stars. Despite pitying looks from every other member of the audience, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and didn’t have to pretend that I wasn’t sobbing at any point which was fab! I’ve also tried out a zip wire and managed not to scream like a banshee. I don't think I'm ever going to be too old to not want to try out new experiences, although this ideal may have taken a bit of a bashing while I was preoccupied with being a mum.

So there you have it, time to pass the baton onto a few fellow bloggers to see what they’re doing right now. I tag Franglaise Mummy, Stressy Mummy and The Reading Residence.

Until next time…

Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton
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Friday, 11 July 2014

The Blog Spot



This week features the lovely Jenny Ripatti-Taylor from Let's Talk Mommy. Jenny is an expat blogger, author and mum to Buba and Missy Moo. Here, she shares her thoughts on being a mum, hidden talents and life as an expat.
What’s the inspiration behind Let’s Talk Mommy?
I wanted a name that sounded more like a talk show and maybe someday it will turn into one. I thought about having Let’s Talk Jenny, but I didn’t want my real name in it. Mommy is my other name so I thought it went hand in hand to be a parent and lifestyle blogger. Let’s Talk Mommy  is more than just talking about being a mother, because all of us mothers are more than just that. Mommies talk about lots of various things in life; travelling, crafts, hobbies, fashion, home décor, photography etc. Whatever your passions along side your family are, we talk about it therefore Let’s Talk Mommy  was born.

What’s life like as an expat living in the UK?
I am not going to lie, the first two or three years were really hard, some of the hardest years of my life thus far. I cried a lot and I was homesick and lonely a lot. It takes time to makes friends and learn a new culture. It also takes time making a place a home. Getting married and having children has definitely helped all that, so it’s not as hard today as it was seven years ago when I first landed, but there are still days I am really sad and just want to go down the street to have a cup of coffee with my mother, or visit my siblings and nieces and nephews or have them play with my children. Those are the things I think about now more, my children missing out on relationships with my family not so much me missing out anymore. I think that will always be the case now but we try to visit and facetime as much as possible.

You can never spend too much time…
…with family. People always say to me how do I go home for two months and be with so much family without a break. I have a huge family and we all pile into one house and there is not a quiet moment the entire time, literally. With five other siblings visiting too with their partners and kids, it’s loud and cramped. But I love it. It overwhelms my husband a little and probably one reason he only comes for two weeks. Haha But I could never get sick of my family. Spending every day with them, doing everything together is all I have ever been used to so to me that feels like home. I am a people person so I have never been one to need my own space. I think that helps or the fact I am the youngest of a million children and so I was never alone.

Do you have any hidden talents?
None that I am perfect at, but I take Spanish lessons and would love to be fluent someday as I am teaching both my kids as I go along. I have reached intermediate thus far. I played the piano and clarinet growing up and took tap dance. I used to be a lifeguard for five years and taught swimming lessons so I am a great swimmer married to a husband that can’t swim for his life, no matter how hard I try to teach him.

What drives you completely insane?
How long do you have to read this? I have a lot of pet peeves, probably because I am a little OCD at times so it’s more little things that give me a twitch. Probably the biggest is watching someone try to put something together or open something, I can see how to do it but they can’t figure out the obvious but won’t let me help. I know, I am a weirdo. But normal things drive me crazy like the toddler whine my son has picked up or the kids crying at my feet when I am on the phone. I swear when the phone rings, no matter what they are doing, they end up at my feet crying for one reason or another.

What’s the best thing that money can’t buy?
Love! You can’t fake it, you can’t buy it, you can look all your life and if you aren’t open to it and don’t love yourself you might not find it. You got to love yourself first, then love everyone else as much as you love yourself.

In my next life I’m coming back as a …
Television presenter! I love talking, being around different people all the time, meeting new people, no topic is ever off limits and I am always interested to learn new things from everyone else around me. I love interviewing people too as I used to do it at my old job, why not on camera to entertain as well. I think it is something I would have been good at if I had prepared my younger self for it.

Wine: red, white, or rosé?
White, but I am not a huge drinker. I would take a diet peach Snapple over it any day but sometimes it’s very wanted on a hot summer day with soda water.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Best parent advice: When you put your kids to bed don’t take them out of bed until morning. If they cry rub their belly, hum a sweet song to them, but never pick them up. (obviously if they are being sick, pick them up). But I followed this and my kids both have slept from 7pm-7:30 am without crying out for Mommy or Daddy from 10 weeks old to 1 yr for MM and 3 yrs for Buba. It worked for me thus far.
Best advice personally: Keep all toxic people at a distance, even if you are related and see how much happier and positive you become! Life is too short!

What makes you happy?
Many things make me so happy, at the moment being in my hometown with my own family and my kids but lately the best thing that melts my heart is watching my two kids love each other so much. They really are becoming the best of friends and do everything together. At only 21 months apart they are like two peas in a pod. I hope it lasts forever.

