Another adjustment I'm having to make is to the Ivy shaped hole in our household. Yesterday, we took her back to Northampton to begin her second year of University. Ivy was born in Northampton and my eldest daughter, Liberty, studied at Bath where, coincidentally, she was born. We don't think of their leaving for Uni as 'Flying the Nest' - more as a 'Return to the Mothership'. It remains to be seen whether Taylor will follow the same pattern which would see her studying at either Oxford or Reading as she was born at home, midway between the two.
We decided to make a day of it in Northampton, so after dropping Ivy's belongings off at her house ( did she really need all of those books/dvds/clothes etc) we drove to Salcey Forest and had lunch in the Forest Cafe. My choice of red pepper and tomato soup served with wholemeal bread seemed very healthy and in keeping with my weight loss plan, which is more than can be said for the GIANT slice of chocolate fudge cake I had on our second visit to the cafe for afternoon tea, having completed one of the forest walks. It may seem like a shocking failure to have let such a calorific indulgence pass my lips but for me it was a triumph to openly enjoy a treat (I can be a terrible secret eater) in the knowledge that the overall 'Get in Shape for November' plan can easily accommodate it. In a moment of uncertainty this morning I weighed myself and found I had lost another pound! Affirmation.
The forest walk was lovely and included a Tree Top Walk. This was a cleverly constructed wooden walkway that rose up into and above the trees to a viewing platform. Apart from the very last bit which was accessed via steps, it was all buggy friendly. My 2yr old loved it, jabbering excitedly about Tarzan and Jane (or rather 'Zhazan' and Jane), the Disney version of the Edgar Rice Burroughs tale being a current favourite.
Another favourite film of my 2yr old, I am delighted to report, is my own creation 'Psycho Potato' which she has watched too many times to count whilst cuddling 'Norman Bates' (now minus dress and knife and beginning to go a little soft!)