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Wednesday, 14 February 2007


My friend Dawn has quite a social conscience and therefor an ethical reason for everything she does. I met her at The Portland, when I was having Max. Dawn's reason for private health care was not that she wanted a little pampering or luxury while giving birth - why no, she simply:

'did not want to be a to be a burden to the cash strapped NHS'.

Dawn reads The Guardian, and every morning after she has dropped Lennon off to school in the Village, she returns to her reclaimed pine kitchen table, to drink a big mug of fair trade organic coffee and have a good read in her big glass house. Her house is naturally 'wall to wall' wind turbines, solar panels and recycling bins.

Just one of the things which Dawn criticises me endlessly about is the fact that I dare to work, since the children have both started school full time. I should be at home with my bread maker in full swing, preparing to undertake the children's next homework project, while harassing the au pair, and supervising the cleaner. Apparently my children are suffering while I seek fulfillment outside the home.

Dawn has (she says) similarly strong opinions about private education. She and Geoff strongly object to the 'hothouse' culture they have heard about at the Dulwich independent schools. We have seen so little of sweet Lennon lately. We have invited him for endless play dates and birthday parties, but he is busy every day after school attending Kumon maths, Kumon English, piano lessons, private swimming lessons, or dance lessons, and on Saturday morning he goes to French Club. As a matter of fact, we haven't managed to meet up for a play date in almost a year! Lennon is such a busy boy.

Dawn phoned me this twice this morning when I was in a meeting. She left me a message on my answerphone to call her back urgently. When I returned her call, she informed me in a panicky tone that The Times are 'giving away' CD's teaching basic Chinese - mandarin to be exact.

'You must come and have my copy' she enthused, so that Freya can get a head start for September at School 1'.

'But Freya will be going to School 2', - I replied.

'I thought Freya had been offered a place at School 1', said Dawn.

'She has', I explained, 'but we choose School 2. Does School 1 teach Mandarin?' I asked innocently.

'I just never took that in!' I lied.

James swore he recognised Lennon with Dawn's au pair at the first interview for School 1, and I just didn't believe him! Don't you think Dawn knows rather a lot about the curriculum of School 1 for someone with a child in the local state school?

I do so tire of constantly being forced to defend our choice to privately educate our children amongst our circle of friends, especially when I think I may be just beginning to understand the real agenda in this regard.

Further, it simply does not naturally follow that our darlings are hothoused..... Hmph!


Nunhead Mum of One said...

Mandarin my dear? What's wrong with the basic French we were taught when we were barely older than Freya is now? Can you remember reciting our French words to Great Aunt Phyllis which set her off about the Resistance in the war? Such fun!

dulwichmum said...

ha, ha, ha, you are right!