It is Freshers’ Week so it made me think about my first week at university and the things I did during Freshers Week.

1. I cried when my parents left me there.
2. I bumped into a girl literally as we both tried to get to the loss. She is my friend 24 years later.
3. I met a girl from Glasgow and thought she was from overseas as I could not tell a word she was saying. We were friends for many years.
4. I ate spinach and walnut soup – Yuck!
5. I worried that I was the only Northern and working-class person in the place.
6. I discovered a whole new language – bop, bedder, sweaty bop, pigeonhole, supervision etc
7. I got locked in the loo during the Freshers’ Dinner. I bumped into another girl on coming out and we are still friends.
8. I attended the Freshers’ Fair but did not have the confidence to join any societies there.
9. I had a really good buffet lunch at the Christian Union event.
10. I met a girl whose relation was a really famous artist.
11. I felt inadequate as everyone went on about their exciting years off in Peru etc.
12. I developped my first college crush.
13. I visited my first law library.
14. I shopped at the largest bookshop I had every seen.
15. I discovered Nadia’s patisserie.
16. I met a rotten Roman Law teacher.
17. I got hit on the head with a ruler when I fell asleep in a lecture.
18. I saw the Madonna film Desperately Seeking Susan.
19. I went to a pub with people I would never socialise with again.
20. I decided that this was possibly the best move I was every going to make and it was!


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With love from the Striking Mum x

I was at the Savoy Hotel in London on Sunday for the Tesco Mum of the Year Awards.

I was nervous about Sunday and not because it was the Savoy. The good thing about going to Cambridge University early in life is it does sort of get you used to using the right cutlery, knowing what menus mean and so forth. My issue as ever was how shy I feel in social situations. That’s OK if you have a safe bet in the room who you know will talk to you. I knew one person who would be kind but you can hardly dump yourself on someone you barely know as some sort of clingy person.

However, there was no way I was going to miss such a glittering affair and I was even more convinced when I learned both Boyzone and Sam Bailey would be performing.

It did look like it would not happen though.

My husband headed towards home on Friday night only to break down just outside Portsmouth. He hired a car to ensure he got here and drove through the night after waiting 3 hours for a recovery vehicle.

I went for a hair appointment last week so the two inches of grey was removed and I was sporting a new colour and cut.

I even went so far as to do a skincare routine for possibly the first time ever.

I bottled make-up for fear I would look like a clown. Where do other women learn about these things?

I wore a dress via Charity Shop Designs that skimmed the huge tummy and banged on the statement necklace that my late mum and dad bought me.

A dash to Peacocks had provided flats, tights, support knickers and bra for under about £20 quid.

I got as far as Doncaster for my connection on Sunday morning to see the Kings Cross train was delayed. My heart sank when it was announced that it was cancelled.

Years ago, I got a Cosmopolitan Magazine Woman of Achievement nomination and made it only for the last 5 minutes of the fancy do at a London hotel. Was history repeating itself?

I was freezing too having decided that I did not want to be encumbered by a coat or jacket.

I threw myself on the mercy of the next train.

Tesco has provided a car from Kings Cross so I had to liaise with them by text about the delay.

There was huge sense of relief as I threw myself into the car and knew I would be making it the Mum of the Year Awards after all.