Sunday, March 31, 2013

Pink table

Pink table by PhylB
Pink table, a photo by PhylB on Flickr.
I noticed almost all garden furniture colours are shades of brown with the odd green thrown in for good measure. I think now I am middle-aged (shock-horror) I am comfortable with myself to think life's too short for boring, so I think my garden furniture is about to go through a pink phase! Let the neighbours talk! ;-)

Light at the end of the tunnel!

Decorating Easter eggs by PhylB
Decorating Easter eggs, a photo by PhylB on Flickr.

My Bopster is starting to grow hair at last! For the first time this month we have managed to (just about) pleat her hair, or twiddle it, as she calls it. She has so much less than any of the first three had at this age, and a little less even than Anna who I had considered bald, but I can definitely see a little light at the end of the tunnel!

Twitch, twitch, twitch

Anna by PhylB
Anna, a photo by PhylB on Flickr.

I know I am being pedantic, and I know I shouldn't proof-read everything but after more than 20 years in publishing I can't help it!

Someone bought Anna a pack of T-shirts a few months ago, probably for Xmas, I don't actually remember where they came from... It was cold at the time and she wasn't wanting short sleeves, so they were put away unopened in her drawer. Today she found them and bounced downstairs wearing this one and it has been upsetting me all day.

The question is (and I want yes or no answers before I decide whether or not I should...) would it be ok to use a permanent marker to add in the missing apostrophe or would that be too sad?

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Calendar time again!

March - Calendar by PhylB
March - Calendar, a photo by PhylB on Flickr.
I was skimming it to see what this month's funniest faux pas would be. Would it be French this month or German? The language was poor as usual, but nothing caused my jaw to drop open initially. I thought it was going to be too boring to mention, but I should have had faith! Of course they had made a major mistake! There it was at the end of the German... The English tells me to cut my pasta dough into disks and fill them with the mixture. The French tells me (badly) to do the same. The German however has looked up the word disk in a dictionary where the first translation on offer was for the computing sense of disk, so the poor German cook has to fill his or her dough after having cut it into some kind of data storage disks. ROFL! (The rest is, of course, worth a head shake too, if you have the time!)

Big kids/little kids

Brothers by PhylB

I noticed the other day when I happened to see Léon and Marcel having a conversation standing in the doorway that there is a huge difference in height between them. There are eight years and eight weeks between them. But when I think about it, Marcel has been this height for a couple of years now. In fact Marcel overtook me in the summer after he left primary school, just before he turned 12. It is hard to believe my little Léon has the potential to be chatting eye to eye with his big brother in just five or six years time.

The difference between three and thirteen is also enormous. But again Charlotte slowed down a couple of years ago so in no time at all her favourite baby could be looking down on her. It will be strange to watch who reaches what height.

I guess if I had to predict based on who was biggest as a baby and who grew out of which clothes sizes first, I would plump for my kids ending up tallest to smallest as Marcel, Léon, Amaia, Anna, Charlotte, but only time will tell. I'll be back with an update around 2022 to see if I am correct!

Language

Snowy March by PhylB
My children's linguistic awareness blows me away at times. Maybe Thomas and I talk shop too often over dinner and it is turning them into mini-freaks!

Anna is five, part way through p1. She just just bounced up to me and said "I like Easter and rabbits and chocolates and pretty spring flowers..." She took two steps away, then turned and added "I know there were too many ands in that sentence. If I'd been writing it, I would have used commas instead but you can't see commas when you speak so I changed them into ands to make it clearer!" Do five year olds really analyse language in that way before speaking, or is it influenced by the bilingual dimension?

Friday, March 29, 2013

Perugia, Umbria

Perugia, Umbria by PhylB
Perugia, Umbria, a photo by PhylB on Flickr.
I see Perugia is back in the news this week, once again for the same reason as usual. It is sad that in most English-speaking people's minds it is synonymous with just one thing: that truly horrible, and infinitely fascinating murder which took place in 2007.

This saddens me. It saddens me because Perugia is a wholly different place in reality. Perugia is the place I grew up overnight from a child to a young adult. It is the first place I lived alone, or at least in a shared student flat, or even two - the first with two Austrian boys, the second with three Koreans and a Scottish girl.

