Monday, 7 July 2014

I count the small things

Have I lost you yet? Have I? My statcounter suggests three of you are still here. Welcome! Welcome! Sit down and have a cup of tea!

Yes, all three of you. Two of you may want to move your chairs, however, because I still satisfy a niche market in vacuum cleaner porn. (A photo of my Dyson is strangely popular in one German household.)

Anyhow, the gentleman (I'm assuming, I know) will depart soon enough, and we can get on with the report of educational matters for Shark, Squirrel and Tiger, detained as they are at Grit's pleasure while she indoctrinates them outside of all normality.

Well, first off, I am living in the House of Teenage. If I recommend a book / article / MOOC, or suggest any idea in any discipline beyond 'What we can have for dinner', then I may as well have damned the day to Hell, sent horned devils flying in its wake, and sounded the trumpet to mark the start of the apocalypse.

Precisely, parentally: I now stay away from 'stuff we are learning'. I contribute very little to it. Not much that I can say to my teenage brood is of much use, has any sense, brings any merit or worth, nor may even be intelligible, never mind intelligent.

But I am much comforted! Especially by reading how half a teenage brain closes down. (Probably just before it stares at you in disbelief, tramples on your humanities, then slams the bathroom door in your face.)

But I can still say some words that have value! Such as 'Do you want to go to the Globe' and 'You can have pasta for dinner'.

Then let us have a count up since the last missive!

1. The Globe. Specifically, Titus Andronicus (marvellous, brilliant, dark); Julius Caesar (wringing every word out, with real tears); The Last days of Troy (had to swot up on Homer before we went).

All the Gritlings are happy at The Globe. We are now nerdy types who arrive at 11.59 to the groundling queue, then chat with the one person who has waited since 11am about important questions of the day, like 'Who have you seen on stage wear boots with zips?' and 'I wonder what happened to the Renaissance bootlings to bring about this anachronistic footwear catastrophe?'

2. The RSC (Henry IV Part 2). Utterly professional and tippety-top with the delights of Oliver Ford Davies and Antony Sher lighting up the stage. I disagree though with the pamphlet. It is not a 'heart-breaking conclusion'. Buy me a gin and tonic and I'll more than happily share.

3. Other theatre stuff. West Side Story (procedural; needed to be done), plus an outdoor Midsummer Night's Dream with London Contemporary Theatre (disappointing and lacking in energy), and La Boheme at the Royal Opera House (schools performance).

The one problem I have with all this artsy-fartsy background is that two of my brood now want to be scientists. I am not 100% sure how to help them achieve that, beyond throw cash about for tutored science courses and hope the local college looks upon them kindly.

4. The IGCSE in Global Citizenship. I utterly, utterly, recommend this course. Dorothy is tutoring the Gritlings along with a.n.other, getting me off the hook. But I get to enjoy the benefit of rattling on endlessly about anything and everything, from Sharia law and the history of women's rights, to the geography of Nigeria and the population of Yemen. The Gritlings tune out after five minutes, which is even better. No one can stop me.

5. Pasta for dinner. We have achieved precious little else, unless I count Latin, an art workshop with Fimo, and Shark, Squirrel and Tiger sleeping out in someone else's garden overnight. (Their mother, I have been told, was kind. Whereas when they stayed all night in our back garden under a bit of old plastic hung between two trees, I locked the back door, which meant they had to wee in the bushes.)

I think that could be all. It is not much, I know. I am scouring around for other details to record. I am keeping up with the laundry, bought a garden bench to replace the busted hammock, am over the worst of the minor breakdown. Apart from that, nothing to report. xx


Deb said...

Glad to hear all is...well? over there.

I have a friend who says that teenagers should spend those years doing nothing except digging holes in the yard to get rid of all that angsty energy. Other than that, they are entirely useless. In a pinch, they could move woodpiles from one location to another, and then back (repeatedly).

My own kids are not teens yet, although I have noticed an unsettling attitude change in the oldest, which had me stage-whispering to my husband in horror, "is he a TWEEN now? IS THAT WHAT THIS IS?"

Good luck, dearest Grit.

globeonmytable said...

Hi, hallo, we are well into those years, but I'm the one doing MOOCs, learning Arabic and going to poetry readings.

What can I say? This time is a lot of things, all together. One day I get stood up at the station, the next day we get bees in our roof, the next day something else happens, etc etc....

Then, the biggest thing is...someone is about to leave home. That trumps everything else. I'm learning to let things happen, since they happen anyway, and float along.

Grit said...

Thank you Deb! We are entering a new phase indeed, all round. And I am happy that the offspring are growing up! Not that I am actually rubbing my hands at the thought of them being done with home ed and off to the local college, I am only eye-balling the brief couple of years to go...

Grit said...

Hi, Globe! That strategy sounds just about ideal. I am looking forward to being able to follow my fancies, set off round England with my Knicker Drawers, and join the corset&goggle brigade. Whimsy and fancy sound to me just about a perfect way to spend a few years. xx