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Monday, 26 January 2015


I’ve just returned from shuffling cars with daughter and son.

William’s British Superbike team packed up before Christmas. He had been there for ten years, and passed his HGV driving test so he could drive the team’s vehicle to Spain.

Today he was back from his second trip to Germany for a local transport company, and with daughter Jill we picked him up at his depot not far from Arnside.

I am impressed with William. Although he has driven a massive truck abroad there is a difference between heading for a racing circuit supported with a co-driver, and launching off to an unfamiliar German destination, unable to speak the language, and with no experience of handling loads, observing tachograph procedures, and all the other tricks of the trade, but he seems to have coped well.

On W’s first trip he was threatened with a disruptive and time consuming vehicle search by German police, The resolving of that situation was to Willam's credit but not for further detail here. 

Readers may remember Jill’s redundancy last year, and whilst trying to create a website she spent an invaluable summer with daughter Katie during that period of childhood when development is so important - that was irreplaceable time well spent in my opinion. The website is still in embryo and may be developed later. Jill has now resorted to supply teaching, and was sent to a private secondary school in Barrow which lead to four and half days per week on supply rates until the summer with the likelihood of a full time job in September.

Katie-child-minding includes help from friends (and me), delivering and picking up at nursery school and playgroup, and at Jill’s school there is a nursery attached where Katie attends on Thursdays and Fridays. Teaching supports Jill’s vocational attitude with good behaviour and intelligent discussion and participation from pupils - they all  wear smart uniforms and stand up when Jill enters the classroom and say “good morning Miss Robinson”!

There is even a uniform for Katie’s nursery school which includes a Barbour look-alike jacket costing £40 (fortunately the school lent one for Katie) - I reckon she’ll be joining the Pony Club next?


Taken with iPhone3 as video by mistake then lifted as "screenshot" from first frame, hence poor quality

Katie drives the truck

Katie, normally harum-scarum, but here uncharacteristically prim-and-proper in new school uniform.This photo sent to me by Jill gave me the best laugh for some time

The coat


John J said...

This is all good news - especially Jill's employment situation.
I'm delighted to hear that things are working out well for her.

High Horse said...

Cheers Dad! Have to say a heart felt thank you for everything you have been doing to help out with Katie. Think we are starting to get back on track! x

The Crow said...

Seems only yesterday Katie was a toddler. Can't believe how tall she grown, seemingly overnight.

Best wishes to Jill and her new position. Sounds as if she is being treated with the respect she deserves from her pupils.

I enjoy road trips, but I doubt I would have William's courage to travel where I didn't understand the native language.

You have a wonderful Family. Conrad. Cheers to you all!

Roderick Robinson said...

They go out of the door and you suppose that's that. But of course it isn't. A brief reference, a few words, an unexplained gesture and they're back again - your mind full of them at three in the morning, conscious of a growing helplessness, a growing ignorance since they've entered their world where you don't know the ropes. Advice you offer is likely to be naive and outdated, they use jargon you don't understand and you feel a fool.

You fall out, telling yourself they can paddle their own canoe - knowing, as the Americans would say, this is simply blowing smoke. Some people talk about having blood links but that's a meaningless medical detail. It's the cerebral links that are like iron, utterly unyielding.

There are successes and you help celebrate those. But the underlying feeling is one of relief. For the moment at least things are OK, you may well sleep through the early hours.

Who'd be a parent? How about the parent who was your parent? How about their early hours? What kind of an offspring were you? But in the end it isn't whether you were good or bad, you were inescapable.

A burden? Strange how disinclined we are to use that word, it suggests dissatisfaction. Kids are a responsibility and reponsibility is what marks out adults. This is what being a grown-up is about. Would you prefer not to be an adult? A silly question.

I'm delighted on behalf of both William and Jill - independence is the most important quality a kid can demonstrate towards their parents. Even if it hurts a bit. But how on earth, I ask myself, can you reverse a thing that size and get it to go where you want it to go? Luckily I don't need to know the answer. It only applies in a different separate world.

Sir Hugh said...

JJ - Thanks.


High Horse - let's hope so.


The Crow - Thanks Martha.


RR - You've got it, not in one, but in three hundred and nine, succinctly and, I think comprehensively. There are still issues to solve, but I can see daylight there (for the moment), but yesterday Katie's best friend and contemporary, Lilly has been recalled to Alder Hey Hospital following an illness late last year and as a result of something they want to discuss from an MRI scan. Her mother, who is Jill's friend and part of the nursery/playgroup drop-off pick-up team that Jill has engineered is distraught and we are all awaiting further news - that scales any worries we might have down to the miniscule.

ConradR said...

Test comment