Life has moved on in the Guineapig Household this summer. In fact, I was wondering if it was time for a name change but I’m really quite attached to Guineapigmum so I think I’ll stick with it for the time being. The biggest change is that Number 1 son, GP1, is now in residence at one of those institutions where teenagers practice sleeping, drinking and spending their parents’ money. Yes he’s now at university. It’s not quite as far afield as originally planned. He got cold feet at some point during the summer (it may well have been the point at which he hitched up with a new young lady) and changed his UCAS options. He’s now in halls somewhere on the outskirts of Edinburgh and learning to cook, drink (did I mention that?), run up phone bills and play. And he’s home almost every weekend. Well, you get fed at home, don’t you?
He didn’t work quite hard enough during 5th year to get a comfortable unconditional offer. He didn’t work quite hard enough during 6th year to be rock solid certain of hitting the grades they asked for. Under considerable parental pressure (I would hate to say we were pushy parents) he took up the chance of a security blanket and attended the LEAPS pre-university Summer School. This is a sort of university taster of seven weeks of post-exam first year style courses that the Scottish Universities take into account when finalising offers. Anyhow, he got the grades, although GP2 and I reckon that he must have sat in one or two exams with a calculator, working out exactly how many marks he needed. There were no more, no less, but no problem with that – finely judged, job well done, let’s move on – and the offers came in. It goes without saying, I hope – but I’m going to say it anyway – that we’re really proud of him. He’s on the course he wanted to do and we have our fingers firmly crossed that he enjoys it and that it all works out well.
That said, I’m secretly glad that I was away on fieldwork during his first major (and I mean MAJOR) encounter with alcohol. I don’t think I’d have dealt with it nearly as well as GPD.