….. I know this because I have made my list this morning – ticked a few things off already. The sun is shining; I’ve almost finished breakfast (tick), I am synchronising my workload by watching the news on TV, printing off research papers for my next assignment (tick), drinking my rum-laced hot chocolate (medicinal still) and making soothing but useless noises to the deaf cat who has just given me a look and gone outside into the garden.
Lovely hub has already left on his paintballing excursion (tick) – he had his own list that he started last night. The amount of organisation that goes into getting his paintball stuff ready is impressive and often mysterious. Last week I introduced him to the delights of Excel so that he can actually have more complex lists for when he goes off on a paintballing weekend in the Brecons in July. All well and good but he took to spreadsheets like a – well – you know – one of those things that like spreadsheets I suppose – you can’t have a metaphor for everything. There have been several occasions this week when we have been competing to use the laptop because of his new-found love for filtering and sorting.
I’m in trouble with College Boy’s teachers again – and I don’t CARE! On Wednesday he went in for his Psychology exam and came home ‘shattered’ but quite pleased with his efforts. Whilst having a yack with his mates online I received a text and then an email from college informing me that my son had missed his ‘pyschology’ exam and signed tersely by Tweedledum teacher. Confused – yes. Cross – that too. Subsequent accusatory argument with College Boy was resolved by his assertion that he was supposed to go in on Monday for a mock Psychology exam, but didn’t go because no one else was going according to Facebook (five went in, twenty didn’t). It sounded more than plausible and although I know he has inherited his mother’s fanciful imagination, he’s not very good at telling porkies so I sent off an equally terse email saying ‘When was this?’.
The response confirmed what College Boy said. So why wait two days to tell me? Why send the email off just after the real exam had taken place? I was really cross now, so I phoned college and (as Uni Boy so eloquently describes it) I vented. Unfortunately I vented at a very nice lady from the examinations unit who had already received a complaint about the message from another equally irate parent (phew! I love it when I’m not the only unreasonable one). I announced my intention of making a formal complaint because this was the last straw as far as Tweedledum was concerned.
College Boy went off to his Chemistry exam and lovely hub took me and my bad temper out for an airing. We had the best afternoon on the Wirral; listening to 80’s tunes in the car and then watching the sea fog rolling in from the top of the (dangerous) cliff top. We were sitting outside the visitor centre in the country park eating ice cream and watching a bunch of bad-tempered birds annoying each other when my mobile rang. It was College Boy. “Where are you and what are you doing? Have you heard from College? Ms T is trying to get hold of you.” I established that Ms T (Assistant head teacher and someone I have already crossed swords with over Tweedledum) was trying to get hold of me to respond to my Mrs Angry Mum call at lunchtime. College Boy was fine, he would be more fine if we got him something to eat and drink on the way home because as usual there was NOTHING in the house that he wanted “I’m almost anorexic here!”. When told where we were and what we were doing, his response was “God, you two are just like OLD people.” Do old people eat bubblegum and candyfloss ice cream cones and snog in public places? Yeah – well we did and I don’t care.
Ms T’s email response was waiting when we got home and had finished throwing food and drink at College Boy before he starved to death – yeah right. As expected it was a standard damage limitation email which defended Tweedledum AND Tweedledee (when did she butt in?) and expressed deep concern about College Boy’s progress if he failed to attend his mock exams. We decided to ignore it for the time being. I was tired, my throat was throbbing and I couldn’t be arsed. I was still annoyed with the snotty comments made by my tutor earlier in the week as well.
Felt lousy on Thursday and if I say that the high point of the day was going for my (scheduled) mammogram no further explanation is necessary. Got up Friday morning with renewed vigour, and girded my loins for battle. Lovely hub was in bed and sleeping off his night shift – those police helicopters can seriously affect a good night’s dozing in front of the ATC console – the Speke massif had been busy again.
Tutor first. Sent him an email that basically said that I wasn’t fussed about getting high marks – just learning and passing the assignment. I’d done both. I took an exception to his comments about my using Edwyn Collins’ experience as a case study – because I thought it was very relevant, I like Edwyn Collins’ music and think he and his family are awesome. I finished my email with an Orange Juice quote that was probably completely lost on my tutor – who sounds as if he’s a good twenty years younger than me and hasn’t had the benefit of my misspent youth. No response – yet.
Then I started on my reply to Ms T. I’d already armed myself with reference material from Ofsted regarding what constitutes good teaching and set about responding to her points one by one and putting more than a few of my own.
Hiatus here as I have just finished printing off the research material (tick) and need to go and get dressed (tick), put the ironing away (tick) and vaguely tidy (tick) because I have a cherished visitor later on (when the Grand Prix (or Pricks as she sarcastically puts it) is on.
And I’m back in the room. Clothes hung up (tick), socks paired and put away (NO! I do not iron them – they just happened to be waiting on top of the ironing pile). Health and Safety alert – my throat is throbbing – time for drugs; I almost broke a nail shutting a drawer and I actually gave myself a nosebleed when the curtain rail above the hated mirror wardrobe fell on me (we took the three of the mirror doors off and put some nice stripey curtains up instead but every now and again I knock the curtain rail off when being over-enthusiastic in my putting away). It’s stopped bleeding now anyway and I’m only making the occasional whimper.
I am dressed (tick), have minimal daytime slap to cover the reddened nose (tick), hair brushed and plaited out-of-the-way (tick). Window and patio doors open for a through draft and James Martin providing undemanding entertainment. College Boy is still asleep having been up half the night yacking with his mates – WHY did I buy him the headphones with the boom mike? Hub hasn’t sent his usual update text yet so he must be having a horribly athletic and wonderful time shooting his mates with blobs of paint. Nice.
So – Friday morning again – I finished my email to Ms T, woke up College Boy for his Sociology exam and printed off a draft of the email. Unusually, he approved it with only minor amendments – some of which I made, some of which even I wouldn’t dare to put in an email. Lovely hub woke up, chuckled at my tutor email, made some sensible amendments to the college email (he is the voice of reason in this house) but agreed that in time-honoured local government tradition we’d put off sending it out till at least 1645 hrs. That way College Boy would be home and out of the reach of the harpies, nearly everyone would have gone home for the weekend, and I’m going to be back in the office on Monday and unavailable when Miss T opens the email. Lovely hub will have to deal with her.
Ooooh – Masterchef is on – unfortunately despoiled for me now by Jon Richardson’s wicked parody last Sunday night. In continuance of the hilarity theme; we are off to Stockport tonight to see Chris Addison – deep joy. Uni Boy is wryly amused that we are spending his inheritance on laughter – poor fool – he won’t inherit anything much from us really – just his father’s patrician nose and my lack of respect for authority.
Deaf, smelly cat is wailing a welcome. This worried me for a while, thinking that he was in distress but I’ve come to the conclusion that his deafness is now so profound that he can’t hear how loud he is. His purr when I pick him up for a hug is just as loud however and he’s loving the fact that he can walk in through the cat flap and out through the patio doors without let or hindrance. A simple life.
The majority of things have been ticked off the list now and the remaining items are linked to food, friends and having a good time. Floyd is making risotto on the TV and I need to read about memory impairment and source mis-attribution. Stimulating.