University visits – and a look back 10 years

Its funny how life progresses and time makes its imperceptible changes on circumstances. Ten years ago, with the boys 11, 9 and 5, we moved back from 3 years living in Madrid. I wasn’t to know it,but I was entering my unhappiest period work-wise. This made me think about the implications of supporting a young family while hating your work; not being able to risk turning your back on a well paid job, even if it makes you miserable.

In the end, after a couple of years, I took the risk, left my job and went contracting. The result was more money, more freedom and, as time has passed, the family have become more independent. A weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

Fast-forward ten years and we are just about to leave for a weekend in Warwick and Oxford; visiting the two elder boys at their universities. It will be a bit of a family reunion as we will be meeting Mum and Dad (ahead of their birthdays) and my brother Martin and Julia (with their little ones).

I am just getting over a cold, and have been working intensively over the past couple of months. So this weekend is something I have looked forward to for some time. It won’t be hugely relaxing (with all that driving) but to see my sons and celebrate their successes is really the most enjoyable thing imaginable. Matt landing a job a year in advance at his first attempt is fantastic; especially in the current economic climate. Simon has become a scholar of his Oxford college (coming in top of the year in Mathematics) together with landing a potential TV appearance is brilliant. How could I be more proud of them?

Ten years ago, if I were looking forward to today, I would have been delighted by the change.

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