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Playing with Lego Boost as a guitar & enjoying himself on his flexi school afternoon taken Nov 20, 2018 @ 18:41
Playing with Lego Boost as a guitar & enjoying himself on his flexi school afternoon
Rocking it….. taken Nov 20, 2018 @ 18:42
Rocking it.....
New car is good – although have to be careful if on road as one of neighbours has one as well…. taken Nov 23, 2018 @ 22:39
New car is good - although have to be careful if on road as one of neighbours has one as well....
Lounge coming together – new sofas (old ones wouldn’t make it up in modern town house) and 5.1 sound again finally taken Nov 23, 2018 @ 22:53
Lounge coming together - new sofas (old ones wouldn’t make it up in modern town house) and 5.1 sound again finally #movinghouse
Starting to look Christmassy. Sqk said this morning it didn’t feel like our house as he thought we had left tree behind …. happy we hadn’t taken Dec 01, 2018 @ 09:53
Starting to look Christmassy. Sqk said this morning it didn’t feel like our house as he thought we had left tree behind .... happy we hadn’t #adoption #movinghouse
Day 1: Sqk declares spaceship is great taken Dec 01, 2018 @ 09:59
Day 1: Sqk declares spaceship is great #LegoCityAdvent
Nothing quite like waking up to smell of freshly baked bread. Have bread maker again 🙂 taken Dec 02, 2018 @ 08:09
Nothing quite like waking up to smell of freshly baked bread. Have bread maker again :)
Family room mainly together now. Can you tell we are a gaming/techy family taken Dec 02, 2018 @ 21:46
Family room mainly together now. Can you tell we are a gaming/techy family #movinghouse
And monitors now at right height …. office space there finally taken Dec 03, 2018 @ 21:48
And monitors now at right height .... office space there finally #movinghouse
Wreath looking good on new front door taken Dec 04, 2018 @ 15:06
Wreath looking good on new front door #movinghouse #christmasdecor
For 2 cats who at times argue they are very friendly in our bed this morning – on top of my sweater…. taken Dec 08, 2018 @ 09:09
For 2 cats who at times argue they are very friendly in our bed this morning - on top of my sweater.... #catsofinstagram
Someone mind telling me where I am supposed to put my feet you two ….. taken Dec 10, 2018 @ 22:52
Someone mind telling me where I am supposed to put my feet you two ..... #catsofinstagram
Today is a sundried tomato & Parmesan bread day. Lovely smell in kitchen this morning taken Dec 16, 2018 @ 08:32
Today is a sundried tomato & Parmesan bread day. Lovely smell in kitchen this morning

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Flexi schooling this afternoon. One happy Sqk taken Oct 23, 2018 @ 15:00
Flexi schooling this afternoon. One happy Sqk
Sqk has a full set of storage finally taken Oct 27, 2018 @ 15:58
Sqk has a full set of storage finally #adoption #movinghouse
Self care for the last few weeks taken Nov 11, 2018 @ 19:45
Self care for the last few weeks #legoharrypotter #selfcare #adoption
New bedroom coming together taken Nov 14, 2018 @ 17:26
New bedroom coming together #movinghouse
Other wall of bedroom taken Nov 14, 2018 @ 17:26
Other wall of bedroom #movinghouse
New bedroom finished….I have wardrobe space again taken Nov 15, 2018 @ 21:48
New bedroom finished....I have wardrobe space again #movinghouse
Other bit of bedroom taken Nov 15, 2018 @ 21:50
Other bit of bedroom #movinghouse
My new car – now my commute is 5 minutes walking decided time to drop second car down to a £0 tax city car. Newer car & very low mileage for age. Cost to change covered by tax & insurance savaging plus not having to MOT & service my car in a month. DH picks it up Monday taken Nov 17, 2018 @ 19:20
My new car - now my commute is 5 minutes walking decided time to drop second car down to a £0 tax city car. Newer car & very low mileage for age. Cost to change covered by tax & insurance savaging plus not having to MOT & service my car in a month. DH picks it up Monday
Well finally have speakers back into lounge system. Plus plans for proper surround sound again…. taken Nov 18, 2018 @ 15:31
Well finally have speakers back into lounge system. Plus plans for proper surround sound again.... #movinghouse

