The start of September always means the start of a new school year.
And this September meant the start of both children going into the upper years of their respective school.
At S's junior school the children stay in the same class from when they begin in Year 3 until they leave in Year 6. However late last term a decision was made by senior staff that, for various reasons, the classes would be mixed around so when S returned to start Year 5 it was with some children she knew and some she didn't. So far things are going well and S is especially pleased that each Monday until the beginning of December part of their day includes a swimming lesson.
T went back to school a day later. Year 10 pupils didn't have to be there until 11am, unless they had volunteered to be peer mentors for the new Year 7's. T is a peer mentor and so had to be at school 10 minutes earlier than normal. He was really looking forward to receiving his name badge, maybe that's why he looks for happy in his back to school photo!
The weekend after the return to school we did something we haven't done for ages, we went for a walk.
Of course if you're going to go for a good long walk you need to make sure you are fully nourished before hand. We thought going to the local Harvester for one of their new all you can eat buffet breakfasts would be just the ticket. It certainly did the trick.
We have walked other parts of the Itchen Navigation trail and decided to try and complete another section of it. We chose to do the Otter Trail but in order to get to the start of it we had to walk part of the water vole way which we had done last May.
S liked the look of this rope swing we saw on the opposite bank
and along the way we met a herd of friendly cows grazing in a field
and at a small holding we laughed at a litter of piglets who were racing each other to get to mum for feeding time
and of course we saw ducks, though maybe not the kind you would normally expect.
Blackberries were in abundance but our energy levels weren't. It had been so long since we'd been out for a decent walk and it was such a hot day that when we stopped for a drink and G consulted the trail map and he saw we could miss out a mile or so of the 6 miles we had planned he suggested we tweak our route.
Once agreed on this amended course we set off across a deserted field towards Otterbourne Woods. Our walk had been lovely and picturesque up until that point. The path in the words was horribly overgrown with snagging brambles and made for a bit of a disappointing and prickly end.
Allbrook Lock is where the Otter trail meets the Water Vole way and the water rushing downhill was a sight to see.
We made our way back into Eastleigh and discovered a new coffee shop, one to try another day. We liked the colourful chairs on the pavement
and I spied a fab wooden crate inside used to display fruit for sale. Although Grandad must have his veg patch in an exotic place judging by the contents.
There are lots of reasons I have wanted to leave my current job. I was so excited to have started it last November, full of optimism for a new challenge after 22 years in the civil service, but it just wasn't to be. Mid October I will be starting work as a receptionist within a doctor's surgery. I'm expecting it to be an extremely busy working environment which I'm used to. One thing which I'm not used to though will be the occasional working alongside a family member as my sister works there too. Could prove to be interesting........