05 May 2016

Drawing a Perspective


I had intended to publish this post earlier in the week, my intentions and reality don't meet that often at the moment.  There have been days lately when I have felt like I was in a room with no obvious way out and whilst I search for the door my panic levels rise, but inside me there is a small voice telling me all will be well.  It is not lost on me that this time last year I stopped blogging for a while, I thought I was doing a better job at managing my busyness levels this Spring but I guess my report card would say 'could do better'.

It is all too easy after the cold of Winter to want to be out and about all the time and saying yes to every invitations we are offered, forgetting the bigger picture whilst doing so.   I write 'the cold of Winter' as if we are now in the throes of a warm Spring, but Winter is clinging on here as it seems to be in many places in the Northern Hemisphere, we had as much snow last week as we did in the Winter months.  My busyness has frustrated my garden plans some what, but with hindsight this has been no bad thing, the few seeds I have sown have have yet to germinate, there is always next week.  My leeks that overwintered and survived the deluge of Winter rain are growing well as is the purple sprouting broccoli and kale which are providing enough for the odd meal and smoothie.

I am not much of a radio listener these days.  The news, which is what I most often switch it on for, is rarely appropriate for small ears, I did however catch some snippets last week.  There are a few days in my life when I can remember exactly where I was and what I was doing.  One of those is the afternoon of 15 April 1989.  It was a Saturday and I was at work and, like every Saturday, there was a steady stream of colleagues dropping by to catch the football scores on the radio that was always burbling away in the background.  Most weeks it was drowned out by conversations, this was the staff canteen, that afternoon there was a hushed silence and no one moved, not even when someone came into the room.  We lost two colleagues that day one just sixteen years of age.  For 27 years the fans were blamed for what happened, vilified by the press with lies fed to them by the police and politicians until last week when finally the truth has been uncovered.  It is important to remember that the world was a different place in 1989 but even taking that into account lies are lies, and lies to protect your mistakes, your job and your profession cannot, ever, be condoned.

I am also a sporadic listener of a radio soap that is popular here in the UK.  One of the current storylines is tackling domestic abuse and has made for difficult listening at times.  I know how hidden this world can be as a friend of mine was brave enough to reach out to the authorities and only then did I find out what had been going on for years.   This programme has sensitively bought this world into the public domain, donations to support charities have increased as has reporting of violence in the home.

If Alice was a school she would be taking tests this month, every school child who is seven or will be by the end of August has to sit them.  They are tests built round right/wrong answers, an input/output assessment, you would expect then that all the tests be factual?  No.  The English paper is based on grammar, punctuation and spelling.  Some of the questions have several parts to them, all of which have to be right to gain a single mark, so even if the child has grasped the premise, one spelling mistake will mean no mark.  I cannot think of any way to make a test more demoralising and pointless.  My heart goes out to all those children and parents who are enduring this, it makes me immensely grateful that we are able to live on one income and home educate our children.  This week Alice has, amongst many other things, been building a circus out of lego, attended a Steiner French group, had many books read to her, recapped her alphabet learning, visited a local Bird of Prey centre where she handled a hawk and played ludo with two dice.

The busyness has meant less thinking time, thinking ahead is vital for our rhythm and I have been clinging on with finger tips with the minimal of thinking and planning, hoping that all will be well which it has, mostly.  It has meant far less time online,  I apologise if my visits to your blog have been sporadic but now you know why!  I haven't managed to post here for nearly a week, I think for the next few weeks, maybe longer, I will be posting less often and my visits to blogs may continue to be sporadic for a while, I do hope you are ok with that.   But, we are all happy and safe and that is the most important thing.

28 comments:

  1. I think we all have times when life is busy, of course, at these times our families must come first. Much better to let the blog slide a little than run ourselves ragged, blogging should be fun, not a chore to be fitted in when in reality, there are more important things calling on our time. I think the 15th April 1989 is one of those dates when most people can remember what they were doing. I was in Top Shop (of all places) and the radio was playing the news. I've never listened to The Archers but I think soaps do a good job of raising awareness of issues. You're right about domestic abuse being hidden in many homes, unfortunately, it's the victims who often feel the guilty ones, that and fear stop them speaking out. It's only a couple of months ago that a family in a nearby village were murdered by the husband/father, terribly sad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right that blogging should not be a chore. It's interesting that last year I just gave up rather than blogging less, whereas this year I couldn't imagine stopping? Top Shop was the place to be in the late 80s, I suspect if I hadn't been at work that is where I would have been! You are right about soaps raising awareness of issues, they do do a good job of it, normalising it to society in some cases or lessening the fear of the unknown.

      Delete
  2. I was just pregnant with Sara at the time of the disaster and I remember being transfixed by the scenes on the evening news. I find it hard to watch anything where there is so much suffering. The cover up is unbelievable, all that misery adding to the deceased families' suffering of losing a loved one.

    I am pleased that Pip has avoided the dreaded tests, they are soul destroying. Hope you manage to find some peace in your days X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is hard to watch or listen when others are suffering. Even when it is not something we have experienced ourselves. I think we are through the worse now but I still need to keep my finger on the pulse!

      Delete
  3. Ah busyness, it can sneak up on us if we aren't careful, can't it? I find in the homeschool community here there is so much offered, and while it all seems like wonderful opportunities, I always take the time to weigh what it means for our life here at home. If it means I am running to a fro, and we don't have our time at home to just be and enjoy, I am so happy to say no to those opportunities.

    I hope things slow down soon, I will still be here when you return.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It certainly can sneak up on you! Well it did this year. I hope that I can manage things better next year when I know more of what to expect :). Time at home is so important to me too especially weekends when I recharge ready for the week ahead. It is my weekends that have been so busy of late which has meant I am trying to sort everything it last minute which is not my way at all.

