Ever consider what pets must think of us? I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul - chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we're the greatest hunters on earth! ~Anne Tyler, The Accidental Tourist
I know Iss knows when we've been grocery shopping ~ & he knows some of the tins in the bags are his. He knows other sorts of bags mean we're going out so he was less than impressed yesterday to see an assortment of haversacks getting filled. He thought we were going away again.
Iss has taken to living on the fourth box in Dearest's stack ~ high rise deluxe apartments for cats where every breeze passes, every person halts to pat & he has a bird's eye view of eveyone's comings & goings. So I was hardly surprised, standing beside the stack while regaling Dearest with our adventures, to find a little paw [ok, so Iss's paws are not so little] batting at my hand inviting me to play. In his relief at finding we had come home Iss practically turned himself inside out in sheer delight & though he squirmed alarmingly all over the box lid while I rattled my fingers round the rim for him to chase he kept his claws carefully sheathed. He might be the loopiest loop but he is the gentlest cat.
He will quickly adapt to our new routine though he won't like Wednesdays when we are gone for so much of the day. What Iss likes is to have his people constantly available to fawn over him on demand; none of this running about doing their own thing, thank you very much!
Anyway poor old Ditz was overstimulated by her evening. Only to be expected but very wearing on the rest of us. I turned the lights off at 11 pm but Ditz was still not ready for sleep though reading quietly in bed. I left her to it. I had planned a quietish day today knowing choir can be all too much for all of us & the first one of the year, when the year ahead is mapped out, is particularly exciting. Ditz was as over~excited as Iss. Firstly she got her first certificate from Vocal Manoeuvres which can go on her CV. Secondly, in front of the whole choir, Alison confirmed Ditz is the only student in AVAE not having private lessons, so she was feeling both pretty special & pretty clever. Not sure what made that happen really though I do know what Ditz understands musically, even when she has trouble expressing it, is quite phenomenal & mostly instinctive. I think the theory she gets from violin & flute combined with the class singing lessons Ditz has put together in her head somehow so is on par with the other students & choir is one area Ditz works really hard.
Meanwhile the Lord blessed me. I have been looking for Schindler's List for months for Ditz's study on WWII. She had wanted to just do DVDs or videos but I sent her scouring the Internet & assigned some reading as well just so I knew she had some background to put the rest of what she learnt into perspective. She was inspired by our Irish friends who pointed out her ignorance about all things military [which is not about to change any time soon].
WWII is such a big subject so I tried to narrow it down. Ditz wanted to learn about Hitler & has since informed all & sundry the man was a vegetarian! OK. My child has no interest in the political significance of the man. This could be a very interesting paper. She knows about the autobahns, which I still talk about. I wish Australia would take note of what Hitler did with the autobahns & follow suite! Ditz, being very much her mother's daughter, has tended to focus on the human aspects of the war. The battles are just what happened while people were trying to live their lives. This amuses me.
What has also intrigued me, & what probably won't come out when Ditz goes to actually write her paper, when brevity will be the name of the game, is what she has had to say about listening to Hitler's speeches. Firstly she was shocked that her German was good enough that she understood a lot of what he was saying. Actually that shocks me too. We stopped German about 18 months ago & haven't even been listening to a lot of spoken German the way we were. Secondly she really picked up on the way he delivered his speeches. Guess that's not surprising for a musician. She really noted his use of stress & emphasis, intonation, articulation, emotion & not so surprisingly it scared & shocked her because he was so good! Yes, well. The man did convince an entire nation to follow him down a godless path.
Plus Choir does quite a lot of languages. Ditz has really had to use her German & as she has a good ear for language has not found that aspect too onerous. Latin, French & Hungarian are also on this year's menu.
So where was I? Right. Anyway, WWII can be such a dark study I really wanted some of the inspirational things to come through showing that there were still people who acted with dignity & humanity amidst the most terrible horror. Schindler's List is one of those things. Kolbe is another & Corrie Ten Boom. I also picked up The Pianist, which not only won 3 academy awards, but tells the inspirational story of Wladyslaw Szpilman. That was an expensive little trip to the DVD shop. So today for school Ditz gets to veg in front of the t.v & watch DVDs.