Well we got back ok. Flight was with EVA again and was excellent. When there is a good entertainment system on board, good food served and ample leg room. The downside is that we are back! Had a problem driving the car back from Heathrow as I couldn’t remember how to drive it, and things didn’t start well when I stalled the engine entering the M25, as I had forgotten that it wasn’t automatic anymore and you have to press the clutch. Then, there were those stupid London drivers, who didn’t understand that when I put my windscreen wipers on, I was changing lanes!!!!!! Obvious isn’t it? We got home at 11.30pm on Sunday. Woke up to the radio on Monday informing us that a light aircraft had crashed onto the A6 between Northampton and Mkt. Harborough just after 11.00pm last night, killing two. Lucky escape, we were on that road, just after 11.00pm.
A little holiday extra: I was watching Thai TV one morning (in English) and I recognised the person being interviewed. It was the General, whose wife was having a birthday at the Boathouse Resort (Sue chatted to him). He is actually running the country. He is the head of the Armed forces who kicked Thaksin (Man City owner and ex Thai Prime minister)) out of the country. As Sue said, “He seemed such a nice man.”
Since being back we have had problems with jet-lag and keep waking up at 3.00am, but things are slowly getting back to normal. The pool was black when inspected, but a few brushings with the hose has put it back to its usual blue and crystal clear state. However, it’s too cold to swim in it while we have been back. All the vegetables were ready for picking, and it has been a bumper year for plums and pears. Though there is a tonne of tomatoes in the greenhouse they are particularly tasteless. The guinea-pigs were glad to see us, as I suspect they haven’t been going out as often as they should have.
Sue has been busy washing everything and shopping to fill the empty fridges and larder (she always empties them before we go away for the summer, it has something to do with me switching the power off twice on past holidays and coming back to 6 week ripe food).
I went into school on Tuesday and Wednesday (Teacher days) to find that the builders hadn’t finished re-modelling part of the school. Everything was in boxes and there was no office. It took the two days to just get everything back to where it should have been. Then, the children arrived on Thursday (keen, excited and full of energy and in new uniform, everything I’m not!) I can’t help feeling depressed at what my new temporary role is forcing me to do. I woke up to the radio announcing on Thursday that 1/3 of all Primary Headships are unfilled and recruitment is low. I am not surprised. I have just put in 2 days of 7.00am to 6.00pm (with eating lunch at a desk on top of a mound of paper). Three highlights were; taking assembly on Thursday, installing a new printer into the office (took 5 mins), and shredding a document (30 seconds), I actually enjoyed that. The rest was filling in forms, finding data, talking to grey suits from County Hall (they have no sense of humour, live boring lives, and consider trivia as being the whole purpose of existence!) about issues that have nothing to do with the Education of children. Oh yes, we had a fire drill, that go me out of the office for 10 mins. The staff are brilliant and are just getting on with things as they always have done and chatting to each other about what they did over the summer. It’s ironic that I haven’t spoken to anyone about what I did over the summer, I haven’t had the time and it hasn’t occurred to me! I expect things will get better as I reconcile myself to this role, after all it IS only temporary AND I am retiring in July!!!
Jamie is on a roll!! At present he can do no wrong! On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday he had driving lessons with Sue in Kettering. On Thursday he PASSED his driving test. He only had 3 minors and said that he knew he was going to pass as it felt as if he had driven perfectly. The examiner told Sue that he had been the best candidate they had had that week. Thursday he was also called for an interview for an apprentice ship AND he got it. ALSO, college confirmed his place on the course for the second year (they took 16 out of the 33 from the previous year). On Friday he, drove 125 miles to and from Mansfield to see his girlfriend. And then did it again on Saturday. On Saturday morning we installed the radio/CD/DVD/video/mp3 player into his car. He bought it in Thailand, and I was sceptical that it would work, but it does and went in with relatively little fuss.
Sarah kept her promise. In Thailand, I had confessed to her one afternoon that I was dying for a nice Ploughman’s lunch and I then went on to tell her what I thought constituted the perfect Ploughman’s. She promised that when we got home she would make me one, and she did. It was on Wednesday lunchtime (I came home from school specially) and it was PERFECT, if not a little too large. I finished it off for supper. She seems to have made a good start at Robert Smyth School, had some friends around to visit and watched a lot DVD’s and played on her keyboard.
Saturday afternoon we had a BBQ. I had invited Jim and Brigitte around to say thank you for looking after the pool and garden over the summer. I had bought him a bottle of Thai whisky, but Sue told me that he didn’t like whisky and that the last bottle I had given him, he had given away. I shall have to use it when I pickle some onions in a few weeks time. We showed a video of our holiday and drank a bit. A nice evening.
On Sunday we went to Charlottes, it was her birthday (25 yrs now) and on Wednesday it will be Suraj’s. We all went, including Jamie who was a bit miffed he wasn’t driving. It was fun on the way there, I now have 3 driving experts in the car, explaining how bad my driving is. They put it down to my age and suggested that I should give up before I have an accident. Funny how I managed to get them there and back without incident, yet we passed two nasty accidents on the way! It was lovely to see how fast Lucas is growing up, scooting everywhere, grabbing everything and shoving anything small enough into his mouth. Charlotte had booked us into an Indian restaurant for lunch and it was really superb, I came away stuffed. Afterwards, we went to White Post Farm Park, supposedly for Lucas to see the animals. However, I think Suraj, Jamie, Sarah and Charlotte had more fun breaking the rules of age and size on all the rides and activities. Sue and I just stood back, looked after Lucas and pretended we didn’t know them. It had been forecast rain but it held off until we left at 5pm. We went back to Charlotte’s before heading home as Suraj had put together a computer for Sarah to use for her schoolwork (she had destructed her laptop a couple of months ago). Luckily, I managed to get us back to Harborough in the driving rain and heavy Sunday night traffic without the expected fatal accident that has been predicted. I don’t know how I do it.