Tag Archives: Bury

Midsummers Day

We had a wonderful day yesterday spending time with my sister’s family. She has 2 young boys who Poppy and Hugh love playing with. The weather behaved for us too in the end, and we had a lovely summer’s afternoon.

DSC_0572 DSC_0591 DSC_0597 DSC_0616Today we walked round a local reservoir – The Wayoh – with my brother and his family. His daughter, Alice, is a hoot – non stop chatter and she smothers us in kisses and hugs – she’s my kinda girl! Of course the 3 of us Americans were completely unprepared – no waterproofs and no walking shoes – but we survived!

DSC_0643 DSC_0645 DSC_0654 DSC_0659 DSC_0718 DSC_0723Jeans – J.Crew // Top – AllSaints // Sneakers – Nike // Body Warmer – Mum’s // Scarf – Primark (old)

We’re off on another magical adventure tomorrow, and then I’ll be shopping in Manchester on Tuesday – hooray! We’re meeting up with some of my lovely UK blogging friends and I can’t wait to see them. I also can’t wait to get into TopShop to try these beauties on!

The Nadia in tan or black Рpersonally I am loving the tan Рvery good tribute to the Chloés and I love the heel detail.

Nadia black Nadia tan


And the Kaiser – comes in tan, black and silver. Again I love the tan. These are my favorite lace/tie flats that I have seen. I love the fact there is no lacing over the foot – very simple and elegant. Almost like a Vince Nina with ties!

Kaiser Kaiser silver

Finally a little announcement. Many of you will have noticed that Poppy (the blog is named after her), my 9 year old daughter has a keen interest in fashion too. Well we decided it is time that she contributes to the blog given how many of you have daughter’s of a similar age. So watch out this week for a new page appearing on the menu above. Poppy will be posting a favorite outfit of the week along with a little explanation of why she loves it. I sense a blogging coup if I’m not careful ūüėČ

Poppy in ZaraDress – Zara (now on sale)


My first shopping trip back in the UK!

Yes I’m here! Back in Bury! I had the quickest transatlantic flight ever on Thursday night thanks to 165 mile/hr tail winds! Unfortunately that meant there was little time for sleep on the flight so I spent yesterday feeling quite fuzzy and jet lagged. Nothing that a good sleep couldn’t fix thankfully. So this morning I was up bright and early ready to head into Bury with my Mum. The weather didn’t disappoint – snow, rain and wind as captured from the car this morning:

downloadFirst stop was M&S where I collected¬†the¬†flares that everyone is talking about. I haven’t tried them on yet but will keep you posted once I do. They are out of stock again online but Bury had several left on the racks in various sizes. Pop back online regularly too as when I ordered mine it looked like there had been a new delivery – so more may be expected. There is also 20% off online right now using this code FEB15EM till the 23rd February. By all accounts they fit true to size. (*update I got 12 regular and they fit great plus there are now 12s back in stock online!)

flaresI was really impressed with some of the clothes in M&S, even in our little Bury store. The shoes were what surprised me most though! These boots are such a fabulous ‘save’ version of my ‘splurge’ AllSaints Alba boot – just ¬£39.50 compared to the more than $200 (in the sale too!) that I paid for the Albas. The M&S version are also available in navy.

platform M&S boots M&S boot IMG_1879 IMG_1878When wearing them you would be hard pushed to tell the difference – and just to prove a point here are my Alba boots:



I snagged a great skincare bargain today as well with some Indeed Labs products. They are still listed at full price on the Boots website, but great value with the 3 for 2 offer. Plus the Hydraluron products in my local Boots store were all on clearance reduced to £12.50 from £24.99 AND they were 3 for 2 Рso make sure you check out your local stores too!

Hydraluron-Moisture-Jelly Hydraluron

As for what I have been wearing – well warm clothes mainly! I left Atlanta under a snow warning at 15 degrees Celsius and arrived in Bury to sleet and snow so thank goodness I packed the woolies! I did wear my new flares from ASOS the other day for running errands before I left. If you don’t mind distressed jeans these are superb, great value at $38.50, and stretchy with quite a high rise – these are a 29 and fit fabulously.

ASOS flafresJeans – ASOS // Sneakers – Nike Air Max // Jumper – Boden

¬†They may not fit so well, however, after all the Monster Munch and pork pies that I am planning to consume while I am here ūüėČ


This can’t be Bury – I’m wearing shorts!

