Eldest was seventeen last Wednesday. It seems unbelievable: time has whizzed by. She is (of course) talented, intelligent, witty and attractive and takes after her mother… actually she has her father’s memory for detail and tuneless singing voice, and her grandmother’s sense of rhythm and dancing feet. And she’s taller than me. And her life is ruined because she's never had a fairy castle birthday cake... Well I shall know what to make for her 18th: that'll teach her to mock her mother.
She has been working all week helping her ballet teacher run a summer school at the end of which they put on a show. She’s loved the experience and even been amused by the little kids – “They’re so cute!”
So we've had a stream of grandparents and godparents to entertain. It’s been fun, but as of today they have all departed and our next task is to get Youngest onto a bus bound for Heathrow and on to Switzerland. She has been earning money for the trip all year, and received a couple of welcome grants from the Guide ‘pot’, but I am just beginning to loose my patience with requests for yet more kit that someone somewhere has told her is essential: apart from anything else it is not all going to fit in her rucksack! So I need to go and look at a weather forecast for Adelboden to try and calm her requests for shorts, factor 50 and sunglasses, and waterproof trousers and jacket, and layers for snow… Twelve of them, including 3 Young Leaders, are camping and self-catering at the Guide centre for 8 days. I’m sure they will have the time of their lives, and the enormity of the adventure will dawn on me eventually, but for the moment I’m just harrassed!