Saturday, 31 December 2016

The first three weeks of July 2016

My Facebook post on 1st July 2016:
''I'm fed up with feeling sad and cross about leaving the EU - I'm ready to feel happy and optimistic again. Mourning period over. I think it helps that I happened to read this at breakfast this morning:
“Opportunities to listen to those of diverse religious or political persuasion can promote tolerance and learning.
The Book of Mormon speaks of a time when “the people of the church began to be lifted up in the pride of their eyes, and … began to be scornful, one towards another, and … began to persecute those that did not believe according to their own will and pleasure” (Alma 4:8). Let us all remember that God looketh not upon the color of the jersey or the political party. Instead, as Ammon declared, “[God] looketh down upon all the children of men; and he knows all the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Alma 18:32). Brothers and sisters, in the competitions of life, if we win, let us win with grace. If we lose, let us lose with grace. For if we live with grace toward one another, grace shall be our reward at the last day.'' ''

Also on the 1st, Lucy went to her Year 13 Prom. Someone in the photo was feeling self conscious, so they all covered their faces! (Lucy on the far right.)

On Saturday 2nd July, it was the Stake Athletics. we all went and took part in various events. I didn't plan to, but took part in nearly everything, though some of the longer distance track events were more of a 'walk and talk, and jog for the last bit' type thing! 
I spoke quite a bit with Jennifer Loftus (though she has a married name now) who has moved into our Stake! I also spoke with her husband who is thinking of becoming an on-call fire fighter.
I was pleased to win the 100m and 200m, which I tried really hard at, and felt really nervous about! I also won the Shot Put and Long Jump.

On 6th July, we had a family dentist appointment, and Lucy got her mission dental form filled out.

On 7th July, Lucy and I went to Northampton, where I was teaching Institute. It went fine, and Lucy enjoyed hanging around with friends afterwards.
Drawing on Ben Hirst's back.

Enjoying the night sky with Alex Bourne and Daisy Campbell.

On 8th July I got a new (2nd hand reconditioned) iPhone 5 from eBay. My old iPhone 4 from Scott's work had just got too rubbish. It's so nice to use! I had a scary time cutting down my SIM card, but got it working fine.
Harry and I playing with Snapchat filters, and discovering collage apps!

Also on the 8th, Jack had his Year 11 Prom. Thankfully Jack was happy for me to be his group's 'photographer' beforehand when everyone met at the school, so I could be bossy, and make sure we got a nice background etc. Jack had originally got a date for prom, but then their group decided to hire an old fashioned double decker bus so loads of them could go together, so the date thing fizzled out.
It was a beautiful evening, and I enjoyed milling around, watching Jack with his friends, and chatting with other parents who I'd not really seen for years.

Lucy also turned up with some of her friends who have siblings in Jack's year.

Jack with Lucy's friend Georgia's younger sister.

Transportation to the Prom dance at St.Ives, which Scott picked Jack up from at about midnight. He'd had a great night!

Messing around with my new phone again on Saturday 9th July.

In the afternoon we had a joint ward BBQ, which was very pleasant!

I had fun on the stilts till I fell off and somehow managed to cut my leg!

On Sunday 10th, I taught a Primary class, and after church Lucy, Jack and I went to Northampton for a Stake Youth Fireside. We got there early because we didn't want to go home in between, and sat in the car park enjoying eating our picnic tea!

A Facebook post on Monday 11th July:

''The last couple of weeks has been rather stressful for a heap of different reasons, culminating in my 6 month Fire Fighting assessment this evening. Very happy to say that I passed it, and I'm ready to enjoy this next week before we embark on our Asia adventure!''

July just felt rather stressful and busy, though I think quite a bit of that was because of the 6 month assessment hanging over me. It was fine in the end - it was just held at our local station, and though not perfect, I got all the main elements demonstrated OK. I had to do a BA drill, put up ladders, do knots, use the LPP (Light Portable Pump) and stuff. The Station Commander and a couple of others had a debrief with me afterwards, and said I'm doing fine (and go up and down the ladder like a whippet!) - I just need to have more confidence in myself.
Also, Meg and Dave had asked to use our house while we were in Asia, so I felt the need to get the house deep cleaned during this time too!

