Saturday, 28 April 2012

Liberty Bunting Sewing Class

If there was a year to invest in some bunting then 2012 is it, or how about making your own in a sewing class at Liberty’s.

Great British Garden party Projects takes place on Saturday 16th June at the Liberty Store in London (£50 plus morning tea and afternoon coffee) with textile designer Charlotte Liddel. You can learn how to make and embellish bunting and create jam pot covers. The session will cover both machine and hand - sewing techniques and is ideal for beginners.  See the website for more information and to book. 

All this rain must be bringing out the English in me what with afternoon tea and now garden party decor!

image © Liberty

Tea and Jewellery

image © Alex Monroe

I just love this idea. Alex Monroe has designed a new necklace, a rose gold shrimp and come up with a charming method of delivery. During the month of May one can take an Alex Monroe tea at the Goring hotel in London and have the beautiful shrimp necklace delivered to your table in a presentation box. £195 for tea and jewellery. Alex was inspired by memories of his Suffolk coastal childhood running wild over the dunes and taking potted shrimps home for tea. Delightful!

image © Alex Monroe

Thursday, 19 April 2012

London School's Waiting List Lottery

Today is truly a grey day in London, when thousands not hundreds of families woke up to the realisation that their 3-4 year old child did not get into their preferred or nearest primary school and for many, did not get offered a place in their borough or even like us at all.

I walked Erbie to the library this morning and every mother with child I passed was talking about school admissions either on their mobile, at the bus stop, to one and other , all in a state of outrage and shock.
‘What do you mean they didn’t get a place anywhere?’
‘It’s a lottery.’

I went cold when I read this email at 6pm last night:

This is an automated message from the Pan London eAdmissions System Team regarding your Online School Admissions Application.

Application reference: XXX-2012-XX-X-XXXXXX

Child Name: Erbie XXXXXXXXXXX

Child Date of Birth: XX/XX/2008

No offer possible

Unfortunately it is not possible to offer a place for your child at any of the schools you stated as a preference in your application.

Unfortunately it has not been possible to offer you a place at one of your preferred schools. You will shortly receive a letter from Admissions Service giving full details of the outcome of your application and information on what to do next. Please read this letter before doing anything further.

I watched the minutes tick by this morning from 6am until 9am when the local authority phone helplines opened. I spoke to a nice lady who assured me Erbie would automatically be put on a waiting list for our preferred school and they were trying to organise extra classes at many school to meet some of the demand and take in more children.

Statistically I found out that 500 people applied for 30 places at my first choice (30 places were already allotted to siblings). Th last child to be accepted lived 0.24 miles from the school – we live 0.25. This is academic as the school gates are chock o block with 4x4s dropping children
off in the morning. If they live less than 0.24 miles away Ill eat my admissions form. In fact I know of cases where people rented close to the school to get their oldest child in then decamp back to their large houses in another postcode and automatically get the rest of their brood in

The school literally 100m from our front door was another choice - a church school, don’t get me started on that, rumours are rife of perfectly law-abiding atheists suddenly taking up a hymn book and smiling in the face of God for the sake of Petula Pippikin’s pocket-money going
into church coffers, so we knew we more or less didn’t stand a chance there.

Our third choice had 600 applicants for 54 places. I won’t go on, I’m sure you are getting the picture dear reader.

My twitter account this morning was aflutter with tweets from London mothers who had been in similar situations themselves with the resoundingly sage advice – don’t panic and stay positive.

So, it looks like we may not be losing our little August baby to school in September after all, as legally he does not have to go until the term after he turns 5 which won’t be until 2013. He has to have been given a place by then right? Although there is no guarantee of anything anymore it seems, I may be reviewing educational toys for stay at home kids soon – eh gads.

Other nonsense

Quote of the day

‘They tuck you up your mum and dad...’
Anon - after Larkin

“Philately will get you everywhere”

“It’s not the despair, I can handle the despair. 
It’s the hope I can’t deal with”

“Each new friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
Anais Nin

‘Come on Dover move your bloomin’ arse’.
Eliza Doolittle