I used to muscle in on a mummy blog site, writing about home ed.
But what hard work it was! The problem was, I tried to make my writing readable by making it fun. Educational law and a parent's duty under Section7? Fun?
Phew. Howabout I also try a little amuse bouche on company registration procedure and deductable VAT?
And it wasn't just difficult writing. I was posting into what was basically an unsupportive environment. Even though the politicos, feminists and fellow odd-beats hang about those mummy blogs, we all know the readership really wants the goz about Celebrity Teeth! and What a Life is the School Run! Yes, mummies, let's share a group HUG.
But I kept going, especially through Badman, and - stuck between the teeth and the pyjamas - I was kindly tolerated. I stirred up a molecule of support and maybe that helped. But the zeitgeist changed around me - Make money with your mummy blog! 2,000 tried and trusted ways to coin 3p! At that point, I gave in. The environment wasn't for me.
I'm reminded about this today - my upping and leaving bit. I'm watching home ed women with more staying power and campaigning stamina than I could ever muster.
There they sit, at the House of Commons Education Committee meeting; the Inquiry into Support for Home Education. (Can you hear the fun whispering to you already?)
Whatever you think of these people-you-love-to-hate in the happy lands of home ed - Fiona and Alison - please give this to them: they KEEP GOING. No matter how times change, what issues they face, which amazingly crafted insult you just lobbed at their heads, they do keep going.
Would I? Probably not. Take this point, when David Ward, LibDem MP, said:
Children who are in schools are observed. They are obviously seen, day in, day out, so if there are any issues that arise in respect of the family they can be, not always, can be picked up. That is clearly more difficult in a home education situation.
Uh-oh. That's the point, right there. Because what I hear is this.
Home education = Children are locked away, unseen, abused by parents we don't trust; this is a danger that can be avoided if children and families are physically checked by state employees at appointed times, for which read School. (Who ever thought school was about education?)
When challenged, David follows it with sidestepping - er requests turned down, there is, Roma, I didn't say it was neglect - basically, tactic of shifting ground, obfuscation, the 'I meant something else' tack, avoidance, put down, and bluster.
And that's when I gave up with that discussion; when I made a pointed anatomical reference which brought no credit to me or to the proceedings, stood up, tipped the chair over, threw my pen at his head, and left in a froth, slamming the door behind me.
It would be no help for the positive home ed publicity, would it?
But look at that Parliament TV for those proceedings! No-one did that! They just calmy kept going, with more maturity, more staying power than Grit could ever drag up. So whatever you think, surely endurance and perseverance are simply those qualities we should admire?
Meanwhile, let me sink to my level (that of a 12-year old) and send David Ward pictures of the seen.
Well what of Exhibit C?
Exhibit C fantastically undermined my point and REFUSED TO HAVE HER PICTURE TAKEN.
On the other hand, she did add her observation that a photo would be for a man I don't know who wants to look at me, thus unnervingly, and probably inaccurately, placing David Ward MP in the same category as Mr Spooky on the corner and that man who wears the anorak at the kiddy playground and who we all avoid.