Letter The First, Concerning An Unusual Lunch
No, the addition of cold porridge to Jake’s lunch is not an attempt to recreate some kind of Dickensian 19th century cruelty. As a matter of fact, Jake has conceived a violent dislike of sandwiches, and he insists that cold porridge is entirely preferable to the terrors of two slices of bread with Unknown Substances lurking fiendishly within.
Why this is so I cannot say. I mean, Jake eats pickled octopus with every evidence of delight. He enjoys olives, and pickled champignon mushrooms, and quite likes curries. Yet the prospect of a sandwich — even the most innocuous of cheese-and-tomato sandwiches — appears to fill him with a kind of nameless dread sufficient to drive him into the arms of cold porridge.
Admittedly, I make very good porridge. Today’s sample is made from a muesli, and it’s full of all kinds of fruit, spiced with nutmeg, and sweetened with brown sugar. I ate a bowl myself this morning, and it was excellent. However, it was steaming hot at the time. I don’t mind cold porridge, but I doubt whether I’d choose a bowl of cold porridge over a nice cheesy sandwich.
Still, there’s no accounting for taste.
Letter The Second, Concerning Dress Code Variations
Regrettably, Genghis' garb may not entirely meet desired standards for the day. The major reason for this is that Genghis chose to wait until this morning to indicate the relatively strict requirements for this event, leaving us less than no time to locate or acquire all the items he’s supposed to have. To a lesser degree, he lacks some of the items he’s asked for because we simply haven’t purchased them.
Sneakers, for instance. Genghis destroys sneakers. We got him some. They lasted an eyeblink. The elastic-sided boots he routinely wears not only look more ‘uniform’, but they last — often as much as six months!
Track-suit trousers are another example. For some reason, Genghis' track-suit trousers seem almost to have kneeholes pre-cut in them. Our best efforts at the stores never seem to change this. We get Genghis track-trousers. We inspect them carefully for holes. We come home. Suddenly they have holes in the knees. Genghis is wearing black corduroy trousers today. They look smart, and unlike every single set of track-trousers he owns, there are no holes in the knees.
As for the green jumper... That’s probably a parental failing. I guess there must be some parents who can keep track of a kid’s green jumper through music lessons, sports sessions, regular school trips, and a never-ending cyclone of play sessions involving countless other children the same age, ALL of whom have remarkably similar green jumpers... but unfortunately, I can’t seem to do it. I don’t get much help from Genghis, either. He seems actively to loathe certain articles of clothing, taking every possible opportunity to abandon them, exchange them, annihilate them, or just lose them outright.
Genghis does not seem to like his green jumpers. I think he fed his last one to a bear.
It's possible that things like this may go some way to explaining the occasionally troubled relationship between my family and various schools...