Wednesday, 14 May 2014

'Even failure can be a form of success'

Yes, I find myself saying this, and other positive statements of world worth, after Yesterday.

Because we can now tick another Experience Box. Exams. Tiger and Squirrel sat the first part of an IGCSE Chemistry exam, and Shark blew up her IGCSE Geography, scattering corpses in her wake.

Strictly speaking, Squirrel did not actually, knowingly, sit her exam. I drove her to a sports hall in a school that looked like a Corporate Headquarters, maybe Corporate Admin Supplies Ltd, and I deposited her into the indifferent care of an invigilator while Squirrel's face bore a puzzled look of Exam? What is that? Am I sitting an exam? But how? I am standing up! And what is this thing, exam?

But Squirrel has a winning way of looking simultaneously charming / deluded / off-her-face / bewildered / dream-filled / hapless - all achieved while smiling, so you forgive her all, and I hope the invigilator put a pen on her desk, and I also hope Squirrel picked it up sometime while the clock did that turny-hand-thing.

Tiger, well, she surprised us all. I thought at the mention of the word exam - in fact any word that begins with the letter e and possibly has an e in it - that this would provoke the most enormous, wallpaper-chewing meltdown, where the family barricaded ourselves quivering in the cellar, calling the helicopter police to tasar her on the rampage.

Astonishingly, Tiger determined the letter A should follow the word exam and she's gone for it, having spent the last 28,000 hours with her face stuck in 450 Chemistry books. I wish her well.

Shark? What can I say, except it could be a race to last place.

We had an almighty fight about the IGCSE Geography last month - a fallen angels and rising devils sort of argument - which helped not. Shark since then spurned my generous advice about diagrams and how to hold a ruler over a river. Then, while a misplaced sense of confidence settled into Shark's exam preparation (whatever form that took), the bastards changed the exam specification, probably while I was sulkily staring into a notebook for cuddles and consolation. The upshot was, Shark had to approach the experience with the heroic daring of an Eddie-the-Eagle style assault. I expect she can resit, sometime after she has actually read the chapter on rivers.

Then yes, failure is a form of success, because it is not a failure to experience. Experience is only ever, success.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Best Made Local*

Grit will be just by the car park on Saturday! Come and see me!

Well, the old hippy will be there if her face doesn't blow up or the kids don't set the house on fire.

And if you have no idea why you should buy a hand-made, leather wrapped, personalised book, stitched with perfect love and a magical dash of creative quirk and storybook whimsy, then - to start you thinking on your particular desire and need - here are some delicious books I've stitched up so far:

First wedding anniversary - celebrate one complete year of marriage with paper. And no divorce yet!
Garden book - to collect plant notes, garden plans, weather lore.
Music notes - book to collect snatches of sound in a month-long music project.
Graduation present - made to a discipline, whether it's history, psychology, archaeology...
Story prompting book - book for the creative writer to muse with, play with, and fantasise over.
Birthday present - lots of requests for this type, personalised with name, theme, preferences.
Confessional book - made to a theme; I keep secrets.
Grandma's book - to fill with family notes, kid photos, ephemera, and words of wisdom.
Geology book - for the rock obsessed to fill with bus tickets as they visit South America.
Holiday memories - fill with your tickets, receipts, pressed flowers, sand from the beach...

Not actually a book wot I stitched. 
To see those, you'll have to go over to Knicker Drawer Note Books.

Now you obviously want to come and buy a present (very reasonable), or place an order (very reasonable), but also know that May is National Craft & Design Month!

National Craft & Design Month! is an initiative to raise awareness of the enormous amount of creative talent we have in this country. So just think! By supporting Grit's Independent Trading Company you'll also be contributing to the national endeavour of loving your local eccentric. Think of them. Without pity. Driven by love, they sit in the spare bedroom/shed/studio (under the name of craft) doing things to wood, ceramics, textiles, gem stones, paint, soap, leather (hello!) and, if the lovely lady blacksmith is there, twisting metal into desirable wall shapes.

What else can you possibly need in life? But a hand-made item made with love. Come and see Knicker Drawer Note Books at the wonderful Best Made Local, Saturday 10th May, 10am to 4pm in the Buckingham Community Hall, Cornwalls Meadow, Buckingham.

Apparently, 'this bright and spacious hall is situated just off the high street and there is a very large car park'.

There is also coffee and cake.

*Advertising without shame