A lifestyle blog from a forty-something mum

Showing posts with label Skype. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Skype. Show all posts

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Letting Go and Moving On...

Beloved daughter Olivia moved into her new uni accommodation back in July and was a complete poppet for making her own way home (how she describes uni - sob!) last weekend, after spending the month with us. It was tough to see her leave with her suitcase and holdall and to know that apart from weekly Skype sessions, it's unlikely we'll get to see her again before Christmas. The previous night she'd snuggled up next to me on the sofa, I made the most of hugging her and hoped that the memory would last a very long time.

Our other daughter, Sophia meanwhile, moved out of halls in June, brought all of her belongings back home and hence needed to move back to uni on Monday.

Sophia might be only 125 miles from home but the journey can be a difficult one. We are at the mercy of the motorway network and this can be a complete nightmare. We set off at 7am on Monday morning resigned to the fact that the day would be a long one and armed only with Ibuprofen and the promise of lunch at Carluccios.

We hadn't reached the end of the road before realising that there was a bag left behind in the hall. After retrieving this, we head off once more. As predicted the traffic was hellish and we arrived feeling knackered and unprepared for the day of chaos that lay ahead.

Her new house is fairly lovely for student accommodation and by the time we've unloaded and made her room habitable, it was looking rather gorgeous. We realised that we'd left all of the coat hangers behind and needed to buy an extension cable, but apart from that, it looked pretty good. We had no idea what else has been left behind? All of this will unfurl eventually and I'll get to send lots of stuff on in the post. Sophia is excited to be home and is looking forward to living in a house, rather than halls.

After shopping to replace some of the missing items, we headed off for lunch. Carluccios was a little bit of heaven after a busy morning and provided a final opportunity to spoil our daughter before she starts to fend for herself in the kitchen.

After lunch, we stopped off at the supermarket where Sophia flung lots of cheap student staples expensive stuff into the trolley with great enthusiasm as she knew that mum was going to pick up the tab!

Her cupboards and fridge were bulging by the time we'd unpacked all of the shopping and soon it was time for Mr A and myself to head home. I steal every opportunity to extract hugs from my daughter and whisper words of encouragement for the year ahead. I drive home feeling very sad indeed.

If the journey to uni on Monday morning was slow, the way home it was even worse. The M6 was closed and we had to take a detour that delayed us by more than 2 hours. We arrive home eventually to be greeted by a stroppy cat who has been home alone for more than 14 hours and we are too tired for anything but sleep.

This summer has been a hectic one with both daughters in our 3-bed detached. There were days when I couldn't hear myself think and I craved only peace and quiet and solitude. But now that they're gone, the house is too empty and I wish that I'd gone with the flow and made more of the mayhem. I find myself talking to the cat and contemplating finding a full-time job to fill the gap.

I hope that year 2 at uni is even more fabulous than the first. I hope that my daughters continue to mature into incredible young women and cherish every minute of the freedom that is theirs for the taking. There will probably never be another time in their lives when they are as free as they are now. They are happily settled at uni, lucky enough to be studying subjects they are passionate about and to share a house with exceptionally good friends.

It's a pleasure to see my daughters make their way in the world. At times it's also hard to acknowledge that I need to let go, but my daughters are growing up and it's what I must do....

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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Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Five Things I Didn't Expect About University Life

Today on the blog, a guest post from daughter, Olivia, all about things she's learnt since going to University.

I have been away from home and studying at university for 2 terms now, and along the way I have been surprised as many of my assumptions, or rather clich├ęs of university life have been challenged.
  • The drinking culture is frowned upon, yet often flags up as a pressure point for teens as all around students are inundated with the freedom of being able to get drunk, in my case for the first time. However, when getting to know my flatmates, I was surprised to learn that some of them didn’t drink at all, preferring to spend their money on more rewarding ventures such as climbing and kayaking. It was the same on my course, as many of my friends didn’t feel the need, or want to get drunk on a crazy night out. This helped me to see another side to fellow teenagers which dare I say it, I was grateful for. As much as I love to go out on a crazy drunken night, I love that us teens are capable of more than just downing booze to have fun. There is a sober regime out there, even at Uni. 
  •  I was surprised at how lazy I became. There, I said it. There were many times in the winter semester when I didn’t even see the sun at the weekend, because I slept all day. This didn’t mean I didn’t get the work done, I hasten to add. This wasn’t necessarily because I’d been partying all night; I guess I was just exercising a new found freedom, as never before had I been allowed to sleep all day. I never thought I would be the lazy type, but I guess Uni can bring out what you least expect.
  • One of the main concerns I had about moving away, was leaving my sister. We had never been apart for more than a week, and I had a good three months stretching in front of me, when I would have to fight my battles alone. Yet somehow, as soon as I moved in, it was like none of that mattered. I guess I have the many friendly faces I see on a daily basis to thank for that, and of course Skype – thank you for being free (my phone bill would really be extortionate without you). 
  •  I don’t know whether I’m just a freak of nature, but never once did I feel homesick. For that I am extremely grateful, yet at the same time it does unnerve me sometimes how easily I slipped into the Uni lifestyle, as though I had been training for it all my life. However, on reflection I think fitting in had more to do with the fact that University is a place for everybody – as long as you have a passion for your subject, you are welcomed with open arms, and it shows as I have never felt so happy with where I am.
  • There is a unique buzz at Uni, with a real sense that people have interesting things to say and opinions that could change the world. It’s a rewarding experience talking to someone that you know you never would have met if you hadn’t left home. The sense of community is something that I will cherish throughout my undergraduate years.
Calling all students, I would be very happy to hear from you and perhaps what surprised you most about moving away from home.

