Category domestic muttering

I rarely drag my offspring into my blog, partly for their privacy but more importantly because they are taller and stronger. But yesterday we watched our daughter graduate.  It’s not often our family can be rounded up for anything approaching critical mass (like herding cats really) but yesterday we managed it.   Touchingly, her brother bought a suit because, as he put it,  ‘I didn’t want to be pointed out in photos for decades to come as The One Who Couldn’t be Arsed to Make An Effort’. Everyone in our pack looked bright and shiny and very very happy.  As did everyone else, so multiply that by 250 family units.

I knew we’d feel pride but I hadn’t expected to be quite so moved by the ceremony.  There was a great speech, pomp,  a Senate that made us feel like we were in Hogwarts and stirring music.  Her father and I teared up regularly.     The beautiful university hall was packed with other shiny graduands and parents.  The swell of love and pride in the hall was palpable, if it could have been hooked up to the national grid, all those wind turbines could have taken the day off.


There were our beloved children, rightly having their moment of glory for extraordinary achievement.  All that work,  late nights, anguished phone calls, pressure, student meals (and I use that term advisedly) shared accom, bills,  these last three years were hanging in the air and just disappeared as they walked through the looking glass, shook hands and collected their degrees .  This is what it’ll be like watching them get married, or have their own children – this was A Moment.  We love our children, we want the world for them and in this moment they were absolutely going for it. Glossy, clever and confident, they completely deserve it.

So today we just have the memories, the merchandise and the t-shirt, but daughter, I salute you.


Regents Park, sunset
Quite topical this week.  Ian McMillan kicked it off on Desert Island Discs with John Cage’s 4’33” of silence which naturally was not an ideal radio choice, but it was mindful. I like the thought that we could all stop and listen to the fact that we and our surroundings were the music.  Radio 4, emboldened by this idea, put on some silent programming on Monday (surely not a soft test for cheap programming in view of budget cuts?) provoking a number of responses, mostly lyrical and some which appear to have been take down by the moderator.   Simple pleasures, domestic moments, moments of contemplation were surprisingly touching  as listeners described their quiet delight.
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Frozen peasThis weekend was spent taking the daughter back to Uni.  A ritual for late September which means getting up absurdly early, cramming the car with most of the house only to realise at the no turning back stage that something has been forgotten.  Passed lots of cars on the way up, clearly on a similar mission,with iPodded teens in the front seat and cars stuffed with duvets, the odd teddy and bags and bags of Stuff.  As it’s her final year we were pretty laid back in contrast to the parents in the supermarket later that morning.  Girls on a major spend with their mothers, two enthusiastic trolleys filled with everything from candles to toasters and masses of pantry food, boys trailing behind their mothers with them wailing – truly you will need more than one plate and a fork and some beans.  The supermarket staff prepared for their busiest day of the year.

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