Friday 27 April 2007

Not blogging

‘I didn’t blog yesterday,’ I said to Adrian in bed last night.
‘Is that a good thing or a bad thing?’
‘Good thing. I was becoming addicted and I was turning into the blogging equivalent of Mester the dog.’
‘Fester the what?’ He gave me a very odd look which comforts me that he really hasn’t been on the site and hasn’t read my blogs.

‘Oh, and I didn’t eat chocolate either.’
‘Yes, you did. You had a Crunchie at the petrol station and you finished off the cooking chocolate. And don’t say you didn’t because I saw the wrapper in the bin.’ Ah.

I’m not sure if Not Blogging felt liberating or not. As it was I ended up scrawling pages in my diary instead (which is usually a highly boring affair that simply states things like – ‘A took J to school. Worked. Ate too much. Picked up J. Watched Invasion. Bath and bed.’ God, bet a fair few of you wished my blogs were so succinct.

Yesterday was parent’s evening (or rather parent’s late afternoon), which I dread with the heaviest of hearts. It’s not that I don’t care about James’ progress but, at eight, I don’t really see the point in discussing whether he has any real grasp of the implications of Egyptian civilisation or how his knowledge of birds stacks up against the other children in his class. He is happy (nay deliriously happy) at school and regularly comes home with stickers and certificates and badges. They have never phoned up and complained that he has beaten children in the playground. So really what’s to worry? We live forty minutes away from school and it all seems a bit pointless for fifteen minutes of polite smiles. But we skived off last time and felt we couldn’t really be Bad Parents again.

The time before that I had cornered the headmaster and suggested that French was a worthier subject than RE and that maybe they could start comparative religion at an earlier age – given the fact that most world conflict is caused by religion. Then I think I went off on one about Latin.

Yesterday he caught sight of us striding over the playground and literally took off at a sprint in the opposite direction. Who’s to blame him? It was all a bit grim. The teachers looked like animals at the zoo, trapped behind their desks ranged around the edges of the hall. Eight chairs in the middle, back to back as if they were waiting for us to play Musical Chairs.

Adrian wanted to talk to the sports master – think he hoped he would tell him that James has a career as an international sportman awaiting him. Nice chap but no sense of humour.
‘James is big. Very tall. Hugely large for a Year 3. Actually immense for his age.’ OK, OK, we get the idea – our child is a freaky giant.
‘Hey, better put him on the basketball team then eh?’ I quipped.
‘Sorry but we don’t actually have a basketball team. Maybe when he gets to high school.’
Ah. Sense of humour deficit.
We glazed over during the maths talk, having lost any clue of what James is doing there about a year ago. English fine. French fine. Skipped history, geography, RE and all the various Ts (DT, IT, FT) – and fled to the car so we didn’t have to engage in ghastly social chit-chat with other waiting parents playing Musical Chairs.

‘You were remarkably restrained,’ said Adrian. You didn’t even talk about Latin,’ said with something like awe.
‘I know,’ I replied wistfully. It’s not that I’m a horribly pushy parent but I still have terribly fond memories of the Cambridge Latin course and labour under the misconception that all teachers will have gone through a similar love affair. Caecilius est pater, Metella est mater; Erat Quinto discus novus and so on. I would spend hours reciting qui quae quod and hic haec hoc and can still spout Horace by the yard. I wept buckets when it finally dawned on me that Caecilius’ villa was situated in Pompeii, bang splat in the firing line of Vesuvius and that it was all going to end under several feet of volcanic ash.
Still, all things considered, it was a far more erudite addiction than chocolate – and blogging.

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