I was 18 years old and I sat an Italian exam prepared by the Italian government. We were told one person would win a scholarship to spend the summer studying in Perugia uni, all (basic) expenses paid. I didn't dare dream but somehow I won it. It was pre-Ryanair of course so I went by train. Forty-eight hours straight from a cold, damp Glasgow to a stiflingly hot Perugia station. Anyone who knows the town, knows that you walk out the station at the foot of the hill into a boring 60s suburban-looking town. It's dirty and noisy and frankly nothing special. For a moment you wonder where this old town you've read about is but outside the station is a bus marked 'centro storico'. It drives up a hill you can't really see from the station for about 15 minutes and drops you at the top. The air is cleaner, burning hot. You turn the first corner and come across this truly magical sight. White buildings everywhere, students everywhere chatting, laughing, eating. I was 18 years old and had never left home and suddenly I was standing in this square with the keys to my own little flat in this wonderfully exotic location to a Glaswegian girl. I loved every second of it. I loved the smells, the food, the architecture, I loved speaking Italian and I loved becoming independent - going home when I wanted, to the beach when I wanted. I loved the uni canteen that fed you more for lunch than I expected to eat in a week for about 50p. I loved watching my blue skin turn brown and my mousy hair turn bright blonde in the sun. Everything was magical. I took countless photos of beat-up old Fiat 500s. I drank Orvieto on my balcony eating fresh figs from the tree that was overhanging it. I visited the region, I marvelled at the architecture. I even sunbathed nude in a monastery... accidentally! I travelled to Assisi and Florence, to Milan and Como.

Given Perugia has a wonderful international uni, I imagine thousands upon thousands of students have my memory of the place. I just think it sad that when Marcel's generation come home and tell their parents they are thinking about studying for the summer in Perugia, their thoughts will be dark ones rather than realizing their child is most likely in for an experience they'll still be raving about nearly thirty years on.

me perugia

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A great start to the day

Snowy March by PhylB
Snowy March, a photo by PhylB on Flickr.
6:00 am Léon arrives at the foot of my bed and announces 'Mum I'm sick'. He'd been complaining about a sore throat last night so I offer him a strepsil. 'No I mean vomit sick'. Great! 'Is it all over your bed?' I ask, assuming the worst. 'No I made it to the bathroom', he assures me so I tell him to go lie on the couch and roll over and go back to sleep quietly smiling to myself that child number three has finally reached the age of getting to the loo when he's sick so I now only have two to go. I have to say dealing with piles of puke before it seeps through to the mattress is one of my least favourite parenting jobs, and reaching that level of vomit-awareness is one of my milestones of relief. In particular, given Léon sleeps in the top bunk, Léon reaching it is worth celebrating...

So I lie there two hours in blissful ignorance till 8:05am. I'm just getting ready when a totally appalled Charlotte bursts in to my room on her way out to the bus and shouts 'Mum - the bathroom at the top of the stairs is like... covered in puke!'

Joy - so he's worked out to get up, just not to aim - ho hum. Back to the drawing board.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Léon and Lots

Party poppers by PhylB
Party poppers, a photo by PhylB on Flickr.
There are some conversations that are so (subtly) sweet you have to grab them for posterity.

So last night's conversation went like this:
Charlotte came in from school and announced she'd come top in her Maths exam. Léon piped up 'Do you still do adding at high school?'
Charlotte came out with 'Yes but it's harder adding at high school, we add letters as well as numbers'
Léon immediately came back with ' So do you add not just 12+15 but also t-w-e-l-v-e-p-l-u-s-f-i-f-t-e-e-n?' spelling it out carefully!

Cute!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Oh to be 3 again!



Does anyone else remember when jumping on the bed was this much fun? Amaia had a whale of a time on my bed this afternoon. Three is such a happy, carefree age!

Climate change

Here are two photos taken exactly 362 days apart in the same place. I think they speak for themselves!



