Sunday, 13 July 2008


Teenagers are put on this earth to bring parents a range of totally unexpected challenges…

My 19 year old daughter is also a great friend, however opening the door to her bedroom does put risk on the relationship – how can you live like that?

Anyway, she finished university for the summer on 3rd May and then set out to have a brilliant summer.

• Trip to London to get her Gold Duke of Edinburgh award at St James Palace
• Accompany me to the OUGF conference sailing between Helsinki and Stockholm
• Renew her Lifesaving qualifications
• Summer Break in Newquay – when students all go to Cornwall and everyone living in Cornwall goes away!
• Trip to South Africa (second trip of a lifetime in 8 months)
• Mountain Climbing in the Atlas Mountains – Morocco
• Horse Riding in Wiltshire with the Royal Artillery
• Inter-rail around Eastern Europe

Between each trip she comes home for a few days to work as a lifeguard at our local swimming pool to top up the bank account.

Had I have known university was this much fun I may have stayed at school and gone myself.

I have to say she is very good with her money, I have donated airmiles but everything else she has funded, and I thought students were meant to be constantly poor.

Anyway back to the challenge, she is currently in Morocco having successfully achieved her mountain climb, and is home tomorrow, but before she went there was the kit list to pack. It included a tent and down jacket which needed to be good quality and fit for purpose not just what is on offer in the local store suitable just for music festivals. So out we went for the day and eventually tracked down specialist shops in Belfast, spent a fortune and came home. Job done? Not quite…

Day before she goes I am helping her to pack and the packing list says two ‘wick tees’, “what is a wick tee?” I ask, (I have no idea about mountain climbing or the equipment needed – except it all seems to be expensive). Brooke says she doesn’t know either so it can’t be important so she will manage without!

A bit like a DBA not understanding Oracle instructions about a patch at install and just ignoring it (hang on I have met some like that).

So mum googles ‘wick tees’discovers that they are very important t shirts that are to keep you dry and draw out sweat from the body. So quick rush out to another shop – did I mention we live half an hour each way from a town with shops!

It probably doesn’t sound too bad to you does it? But on the way to South Africa she rang me in a panic and ended up having to buy a new memory card for her camera as she couldn’t find the cable to download the last set of photos. Probably somewhere in that bedroom!

Home tomorrow, horse riding the following week – now what will the challenge be then?

Still you have to love them and I am so proud of her.

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