It is always encouraging when the highest forecast temperature in my native city is what I experience first thing in the morning as I get into the car to go to work. The sun has now fully risen and it looks as though it is going to be a glorious day – well, for latish March anyway!
Today is the last day for the sending in of the final essay for the OU; the final day for the Book 3 posts and the first day of real revising for the exam. And, much, much more importantly, it is the penultimate day of term!
Without a real half-term holiday, and with Easter being where it is this year, the term has dragged on and on. To say that my colleagues are ready for the holiday is the sort of understatement only matched by averring that Cyprus might have to face one or two tiny questions about its financial future. January of this year, when, apparently, this term started, seems like a time more akin to the Late Pleistocene than a few “short” months ago.
The only thing that has kept us going recently is the staunch belief that “next term will be shorter.” Though I have to admit that the statement relies on wilful self-delusion to be true. It is strange that, no sooner do I write about the concept of “the saving lie” in Hard Times that I find myself eagerly clutching the idea to my bosom as if my very sanity depended on it! The summer term is like that though. We always believe that it will be easier and then write off the stressful inconvenience of truth by pleading special circumstances in the collective intellectual gallop to the end of June. If we had to go to the end of July there would be collective hari kiri in staffrooms throughout Catalonia!
At the end of school yesterday I scuttled out of the place as if there was a meeting waiting to start. As indeed there was. It was only when I was half way home that a telephone call reminded me that I should have picked Suzanne up. Airily assuring her that I would be there in a mythical “ten minutes” I desperately searched my memory banks for the slip roads which would get me off the motorway and back to school.
A fairly frantic few minutes later, and travelling along roads less frequented, I managed to get back going the other way and arrived more or less as I had assured Suzanne I would – a little more rattled than if I had done what I said I was going to do in the first place, but there!
Toni accompanied us to La Fusta where tapas and red wine were consumed in excess and delight.
The particular accent of the evening was established when I cleaned my glasses and one of arms broke. The arm is thin and exceedingly expensive and I have to go to Sitges to get them repaired. O joy! Just the way to start the almost holidays.
I have now resorted to contact lenses and I am waiting to see if anyone notices. They usually don’t. I am not 100% sure that I have got the right lenses in the right eyes nor am I convinced that they are the right way round. But I can see something so that is a positive advantage and I do have a steam-driven pair of glasses to use in absolute emergency. However awful and old (and heavy!) they are, they will get me back home if I am behind the steering wheel! And on the last day of term that is passingly important!
We have had pieces of paper with various duties written out on them which will be an indication of what They hope will be the organization of the last morning. I am only here for the morning and then I depart in faith, fear and a fast car for a truly well deserved holiday.
There was the usual organized chaos in the morning, though the Fun Run (sic.) went off without a hitch and only a few cuts and grazes. The al fresco breakfast for the kids after their run was good and I even sampled some of the fruit, nuts and chocolate-coated biscuits that were lavished on our young charges.
The real activity of the morning was a series of sporting events which were organized by the students from some local sporting college. They included such things as macrobailar or large dancing which to my untutored eyes looked like a fairly basic aerobic routine to some sort of Brazilian mixture of dance and martial arts which had a name sounding like a cocktail. There was of course the usual football to end up the morning during which I had a goal dedicated to me by one of the players – a joke, perhaps, but I did find it oddly touching!
I maintained my reputation for staunch non-participation by ostentatiously taking a chair with me wherever I was posted and sitting on it with a terrible finality.
It has been a beautiful day and I took every opportunity to position my chair firmly in the sun which of course meant that I was nowhere near my Spanish colleagues who fled to the shadows as soon as the sun showed itself.
My head has retained the heat of the day and I am absolutely delighted to report that I have had recourse to Lidl’s best “after sun” lotion, which means that summer cannot be far away! Hopefully there will be opportunity enough during the holiday for me to escape to the Third Floor to use another of Lidl’s preparations as well!
A quick visit to Sitges to take my glasses in to be repaired and an opportunity to take some taramosalata home from a Greek restaurant that Toni spotted. I ascertained that they did take-aways and I was soon in possession of something that I have missed in this country. At the price that I paid, I am likely to go on missing it after my indulgence this evening. It was good, but not that good that I am prepared to pay a premium on what I would pay in Tesco!
Over the weekend the fact that I am on holiday will sink in and then the Pauls will arrive and the delight will be complete – right up until the realization that I actually do have to go back to school hits!
But that is far, far in the future at the moment.
Enjoy the moment!