Monday, June 18, 2018

World Cup sweep stake

Primary three have decided to do a world cup sweep stake and it's sooooo cute to watch. This time last week Amaia had never heard of a sweep stake, or of the fact that the world cup was on, but all that has changed since Wednesday. Amaia came home and announced that some sport thing was on and her teacher had pulled everyone's name out a hat and you didn't get to choose a team! She, of course, being a Danish national, had assumed she'd be assigned Denmark, so couldn't quite work out why SophieK had been given them! When asked who she got, she replied 'That P-place Charlotte has been to' - Panama, it turns out as that was the only P place we could think of that Charlotte had ever been to... She's so switched on, she seems to have managed to memorise who everyone has drawn, so we are no longer currently watching Panama-Belgium but rather me versus Max. The weekend saw Blair draw with Callum and Aayan draw with Mrs Aikenhead, etc.

Half way through the Panama match, I'm suspecting Amaia's interest in this tournament might be cut short at the group stage. Oh dear! I guess she can then go on to cheering on her friends.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Glasgow science centre



There's nothing quite like a sinister sky to set off a photo. Here's a wee something snapped on my phone while walking along the Clyde yesterday. Cool!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Charlotte at 18



There's no denying my first wee girl is no longer a wee girl. She may be shorter than her brother who is six years her junior but there is a reason she and her big brother have taken to sharing ciders in the local pub when she visits him in Edinburgh.

Gone are these two tiny people who were my first babies. In my head this was taken last year, or maybe the year before, but in reality it was fifteen summers ago...

Amaia was so impressed yesterday, when Charlotte finally shed the jeans, t-shirt and Vans in favour of an evening dress, high heels, curled hair and make-up, though she did stick to her guns on the 'there is no way I am paying £37.50 to have my nails done' front - that's my girl, stubborn to the end.

She looked upon her in awe and wonder - a look that says 'I am the girl who is lucky enough to have the real life Rapunzel from Tangled as my very own big sister!' And she refused to let go of her arm!

Anna looked on more hopeful than awestruck. I could definitely sense she was daring to wish that in just seven years time when she is attending her high school leavers' prom, she hopes to have grown a little and lost the puppy fat that is plaguing her early puberty.

Childhood really doesn't last very long, does it?

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Probably the biggest jelly I've ever seen!


We found quite a beast the last time we were on Irvine beach. I was going to blog it at the time for posterity but I completely forgot - so here it is today. Thomas isn't convinced it's a jelly; thinks it might be an alien who has fallen to earth!

Thursday, May 03, 2018

We have come to a decision

And so at 11-30 last night, with one click of a button, Charlotte's life split into parallel universes.



There was the one where she left home and joined Marcel in Edinburgh to study Law at Edinburgh Law school - rejected.

There was the one where she stayed here and joined my old Alma Mater to study Law there too - rejected.

There was History, again at Glasgow, also rejected.

After many months of agonising over whether to go for a course, she knew to be prestigious, difficult and worthy of her 6 A Highers but which held no interest for her and which would lead to a job, which again was not in her heart of hearts right for her, we reached May 2. May 2 at midnight is UCAS deadline day. Marcel has been an absolute star for the last month, downloading her past paper exams and course materials and talking her through what is actually involved in a Law course, an invaluable source of advice, which he, as oldest child, had no recourse to three years ago when he was deciding.

He underlined to her the fact that even the maximum SAAS loan on offer could not cover the cost of university accommodation, let alone food, travel, books and social life, so she would be looking at a minimum 16 hour a week job on top of full debt. He had her imagine how it would feel to read 500 pages a day on a subject that she was not interested in. He also explained that even if she does what she loves, preferably something reasonably challenging to get into, she can still to a postgraduate conversion to Law if she suddenly had a change of heart. He's been showing her the dissertations he's had to hand in this month (as part of his Honours finals) and having her read through them. Like many of her friends, Charlotte had applied to Law because it was hard to get into and sensible, rather than because she could ever see herself in that field. Shockingly, some who have already accepted their places know nothing of what they are going to study, as she found out when she, in turn, showed them the past paper exams last week.

She loved the idea of moving to Edinburgh, as Marcel had done but she knows he works 20 hours a week for Apple to pay to live there. Apple pay well compared to many student jobs and Lots is more reserved so less likely to get that type of sales job. She decided as a compromise, to promise herself a year or two in Edinburgh after graduation, maybe even a postgrad at Edinburgh.

So she had to find a compromise... something difficult to get into, but which matched her skills which are both literary and numerical, which leads to a well-paid job but doesn't mean she has to drop out of her language learning which she enjoys, something where she can work if she needs to but can also not work if the workload is too heavy.


So she has gone for Glasgow, my own uni, where I hope she will meet a lifetime of friends, just as I did, and where I hope she will walk through the quads in spring and be bowled over by the sheer beauty of architecture mixed with nature.

And as for the course itself - Economics with Spanish, or as she put it 'Maths but with a purpose' and the amazing opportunity to follow in my footsteps as an English language assistant in her third year, but in Spain. I think she'll be happier than she'd have been studying something just for the sake of it, and to be honest, I still wish Marcel had followed his first passion (English) and done a conversion afterwards, rather than watching him, as I am doing now, running between the Apple store and the library, with little time to appreciate the wonders of the beautiful city he's living in.

A theme that came through strongly at Mearns Castle's graduation ceremony was that you should follow your passion, and choose a career you want to get up for in the morning. You only get one life, so spending it doing something you are not passionate about, would be rather sad.