Channelling Bill Withers

9 Feb

I have had a lovely day. I wrote a poem this morning that I was pleased with. In the afternoon I went into my sons’ old school and had a great time with the children, which is not always a given because we live in a deprived area and sometimes it shows. Today they were all well-behaved, polite and friendly. We had great fun with tracing paper and plastic tiles. We had some interesting conversations about football, new schools, religion, accents, particularly Scouse, getting in trouble when it’s not your fault, Darwinism and speaking other languages – not one of them had anything good to say about French, but that could be because the Head was taking them for it. It was lovely, and I didn’t even mind that no-one mentioned the graphite smudges on my face and which I didn’t discover until I got home and the Hub pointed out I was a dirty girl.

Toby and I had a pleasant walk in the freezing sunshine and there was a hot cuppa waiting for me when I got back. A delicious dinner of pasta and then out for parents’ evening. I love parents’ evening. Our boys work hard and do well and most of their teachers over the years have liked them; I always come out smiling. The appointments ranged from 6.15 to 8.15 with twenty minutes between some of them, and the Hub was nervous that we wouldn’t get back in time for the City game; but we did. The trick, of course, is to ignore the timetable completely. The Hub and I have developed the habit of finding a free teacher and asking if they mind squeezing us in; they never do, because they want to get home for the football as well. Sometimes we even see a couple who teach Spud. It amazes me each time to see the parents who take the timetable at face value and wait twenty minutes or more between appointments when other teachers on their list are sitting free; they obviously believe in obeying the rules. They don’t realise the timetable is really just a guide, and a teacher who has put in a full day childminding wants to get home even more than the parents, who have at least had a bite to eat.

We have always managed to avoid the Headmaster’s speech, as well, but he caught us out tonight – on our last teacher. We still managed to get home an hour before our last appointment, however: partly because one teacher didn’t show up and partly because another teacher almost fell into a diabetic coma. I have never been present before when the announcement, ‘Is there a doctor in the room?’ has been made. The atmosphere was electric. People are so easily excited by misfortune, aren’t they? We happened to be standing on the other side of the table that the poor, sick teacher was sitting at, and at first we thought he was sending us funny looks; then he seemed to be in a trance; and then his eyes rolled up in his head. We may be slow but we got it eventually that he was unwell. Fortunately, some of his colleagues were a little quicker off the mark and one of them went to his aid while the other went for the microphone. And guess what? There was a doctor in the house. Hardly surprising, given the calibre of the school; my only surprise was that just one doctor appeared.  There was a terrible traffic jam on the way there, however, so maybe the other doctors were trapped in their cars.

Finally, my lovely day was topped by City winning their match; the menfolk will be in a good mood and it might even last until tomorrow morning. Everyone’s a winner.

I welcome your comments but be warned: I'm menopausal and as likely to snarl as smile. Wine or Maltesers are an acceptable bribe; or a compliment about my youthful looks and cheery disposition will do in a pinch.

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