Proud mum!

This is one of those moments when, as a parent, you feel like your heart will explode with pride!  I have just watched Izzy knock 2 seconds off her personal best in the 200m to win her heat at the London Indoor Games in a fabulous time of 30.75 seconds!  It was only the second time she had raced this distance and the first time indoors, against some of the fastest U13 athletes in the UK, who had travelled from all over London and the rest of the UK to compete.  This followed her second place in the 60m hurdles in an awesome 11.03 seconds –  her first time racing at this distance.  Deep respect, Izzy, you are one talented young lady and the most amazing daughter any mother could wish for J – I hope you didn’t mind me screaming you on from the side lines too much?!!  I guess I was a bit embarrassing especially at the beginning when I said, ‘remember to run, Izzy!’  OK, so that was a bit obvious … I do get a bit over excited!

Izzy went to the athletics meeting with her dad and they had a great day together – even fitting in a trip to the cinema between races (perhaps the popcorn gave you an extra boost)!  At times Izzy’s dad and I have our differences of opinion, but I think it is great that she has two divorced parents who think the world of her and she sees a completely different side of life with each of us, which makes her supremely adaptable in my view.

I must say it livened the day up no end to watch Isobel run in the 200m and was well worth the 2 hours of driving; Alan and I spent much of the day doing admin and then cleaning up our camper van, ready to put on the market.  We have bought a share in a narrow boat and decided that the camper van must go to another good home as we simply won’t have enough holiday time to use her.  Anyone interested?  She has been the most fantastic holiday home for the past four years – we have had adventures in Switzerland, France, Italy, Scotland, Wales and, of course, England and we will miss the freedom of just travelling with our ‘snail shell’ on our back, stopping wherever we fancy, but the boat share will bring new adventures.  For any family or couple looking for really exciting, good value holidays, Sally Ann, the camper van will give you these in spades!  Still, there is nothing more certain in life than change and we’re looking forward to our next adventures …

Now on our way back to MK from London and going to stop for a Sunday roast – Izzy has certainly earned one and her dad, step-dad and I (her recycled family!) are all happy to join her for a civilised pub dinner to celebrate her success!

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Life as the working mother of an Under 13 County Athlete!

Have you ever felt like you’ve done a day’s work before you even stepped out of the door?  Well, this morning was one of those days!  It’s just gone 9am and we are on our way to the County Sportshall championships at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, where Isobel is competing for a place in the regional team.

So, the alarm went off at 6.15am, just like weekdays (must say that leaves me feeling a little cheated of sleep as Saturday normally allows a bit of a lie in!), Alan kindly brought Isobel and me breakfast in bed (yes, we are lucky!), breakfast TV providing background information to try to coax the brain to life.  7.30am and the Asda shop is due.  It’s in good time at 7.35am, thankfully, because it contains the foodstuffs needed for our pack lunches – phew!  Alan heads downstairs in my mauve dressing gown (it’s the warmest) and his large campervan slippers to open the door to the Asda man (I guess they’re trained to expect the unexpected!).  I drag myself out of bed into the next warmest dressing gown and my sensible plum-coloured sheepskin bootie slippers (Christmas present J) to help unpack.

Shopping gets unpacked, with me certainly more like a zombie than a woman.  Then on auto pilot, I prepare pack lunches while Alan makes more tea – is that a ‘house’ or decaff he asks.  ‘House’ is a nickname for proper, fully caffeinated tea, that he coined from when I was in my usual morning state (somnambulant!) once, and he asked, ‘is that proper tea you want?’ and I thought he was asking about ‘property’ – hence ‘house’ tea – oh, the joys of the English language!

So shopping delivered and unpacked, lunches made, then Isobel’s bag to prepare, as she is staying overnight with Phil, her dad, who is taking her to tomorrow’s London Indoor Games at the Lee Valley Centre (great, a day for Alan and me to find time to clean Sally Ann, our campervan in preparation for selling her – sad, but necessary to make way for our new narrowboat share and convertible Beetle).  I realise that Isobel only has one pair of dry athletics trousers, the others are sitting in the washing machine wet, so need to be given to her dad to dry over a chair in the hotel overnight (lucky they’re quick dry material!). Rest of bag is packed with only relatively slight difficulty at finding her jeans, which she has ‘tidied’ alongside her other clothes in the bottom of the wardrobe!  Anyway, packing is achieved before the 9am deadline!

Time for a 30 second shower – what mother hasn’t perfected the ‘speed shower’?  And suitable navy trousers and white polo shirt found for the athletics officiating duties ahead.  A flask of peppermint tea made and packed alongside our lunches and Alan puts everything in the car, along with a package containing the mail order spikes that didn’t fit Izzy and that need to be returned today.  I run around the house a few more times in an inefficient fashion before running out of the door!

We’re on our way, complete with hats in case the freezing sunny weather gives a chance on the way back to have the top down on ‘Poppy’, our beautiful new Beetle convertible … arriving with 15 minutes to spare before the event starts at 10am.

About three hours later … On the way back from Stoke Mandeville – phew! Wow it is quite something to judge the foot position, legality of a shot putt and instruct over 100 U13 & U15 boys and girls to go and retrieve their shot after they have putt it (is that a verb? To putt?). And isn’t there always one parent coach who has an issue with your judging?! A very unpleasant man from Aylesbury had a go at Alan for getting some scores wrong (in his opinion).  In trying to offer an olive branch and offering for the one girl he’d complained about to have another turn, my efforts backfired and he said there were three scores he wasn’t happy with, but he couldn’t say which 3! Just wanted a moan I think!  There is always one, isn’t there?  Frustrating and very unprofessional – athletics depends on volunteers, and we were all doing our absolute best.  It’s a bit disheartening to deal with people like him, but I guess it’s all in a day’s ‘work’!

Anyway the car ride home with Poppy’s top down in the frosty sunshine helped considerably to lift the mood!

As for Izzy, great performances all round in very stiff competition (the U13 girls category had about 3xs as many competitors as the other age / gender groups, so no medal, but a very close 2nd place in the vertical jump.  Well done, talented daughter – hopefully you will make the regional U13 Sportshall team; if not, you still have next year as you’re still in the lower age bracket for the U13s.  Very proud mum whatever the outcome – it is great to have such an enthusiastic, talented and happy daughter! A brief stop in Leighton Buzzard to post back the wrong sized spikes and then home for a cup of tea, followed shortly after by an Asda ready meal curry for two and a session of The Voice on the TV.  And breathe …

Life and writing!