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Monday, October 18, 2010

Delighted thoughts

There is definitely a new spring in my step since the receipt of the email outlining the reality of the money that comes with a pension. Can it really be this simple? All you have to do is pay vast sums of money for thirty years and a grateful government showers one with cash.







Well, perhaps not quite.






There are taxes and tax codes which (when was the last time this happened!) are set at “Emergency” level until the government decides just how much you have to give back!






From what I can deduce from the documentation that came with the email, the date on which one is paid relates directly to one’s birthday: so I expect my first “pay” cheque on the 23rd of November. Or something. It will be fun waiting to find out how much and when.






Tomorrow the examination season starts. This is one of the convulsive testing periods that the school decides on. The kids become fully paranoid for a week or so and then everything reverts to the normal pace of life until the next examination convulsion.






Some of our pupils have a remarkable capacity for writing notes; learning notes, regurgitating notes. I wish I could say that this links to education in some way, but that would not be true. There is a glorification of rote learning of those things which are “for the examination” which is, to put it mildly, depressing to witness.






The school does train the kids to get the marks which are necessary for their future development within the system but when you come to evaluate the system then you might be left with one or two questions about its essential worth.






The art history class which I share with the art teacher is, however trying to be something different with a far more practical approach and an experiential feel which is much more satisfying to be involved with.






But enough disinterest: what about me!






The finding of a portable internet radio for my birthday is proving to be an almost insuperable problem. My shop of first and last resort (El Corte Ingles) has show itself to be woefully lacking producing a single radio as the total of their stock! Not what I expect.






And, as I was having an unsatisfactory conversation with my GPS, which was not doing as I was ordering it to do, I made a wrong turning and explored yet more of the traffic filled streets of central Barcelona on my way to the largest El Corte Ingles store.






Although I did not find a suitable radio, I did wander into the “Gourmet” shop within a shop which is a feature of the store. This miraculous niche of comestibles is filled with the most irresistible smells of cheese, wine and spices. The shelves are overcrowded with eye-poppingly expensive jars and boxes of delectable foodstuffs and it is as difficult to emerge from this haven of taste without a purchase as it is to go into an Apple store and leave the ipad unbought. But if I can do the latter then the former is definitely within my reach.






Not that I am counting, but there are now five days to the magical date when I could, should I choose to do so, walk away from my scholastic responsibilities and . . . but I would never do that. I do have some shreds of professional pride left. I think.






But, there again, there are the Saturday morning meetings to discuss examination results! Pause for thought.






At least tomorrow is not an early start: a whole half hour’s lie in!






One takes one’s pleasure where one finds it!
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