19. We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet
I approve of 2013.
In our neck of the woods, at least, 2012 lacked a certain something. It started with Pa’s eye exploding, followed in the spring by GrannieBorders being whipped into hospital with weeping legs.
She’s quite a lass is GrannieBorders. Paralysed with polio in Coronation year, she brought up ActorLaddie and his older but irritatingly hairier brother from her wheelchair, while GrandadBorders worked as the most civil of servants. Family legend has it that she once burnt out the engine of her disability trike seeing how fast she could drive it to Worthing.
18. At the still point in the turning world
As we established in yesterday’s lecture on the elasticity of time (T), the pace of time for a teacher on playground duty can range from 2T to 4T. So five minutes can feel like twenty. Whereas, the pace of time in the staff room increases the closer you get to the tea urn, sometimes – say during wet play, when you know the children will be ghastly afterwards – reaching T/10. So no sooner have you reached the biscuit barrel than playtime is over.
You weren’t at yesterday’s lecture? Well you’ll just have to borrow the notes from a friend.
17. Slow, slow, quick quick, slow
“Look, dragon breath!” Mixed infants circle round me, their breath steaming in the winter air. I roar obligingly and they scamper away.
One little dragon loses her footing and is brought to me, howling, by Katie. We check out the knees and agree that a quick magic rub and the application of a little TLC will be sufficient. We’re just setting off on a turn around the playground when there’s a tug on my coat. Owen is standing behind me with a plastic cup filled with mud.
“Coffee?” he asks. I take the cup and pretend to sip.
“That’ll be fifty pounds,” he says. “You can pay by card.” I pick up a leaf and hand it over. “Do you want cash-back with that?” he asks.