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View out back of caravan. Lovely end to day taken Apr 14, 2018 @ 19:55
View out back of caravan. Lovely end to day #caravan #adoption
Batch lot of Delia’s Ragu. We had fresh last night & now to be frozen in Sqk size portions. Easy tea for a boy who loves bolognese. taken Apr 17, 2018 @ 16:21
Batch lot of Delia’s Ragu. We had fresh last night & now to be frozen in Sqk size portions. Easy tea for a boy who loves bolognese. #adoptionjourney
Watching Sqk have fun in one of his favourite places. Had a lovely walk around estate as well … taken Apr 21, 2018 @ 11:30
Watching Sqk have fun in one of his favourite places. Had a lovely walk around estate as well ...
Rocking headphones & hat look….. taken Apr 21, 2018 @ 12:29
Rocking headphones & hat look.....
Enjoying our favourite pastime … watching trains taken Apr 29, 2018 @ 10:55
Enjoying our favourite pastime ... watching trains #adoption
Getting ready to scoot …. taken May 06, 2018 @ 15:36
Getting ready to scoot ....

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Drone lady has joined today to go with yesterday’s helicopter. taken Dec 18, 2017 @ 17:57
Drone lady has joined #legocityadvent today to go with yesterday’s helicopter.
Today in snowboard boy is joined by chainsaw man taken Dec 20, 2017 @ 08:16
Today in #legocityadvent snowboard boy is joined by chainsaw man
Snowboard boy admiring the angel who has appeared in taken Dec 21, 2017 @ 08:09
Snowboard boy admiring the angel who has appeared in #legocityadvent
Drone lady now has a powered snowmobile to get around Snowboard boy is impressed…. taken Dec 22, 2017 @ 08:00
Drone lady now has a powered snowmobile to get around #legocityadvent Snowboard boy is impressed....
Well that is cake iced – T admitted last night he preferred royal icing so that is what we have. Now to let it dry then it can be finished if I can find stuff for top …. taken Dec 22, 2017 @ 11:00
Well that is cake iced - T admitted last night he preferred royal icing so that is what we have. Now to let it dry then it can be finished if I can find stuff for top ....
Running Sqk – out for a walk on first day of his holiday. No chance of wearing him out but he is pretending Henry-dog is with us taken Dec 22, 2017 @ 12:25
Running Sqk - out for a walk on first day of his holiday. No chance of wearing him out but he is pretending Henry-dog is with us
Nails done for first time in a year taken Dec 22, 2017 @ 22:38
Nails done for first time in a year #selfcare #adoption
Snowboard boy getting excited in by the arrival of a sleigh but where is the big man himself? taken Dec 23, 2017 @ 08:32
Snowboard boy getting excited in #legocityadvent by the arrival of a sleigh but where is the big man himself?
Lily & Sqk are finally making friends it seems…. taken Dec 23, 2017 @ 13:11
Lily & Sqk are finally making friends it seems....
Hear rustling behind me as wrapping presents. Look to see Lily happily ensconce herself in bag I used to get presents to dining room floor taken Dec 23, 2017 @ 14:33
Hear rustling behind me as wrapping presents. Look to see Lily happily ensconce herself in bag I used to get presents to dining room floor
The big man has arrived in to the delight of snowboard boy. taken Dec 24, 2017 @ 09:17
The big man has arrived in #legocityadvent to the delight of snowboard boy.
One very content Lily-cat….. taken Dec 24, 2017 @ 22:33
One very content Lily-cat..... #catsofinstagram
One happy Sqk this morning – snowman building later he tells me…. taken Dec 29, 2017 @ 08:54
One happy Sqk this morning - snowman building later he tells me....
Fire-bathing Lily-cat…. taken Dec 31, 2017 @ 22:30
Fire-bathing Lily-cat.... #catsofinstagram #catlife

