It seems a while since I've blogged, but we've just spent the bank holiday weekend camping so I have a legitimate excuse.
In true form we timed our camping expedition perfectly for a change in the weather. In our family any weather that contains rain, sleet, wind and freezing temperatures is termed 'camping weather'. One develops these family phrases out of experience. I like to think that withstanding the English weather by going to bed fully dressed in a sleeping bag designed for temperatures of minus 10 degrees with a woolly hat on and two blankets is character building. I'm sure it will prove very handy if any of my children decide to become a hill farmer in the Outer Hebrides.
I've been thinking that camping is like the story of the three little pigs. Except that my children aren't pigs and none of them can be bothered to go round building houses (of sticks, straw or bricks). Actually camping is nothing like the story of the three little pigs. Except that when it's windy it's quite possible that your house will blow down. I suppose there is a very remote possibility that you might get eaten by a wolf (the only wolves I've seen are in a local wildlife park), but more likely you will be smothered by clouds of white fluff from a demented spaniel who goes by the name of Captain Jack Sparrow (or Jack for short).
Over the weekend while discussing with a small child where they could discreetly go for a wee by a canalside with no obvious trees and lots of passing walkers I realised that the word I was looking for in my last post was epiphany. One could say I had an epiphany about the word epiphany, but that would just sound trite.
Anyway, going back to the camping thing, I will post a few photos, perhaps tomorrow. No photos of tents blowing down or anything so exciting (Shame, could have sent the vids to 'You've been Framed' and earned back the cost of the weekend). Just lots of photos of the inside of the tent from the very small hole at the end of a sleeping bag and a pile of shivering blankets.
And so on to other thoughts for the day...the election. Who to vote for? The truth is, even at this late stage, I don't know. Labour have it in for home educators big time, so they wont get my vote (even though they did bring in Child Tax Credits which earns them a few brownie points). Nope, Labour have been real meanies and Ed Balls is a psychopath. What if Gordon Brown stepped down and Ed Balls ended up as the Prime Minister (I'm gonna have nightmares about that one).
And so...Lib Dems? Well Lib Dems appear to be in favour of registration for home edders, which is a no-no. Big big no-no. They're pretty level pegging in my constituency though, so I'd have to decide which of the devils I'd prefer.
And Conservatives, well. Although they seem to be pro-non-interference of home edders, who knows what they'd do if they were actually in power. And Cameron reminds me of far too many pratts (I'd use another word, but there may be children reading) that I met at Uni, most of whom were studying Politics, Economics or Estate Management. BRRRrrrrr. I shiver at the memory of it. And Conservatives were talking about reducing tax credits. If that means Child Tax Credits then I'm stuffed, seeing as they make up a large proportion of my income. I mean this is money that actually goes to the parent responsible for the care of the children. Not straight into the pockets of the main income earner who already has enough money to buy beer down the pub and doesn't really need any more. I like child tax credits because they go to me, not to my partner. I don't need to negotiate that money back again into my pocket and into the hands of my kids. So. No Child Tax Credits means children suffer. And for me it means that I'd have no adequate way of staying at home and home educating my children. I do do paid work and have always worked (honest guv, I'm not a scrounger), but I don't have enough hours outside of looking after/educating the children to earn enough to keep us fed, watered and sane.
So what is the alternative? Well I could decide not to vote. But then think of all those poor little suffragettes who did suffragette things so that I could get to vote (as you can tell we haven't got to suffragettes yet in our Home Ed history projects, but I know a thing or two about Ancient Greeks, and Charles Darwin if that's any use). Anyway, I always feel guilty about the suffragette votey thingy even if I don't know anything about it. I mean I'm a woman. Of course my sole purpose in life is to feel guilty. So the guiltometre is at full wack when I think about not voting. Gee thanks Emily Pankhurst, yet another thing to feel guilty about. So much for women's lib.
Or I could turn up and just spoil my ballot paper, which is one suggestion that has been mooted on a few home ed lists. If all parties are rubbish, or have policies that you disagree with (or just if none of them float your boat) then there is no real democratic choice, is there? Why feel you have to vote for someone, when you could just exert your democratic right to - er - go spoil a ballot paper.
At first I thought this was just pointless. I mean why go to all that effort to turn up at the right place on the right day (and finding the childcare to be able to do it) when all I'm going to do is scribble a cartoon of Chad with his nose poking over a wall and the text 'Wot no decent party to vote for' (or something else equally vapid). But someone said on one of the home ed lists that if you spoil your ballot paper these ballot papers HAVE to be counted. So in effect you are making your voice known (in a very quiet and non-influential whisper perhaps). Ah well. I suppose if someone really likes your cartoon there's always the remote chance that you might get to be the next Larson. And he must make a decent living even without Child Tax Credits.
So, what you YOU think?