IMG_4849 So, where were we?  I’ve been away for a jaunt to Budapest and Prague (click on the instagram feed icon at the bottom if you want to see my daily highlights).  The above photo is of the 600 year old astrological clock in central Prague.

I’m back home now – and what a great time to be home. A-levels have finished and the holidays have started for our year 13s, and not a minute too soon. The stress and pressure of A-levels has given way to downtime, relief and excitement.

As this is my first time with a year 13 student, this is all new to me.  The last 3 months have not been easy, preparing for these exams seems to require a few key ingredients;

– A tightly controlled timetable – revision, a cheeky session on YouTube, snack and repeat.

– Snacks and nibbles – and lots of them, revision is boring and failure to provide snacks may be dealt with emotionally!

– A home like a monastery – but without the chanting – this means siblings and parents alike are expected to be silent, invisible and to move with monk-like discretion about the house at all times.

– A house elf.  There can be no assisting with housework, no picking up of wet towels, no nagging to pick up said wet towels, and definitely no putting anything away. This you see – they carefully explain, would take away from their revision time.

– Infinite patience – to tolerate the above.

– an emotional pharmacy – one full of hugs, cuddles and an endless supply of empathy.

But for now the monastery, pharmacy and lunacy are on hold.  Now they have a lovely 6 week gap – a yawning chasm of time to do what they want, to celebrate, time to enjoy the summer, have lazy lie-ins, meet up with friends for gatherings, parties and travelling.  We are also expecting a long-promised home cooked meal, followed by washing up on an epic scale!  For me, what’s needed in these blissful weeks of the gap is some mindful parenting – being grateful for every minute of sun, happy, relieved child and the end of the extreme regime of revision and angst – until the next round in mid August!


(street art, taken in Budapest)