Monday, 27 December 2010

Wherefore art thou?

I remember vividly winters of yore. Those biting, early mornings where Hubby would groan at the sound of his alarm and hit it, until the clock’s silence indicated its defeat, before dragging his exhausted body out of the marital bed, to shower, shave, get into his uniform, get in his frozen car and get to work at FOST before being briskly helicoptered out onto a ship in the English Channel whereupon, he would oft put the fear of God into Captains and crew whose careers were on the line, should he and the FOST staff find, whilst examining every area of ship, that they were unsatisfactory.
At this point in time of course, I was oblivious to it all. I was still deeply snuggled under the duvet. I doubt that during the 18 months of Hubby’s appointment at FOST, I barely spoke to him, let alone get up with him, make him a flask of tea, defrost his car and turn the engine on, so that when he eventually got in it to drive to work, it was toasty warm inside. How humbled therefore am I to be in that position. Hubby does not spit “Shush” at me from under the heaviest tog rating for daring to make the slightest noise. My cheeks redden at the memory of my callousness.
Dear Hubby has been my hero these past frigid days, getting up just before me to make my life a little more pleasant before I embark on my polar express journey ‘down Cornwall’. How feeble we are in this part of the world. My electric blanket is ratcheted up to such a temperature at night that come the morning, my bottom is regularly poached and, when I arrive at school I am one of many staff members whose body is swathed in swaddling cloths of thermal intensity.
To hear Sally Traffic therefore, on the radio on my drive home, warn of the dire situation on the M8 and snow gates and desperate souls stuck in their cars in snow drifts for hours on end, makes me shiver as I know that in 45 minutes I’ll be in a warm house in the company of a warm dog who is more than amenable to sitting on me to thaw me out.
Snow drifts or not though it has been a perishing week made worse by the hunt for two acceptable yet elusive, Christmas trees. I have travelled what seems the length and breadth of Cornwall sourcing trees tall enough to grace our house. I almost gave up at one point after the car just about seized up and my chilblains, in the words of Johnny Cash, ‘burned, burned, burned”.
“Can’t we just forget bloody Christmas?”, I whimpered to Hubby down my mobile from the car park of a rapidly darkening, garden centre the other side of Bodmin, “Let’s celebrate Hannukah instead. All we’d need is a few candles”.
“Don’t be so faint-hearted Alice”, answered Hubby from a centrally heated, electric lighted office, “Grab yourself a couple of trees quickly and shove them onto the top of the car. You’ll be home by six thirty”.
“I’m not Geoff Capes you know”, I replied sulkily. Mr Capes perhaps not but Chevy Chase, from some over-the-top, Christmas movie, yes, having followed Hubby’s remote instructions and did as I was bid. Ergo, I pulled up outside the house with two, massive, trees dangling over the windscreen, impeding my vision not just a tad. The children were thrilled.
“Bloody hell Alice”, groaned Hubby, slapping his head.
“Don’t even go there!”, I interrupted, “You are not in a position to criticize these trees if you did not play a part in their humping nor lashing.”
“Know what I’d like to hu…”
“Really darling! Not in front of the children.”
The following morning, stressing and a fretting over a lost memory stick and thus, every resource I possess on Romeo and Juliet, I was in a dark, cold staff room by 7.20am frantically looking for it. It was found, but the resources I needed for a lesson on an Introduction to Shakespeare, was not. I searched every file and folder to no avail. I looked at the clock, it was now 8.15. The lesson was to begin in 35 minutes, there was nothing for it but to ‘fess up and come clean.
It doesn’t matter whether one is four, fourteen or forty odd, when another adult looks upon one with that grave look of disappointment and dismay, you know you have nowhere to hide other than on the naughty step.
I was lucky this time, another teacher, perhaps moved by my dripping tears and snotty nose, lent me his Shakespeare PowerPoint just in the nick of time and, minutes later, Year 10 were utterly ignorant of the fact that my all singing, all bells a’ringing lesson was, if not exactly plagiarised, then most definitely rented. “Shakespeare was born an awfully long time ago”, I embarked “Hands up who knows when?”
“After World War Two Miss?” asked one. Sir, if you don’t mind, I will be holding onto that Powerpoint just a soup├žon longer.

1 comment:

rosneath said...

haha and Sally Traffic was not wrong about the M8, I have to deal with it nearly every day! In not too many months, it will be extended practically past my door ... while that will be good for the road actually at my door, it may not be for the poor sods that regularly get stuff on in!
Happy New Year!
(ps - I bet you are really a very good teacher - you wouldn't be so upset if you weren't!)