My charity shop bolero debacle was worth it. Fern’s wedding was a great success; I looked wonderful! What? Well yeah OK, Fern looked wonderful in her dress too, it was a lovely day and she looked utterly stunning. Her two little girls were bridesmaids and there was not a dry eye in the house as they walked down the aisle in front of her with their infant sized replica posies. During the ceremony, Fern’s 2 year old daughter Katie, declared “I want to give my daddy a hug”, and jumped down to wrap her arms around his knees as he was about to say ‘I do’. Another Kleenex moment.
The fact that I have done so well in I.T is a bit of a misnomer when I reflect on the complete hash I made of booking my open day place at Warwick Uni. I honestly don’t know how I do it, but if there is a way to balls it up, rest assured I will find it! Other people manage with their eyes shut, but me, I fiddle and fart about pressing the back button and getting in a muddle until the whole thing goes into magnificent meltdown and I delete the internet. After much wailing and gnashing of teeth, I at last have a parking permit and am booked into a Sociology lecture, but not before the whole house was tiptoeing around me, engaging in real time damage limitation.
All this was on the back of yet another day spent fathoming the intricacies of the website that is Student Finance. Can you believe that their online figures were not yet up to date for 2012/13, I mean can you imagine! College give you a table of figures from which you can read off your entitlement; DirectGov.uk on the other hand tell you something entirely different, so I have lived in fear of clicking the ‘submit’ button in case I get saddled with £9,000 tuition fees.
I’ve been fretting about this since day one, in case my age precludes me from either loan or grant, and no one in a position of alleged authority has yet been able to allay my fears; even now my entitlement is still unclear and I am waiting with baited breath. I might be passing the hat round later.
I had a barbeque at my place over the Easter holiday. Although the weather was grotty, it was but a mere spring shower compared to the weather of late. As my friend Sue said, “It’s the wettest drought on record.” Anyway, the barbeque went ahead despite the inclement weather, and my son was on hand to do the cooking, enabling me to huddle around the two barred electric patio heater along with my guests. Those jostling for prime position nearest the heat were loath to relinquish a hold on their spot, in the sure and certain knowledge their place would be forever lost if they so much as moved an inch (that’s 2.5cm to the uninitiated!).
We stuck it out as long as decency and barbeque protocol demanded, and then legged it into the warm to play on the Wii, where Rose entertained us all with her incredible incompetence at bowling, but not before she had sent a full glass of red wine into orbit. A variety of interesting, if a little unusual, carpet stain removal remedies were suggested from the heckling crowd, including the pouring on of tonic water or white wine, and in fact both were administered in varying degrees, until good old Vanish came to the rescue; ably sprayed from a precise, more or less, near enough distance of 12 - 15 cm by the most sober, least drunk person in the room. That’s the same person incidentally not two separate people, or maybe it was, as I was seeing double by then.
I got up at 3am 48 hours later, to take my mum to the airport; she was flying to Spain to stay with my sister. I had to deliver a power point presentation in history at 8.30pm that same night and feared I might flunk it. Luckily my nerves didn’t let me down and the adrenalin surged sufficiently to allow me to stay awake – until 3am the following bloody morning! But I did get another distinction so I guess it was a price worth paying.
We are flying to Basel in July. Well actually we’re not. We are now flying to Zurich. Swiss Air with whom we booked, apparently no longer fly to Basel from Manchester, although if you log onto their website it still says they do, on paper at least. Anyway our flight has been changed and new e-tickets issued which now include train tickets for the Zurich to Basel leg, which I think will be great fun and add to the whole experience hugely. So thank you Swiss Air.
An old friend and I went to visit an even older friend who lives in a nursing home near Oxford. She was once my landlady, and is now 88 and has Alzheimer’s but was certainly lucid that day, though she hasn’t seen us for nearly 2 years and needed a bit of prompting. I had visions of Formica trestle tables and a sterile environment so they could be hosed down after lunch (you hear such stories), but the main event of the day was decorated with linen table cloths with matching napkins (I am not allowed to say serviettes – ask Squeamish Kate! [1. ‘Serviette’ is vulgar. 2. Serviette means briefcase in French – as well you know-Squeamish Kate]) and flowers on small intimate tables and was as lovely as they could possibly make it.
We stole a peek into her room before we left and there was a picture of her and her husband Henry on the window sill which I believe I took in about 1970 and which made me cry. It was so sad! Henry was wonderful; the poor old bugger has been dead a long time now and when she was fully functional, Rosemary had a determined belief they would be together again in a next life. Now she no longer remembers him.
So, all the more reason for me to keep my brain active in the hope I am spared such a fate. I have had confirmation of my place from Edexcel, so there is no going back on my maths exam now. There are two papers, with and without a calculator. I tend to do better on the non-calculator paper because I learned my tables by rote and so can do multiplication and long division with my eyes shut. But ask me to plot a graph using coordinates on the x and y axis, and I start thinking what to cook for dinner that night… Although, somehow, I managed to achieve 93% in the mock paper. I have no idea how and all the credit goes to my tutor on that one, she manages to take the worry out of it all for me.
Fortunately we sat the mock before fellow student Lee entertained us with his ‘101 uses for a black plastic bin liner’ which he found in the bin. Obviously we must all have been on some kind of high. OK it was amusing, but we were having hysteric convulsions watching him wear it as a Carmen Miranda style turban, lacking the pineapple (or any fruit at all in fact) he went with a precariously balanced Satsuma. Then it became a grass skirt where he did an impressive impression of a Hawaiian dancer. Just as Lee was using the corridor as a runway for his Pterodactyl impression, a lecturer burst forth from an adjacent room to remind us that other people's exams were still in progress so could we all just please piss off! Probably just as well my references have already been done…