Their absence gives the beach back into the hands of its autumn and winter denizens: the old. Sprightly septuagenarians skip towards the uninviting waves or stand gazing out to sea, legs akimbo, with a propriatorial air. Old ladies in geriatric pairs ‘run’ where the arms and legs mimic the actions of a racer, yet, like the animated mannequins in sports shops they do appear to be going anywhere.
The silence is only broken by the roar of the sand sifters as they go about essential cleansing work on a tideless beach.
In this light the sea looks like a steel blue wall unravelling at the base where the waves break. The beach has the appearance of khaki snow its virgin, sifted smoothness only spoilt by the first sea gazers marching resolutely to the water’s edge. A solitary yacht sailing on the top of the wall of the sea has a glowingly white sail indicating that the sun is trying to force its way towards us.
Now, on my third cup of tea of the morning, families have begun to supplant the old and the darker clouds begin their drift towards the mountains changing the colour of everything and giving back to the sea its accustomed wrinkled flatness.
I am conscious that I am beginning to sound like a poor man’s Dylan Thomas. Whatever else it might be, Castelldefels is no Llaregeb – or perhaps I just don’t know it well enough yet!
Tomorrow the School That Sacked Me opens its doors for the unsuspecting new batch of teachers to discover jest what they have let themselves in for.
The proposed rearrangement of classes for this year makes nonsense of ALL the work done by the previous year’s teachers and the present unit head of primary had been trying to square the circle by devising a syllabus for the new term. She should be informed that, to my knowledge, the circle cannot be squared (as proved in 1882 by the Lindermann-Weierstrass theorem which proves that pi (π) is a transcendental rather than algebraic irrational number; that is, it is not the root of any polymominal with rational coefficients. The consequences of that will be obvious even to those of the most limited intelligence) so the year will start with self contradiction and develop from there in the usual downward spiral into chaos.
At the moment, some of those of us who are enthusiastic about the founding a new school are, because of professional conflicts of interest, unable to speak openly: this limits the effectiveness of capitalizing on the anguish that parents are going to feel at the start of yet another year with what amounts to a new staff.
The next few weeks are of crucial importance in the establishment of our credentials as plausible alternative educators for the children of wavering parents in the School That Sacked Me.
We are living in the Chinese cliché of interesting times.
Long may they continue!