Posted by: christinelaennec | August 12, 2013

Throwing our hearts over the bar

Thanks to everyone who’s left such wonderfully encouraging comments here.  Linda, I loved the Proust quote. (“L’habitude!  Amenageuse habile mais bien lente…” Something like:  “Habit!  She’s an expert at arranging things, but takes her time doing so…”) Indeed, habit is so soothing, but it does take time.  On the other hand, it’s quite amazing how adaptable we humans are, and how quickly the strange becomes familiar.  I’m feeling much less disoriented now and less numb.

So the Dafter is going to take one course at school:  digital photography.  She will go for the class three days a week, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, which will leave her the other days to rest and recuperate.  It’s going to be a first pass at the year, which she will repeat.  If she starts to feel very much better, she can do some studying at home with a tutor.  We all pray that she will continue to heal and gather strength over the year.

She’s mostly very excited about being back with other kids her own age, but naturally also very nervous, since she has hardly been on her own at all, and not often out of the house, in the past two years.  It’s a big step, but one I know she is ready for because she is very enthusiastic about it.  So we’ve been shopping for school uniform!

Trying on blouses for school uniform, August 2013.  Photo by me, using the Dafter's camera.

Trying on blouses for school uniform, August 2013. Photo by me, using the Dafter’s camera.

For some reason, blouses for teenage schoolgirls are rather hard to locate.  But we have managed, and have learned quite a bit about shopping in Glasgow city centre.  If you’re wondering why the fitting room above is palatial, it’s because it’s a wheelchair-friendly one.

A few days ago, the Dafter had a great day out – on her own with a friend!  That was also a big step for her.  They went to visit the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery (with the wheelchair), and she’s taken some photos to show you:

The Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, Glasgow, August 2013.  Photo by the Dafter.

The Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, Glasgow, August 2013. Photo by the Dafter.

She had a great time, and really enjoyed seeing the art.  Here’s some contemporary art:

Floating heads at the Kelvingrove Museum, August 2013.  Photo by the Dafter.

Floating heads at the Kelvingrove Museum, August 2013. Photo by the Dafter.

And older art, in such a beautiful setting:

The Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, Glasgow, August 2013.  Photo by the Dafter.

The Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, Glasgow, August 2013. Photo by the Dafter.

She came home full of very insightful remarks about different styles of art.  She bought me a postcard of a Gustave Dore painting, a dramatic and sweeping Highland landscape with some tiny little people in the foreground to indicate scale.  It was so much fun to share her impressions, and to talk a bit about some of the messages that such a painting would have conveyed to its viewers at the time.  (The romance and wildness of the Highlands, Romantic sensibility, etc.)  She was tired afterwards, but also very energised, so that was great.

Meanwhile, work continues on the house.  This is the living room fireplace at the moment:

Living room fireplace at the moment.  Photo by the Dafter.

Living room fireplace undergoing restoration. Photo by the Dafter.

I entitled this post “throwing our hearts over the bar” because school starts day after tomorrow (the 14th) and we are all three very focused on the Dafter clearing that initial hurdle.  We’re not sure how much she will manage that first day, in terms of how long she will manage to stay, but that doesn’t matter.  I’m sure you’ve heard the expression in relation to high-jumpers:  you throw your heart over the bar in your imagination, and then when you jump, your body will follow.  The Dafter has been doing a lot of mental preparation for this next step, as have Michael and I, and we are both hugely proud of her.

Roses for me.  Photo by the Dafter.

Roses. Photo by the Dafter.

I’ll let you know how it goes.  Thank you again to everyone for the good wishes coming our way.  It makes a real difference to us!  I wish you all a very good week.



  1. Sending good wishes for a great first day at The Dafter’s new school – may there be more and more great days to come !

  2. Good luck to the Dafter on Wednesday, I’ll be thinking of you all.

  3. Good luck Ms Dafter! 🙂

  4. This is fantastic! I’m such a newcomer to your blog that I’m not familiar with what her challenges are, but I’m so glad she’s seeing her way through and enjoying the new experiences. I’ll certainly send her some loving thoughts as she progresses!

  5. So very happy to hear the Dafter is feeling better and praying the first day will be very good.

  6. What a lovely picture your Dafter took😀She seems to be more than ready!

  7. Dafter you look ace, knock em dead. Not literally of course.

  8. I share your daughter’s enthusiasm over Kelvingrove. How positively wonderful to be in the city and so close to places like that. I wish her well in her new school and I love her picture of the roses. She will do well with digital photography. May you have much joy and hope in this new season.

  9. This is mainly for the Dafter – I am very excited and proud of her — wishing
    you a great year at your new school. I am certain that you will do well and
    meet lots of new friends.
    As for your photography on the blog, I must say that the visual effects are
    unique and show much feeling. You have a real knack and perhaps this
    will become more than a hobby for you.
    Keep us all posted on your new adventure!

  10. So excited for the Dafter! Love the photo of finding clothes! Hoping to get to the Kelvingrove ourselves…..the flowers at the bottom of your post are just lovely! Will email soon!

  11. What a fantastic course to be doing – I am so glad the Dafter is able to start with something exciting that grabs her interest rather than something old and tired and tedious like Maths (oops, showing my prejudices, or rather my dyscalculia!).

    Thinking way back to school uniform shopping to all of, oh, 2 years ago now, I think you may have had difficulty with the blouse because it’s just before la rentrée, and Glasgow may have bought all the school blouses already. But the one in the photo looks great. And what a poignant look the Dafter is giving herself in the mirror. Full of hope.

    Thinking about you all.

  12. Hi peeps, so glad to have you safely arrived in weegieland….Dafter, your uniform looks great, and I am sure you will enjoy your course and classmates…we weegies are really nice you know:):) If it helps we had the same problem with Pixie’s uniform this year, and she is only 7…seems all the black stuff went quick, ended up in M&S. Enjoy enjoy and can;t wait until you get your own blog Dafter:P

  13. Good luck to Miss I. The very best of luck. How lovely to spend time in the Kelvingrove while waiting for school to start.

  14. Good luck and hope everything goes well on the 14th. We love The Kelvingrove and often have a wander round especially to hear the organ being played. See you in September.

  15. I am so happy for the Dafter, Christine! This news really warms my heart. I love what you said about the new becoming familiar and our ability to adapt. I find myself in this situation as well, and feeling very nervous about new surroundings. But your words have encouraged me. ❤

  16. Thanks, everyone!

  17. Delighted to read such good news about the Dafter. I’ll be thinking about her, and her parents, on the first day of school.

  18. Best wishes to your daughter – praying it’s a positive year.

    (And what a great first course to take! I hope we get to see some of her work..)

  19. Very best wishes for the Dafter and hope it is the beginning of a wonderful year! xo

  20. I’m so glad that the Dafter is well enough to try going back to school a little, for a few days a week. It’s great that she gets to start with a subject she enjoys and clearly excels at – if she feels confident and comfortable about it then she won’t have to use energy on stressing about her lessons as well as completing them. I hope it all goes well today and that she enjoys her first day back at school, hopefully the first of many 🙂

  21. I was totally amazed to read about the Dafter going to Kelvingrove on her own with a friend, what progress! It’s a great place, but tiring for even the fittest of visitors so no wonder she was pretty tired afterwards. Nice to see her pictures of it.

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