Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Why not pad?

There is much to be said for tile floors in a hot country.

At the moment this country is not hot. The weather is damp and the beach has that deep ochre look which doesn’t go well with a washed out hazy blue-grey sky. I realised that the weather was beginning to get to me as I was taking the rubbish out to the bins and barely scowled at the cheery ‘bon dia’ of the person coming in the opposite direction.

Part of the reason I have to admit has nothing to do with the damp weather, and much more to do with tiles.

The person passing me and leading a dog was obviously our upstairs neighbour. The key is the dog.

Personally, I think that there is no place for a pet in a flat. The beach is, out of bounds for dogs, it is illegal to take a dog on to the beach. I have to say that particular law is not honoured in either the breach or the observance and foul curs foul at will.

This particular dog we know well, very well. Thanks to the tile floor on which it walks, we are fully conversant with its staccato progress as it minces about sounding as if it was walking on a collection of screwdrivers. As it skitters about it has never, obviously, entered the degraded heads of its owners that its nails might need cutting.

Such vicious thoughts would never enter my giddy holiday head in the normal process of indulging my ingestion of vitamin D via sunlight. It its absence vitriol is sprayed in a fairly general arc seeking whom it may destroy. (I will allow Stewart to check the grammar of that statement incorporating as it does a half remembered phrase from the Book of Common Prayer!)

Meanwhile the reading of a book of short stories by Kate Chopin – one of the many authors dredged up to complete the almost total feminisation of literature studies in our schools – is part of my displacement strategy to hinder my application of effort to the work that I should be doing for school.

I am still reading ‘The Awakening’ the first of the stories which I think I last read in a fit of absent mindedness when I was looking for pre-twentieth century non-British short literature to cover a number of bases in the coursework requirements for GCSE English. It was obviously too long for use and the subject matter was too subtle to hold many pupils’ interest.

Its setting links it to the short stories of Somerset Maugham but it lacks the more obvious narrative point of that author.

I have to say that I remember absolutely no point of the story so far, so completely did my mind wipe it out as having no utility for school use! I hope that I will be able to gain more enjoyment this time round as the requirements for short stories for my present crop of students is even more particular than for a group of 16 year old native English speakers!

I am now waiting for a friend to call so that we can join forces to make the distribution of CVs a little easier. This is not for my benefit but to give moral support to another. With any reasonable luck reciprocation will not be necessary, but preparing an updated version of my CV and drafting a general covering letter is part of the workload that I have to complete this holiday. Although my present school has given me every indication of positive support, I do not yet have the contract in my hands. This being the case, and with my experience of private education fresh in my mind, preparation for all eventualities seems to be called for!

The sun has now made a half hearted effort to show that it is still there behind the clouds by popping out for a moment to show what this holiday period could be like if really wanted to be a friend.

It’s now gone again.

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