Let’s not talk about politics

After a strong start to the year in terms of the frequency of website updates, I have stalled in recent weeks and have fallen behind my attempts at updating at least once a fortnight.  This may have disappointed some of you, but I make no apologies, life has to take precedence over letting you know about it.  Unfortunately, it is not because I have been busy with the family, which would be a more acceptable excuse, but more that the football seasons are heading to their inevitable conclusion, coupled with the Eurovision Song Contest and umpteen other sports that require televisual production and so I have been spending a little more time at work than usual.

Does that mean it has been quiet back at Bagnall Manor, of course it doesn’t?  Lucinda and the Baguettes have been busy too, especially with the return to school and the start of the summer term.

The biggest news since the last update is that Ezra’s school place has been confirmed.  Ezra starts his journey through full-time education at the start of September although we had to apply for his primary school place back in October.  With both of his sisters at our nearest school, we were fairly confident that he was going to follow their footsteps and so it was.  The first day of the summer term arrived and so did an email with the confirmation that we were expecting.  We duly accepted and at the bottom of the form requested that we would Ezra to be placed in Miss Snow’s class, Amélie’s Reception class teacher.  We wait to see whether that request bears fruit.

Amélie has had some news of her own.  As you may be aware the girls go swimming every Saturday morning.  It is the one thing where Amélie is ahead of her older sister.  This is, in part, due to her teacher who seems to be more supportive and ‘hands-on’.  He explains what she needs to improve on, each time she is in the water.  Éowyn’s teacher, on the other hand, doesn’t tend to give as much detailed feedback.  This takes nothing away from Amélie.  She listens, and acts on the instructions given to her by the teacher and thus has gone up another level.  It highlights one of the differences between our two girls.  Amélie will try to appease, does not like to be in trouble and works hard.  Éowyn is naturally gifted but can be arrogant and complacent with it and is not quite as bothered to appease others.  However, now that Amélie is two levels above Éowyn at swimming (Green hat as opposed to Orange hat) it has ignited the competitiveness in Éowyn and a desire to not to give in (as she had requested a couple of months ago because she wasn’t enjoying it) and now wants to change teachers and try to bridge the divide between Amélie and herself.  Quite happy to encourage this sororal competition.

Éowyn may not be enjoying swimming, but she is enjoying more cerebral pursuits.  To encourage these, more academic activities, I suggested that she should read other books rather than just her school books.  She had shown an interest in the Harry Potter series and so I gave her my copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (in the U.S. the book was called Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – which makes no sense as in Alchemy there was pursuit to find the Philosopher’s Stone while there is no such thing as a Sorcerer’s Stone).  She asked if she could watch the film and I told her that she could only watch the film once she had read the book.  It kind of defeats the purpose of encouraging her to read if her imagination was going to be sullied by someone else’s vision of the book.  She was happy with this caveat and powered through the book, reading it every night before falling asleep.

True to my word, as soon as she had read the book we sat down and watched the film together.  It was encouraging to hear that she said she was really happy that she had read the book before watching the film; indeed, she said that she preferred the book to the film.  As we were watching the film, she would comment on how she hadn’t imagined so and so to look like that, or that it was scarier in the book.  She was shocked at the size of Fluffy, the three-headed dog that guards the trapdoor.  She had purely imagined a large dog with three heads not an elephantine three-headed dog that filled the room it guarded.

She is now halfway through Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, so it may be another film night for Éowyn and Dad in the not too distant future.

It appears that I am turning my eldest into a geek.  I suppose with a name like Éowyn she never really stood a chance.  However and despite her love of the films, I did not take her to the latest geek day out.  The 4th May has become to be known as Star Wars day (May the Fourth be with you) and myself and a group of friends decided that this would be the ideal day to go and pay a visit to the Star Wars Identities exhibition at the O2.  It promised much, but to our little group of geeks it was a tad disappointing.  Yes, there were props, costumes, models and artwork from the films, but it felt haphazard without too much of a theme or explanation.  It would have been interesting to see how characters develop from artwork through to realisation and some of the decisions, both conscious and unconscious that went into final exposition of those ideas. It was linked with the psychology of why, given they are father and son, why Anakin and Luke Skywalker took different paths as force users and encouraged the visitors to take their own path.  However, it didn’t work.  There were no conclusions, no insightful nuggets of psychoanalysis that illustrated why Anakin became Darth Vader and why Luke was able to resist the Emperor’s power.  As for your own character development, I have taken more insightful psychological tests through links on Facebook.  So, yes a disappointment, however, it was still nice to see some of the props and costumes and it was good to catch up with friends outside of work.

Thursday 4th May was also local council elections in our area and the only reason to mention it was that the local schools in the area take it in turn to become polling stations and thus the pupils get an extra day off school.  Usually, this would not interfere with our children’s education however, our current, unelected Prime Minister, who says that she always keeps her promises has called a general election that she promised not to, in order to obtain a mandate, that she said that she already has, for a policy that she voted against.  However, I will take advice from the title of this write-up and speak no further about it and look forward to my children being off school on Thursday 8th June.

For those of you that are interested, the newest member of the Bagnall family is settling in well.  Willow has certainly been training us and found a place in our hearts as much as our homes.  Even Lucinda, has taken to her except when she thinks that it is a good idea to walk across our heads at 0500!  That doesn’t go down too well!

I will take my leave of you, with a paucity of photos below (if you can call fifteen a paucity?), although there are plenty more on the Flickr pages, but before I go the Baguettes had been interested to know how much they had grown this year and so we measured them and added their heights to the marks on the wall.  The results, if you are interested are as follows:  Éowyn is 140cm (4 foot 7 inches), Amélie is 126.5cm (4 foot 2 inches) and Ezra is 111cm (3 foot 8 inches) – they will soon be catching up with their parents – although Auntie Liz and Nanny Fran are first on the list!

Peace and Love