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Writing practice … first time he has wanted to all holiday…. taken Sep 01, 2017 @ 13:30
Writing practice ... first time he has wanted to all holiday....
Well we have just purchased new caravan – T having passed extra license a fortnight ago. Pick up in 5 weeks… same dealer as we brought from 3 years ago… taken Sep 03, 2017 @ 13:23
Well we have just purchased new caravan - T having passed extra license a fortnight ago. Pick up in 5 weeks... same dealer as we brought from 3 years ago...
My current view …. someone hungry it appears…. taken Sep 16, 2017 @ 09:53
My current view .... someone hungry it appears....
Fire bathing cat … taken Sep 23, 2017 @ 20:54
Fire bathing cat ...
So proud of Sqk- getting this at end of week 3. Good listening 🙂 taken Sep 23, 2017 @ 21:22
So proud of Sqk- getting this at end of week 3. Good listening :) #adoption #school
One Happy Lily-Cat …. taken Sep 23, 2017 @ 21:44
One Happy Lily-Cat ....

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Reflections

Yesterday after sorting out a few things at work I got back to my office at work to discover the news that Gareth Marr has passed away. It has surprised me how much the loss of a man who I met three times in total – and heard speak twice has affected me. I was teary-eyed at the news – and in tears talking about it with T last night. I really do feel like I have lost a friend – and as the many tributes on twitter have shown so do so many of us in the adoption community.

I first met Gareth at the Adoption UK conference in November 2014 although we’d been corresponding on Twitter before then about adoption and education. Education has always been something I have a passion about due to growing up as the daughter of a teacher and now bothe the sister of a teacher and working in higher education myself. I am former school governor with special interest in PP and Gareth and I connected discussing the #adoptionschooltrain.

Every time I met him he was always well turned out with his trademark hat and that deep voice. When he talked you listened. Having met him in Birmingham when I heard he would be up to speak at the Yorkshire & Humber Adoption Consortium educaiton conference in May 2015 I immeidately invite dhim to speak to the local Adoption UK support group. We even got Ralph berry – a Bradford councillor with an interest in education and social services to come along. It is an evening that will live long in my memory and one that empowered a lot of us to go and talk to our schools. He certainly inspried me – my one regret is that T never had a the chance I had to engage with him.

When the education white paper came out earlier in this year and I realised that finally it would be recognised that our children in education terms have very similar outcomes to those in care (KS2 pass rate: 49% previously in care; 46% in care compared to 75% average nationally) I thought immediately how please Gareth would be. It was a bright spot for me in what has been a pretty horrible few months – little things with Sqk and major things with my work that I will blog about another time.

Now as I said on twitter yesterday we need to ensure that his legacy lives on.

Look how far we’ve come

Currently sat on my laptop in a  lodge at Center Parcs in Cumbria with a sleeping Sqk upstairs and a yawning DH behind me on sofa. Almost a year since we took Sqk on his first holiday – also to Center Parcs (Sherwood Forest that time). Not had any swans visiting us this time but still had a great 3 days.

Continue reading “Look how far we’ve come”

Reasons to be Cheerful

I know I know – other than Instagram posts I haven’t updated in ages (last post in November to be precise). Blame work then Christmas then work – second half of semester 1 is always busier and I came back on 5th January straight into exams – then a week in Tenerife then back to semester 2 and marking. However getting some semblance of normality back and Sqk is settled again after the aggro of changing childminder and Christmas. I am finding it interesting this semester balancing work and life – it is my 14 hours a week in the lab + 1 hr seminar semester so busy. Once you add in new PhD student (which a reason to be cheerful in itself – helps on promotion quest), research project kicking into high gear, 4 final year project students and two PGT students – well you can see why I wonder where my week goes – along with meetings galore (I do no have a Wednesday afternoon free to late March).

However, enough of work – on the other side of life Sqk is doing well although seemingly settled at nursery given he is pushing boundaries now – and apparently being defiant (getting ‘no’ lots end of this week). He is doing really well with new childminder who is working with us and hopefully helping us get there on toilet training. He did really well on our week away in Tenerife.

Continue reading “Reasons to be Cheerful”