Ok it rained today but it’s supposed to be fab tomorrow as well! ¬†Fingers crossed as my little sister turns 40! ¬†We’re planning on taking the children for a day out and a picnic, then on Thursday I get her all to myself to do lunch and shop with a belly full of wine;)

We arrived Sunday morning and it has been fun ever since.  Poppy and Hugh are having a great time with cousin Alice.  Three kids are REALLY loud together Рespecially two Southern accents and one very strong Bolton accent:)

DSC_0036.jpgI’ve been rubbish with outfit photos since I arrived – sorry – but here is one from Friday when I got my hair cut shorter and went darker thanks to Chadd and Gina at A La Mode! ¬†I love these Sam Edelman sandals – again I took a US 8 in these and they fit beautifully. ¬†They are a great platform that give me some extra height without compromising comfort.

Mango topShoes – Sam Edelman // Jeans – Zara (old) // Top – Mango (on sale now)


I’ll be back with plenty of photos over¬†the next couple of days celebrating with my sister!


2013 family vacation is underway.

We made it! ¬†I have to admit I was exhausted before I even got on the plane. ¬†Hugh and Poppy were so excited that the first thing they asked at 7am was ‘are we going yet’. ¬†Only another 12 hours of waiting, and answering that question then! ¬†Finally we were on our way, bags packed with what I know to be way too many clothes – I even managed to sneak some extra shoes in their bags;) ¬†For the first time we actually departed from the new Atlanta International terminal. ¬†In the past we have checked in there and then had to get the airport train all the way back to the old terminals which just seemed like a complete waste of time. ¬†This time we got to explore the sparkly new terminal, with a food court to rival those of the best airports in the World. ¬†I could quite happily have spent an hour or so in Ecco drinking wine and eating flatbread. ¬†Instead we had homemade ham and cheese butties which I think Poppy and Hugh appreciated far more.


My travel attire: Trousers – James Perse cargo trousers (similar here) // T-shirt – Gap // Sneakers – Golden Goose (I ended up wearing my hi-tops though – a story for another time!)

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After an hour delay due to bad weather we were on our way, finally!



We arrived yesterday to glorious weather in Bury. ¬†So sunny in fact I managed to recover from my jet lag lying in the garden. ¬†Just perfect! ¬†I also got to try out my early birthday present from my Husband. ¬†Looks like he picked up on my not-so-subtle hints. ¬†My fabulous man presented me with a new Nikon D3200 before I left. ¬†I am SO excited to have a great camera. ¬†It’s the perfect entry level DSLR – even though it has all the bells and whistles, it has an ‘Auto’ setting for when I’m feeling lazy:) ¬†I have, however, read the instructions and have tried out some of the various settings.

Nana and Grandad have converted their serene garden into Alton Towers.


I found the perfect objects for some still lifes:

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Unsurprisingly the weather here is ‘changeable’. ¬†I started the morning with a run in the sun. ¬†I’m not sure Bury rush hour traffic was ready for bright pink hot pants though. ¬†I suddenly felt rather self conscious.

My bare arms have since been covered with a grey cashmere cardigan, and I’m adding layers as the morning progresses.

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T-shirt – Gap // Scarf – Marks and Spencer’s (from my last visit – has a bike printed on it – I love it! // Jeans – Gap // Ballet pumps – navy Tory Burch Eddie flats

We’re looking after cousin Alice today. ¬†I’ve a feeling Nana and I will be on the wine soon.


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My packing conundrum.

It never gets any easier. ¬†Every time I go across the Atlantic and come back with a bag of full of unworn clothes I tell myself that next time I will be more clever with my packing, more ruthless, and more discerning with my picks. ¬†I’ll create a packing strategy that I can turn to again and again. ¬†But no, regardless of my strategy, it is always a challenge. ¬†This time I thought that if I picked a color palette – two neutrals and two brights – it would be easy to just select items that create outfits using those colors. ¬†It worked, sort of, but I guess I underestimated how many brown, navy, orange and pink items I have. ¬†An added complication this time around is packing for two destinations with two potentially (hopefully not!) different climates – Bury and Northern Cyprus.

I have learned some things over the years:

1. The clothes need to be easy to pack and light – they need to be wrinkle free at my destination.

2. They need to be easy to wash and dry quickly.

3. Comfort is key – no tight waistbands indicating my increasing waist line while I’m away – I can repent at leisure on my return.

