Monday, 11 February 2013

Learning Elvish

Littletree was doing a crossword puzzle today. The clue was "A small fairy who plays tricks on people (three letters)".

She could not, for the life of her, guess this one.

When I told her it's Elf, she said, but Elves aren't small fairies who play tricks on people. Elves are tall and fair, honourable and skilled with bows. They aren't small fairies at all"

Another clue was "a small plant (5 letters" starting with "sh").
She could not guess shrub, and it turns out she didn't know what a shrub is at all. I said, "you know, a small bush, as in bring me a shrubbery!"

She knows what a shrubbery is, because she has a cultural reference for it.
Then she started rubbing my back and saying shhhhhhhh. "I thought that's a shrub: shhhhhh-rub" (yup, she shares my sense of humour).

And she's totally right. I now understand much more why my child, who is incredibly bright and well-educated, doesn't do so well on standardised tests. She not only hasn't spent the past 4 years being trained to do standardised tests, she has a completely different set of cultural references.

It doesn’t mean she isn’t educated – she is very educated, and has a wealth of knowledge in many areas that would put a lot of college students to shame. It just means her sphere of learning follows a different path than the one prescribed.

2013-02-11 12.46.50

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Stormy Adventures

For those wondering where we’ve been, Littletree and I were hit by Cyclone Oswald – well, not us personally, but the area we live in was heavily affected. It had seemed that the usual January storms weren’t coming this year, and me being me, I hadn’t seen the news, so I didn’t know it was coming.

The wind picked up and the rain came down, and before I knew it, the power went out, and the phone. Littletree and I spent the next couple of days huddled up in the house, while trees came down around us, with no power, and the cellular reception tower went down, we had no way out and no way to contact the world.

The roof leaked terribly, the downstairs flooded (again), the pergola blew away, more trees came down, the road turned into a river and half washed away. The village water supply got contaminated so we had to boil water, and I was kept busy siphoning water out of the downstairs flat, and putting furniture up on bricks.

But we spent our time, playing Dungeons and Dragons, reading science textbooks by candlelight, and making up Minecraft-themed parody lyrics to every song we could think of. We danced to no music, and made handicrafts, and ate tinned food and fried bread. We snuggled and giggled and enjoyed being without phones and electricity and internet.

This river was our driveway


This river was our street


This river was our back patio


This river was the downstairs living room




this river was the garage



This river was the bathroom


The knee-deep water I was siphoning out with a garden hose (and no, I don’t own a siphon pump)


This was the pergola with most of a tree on top of it


The back stairs which have ceased to exist


And this is where there used to be a road, but a tree fell on it, taking out all the power lines and phone lines for a few days


The fallen tree from above


When the storm finally blew itself out and the workers finally came to clear it up,


Littletree took great interest in watching from the balcony with her binoculars


Slowly, slowly, they got it cleared


And it became a street again


And we’re all safe and sound in the end.