WHAT YOU'LL FIND ON THIS BLOG

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Evidence that Fran is still in the country and entering a new phase ...

I do apologise. Did you think I'd been abducted by Planet Zoggians? Left the country with just a bag of underwear and a passport to start a new life? Been locked in a public toilet somewhere in town for three weeks and only released when someone realised 10B hadn't had Shakespeare inflicted on them for ages and were looking unusually cheerful?

'Where's Mrs Hill? We don't know. We decided not to query it.'


Facebook keeps telling me: '123 people who like your 'Fran Hill - Writer' Facebook page have not heard from you in a while. Write a post.'

I'm not sure I like its tone.

My 'Fran Hill - Writer' page is where I put my 'I've written a blog' updates. And any major progress on my novel. Or any major achievements in competitions ... So, I'm not saying that page has been 'quiet' but if a butterfly flew past it, you'd hear its wings like a pair of bellows.

I'm sorry, therefore, for my absence on the blog. Various events in family life and school life and personal life have swallowed up all my good intentions like a voracious greedy maw, chomping away at them and saying, 'Aaaah!' with no thought at all for my blog followers.

One key event is that my son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren are moving to Leamington from Greater London. Instead of me calling them to say, 'Hi - we're just setting off to see you - we'll be there after four hours on crowded trains, delayed trains, replacement buses, and Paracetamol' we can call to say 'Hi - just setting off ... if you haven't made a Victoria sponge already, you still have time to bung a mixture in the food processor.'

They're moving in two stages. Yesterday, we helped the son and daughter-in-law unpack a van-full of boxes, kids' bikes and bedding. They drove here from London, leaving the little ones with a friend. Next Saturday, they'll be back with grandchildren instead of boxes - or perhaps grandchildren IN boxes if the journey doesn't go too well - and our new adventure called 'Being Nearer the Grandchildren' will begin.

I don't know what it will look like yet. It's unknown territory. I'm not exactly Grandma-at-home-with-the-kettle-on because most of the week I'm Grandma-in-a-classroom-with-my-don't-you-dare-face-on. In fact, Grandpa will probably see them more than I will, as his gardening job is Proper Part-time, as in, not Part-time-but-really-full-time like mine. Not jealous not jealous not jealous not jealous not jealous not jealous not jealous.

Apologies, too, for all the hyphens. I'm a bit hyphen-obsessed at the moment.

One thing I vow to do is to teach the grandchildren the difference between dashes and hyphens, as I find even my sixth formers are not sure. When I say, 'A dash is an item of punctuation, with a space either side of it, but a hyphen is mostly used to make compound words or to split words at the end of a line' they stare at me as though I'd just stood on a desk and yelled the f word in the middle of a lesson.

The same happens when I tell pupils that:

as well is two words
a lot is two words
thank you is two words
the word 'weary' means tired, not suspicious
starting a new line does NOT equal a new paragraph: never has, never did, never will, and, no, this ISN'T just one of my hobby horses.

I will let you know how the Ten Minutes Away grandparenting goes. I am pretty excited about it. I hope I can do the job justice, that's all, and that the grandchildren don't tire of us.

Perhaps I'll leave the hyphen/dash lesson for a few weeks, in that case.


He vowed to ask Mummy and Daddy whether the move was permanent after that last visit to Grandma's.






21 comments:

  1. Lovely news for you Fran! I hope it all goes well and you really take to being a 10-mins-away Granny!

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    1. I think I've already taken to it and they're not even here yet!

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  2. If you don't like being the ten-minutes-away granny, then it will be quite quick and easy to send the little darlings home. Push them out the door and tell them to take a hike straight to their own house.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. That might be a bit harsh as they're only 2 and 4! But, in time, perhaps when they're a bit bigger and turn up with fourteen friends and cans of beer .... then I'll send them back!

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    2. Confiscating the beer first, obviously.

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    3. Yes, just for safe keeping ....

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    4. What if they show up with beer now? Or a nice bottle of wine? They will be Grandma's Darlings.

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    5. Or a box of chocolates. Because, as we all know, there are no calories in chocolates given to you by someone else.

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  3. I had a beloved eighth-grade teacher who relentlessly pounded good spelling, proper grammar and correct punctuation into our heads. Consequently, these days, when I write and post my porno fanfiction, there is not a misused dash or improper hyphen in the entire thing. All the spelling, grammar and punctuation are PERFECT!

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    1. Although re-reading this now, I suppose I should have said "not a misused dash NOR an improper hyphen." Hoist on my own petard, as usual, lol.

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    2. I think you were right the first time. I think 'nor' goes with 'neither'. So .. neither a misused dash nor an improper hyphen. So, relax. The rule is usually 'either/or' and 'neither/nor'.

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  4. Perhaps you could be the one to occasionally supply the Victoria sponge, with the first slice going to whichever grand child can spell Victoria. Or sponge. Or cake.

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    1. Given their young ages, perhaps we'll start with spelling 'cake'!

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  5. You will be able to read bedtime stories when you baby sit as you are now on tap baby sitters ! Have fun x

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    1. Now THAT is one of my favourite things to do, especially now Elijah, who's nearly 5, is reading some of the words himself now. Cute!

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  6. They will adore being near you, hyphens and all. Am excited for you (not jealous either). Great Monday morning post 😁.

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  7. Ooooooooh lovely! I wish they could persuade my lovely daughter to decant from horrible London too...

    Scottish children don't confuse "weary" and "wary" but I waged a 40-year war against "a lot".

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    1. 'Alot' is one of those misspellings that I think we may eventually just accept. How long can one battle on before giving in to despair?!

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  8. .. hello Fran ....how exciting to have your family close by ..... I love having all my children and grandchildren 30 minutes away.
    I loved babysitting them when they were little .. all grown up now.
    My children always confused 'which' and 'who' ... I was constantly saying to them ... things are 'which', people are 'who' .... sadly they still get it wrong and they are in their 50s now ....
    I don't do 'dashes' .. but I love using dots.
    Have a great day ... Barb xxxx

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    1. That's the thing - they grow up too fast! That's why I'm pleased they're moving nearer while they are still itsy-bitsy-tiny :)

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