Introducing Herbert the guinea pig
Oct27

Introducing Herbert the guinea pig

It is six weeks since our beloved guinea pig, Cedric, died. It feels like a long time ago. And all that time Henry has been on his own. Guinea pigs are sociable animals and shouldn’t be on their own and I was quite worried about Henry for a time. When Cedric was around (and especially when Cedric was ill), Henry seemed to eat non-stop. But he ate a lot less after Cedric died and started to lose weight. I’m pleased to say...

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Happy birthday, 17 year old son!
Oct20

Happy birthday, 17 year old son!

Happy 17th birthday to my beautiful boy. It’s been quite a year for you, as it has been for all of us. This time last year, we were looking forward to your GCSEs, your dream rugby tour and lots of athletics, following your recovery from a fractured pelvis. Well the GCSE exams got cancelled, as did the athletics competitions. And the dream rugby tour remained only a dream – initially postponed until 2021, but then cancelled...

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The Youth Talent Programme
Oct15

The Youth Talent Programme

It was way back in June that I saw a post about an interesting-sounding webinar from England Athletics. With not much else to do in June, I watched the webinar. It was about a programme for talented athletes based at Birmingham University. You had to be, I think, 18 to 23 to take part. So my son was too young. But, during the webinar, they mentioned another programme for younger athletes – athletes in year 12. That sounded very...

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Henry the lonely guinea pig
Oct13

Henry the lonely guinea pig

Losing a guinea pig is always hard. It’s hard for me, of course, but it’s also hard for the guinea pig who is left behind. Guinea pigs are sociable animals who need to be with other guinea pigs. In fact, in Switzerland it’s actually illegal to only own one guinea pig (although you can rent one if one of your pets dies). Like all the pairs of guinea pigs we’ve had over the years, Cedric and Henry were always together. If Cedric was in...

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The RAD Intermediate Foundation ballet exam
Oct08

The RAD Intermediate Foundation ballet exam

The RAD Intermediate Foundation ballet exam is not an exam many kids take. It runs alongside the usual grades (from Pre-Primary to Grade 8) and is around the equivalent of a Grade 5, but it is much more rigorous. Along with the subsequent exams – Intermediate and Advanced – it is a vocational qualification. As my daughter’s teacher summed it up: ‘It’s not a children’s exam’. The Intermediate...

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Good vets and bad vets
Oct06

Good vets and bad vets

If I asked you what vets were for, you would probably tell me they were to care for sick animals and try to make them better. That’s what I thought too. But when my own animal got ill a few weeks ago, I realised some of them were all about business and money. I’d had issues with my usual vet in the past and had actually taken Cedric to a different vet recently. I’d been worrying about him for a while and knew he...

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