Thursday, 25 February 2016

Midi-Me gets Virtual and her mother gets a job.

Mummy on the edge Jan Feb 2016

It is the beginning of another new year and I have been getting creative with my use of the hairdryer, which I utilize in the warming of my bed before and while I am in it.

This is most definitely environmentally UNfriendly. Admittedly, I occasionally ponder a post-apocalyptic world where Midi-Me’s children’s children are hiding out in caves dimly lit by straw fires, crushing their tiny, six-legged, protein-packed dinners with de-powered tablets, foraged after a dangerous round trip in an acid-storm to the defunct-i-mountain, cursing their useless, selfish great-grandmother who deigned it necessary to blow-dry her bed.

However, this method of toastification of the self before bedtime is highly effective (and also very dangerous and not to be recommended).

Despite all that, I do care about the environment. Which is why I gave Midi-Me a gift made of cardboard for Christmas. Recyclable, innit. Mr Angelina came home with this flat-pack cardboard contraption which he had bought for himself off the interweb because he is tech-knowlegical (see what I did there).  Midi me - with her flat-pack-building expertise perfected during quality time with her dad at his furniture store in Vancouver - helped Mr Angelina put it together, while I sat on the sofa recovering from a bug under a blanket (without the hairdryer), entirely uninterested in what was being constructed.

When I saw what it was and how it worked once they had managed to put it together, I was very impressed. And also a bit scared because I feel sometimes I have been plonked about 50 years into the future. The Google have invented Cardboard ( which promises to make virtual reality an experience available now to everyone using a headset made of cardboard that you can make or buy. The headset is basically a viewer that holds your smartphone or ipod on to which you can download free apps that can take you to different places in the country and indeed the world. You hold the headset to your face (or strap it on if it comes with a strap) and by moving your head and/ or spinning around, can achieve a 360 degree view of “wherever” you happen to “be” at that moment. You cannot move “forward” or “backward” but it is still pretty cool.

There was much collective “oohing” and “ahhing” from Midi Me and Mr Angelina and some giggling from her, too.

“I’m in Paris! I’m in Tokyo! I’m in Venice! I’m in space! I’m in a kaleidoscope!! Wow!!!” It works on streetview in some areas but thankfully Midi-Me could not locate our house as it doesn’t go as far as Bushey. 

I start January with a renewed appreciation for schools and the people that work in them. From November to December last year that was me, as I took a job as a teaching assistant for half a term in the reception class of a lovely little private school.

Midi-Me was happy; she likes telling me about her day and hearing about mine and when I was running Sing and Sign, she always looked forward to my detailed play by play. She’s not that interested in the plotlines of Real Housewives so it’s always a more gratifying exchange if I’ve been working. Also, since birth she has been used to hearing her mother speak in clipped tones in the morning and watching her mother run around the house looking for shoes and keys in a blind panic; that’s her happy place.

However, (you knew that word was coming, didn’t you…) it seems I am not the patient angel that my name would seem to suggest and years of running my own business teaching 3 hours a day and staying up late to do paperwork with only a glass of wine and Sky Player for company has spoiled me. I underestimated my body, brain and ears’ capacity for constant noise and talking and listening and overestimated my interest in the mediation of about a hundred truly life-unchangingly insignificant playground spats a day.

So, this January, can we all take a minute to think about the blessed teachers that teach our children and the assistants that assist them and the playground adults that listen to our children’s problems with each other and the lunch supervisors that keep peace in the lunch hall without the use of a full-size tambourine every 2 minutes to avoid shouting. Yeah, that was me. With the tambourine.

More at and and twitter @appleina.

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