2018 at the Shaws

Our main event this year was Emily moving to High School. The process seems to take most of the year with working up to Sats, attending school open events, choosing school and then all the information events at the new school. In our part of Leeds they do transition before the summer holidays so that they are settled in and don’t worry through the summer. It does work well, I know Emily would have been very anxious all summer without it. She settled in really well and did well in her SATS. She is becoming very independent catching the bus to school, organising herself and teaching herself to tie her tie by watching you tube!

The novelty of High school has begun to wear off now and she complains about some of the lessons and things they have to do. She hates French, but I think a lot of it is due to the teacher. I hope that next year she will have someone else and will enjoy it more, she liked learning Spanish at Primary school. Despite not liking it she does seem to be picking it up quickly. On a Wednesday they have to be at school at 7.30 for an extra class in reading, she hates that as we have to be up at 6am! They normally start school at 8.20, but with a short lunch break the school day ends at 2.30 and she is home by 3.

We had a parent’s evening a few weeks ago and all the teachers we saw were pleased with her and said she works hard. She has made some new friends. There were only 8 went from her primary school and there is only one boy in her class from her primary and he is the trouble maker! Yesterday she came home with a postcard saying she is a valuable member of the form and has made a great start at High School.

Outside of school Emily keeps busy with her Gymnastics and groups run by the local church, she is out 3 evenings a week. She wants to start music lessons, so we are going to visit a music centre after Christmas. It is based at her school on a Saturday morning. We don’t really want to commit to weekends, but will have to see what they can offer. I am not sure if Emily will want to be in school 6 days a week either!

Just 3 weeks into the new school term the whole of Emily’s year went on a Resilience camp, it’s compulsory and paid for by school. It is 3 days camping and “resilience” activities. They all hated it and said it was hard work and not fun, but I don’t think it was meant to be fun, it sounded like a boot camp! The school is very strict and expects them to work hard. In the summer term they get chance to go on camp to France. It is a much more fun camp, but they are still pushed with long walks and cycle rides. Emily is going, but many aren’t going. Some were put off by resilience camp, or don’t want to be away from home for a week, but I am sure there will be many who can’t afford to go, which is sad as they would probably benefit much more.

We had a lovely holiday in Menorca this year. It was during the really hot weather, but with a sea breeze and staying out of the sun at the hottest times we managed ok. We got flights from Leeds/Bradford and then had a 15 min transfer in Menorca, so it was perfect. We had a great view from our balcony and were very grateful for a north facing room, many of the other guests said their rooms were too hot. We stayed in the capital Mahon, which is a huge harbour, with very expensive boats! We hired a car for a few days to get around, being such a small island nowhere was too far to drive.

I continue to plod along with my ME, not much changes. It looks like my daily help will be leaving in the New Year, it will be difficult to get a replacement, but I am trying not to think about it much for now as I don’t know when it will happen.

I keep making cards and gifts when I can, but I am not able to sell them, so it puts me off. As usual I ran out of time to make Christmas cards, I need to make them all year round, I think. I did make some for Emily’s school fair which was at beginning of December, but I don’t know if they sold as we weren’t able to go as we were in Sheffield for Rob’s sisters 40th birthday.

My Mum is keeping very active and is always out and about with someone. Earlier in the year she had the back garden landscaped and is waiting for the gardeners to return and do the front garden. It makes the garden much more manageable and somewhere nice for her to sit, when she is there!

There is a train from Sheffield to our little local station, so Mum comes up to visit some weekends. This means we don’t have to go to Sheffield as much. It was getting difficult to go anyway as our cat is getting very old (19 ½ ) and the person who feeds him is understandably worried about being responsible for him. He is doing well and is a happy chap, but he does have off days and we worry about him a lot. He was very unhappy when we went to Menorca and it really upset the friend who feeds him.

With Emily’s birthday being only 6 weeks after Christmas we have already booked for a pizza making party at a local pizza restaurant, they all get to make their own pizzas. I can’t believe she will be 12.

Well I think that is all our news. Hope you have a lovely Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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