Some of our neighbours were moving out last year (I'm pretty sure we didn't have anything to do with the fact that they were leaving a house they'd been in for 30 years and still loved the area - pretty sure), and the matriarch of the household was a teacher. She came over to give us a box of books that she thought our children might like; story books, history books, study books etc - most thoughtful.
Well, one book cover led to this chat, and another book led to that chat and before you could say JK Rowling, we were having a full blown "door-step" conversation. You know the ones I mean - you talk for about 15 minutes solid before realising that it might be more comfortable for all concerned if you actually invited your door-step guest in for a drink while you talk.
This offer is invariably met with a refusal and "no, no, I must get on, got loads to do," etc etc.
Although, thinking about it, we could have summat to do with them leaving and she plain couldn't stand being in our company on a more friendly basis?
Anyway, the talk turned from books, to schools, to school work, and how quickly one accumulates their offsprings exercise books and, most of all, the artwork your child has done while at school but brought home, either as a "gift", or just in order to clear out teachers' classroom.
Of course, I'm on both sides of the fence with this one - I understand the need for space in an inner city school, but also shudder at the thought of more A3 and A4 sheets of paper coming home with art of varying success sploshed across it.
I'm joking, natch - those early 'paintings' done for us by our children are so ridiculously precious, the Pollock copies - you know the type - and it is very, very difficult to store them and even harder to sort the wheat from the chaff, as it were.
You end up keeping it all.
However, thanks to the splinternet, I have decided that enough is enough - this was supposed to be a paperless society, so I am doing my bit, I am taking a stand, and you, oh faithful reader, wil benefit directly from my stand taking.
I know I offer up the occasional piece of brilliant artwork, mostly from Annabel it has to be said, such is her natural ability (I know, I'm crowing, I know, don't care neeva ...) but I have decided to make a big effort and get more of her work online so that;
a) you can enjoy it and
b) the pile of paper at the end of the dining table remains at a relatively constant height (of 4 feet).
I know, of course, that it might not be all that interesting for you, having what I think is great artwork hoisted upon you, but I tell myself that you could always just scroll past the bits you don't like until you get to something you do like.
But isn't that the way with all webpages?
Some of it might be scribble, some of it you might appreicate, might even like, but remember, all of it will have been done with passion, be it Annabel or Joseph (I'll credit them where necessary). It's Annabel's attention to detail that always 'gets' me. It's the fact that you can suddenly realise she hasn't said much for 45 minutes, sat at the table while you've been preparing veg', browning mince or 'sampling' the wine you'll be adding to your dish!
Hope you enjoy it, all of it.
And like I said, if you don't appreciate it, just scroll past it.
(Just don't let me know you don't like it!!!!)