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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Festivity? At a time like this!


It is obviously a good thing to have a break from packing; you return refreshed and less suicidal. This is the theory.

Going to Marc’s First Birthday Party was not necessarily what I would call the most restful alternative that I could have found.

Carles (Marc’s big brother) was almost hysterical with jealousy at the attention being paid to the parvenu usurper to his Imperial Throne as sole grandson. To compensate for Marc being at the centre of the celebrations many of The Family actually bought him presents too! The Puritan in me rather frowned on this hostage to fortune approach to weaning Carles from resenting his little (!) brother.

I made the vast mistake of wearing a bright red shirt. I should have remembered my parents’ faulty choice in deciding on a plain red carpet for the hall and stairs – especially when we owned a yellow Labrador bitch. A hovered red carpet stays clean only as long as a yellow Labrador bitch chooses not to walk over it! Although I am not comparing the two children with dogs they did have very much the same effect.

My appearance was greeted with whoops by Carles who then proceeded to crawl all over me. Marc bided his time but he too added food augmented mucus to an already crumpled shirt. And doesn’t red show up food stains well!

By the time the full complement of the Family had arrived it was already late and by the time we finally got to leave I was almost crucified with fatigue. The drive back reminded me of those times in childhood when, in spite of a juvenile determination to ‘stay up late’ the idea of bed and a bath seemed like perfect heaven.

When we eventually arrived back in the flat I went straight to bed and didn’t so much go to sleep as lapse into coma!

The outline for the day in school is another exercise in ordered chaos. The pupils have been studying a variety of subjects in a project-like form and now have to present a dossier of their findings to a tribunal which will give each group a mark. This means that, for the greater part of the day I am going to have to sit with the hyper pupils as they wait their turn to go into another class to meet the tribunal.

I am beginning to sense a sort of pattern emerging in so far as I seem to be the teacher of choice for extra supervision. As I do not have my permanent contract yet (because of the two month disgrace in the summer when I am not paid) I have kept my mouth shut in that tellingly obvious way that people have when they think that they are being hard done by. I have the distinctly unalluring prospect of baby minding a Year 8 class for two consecutive hours. Oh bliss! The only thing which is keeping me going is the information that we have a slap-up meal on the 22nd or 23rd after the kids have gone. Roll on!

Since Toni’s triumph in finding a mover for €300 some of the more tsunami-like waves of panic about the move have diminished to mere rolling breakers but my mind is constantly thinking of the ways in which The Owner can screw us out of our rightful cash. The Owner in our imaginations is now a product of what might emerge when you mate the product of an unholy alliance between Shylock and Captain Hook (well, he was a sailor) and an even more unholy alliance of Mrs Rochester and Uriah Heep. He is, as you will no doubt deduce, a figure of desperate and tragic myth for us. It’s amazing how quickly you can demonize anyone who has control over your money!

I am almost out the other side and think that The Owner could actually behave with propriety and give us our money back then and there after the inspection. Then Toni tells me to grow up and I return to reality.

Reality was not buying Hammerite paint to renovate the windlass; buying a masking pen to renovate the grouting in the bathroom and buying new plugs from the Chinese shop to replace the worn out and broken plugs in bathroom and kitchen. Toni is determined to paint the ceiling of the bathroom and repair the broken door of the utility cupboard and I am determined to allow him to do it!

Such generosity!
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