Sunday, 21 December 2008

Just once more at the local museum

Here we are, wondering if we can get in without paying at the local museum on the night of the Victorian Christmas celebration. You think that's mean? Well here's a confession. We've not paid all year.

But of course I have an excuse.

Eight years ago I blundered through the door (sideways) pushing triplets in the widest buggy known to humankind, and demanded of the old lady custodian propped against the museum desk that she sell me an annual pass, right there and then, otherwise I'd be paying several hundred pounds in entrance fees.

This demonstrates these twin qualities of grit. Naivety and stupidity. Annual pass? flaps the old lady. I don't know anything about an annual pass! Is there an annual pass?

Grit is determined that if there isn't one, there soon will be. She has promised herself she will get out of the house every ruddy day. It is either that, or die, walled up behind 20,000 used nappies. The local museum is one of those out-of-the-house destinations. Five minutes by car or a twenty minute walk. Ideal for a despairing woman unsure of her own sanity and three small beings who don't give a toss where they are, so long as they can feed, sleep and burp. And it's either once a week touring the local museum, or going crazy and offering the walls another slice of raspberry cheesecake.

But this is a local museum you understand, with six visitors a year and a school party come July. Such items of paperwork as Application for an annual pass do not exist. Until Grit arrives to torture the old lady by waving babies at her and threatening to cry hysterically unless she can come once a week to look meaningfully at a Victorian shovel.

Six weeks after this demonstration of need, I receive in the post a laboriously typed bit of paperwork to which I add a cheque. In return I receive a small card. Museum Entrance Ticket 001.

Now I did renew that annual ticket every year. 002. 003. And so on. I am pleased to have done so. Under its new director the local museum is going from strength to strength and no longer is it a display of three shovels in a barn. Now it has a mocked up Victorian street and wheelwright and pharmacy and everything.

The gritlets have grown up with the confidence of running straight in, and the old lady just waved us through and no longer bothered to look at the card. She sort of assumed we still had one. And we did. Until the last one expired. And we had every intention of replacing it. But things take a while round here.

Well today it's the Victorian Christmas celebration, when we can drink mulled wine and Tiger can show off her skills with a Victorian hoop. And we are left with the slightly awkward situation that we will turn up at the desk and the old lady will try and wave us through.

Because we are not quite that mean, we will offer to renew our annual pass tonight. Even though we know the old lady will be so busy she won't be able to deal with the paperwork right there and then, and will wave us through, and we will promise to her that we will pop back and buy our pass when she's not so busy and she can find the form.

And we will, too. Honestly.


sharon said...

Happy New Year to you all at The Pile. I'm hoping 2009 will be a vast improvement on 2008 which, it has to be said, was a bit of a downer - well, apart from meeting so many lovely new friends in the computer!

Surely after all this time you should have a free life time pass? In fact, the girls could probably do some part time work there, as volunteers of course, to assuage any twinges of conscience you may experience. Double bonus to that would be the hour or two of free time for you ;-)

Still looking forward to 'Christmas chez Grit'

Jax said...

Happy New Year

Iota said...

Where we used to live in Scotland, I visited the local museum (20 min walk away) regularly for the tea room. It provided fabulous homemade cakes, a cup of tea for me, and a carton of apple juice for a small person with a seat next to the window where he/she could watch the traffic and shout "bus, bus" excitedly once every 30 mins (if we lasted that long). What more could I want?

The Finely Tuned Woman said...

Happy New year to you, Grit. You deserve the best of them. May all your wildest wishes come true and some ordinary ones too.

Jonny's Mommy said...

Oh so very sneaky!

Sounds like a great place to go and visit though. Kind of jealous of you actually!

Have a great New Year! Can't wait to keep catching up on your girls!

Jonny's Mommy said...

Can I just say that I noticed I am on your blog roll and I find that embarrassing? You are such a superior writer with much more amazing stories to tell and I'm not sure I belong there. But thank you! Again...Happy New Year!

Jaywalker said...

Grit, is it me or are the dates on all your posts dated in some alternative reality where Christmas hasn't even come yet? Or does that only happen to me? It is messing with my head.

Surely you should have free lifetime entry to every museum in the world just by uttering the simple phrase "I homeschool my triplets". Don't you?

Still no sign of the calendar?

Grit said...

hi sharon! thank you and happy new year! yes, it's my plan to get the girls volunteering in time... an excellent education and work experience all in one.

happy new year, jax!

this is true, iota, and our local museum does a good coffee cake at the weekend!

thank you irene! happy new year wishes to you!

hi jonny's mommy... i quite enjoy my read about life in the back of beyond... and thank you for writing.

you are spot on jaywalker. i am always late, usually by two weeks. if things are going badly, three. no postie yet.

Mr Farty said...

Museums are great. The big one in Edinburgh is free, I should go there more often.

Thank you for entertaining us and have a happy new year with the gritlets.

Grit said...

thank you mr farty!

The Finely Tuned Woman said...

Dear Grit. I am caught between providers and life is tough. I have managed to write a post anyway and am about to write a new one. I miss all of you and reading your posts and your comments, and I miss the harrowing tales of the gritlets. Hopefully everything will soon be back to normal.

Much love, Irene