4.  Regardless of destination they need to be adaptable for different temperatures Рcool in the heat, and suitable for layering in the cooler weather.

5.  I must be able to wear them casually, and then dress them up with a few trinkets, for beach to bar wear Рor sofa to bar wear in Bury:)

I’m not asking too much surely? ¬†As it turns out no. ¬†I have discovered my clothing partner when it comes to travel clothes. ¬†James Perse.

The iconic West Coast brand creates fabulous soft cotton tops, skirts and trousers that are cool in all senses of the word. ¬†Low maintenance, well designed, quality clothing. ¬†I became obsessed back in February when I traveled back to England in their fine cord surplus trousers – super comfy and stylish – I wore them with sneakers and rolled up with courts/pumps. ¬†They are top of my list for this trip as again I can adapt them for day or night and wear them with sandals or flip flops. ¬†Perfect for Bury Market, and respectable enough for visiting Mosques in N.Cyrpus. ¬†Here’s how I wore them in February. ¬†I also have a couple of James Perse t-shirt dresses that are so soft and stretchy – with great ruching that hide all those lady bumps. ¬†They are comfortable enough for wearing in the house, and then I can add a statement necklace and some sandals and wear them to the Hare and Hounds.

Now at full price – the brand ain’t cheap, but hallelujah – just in time for my trip they’ve launched a James Perse Private Sample Sale!! ¬†Many of the items are 50% off and my Husband has just stocked up on menswear this morning. ¬†I’m procrastinating but have the following in my cart:

Heathered double V ringer dress РI just love this style of dress.  The skirt is ruched and double layered too.


The stripe pencil skirt – similar in style to the skirt I’m wearing today – with ruching you can make it the length you want. ¬†These are SO comfortable and can be easily dressed up or down.


5 Pocket jersey pant Рsimilar in style to the surplus trousers I have, these can easily be rolled up or worn long with sneakers.  I think these are the perfect holiday trouser.


My favorite Рthe soft v multi layer t-shirt dress.  I have a capped sleeve black dress like this that I adore.  These dresses are so versatile Рand I love the white.  I will wear this with my Newburys, Golden Goose, sandals and flip flops.  It is the perfect dress for every occasion and the white is perfect for summer to show off that golden tan!


The parachute poplin sailing pants – my Husband bought the men’s version – I adore these in white.


The cap sleeved casual tee – 100% cotton – t-shirts don’t get much better than this – I love the scoop neck with my bigger boobs – far more flattering than a crew neck.


Sheer slub casual tee in bluebell – I am in love with this color – in fact anything blue right now – completely out of character for me!



Today I am wearing a James Perse skirt, that I bought in their last sample sale, to try and demonstrate how versatile their clothes are.  Later today I can slip the jacket and boots off and just add flip flops for a comfy casual look at home.  I wish you could feel how soft this cotton is!

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 Skirt РJames Perse // Jacket РZara jersey blazer (old) // Boots РSam Edelman Petty II (on sale) // T-shirt РBoden

Enjoy browsing but don’t wait too long to hit order – once news about these sales gets out stuff sells fast! ¬†Oh and fyi – I’m a US 6/8 and my skirt, dresses and trousers are all James Perse size 2 – they have plenty of give in them. ¬†One sweatshirt I have with a little less stretch is a size 3.

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Local girl done good.

Wooo hhooo – I’m thrilled to have been featured in the Bury Times this week (page 9)!!! And almost a full page:)

Bury Times

I had a photo session a couple of weeks ago with the lovely Angela Morris – I’m so happy she could help me out on such a FREEZING cold morning. ¬†Here are the results:

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Jacket – Zara (old) // Jeans – H&M Boyfriend jeans // Shoes – Nine West Austin // T-shirt – Ted Baker // Bag – Boden

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You can’t beat jeans and a jacket.

I don’t know why I don’t just stick to this simple formula:

jeans + jacket = comfort + confidence

Regardless of the type of jeans Рand I have all styles from bell bottoms to skinnies, nothing beats the simplicity of just adding a t-shirt and jacket to provide a relaxed yet pulled together look.  I should remember this every day when I get dressed.  I have a passion for loud, colorful trousers, as you all know, but jeans are my true love and I should never forget that.