                                                  27-3-2012


                                    

                   23-3-2013

I can hardly wait to see what next March is like!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Anna and the Peugeot

Anna on the Peugeot by PhylB
Anna on the Peugeot, a photo by PhylB on Flickr.
Kiddie priorities can be mind-boggling at times. I drove Léon to Beavers tonight and then on to Sunbeams with Anna which starts ten minutes later. We were sitting in the car park waiting for the hall to open when she spied the diagram telling you not to put babies in rear-facing seats in front of the passenger airbag.
"What's an airbag?" she asked. I explained it was a big pillow that popped out if you were in a crash. "Oooh," she replied, "let's crash daddy's car so we can see what the airbag looks like!" Emmm, no! I don't think so. "Oh but muuuum, I've always wanted to see what an airbag looks like!" (Wait a minute, two minutes ago you didn't know what an airbag was and now you've always wanted to see one! Drama queen!) I explain how often we use the car and how we need it and she looks totally disinterested and points out I have a people carrier so it is superfluous anyway! (She doesn't pay the petrol costs obviously, given the whole point of Thomas's Peugeot is so we don't need to use the people carrier on a daily basis with its 80l diesel-guzzling tank!) Anyway we agreed to disagree on experimenting with crashing daddy's car, for now anyway.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Gok, she's not...

Amaia's decided she's a big enough girl to choose her own clothes now :-/

So what else would you go for on a day when it's snowing other than lime green socks, pink leggings, a blue t-shirt and a pink and orange summer dress, one size too big... I hope this self-dressing phase is short-lived... either that or I need to hope she grows some dress sense fairly quickly. I certainly don't want the other shoppers in Tesco to think I had a hand in choosing what she's wearing!

Hereditary numptiness


Well what do you know - it's hereditary! What? The spacial geometry gene :-(

Anna started school in August. I had been a wee bit concerned knowing she missed the cut-off point for the following year by twelve days. I worried about my wee young Anna struggling. It needn't have. She's in the top group for everything, reading fluently, calculating additions and subtractions up to thirty in her head without using fingers, starting to pick up on times tables from Léon's homework - I needn't go on. But then today she was given a drawing of half a crown and asked to draw it other half symmetrically. Marcel, Charlotte and Léon could have done this in their sleep at this age. Anna stared at it for twenty minutes as if confronted with some Arabic to translate without having studied it. She the carefully drew the same half again, not its mirror image. So the question is - did she get it from Thomas's floor-laying skills or from Pumpa's cornicing extravaganza?


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Daunting?



It's interesting. I was on Borgen's facebook page the other day when I came across some English native speakers discussing this particular exchange from Borgen series one. Interestingly Thomas and I (always being latecomers to anything vaguely TV-related) had only discovered Borgen two weeks earlier (Marcel had got the DVD for Xmas) so we were watching an episode a night, enthralled. We happened to have watched that very episode the night before I came upon the discussion. Those taking part in it were obviously in awe of the speed at which Katrine is speaking. English natives aren't great at foreign languages in general and many have never heard anything other than a little French or Spanish, spoken at schoolchild/tourist speed. It's funny, I live in a house where Danish is spoken every day. I hear it all day long. Rather than learning it from a book as I did with French, German, Italian and Swedish, I've picked Danish up through the spoken medium so it was fun to see how strange my fellow English natives found it to listen to. I take it for granted I suppose. When we'd watched it the night before it hadn't even occurred to me that Danish is spoken quickly and I had no trouble understanding what she was saying in this exchange (yes the English subtitles were off before you think I was cheating!) - I tend to think of French and Italian as much faster languages to parse in their spoken form. It was only when I came across the discussion that I realized how far living this bizarre bilingual existence has taken me from my roots. Maybe that is part of the issue with language teaching in the UK. We don't expose people to foreign languages very much and when we do, we slow them down artificially so as not to frighten the English speakers, but of course when we then come face to face with two natives having a conversation, we can't follow it at all. By making it easier, we are actually making it harder.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Anti-D