The best book I’ve ever read is…
Should I be cheeky and put my own book here, When Love & Culture Collide. Ooops I already did. I would have to say The Secret but only because it was inspiring and made me a more positive person. Any book that can change your life is worth mentioning. There are so many great books out there and when the kids get older I can’t wait to get back to reading.

Who would you like to be stuck in a lift with, and why?
On a serious note, it would be my best friend. Who else could keep me calm if I am stuck in an elevator? Who else could make me think of great things and have fun with in a 4x4 confined space? Who else could make it like a girlie catchy up, because we don’t have our four kids climbing all over us to talk? Who else would tell the story afterwards like it was a great adventure we went on together and will remember forever?
On a less serious note, Kelly Ripa, I would annoy the hell out of her probably with all the questions I would want to ask her. She has this picture perfect family, amazing career, is fit and healthy, and I admire her so very much.

Thanks to Jenny for being my guest this week. Here's hoping she has a fabulous summer with extended family over in the US.

If you'd like to be featured on The Blog Spot, please email me at izzieanderton@gmail.com

Until next time...
Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton

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Monday, 7 July 2014

Reverse Cinderella Syndrome

Ever wonder if real life is the opposite of a fairy tale? I had a dream wedding in the Seychelles back in 1992 and 22 months later adorable twin daughters, Olivia and Sophia came into our lives. Ever since that day, I have felt like Cinderella, but not in a good way. I'm the one doing non-stop chores, making life special for other members of the family, feeling bedraggled, tired, ratty and in need of a time-out.

Now that my daughters are in their late teens, I can't fathom out why they're incapable of functioning as fully-fledged adults. There are days when I've contemplated going on strike, but what's the point? And who would end up picking up all of the pieces?

This post has been inspired by not one, but 2 lovely people who have made me think over the weekend. First of all, the lovely Nikki over at Stressy Mummy. Last week she wrote a fabulous post about other members of her family failing to stick to her House Rules. The comments on this post were enlightening and it appeared that most of us share her thoughts.

Later that same day, I was chatting to my sister. She confessed to feeling like the hired help at home after a weekend filled with domesticity, cajoling her beloved son into completing his homework and contemplating how to cram everything in without going mad.

These are my thoughts based on experiences with my own family...

There are times when I feel as though every other member of my family is doing their utmost to wind me up. Individually they are great company, lively and hard-working (when they choose to be), but put all 4 of us together and the entire house goes into meltdown. To be honest, I had expected life to be so very different after my daughters left for uni, obviously, I expected too much.

The girls are guilty of leaving belongings scattered all over the house and one (who shall remain nameless) is so much worse than the other. I can ignore the mess for so long and then I erupt into a major hissy fit, usually after tripping over the same thing in the hall for the umpteenth time in a day, when I've already told whoever to take whatever upstairs on numerous occasions. And while we're on the subject of scattering stuff all over the house, please could you stop leaving empty bottles, tubes, packets and wrappers everywhere? Ferreting all over the house rounding up rubbish is not how I wish to spend my days.

My daughters bedrooms never ever get cleaned while they are home. Why? Because I refuse to set foot in there. Most of the time I can't even see the floor. In the interests of hygiene I fling in clean bedclothes once a fortnight and fresh towels every week. After they've gone however, I am in there like a shot, (I know, it's tragic, I really need to get out more) tidying, cleaning, flinging open the windows, the works. All ready for the next onslaught of teen chaos.

I am tired of second guessing what everyone needs and dishing out reminders for things that are non-negotiable, like paying rent and ordering prescriptions. And posting off those all important items you left behind amidst the chaos. In fact I've just received a call from Sophia requesting that I post her driving licence as she's left this at home and won't be drinking any alcohol until the mother sends it on. I refuse to feel bad about this.

If I've asked "Does anyone need anything from the supermarket?" I wish family members wouldn't wait until I've been and come back again to tell me that they wanted grapefruit, popcorn, stamps and a bottle of blasted expensive shampoo that I don't even use.

I actually quite like sleep. It's a shame that most mornings I'm awake at 4am and thinking only, 'Right, what do I have to cram into today and who needs to be reminded about what?' I'm a huge fan of the film/ book I Don't Know How She Does It? And if ever there was a book written about how I think as mother, this is it. If you haven't seen the film or read the book, both come highly recommended. How old do your kids have to be before list making in your head at 4am stops exactly?

Dinner is served most evenings at 6pm, if you require alternative arrangements then say something. I am not telepathic. If you don't like the menu, tough. You could always offer to cook.

Nagging. Yes, I know I do this quite a lot and contrary to popular belief, I don't actually enjoy it. Maybe if you could take charge of  your own lives and leave me in peace to get on with mine, I'd stop altogether. The house could be quite lovely and you might learn that mum can be human to.

I actually quite like the real me. The one who gets to be herself on rare occasions when the rest of the family aren't driving her crazy. I love to spend time with my sister and remind myself that I was just me, before I became mum. Please can I stop thinking for 4 people, it's making me tired and they're all more than capable of thinking for themselves.

