Monday, 17 May 2010

Questions never asked about this blog

Dig thought I would keep this blog for about ten hours. I'm delighted to have proved him wrong.*

It's been going a while now. But recently I'm aware from the secret stat counter that new readers are finding this strange gritland, populated by the delightful and charming Grit, the absent Dig, and the weird three-headed creatoids from the Planet Vestigular.

Readers, you are welcome here, you really are.

I am also humbly aware that some folks return dayafterdayafterday. How loyal is that? Would you like a statistic for your strange but kind ways? If I am reading that secret stat counter right, of all you people who visit, over 60% of you come back! To my way of thinking, that is amazing. You may be another reason why I post a daily diary entry.

Of course, I could have those stats wrong, and six of you can't work out why I'm not yet selling pigeon grit.

But I am not a professional blogger, nor even a very clever one when it comes to the look of the blog. It looks total crap, doesn't it? But I thought that maybe now was a good point for a FAQ.

Only no-one asks me any FAQs. So I could do a Never Asked Question, like a NAQ. Yes. That's what I'll do.

Here it is then. Grit's NAQ.

Grit, what is this blog about?
Home education. But those words are not big enough and wide enough, nor high sky enough for what we choose. Home education is a lifestyle, it's a way of looking at the world. It's a theory, a philosophy, an outlook, a delight, a challenge, a madness.

All of those reasons are what this blog is about. Along with why my face hurts, why my heart bleeds, what opinions I might have about stuff, how many books and art and furry animals can we love. Oh, and this blog is also about the days that go so well I could kiss strangers in public places. And an outlet because sometimes I feel so bad I could cut myself in two. Blogging has less blood. Then there are some days when I just like to take a pop at Ed Balls.

Grit, why did you start this blog?
Sometimes, I wrote Michelle long emails about the day. She would reply lol. Michelle is very polite, and I worried that lol could be a way of saying, fuck off. Then again, maybe she really meant GET A BLOG SCREW HEAD HIPPIE. So that's what I did. Thanks, Michelle! lol.

Grit, why do you have to record every single day? Are you mad?
OK, I admit to this slight problem. No, don't worry about it. It'll be fine. It's just a slight fear. That I might lay my head on the pillow one night and know I have achieved NOTHING in that day. That was a day not worth living. Next, I die in the night.

Writing a diary is a form of achieving something, even if it's a diary entry full of crap. Shark, Squirrel and Tiger can hold my very last diary entry in their trembling claws and sob over the picture of Tiger looking like she is about to kill, or the cute blind hedgehog groping its way towards DEATH, and know that mama thought of them, sometimes while she banged her head against the wall, but always when she loved them and their strange alien ways.

More procedurally, I also feel driven to record how we spend the time in case the Local Authority call and accuse me of not providing an education for Shark, Squirrel and Tiger. I have a very poor memory, probably thanks to the aluminium they keep putting into deodorant. The Local Authority might trick me and convince me that I actually provide no education at all. Then this blog is my strong arm righteousness. I can look here and go YAAAAABOOOOOO! SEE? Yesterday we saw a hedgehog! Suck on that, sucker!

Finally, I write a diary about every day, good and bad, because I think then you get a good all-round picture of what life is like if you choose home education. It is a big decision. Bigger than all the universe some days, and more impactful on your life than an imploding star. So it is good to be prepared and see the misery and joy you might be in for.

Of course all these reasons might be tosh. I might blog because I have a weird hoarding compulsion. Only with words and time, and not plastic bags containing numbered chip wrappers.

Grit, why do you sometimes not blog for days, then it all spews out at once?
This morning I had to lever the kids out of bed to leave the house at 10am. Dig had an appointment at 10.30 and we needed to drop him off before we drove on to a workshop which started at 9.45.

At 9.30 Dig says he must send a parcel via DHL and can you sort that? By 9.50 the kids are not out of bed, the phone has rung twice, I recall that yesterday I promised faithfully to email someone about something, and then at 9.55 the gardener knocks on the door wanting to chainsaw his way through the privet.

At 10am, the kids are still reading in bed and I regret not having a defibrillator. At the end of the day, I might do a brain dump before bed, otherwise I am going to die for sure. Three days later I correct the spellings and add the connectives like And. I am fond of those. And is simpler to type than notwithstanding.

Grit, why are your posts always late?
Did I mention that issue I have with days and clocks and keeping track of time? It's like I am living in a parallel universe here, hoarding a lot of plastic bags, and caring for three-headed creatoids from the Planet Vestigular. Soon the alien beings will be returned to their mothership. I must look after them till that time. Everything will fall silent and I can post on time. Then I may have nothing to say.

Grit, why are you called Grit?
Grit is an irritating substance that pokes you in the eye or wriggles itself into your shoe and makes you so angry you could kick small furry animals. And that is life now. It is all so much daily pointless annoyingness and misery. Yet all that unshakeoffable painful experience might yield one moment that is lovely and beautiful, unique and delicate. Like a pearl. So I like to think that in amongst all the grit there grows a pearl.

I accept it's mostly grit.

Grit, are your children really called Tiger, Shark, Squirrel?
No. The three-headed aliens are really called Starnugget, Moonhose and Liquishia.

* Hmm. Come to think of it, that just may be the real reason why I blog bloodyminded on.


Deb said...

I have indeed wondered why you call yourself Grit, but I didn't realize you would like to have some faq's - I shall begin thinking of some forthwith.

I recently began my own blog, for the exact same reason. I write my friends BRILLIANT treatises on the Life and Times of Me and get back single sentences. So. Aggravating. Do they not recognize brilliance when they see it?

