Monday, 28 March 2011

How one thing can lead to another

The Survivors is a place to start for an average educating day, is it not? Tiger's had a strange sniffle and I say let's run for the hills.

We follow a delightful path through our post-apocalyptic world while Tiger whines a pathetic weedy noise showing her pampered background, like why can't there be trains and people serving hot chocolate and ice cream etc. etc. So I enjoy the time by making her answer questions about how she could survive and build a community from scratch when no-one has railway tracks or servants.

We pass through a deserted village where I am sure the mysterious disease has already swept the population away.

But we pick up Ditta and The Pitcher and find some very satisfying steps.

To reach them we must enter what looks like someone's yard, where Tiger keeps whispering Are we allowed? Are we allowed? in a fretful tone which suggests she is not getting this idea of building a revolutionary community from scratch at all, but that she has spent her short life being oppressed, under constant surveillance, and urged not to do anything interesting, illegal, or in pursuit of anarcho-syndicalist government.

Incidentally, listening to Are we allowed? Are we allowed? is extremely irritating and I can definitely say that the oft-repeated idea that 'children reflect how they are treated' is sodding well not true.

However, I try and bring her round by telling her how we merely have to break through a few social barriers if we are to live in a commune with some smelly hippies and goats in a post-pandemic world where WI-type fetes and skill-swap groups might be the only means of survival.

Then we cross over these planks of wood because we are very brave and it's the only route to the beach, for which we have now walked six miles.

Once we arrive at the beach I say Right! That's it! End of the Survivors and political theories routine! I'm staying here and chatting to Ditta while you play your own survival mini saga over there.

I think I've given them enough to go on. Secretly I wish there was a Starbucks, because someone serving me with a coffee and a slice of chocolate cake would be very welcome after that trek.

Unfortunately, after an hour or so, the cast of the Survivors come to get me and Ditta off the rocks where we are perched, because the offspring are very proud to have built a sort of functioning community, which is indeed over there.

Over there involves climbing the perilous sea edge where Grit is going to fall and be bashed about the rocks horribly, and her broken body will be dead dead dead, and that is not a price I want to pay to reenact a dodgy 1970s drama filmed in Wales thank you very much, so I say Stuff the commune. I'm not going.

Shark says Being old is no excuse not to join in the great enterprise, then she fetches Squirrel who makes me come over the rocks by threatening to take pictures of my bottom and putting them on the Internet.

Here is Squirrel, swinging her fish bag.

Yet, I soften a little. I say it is quite a good bay all things considered. The rocks are very pretty and there are pink shells! Very pink! Very lovely. I covertly pour hundreds of them into my handbag because I'm nicking them from mother earth and putting them in my private collection on the kitchen work surface where I can look at them admiringly.

The survivors then demonstrate interesting accomplishments of the sort you can do in a new construction rising from a bleak and damaged world, like skip over rocks, make tools to haul boats out of sea ponds, and build a boat from beachwash, called Floating Wreck II. (Apparently, Floating Wreck I sank.)

So the whole day was spent on political theory, environmentalism, discussions of a 1970s TV series, rock climbing, design and technology, plus another six-mile trek home.

I maintain it was extremely achievement-filled, despite the runny nose and the absence of Starbucks. Indeed, when we arrive home, we watch this. Gratifyingly, everyone laughs. Then I say, That reminds me of some home ed groups. And we start the whole discussion over again.

1 comment:

Big mamma frog said...

For a moment I thought that was a dead dog hanging on the end of a fishing rod and I thought, well that's taking the whole survival thing to new heights.

It looks remarkably like our spaniel. But maybe I just need glasses.