Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Official Bod card holder

At precisely  8.29 a.m. this morning, a photo message appeared on my BlackBerry from Daughter no. 1.  Upon opening, it proved to be a photo of her "Bod card".  Luckily she had already begun to educate her quasi-illiterate mother on the vast terminology which goes hand in hand with life as an Oxford student.  Cleaners are"Scouts", holidays are "vacs" and a "Bod card" looks a bit like a credit card only it allows you access to that Oxfordian literary goldmine the Bodleian Library. Her cheery face smiles up at me from the card on which are printed the portentous words "UNDERGRADUATE reading for BA Mod Langs (FRE) Medieval & Modern Lang Fac."  Her message below reads: "Bod card yay xxx". Do you ever look at your children and wonder where they really came from, and how you could have raised them to be so different from their parents and from each other?  I do. Regularly.

Meanwhile Daughter No. 2 is in the final throes of her personal statement for UCAS, agonising over the ungenerous character restriction that means half of what she wants to say (and D. No. 2 has a lot to say!) has to be consigned to file thirteen (aka the bin). She may have too many words at her disposal, but she doesn't have a lot of time left before the dreaded deadline. And as the school seems intent on having her spend at least 20 hours out of every 24 chasing a ball up and down a hockey pitch for them at the moment (despite shin splints that bring tears to her eyes every time she sets foot on Astroturf), she's a tad unsure about how the personal statement is actually going to reach the stage where its even remotely fit for consumption by the monocled monitoring officials of the various illustrious academic establishments which she has handpicked as being suitable venues for the next step of her academic career.

Son&Heir has had far more important things on his mind today i.e. getting a new plaster cast to cocoon his broken wrist.  Having just come out of a completely different plaster early in September following a broken ankle sustained playing hockey, he chose his first game of the rugby season - a week past Saturday - to find out what would happen if he charged full tilt at the opposition with his left arm outstretched and the palm at an angle of 90 degrees to the wrist. The result, as he discovered, is a fractured distal radius.  Wrist plaster number one, which went on last Monday (his negligent parents having studiously ignored his pain and suffering over the weekend) was a pleasantly muted shade of purpley blue (not dissimilar, in fact, to the colour of his wrist by that time...). The new one is a shocking luminous uncompromising pink, which no doubt went down exceedingly well with his stricter than strict school housemaster.  Obviously keeping a low profile is not on Son&Heir's agenda. Which is a shame, as you can hardly blend in with the crowd following any schoolboy misdemeanor if your arm is coated in a bright pink shell...

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