Sunday, 19 July 2009

Rain, More Rain and Graduation, a Bear and Some Snails.

Oh dear, almost a month has past since I last put any words on this page. I would love to say I have been incredibly busy, going out doing things, meeting people and so on, but unfortunately it wouldn't be true. I'd also like to say that I had been busy in the garden, but that wouldn't be true either since there has been so much rain in the last three weeks, at least a third of it was underwater. Fortunately the green house is on slightly higher ground and by leaping a few puddles and streams we could get there relatively dry to harvest tomatoes, cucumbers and an awful lot of reasonably hot chillies. Other vegetables are growing in raised beds which are pretty well drained, so no real damage to the brassicas and beans, roots crops are all looking good and the sweetcorn is something to behold. Rocket and lettuce grow like weeds. The only things that have struggled this year have been the roses.
Well that's what the garden has been doing. Sarah has been being Sarah, she did put us through it a bit about a month back, but she seems to have worked through whatever was bothering her and she is back on form again. Bill has been being Bill, a law unto himself, seemingly unaffected by the progress of the world around him. I sometimes wonder if he knows how lucky he is! Me, well I'm just sitting here writing this blog, what the hell more do you want!
I did get away from the happy home for a night last month for Hannah's graduation from Uni. Nice train ride down the Bath, back to the motherland, so to speak, met Hannah at the fudge shop she works in, watched her working, something I have never done before, brand new experience watching daughter actually producing something. That sounds a bit sarcastic, It's not meant to, but It really was the first time I'd seen her doing anything on her own. I know she's been doing it for a while now, but there I was watching it happen. As if I needed proof of her capability to find her own way in the world.. She has been doing that for years, since before she moved up from junior school! That is your unfortunate lot if you are the sibling of a disabled child, you need to learn to be independent earlier than most of your peers.. But actually seeing her in work was amazing, all the natural confidence I knew she had was in place, I actually felt the weight of worry over her coping with her independence lifting, And yes Hannah, I know I shouldn't have been worrying, but It's a mother thing, it happens, just ignore it and anyway it's gone now. It started raining about mid afternoon, It didn't really stop until I left Bath the following day, and most of the time you had to call it torrential.

So, Thursday, travel down to Bath on train, meet Hannah, spot of lunch, inevitable shopping which inevitably involved shoes, back to Hannah's house, meet new house mates, off to local for food and a beer, meet more of her mates, altogether, a good evening. Rain eased off a bit for walk home, which will be forever etched in my mind as the walk that involved more snails than I thought it possible to be on one road, and so many different sorts and sizes of snail, fascinating. the local was called The Bear, a fine establishment.

Friday, graduation day, two other girls living with Hannah are also graduating, tension a little high in the morning as they were both trying to organize parents to be in the right place at the right time and they seemed to be coming from all directions in more cars than seemed necessary, and all three of them were debating about what to wear and what to do with their hair, seemingly oblivious of the fact that an all encompassing gown and a seriously funny hat was going to cover everything up. Added to these worries of course, was the fact that Hannah was off to Tolpuddle for the Martyrs Festival as soon as the graduation ceremony was over, and supplies had to be purchased and left at the right place for a quick getaway. This involved an incredible amount of walking about but was achieved and everyone was more or less where they should be by 2.30 for the gown fitting, hat adjusting and photographing and general embarrassment that is the norm before the ceremony. Whoever the god of academe is, he/she graciously allowed the rain to stop whilst all this was going on and it didn't start falling again until most of the guests were in place in the huge marquee where the event was being held. As the students began to process in the wind got up and by the time the faculty were going through there was something close to a typhoon occurring outside. Fortunately it was a substantial and rather posh marquee with proper glass doors and fans and sort of chandelier lights, but even so, it was shifting a bit in the wind and the roof and the fancy drapery lining were flapping about quite noisily. There was upwards of 600 people in this marquee and I'm pretty sure most of us were thinking how bloody stupid we were all going to look sitting in a field in the rain when the big tent finally took off. Needless to say It didn't.

Cutting a long story short, Hannah got her degree and went off to celebrate in a field in Dorset, I got a lift back to Cardiff with the parents of one of Hannah's friends, and the least said about that the better, nice people though. So there you have it, The two best days I've had for some time, and certainly the best two days of the last month which is probably how long ago it is since I posted a blog that I actually sat down and wrote. To celebrate coming to the end of this and as a reward to anyone who makes it this far, here is the picture that sums up the whole graduation day.

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