Wearing these 501s is so nostalgic for me – they elicit all kinds of emotions when I put them on. ¬†Even though these are newish they take me back to the late 80’s when I would borrow a friend’s pair that were perfectly worn and ripped (I think they were Sara’s that she had ‘borrowed’ off her boyfriend?). ¬†Tightened around the waist with a big leather belt, that needed extra holes back then, I would wear them nearly every weekend in the summer of ’88. ¬†I thought I looked the dogs b*ll*cks in them. ¬†I even remember the green bat wing t-shirt I used to like to wear with them, and I still wear YSL Paris perfume that was my favorite back then. ¬†I can see us all now – Bury Grammar Sixth Form – in our weekend common room at¬†The Hare & Hounds.

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Jeans РLevi 501s // Shoes РTory Burch Eddie flats in musk // T-shirt РGap (now on sale) // Jacket РRiver Island

What clothes are nostalgic for you?


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Knitted jackets.

It’s hard to shop in Bury and Bolton. ¬†Nothing to do with the stores or the towns themselves – in fact both have been greatly improved, though it is a little sad to see more and more empty store fronts. ¬†Does everyone go to the Trafford Center these days? ¬†Maybe we need help from Mary Portas? ¬†Don’t get me started about Bury Market. ¬†It used to be the destination for food – pies, vegetables, deli meats and of course black pudding. ¬†Now it seems to specialize in tat.

Anyway back to why it’s hard to shop. ¬†It is bloody freezing here (though sun was seen today). ¬†It makes it impossible to imagine anywhere being too warm for a jacket, or furry boots for that matter. ¬†instead of lusting after bright colored shorts and skirts I have been drawn to woolly knits, big coats and scarves. ¬†I have to keep reminding myself that these items won’t get worn in Atlanta till Christmas – plus they’re not packing friendly.

On a couple of instances though I have managed to persuade myself that it may get worn through Spring Рmaybe even in the air conditioned office in the Summer.  Hence I may be found guilty of the following purchases.

There is a plethora of knitted biker jackets in the stores.  I love knits and I love biker jackets so guess what РI am like a bear to a honey pot when it comes to these gorgeous things.  The first I spotted was in M&S.  I was generally unimpressed again with M&S Рthey are trying to be all things to all people Рbut this cardigan was lovely and jumped right out at me from the racks.  So lovely I got both the cream and the black.  I had to go up a size, but the only review online also says it fits a bit small Рespecially the arms.

M&S cream MandS black


Mum and I went in River Island yesterday. ¬†I remember vividly when our Chelsea Girl in Bury became a River Island – so it makes me giggle that they are now proudly displaying their ‘year founded’ on the clothing labels – 1988 – seems like only yesterday when I am back here. ¬†I probably haven’t been in one since if I’m honest – and I only went in yesterday for research purposes. ¬†Well of course I saw something I needed. ¬†Now I might not get as much wear out of this until Fall, but the color, the knit and the style made it too perfect to leave behind. ¬†It is lovely and you might see me in it tomorrow if I remember to take photos when I go shopping with my sister.

River Island Jacket


Tips on TARDIS-like packing are warmly welcome.


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21 years later.

My final repost for now – dedicated to MM – thanks for all your love and support xx

First published May 2nd 2012:

21 years ago today MM and I became an ‘item’.¬† I’d known him for a while beforehand but a romance with him, quite frankly, had never crossed my mind.¬† He is 5 years older than me and back then, at the tender age of 19, a 24 year old PhD student seemed well out of my dating league.¬† We met while we were both students at the University of St. Andrews.¬† He was studying for his PhD in Byzantine History and I was doing my undergraduate degree.¬† We both worked in The Central bar where I knew him as somewhat of a ladies man, schmoozing the female punters with his extensive vocabulary, sardonic sense of humor, and couldn’t care less attitude.¬† That was until May 2nd 1991.

