Sunday, April 22, 2012

A sleepy weekend

Three days and my fingers have not strayed to the keys to capture my thoughts.  No loss you might think but it does help to clarify my thoughts.

My sacked colleague’s case becomes murkier with each passing day.  It turns out that a teacher’s helper who was directed to assist three years of primary classes, include that of my sacked colleague, is now the teaching his class full time.  She was not in school for a few days at the end of term (when my colleague was actually being sacked) but magically appeared at the start of the next term as the new teacher.  Toni, ever faithful to his lowest common denominator approach to the Human Condition, immediately asked if the replacement teacher had friends among the management of the school.  Something to think about; something to find out about!

I feel that this case is going to end in tears.  I’m just not sure which “side” will be weeping!

It is a case that continues to upset me and I fear that what I will hear on Wednesday will combine with my existing fears about the school and boost them to another level.  However, this really is a case of “wait and see” – though that never precludes speculation!

Friday saw me taking Toni up to Terrassa to watch the ill-fated match of Barça and Real Madrid.  My return to Castelldefels was an occasion for me to gently sink into the comatose thinking of the morrow.

Saturday was a trip to Barcelona to meet Irene and share worries, fears and hopes.  We also managed to visit (for Irene) revisit (for me) the spectacular Goya and Delacroix exhibitions.  It was also an occasion for me to reconsider my rejection of both catalogues because of their expense.

Some years ago I had made a resolution to steel myself to buy the catalogue for each exhibition that I visited.  They were usually reasonably priced, often subsidized and they gave me a concrete reminder of what I had seen.  I staunchly held to this resolve until things changed.

I don’t know when it was that curators of exhibitions decided that their individual exhibitions had to be justified not only with a physical reminder of what the exhibition was about but also with an academic treatise on the subject.  The catalogue becomes more like a work of reference and authority than a simple reminded.  And the price rose!  My how it rose!

My resolve was modified to include buying the catalogue of every “significant” exhibition that I went to see.  It was only a matter of time before “significant” was modified to apply to artists that I liked or respected.  The catalogue worthy of purchase then had to have colour illustrations of each of the paintings and full information about each.  The introductory essays in these catalogues, some of which are easily of book length, were deemed generally irrelevant as they were obviously curators producing a precious “publication” to ensure that they kept their jobs and gave them an academic tickets to a better position.  Or perhaps I am being too cynical.  Anyway, the general price of these publications has continued to rise and so I was faced with a dilemma with the two exhibitions I visited on Saturday.

Goya and Delacroix are both artists I like, admire and respect.  In my view Goya is the best artist that Spain has produced.  But the catalogue for the exhibition was €45.  Delacroix, the great Romantic painter I have liked since I was in school but the catalogue for his exhibition was €58.  So both catalogues would come to over €100!

We had coffee then visited the Goya exhibition.  We tried to have lunch after the Goya but everything was booked up so we put our names down for a table and went on to the Delacroix and then ate.

Our exit was via the gift shop where the catalogues were on sale and so I looked at both of them again.

Eventually I settled on buying the Goya and hoping that the Delacroix would be in some gallery sale in a few years time.  I can wait.

The book by which I had decided to fulfil my obligations as an invisible friend for a colleague in school I was able to buy in the bullring which has been converted into shops – this is Catalonia after all and we are not barbaric.  A further purchase in the Barça shop and I was more than prepared for St Jordi on Monday.

In FNAC (the best bookshop) I was also able to pick up a hardback book on Goya for under €15 which is profusely illustrated with explanations (in Spanish) but seems absurdly cheap for what it is.  I even had a further reduction on the reduction because there is a special offer to encourage people to buy their St Jordi books (book giving is a tradition on St George’s Day in Catalonia) in their shop.  So, all in all I have done quite well.

The Barça game in the evening was a disaster with Barça playing badly and losing 1-2 at home to their hated rivals Real Madrid!

This means that Real Madrid are virtually assured of the League title and Barça will have to put their hopes in the King’s Cup and the European Cup.  If they play as they did yester there is no chance of either.

There were very long faces when I went to pick up Toni from Terrassa and his mother was wearing a Barça shirt which commemorated their European Cup win in Wembley which she said she was wearing in a spirit of Masochism!

The weather is suitably dull and a grey sort of depression has descended on the country!

Next week we shall find out how the school is going to play the reduction in our wages.  I think that I have thought of every variation possible about how to do this, but I am sure that I will be surprised at what they have actually decided to do.

I can hardly wait.
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