Friday, 11 March 2011

teenage trials...

Son 3 has just managed to bomb badly in his January A2 exams. This would be less of a problem if he hadn't already had to re-sit some from AS year so now it looks like his chances of going to uni this year are seriously in jeopardy.

Part of me wants to just give him a big hug and part of me wants to shake him! (does that make me a bad mother?!!!) He is the most frustrating of my three boys - very bright but the concentration span of a bean and no work ethic at all! I can't pretend to be surprised at his results because he did no work at all! He managed to wing it through GCSE's (proudly announcing that it is entirely possible to get good results without revising at all!) and has only just realised that the same is not true at A level. Unfortunately I suspect the wake up call has come a bit too late for this years round of uni places, especially given the extra competition resulting from the changes to tuition fees from next year.

Of course, I have tried to be supportive - after all, he is only 17, with no real clue about what he wants to do and I have tried to help him to see that this is really not a complete disaster, just a bit of a setback that he needs to think around. The problem is, I think, that the current education system just does not suit all-comers - probably never has really and I can't pretend to  know what would resolve that. All I know is I have 3 sons who have gone through the same schools and sixth form college, but all with very different learning styles and interests and all with differing degrees of success. And you can't do more than be there for them as far as I can see - you certainly can't (and I definitely wouldn't want to!) do the work or sit the exam for them.

So...we are now into 'rethink' time - he is supposed to go and talk to his tutors tomorrow and see what they advise: whether he will be motivated to do that Lord only knows! There are times when my lovely affectionate, sensitive son seems like a beast from another planet! I've read enough bits about parenting to know that its the teenage brain that's the problem really, but boy, there are times when it is very challenging to live with the behaviour that goes with developing frontal lobes!!!

To something a little calmer...

Just reminding myself that a week ago, I was trekking up a mountain in the Atlas foothills - might not be everyones idea of fun I know, but I loved it. I have always loved the 'Up' - or at least the getting to the top! I am always blown away by the vastness of the surrounding landscape from the top of a mountain (or even a hill!). And Norfolk rarely provides quite that buzz..!

We stayed in a remote gite in a mountain village - think more basic hostel than French-style B&B - gorgeous sunlight.

You can just see the High Atlas range in the distance on the right...

...with snow on the tops.

We ate lunch by this peaceful lake - 2800m above sea level. Bliss.

I was surprised by the variety of plantlife in what appears a fairly hostile environment - wild thyme and juniper trees grow widely across the mountain slopes, prickly cacti and gorse are dotted about and then I spotted these tiny splashes of colour...

Beautiful almond blossom in the valleys...

And in the city, bold, vibrant bougainvillea...

and yellow jasmine...

Not entirely sure what these were? Some kind of orchid?

Heavily laden orange trees lining the streets...

and dappled shade from tall palms...

I must just share one last splash of colour from Morocco then, I promise, no more holiday pics! There is a garden in Marrakech called Jardin Majorelle, previously owned by Yves St Laurent and open to the public. It is a beautiful tranquil place and I could have just sat there for ages...

Definitely somewhere to take my head to when it all becomes a bit much in teen angst land!

Til next time


  1. Hi Sandra, thanks for your comment , my photo was 1986 so you are right about guessing we are the same age !
    I'm absolutely blown away by your holiday pictures , those flowers are beautiful and the jardin majorelle.
    It's the colour of the sky on your trek the really amazed me though...compleatly stunning !
    Jacquie x

  2. Wow, what a trip! Your photos are so vibrant. Marrakech is on my wish list ... my husband has been and says we have to go together one day!

    As for the boy.... well I have one of my own just the same. Bright, but no work ethic whatsoever! Luckily he has managed to secure a place at uni for September ... and is now having a gap year because ' he's been at school all his life and needs a rest!!!!" I wish I could have a rest, because I've been at work all my life!!! As you say, you can't make them do it, they've got to work it out for themselves. Good Luck!


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