I was in the university library studying for exams when I saw him sauntering down the corridor in his laissez-faire manner.¬† I kept my head down not wanting to have an awkward conversational encounter with him but in the corner of my eye I could see him approaching.¬† I made a couple of whispered, flippant remarks and he asked if I’d be in the bar later.¬† Well of course I would be – even when I wasn’t working pulling pints of 80 Shilling I was in there enjoying a Newcastle Brown – so I thought nothing of it.¬† Later that afternoon when my brain was overloaded with glycolysis and other fun stuff, I perched myself in the corner of the bar by the water tap – my usual spot.¬† MM wandered in not long after – he lived upstairs so was often popping in for his caffeine fix in between translating Ancient Greek texts.¬† He looked surprised to see me there so early and I was equally surprised that he sat down next to me with his Gualoises legers and ordered a drink.¬† There were plenty of his football buddies around so why would he choose to sit with me?¬† I was just someone he worked with?¬† Our mutual friend S. was working behind the bar and at this stage he offered me a large Moscow Mule – why not I thought – it was a thirsty Thursday after all.¬† Time passed, cigarettes were smoked, laughs were had, the bar filled up and S. kept the drinks flowing.¬† Now it is 21 years ago and the blue label makes it a little hazy, but for some reason we must have started flirting a little and before I knew it MM was standing on his bar stool telling me and every Yah in St. Andrews that he was ‘infatuated’ with me.¬† I was caught quite off guard.¬† Little did I know that he and S. had been together all afternoon plotting some kind of rendezvous with me.¬† It appears he had ‘fancied’ me for sometime – which completely blew me away as, as I mentioned earlier, my romantic radar (which was always operational) hadn’t even detected him as a potential suitor.¬† Well as the story goes we embarked on a very intense love affair walking the beaches of St. Andrews and then of course drinking in the many bars to keep warm.¬† The summer of 1991 led to a separation due to summer jobs and then I went off to Lisbon for 3 months to study.¬† In those 3 months, in the days before easy access to email, he wrote a long hand letter to me EVERY day.¬† I kept those letters for years but they were lost when some containers were stolen on the move to Atlanta.

Through all the ups and downs (mostly ups) of the past 21 years he is still my best friend, the love of my life and he can still irritate the hell out of me!:)

We truly are evidence that opposites attract and you could not pick two people more different to fall in love:

1. He is a Southerner from ‘posh’ Cheltenham and I am a Northerner from ‘not so posh’ Bury.

2. He had traveled extensively and lived abroad, I didn’t visit London until I was 22.

3. He is incredibly well read and still reads The Economist every week cover to cover, I grew up on Enid Blyton and enjoy my US Weekly every week.

4. He was a history student, I was a science student.

5. He is terrified of conforming, I am terrified of not conforming.

6. He’s very secretive, I have never kept a secret.

7. He saves all his money and then buys lavish gifts, I spend all my money on me.

8. He never raises his voice, I yell.

9. He doesn’t ever worry about not making an effort with people or people not liking him, I am a people pleaser.

10. He is Scorpio, I am Leo.

Over the years he has learned to conform a little and I have enjoyed not conforming a little more, so as in all good relationships we have met in the middle – if not a little closer to my side – I don’t like to compromise too much:)

My Man back in 1990 standing in Ajax football stadium with the University of St. Andrews football team.  From Left to Right: Martin (one of our Best Men), my Brother-in-law (our other Best Man), and MM in his usual get up back then of ripped Levi 501s, red Converse boots, bandana and oversize cardigan. 

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Sanctas clavis fores aperit


First published on January 30th 2012:

During our dinner on Saturday evening we got into the dangerous conversational territory of schooling in Altanta.¬† As couples, MM and I have fairly different opinions from our dinner companions regarding the schooling of our children.¬† We support our public schools and believe that if more and more ‘middle class’ families like ourselves support the state, public schools in the City of Atlanta the better they will become.¬† Many other families in Atlanta use the good elementary schools but then send their children to private middle and high school which can cost around $20k per child per year.¬† Our perspective is that with the five degrees we have between us, their exposure to international travel, and our general involvement in our children’s education – they will be just fine going through the Atlanta Public School system.¬† However, when someone starts telling me how atrocious the high school is, I can’t help but question my decision.¬† It always makes me revisit my schooling and wonder if things had been different would I have ‘turned out’ any different?

