Wednesday, 28 January 2009

National Gallery and Royal Institution

Tra la la! Off to the National Gallery for some art and then to the Royal Institution for a science lecture!

Now my dear government, see what miserable lives these wretched home educated children have? Afterwards we will beat them, so do not be alarmed. The education will be temporary, and we will return later to the serious matter of abuse.

But first I must drag Shark, Squirrel and Tiger round the National Gallery for the family argument.

This is a ritual. To reach pictures of monkeys, lions and dragons we have to wade through a heap of Virgin Marys and painful crucifixions in very heavy gilt frames. Tiger quickly becomes fatigued and starts pulling faces. She complains her feet hurt and there is too much paint. I say let's carry on, because there is a monkey, probably, in the next room.

It is a lie. I am hopelessly lost.

I try to navigate my way through the miserable virgins and pink cherubs now dropping out of the sky like obese babies shovelled out from heaven's fat club, but it only makes matters worse. I dig myself into a dark hole lined with miracles and resurrections.

After twenty minutes I start to panic and follow groups of French tourists in the desperate hope that they will lead me to monkeys rather than virgins. Hopeless. I try to disguise my panic, and jolly everyone along with a lecture on baroque and rococo. Tiger becomes distinctly aggressive. Finally, in despair, I give in and plead with one of the bored attendants to find me a monkey. Any monkey will do I say, because Tiger, overcome with beatitude and architecture, is now scowling and snarling and Squirrel and Shark have taken to shoving each other about.

But there it is! Sitting on a wall! I give it a lot of enthusiasm, like this is the finest painted monkey on earth. I do not say it looks like the artist never clapped eyes on a monkey in all his born days. It is monkey mission accomplished.

Now we can get on to the RI and see things blown up.

We are all looking forward to this, and Dig joins us at the Institution. That is a jolly good thing, because Grit is not really a scientist. She just pretends to know about that, clearly unlike art. But the lecture is excellent. A home ed crowd for an audience, a lecturer full of one liners, and a full display of swinging things and flames and funny noises and things that go ping.

Well it is lovely with Dig here, because afterwards, he leads the gritlets round the exhibitions, while I loll about on the sofa pretending to be tired.

Now, I think, did we disturb anyone today? Did we upset the nation? Cause chaos, misery and anarchy? With days like today, extraordinarily ordinary days like today, I really would just like to get on with my home ed. I am extraordinarily fortunate. I can be with my children, lead them about the world while they complain, become difficult, argue, and I can love them, and tell them so, at any time of the day, and despite it all. I can show them badly painted monkeys and things that go ping. I can hold their hands, point to the pavements, the London Underground, anything that takes my fancy, and we can eat noisy food on the train home. Would it be too much to let me just get on with that?

6 comments:

Mr Farty said...

"Loll" is a much-underused word. It should get out more.

Good luck fighting the forces of ignorance and stupidity.

sharon said...

What fun - oh no, sorry, that can't be right. What a perfectly awful ordeal to subject your poor children to, and then to be lolling around on a sofa while your partner in crime subjects the girls to even more enlightenment. You should both be in the village stocks receiving the vilification you deserve. Hand me some rotting vegetables at once!

Mud in the City said...

What fun! Hope the abuse went well too.

Have you tried the Horniman Museum (http://www.horniman.ac.uk/) apparantly they ahve a giant over stuffed walrus which might be fun (the Victorian taxidermist had no idea its skin was supposed to be baggy and wrinkly and so 'filled in out')

Angela said...

Oh, how I wish I had had such an educator as you, Grit, instead of the chidren-hating old spinsters ( who insisted on being called MISS)and who never allowed my questions. What MIGHT have become of me!!? (I allow you to use this as a reference if you ever need one!)

mamacrow said...

AND breath!

You know, I think that's why they're after us. Because they've finally tumbled to how much FUN we're having, and PERISH THE THOUGHT ANYONE SHOULD ENJOY LIFE!!!

Grit said...

hello folks, thank you for your comments. this review is taking up a ridiculous amount of my brain. i want to be rid of it, and run off with the children to have fun.