Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Surely home education will be good for something

Tiger has fallen in love. Again. Honestly, she is a fickle child. One minute it's all a-swooning after a glimpse of Bubbles. Next she's enamoured of a Daisy. Or a Dandelion. Or a Delilah.

This one is called Sparkle, or Splash, or something. I forget. Take a look at it. Looks like all the others, doesn't it?

Really, I should be a horse fanatic. Out here in Buckinghamshire, practically in spitting distance of the Cotswolds.

Aversion to Horse is, of course, not doing me any good. Not with my ambitions for my daughters. Because there has to be a Plan B regarding this home educating enterprise, doesn't there?

If Plan A fails (an independent life after university? Frankly, I am doubting the possibility of a lucrative career in embroidery) then Plan B it is.

Plan B is to slyly turn the story of home education into one of private tuition, then launch my offspring at the gentry, where a Fail in NVQ Forestry is guaranteed to classify the bearer as a member of the intellectual elite.

Once there, my darling daughters are sure to find themselves wealthy young men, blinded by the idea of a private education and deaf to the defects. One sure way to this end, I am convinced, is to get a girl on a horse.

We are at some disadvantages here, I do recognise that. First, socially. Second, I cannot bring myself to pay for the upkeep of a horse; handbags are more useful. Third, I am not a stables woman. As is woefully evidenced by my performance today. But for Tiger's sake, I will try.

I have set myself some goals.

1. Swoon, obviously and decorously, when in company of Lord Horse. (Must not go UGH UGH UGH.)

2. Remember the stable girls are individuals! Even though they are all aged sixteen, thin as twigs, 'living in', fair to blond, sporting ponytails, and called Am / Em.

3. Careful with behaviour. I simply end up showing myself out like a gangster's moll. I am so completely not. The cash is honestly acquired. Nothing to do with my husband's activities at all. I can tell the Tax Office anytime how Dig is utterly scrupulous in all his dealings with the pimping business.

It is me. Blame me. I never got the hang of the banking system, and now the wretched Barclay set won't give me any chequebooks. What else can a woman do? I simply have to settle the stables bill (two residential holiday weeks, riding, purchase of hat) in fivers.

Of course this causes a fluff at the desk. Dropping to my hands and knees to scrabble about a handbag for a roll of fivers obviously isn't the done thing, but it's not as if I was keeping them down my bra. I learned my lesson about that when I went to John Lewis to buy the sofa. Do not keep a roll of two thousand quid in the left cup of your bra. But surely, keeping cash in the same purse I reserve for my sanitary towels is sensible. If I am robbed at gunpoint (in Buckinghamshire this is common) then isn't my robber least likely to touch my private sanitary towel purse?

Well, my shortcomings at the stables are obvious. But I am never beaten by life's troubles! I resolve to continue another few months in the hopeful pursuit of Plan A (or until the maths, spelling and general gaps in academia become obvious), and then look to Plan B, quietly placed up my sleeve.

PS. Please do not tell anyone, but my only interaction so far with the Old Berkeley Hunt has been to swing punches at them in the defence of poor persecuted Mr Fox! Obviously I can't do that anymore. Not only am I a woman of maturity who cannot run fast enough now to avoid arrest, I have three young charges to launch at the upper-middle class in a socially responsible manner.

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