This little girl turned 18 last weekend and yesterday passed her driving test. It seems no time since I was organising her 5th birthday party, where the photo above was taken. I'm sure she won't be happy with me publishing this picture of her with a mouthful of jam sandwich, but I think she looks so cute. Where does the time go? At present she is making big decisions about her future. She has visited universities in Sheffield, York, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Nottingham and Warwick. I went with her to some of the open days and was amazed by the way universities are now selling themselves and competing for students. As we were looking around both Warwick and York, Kate spotted Andy Burnham with his son who seems to be interested in the same kinds of courses as Kate. She was very excited about this but not brave enough to talk to him. I hadn't spotted him in his casual gear and no one else seemed to recognise him either, even though he was presumably surrounded by A Level students of history and politics. We also had a look at Oxford and Cambridge, as she'd been encouraged by teachers to consider them. That was an interesting experience - I liked getting the chance to look around - there were some beautiful gardens - but the comment from a girl showing us around Christ's College in Oxford about being allowed to play croquet on the lawn in summer kind of illustrated how far away from any kind of student experience elsewhere these colleges are. And they seem to eat their meals in halls which look like Hogwarts. Her UCAS form is now in and she's applied to study History and Politics at York, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Sheffield. She's had some offers so now she just needs to get the grades. Exciting times but hard work ahead.
She certainly seems to have had more advice than I did when applying for university. I felt I ought to do some kind of vocational course as people kept asking me what I wanted to do. I insisted at that stage that I didn't want to be a teacher. I like books, I thought, and so applied for some librarianship courses, changing my mind after the form went in as a helpful careers' officer said he thought librarians were bitchy( !!!!! I'm sure he didn't use this word but this is how I remember it) and I would be best to do a more general degree in subjects I liked and then a postgraduate course. This left me with only a couple of options. I had an offer from Queen's in Belfast and one from Salford over in England. I thought I might like to go to England so I chose it first, not having a clue about where it was or anything at all about it - I'm not sure there were open days then. I couldn't even say the name properly. I didn't real expect to get the grades they were asking for so it was a bit of a shock when I headed off on the ferry to Liverpool, then a train to Manchester and found myself in Coronation Street. It was a bit grim in Salford (it was the 1970s) but I didn't really mind as I was too busy enjoying myself. I'm not sure I made a wise choice but it turned out fine in the end.
Other news since my last post ( I only seem to manage about one month) is that our building work is progressing so we hope to have a new kitchen for Christmas. The old one is now completely demolished. This has made life difficult this week as we only have a microwave to cook with and are existing on ready meals and toast. But at least we have hot water and central heating again now the boiler is operational.
That's it for now. Need to go and vacuum up the layer of dust left all over the house after builders' knocked out a new window yesterday.