We have been far too busy here.
Ds1 has been doing art prep for his art and design exam.
The dining room table - no, let's get this correct, the whole dining room - has been piled high with assorted art materials for two months. It has been near impossible to circumnavigate the table without being maimed by mirrored plastic, a sack of sand, piles of paper and paints and pencils, lamps (for late-night work), printed photos, sandpaper and saws, glue guns, boards and blocks and ,well, just about everything you could imagine doing something creative with. Or something ds1 could get creative with. Personally I'd just go with pen and paper, myself.
What you do when your prep board is the wrong colour
The Art and Design Exam. The dreaded Art and Design exam. It is almost a swear word (swear phrase?) among my fellow parent sufferers. Why? Well...
...the stress associated with changing syllabus only a couple of weeks before starting the prep, not knowing exam dates until 5 weeks before the exam...
...plus the difficulties of following a very woolly syllabus, with even woollier exam instructions...
...plus having little tutor direction about the exam requirements (and zero knowledge of art or art processes myself)...
...has meant that our - ok, my- every waking hour for the past 10 weeks has been occupied with moderate and sustained panic. Panic is something you should do for a few minutes, sometimes up to a few hours. A day of panic is extreme. Eight weeks of panic is really not good for the soul. When you find yourself baking chocolate cookies at 5.30am because you've already been awake an hour staring at the ceiling wondering what 'a student's personal response to...' actually means, you know this is neither good for longevity, or hair retention.
A neutral photo of one corner of the table. I would post up photos of artwork,
but feel safer to wait until after the exam marking, just in case, you know.
Of course, like all these things they do eventually pass, and you wonder why on earth you made such a fuss. It's a bit like having a baby...all that stress and anxiety and 5 years later when you are so over it all, you wonder what it was all about. Yes, eventually the art exams came and went. We had a marathon session of clearing the table. i.e. redistributing the c**p to other areas of the house. I am proud to say that we now have a dining room.
Meanwhile, during THE LONG WINTER of art prep, all other things have been abandoned, deserted, gone unnoticed, left to...
...grow roots in cardboard boxes.
Our 'Grow Your Own Potato' kit, grew itself...through the netting...and out of the box. I swear it was heading for the front door.
buried planted the sorry-looking specimens in the sacks provided. Over the next few weeks we will pay them some guilt-attention, lovingly water and watch them, before resorting to complete neglect, like last year's batch.
No doubt, like last year's batch, they will lean and lurch all over the patio, occupying valuable space with their monstrous green foliage and smelly yellow flowers and tripping up anyone who dares to venture near the water butt. I will curse them many times, attempt to tame them, but secretly be please that at least something that's not a weed is flourishing in the garden.
Some time in autumn when I've blown the food budget because all three kids need fencing trainers, I will suddenly remember that we planted things in the garden five months previous and that maybe I should go take a look.
I will hack my way through the patio jungle and pull out two sacks of soil and a lot of woodlice. I will nag the kids to Come! Look! Peter has fun! Jane has fun! And when they can't be bothered to come to the much-anticipated 'unveiling of the potatoes' event I will say that either they come and fake some enthusiasm, or there will be two-week old aubergine on their plates for dinner tonight.
Cameras will be at the ready, trumpets will sound. And at the end of it we will be seriously underwhelmed with a few miserly potatoes, smaller and more pathetic-looking than the ones we planted. Not even enough to make mash.