I love maps. I love opening them out on the table like a cloth. Leaning forward and scanning every inch in detail. I can quite easily lose time pouring over a map. Reading the names and studying the lay of the land. Each teasingly hint at long forgotten stories. The most tantalizing ones duly noted to be explored on foot one day.
You need to be able to read a map to fully appreciate it. Continue reading
I have been standing in our school playground for over nine years. Not continuously. Obviously. Although there are times when it feels like it. No. Just at the start and end of each school day.
At first it was great. I will talk to anyone, pretty much. I met the other parents, caught up with friends and talked to older parents who knew what was going on. A complete godsend to any new school parent.
As the years have elapsed, my enthusiasm has decidedly waned.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love picking up my children and catching up with their day. The difference is that most of my friends have either gone back to work or their children walk home by themselves. So no playground catch-up time. Plus, I’m now the older parent who knows what is going on. Well, most of the time. Novelty has gone. I should have left at the same time as my Eldest packed up and whizzed off to secondary school. Except, at that point, I had two more children and another five years to go. (Two and half years now left …and counting)
Secondary school is a contrast. For a while it made me appreciate the end-of-day primary school ritual. There is no standing in the playground waiting for a 13 year old to swan out of class cemented to her gaggle of giggling friends, where everyone seems to tower over you, except the teachers. Continue reading