Anti-D is meaningless to 83% of the UK population. In fact given half of the rhesus negative people are probably men and another 20% are kids or childless then anti-D is possibly something that concerns only 5%. But when you have rhesus negative blood and my family history, you can't help but be appalled by this. Let's start with my granny, Phyllis. She had negative blood, my granda didn't. Therefore dad was born positive. A few years later granny decided to add to her family. Her second baby lived only a few hours, killed by rhesus disease, her third died at birth, of rhesus disease. Dad never got over being an only child, because he wasn't meant to be. Medical ignorance meant his blood killed his siblings. He grew up with his O+ blood and married mum. She had a negative blood group. She was given counselling and told her babies may require blood transfusions on arrival, and was advised to limit her family. Fortunately I was born with negative blood so didn't affect my brother and he was her last child so no damage was done to that generation. I grew up with my negative blood and married not one but two men with positive blood groups. Anti-D had come on the scene and with every bleed, miscarriage, or even amnio I was given anti-D injections. Each of my babies was tested at birth. One, two and three turned out to be negative themselves so all was well there. Anna was my first positive baby. She was the equivalent of dad. She was the positive baby born to me, a negative mother. I was injected immediately on birth with anti-D. That meant that two years later Amaia, positive baby number two was born healthy, not needing a blood transfusion and not dying like my aunt and uncle who never grew up to be that. It is criminal that we are allowing this to happen in a day and age when it doesn't need to. I can't imagine what my granny went through trying more than once to have other kids, not knowing the implications of dad's blood type. And when I look at the photo above, taken five minutes after Amaia's birth, I can't contemplate the possible outcome a lack of anti-D might have had on that happy photo.

Yes Scotland


I think my dad would have liked Yes Scotland's new poster. (Recognize anyone?)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Standing to eat

Standing to eat by PhylB
Standing to eat, a photo by PhylB on Flickr.

When Léon grew out of his high chair he went onto a booster seat. When Anna grew out of her high chair she too went onto a booster. We made the mistake of taking Anna and Léon's boosters away just as Amaia grew out of her high chair. When offered the booster, she of course, took it as a personal insult and refused pointblank to sit on it as she was a 'big girl'! This means that since she was about 18 months, Amaia has been on an adult dining chair. The problem with that is that she originally struggled to see her plate so she took to eating standing. As she's got bigger we have had to remind her over and over to sit to eat. Last week when Thomas was away she was eating standing once more. In an attempt to show her how standing to eat can't really continue indefinitely I had the others stand to show her how ridiculous it will become in time. I'm not sure she saw any issue with it to be honest, but the rest of us had a good laugh, especially at watching Marcel try to reach his plate!

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Unionist media

The Unionist bias in the Scottish press is really starting to irk me. Let's take this morning's little gem of a message at face value. Imagine you are a parent of a bright fifteen year old boy. I suggest that because I am. We are at that point in Marcel's life where we have to recommend which subjects he should study for Higher and what uni he might go to. Going on the Herald's logic this morning I should obviously be saying to him: " Please keep your job as a paper boy when you grow up rather than going to uni to study to become a doctor because if you earn as much as a doctor later in life, you'll have to pay the state much more in tax, because you will be so much better off". How many parents would recommend that to their straight-A student?

So we're too poor to be independent because it would make us the third richest EU country above Scandinavia etc. It's time they cut the crap.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Fun food

And just to redress the balance on tonight's posts I thought I'd share this kiddie cooking idea we've been discussing tonight on Facebook. It all started when Thomas shared this photo.


Complete with some quotes from the rather amusing discussion that ensued!

I had a German friend Wilma shaking her head telling it just wasn't right and that the sausage must be cooked to a pulp, followed by an admission that she was intending to try it with her daughters as soon as possible, then a French friend Gaëlle butted in appalled with 'I'm not German and I don't have strong views on not destroying sausages (regardless of their horse-meat content), but I just think it looks utterly revolting. Don't do it Wilma. Put the spaghetti down... We've still got your life ahead of you!' She was unconvinceable, despite having two small children too. But given Thomas started it and my American friend Paul joined in towards the end debating whether these even were sausages in US terms, I think it was a highly successful and truly international sausage and spaghetti conference.

I think I can see a theme developing for the next child in the family's birthday party... half an hour of sausage threading followed by dinner of... sausage!

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Outraged!!!!


