I'm doing too much of this, but it's better than checking my emails every five minutes to see whether there's any kind of Verdict yet.
My little granddaughter phoned this evening to ask if I will sponsor her for a sponsored spelling test. I am on safe ground here, for this is a child who once spelled Tuesday "clak". No-one ever discovered what Tuesday and clak had in common, but my own theory is that because they have too many boring spellings to do she just thought: sod it, I'll write down the first letters that come to mind. Wise child. Anyway, I'm giving her 25p per word, but I think my money's probably safe.
This got me thinking about sponsoring in general. Sponsored spellings are fine, because spelling tests are dreary, so the sponsored person has to do something unpleasant - perhaps even useful - to earn the money for their cause. But when it comes to sponsoring people to, say, trek through the Andes or go white water rafting in Patagonia, that's a different matter. What you are doing is paying for them to have the kind of wonderful holiday you will never have and couldn't possibly afford anyway.
On another tack altogether, one of my sons is thinking of keeping bees in his loft (there's no room in the garden). This is an interesting idea, but I'm not sure whether it will work. For a start, the bees will have to get out, which means the weather will presumably get in. But at least it will keep the bees away from the children. Another son, who also hankers after bees (and who does things like making his own cheese and contructing a water bath for cooking food in) doesn't know about this yet, but I'm pretty sure that he too will want bees in his loft when he gets to hear about it. I'm not sure about bees, myself. There's just so much honey one family can eat, and I've always thought it rather unfair that we take the bees' honey and give them sugary water instead. Do they not notice the difference?