Sunday, 8 July 2012

The last choice

Diary has a dozen entries for today. Fancy the local museum's display of pig sticking poles? Clay at Hatfield House? A dash to Suffolk for Kentwell? Playdate on the local field? Or the Royal Society's Summer Science Exhibition in Piccadilly?

Science won, but no-one could face London Midland trains.

Engineering works are a hazard. If there's a bus, it won't run. If we miss a train, wait an hour. There's a danger we'll spend the day not having passed GO and it'll cost us 200 quid. And could we face the ritual argument? The one we're sure to suffer because we broke the rules, whether we knew it or not. Maybe we passed the date at which the rules changed. Or we can't travel on this train with this ticket wearing those shoes.

I thought I could drive to a tube station. Could I face the underground? Tiger has a nightmare she's locked underground where she can't get out. I swear I did nothing with her and a coal hole when she was three.

Anyway, no-one fancied sitting in a car staring at the back of a Volvo for two hours while it rained.

So we didn't go anywhere. Shark, Squirrel and Tiger chose to stay home.

I wasn't very happy about that. If I'm out, I can distract myself from my medical miseries. If I'm out with the kids, standing in front of a prof talking about Doggerland, I know the children are receiving an education (regardless of whether they're picking it up).

But I was outvoted.

I passed the time sending myself down holes, chasing the DAO digestion enzyme.

Shark, Squirrel and Tiger set themselves a bizarre competition to each write a travel guide to countries they've never visited. Six hours later they unhunched their limbs from over their desks to proudly show off pages of scribble. They demanded I award marks out of 10 for Brazil (Squirrel), New Zealand (Shark), and Canada (Tiger).

I don't give marks out of 10. Of course not! This isn't school. I gave grades, and everyone got an A, even though the Wikipedia pages had been copied.

I had to do that quickly, because by then I had to investigate the impact of grape seed extract on the capillaries.

I'm proving nothing with this post, am I? Apart from the fact that, denied an outing to somewhere more interesting, left to my own miserly devises, and faced with this stupid body behaving in its unknowable ways, I have become the most boring bastard I know. I squandered hours on searching magical elixirs to make it better again, or kill it by accident from an overdose of pansy extract combined with 2,000 mg of zinc and 2 pounds of vitamin C.

Nah. I have 12 pages of illegible and badly-spelled Wikipedia travel pages to Brazil, New Zealand, and Canada. It must therefore prove that kids always find an education wherever they are, whatever the circumstance, and no matter what better the options.

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