Being accepted as a mature student for the Restoration and Decoration Course was one thing. I knew it was going to be hard to juggle family, home life and work. However, the advantage of part owning a business and having staff, meant that I was in a fortunate position to be able to attend full time college for the two year period.
Telling my family and friends, about my decision and listening to their reactions was like stepping into a Roman arena and being verbally attacked. My husband at the time was furious and thought I was having a mid life crisis. My mother thought I had lost the plot and my friends just shook their head in disbelieve and asked why I would make such a stupid decision. I was furious at their attitudes, more so because like so many women I had spent years doing everything that was expected of me and more. I felt I had earned the right to do something for me.
The children thought it was hilarious that I would be studying and getting homework. They told me that they were going to make it their mission to make sure I handed it in on time.
I spent the next couple of months preparing for the course, reading up on all the subjects I would be studying and drawing every day. I also made sure everything was up to date in the house and at work.
I decided to step back from what had been a very active daily social life of endless rounds of lunches. In a way I was relieved because I had become bored with superficial conversations and gossip. I was about to embark on something so much more exciting.
September arrived and I drove to Portsmouth to enter into a whole new world. It was mine for the taking. 30 students from different backgrounds, and a total mix of personalities unsure what the next two years would throw at us. It was wonderful,I was in seventh heaven and I did not care that I was the oldest student in the room.
On the home front life became more and more strained and soon after, my life was to take another turn and change forever.