Thursday, 18 December 2014

Diabolical drive

If I roll out of bed at 6am, and straight into the car, I can be with my parents in Cornwall by late morning.  That is at any rate the theory.
This morning however, the M4-M5 junction was shut and the tail-backs immense, so instead I navigated through Bristol.  All this took time, so I needed a rest break at Exeter.  If I hadn’t had the rest break, I wouldn’t have ended up stuck five cars behind a house.  Yes, that’s right, somebody was transporting a whole house on the back of a lorry, taking up both lanes of the A30.  I see I have already used the phrase “immense tail-backs” and I don’t want to over-use it. 
In addition, there were long stretches of M4 and M5 had been traffic-coned down to two lanes, often, it seemed, just for the hell of it as no roadworks were to be seen.
So it wasn’t until 1.30 that I arrived at the house where I was born.  After over seven hours of driving, you might have expected me to be wrecked, but instead I was ready to take my parents out for a stroll along the river. 
What had kept me in such good spirits? 
Carenza was with me, coming to visit her grandparents, stopping me from stressing with her desultory banter. 

And now we are side by side on the sofa in front of the fire.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

The terrifying journey of the three wise men

From Mapshelfshire
 Carenza has arrived back from uni, but my term continues.  Left in the house on her own to put up the Christmas decorations, she appears to have got bored and texts began arriving on my phone.
"The terrifying journey of the three wise men:"
to the Bead Mines of Masterbedroomia

to the burning embers of Sittingroom 
to the frozen Jarstack of Fridge
to the seal colony of Mantelpiece
through the jungles of Windowsill
to the Herb Corridor of Death

Will those Wise Men EVER get there?

Thursday, 4 December 2014

End of Term

Whenever your term ends, it is the rule that you feel it should have ended a week earlier.  Those last few days stretch into eternity.
Is my throat sore?  I feel a bit achey.
Tell yourself you don’t!
 Swallow crates of vitamin C tablets and chug Echinacea.  The end of term is coming and you will survive.
Don’t picture the soft bed, the warm central heating, the decadence of a lie-in.  It will soften;  with near fatal consequences.
Instead, greet the predawn gloom, shunt the car into first gear and keep going. 
Oh, sorry.  Up until now, I’d been writing this piece for both commuting schoolteachers like myself and university students like my children, but I now realise I need to re-write that last bit for students:
“Instead, get up when it’s well and truly light.  On December days when this doesn’t happen, don’t bother to get up.
If you do get up, saunter along to the railings where you last chained your bike and discern whether it’s still there.  If it is, meander into lectures; if not, go back to bed (default setting).”
And this, my friend, is why a degree is a bad thing – it means that adult life never looks good, by comparison.  Never again will you have so much fun, or so many lie-ins.