This week has been a trial!
Sunday morning I woke up with the start of a nasty cold and Monday morning it was back to school.
I hate that, you wake up feeling like death. No! I lie, I didn't wake up as I hadn't slept. About every ten minutes I was choking because my throat was so irritated. I had to go and not sleep in my son's room, thankfully he wasn't there.
Mike had to be up at 4am to go to Gloucester to do the breakfast show. As soon as he'd gone, I crept downstairs to make myself a cup of tea and by 5.30am I was in a bath, so hot it would have cooked a lobster.
To say I felt bad is an understatement. But, it was the first day back after the half term break. What a dilema! If you don't go you're a scivving whatsit and if you do go it's 'What the hell are you doing, bringing those germs into school? You can't win whatever you do.
I chose the going in option as I knew I couldn't sleep at home and I might as well feel bad at school as anywhere else and why sould I suffer on my own? Share and share alike, that's my motto.
I seem to have lost the week as I have been like a zombie most of the time but I got through it somehow.
One of the things that has really got on my nerves this week is Fliss, my oldest cat. She is thirteen and has lost the plot completely. For some reason she has taken up residence in my bathroom. The floor in there is ceramic tiles, we have a pedestal mat aound the loo (much to the annoyance of my daughter). But that is what I grew up with and that is what we have in my house. Unfortunately this mat has now become the domain of Fliss. It's where she wants to lie most of the day and if you want to use the loo she gives you so much verbal abuse!
She does her best to trip you up at all times and having a bath is a nightmare. She keeps jumping up the side and shouting in your ear. I have no idea what the matter is and the vet says she's just hormonal. Great! I seem to be entering the realms of the menopause, I expect hot flushes and mood swings anyday but if I start curling myself up around the toilet and screaming at anyone that wants to use it... will you please shoot me.
The children I work with are mostly from deprived backgrounds and we certainly get to see all aspects of life from them.
There is a boy who is so poor, in all respects, that he was kept down in year 4 rather than coming up to the year I work in . This week he was moved up to year 5.
He's about ten, does not know all of the alphabet and has some very unappealing habits. I managed to avoid him until Friday, when I spent two lessons with him. The majority of these problem children have had no parenting whatsoever. By Friday I was feeling a bit better and decided I was going to get on his case.
Literacy was our turn in the ITC suite. We were typing up a short story they had written. Of course, he hadn't written anything and as he can't spell was more interested in hitting the boy sat behind him. I told him that if he would tell me his ideas, I would spell them for him and he could type it. As he only knew about half of the alphabet, it involved me pointing at a lot of letters but he had some good ideas and we managed four sentences which made a reasonable short story.
When we finished I enlarged and changed the font to Chiller before we printed it off. He was so impressed with what he'd produced and the funky text made it something that was cool, rather than just boring school work. I did him an extra copy to take home, I just hope there is someone there that can read it.
After break we were doing the Gunpowder Plot and he was on direct course to losing the plot. They get so wound up during their break. I find cool and calm usually gets through to them and so ignored his comments that he 'weren't goin to do nuffink' and told him I had an ancestor that was hanged for his involvement in the Gunpowder Plot. Well that shut him up!
It may not be true but some of the plotters were caught at Hagley, in the days prior to that they had been hiding at Rowley Regis. A farmer called Thomas Smart was hanged, drawn and quartered for harbouring them. My family all come from Rowley Regis my great grandmother was a Smart.
Family legend says we have a Smart ancestor that was hanged for his part in the Gunpowder Plot. In my research I've found that my great grandmother's father was Thomas Smart, his father was a Thomas Smart and his father was Thomas Smart and they were farmers. So although I haven't yet proved the link I got back to the 1700's and I think it's looking pretty likely.
Well, it was like a magic pill. He was absolutely rivited, he asked loads of questions, wanted to know if his great grandfather would have been around then. Filled in all the missing words from his piece of text (I had to to read them for him) and then copied it all into his book in a very passable form of JOINED UP writing. His class teacher was amazed.
During the lesson I taught him to get a tissue and wipe his nose on it, instead of on his sleeve and I ended the morning actually liking the poor little soul.
One of the girls in the class admired the belt I was wearing and said she had two similar to it. One was free she said. That's nice says I, thinking it was a buy one get one free offer. Silly me! No, her friend's Gran had gone out to a pub and had a fight with another woman. The other woman got ejected from the pub and was not allowed back in. During the fight her belt fell off, so friend's Gran took it home and gave to the girl I was talking to.
It's another way of life to me, I don't know what I felt most uncomfortable with. The idea of grown women fighting in a pub, the fact that one at least was a grandmother, although knowing our lot she could easily be only 38, or the fact that this ten year old girl should have been told how her belt had been acquired.
After school I had to go and meet my mother for lunch with her friends. It didn't start out like that, I was just supposed to be collecting some old photos from her but she was having lunch with her friends and so I had to join them. While I was sitting there with this group of blue rinse ladies, blinded by the collective flashes of light off their diamond rings, I couldn't help wondering what the likleyhood was, of us all getting up and having a baroom brawl, some of us getting turfed out and losing some of our clothing in the process, I decided it was fairly unlikely and tucked into my salmon skewer and mineral water. There definitely seems to be a huge divide between my work and home life.
Afterwards we went back to Mum's house but she couldn't relinquish the photos without a quick look through first, which meant I finally got home after dark and it was too late for me to take my friend's birthday card and present to her. So I apologise for being a day late Sue.
The photos span 7 decades and caused a lot of mixed emotions. The ones from my late teens, when I was with my first love, cause very mixed feelings. I loved that boy and we had planned to marry but then I chose a different, harder path through this life. (There is really nothing like a cold for making you feel sorry for yourself.)
Maybe I had Karmic debts to pay but looking at the pictures from that time, I am aware I could have had a very much easier life.
I don't really have any regrets, it's just that, seeing what might have been makes me realise what a difficult life I have had at times. But, I was a very selfish, shallow person back then and now I am not. So I can only rejoice in the path I chose and be glad for the things I have learned and grateful that I am happy now.
BUT I WOULDN'T MIND WINNING THE LOTTERY!
Mike's joined my gym, so now I have to go on a more regular basis and compete with him which will hopefully do us good. He just got up from sitting for a while and shouted 'MY KNEES' and all he's done is the induction hour!
Next Saturday should be the small school reunion I've arranged, we had one of the girls drop out today, I hope this isn't the first of many.