Friday, October 20, 2006

Just stuff - and a powerful read for me


Dani went off to work and the rest of us got up slowly. The kids are spending quite a bit of time doing secret diary related activities in Leo’s bedroom at the moment. I am forbidden to read these (of course) so all I can say with any confidence (from evidence on hands!) is that Pearl is doing quite a lot of writing with a very leaky blue pen.

We watched some schools tv progs. This has been something of a feature this week and P, in particular, has been quite gripped by a series on different religions.

In the afternoon the three of us played Scrabble. Leo needs quite a lot of support as he can sometimes find reasonable words in his hand but finds it tricky placing them on the board. I was in the awkward position of not wanting to help him so much that I was essentially playing for him, but not abandoning him either. I think I got the compromise about right – and played pretty generously myself – which enabled Pearlie to win, Leo to come second and me to come third! I was impressed that they both saw the whole game through and I am more pleased that I can say that Scrabble can now be a family game.

In the later afternoon I took Pearlie and her cousin S over to yoga. This was the last such trek we shall have to make as the teacher has started an after school class at cousin S’s school (much closer to home) where Pearlie has been able to get a place. It is a bit odd for her to be going to her old school for an after school activity but it is much less tiring than the three hour trip across town in the dark and cold.


Dani went off to work and the kids and I got up tired and grumpy. Somehow we managed to get out the door to Pearl’s Squeezebox session where P enjoyed a really productive practice. This is often the way with P, she finds focus through working hard and cheers up. L needs the opposite usually – quiet chilling time at home.

We picked up various Doctor Who magazines and came home where P got very frustrated by a missing Tardis. The state of the house means that things are going missing, just lost in the junk. I try to sell the idea of a clearer, easier space, but neither kid is keen on getting rid of anything. Pearlie hates the idea so much that she would rather never bring another new item in to the house than entertain getting shot of some stuff. I guess this will get resolved somehow…

I went to work in the afternoon and Dani took the kids to the dentist. They both had some sealant put on back molars. Dani managed to get me registered there, which is a weight off my mind. I have wisdom teeth that need sorting and had ended up with a dentist I didn’t like or trust – not a good position to be in. The practice the kids go to is a big NHS one and they have always been fine there, so I’m hoping I can get all sorted without it costing too much.

The kids both did their capoeira classes, during which Dani left to go to the AGM at her work - she was giving a speech. Pearlie and Leo went home with their cousins after class and were minded by my brother until I came to pick them up after my work. They had feasted on Chinese takeaway chips and prevented their little cousin D from getting to sleep, so they were on a high!

We watched ‘Who do you think you are?’ which was interesting as usual. Both kids watch this programme in total silence every week, which I think means they are getting a lot out of it.


I did my usual Thursday of morning as a cleaner and afternoon as a librarian. Dani rushed about taking P to Kids’ Club (must watch that apostrophe!) and L to the grandmothers’ house. Pearlie is looking at chocolate at Kids’ Club at the moment, and this week she worked with other kids to design a chocolate bar. Next week they are going to make adverts.

Dani spent some time on a home ed stall at a local community event. This was actually being ably staffed by some home ed kids, so she got to do some all important chatting.

Pearlie and her cousin S started the new yoga class at the school, which was fine.


Dani was at work today and the kids and I did a home ed group and a trip to the library. The group was a big busy one where people of all ages mainly rampage and chat. We stayed for a while but then headed off to a favourite branch library - two buses in the pouring rain.

I had stupidly timed it so we got to the library halfway through the lunch closure period, so we ate sandwiches in the bus shelter and played ‘Curate’s Cat’ until they opened again. The kids wanted some quiet reading time in the library and they did their best, in spite of two rather loud kids (of about ten) who were looking up ‘sexy boys’ on the internet?? Almost more distracting was a father who spoke like a foghorn and read his child picture books with extremely exaggerated voices.

We picked up some books on the Vikings as we think we might do a day a bit like our Roman’s day last year, with appropriate dress, food, games etc. Not sure if this will happen – we shall see. I don’t really know much about the Vikings, though I think Pearlie knows quite a lot. Dani was very fond of Norse myths as a child so she is keen to read some of those.

I retreated into a book once we got home. The book is ‘Name all the animals’ and it has been really unsettling for me. My mum came across it in a charity shop and read it first, before passing it to me with the cryptic message that I must read it. I almost couldn’t get through it; such were the parallels with my own experiences. It is about a girl whose brother dies when she is fifteen, in 1984, and it charts her grieving and coming out experiences through the next few years. My sister died when I was fourteen, in 1985, and I grieved and came out too, over the next few years. The people in the book live next to a suburb called Brighton. The book has a lot of stuff about religion that doesn’t parallel anything in my life, but it is incredibly well written and speaks some truths about sibling bereavement that I’ve never seen written down before. It was such a strange experience reading this book that I feel a bit like I’m dreaming at the moment. I know it will wear off but it is odd while it lasts. I remember my mum getting close to removing ‘The Bell Jar’ from my fifteen year old hands when I got all wrapped up like I am now. Sign of a good book.

1 comment:

Gill said...

Ooh you've just reminded me! I always meant to read 'The Bell Jar' and never did. :-O