School applications, Sherlock Holmes and the Holy Grail ….

I seem to have spent the last 13 years looking for schools.

It has become my “other job” – the one that drives me crazy, and at the same time excites me no end as I take on the digging and researching that would drive Sherlock Holmes to a happy ending.

{I do know that Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character, but I like to think of him as Benedict Cumberbatch and that makes him pretty real to me}

At the moment the aim is to get Connor/Child Number 1 into High School for Grade 8.  I can only apply between February and April, and then the school advises us during June – September as to whether you have been accepted. Or are going to just be home schooled.

The problem with the system is that because you find out so late in the year, if you are not accepted by a school what are you going to do?

So the system forces you to do the other thing, which is to apply to several schools “in case you do not get in” and thus in itself further adds to the fact that schools will let you know you have been accepted, give you a period of time to respond/accept/make a deposit and if that is not forthcoming then they move to the second tier of desperate parents who are sitting starting at their phone waiting for it to ring.

Schools worry me, because I have had to deal with them for so many years.  I understand how the lists work, and the waiting lists, and what it is like to wait for the acceptance letter.

The result is for Connor we need to apply to 4 – 6 high schools.

We are English-speaking, to find sufficient English schools in our area, has become akin to the search for the Holy Grail.

I applied a great deal of pressure on Connor during these last exams that the grades were the ones that schools were going to look at on his applications. I really need him to get straight A’s, or very close.

Next year I will also have to do the bit to get Isabelle/Child #3 enrolled for Grade 1.  She also starts at a new school in January 2015, in Grade R – they did not have space to take her this year.

I assume that Isabelle will go the same primary school as the other two, and she will get accepted based on a sibling criteria (her siblings both are at or went to the same school.) but that does not make me sit very easy until I have the letter in my hand.

I have seen a few status updates on Facebook where kids were accepted to such and such schools and it is always “oh, congratulations child so and so” when in actual fact it should say “Mom, seriously high 5 for the months of research, sorting out application forms, stalking people who may be well-connected to get you ahead of the queue.  Basically spending the last 1 – 3 years worrying, fretting and orchestrating this process to get your kid accepted at the school you wanted your kid accepted to, and not always the one he wants to go to….”

School application time sucks huge rocks!

141203_Grow up

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Hey Santa, check out my list …. assuming you read blogs ….

Charlotte over at  The Stiletto Mum Blog has outdone herself this year.

Charlotte has been working like a Trojan organising Secret Santa, primarily aimed at Bloggers, but a few Tweeters/Twits (is that the correct term?) have climbed aboard.

She has more than 100 Secret Santa participants.  Listen if I had to organise 100 people’s details, you would find me drunk and asleep at the end of the garden, just after I threw a shit fit asking why people were not responding to me in time!!!

I am thrilled Charlotte has taken this EPIC TASK ON, and she has done a fantastic job getting everyone on board.

I can’t imagine that there is much difference between this and herding cats.

If you do not know what Secret Santa is, and really there is no shame in asking, the basic idea is an Organiser = Charlotte, gets a group of names together = 100 blogs, and then she assigns each name with a name.

I receive a name (via Charlotte) and that is who I buy a gift for.

The person I am buying a gift for is not necessarily buying a gift for me, but I have no idea who is.

So 100 people receive gifts in the mail (or via DHL or however you want to get it there) and you in turn send something on.

There is no point in it, other than the whoop-whoop sound you make when you receive your gift, and then wonder if you spent too much and overshot the mark when you sent your ‘secret’ present or are mortified because you realise you have shopped at the Crazy Store, and clearly everyone has bought really expensive gifts!

Big HIGH FIVE to Charlotte for pulling off this epic Secret Santa, dude, no one else would have gone this far, so this is totally a shout out to your inability to say no and restrain yourself, but that is why we love you long time!

My ‘secret santa’ is going to need some assistance with what to purchase for me – and actually this works as a really good list for ‘stuff I want’ in general.

I need to draw up a list of “Hey Santa, check out my list’ as no one enjoys walking around PEP stores for an hour wondering whether to get you the white or beige coloured granny panties ….. so here is my list – in no particular order:

1.  I do love Typography – stamps, lovely paper, anything typography in nature.  There is a store called TYPO – everything in there is lovely.

I find this typography pun … really funny.

2.  I love pens — fountain pens or ink pens are my favourite.

3.  I love note books, pretty thick paper that has a texture …. mmmmmmmmmmmmmm – who am I kidding, you can pop in to PnA and buy me a school notebook and 5 black Pilot Hi-tecpoint pens and I will get wildly excited – like really excited.

4.  I love all things Boston Terrier and French Bulldog.  There are some products out there with images of either breeds.   Love them. Want them.  Check out this Boston Terrier Salt and Pepper shaker.

 

Love these Boston Terrier tote bags.

5.  I love all things pantone.  I love pantone swatches and I adore the whole move of products that have pantone swatches on them.

6.  I drink copious amounts of tea. My favourite tea is Twinings Earl Grey, which I consume all day.

7.  I love the smell of lavender and jasmine – it is stuck all over my garden and all over my house.

8.  I adore wine and chocolate, in an indecent way.  But I have started Atkins eating plan, and it is going to be several months before I see either of them, so please do not tempt me.  Each day is a challenge right now so please please do not send me anything I can stick in my mouth!!!

9.  I love african animal wire art with or without beading – I especially love the wire ones like the rhinoceros pictured below.

10.  Big Blue is probably one of my favourite stores, I love nearly everything in that store!

11. I love thing that are connected to Sherlock Holmes/Star Wars/Star Trek – a Darth Vader memory stick for instance would totally rock my world, as would plasters like this:

12.  If you pick up an item and it makes you laugh and you say anything like: “Hey I remember this from 198___ then odds are I will like it too.  Darth Vader sweat shirt for instance is so awful, that it is divine!

13.  I love books – I ADORE BOOKS, but I think I have enough books until 2015.  So please do not send me any books.  Book marks, and book accessories are always good to have, and will always come in useful.

13.  I adore photography and my big ticket item for Santa would be a CANON lens : Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II USM Lens, maybe with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III.

Be still my beating heart.

14.  I have a million picture frames, but a few more will be wonderful.

15.  Stationery tins – something funky and vintage to keep my pens and pencils in would be great.  I use an old pink water jug at the moment, but need something else.

16.  I have a desk at home which I work from – anything that would fit that would be great – stationery stuff, cute desk stuff.

17.  I really love Miglio jewellery, and there are several yummy things in their catalogue which I would be more than happy to take off your hands.

18. Of course I love perfume – which girl doesn’t?  Just avoid anything that has any hint of liquorice in it …. liquorice makes me projectile vomit, which seldom works well on a night out with friends.  Adore Black Xs Perfume by Paco Rabanne

19.  Lulu Belle stock Lou Harvey purses and other bags ….. they are too gorgeous.

Hopefully that gives you some ideas if you are thinking about buying/making/crafting/knitting me a little something-something.