Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Costume Drama

Daughter #1 has been picked to take part in a history event at school today on the French Revolution, and informed me casually yesterday that she needs to wear 'French peasant' clothes. Having spent a large proportion of the weekend wrestling with glue, tissue paper, sequins and pipe cleaners to produce a butterfly costume for Daughter #2 to wear in the school production of Captain Noah and his Floating Zoo, this news does not come at a good time. I embark upon an impassioned rant which highlights the importance of planning ahead and the need for effective communication, and draws her attention to the fact that all her clothes are emblazoned with slogans (probably the modern equivalent of 'Storm the Bastille', but inauthentic nonetheless). She looks at me with deep disdain and says 'Chill out mum, I'll just wear something of yours.'

Am distressed by this evidence that my daughter regards my wardrobe as being 200 years out of date and peasant-like.

Anyway, probably have to admit that the ranting and the self-pity are not entirely to do with peasant clothes, and more about progress on the book, which is slower than planned. Am halfway through, which in itself is not a bad thing as the first half always takes twice as long as the second, but feel like I've been splashing about in the shallows now for far too long and just want to strike out for deep water. Am longing for the time where the shore, and real life, is no longer visible and there's nothing to do but keep going until I reach the other side.

(Though, knowing my luck, at that point I'll be pursued by someone in a motor-boat with a megaphone demanding an exact replica of Tutankhamun's death mask or something.)


Margaret McDonagh said...

I am gobsmacked how you find the time to do all these wonderful things, especially at the last minute, and write as well. Amazing.

I find the first half of a book harder than the second, too. I wish you safe and smooth swimming into deeper waters - must sabotage those motorboats and throw the loud hailers over the side before you set off!

Good luck.

Mags xx

Eva said...

Aren't you glad you can SEW! Some of us can't sew a button on a blouse, for pity's sake.

I find the first half the easiest - it's the middle were I start to flounder and it takes a good long while to catch my breath.

Rally on, my dear.

Amanda Ashby said...

You are such a nice mother. My poor daughter went to the wearable art competition last week wearing a red plastic bag and a straw hat - and oh how I wish I was exagerating here but unfortunately I do not have a costume designing gene in my body (actually, for that matter I don't have a cooking gene, a house tidying gene or a good wife gene either but on the plus side I always know where to buy cheap chocolate and I have an amazing talent for relaxation!!!)

India said...

Oh, you see now on the one hand I feel so much better because you're all being so sympathetic and supportive (and what is a blog, after all, if not an accessible form of group therapy?) and on the other I feel AWFUL because my costume attempts are utterly RUBBISH!

Margaret, thank you so much for the very kind, soothing words. I can see you are just the person to have around as deadline panic sets in! It's also nice to know that I'm not alone in my first-half struggle. Does it get any easier with practise?

And Eva, it's amazing to think that you can breeze through the first part of a book, which I just find a torment (All those choices! All those possible avenues leading off into the distance...) However what's more incredible is the idea of you floundering at any point. That I can't see at all!

Amanda, a Wearable Art Competition is just ridiculous and I think that you rose to the challenge perfectly. I mean, what else could you do? (let her stay in bed all day as a living re-creation of a Tracey Emin installation?)

Of course, all these things are merely sent as tests to root out slacker parents. I figure they've got me sussed already (it's the months of dinner money arrears that does it) so, as the saying goes, I may as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb...

Kate Hardy said...

Blimey, that's short notice!

We had Tudor Day recently and they gave us the name of a good local costume hire place... and son had his own ideas and sorted his own costume from his wardrobe. (No, he doesn't dress like a Tudor! It involve jogging bottoms, football socks and a T-shirt. Very authentic. Slightly better than the Dalek whose hemispheres kept falling off because the superglue people lied about being about to stick polystyrene to polythene and the paint didn't say it would, um, affect polystyrene in weird ways.)

Hugs on the difficult part. Hopefully now will be all smooth.

India said...

Kate-- I don't think it ever mentioned any of this in the parenting books did it? I remember the bits on weaning and potty training, but nothing about How to Create Authentic Historical Costumes at a Moment's Notice Using Bin Liners and Toilet Roll Tubes...

(It's lovely to see you here... how's the deadline going?)

Margaret McDonagh said...

Does it get any easier with practice? Not so as I have noticed, I'm afraid to say! Nor does the panic of an approaching deadline. Nor the belief that all this must be a mistake and it isn't really happening to me.

But that is just me. I have vastly more faith in everyone else than I do in myself. And I KNOW you can do it.

Mags xx

Kate Hardy said...

Nope, nothing in the parenting books. And I never got my Blue Peter badge. I am creatively challenged. (Well, I hope except for writing *g*)

As for the deadline: am using the voice dictation. And have discovered that it can't read my mind - when I said, 'Byron, did you HAVE to open the door and root through my bin?' it didn't realise that it was meant to raise a wry smile and do nothing. So, right in the middle of this hot love scene, a stray sentence suddenly appears...

India said...

You HAVE to keep it in!!