A lifestyle blog from a forty-something mum

Showing posts with label Daughter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Daughter. Show all posts

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Charlie's AngelsDaughter, Sophia left on Friday for the US. Three months away from home, working for Camp America for the second time.

We hadn't even pulled off the driveway before she had a hunch that something had been left behind. Parking outside the house, we extract her rucksack from the boot of the car and she riffled through the contents for several minutes without spotting anything amiss. 'As long as you have your paperwork, currency card and passport, you'll be fine,' we reassure her. 'Anything else can be replaced.'

We're on the M40 in Oxfordshire when she finally remembers what's not in her bag.

It's the keys to her suitcase.

I may have uttered a couple of expletives under my breath and told my daughter that she was an idiot. I apologised immediately and did that mum thing where you run through the consequences and try to come up with a solution.

Now I'd offered my daughter a selection of locks for her case and suggested that she use one of the more secure ones. She is, however, her mother's daughter and because I had suggested it, she had used the inferior one that came with the case. For once, I was grateful she hadn't taken my advice.

Now us mums have a lot of light bulb moments. Moments so inspired that you can't believe you didn't come up with the idea sooner. We're driving into Beaconsfield services when I yell, 'I've got it. We can pick the lock on the case.'

'Really,' says Sophia rolling her eyes.

'Yes, really,' I add. Riffling through the contents of the glove box and my handbag, I round up a pair of tweezers and some safety pins. Once we've pulled into a parking space, the boot is opened and I am ready to give it a go.

I manage to pick the lock within seconds and we bound off into WHSmith to buy a replacement. This time around we choose one without keys and settle on a numerical combination lock instead. I may have made a note of the number (in case she forgets this too).

If you're wondering why there's a Charlie's Angel picture, this is why...

Back in the late 1970s I was a huge fan of the TV series Charlie's Angels. In the days before the internet, games consoles and mobile phones, kids played a lot to relieve the monotony that was a 70s childhood and generally keep themselves out of mischief.

As part of my super-sleuth skills, I taught myself to pick the lock on my Cheney vanity case using only a hairgrip. In my adult life I have never been called upon to use this. A bit like mastering trigonometry for O level maths. I digress...

Forty years on, my 'detective' skills are finally being put to good use. Fortunately, this hasn't resulted in my getting arrested... yet.

To Sophia,

Have a brilliant summer in the US and try not to loose anything else.

Love you,

Mum xx


Your keys were the first thing we spied when we arrived home. You had left them in your sister's bedroom. 

Copyright ©2016 Izzie Anderton

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Saturday, 4 June 2016

The Degree Show

Illustration Degree ShowI was going to write a Week That Was post today, but as this week has been all about my youngest daughter and getting to see her degree show, I had a change of heart.

My daughter has loved to draw ever since she mastered the art of holding a crayon. It came as no surprise when she announced her choice of degree and we encouraged her to follow her passion.

After three years studying illustration she moves out of digs tomorrow and back home until Friday, when she leaves to work in the US for three months. That's my youngest, creating chaos before moving quickly onto the next phase of her life. She's already thinking about options for when she arrives home again in September and doesn't plan on standing still for too long.

You know that sensation as a mum when you have to bite your lip or swallow hard to stop yourself having an emotional meltdown, well that was me earlier in the week. But this post is not about me, this post is dedicated to my youngest and her incredible artwork.
It was no surprise that Sophia's primary final project focused on all things Japanese. This has been a strong influence since childhood.

These pieces are dedicated to four Japanese cities, their landmarks and culture...

Illustration Degree Show

The attention to detail was incredible. She also designed her own origami paper and made cranes for visitors to take away.

This, however was my favourite piece of all, dedicated to the city of Kobe.

Illustration Degree Show

Closely followed by this...

Illustration Degree Show

She also completed a project on War Horse by Michael Morpurgo...

Illustration Degree Show

Illustration Degree Show

Huge congratulations to my gorgeous girl. Go and enjoy your amazing summer in the US. Your mum is so very proud of you and all your hard work. I can't wait to see what happens next for you x

Copyright ©2016 Izzie Anderton
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Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Moving House...

If I'm not around much during the next week, it's because my eldest daughter is moving house and we're making the 250 mile trip to help out.

We've rented an apartment overlooking the sea and my daughter and her friend will be joining us for the week, before moving into new accommodation for their final year at university.

Here's hoping that the weather will be kind and we'll arrive in time to enjoy breakfast at our favourite beach cafe, before calling on Olivia and C. Chances are, our daughter won't be awake, but I'm optimistic that she'll have packed and that her house will be ready for the next occupants.

This time last year we were doing exactly the same thing, but were able to stay for only three nights due to work commitments. It was manic, but we managed to cram an awful lot in and the weather was gorgeous.

If all goes to plan, there'll be more time off for good behaviour this time around and we hope to spend hours and hours at the beach...

Visit a garden or two...

And take in stunning scenes like this...


And this...

I'm also plotting the odd trip several trips to the pub and may have written an itinerary as I don't want to miss a thing this time around.

My daughter lives in a stunning part of the UK. Someday we hope to live there too...

What are your plans for the summer?

Until next time...

