Monday, October 04, 2010

Absence makes the ear grow quieter

There is much truth in the old saying about the hammer hitting your head; it is indeed worth being hit just for the absolute delight of it stopping. So with children: two small kids are worth tolerating if only for the seraphic peace which comes with their removal!

To be fair the kids of whom I speak are delightful - if evil. The smile that the smaller of the two can give melts hearts and curdles milk; but then what child worth his salt cannot reduce blood relatives to a state of gibbering soppiness at the elegant curve of a lip or the arch movement of an eyebrow. I am not a blood relative and can therefore take a more measured approach and can watch anguish and anger over a carelessly spilt bottle of chocolate shake be transformed in the twinkling of an eye by the twinkling of a juvenile eye!

Admittedly we had ten to dinner, but only two of them made the crowd!

My class doing a translation of a children’s story from Spanish into English has now produced the finalish draft and the writing will now have to be considered by others in the school. The original story was published to produce funds for Haiti and it is hoped that the English version will appeal to another section of the buying public who will not only want to read the story but will also feel that warm glow of self satisfaction that only comes with doing good unto others!

For my own part, with the exception of Winnie the Pooh I do not think that I have ever read a children’s short story as many times as this one in the whole of my life.

The end of this class will mean that the children who have been working on the translation will now rejoin the class from which they were taken and the team teaching of the History of Art will now commence with the Art Teacher and me! This should be interesting!

The rest of my teaching does not occupy my mind much and I look forward more to the summer reading books that one colleague is allowing me to borrow one at a time. I am also conscious that I have my stash of books from a last foray into WH Smith’s in Bristol before I got on the plane for Barcelona waiting to have their pages turned.

So many books; so little time!

The ordering of the internet radio has turned into a fiasco with emails flying right, left and centre about the validity of my card. The fact that the expiry date has changed has thrown the whole of the organization of Amazon into complete confusion and I have clicked so many buttons that I am sure that I have paid for the damn thing three times over already and it is still not listed as having been sent!

Each moment that passes seems to mock me with its golden radiance: the sun grows in strength and potency and we have even had to turn on the air conditioning in the staff room. And I am not out on the Third Floor wallowing in the unseasonal heat. It is too, too cruel and my skin is becoming pastier each time I look at it!

Perhaps I should be aiming to swim in the outside municipal pool – though I hope to god that they have closed it thus allowing me the luxury of feeling that I would if I could but I can’t sort of thing.

I am steeling myself to visit the municipality to denounce the actions of my neighbours in destroying the poles which have recently been set in the pavements to discourage the indiscriminate parking in streets close to the sea.

I have, I must admit, little intention of being explicit (in spite of the witness that I could call!) and merely want to suggest in a directed way where the guilt for this criminal damage should lie. But I do want the posts replaced as the depredations of the neighbours have opened up a whole section of the road which now positive invites cars to park illegally and block our driveways.

This will be another test of my scanty Spanish and god alone knows what the poor people in the town hall will understand by the time that I have finished with them.

As is usual for me, my Spanish is given a status by other people (who can speak Spanish) which it in no way merits. My linguistic status is officially designated as a “false beginner” but that doesn’t stop people speaking to me as if I am completely fluent.

While I am in school the chances of my taking lessons are virtually nil and when I leave school I will not be able to afford them. And before anyone suggests that I do all this learning of the language myself I would ask them to take a good, long draught of reality!

Roll on the Kindle and a daily dose of The Guardian!
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