I know I'm not much of a ranter ;-) in general but tonight I am outraged! As always the primary kids were given all their homework on Monday for tomorrow. We did a little on Monday and Tuesday but skipped yesterday as Thomas was out and it is always easier to do it on nights you aren't playing mum and dad to five. So I sit down with Anna tonight to see what is left on her list. She's read and learned two sets of spelling words, she's read her reading book and answered the comprehension questions, she completed her topic work on Scotland and then I notice she has two websites she's meant to go on to play Maths games. I sit her on my knee in front of my laptop and we go onto the first - it consists of approximately a dozen subtraction questions. She happily completes those. I key in the second address, on the same Maths site but entitled Naming 3D shapes. It brings up the first question with a banner across the middle declaring 'You have exceeded your daily allowance of free questions, sign up and pay £7-99 monthly to continue!' Excuse me??? Well, as you can imagine, I have sent Anna's homework back with a letter of complaint. Homework cannot be prescribed on pay-as-you-go sites, not during a recession, not ever. I resolved to google some free 3D shapes for her to name but even if I had all the money in the world I would not be paying for my child's homework. I am appalled and outraged.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Working parents and medical appointments


And while I'm on a rant anyway... I don't get how this country is meant to work. First of all I read yesterday that an average nursery place costs £11K a year - you pay that out of your net earnings so if you are on the country's average salary, having a second kid (never mind a fifth!) is a no-goer. Apparently 25% of us are relying on grandparents for full time caring. I never have but know many who do. What happens when our generation has to work to 68? Who is going to care for our grandchildren? And now what happens when they get too old or infirm? Do those parents suddenly find themselves choosing between childcare and their mortgage?

 Then there are orthodontists, hospitals etc. Take Marcel. He's had braces on his teeth for about three years. He needs driven from Mearns Castle High to Giffnock every four weeks and back to have them adjusted. All appointments are during school hours. Back in second year I guess letting him taking the bus, which might have necessitated him missing two hours of school would just about have been feasible but as he comes up to starting fifth year it is bad enough me taking him out for half an hour, let alone sending him on public transport. I don't want him missing school. So, there is no other option than me taking him. There are no weekend appointments, no one else available to drive him but if I still worked in Bishopbriggs rather than from home, who would do it? Society relies on me doing it. I can't imagine mothers in Denmark being expected to take an afternoon off work twelve times a year (per child) for such things but our social model relies on it. Marcel's dental work wasn't cosmetic, his mouth was too small for his teeth, so what was my alternative? No wonder more an more highly qualified women are giving up on stable jobs to work freelance because there is no backup in this country. We have overpriced nurseries, outrageously priced out of school care and holiday clubs that for my kids would cost half my annual earnings for just the summer holidays. It doesn't work. We base mortgages on two incomes and then we take more than one whole income away for childcare. I don't get it. We have no official policies on what you are meant to do with your kids on the mornings they waken up with say chicken pox. You aren't allowed to stay off work, but no one will take them either. I was fortunate enough to work somewhere who let me work from home when Marcel and Charlotte got chicken pox, but these days, if I still worked in house, it would be a no-goer. Mine got it in October on year two weeks apart. I'd already used up my annual leave. The stress involved in parenting in a country that doesn't allow for it is hard to deal with. I am lucky enough to have skills that allow me to run a business from home but many parents aren't so lucky. Why aren't we looking at other countries even for ideas of how to make things work better?

And as for the delivery guys who give you a 12 hour window of when you are likely to receive your new washing machine and then invariably don't turn up once you take the day off - I won't even go there. But I'm sure we've all done it over and again! That doesn't work either.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

US wealth stats

If you have six spare minutes, I defy you not to be shocked by this video.

Borgen withdrawal symptoms

I'm feeling a wee bit devastated tonight. After over a year of having everyone we know assume we'd be watching Borgen because it is in Danish, we suddenly realized Marcel had the first series lying on his desk, having received it for Xmas. We sneaked in two weeks ago and stole it and have been watching it every night 11-12. It's been great for practising my Danish I'm sure, as I have deliberately left off the English subtitles. (Any excuse!) But last night it finished and now we have no idea what to do with ourselves! How long will we last before one of us comes up with a reason to buy series 2?!

Painted play house

Painted plat house by PhylB
Painted play house, a photo by PhylB on Flickr.
Finally finished last week's play house project.

Monster hands

Monster hands by PhylB
Monster hands, a photo by PhylB on Flickr.
Charlotte was helping Léon with his Egyptian homework task and somehow 'accidentally' ended up with green hands. It reminded me of one of my kids' favourite books 'When Mum turned into a monster'. If you don't have it and you want to scare your kids into behaving well, I can thoroughly recommend it! ;-)


Monday, March 04, 2013

Just a thought...

