This weekend will not go down in my memory as one to Mark With a White Stone. It has been almost unrelievedly morose, well I have been anyway.
Friday evening began with a suggestion of illness which had developed into proper fleur de mal by the time I woke up. There was, however, no time to feel self-pitying as Toni had to be taken to Terrassa to visit his aunt. My return to Casteldefells saw a gradual declension from a cold can of beans for lunch, through the displacement activity of First Day Cover Reorganization and finally to early bed and unconsciousness.
Sunday dawned, allegedly, through the snuffling hump under the blankets took not a blind bit of notice of it. Toni’s coughing return in the early morning after depositing his mother at the airport to go on her planned trip to Granada did not encourage me to leap out of bed and it was half past ten when I eventually crawled out to have my bowl of muesli and it was not long before I crawled back again not to re-emerge until gone seven in the evening. This does not bode well for tomorrow, but next week is the week before the examinations (when is it not!) and my presence is important – so I have a week of coughs and snuffles to look forward do augmented by the ever increasing hysteria of pupils as they build themselves up to another paper exercise in fatuousness.
There is still a pile of marking waiting for me, though I fully intend to splatter my way through a few scripts that I have to make the effort tomorrow a little less intimidating.
The one thing I do have to look forward to is the immanent arrival of a massive box set of Tchaikovsky from Brilliant Records who have carved out a niche for themselves in the we-give-you-everything market. In fact this is not as complete as the makers of the discs would have you believe, but the price is so good and the discs so numerous that one would be churlish to do anything other than gloat about ownership!
There is more than enough space on my hard drive to accommodate all the discs though I think that I may delay putting all the operas (or at least what operas they have seen fit to include) as I am getting progressively irritated by having vague bits of spoken recitative interpolated in automatically produced play lists. I am trying to include some pop discs as well as there is nothing so invigorating as lurching from a piece of high art to low music in a heartbeat when the machine has decided what “song” to play next!
As is usual for me, I do not look ill at all. I go throughout life bereft of the sympathy which should go with illness because I do not have the good grace to act the part. I will have to cough decorously and dab my lips with my paper handkerchief if I am to get any with the same word of condolence from my colleagues. Their sympathy will be heartfelt, if only because any absence is covered internally – the Supply Teacher being a figure of mythic proportions in The School on the Hill. Even simple substitution is never guaranteed as classes are collapsed with the same regularity as Italian governments!
Still, every day is a day nearer to the holidays and indeed to The Retirement. And at least for me there is an end in sight which is in a matter of months and not, as for the majority of my hapless colleagues, in a number of years or decades! Let us be truly thankful for that!
Late June is release, and who knows, it might even be before.