Tuesday, March 17, 2009

If music be the food of love

Wednesday 18th March

Have just spent a hurried half hour organising presents for a niece and godson born the same day, nine years apart. You would think having lived most of my married life abroad and certainly most of it since I started gaining nieces, nephews and godchildren with what seemed like at times, machine gun rapid fire, that I would have worked out by now that 24 hours before the birthday is not an appropriate time to post the card. I operate with a characteristic optimism, on the basis that I have gained half a day at least by virtue of the time zone calculation plus second delivery in the UK gives me an edge. Even given these factors in my favour it is going to be physically impossible for the envelope to flop onto the doormat before Saturday morning or Monday – sorry guys.

Wednesday morning in the Ling household is a bit like living in the backstage area of the Sydney Symphony, not in terms of the music produced but in the sense of lugging instruments around. Every Wednesday I manhandle into the car, a tenor saxophone (size of small coffin and just as easy to manoeuvre), alto saxophone (quite manageable in comparison but still on the large side), trumpet (fair size, but hey I can swing this one into the car one handed) and flute (wonderfully portable instrument) plus my three children and neighbouring child and her clarinet (like flute, desirable instrument in terms of portability). As I set off for school with my musical medley packed in behind me I feel we should all be bursting into a melodic rendition of “The Hills are Alive with Music”. The reality is of course that far from conducting my travelling band I am having to field the wear down tactics of the discussion of belly button piercings whilst simultaneously refereeing the sibling heated arguments conducted fortissimo in the back seat.

I have been following the Julie Myerson debates in the UK with interest in particular the ethics of writing about one's own children. I have some sympathy with her in that the family offer such rich pickings in terms of material to write about, but part of the reason that the predominant theme of this blog seems to be the dog is because he doesn’t mind having his faults splashed across the internet, or more accurately if he does he a) can’t tell me and b) I don’t care as he is unlikely to write a retaliatory ‘Mommy Dearest’ book. I have decided though that I can’t really continue to use the girls’ names in this blog. I am tempted to go the Miss Moneypenny in the FT route and refer to them as Cost Centre 1, 2 3 – perhaps Drama Queen 1, 2 and 3? Simon of course will continue to be pilloried on a regular basis!

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