Thursday, April 30, 2009

Time for what?

Well, my self-imposed time limit for positive news about my contract has passed so the soul destroying tedium of re-presenting my much touted CV to the various educational establishments of Barcelona and surrounding districts commences.

This lack of certainty is running alongside the conversation I had with the head of English this morning about books I might to look at in another store room to use for future English classes. She was also very concerned that I had the right key to get into the place. As a matter of fact I have enough metal work in the multitude of keys that I have been given for the school to kit out a very respectable representation of Marley’s Ghost. There can be few places in any of the buildings that comprise our school campus that I am unable access if I cared to spend the time and effort and find out which of the many, many keys that I possess would fit the many, many locks.

In spite of the very impressive accoutrements of security with which my case is laden it doesn’t stop things going missing. The latest even which has thrown the school into a hissy fit of fatuous verbiage is that some money has been stolen.

We must get things into proportion. These are rich kids with richer parents. And they steal. I remember years ago when I was on an exchange trip to France that one boy revealed that he had stolen a pair of flip-flops from a shoe shop we had just been in. Leaving aside for the moment the truly sad nature of our little group that found visiting a French shoe shop interesting – the one fact that eventually found a little squeak of horror in my mind was that the ‘sophisticated’ (i.e. he smoked) rich French boy had more than enough money to have bought the things. Then, I didn’t understand the appeal of the element of bravado and risk that attracts those vitiated by the comfort zone of money. To be fair I still don’t. But I am sure that something of that motivated the thief in our midst.

And lunch time was revealing too. The kids are well fed with good quality food served in spacious surroundings with some fairly spectacular views of Barcelona. Today we teachers had a variety of desserts to choose from including ice cream in various forms.

The children were given a snack sized Magnum chocolate covered ice cream on a stick. These were distributed by the lunch ladies when they had considered that the kids had eaten enough of their other two courses. What was interesting was not that Magnums were distributed but rather the reaction of the ‘customers.’ An unbiased observer would have assumed that the children eating were underprivileged kids who had never tasted ice cream before. They begged borrowed and stole ice cream from each other and then besieged the ladies for extra. As I was on lunch time duty I was the person trying to stem the flood of kids trying to wheedle an extra Magnum out of the kitchen staff. Some of the kids (obviously not knowing my flinty inner core of child contempt) attempted to soften my stern ordering of them out of the dining room with what they fondly supposed were ingratiatingly plaintive doe-eyed moist eyes as they beseeched me to have pity on their poor wretched condition and allow them a little taste of the flavour of Elysium vouchsafed to other more fortunate kids.

As you may be able to tell from the tone of that writing I was unmoved – though I myself, in the privacy of the staff dining room had partaken of two ice creams myself. Some hypocrisy is just too delicious to pass by!

To fortify myself for the all-too-short holiday ahead I have brought home seven of the books which I got from the bookseller (at the school’s expense) on Sant Jordi and will indulge myself in an orgy of reading, lubricated by the odd glass of Rioja.

If the sun shines with any degree of intensity then I have almost vowed to throw myself into the foaming briny for the first time this year.

I will be looking at the thermometer as there is a minimum blow which it is a criminal offence to immerse oneself in Spain!

Toni is going off to his nephew’s Name Day which will be celebrated by barbecue in the company of countless young humans aged four and below.

The simple statement of some approaching events is loquacious beyond the power of adjectival hyperbole to convey the horror!

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