Thought I would just write a bit of a catch-up post to let you know what’s been happening lately in the Burgess household.
The most important event in the calendar was Rory turning 18. My son is now a man and, like all mothers before me, I am incredulous that the years have slipped by so quickly. I’ve been looking through old photos to remind me of each stage of his boyhood and thought I’d share a couple. The final image, Rory holding his birthday balloon, makes me smile and reassures me he will always be my little boy.
Hot on the heels of the birthday celebrations – a meal out (he didn’t want a party or any fuss) – and we’re in university mode. Rory has conditional offers from Exeter, Sheffield and Newcastle to read politics in the autumn so is now going to Open Days to see which one to accept.
We travelled down to Exeter this week and it proved to be a big hit with everyone. Beautiful city, impressive campus within walking distance of the city centre and a friendly atmosphere. Took nearly five hours driving to get there, which was the only negative.
Dougie and I found we were reminiscing about our time at university, wondering where the time had gone and yet realising some things are so different to the 80s when we were students. Communication seems to be the biggest change. Students now have so many ways to keep in touch. If they are lonely they can chat to friends and family on their phones, text or Skype. That’s reassuring for me as a parent to know I hopefully won’t have to wait for the weekly call from a draughty phone box, which was how I kept in touch with my parents when I was at college.
We did laugh as the student showing us round the accommodation explained how you could have your Tesco shop delivered. ‘So much easier to have your beer brought to your room rather than carrying it’, he said. They don’t know they’re born, these kids!
I’m still trying to keep up with the newspaper column – sending copy to them a week ahead means I keep forgetting what day it is. This week’s column is all about ice-skating on the Fens. Let me know what you think as it’s a different style to the others so far.
Finally, a couple of books to recommend to you:
The paperback version of Helen McGinn’s The Knackered Mother’s Wine Club has now been published. It’s a very readable, informative guide to wine, making that bewildering array of bottles in the supermarket a little easier to navigate.
I reviewed this book last year when it came out in hardback and loved it. You can read the review here:
An e-book I can highly recommend is The Great Escapes of Danny Houdini by Stephen Herrick-Blake. Steve writes an excellent blog, Bloggertropolis, and you will often see his witty comments at the bottom of my posts. He is a talented writer and this book, which he has self-published, deserves a wider audience.
His novel is a unique, contemporary love story packed full of humour, pathos and gritty realism. Danny, an awkward young man with a pronounced stutter, who lives in a dream world much of the time, falls in love with Thalia, a deaf girl who works at the local college. Their fledgling relationship is hampered by Danny’s uncouth parents, his arrogant brother and a seedy world of drugs and violence.
Give it a try at £2.49 on Kindle.