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I’ve spent quite a bit of time this week on the road to secondary school. Daughter one has had migraines twice in the night which means she has had to go into school late. This would be fine if a) we lived near the school and not in a small village miles away with no direct connections to the school [I’m estimating by bus, tube and overland train it would take her around two hours to get to school] b) I did not work and c) after having a migraine she didn’t completely zonk out so that you have absolutely no confidence that she would wake up before, say, 2pm the following day if she were left to her own devices. Fortunately, or not, I work mainly from home and can take her in the movable feast that is my “lunch break” [which I rarely take for actual lunch], but if I didn’t she would be missing a lot of school time. We’ve had letters about her attendance rate and I’ve spoken to her head of year. I’ve asked him if there is a way round it, suggesting that maybe the school could set aside some work she could do from home on those days she can’t get in till late. I’m fairly confident daughter one would have no trouble learning on her own. She is constantly telling me that her name means ‘with no master’ and that she is quite capable of doing her own thing.
I’m thinking long term as I may not be always working from home and she has her GCSEs next year which could bring on more migraines. Daughter one has had a long campaign on for something she calls “internet school” and this could be the best of both worlds, as Hannah Montana so rightly sang. However, the head of year has not yet answered my letter or call, possibly because he thinks it is a ridiculous idea and he’s way too busy, so I’m taking the bull by the horns and heading on into parents evening tonight to do battle.
Daughter three is also having the odd migraine, but not on the same scale so far. I can see my whole future being mapped around trips to and from school at various hours of the day if a solution is not found. Daughter three is currently scheming away for her birthday which is not till May. She has got very into vloggers and has discovered that all her favourite ones are touring the country. She wants to go and see them for her birthday present. A ticket costs £22.50, but she has her eye on something called a VIP pass which enables you to meet said vloggers and get a goodie bag. It comes at the hefty price of £75. I have told her that the thing about vloggers is they are just people like her who sit in their bedroom talking and that in fact she is more interesting than them. Rather than pay a fortune to see some teenager chatting about random stuff, would it not be more fun to make her own vlog and use it as part of her ongoing campaign for social justice. “I can guarantee it would be more watchable,” I think I said. I admit that I have only a hazy idea of what vloggers do. They seem to wear a lot of lipstick and just ramble about shopping. I’m thinking I could do vlogging. I am very good at rambling, although maybe not about shopping.
It’s not as if we, as a family, have not had Youtuber experiences. The girls did some competition a few years ago where they had to dance to “Hey Mickey”. It was fairly entertaining. They all wore masks so no-one could see their faces. Daughter one was the leader and main dancer. Daughter three was around five at the time and very dedicated to getting the steps right [plus slightly worried about upsetting taskmaster daughter one]. Daughter two just looked incredibly bored. I think she even did a dramatic yawn and body slump in one section. This was mainly because daughter one made the crew do the routine again and again until they got it right. Daughter two is not a fan of perfectionism. She is more a fly by the seat of your pants sort of person. Hence her whole body screamed boredom in the few ballet classes she attended. Instead she choreographed the whole of a Cheryl Cole CD by herself, aged seven.
Daughter three has also attempted to do a sleepover tutorial for uploading to Youtube. The only problem was that only son was bouncing around in the background and upsetting her display of sleepover memorabilia. I think he actually made the video more entertaining, but daughter three was not impressed.
I once had to drive my brother very regularly from St Albans to Watford to visit his girlfriend. I considered making a film of the road to Watford. I thought at the time it could be a sort of statement about life and, of course, a showcase for Watford. Maybe we could do the same about the road to secondary school.