98. An April state of smiles and tears…

Ask me … go on, ask me…

Are you looking forward to retiring?

Hmm… tricky one… and an interesting and relevant question. You must be a very perceptive person. Let me see…

It’s first thing Sunday morning. I have a class set of Big Writing to mark and a class set of Literacy books to mark.  If I can keep it down to 5 minutes a child for Big Marking, and 2 minutes a child for the Literacy, that’s … um… seven times thirty… three and a half hours? If I’m very strict with myself and don’t over-mark. Then there’s maths and literacy and lots of ICT to plan and prepare. Might be able to keep it down to two hours, I reckon, if I’m very disciplined and don’t get side-tracked…

Which reminds me, I was taking the children through their Big Writing task the other week… which was devising a trick in the style of Roald Dahl’s The Twits… when one of the children asked if they could copy from the book. Quick as a flash, one of the other kids quipped, “Don’t be silly – that would be Big Cheating!”

Well, it made us laugh. Perhaps you had to be there.

Where was I? Let me quickly read back a bit… Oh yes. Not getting distracted. Right.

So am I looking forward to not spending five and a half hours on a Sunday doing school work? You can bet your sweet bippy I am! I would much rather wash gravel for the new sitting area in the garden, which we’re calling Sidney, as it will eventually be an arbour. Or I could man the helpline for those affected by the issues in this week’s Archers. Or doze by the log fire. Or start decorating the hall.

Yes, I am really looking forward to the freedom of being able to work to my own timetable with only inspections by my mother to worry about.

However, I am sorry to say that my dreams are not On Message. The computer suite has been dismantled without my knowledge just as I’m heading off for a lesson on Spreadsheets. The art resources have all been moved and no-one will tell me where and the inspectors want to know why the paints aren’t ready. A new nursery with an outdoor area the size of Hyde Park has been built next to my Reception class and no-one mentioned it; so the minute I open the door, the children disperse to the four corners and I run around frantically trying to herd them back.

It doesn’t take Freud, or indeed Cathy and Claire, to figure out that a great chunk of my unconscious is having trouble with the idea of stepping down from Thrush Woods. Since Val-in-the-kitchens left, I’ve become Mother of the House: twenty years in the place and most of that as Senior Management. It’s jolly hard to let go.

But it’s Sunday morning. Meeting will just be starting at our local Friends’ Meeting House. I was a regular for years; not at the moment, but that’s another story. Part of their Advices and Queries has just popped into my head, leading me to look up the full text.

Every stage of our lives offers fresh opportunities. Responding to divine guidance, try to discern the right time to undertake or relinquish responsibilities without undue pride or guilt. Attend to what love requires of you, which may not be great busyness.”

However one interprets the ‘divine guidance’ bit, I find this helpful.

Ask me again … go on, ask me…

Are you looking forward to retiring?

I am not so much retiring as moving on to fresh opportunities. Now I must attend to what school requires of me, which is, alas, great busyness.


Because Pa has signed up to GiveAsYouLive, when he booked his car service on-line, £6 went to help fund Parkinson’s research. It cost him nothing and has brought a cure that wee bit nearer. The link is here.

The Jelly Chronicles Volume 1 is available as an i-book here. Any proceeds to The Cure Parkinson’s Trust.


One response

  1. That’s a lovely quote and very apt. I’ll always have spare marking and will need a batphone link to cope with ICT without you, just incase you finish with the gravel.

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