Here is your reward. Grit Skool educational endeavours and achievements. Offered up for general informed perusal etc.
Yes, mixed up with life, but that's education round here. Now please don't come calling; the door is locked, and anyway I put the bath against it, so it's tough on the reformed burglar trying to sell me dish-cloths, too.
1. Shark is in Hong Kong. She has gone there with Dig. Her priorities are to examine her rock pool, celebrate Chinese New Year with Chum Zo, and visit the Maritime Museum, now in its new location on Pier 8. Yes, she will be insufferable on her return.
I wish all parents would hoick their children out of school and enjoy holidays in term time. This would be good for you all; you could have a great experience, come home glowing, and produce children who are knowledgeable about strange matters.
Frankly, I do not understand why school-head-types say that travel is not learning anything, because when Shark comes home she will be able to recount in detail all the news about her shrimp.
2. I have moved Shark's stuff. I told her on Skype, when I was safe, and she was far, far, away. (I recently got myself banned on that medium, thanks to 'being embarrassing').
She was surprisingly sanguine about this, including my casual disregard for the sink (probably much like you, if you were off holidaying with shrimps). But! I bet this laid-back insouciance lasts only until she returns. Then I will hide in the coal shed until her red mist departs.
3. The house is peaceful. I thought, since the awkward members of the family are out the way, it would be an ideal time to remove the bath and renegotiate the toileting facilities! For the remaining quiet ones, off their faces with chemistry books and a Latin primer, I can call it a practical lesson in plumbing and interior decor or summat.
Goodbye, bath! It was fun, but we both knew, it could never last.
4. I have attended my Naughty Driver Course, after I was caught speeding at criminal speeds in Norfolk. Personally, I think this blip was not fair. I maintain there are issues here, like, signage. Whose responsibility is it? Mine, apparently. I have to do all the thinking.
Anyway, if you have never attended one of these courses, they divide up the material to be delivered by Mr Nice and Mr Nasty. Mr Nice is helpful. He tells you how to be a good driver; better than all other drivers on the road (that includes you). Mr Nice makes you feel special and important. I am now clever for attending my Naughty Driver Course.
Mr Nasty is the opposite. He says, 'I'm not going to make you feel like a shit. Of course that is not why we are here'. Then he shows you animated sequences of motorway pile-ups and says, oh look, they were speeding, not that it's important. But the passenger died. Yes, he's dead. Dead DEAD DEADDEADDEAD. And he was only aged three.
5. Finding an exam centre is almost as gruelling as a Naughty Driver Course. We must now do unctious ingratiating to get the Chemistry and Geography IGCSE exams. One bit of me is worried about this, because I have a mouth and sometimes it doesn't know when to shut the fuck up. My other brain is reassuring. It says, Everything will be fine. Let's face it, you have a long experience of being a backsliding weed, so should be able to do as necessary.
6. A great many kids have been coming and going recently, probably taking advantage of a vacant Shark bed.
They are bringing all teenage larks to the house, including Monopoly game-board playing by rules I never heard of; mud all over the v. expensive carpeted stairs (Squirrel); loud videos of a cat in a tutu; and an assortment of blocked toilets.
I can cope. In fact, I like it, especially at going-home time when they don't want to leave. This is very flattering to me, and I hope I am fast gaining a reputation as an uber-cool, laid-back parent of teens. (This is only a half-view, of course. They have seen only my resignation of fine whatever when they set the lawn on fire. They are yet to witness my temper tantrum with the vacuum cleaner.)
7. On Film Family Fun Night, we watched David Tennant again in Hamlet, this time with the voice-over commentary by Greg Doran. I recommend it. The commentary communicated thinking, and not the normal, tedious, in-joking, with that story about when they sat on a train, inevitably followed by guffawing.
8. I have laughed at Mr Wilshaw suggesting good parents tell bad parents what to do. Is he not aware, we already have this in our culture?
Speaking as one of the problem mamas (children do not go to school; possibly broken family; maybe mentally ill; child abuse not far away; also drunk; could be dealing drugs; Who knows what goes on behind closed doors? etc. etc.), I have lost count of the times I have felt obliged to answer that question, Not at school today?
We live in England, so we check up on each other's business in our English way. But I guess he has one thing in common with Gove, even if they have had a tiff - the lesson from Mao, how the party line takes precedent; and merely to deliver it effectively requires the complicity, submission, and unquestioning agreement of the parent.
Therefore! Grit Skool lessons this week: Shrimps, Plumbing, Politics, Citizenship, What's in the news today? How to avoid death by Speeding, Hamlet, Social renegotiation of traditional board games, and Oh Look, Mother's Got All Awkward Gittery (again).
ps. Geography! I forgot about the geography. Two hours a fortnight. Includes problem-solving situations of a geographical nature in one room, and cooking in the other. In this case, High-Income Country scones contrasted to Low-Income Country scones, with some discussion about farming techniques. Not that I am an expert there, but we have a book.