Archive for September, 2016

Eleven plus (for the last time)


The last few weeks in the run-up to Robin sitting the grammar school entrance exam had seen some progress in his practice tests: faster working, more reliable calculations, better understanding of maths problems. But to some extent it felt that L and my efforts were focused on building his confidence. He still seemed some way short on the verbal reasoning paper, in particular. 

L took him to the grammar school for the test. He coped with the crowds and the tension waiting to be admitted and then he was gone. Three hours later, L & Eliza collected him. 

“How was it?” 


He seemed happy with his efforts; he completed all the tests (on the practice tests he rarely was able to). But no detail was offered, or sought. He went to school, reluctantly, that afternoon. Now we wait for the result. 

In the meantime, he has owned up to L that he really, really wants to go to the same school as Eliza & Gabe. Two nights ago, Eliza and I found him wearing her blazer. The only insight he’s offered on the test was when he heard the word ‘eavesdrop’ and chuckled – he’d remembered what it meant when it came up in the entrance exam. 


Gabe’s yearning for a new iPhone has forced the issue of him receiving a monthly allowance. Immediately, he converted his new income into an iPhone 5 and ordered a Beatles themed case. When he first had a phone, his obsession was taking selfies. He’s moved through stages of YouTube addiction, Instagram and now his phone, and speakers, give him a perpetual soundtrack.


Eliza and I began reading ‘To kill a mocking bird’ on holiday. We have both enjoyed it greatly. We’ve tried to adopt the accent, we’ve paused to look up words (‘scuppernong’) and ridden the wave of the narrative with Scout. Twice, during the most gripping passages, though, Eliza has fallen asleep wile I’ve read. Once during Tom Robinson’s trial, and then again when the story reached its climax on a dark night in Maycomb.