Pre-Loved Back to School

Second Hand, Hand Me Downs and Pre-Loved Uniform – A Love Affair. My mum spent a lot of time cultivating her relationship with Mrs Drew, the incredibly stern boarding house mistress who waddled around our…

My mum spent a lot of time cultivating her relationship with Mrs Drew, the incredibly stern boarding house mistress who waddled around our school grounds in very sensible shoes and calf length skirts that billowed from her generous hips, with her loyal terrier at her heels. She was formidable, but she'd taken a liking to my mum which worked in our favour - more than I knew at the time.

You see, thanks to my mum's determination to 'raise me better' she poured everything she had, and at times even what she didn't have, into sending me to an all-girls private school. But working 7 days a week; opening our home to foreign language students paying for board and lodging (while we shared a bedroom); and, downsizing our house just sometimes wasn't enough. Not only were there the fees, school meals and trips to cover, there was also the strict uniform code which covered everything from the wool overcoat for chapel to the thick, navy blue (but still my faves ever) PE knickers.

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Start As You Mean to Go On

I didn’t think I could get any more emotional this morning, Hugo actually thought I’d lost the plot as I followed him around with a grin on my face. And then I received The Text Message to send any emotional mother over the edge of all text messages from his yr 6 TA

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Class of 2018 – Year 6 Leavers – A Parents Guide to the Emotional Turmoil of Leaving Primary School

The tears started rolling last October when Hugo’s year group sung with 7k other school children at the O2; I defy any parent with tweens not to shed a tear when they break into Ed Sheeran’s ‘Castle on the Hill’ en masse! Since then, it’s fair to say I’ve been a bit of an emotional wreck – not just due to Hugo’s perseverance to stay in school (read: not get his troublesome arse suspended), but the year of proud moments and revelations that come, unexpectedly, with year 6.

I just wish someone had warned me last September that Year 6 would knock my mothering socks off – house captain nominations, singing at the O2, SATs revision, SATs exams, school residential trip, school productions, SATs results and leavers events. Not to mention the currently gentle lapping waves of hormones which will inevitably become a tsunami in the not too distant future!

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482 Days of Hope

Yesterday I cried. I cried on my own, into a pillow; I cried into my mum’s arms; I sobbed into Mr OG’s chest and I wept in the headmaster’s office. I wasn’t crying as England crashed out of the world cup. I wasn’t breaking down ‘cos Cas had pissed all over my side of the bed during his nap and I wasn’t overcome with emotion finding out one of the kid’s passports had expired when they need it to visit their State-side gran in 2 weeks. I was crying, hurting and lost – after 482 days/68 weeks/15 months and 25 days it felt like we were back at square one with Hugo – a two day school suspension.

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Back to School One-Stop-Shop with John Lewis

Now we’re nearly at the sumit an unsponsored, bare-footed Kilimanjaro climb, aka the summer holidays, I can feel the golden, hazy glow of back to school on the horizon. Banded around too early and “Back to School” can have the same Grinch-like affect as hearing “Last Christmas” in October – but at this stage, it not only offers parental relief, it can send me into cold sweats; with this mirage of hope, surely comes the dreaded trip to the concrete jungle of a shopping mall – the only place (until now) known to man to contain all required paraphernalia for that wonderful day on the calendar (yes, it might just be marked in red sharpie for added enthusiasm) “BACK TO SCHOOL”!

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