Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Disruptive Day!

Happy St Jordi’s Day. 

This mythical saint is patron of Catalonia as well as England – presumably we Welsh did not have yet another saint to spare as we had provided one for Ireland as well as for ourselves!

Be that as it undoubtedly is, today is the traditional day here in Catalonia when books are exchanged.  In school we were given “invisible friends” and my delegated recipient was someone for whom I had an idea for a book and then immediately went on Amazon and relied on my “Premium” membership of that tax-shirking organization to get the book to me on time for today’s handover.  Amazon let me down.  My recourse was to getting Toni to write something in Catalan on a suitably ethnic card and leave that for my victim.  I have ordered the books (plural!) and I wasn’t going to buy a substitute and then have the bloody things arrive and not find a good home!

By a judicious mixture of silence and lying I have managed to deflect immediate attention from this lack and have lived to lie another day.  I hope the books arrive soon so I can infiltrate them unobtrusively into the right pigeon hole and let the person start reading.

My own book was a more than acceptable book of Penguin Modern British Short Stories augmented by a second-hand book that I had talked about not having read with a colleague – my donor was therefore not difficult to identify and both books are excellent and will be read avidly.

There was the usual disruption to normal school life to accommodate the festivities appropriate to the day.  The equivalent of the first year sixth did their own version of the St George story with the shining knight arriving to rescue the maiden on a kid’s scooter.  This skit is played out in front of the entire school, all sitting on the playground – even and up to the sixth form.  It is amazing what you can do in this school; and what you can’t!

I couldn’t face the actual prize-giving and additional chaos and so fled home for an early lunch in our old haunt – and very nice it was too.

We arrived back at the house to find, as seems to be de rigeur for me that a delivery service had arrived while we were out and failed to deliver a package.  I now know where all the depots are for a whole variety of non-delivering carriers.  This one was new and was in the next but one town from us (nearer than it sounds) and eventually produced a whole range of CDs including an amazingly priced set of Britten.  My listening pleasure travelling to and from Barcelona is guaranteed until the end of term!

One OU course may have finished, but the next is about to start and the school – the school is having more examinations.  Therefore more marking and less time to do what I want to do.  But I am sure that I will find the time – though essential periods on the Third Floor also have to be taken into consideration!

I have actually done the first of the exercises for the new course where I had to make comments on three short pieces of film in which three members of the course team illustrated and described three objects that are significant for them and have a wider significance.  A pilgrims symbol, a Greek vase and a mummified philosopher were their choices and we have now been encouraged to identify and describe an object of our own.  The writer of the course unit described his bit of the Berlin Wall as something of little intrinsic value but have significance beyond its appearance. 

I too have an Ingrid-donated fragment of the Wall – but I can hardly copy!  I have had a few ideas ranging from the little bunny that held a bottle of Coty L’aimant perfume which was the last present that I gave my mother, to a replica of the ceremonial anointing spoon bought to celebrate the coronation of QEII.  This was something promised to me from a very young age and actually given to me so long ago I cannot remember exactly when. 

But I think that I have decided what I am going to choose.  Something which has been mine for over sixty years and has a personal, political, historical and social significance.  That should cover most of the bases!

And now the task of getting the new music onto some of my machines.  Keeps me off the streets.

And Barça have lost 4-0 in Germany and that spells the end of their European dream for this year.  Oh dear.  To you this is just another football score; I have to live with the consequences!

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