The next day, on Tuesday 12th, we had Abi Bleakley who was over from San Diego, coming to stay for the week. Lucy and I picked her up from the train station in the middle of a torrential downpour!! It was great to see her again - she'd not changed at all - as loud and crazy as ever! That evening, Lucy and Abi went to see Harry perform in his school play.

On Wednesday 12th, Lucy had a chest x-ray appointment at hospital, for her mission medical form, and we went to McDonalds on the way, for our traditional girls' breakfast! Just like the good old days!!
Lucy and Abi kept me (and most the x-ray waiting room) highly entertained till it was Lucy's turn. It was a bit stressful though because the place was packed and we were about an hour late for the appointment, and Lucy had a driving lesson to get back for. We made it back with about 2 minutes to spare.

Taking the girls and Jack to Tesco the next day.

Lucy had just got the Pokemon Go game on her phone, and was wandering round the car park trying to find one. Abi, Jack and I just drove off without her in the end and she had to come and catch us up!

I gave Jack and the girls a quick tour of the fire station on the way home. I also had a hair dressers appointment that day, and in the evening drove to Ely for a Road Traffic Collision course, which was really good.

Thursday 14th was rather a stressful day! It was supposed to be Lucy's driving test, but when she got there, it turned out that her test was supposed to have been on Tuesday 12th! She'd originally had her test booked for Thursday - it had been changed, but she'd saved the details of the Thursday test on her phone and had reverted to checking those details.
Driving lessons have been awful for her (like for lots of people!) and she was so hyped up ready for this test, and she felt so stupid, and like she had wasted money, that she was utterly miserable! She went straight out to the cabin and cried and cried. Abi and I went separately to check on her, but she just wanted to be on her own. We left her for most of the day, and by evening she had mainly shaken it off and got over it. Poor thing!!! She said afterwards that it was good having Abi there, to distract her for the rest of the week! She managed to get a new test booked for September, but was still pretty fed up about having the stress continue till at least then.

Friday 15th July.
A photo of me looking how I do most the time now - hair back and in my Fire and Rescue T-shirt.

In the evening, I took Lucy and Abi to the cinema to see 'Now You See Me 2'. We had enjoyed the first film, and this one was just sheer entertainment!! Thoroughly enjoyable!
Lucy and Abi killing some time on a dance machine beforehand.

On Saturday 16th, I took Lucy and Abi to Cambridge. As per tradition we got the guided bus from St. Ives. We wandered round the prettiest parts, and also did some shopping.

Also as per tradition we had lunch at Cafe Nero!

Some Crispy Creams to keep us going, before getting the bus back.

On Sunday 17th, we had church, and Abi's friends from Cambridge picked her up from there. We took some farewell pictures after church. It had been lovely seeing her again! Though Abi is pretty lively and full-on, she is also really kind and inclusive to the boys and it's fun having her stay.

That evening we went to the Wade's house for a Farewell party for the Doughtys, who are moving to Surrey.  It was a lovely evening hanging out and chatting with everyone. Matthew also showed me round the house, which I've not seen since they had a brilliant loft conversion done.
Some of the youth took off for a bit!

Monday 18th was Harry's sport's day. He made it pretty clear he did NOT want me to go and watch (he gets really self conscious about things like that, and it had taken quite a lot of persuasion to get him to take part at all). Lucy and some friends decided to go and watch though, which Harry was not in the least impressed about. He got a first and a second place.

I had actually planned to do last minute packing (ie. all my packing) and cleaning on Tuesday 19th, seeing as we were going to Asia the next day, but I ended up spending a few hours at March Fire Station! We got called out to be on Standby, because their pump had been called out to a big fire. Chatted with Tony, Phil and Martin a bit, and had a ready meal! Managed to get everything done OK still, when I got back.

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