Copyright©2015 Izzie Anderton

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Saturday, 9 August 2014

Regatta Life

rowing boats, trailer, sunny dayDaughter Sophia was recruited as a cox for our local rowing club in middle school. The teacher responsible recognised that she was small, but feisty and her technique on the ergo (an indoor rowing machine) was pretty good for a beginner. All valuable assets if you want to be a cox.

Initially Mr A and myself were bemused by our daughter's new hobby. Neither of us had ever rowed before, but we've always supported our daughters in whatever they wanted to do and were only too happy to attend training sessions. as often this involved supping a drink (or two) at the pub. During her first solo trip on the river, Sophia was swept away by the current and had to be rescued. Fortunately this didn't put her off. 

girl, training boat, rowing
One of Sophia's first outings. Can't believe how small she is!
Over the years Sophia's confidence has grown, she's travelled the length and breadth of the country, won umpteen tankards and medals and is now Head Cox at her university rowing club.

rowing, tankards, mugs, medals
Tankards, glassware and even a medal!

Every year rowing clubs up and down the country host regattas. Crews race against one another and although everyone works incredibly hard, the rowing fraternity certainly know how to party.

rowing, coxed, quad
Racing in a coxed four

Oars, rowing
Oars ready for the next race

rowing boats, trailer
Boats on the trailer
Everyone pitches in to help and that's what makes it brilliant. This year I'd offered to help in the tea tent. I arrived early with a batch of cupcakes and was surprised to learn that:
  • I didn't have any power.
  • The barbecue crew had borrowed most of the tea and coffee and all of the sugar.
  • Small change was in very short supply.
  • I was the only one on the rota, but anyone and everyone pitched in to help.
Unfazed, we carried on anyway... and somehow everything was sorted and we were up and running in no time. After my shift, I was happy to hand over and go and watch Sophia lose (sadly) her first race with a novice crew.

Ask my daughter what time she's racing at any event and chances are you'll get a blank look in return. Although there's always an allocated race time, it's rare that's what will actually take place on the day. And I'm certain that my mother thinks I'm a nutcase after saying that Sophia was racing at 1pm, when that's not what happened at all. At the last minute someone else stepped in and Sophia didn't cox for the rest of the day!

At the end of any regatta I'm left thinking only that the rowers are all slightly mad, but in a good way. There's a great sense of camaraderie and they all look out for one another. There's often a party organised for the evening and a campsite so they can collapse in a heap at the end of a crazy day. By Sunday morning everyone's looking a bit dishevelled, ever so slightly tired and ready to descend on whatever refreshments they can lay their mitts on before day 2 of racing.

Disorganised chaos doesn't start to cover what happens...but you get the gist. A good time is always had by all and Sophia loves what she does.

There are worse things to do on a sunny day than sit by the riverside with a picnic and cheer your local rowing club as they attempt to win lots of races. When the weather's bad though, it's a completely different story. Although rain doesn't usually stop play (unless the river conditions become unsafe), standing by the river and cheering under an umbrella when it's cold requires some serious motivation.

One year we even got to see these guys at a regatta...

Red Arrows, flypast, regatta
The Red Arrows
Here's to making the most of the great British summer...

Until next time...

Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton

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Saturday, 26 April 2014

Growing Up and Moving On

Olivia has been back at university for 3 weeks and it seems like a long time already. She's been making the most of my sister visiting to get out and see more of the fabulous part of the UK that she lives in. She was also very grateful to receive a bag filled with treats from home. At time of writing, she is still looking for accommodation for the next academic year (Grrrr).

While the social side of things is relatively tame at her uni compared to Sophia's, she has been to a great party recently. The apartment where it was being held had been converted into a beach. With sand all over the floor, a large paddling pool, DJ booth and bar in the kitchen, volleyball in the corridor and a barbecue outside. Everything was going swimmingly until Security appeared and told everyone to go home.

She's also appeared as an extra in a film. This involved being on location at 7 am, so well done hun for getting yourself up. This has to be a first!

Olivia's also been doing a spot of spring cleaning and after I'd stifled a giggle, I may have been slightly proud of my daughter. Usually when we Skype I only get to see my daughter's head as she doesn't want me to see the state of her room. I'm hopeful that I'll get to see more of my daughter and her bedroom when we Skype next time. There was no evidence of any cleaning going on when she was home for the holidays and her room was horrendous by the time she left. Naturally, I did the mum-thing and returned stray belongings and had a bit of a declutter while I was at it. If Olivia's reading this, that last sentence was a typo.

My daughters believe that anything related to cleaning is a huge waste of time, when there are other far more interesting things to do instead. I get this, really I do and I loathe cleaning with every fibre of my being - but what would happen if nobody did any?

My daughter has recently read Jamaica Inn as part of her degree reading list and was thrilled when it was dramatised on the BBC earlier this week. I'd also read the book and so we decided to watch and compare notes. This is something we've always done - read books or watched adaptations and had heated discussions about them. Within the first couple of minutes I'd increased the volume on the TV and was wondering if I needed to book a hearing test. The dismal lighting didn't help and we concluded only that there was a lot of mumbling going on. What should have been an excellent dramatisation, turned out to be a huge disappointment. And for once, mother and daughter agreed on their findings - this is a rare occurrence.

Until next time.

Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton

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