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Tue, May. 10th, 2005, 12:11 pm

I felt so ill on Friday night (a bug caught from Mathilda who'd just gone back to school after a couple of days off) that the thought of sitting up and paying attention whilst Mathilda did her practice was too much. At seven o'clock, which is when we send Mathilda off up to get ready for bed, she piped up: "I've not done my practice."

It's bedtime. And I really don't feel well enough to help."

"But I want to do my practice." (The beginning of tearfulness sounds in her voice.)

"OK. Why not do a concert instead. Play me your twinkles and your songs. We'll all listen." (All? It helps to have attentive cats!)

With a bit of further argumentpersuasion, that's what we did.

It is something of a breakthrough to have Mathilda wanting to practice--even if, as I suspect, it's a lot to do with sticking stars for perfect performances on her perfect performance crown.