On Friday, Toby went to school as usual and I left work and picked him up just after ten. At six past eleven he went into his exam and in the following twenty minutes, went from a trembling, close to tears bundle of nerves, to a relieved grinner! We won't know his results for a while, but he is happy with his performance and, therefore, so am I.
There is a McCafé between the Conservatorium and his school. We have been there before around exam or eisteddfod time, but I felt that this celebration required more ceremony and a little less grime. I decided we would go to the evocatively named Old Empire Tea Rooms, up the Paris end of town. It was a brilliant idea. I have blogged about this café before, when it was just a hole in the wall. Now they have several rooms and Toby and I perched ourselves in front of the window, to watch Wagga go by. I told the friendly, dapper fellow that we were celebrating and would require hot chocolate and something sweet. He overwhelmed Toby with a list of all the things he might like, including three types of hot chocolate, so I helped him choose, and ordered a flat white for myself.
While my phone and the photo booth on my computer are full of selfies of Joss and funny videos of Bethany, Toby is not a man who likes the camera. This is the best shot I got of him enjoying his minty hot chocolate and chocolate shortbread sandwich, which he declared 'the best bikkie ever'. When we could no longer avoid returning to school and work, I went to pay for our lovely refreshments and experience, only to be told that my coffee was all I was to pay for. They made Toby a congratulatory present and he felt very special.
Bethany has started to have private violin lessons. All children at her school learn the violin in Year 3 and a few keep going with it. There is a family at church with three beautiful-in-every-way girls who are pretty much grown up now. The youngest, Rhiannon, finished school last year and Bethany was in awe of her. Rhiannon plays the violin, so Bethany wants to play too. Andrew had the brilliant idea of asking Rhiannon to teach her, so now we go to Rhiannon's house once a week and Bethany is in raptures. She, too, is practicing every day.
Last night, just before bed, she and Andrew gave me a one song concert. At the beginning of anyone's violin journey, I think one song is a very good concert. Keep it up, Bethany!