Copyright©2014 Olivia Anderton
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Monday, 18 November 2013

Four Weeks and Home...

Having finally succeeded in peeling the rind of teen grunginess off the family home, our thoughts turn to Christmas and the prospect of our daughters returning from university. And in only four weeks, the chaos of family life resumes for the holidays - yay!

I am astounded (and amused) by their antics now that they've left home and despite the fact I apparently know nothing - my daughters are masters of confessing all about their sibling via Skype. This, as far as I'm concerned is fabulous and obviously, a fact I'm not going to share with either of them!

We paid Sophia a visit last weekend after it became apparent that she was having a bit of a wobble. We did what any parent would do - set the alarm ridiculously early, packed a selection of treats from home and arrived before 9:30 am. Naturally, she wasn't up.

I was astounded at how quickly I resumed the role of mum and took charge. My daughter has changed so much already but became a child in need of reassurance once more. I was relieved to have seen her and helped out as much as possible. I'd forgotten already, just how wonderful it is to hug a child who genuinely needs a hug. I hope that we sorted a couple of things out for her, and that after we'd left she felt a little happier.

When it was time to go, I'll confess to wanting to scoop her up and bring her home. And yes, I know that wouldn't have been helpful and so, I turned and walked away with promises of letters and texts and Skype and being there whenever she wanted to talk and of picking her up again in just a few weeks.

She's OK and has settled down again. But I am on countdown for Christmas and hope that this year will be extra special having spent so much time apart.

Many of the facts I've inadvertently learnt via Skype this week are sadly of the 'don't kiss and tell' variety. However, here's a little something to make you smile - one of the latest tracks played in all the clubs. I have to admit this makes me feel each and every one of my forty-something years, but having listened to it several times over it's growing on me a little. This makes me realise just how much I miss the chaos of life with my twin teen daughters and their unique perspective on the world. Here's to four weeks and counting down...

Ylvis - The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)


Copyright © 2013 Izzie Anderton

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Friday, 25 October 2013

Uni Life

Each week I look forward to Skyping both daughters - it's a chance to catch up on the latest gossip and to find out what's really going on in their lives.

Olivia currently has 'Freshers Flu,' and it's hard to see her under the weather and not be there to wrap her up in cotton wool. Especially, as she'd made the decision to go kayaking last weekend and had fallen in the water a lot. Had she been home, I'd have questioned whether or not this was such a great idea, but now that she's all grown up and left home, obviously I have to keep my thoughts to myself.

She and her roommates are getting along famously, and I had to stifle a giggle when she announced it was time to end the call and go to Disney Night. Every Sunday, the six roomies congregate in the kitchen and watch a film together. Last weekend's offering was The Little Mermaid.

In other news, she's also bought a sewing kit. I found this completely hilarious - I'd deliberated over whether, or not to send her with one and decided against it, as there was no way I could picture my daughter ever sewing anything.

She'd had Mini Kievs and soup for dinner - not anything that I'd have put together for a meal - but students do have quite weird and wonderful tastes.

Her social life is awesome, she's enjoying the freedom of being away from home and loving her course. It is, however, a lot tougher than she imagined.

Sophia, is a little more mysterious. It's difficult to fathom out what's going on in her life if she doesn't feel like sharing and quite often, she doesn't. The last time we Skyped, she looked well and had been spending all of her free time rowing. She's working incredibly hard and enjoying university life.

She admitted that she'd stayed up all night and I know that students do this - but how the hell do they do it exactly? I'm completely in awe, and only wish that I was capable of staying awake beyond 11 pm.

Sophia was disappointed to learn that we're going away for our wedding anniversary next weekend and have chosen not to go and visit her. I'm guessing that she's a little homesick and we've promised to go and see her soon. Obviously, this is something else for a mum to feel bad about, it hadn't occurred to me that she might want us to go and cramp her style. I've also suggested that she come home for a weekend soon - she's saying no, but I can't help thinking that actually, she really means, 'yes.' And I would really like a hug with my daughter...

Copyright © 2013 Izzie Anderton
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