I have a feeling that this post could turn into an epic mass of rantiness so have decided to leave it there. If you want to read similar posts, I may have ranted blogged about this previously here, here and here. Believe me, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

I will always love my family, I'm happy to help out when you need me, but please can you all just wake up and smell the coffee?

I've recently applied for a job at a well-known magazine as an intern. This would involve moving to London for an entire month. I am so up for the challenge. My family are already panicking.

So, I'm just wondering if anyone has successfully managed to train family members and got them to come around to their way of thinking?  If you've cracked this, please could you share your tips. If not, please feel free to share your own tales of woe. I can't wait to read them.

Until next time...


Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton

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Saturday, 5 July 2014

So, What Did Your School Reports Say?

This is the one and only photo I have of me in a school uniform, it was
taken during my first term at school. I'm guessing that the rest of the mugshots are buried somewhere in my mum's loft and to be honest, this is probably for the best.

This post has been inspired by Suzanne over at 3 Children and It! Earlier this week she blogged about school reports after getting to re-read her own when they were gifted to her by her mother. As school report season is imminent, Suzanne suggested that we don't criticize the negative aspects of our kids' reports and concentrate instead on developing their skills and talents. You can read her thoughts here.

My comment on her blog was that my daughters were mostly angelic at school. I, on the other hand was not and I hoped that my daughters never got to read any of the comments made by my teachers.

I started school back in 1973 and absolutely loved it. I was terrified of being told off and did my very best to behave. Even at the tender age of 5 if the lesson interested me that was fine, if it didn't, I had a tendency to switch off and daydream. This sums up the rest of my school days quite nicely. After a couple of years at primary, my parents moved to another town and I went to a new school. I never felt as though I belonged and despite having lots of friends, I was unhappy.

After middle school, my parents realised that I was distracted and planned for me to go to a convent school. I had no intention whatsoever of going and did everything in my power to fail the entrance exam. I'll save that sorry tale for another day, but to cut a long story short, I ended up at  the local high school and that was exactly where I wanted to be.

If I could have studied English all day long I'd have been one very happy bunny. Alas, there's more to education than reading and polishing off essays and there were subjects that I detested with a passion. I may have blogged about one of them here. As a result, the following phrases appeared frequently in my school reports...

"Must try harder."
Talks too much."
"Easily distracted."
"Needs to participate more in class."
 
I always did my homework though, and my O-level results were much better than expected. In sixth form I soon realised that I'd picked the wrong subjects at A-level. Having dropped English, I ended up taking Maths, (Pure and Applied) Biology and Chemistry. I did, however, love the camaraderie of classmates, as getting into all sorts of mischief and partying hard was extremely high on our list of priorities. I have blogged previously about my escapades as a sixth former here

I know that kids land themselves in very deep water at school for far less nowadays, but can't help wondering if they'll ever develop the resilience of the older generation who were allowed to make mistakes, learn from them and move on.

I guess that leaves me with a couple of questions... what did your school reports say about you? And are your own kids better behaved at school than you were?

Thanks to Suzanne for the inspiration behind this post.

Until next time...

Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton
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Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Moving Out

For the past four days we have been staying in Olivia's home town. Moving her out of halls of residence and staying in a cottage until the lease started on her new house. I have been without internet the whole time and this has been weird. Strangely liberating and as though I was living in a time where life stood still.

On Saturday, we were up at 3am, out of the house by 3:45 and had arrived at the uni by 8am (the motorway was virtually empty as no one else was daft enough to be up at this hour). As Sophia's at home, we decide to leave the cat in charge and hope that our youngest daughter will remember to feed her. Sophia is at a regatta for most of the weekend and decided not to join in with the mayhem of our trip 250 miles away from home.

Meanwhile, at the uni, we have to be out of halls before 10am and Olivia's organised in her own inimitable fashion. We decide to tackle the kitchen first and for those of you who are unfamiliar with the student kitchen, it has a scent all of its own. Kind of a cross between:
  • Wasn't this cleaned just six week's ago?
  • How many bin bags can we accumulate before someone caves and takes them out. And,
  • OMG, what died in here?
Mr A and myself tackle the kitchen in five minute bursts, this is all we can take before fighting the urge to retch. Olivia has obviously become used to the smell and doesn't seem to notice. Fortunately her room isn't half so bad.

Loading the car, it soon becomes apparent that while we can just about cram Olivia's belongings in, there is no room for our daughter. She catches the bus and we meet up in town. Mid-afternoon, we check into the cottage, unload all of our daughter's worldly possessions and drive back into town to collect her.

Olivia is sad to be leaving Fresher's year behind and moving off campus. She has loved everything that living in halls represents and moves into her second year with the realisation that life is about to change all over again. There are new housemates to get to know and life in a house in town will be very different from that on campus.

Our cottage is heavenly after the crazy day we've had, situated in a peaceful valley with a stream. Mr A and myself are feeling every one of our forty-something years and are fast asleep by 9pm. Tomorrow's another day right? I am wondering only how the first year at university went so fast...

Until next time...

Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton
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