Play your cards right …

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We’ve just gone through many, many days with the children at home on holiday. And virtually every one of those days, Child One would walk to the local Rymans to feed her seemingly insatiable stationery addiction. Now, I don’t mind this at all. She is a very studious child and, in fact, I was glad she was taking a break because otherwise she’d be up in her room all day, slaving over Spanish grammar and horrible equations for her ghastly GCSEs. But I do, slightly, mind that now, as soon as they are back at school, they both seem to have umpteen birthdays amongst their close friends, all requiring immediate cards to be produced out of a black silk top hat by me. Well, I have news for them. I have no cards, and I am feeling much too sorry for myself, what with the cold, bad back and Child Two’s GCSE debacle, to get off the sofa and buy them. Rymans, as I pointed out, has cards coming out of its windows. A little forethought would have been handy, while Child One was browsing the lined post-it notes, file dividers and strange index cards she’s been spending my fortunette on. Why didn’t she get them then?

She assures me her head was too full of the Civil Rights Movement, Lord of the Flies and Bhuddism to leave even the tiniest little corner of space for birthday card organisation. I suppose it’s fair enough. And it would probably do me the world of good to get off my backside and stroll into the village and peruse Rymans’ vast mounds of birthday cards myself.

But of course I’m not going to do that, because, it turns out, the internet is full of card shops for goodfornothing lazybones poor suffering sick folk like myself. And they seem to be cheaper, too. Last time I looked at a card in a real shop, I swear it cost £9.99. But, at the touch of a button, you can get personalised cards for about £2. Of course, it was even better value when the little dears drew their own cards themselves, but now they are older, they are not so happy to bombard friends with hand-drawn masterpieces.

And they are much too busy with all this schoolwork. Especially poor Child Two. Thanks to everyone who’s asked how she’s getting on, after all her GCSE coursework was eaten by an evil memory stick. After a lot of hand-wringing and wailing, the school have allowed her to do a short version of the course, which will be worth half a GCSE instead of a whole one, and they think she has enough scraps of work to drag together to beat the deadline – which is tomorrow. Let’s hope so! I’m not really sure whether it’s worth her doing it at all ….

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