I was educated in the UK and my primary education was significantly different from my children’s.¬† To begin with I was raised in a tiny village near Bury in Lancashire.¬† There was one Church, a newsagent, a corner shop and a recreation ground and we lived in a 2 up 2 down terraced, stone cottage – all five of us!¬† The primary school was across the street and there were probably only around 60-80 children in the whole school.¬† Everyone knew everyone.¬† I remember it fondly, though because the school was so small it meant you could never really avoid your nemesis.¬† When I do look back I don’t ever remember being told, or feeling, that I was smarter than anyone else, or that I possessed any outstanding ability – in fact my Mum still tells me the story when one of my teachers told her I had ‘absolutely no number sense’.¬† Maybe I didn’t back then but I ended up doing my Maths O’level a year early so I must have caught up…It just demonstrates how tricky it is to predict your child’s ability.¬† Anyway at the age of 10 I was entered to sit the entrance exam for Bury Grammar School for Girls (BGSG).¬† I think the intention was for me to have a practice run for the following year, and I’m sure Mum and Dad didn’t expect me to pass – but I did and I was accepted to enter into the last year of the preparatory school which basically meant I was a ‘shoe in’ for the senior school.

St. Mary's Church

Hawkshaw Village Church

I remember being very excited – especially about the uniform as primary school hadn’t required one.¬† I don’t ever remember thinking about the implications, for me or my parents, of leaving my little primary school a year early in order to attend a fee paying, all girls school in town.¬† It soon dawned on me though in 1981 when I started my new educational chapter.¬† My eyes were opened as I met girls of different backgrounds, races and religion.¬† It took me a while to figure out why a number of girls went to different rooms for morning assembly – then one day I was informed they were off to Jewish and Muslim prayers.¬† I had no idea what ‘being Jewish’ meant.¬† My best friend was the daughter of a wealthy pediatrician and I remember going to her house for the first time – I never knew a girl could have so much ‘stuff’ of her own.

BGS logo

I’m never sure if I was genetically wired to be competitive or if BGSG developed it, but I always wanted to do my best and be in the top of my class.¬† I hated failure, and though I was never reprimanded for an occasional crummy grade I carried the shame of it, swearing next time would be better.¬† Maybe it was the fact that we were all ‘high achievers’ – as we’d all passed the entrance exam we were all obviously relatively smart – so the bar had been raised and I had to step up my game.¬† I also think girls versus girls made everything more intense as we couldn’t fall back on “well boys always do better in maths/science tests”.


Bury Grammar School (Girls)

I went through school never really being comfortable in my own skin – but who is with all that teenage angst?¬† I moved from clique to clique, never really feeling settled, and I found my real happiness in studying.¬† By this stage I think my Mum and Dad were somewhat out of their depth academically, and with little parental involvement I did well in all my subjects.¬† In my desire to feel included I auditioned over and over again for the school choir and finally the music teacher took pity on me.¬† Everyone was in choir – all the cool girls – and the music teacher had amazing enthusiasm, but executed favoritism like no other.¬† She adored her ‘special’ girls – the rest of us were ignored, and a mild inconvenience.¬† It was similar to that in P.E. – if you were anything less than brilliant at hockey or netball you didn’t stand a chance of being noticed.¬† Now, as an adult, this behavior really bothers me – I actually find it strange that they were allowed to get away with it, but then BGSG always needed to be seen as excelling, not just in academics.

Roger Kay Hall

Morning Assembly

Interestingly, I recently read Janet Lawley’s “A Ballet of Swans”, the previous headmistress’s tale of BGSG, from its founding to the present day.¬† Though some of the references were familiar, I have to say no fond feelings were awakened – it actually made me feel a little prickly that only 10% or so of the girls there, when I was a student, got the full support and attention that we all deserved.¬† Elitism was rife, and if you weren’t applying for Oxford or Cambridge at A’level time you really weren’t of much interest.¬† Maybe I harbor some resentment as no one told me what I needed to hear, and what I tell my children every day – “you are more than capable, don’t be afraid”.¬† If a teacher had just taken the time to tell me that in my moment of weakness then I may have taken a different path.

So was a private, all girls school good for me?¬† Maybe it helped shape me and make me more competitive but I think I discovered my true self at University.¬† Did I get a great education?¬† Yes, but I never really knew what to do with it, we were given no life lessons.¬† Were they happy times?¬† They were okay, but I couldn’t wait to get as far away from everyone I knew when I went to University – I was the only one in my year that went to St. Andrews – and I was just fine with that.

Hence, when it comes to my children’s education my greatest concern is that they have the opportunity to discover their talents and be true to themselves – not what others think is ‘best’ for them.¬† As a parent my role is to be hands on, without meddling and overly influencing their decisions based on my experiences.¬† Crumbs – another parental challenge.