      Thank you for your kind words of support for my blog :)

      Delete
  4. That sounds like a lovely week for Alice - much better than SATs! And just let your rhythm find you when it comes to blogging - it doesn't have to look the same all year round.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I certainly think she enjoyed herself more than those children doing tests. You are right that it doesn't have to look the same all year round, why do we pressure ourselves so!

      Delete
  5. It seems to me that you have been thinking rather a lot, maybe not about what is most useful for your daily rhythm but a lot all the same. I sometimes don't listen to the news for weeks but I might glance at the headlines on my phone only to look away again. I didn't live in the UK in 1989 and much of what happened has passed me by then. Now I am astonished at the length of time it took to determine the truth, the sustained pain and sorrow these many years have caused to those at the heart of the tragedy.
    We don't have SATS in Scotland (unless they are unofficial and informal), for which I am grateful. These tests put labels on children they do not deserve and do not need and equally, it puts pressures on schools they do not need. My nearly nine year old is about two years behind the reading 'standard' and we are grateful to his teacher that she takes the time to find audio versions of the more complicated books the class is reading and helps him with the comprehension so he can participate and enjoy with the rest of the class. I don't think this could happen if she had the pressure of tests and stats and the headteacher. I would love him to have a week like Alice, so much rounded age appropriate learning without pressure. Ah well, in my next life maybe. Apologies for this rather lengthy comment. I hope your next few weeks are giving you more time for reflection. Have a lovely weekend (it seems to be warming up, there is hope yet for a warmish spring). x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I have been doing a lot of thinking recently! Counting my blessings :).

      It is so lovely to hear about the help that your nine year old is receiving, that is what teaching is all about I bet that gives her such pleasure. Thank you for sharing! You are right that she probably wouldn't be able to do that with the pressure of tests.

      Please don't apologise for the lengthy comment, thank you so much for taking the time.

      Delete
  6. I think being busy with raising children and living life is so much more important than an online presence. I find I love blogging and posting regularly but my children are adults and I have the time to do it. I don't know how regular I would be if they were school age!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is what I am battling with. I love both and my children always come first but at this time of year there are more pulls on my time............I think it will be as Carie commented that in the Summer months my blogging has a different rhythm to the Autumn and Winter. I am good with that.

      Delete
  7. I have been 'blogging' for almost 10 years and have taken longer breaks than I have been writing blog posts. Sometimes it just isn't happening and I believe most bloggers will 'suffer' from this.
    Like you, I also want to get the garden going but the cold is still keeping its hold over the spring. The kitchen window sills are choc-a-bloc with seedlings and I need more space for fresh sowings. xxx...x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't been blogging for as long as you and I have put myself under pressure to continue to blog every few days even when busy which is ridiculous. I have made peace with the fact that leaving it for a week, sometimes, is ok ;)

      Delete
  8. hope you find a balance that works for you, allowing time to do everything that's important to you, and occasionally to write about it for the future to look back on x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a work in progress. I really missed it when I stopped last year and now I have a gap in my records which, as you say, is great to look back on :)

      Delete
  9. I know what you mean - this time of year is always busy for me and I seem to spend less and less time visiting blogs which I feel very guilty about but we have to get our priorities right I think and just hope our regular readers understand.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope so too! I think they will if we explain ;)

      Delete
  10. I always admire mothers who manage to sneak in work/blogging/crafting into their often hectic lives. I hope you are not pushing yourself too hard and being kind to yourself!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am guilty of that Alina, at times. I know that my life is not as hectic as some but I do have to work hard to keep it slow!

      Delete
  11. It's a constant struggle to find a balance between on-line and off-line I guess. I know that you will ultimately do what's best for you. I enjoy your posts very much and your comments but fully understand less presence. You said it perfectly "we are all happy and safe and that is the most important thing".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is about balance and I lost it for a while!

      Delete
  12. It must have been so hard for you re-living that tragic day with all of the news coverage. Thank goodness the truth has finally come out. xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It has been hard, every time it has been mentioned over the past 27 years I am transported back to that day. It is such a vivid strong memory, it must have had a real effect on me at the time without me really realising it.

      Delete
  13. I remember that day very well too, it is appalling that it has taken so long for the truth to be revealed. Regarding blogging, I didn't blog atall in April, I just didn't have time, but saying that I did miss it a bit. It is very hard to find time for everything, and our children and families must always take priority. X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is appalling isn't it. It is hard being a mama sometimes isn't it pulled in all directions!

      Delete
  14. Oh I hear you about the school tests. I have been seeing SATS questions posted online and I am horrified at what is expected at such a small age.

    I am so desperate to home school except unfortunately for personal reasons we have decided that it wouldn't be best for my wellbeing and thus probably the families but I feel so torn all the time when I read about things like this that maybe I am ultimately being selfish with my need to persue my own goals if it means putting my children in an education system that I disagree with on huge chunks. Mum guilt is a terrible thing. I guess I don't know what to do for the best at all.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Super post, lovely words. Taking care of ourselves and making time to stop and relax is something I have been completely rubbish at over the last few years and I am now paying the physical and mental price.

    My neighbours son and his friends were at Hillsborough that afternoon. 27 years ago there were no mobile phones, no texts, to instant getting in touch and we all had a long and horrible evening sitting around with endless mugs of over-brewed, too strong tea (funny what you remember?) until they finally arrived home, shocked but safe.

    I wish I had had the opportunity to be home educated. I hated school, it was not an environment that suited me. Your children are very, very fortunate.

    ReplyDelete

Hello......would love to hear from you :)