Ok, here's a question - when you say Dig is very big in commas, what does that mean? I'm guessing...editor?

That may not count as a very good question, now that I think of it, because it's about Dig and not Grit. I'll see if I can do better.

Amy said...

I dearly love your blog, it makes be cry and laugh at the same time

sharon said...

I have to say that I for one look forward immensely to my daily bit of grit so keep up the good work! Dig may well be big in commas but maybe not so big in the persistence of gritty blogging ;-)

Kestrel said...

My children's names are Coriander Cardamom Pod, Mustard Pepper Pot, Garam Masala Allspice and Cinnamon Willowbark (though they deny this furiously). I love your NAQ. I love your posts. Every time I dream of boarding school on a planet far far away, I read your blog and it is a cool refreshing glass of water tossed gleefully in my face. Thank you.

Big mamma frog said...

I have to say that I started my blog up for a similar reason. I was sending really long confessional emails to friends and - uh oh! - to our local group list and then watching the tumbleweed twirl past in response.

The only problem I find with your blog is that I want to steal all your best lines and use them on mine...

Gill said...

Yes, Grit: you're fab.

Here's a NAQ though: Would you make all the same decisions, all over again?

I think I would.

chrisotherwise said...

When do they stop waking you up at 6am and start having to be prised out of bed at 10? Despite not having to go to school, ours *still* get up in time for it anyway... sigh...

Great blog, thanks for sharing it. I'm still laughing about the "pasta with stuff in it and cheese on the top" one...

Angela said...

I cannot come every day, but whenever I do, I go away chuckling. And I keep mentioning you on my own blog, because I think others should read of your bravity and humour, too. By the way, I know a girl called Grit by real name. It is short for Margrit or Margarete.

Anonymous said...

who is michelle???

Michelle said...

Me. For my sins.

A few years back I bought some ice cream for Grit. To cheer her up. Gin and Lavender bloody expensive Luxury Dairy Ice Cream

Once I got home I remembered that it was a dairy product and as such I couldn't give it to someone who tries hard to be vegan. Bit like offering someone a cigarette when they're trying to give up. So I still have it (as I don't like gin) and it is still in my freezer. It has a BBD of 7th April 2009.

Eventually some poor sod will raid the freezer, find it and eat it.

Michelle said...


Casdok said...

I know i dont drop by often but when i do you make me smile :) Loved this post!

kellyi said...

You are almost responsible for the fact that we home educate. I remember showing some of your posts to my husband and him saying "not likely".

I some times even go through the archives to when yours kids were my kids age, and it is very comforting.

Keep up the good work and thank you for the daily grittiness!

kellyi said...

I forgot! I am confused about the lay out of your house - I think this could make a very good NAQ - do you have a person living in the middle of it who isn't Dig, Grit or a Gritlet? Because I'm sure I read some where that you do.

Grit said...

hello people, thank you for all your kind comments. i am humbled by them.

in brief, because sunshine madness has gripped me and the gritlets demand a pool:

Dig is not editor, although that can be counted amongst his many talents.

Dig went to boarding school. at first i thought that was a horrific idea, and my heart was tender. now, i think it could be counted as a positive learning experience and my heart is hard.

Sadly, I would make all the same decisions all over again. And in the same errors of judgement.

I can't ever recall an early rise time. We used to put hundreds of books along the sides of their cots. Everything from Postman Pat to Gray's Anatomy. That was not to foster a love of books. That was to block out the light.

Yes, we do not own the middle of the house, which makes living odd. I dare not blog about them in case they sue. They are Mr Pod and Miss Chevette. Although she sublets from Mr Big. On him, I am silent. He specialises in law.

ladybirdcook said...

I've just been pointed towards your blog by someone who home eds her kids, she said she thinks I'll like it.
Now I've read some, I'm sure I don't know what she means *whistles innocently*
I nearly pee'd myself reading this at work, I'll have to be more careful in future :-)

Grit said...

hi ladybird cook, you are welcome here, and i hope there is always something to keep you amused!

ladybirdcook said...

thanks for your welcome, which I have only just seen (I like to keep up with things...)
Sorry to read about your struggles with moving to HK. I have moved myself and the children to different cultures and I have found out that yes, that old hippy wisdom really is true - find yourself and happiness within yourself and it will work out. Even though it might be hell right now, it will get better as long as you realise (which you have) that chasing butterflies isn't going to help. It's a horrible feeling to be so far away from all that you know and be chucked into a place where you don't understand anything - but at some point you 'get' the new place and feel proud of yourself :-)
Don't start smoking, it doesn't help anything and is crap to give up. Take one day at a time and don't be afraid to give up the idea and go home either - there's no prizes for heroism in this parenting lark.
Wishing you and yours all the best, Elli

ladybirdcook said...

:-/ sorry, now I read why you disabled comments

Grit said...

thank you ladybirdcook! i'll open comments again; i know sometimes it helps to listen to other voices too.

Dreamingaloudnet said...

Chuckled a lot reading this. By definition I also consider myself grit, though a little more earnest! What does that make me - a stone I guess,that hopes to send out ripples, women's circles

Sally Whittle said...

I can't comment on your posts! Ah well, I only wanted to say I hope you feel better soon and the hot chocolate was the right choice.

(she says, as she faffs on the Internet to avoid a 22 page technical document that needs editing)

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Hello Grit, trying to find a way to email you, but can't. would you mind dropping me a line at thank-you! I'm after your royal wedding memories...;-)
Pig x