Monday, 23 March 2009
Wish I had been there!
Saturday, 21 March 2009
Thursday, 19 March 2009
After it was graded and the child brought it home, she returned to school the next day with the following note:
Dear Ms. Davis,
I want to be very clear on my child's illustration. It is NOT of me on a dance pole on a stage in a strip joint. I work at Home Depot and had commented to my daughter how much money we made in the recent snowstorm. This photo is of me selling a shovel.
Wednesday, 11 March 2009
But should there be limits?
Yesterday a few protesters appeared at a homecoming parade given to honour the British soldiers who have fought in Afghanistan. The protest was limited to just a few and I hope the cheers of the hundreds drowned out the jeers of the few.
Soldiers are following orders and display tremendous courage under the most difficult of circumstances. They are far from home, away from their families and friends. Their lives have been under threat every single minute of every single day they were away.
There are appropriate means in which to protest a war. There are places to go to demonstrate your dissatisfaction with the current policy. There are politicians to write to. There is a better way to exercise your freedom of speech.
This is not it.
Today, a similar march took place without incident. Thank goodness. I would hate for these men and women to think for one second that we don't appreciate every thing they do to ensure more people can enjoy the freedom of speech.
Tuesday, 10 March 2009
Sunday, 8 March 2009
The evenings last week were consumed with practise. He played Boating Lake on the piano until I just simply couldn't listen to it anymore. It is a beautiful tune but I'm not sure I ever want to hear it again. He sang his 2 songs until he had all the words memorised and could find his tune and key all on his own. I do love I Vow to Thee, My Country but I really hope I don't have to listen to Onward Christian Soldiers again for a very long time. And then just to torture me (although he said it was to give him an edge) he decided to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on his violin.
He's only just started playing the violin in September. And he couldn't really make a recognisable tune with it until the last few months. For a substantial period of time we had lots of painful screeching.
As Seb practised his violin piece before the audition, Marc and I stood in the kitchen holding our breath and wincing each time it didn't quite go as he planned. But he was determined. And like his mummy, you don't get in his way once he's made up his mind.
He looked so smart as we walked out the door. His hair was even combed. He carried his music, hymn books, and violin. We sat on a bench outside the room they were auditioning. Seb read a Beast Quest book and I knitted fast and furiously. They called him name and came for him. He jumped up and started to walk in completely forgetting his stuff.
The door closed behind him. My knitting pace increased but my hands were shaking. He played his violin first. It wasn't perfect but he didn't embarrass himself and I breathed a very small sigh of relief. I could hear him doing some aural tests and I was pleased with his confidence. He sang his two hymns but the piano was so loud I could barely hear him through the doors. At least he assures me he didn't forget any of his words and he sounded like he was in tune.
I clutched my knitting to my chest and didn't breath until I had to. There was chuckling laughter from the room. "That's my boy", I thought; cut the tension with a bit of humour. At last Boating Lake echoed down the hall and the last note brought tears to my eyes.
He had done it. It was done. He had done everything he could. He had practised. He was confident. He had tried his very best.
He left the room with a great big smile and wrapped his arms around me. I was so glad that it was over and I was so proud that he had tried.
I'm not entirely sure when we find out if he has been chosen but am hoping it will be early next week. Nothing to worry about now though. It is in the hands of God.
Saturday, 7 March 2009
PS He's quite easy to pick out of the photos. He has light coloured ginger hair and he's the shortest, smallest, etc. (Dynamite comes in small packages and don't you forget it!)
That's right...how does someone getting their food from a soup kitchen afford a mobile phone? With a camera in it?
Am I the only person in the world who thinks there is something wrong with this picture?
Friday, 6 March 2009
Thursday, 5 March 2009
So, please, do excuse the lateness of this post. I want to catch you up on all those happy memories.
We were honoured to have so many friends and corresponding invites to festive parties. Rest assured the diet went out of window just through the copious quantities of champagne we consumed. And that is definitely not a complaint. January has plenty of time for dieting!
The first treat of the season was Sebastian's Music Recital. The Middle School, Years 3-5 (ages 7-11), performed instrumental and vocal pieces. I have never seen such dedication, raw talent and composure from children so very young. Some of the performances were nearing professional level and I ain't kidding. I have little doubt that there are some future stars in this bunch. Sebastian performed a solo of I Saw Three Ships, which he has been practicising nonstop of several weeks for hours and hours. It was flawless. I was so proud as he took his bow.
Next we were blessed with Abigail's Nativity Story. She was a star, literally and figuratively. Auntie Mary saved the day (one again) with a white tunic (made from a pillowcase) and Marc hand painted silver stars on it. The silver tinsel was courtesy of the class teachers. She sang confidently and loudly in front of 80 (or so) parents. Her line- "But she was still unhappy!" - was delivered with thespian expertise and adequate character pizzazz! At the end of the performance, there was not a dry eye in the house (including her mummy's). She is so adorable I could eat her alive!
Wednesday, 4 March 2009
Tuesday, 3 March 2009
Martin is a self absorbed high level manager working at a generic company in London who can't understand why his family and career are falling apart but is quite certain none of it is his own fault. Everyone else is to blame. He plays the game telling each player in his life exactly what he wants them to hear and manipulating his version of the truth to shed a beneficial light on himself.
This is all good fun and I found myself laughing out loud at the ridiculousness of it all. It took me less than a day to power through it since it is a series of emails and blackberry messages. Highly recommended for those of you who find yourself getting withdrawal symptoms in the form of physical shaking when your blackberry is turned off during a flight or you've left your mobile at home.
WARNING: Lots of British inside jokes may leave readers of other nationalities wondering what in the world he is talking about unless, like me, you've spent a lot of time here and sort of get the inside jokes.
PS I finished this book so quickly that I loaned it to my boss who I thought would find it amusing.....ok, I also have a death wish. The ironic bit is he lost it on an airplane and I've had to pay the library for it. Poetic Justice.
Monday, 2 March 2009
Actually, he has improved. The trouble is so has every one else. And they have grown. They have grown much more than Sebastian has grown. Does everyone have their children on steroids or what?
Sunday, 1 March 2009
Now before you yell and scream at me for being so mean, just imagine the gigantic health and safety risk of tripping over the track in the middle of the night and destroying the child's favourite toy.
So we weighed up the benefit of not destroying it by keeping it put away or driving me insane by having it out all over the place. And we came up with an altogether absolutely brilliant solution. actually, it wasn't my idea at all. It was my husband's idea but don't tell him I told you he had a brilliant idea. It will just go to his head and I'll never hear the end of it. And I really couldn't bear that.
The solution was to clear out the loft of our garage, lay down some carpet off cuts and lay out a huge track which would be guaranteed to provide hours of uninterrupted amusement. This led to the inevitable problem of realising that clearly we didn't have enough track to build the dream track and we set off in search of building what appeared to me adequate set into a more extensive and seriously over the top set.
All that matters though is the children quite happily set off with Marc several hours ago for the garage loft and I haven't heard hide nor hair of them since. And my house is neat and tidy.
Scalectric, in case you live in a cave (or outside the UK) and haven't had the opportunity to appreciate the finer points of cruising round the track at full speed and sending your cars careening off the edge, is an electronic race track which can entertain children (and men - same thing) for hours and hours and hours allowing mummy to enjoy her bath and several good books with a large glass (or perhaps the whole bottle) of a glorious white burgundy wine. Cheers!