The Autumn Term

This summer’s been good .

We’ve been to Whitstable, Walberswick ,West Wittering , and a few other places that don’t begin with W – Amsterdam, Basselthwaite, Arrochar, Loch Long ,Luss, Glasgow ,Eype .

We’ve swum in the sea and the loch , we’ve made fires on the beach , we’ve walked over cliffs and up mountains ( other people call them hills- I don’t ) , we’ve seen a submarine ( a first ) and seals and dolphins , I’ve been to the osteopath and the physio ( don’t ask ) , we’ve barbied and partied and scrabbled and celebrated John’s big 60 …and now it is countdown to the new term .

I don’t mind going back to work , I like structure , my students and colleagues , and after all it is my 26th year at the same place .It is just this term I have a problem with . Why does my head keep taking me back to this time 8 years ago ?. Jacob at Newcastle , Rosie just about to start Chelsea, Florence at Drayton , me in my 18th year in Hanwell , John considering what to do next ,Grandmama in Brigstock Manor ….life was good , we were happy ,things were calm .I’m not stupid ,I know I can’t have that back , so why does my head go over it ? I repeat my mantras , be in the moment , move forward , have another bit of chocolate , chop some vegetables , go for a walk – but the only thing that works is positive distractions- helping people ,being with kind people, watching Coach Trip , thinking of where to explore next .

Then there’s tonight .Justin Welby is speaking in Ealing .Shall I go ? I would like to hear what he says – but only if it is not too heavy on the religion ( which is a big ask seeing as he is the Archbishop of Canterbury ) . I am interested in the personal stuff – the death of his first daughter ,Johanna, when she was less than a year old .On desert Island Discs ,I thought he spoke very well. Talking about anniversaries of his daughter’s death he said: “The thing is to celebrate the person, to remember them with love, to remember what they gave and what you gave them.“In other words, attack the day so it does not attack you.”- wise words indeed .

It all sounds so easy in writing ,but you can probably tell by muddly words , I am a little bit at sea

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