SOFS

(with apologies to Alice Cooper)

And so just like that, it’s the end of the school year.

The Boy Wonder finished his time at Junior School with a great year, ending on a high note with really good results and an award for Academic Excellence in Science. And this year is a biggie, with him moving on to what passes for High School in his system. It was a good way to sign off.

I may have mentioned before that the SA and UK school systems are a complete mystery to me: The SA system because I was never part of it (and neither of my kids have been), and the UK system, because it’s fundamentally changed since I was in it. Equating the end of Year 6 with the end of my third year at Middle School seems about right, but then, I didn’t go to High School for another year after that (starting directly into the second year there) and my school year finished several months earlier (or… er… later, I guess) than the SA ones.
Even though my kids aren’t in the SA system, at least their school still respect the local seasons.

Our little girl – not so little anymore – also had a wonderful year and has really developed in character and confidence. She finished with the highest marks in her class. And yeah, I may be showing off a little about how well they’ve done here, but I am so very proud of what they’ve done this year. Also, I’ve been doing some rudimentary calculations and it’s only the third time this year that I’ve done something like this (see here and here for the others), and if you can’t share your good news and your kids’ achievements on your blog, then there’s something very wrong with the world.

A well-deserved break for all concerned now then. With no packed lunches to make and no school run, I awoke from uneasy slumbers (because of this) at a heady 7 o’clock this morning. Just another 6 days in the laboratory and then I’ll be joining them. This is the life.

Tired now

An early start for a members only event at the Aquarium, then a quick visit to the Volvo Ocean Race Village, then up to the Noon Gun, then to the pet shop to get a new bed for the beagle, then move a couch 2km down the road, then braai into the evening.

It’s been a great day, but I’m tired now.

Not a great start

It’s not been a great start to the day.

My phone’s software updated yesterday and reset the volume setting on the alarm clock. This was never going to be a good thing. Either it was going to be very, very quiet or IT WAS GOING TO WAKE UP EVERYONE IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD!

I almost soiled myself when it turned out to be the latter, but that blast of volume was actually the better option as I had had a particularly restless night. My uneasy slumbers had been punctuated by dreams of Godzilla hurling flaming cars from the M3 onto nearby sports fields. And that wasn’t even the worst bit: some of the drivers of those cars had agrostophobia, and those that survived the impact and the resulting blaze found themselves wholly triggered. It was awful.

You can see why I feel somewhat unrested.

And then, with assessments for both kids beginning today, the careful balancing act on the drive to school between recognising the importance of the tests and not scaring our little cherubs half to death. And it really doesn’t help when one is so laid back he’s practically horizontal and the other is concerned that she might get a sum wrong.
At some point.
During the rest of her life.

With them suitably advised (one newly terrified, one newly blasé) (well, done, Dad), I headed off to work. I could have taken the M3, and indeed it was probably the route of choice, but the chances of being attacked by a mutated dinosaur seemed so much higher along that route, so I took the low road instead.

Along with everyone else who was avoiding death by traumatic exposure to grass.

Desperate times called for entirely sensible measures, and thus I employed a mixture of soothing Ludovico Einaudi and Susanne Sundfør to calm me down as those around me (many of them in these categories) gave their best efforts at sabotaging any attempts at me getting to the lab in time to complete yesterday’s experiments.

Suffice to say, thanks to Ludo’s Petricor [sic] and Susanne’s The Golden Age, I remained calm, focussed and got to work in time to add the appropriate reagents at an appropriate time.

It’ll take more than dinosaurs, dodgy alarm clocks, the spectre of school examinations and all of the traffic in Cape Town to beat me.

Although I could do with a nap right now.

Xmas 2017 John Lewis ad out

This year, it’s all about Moz the Monster. Hashtag: #MozTheMonster

Summary: little boy meets monster, fails academically due to immediate infatuation leading to poor time management and self care, turns life around after a mysterious Xmas gift intervention changes his circumstances.
A demonstration of utterly terrible parenting throughout, and quite clearly an analogy for the scourge of illicit drug use in adolescence.

But all’s well that ends well, hey?

The music is Golden Slumbers (yes, a Beatles cover), is by Elbow and is the best bit about this otherwise disappointing two minutes which allegedly cost £7,000,000 and 7 months to make.

Previous John Lewis Xmas ads destroyed on 6000 miles… may include:

2016 Buster The Boxer
2015 Man On The Moon
2014 Monty The Penguin

Dodgy

The boy is playing Dodgeball. Supposedly, I’m watching, but in actual fact, I’m not.
In actual fact, I’m keeping one eye on the football, one finger on the phone screen writing this, and one (or more) ears on the cheesy dance music which inevitably accompanies these high energy sports on neon mats.

I have coffee. It’s all good.

There are no fewer than three of the Springbok Dodgeball team coaching today. I’m not sure which other sports you could get this sort of access to such expertise on a Sunday afternoon.

The boy has just been knocked out (not in the unconscious sense) early on in this game. I think he needs all the help he can get.