Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Pastures New

In a bit of a rush and a bit of a hurry, a new home may be heading our way. After spending many months detesting our chunk of Swindon, a spot of criminal damage (thankfully, not to us), some unpleasant incidents with my kids and the locals, we started looking around to find the way out of here, and things have been much easier than we anticipated. With some help from my mum, a bank that is paying less than 0.5% on one of her savings accounts (thanks, Barclays. If you'd offered decent customer service, none of this would be happening. I seriously, seriously owe you one. They quoted us a stupidly high interest rate for the mortgage as well, which is the ironic thing) we're on our way onto the home ownership ladder. And frankly, it's terrifying.

I love the house so much, though. It reminds me of one of my favourite places in the world, Mackintosh's Hill House up in Scotland, with the way they've placed the windows. The stairs have a fantastic twist- a full 180 degree turn- and look like something out of an Agatha Christie novel, and the living room has- get this- BOTH a bay window and french windows opening into the garden. Which is huge, at least by the standards of a new build in 21st century Britain. Oh, I love this house so much, I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that nothing goes wrong. If things continue at this speed, we might be exchanging contracts before Easter and in shortly after.

And in other news, my sons' handwriting is now considerably more legible than when I last posted. There's hope for them yet :) Even more shocking- well, that's another post. I'm crocheting.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Well, what goes around comes around...

Ironically the next thing in my life after my Big Revelation was parents evening, and this time it was brutal. My oldest child is making some poor choices. He isn't bringing his homework home from school, and he isn't taking it back to school. In lessons, he's gazing out of the window or wool-gathering instead of just biting the bullet and getting on with things. His English teacher is exasperated, his maths teacher is just fed up- because certainly in maths, he really can do it. He just isn't. In literacy we have no idea how much he can write, because he isn't trying- to put this in perspective, he's at the same level of the national curriculum now as he was three years ago. Something's going on.

In case this helps anyone in the same situation, we've taken drastic action. All pocket money has been cancelled and is being held in trust until further notice. A written application to the board is all that's required to unlock funds for any one purchase- a minimum of fifty words. As Isaac is also struggling in literacy, we're doing the same thing for him. To do fun things at the weekend, all that's needed is 100 words planning a family outing. No ifs, no buts,no arguments. If they suggest we take a 13mo paintballing we'll find a way around it. The money is set aside. It's down to them now.
And then, of course, Alex came up with the brilliant idea of a sponsored silence for Red Nose Day. The things he couldn't say, he'd write. It hasn't dawned on him yet, but it struck me early on in the process that this could get him past the anti-write. I'm anticipating that today is going to be expensive (there's £50 to comic relief at stake) but fun. Let's hope so.