Monday, October 16, 2006

Ballet Strains & Party Pains

(Ok, ok, so blogger doesn't want to take pictures, again. Will post Emily's karate suit picture up above via Hello instead. Whilst throwing things at the screen.)

On Saturday morning Emily went to ballet and also on Sunday evening, likewise. We're up to three ballet lessons a week now as the exam approaches. Oh the stress! Seriously, there seems to be an awful lot to remember for this exam given that the children are still only variously 6, 7 and 8. Head up, chin level, make eye contact, smile, shoulders down, elbows loose, elbows forwards, skirt held wide and slightly forwards (but not too much, oh no), fingers graceful, ribs pulled in, bottom pushed down, legs tight, turnout complete, feet stretched, heel on your point turned and pointing upwards......and that's before they've moved a muscle, let alone started on the 21 different pieces they have to show. Teacher helpfully pointed out that the piano music played during the exam will be entirely different to the practice music they now all have on CD. To test whether they can immediately fit their steps, under exam pressure/conditions, to a brand new piece of music, albeit one (we assume) in the same rhythm. Because after all, Darcy flippin' Bussell never gets to rehearse to the *real* music before opening night at Coven Garden, obviously.......

Today Emily's done lots of English and maths and has started work on the next section of her art course.

I'm now beginning to wish I'd never had the brilliant idea of holding a Halloween Party; despite only asking a couple of children I seem to be having trouble finding a date and time that everyone can make. Guess that's one good point about school socialisation (currently the only one I can think of, mind) - if you have a class full of 30 kids on tap you can invite dozens of them and be assured that at least half of them will be able to make it. We don't know many people - well, we know plenty of people but we don't "know" them in the sense that I mean it, not well enough to invite to a party. I can't stand parties full of virtual strangers (never did do the "invite the whole class" malarky even when Emily was at school), but if you only invite a handful of friends and then one or two of them unfortunately can't come, it starts to look like a rather small little do :-//

At the time of writing we have Emily plus two guests, although with a bit of rearranging that may possibly go up to three. Or it may not. There are a couple of other people I haven't heard back from yet, but I'm assuming that means they won't be coming. Possibly the world's smallest Halloween Party, for three (lovely though our two guests are), but hey, let's spin it and focus on the personal attention our lucky guests will get! Not sure whether to laugh or cry on this one at the moment. I'm certainly dreading the birthday party invitations, although I have quite a few more people on my list for that one. I've done the massive guilt trip for not providing our daughter with a wider social circle (how, exactly?? it's not as if she isn't out doing something nearly every night of the flippin' week) and I've done the woe-is-me-my-poor-child-must-be-so-lonely floods of tears bit. Saturday in particular was a lot of fun on that score. But I think I've moved on from that now and I'm settling for a wry smile :-) After all, Emily doesn't seem to mind. She's sorry about those who can't come but she doesn't seem upset that we don't have another fifty to invite, and appears quite happy with the prospect of our - ahem - intimate little gathering. So I guess that's the main thing. Isn't it?

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