While we are on the topic of things I can't relate to at all... I have to say I see a gulf developing between Scottish and English politics. The things that, according to the press, and recent elections down south, are preoccupying the Southern Englanders are unimaginably alien to me. They seem to be voting UKIP because the Tories with their obsession with referenda on exiting the European Union, with their student fees, their pseudo-privatization of the NHS and their failure to notice the recession because it is outside London, are too far to the left for their liking. When I look to our European neighbours I see thoughts much more similar to mine and those of my fellow Scots. How can a country so diverse ever be successfully governed by one parliament? In a way it feels as stale as my first marriage did when I walked out. We pull in opposite directions, and have nothing left in common other than the fear of the unknown. Having had the balls to walk out on my marriage, I have found a new life that is much richer and more harmonious. I am in a partnership that is mutually beneficial. We pull in the same direction with similar goals and interests. If I had stayed, my old life would have suffocated me.

If you let them walk, they'll learn to fly.

This isn't the most exciting article ever published but it is something I find myself thinking about often, especially when I compare my kids to many of their contemporaries. I meet daily examples of things that puzzle me. Sometimes I wonder if I am in a parallel universe. I'll come back to other examples I'm sure over time but for now let's just take the concept of letting your child out of your sight.

Let's take last week for starters. I drove past school to where I could park and let Léon and Anna out the car. It was about 35m from the path that leads down to the school gate. Between where I parked and the path there were no roads to cross. You need to walk past two houses following the pavement and then past two trees. Here's the google map (though of course they were on the other side of the road at A.) A is where I dropped them, B is the path into school.
View Larger Map
There were many children on the path. I kissed them goodbye and asked Léon to walk Anna in holding her hand and I stood and watched them till they rounded the corner. During this time not one but three of my friends asked if they wanted me to take them in if I was in that great a rush. They were appalled not only at me letting my five year old walk those thirty steps alone but even at me letting my seven year old do so. Yes, I am in a hurry in the mornings, but I also strongly believe freedom and empowerment have to start somewhere and if I can let them walk 35m this year, next year it could become 50m and by two or three years down the line they will be walking unaided to the park, to Waitrose or whatever. I remember both Marcel and Lots suddenly deciding they wanted to walk home occasionally at the age of 11 or 12 so if I don't train them now, when should I start? Home is 3.5 km - see below.

View Larger Map

Interestingly here is the google map of my own primary one journey from 1972-3. It was sometimes done with mum or gran, sometimes with a neighbour who was seven or eight, just like Léon, and occasionally done alone.


View Larger Map

All I know is one day Marcel and Charlotte started walking home, then they started taking public transport to school, then Marcel started going into Glasgow alone. I know if I asked Marcel to go to visit relatives in Copenhagen flying through Stansted alone, he could do it. He has the life skills. If we never let go, we are not preparing them for life itself and we are therefore failing in the main task of parenting. Teaching them how to live without us is a far greater lesson than anything they learn at school.

Love



I caught this on radio 4 the other day... It speaks for itself. I don't think the presenter was alone in his loss for words.

(And if you're lucky enough to understand French, here's the original - the quality isn't great but it's worth watching.)

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Fiat 500L



How can this have passed Thomas by? Everyone was sharing it on Facebook months ago! Give me strength. How can I, of all people, have a husband who hasn't noticed Fiat have brought out a new Chuggy?!

Anyway, given it's been in my blog drafts for months, I'd better blog it now so he can catch up! His parents have apparently been asking his opinion of Fiat's new 500L and he didn't know it!!!! How can I have educated him so badly?



This, my dear, is the Fiat 500L. And you can tell your parents that if they buy one, I'll pop over and be their permanent chauffeur, because it is sooooo cool and cute!

Friday, March 01, 2013

Léon by Léon

When Charlotte was in p4 she came home having written a poem about herself using her name. I think acrostic poetry has always been a great time-filler in primary schools. Anyway, today I was in school for the open morning when I spied out of the corner of my eye a poem Léon had written to describe himself on the wall. Anyone who knows my wee man will definitely look at this a read aloud in astonishment the same one of the four words he's chosen. Let's see if you can pass the test?