Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Pigeon Stretch

A complete stranger who is unnaturally bendy.
Today was my last day at school.  I didn’t even return to my desk but walked straight out of my last lesson over to my car and home. 
Soon the holidays will start.  Sun and sand whisper to me.
There was just one thing left to do.  I cycled over to my Pilates class.
Alice is a great teacher and she inspires confidence in me.  Confidence which is sometimes misplaced.
The roll-downs, cat stretches, c curves and leg folds were all fine.  Then Alice said temptingly,
“And this is my favourite stretch at the moment….”
We were all ears. 
“It’s called the pigeon stretch.  If you slide your foot forward and then bend your knee and then slide your other knee backwards…then see if you can bend your head to the ground…”
As we struggled to un-crochet our over-stretched bodies, I felt sort of limp and spongy.
“I’ve never seen a pigeon do anything like that, Alice.”
“You’re not the first of my clients to remark on that, Clare.”
Next, we were to do quite a basic stretch but I declared that I couldn’t.
“That’s funny,” said Alice, “Because you managed that pigeon stretch just now.”
But a couple of hours later as I sit at home I have to confess that I have done myself a mischief.  When the rest of the family go on their summer hols they will have to carry me in a hold-all like an enormous rag doll.
Is it possible that Alice had misheard?  Had somebody else been complaining about “That pigging stretch!”

Monday, 13 July 2015

Red Letter Day

In the distance are little starbursts of fireworks and I am walking towards them.  I can hear snatches of Beethoven’s Pastoral getting louder.  Wafting towards me are the delicious scents of Summer barbecues next to the sea. 
The event that I am heading towards is the end of term; behind me is my first year of teaching in a secondary school.
It got more manageable, I got better at it.  I enjoyed it.  I can’t believe how much I’ve learnt in a year.
However, because I have been part-time, I have another year to go as an NQT.
The difference is that next year I shall not be moving house and I have a bank of work that I’ve already prepared.

Yes, definitely Beethoven’s Pastoral.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Unwise Purchase

Last time we moved, we rushed at our new house like a bull at a gate.  We took rapid decisions about expensive items.  Tilers, plumbers and builders flashed through.
Then we repented at leisure.
We even had to move a whole wall.
This time, I’m not rushing. 
Even modest decisions like which lamp to put outside the front door can be slept upon.
Nigel attempts to drag me to DIY shops but I abort the mission.
Until Saturday, when I saw something which I wanted for the garden.  At Chidwickbury Arts Fair, I discovered some gigantic copper flowers made by Christian Funnel.  They were witty, well-made and affordable, so I pulled out my credit card.
Luckily, Carenza and Will were on hand to carry them for me.  As we wended our way down the path to the car park, the people we passed gave us special smiles.  
Or smirks.
“Oh dear,” said Will, “It’s like those people you see on the televisation of the Chelsea Flower Show.  They went looking for a purple clematis, got stuck on the Pimms and ended up staggering home with an unwise purchase.”
Silly him – who wouldn’t want a giant copper flower or two?

He’ll be laughing on the other side of his face when they protect us from the imminent triffid invasion.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Homing Pigeons

We have moved house. 
In the Autumn we shall put out bird feeders and hope that blue tits and green finches find their way here.
Next summer we shall ensure that the garden brims with flowers and we will await the butterflies.

But for now, we have tried to make the kitchen comfortable and have laid in a stock of Doritos and Pringles.  
We wait with bated breath.  
Will they come?
“I think I hear a noise in the kitchen.  Could that be them?”
We creep down the corridor and peep round the door.

It has happened:  Perran, Carenza and their friends have returned home from university.  
Perran,Carenza and Sarah