Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Long weeks and small worlds.

It’s only Tuesday but this week seems to have been going on for a good while already. Maybe it’s the weather. After all, we appear to have gone from crisp and clear on Sunday to bleak and drizzly ever since. Maybe it’s having got up at the crack of dawn on Monday to defrost my daughter’s car and then drive it to her house before the rest of the world was awake.

Whatever the reason, I am surprised to find it is only Tuesday evening now.
Of course, some of it is having been busy, once again. After dealing with the Monday morning get-up-and-take-the-kids-to-scho
ol routine, I came home, got us both organised and set off with my Phil to go to Huddersfield. Why Huddersfield (Or Oddersfeldt as it was originally called, apparently)? Well, we were meeting our friend Colin there for lunch.

I say Huddersfield but in reality I should just say Huddersfield railway station. It was so cold and damp that when we did stick our noses outside the station complex we felt frostbite coming on and scuttled back inside again. This was no bad thing, however, as the station pub, The Head of Steam, was well worth a visit. The interior had been very nicely maintained as a good old traditional station pub with station decor to match.

Better still, though,
they have a collection of real ales and serve home-made food of high quality at a very reasonable price. Definitely worth visiting. I remember being mildly amused when some friends of ours went for a day out to have lunch at Stalybridge Station where I am given to understand the pub food is also very good. But now I have joined the ranks of those who go to eat in station pubs and can no longer scoff.

Today has been marginally less cold but just as damp as yesterday. Nonetheless I ventured out to my Italian conversation class and serendipitously came across a friend at the local station and was able to catch up with gossip and family news.

In the Italian class last week we discussed traditions in Italy to celebrate All Saints. This week we had been asked to talk about traditions, national, regional, local, family and personal, that we regretted seeing the back of. At some point in the discussion I prefaced my remarks with, “I was brought up in Southport...”. Before I could continue my classroom neighbour chipped in with, “So was I”. The discussion continued but during the coffee break we did that catch-up thing.

It transpired that she had lived about 10 minutes away from me and had attended the same girls’ grammar school, albeit a few years behind me. So we had a happy chat about teachers we remembered and the excessively stupid rules and regulations we had suffered from.

And then we got onto our old Spanish teacher, the inimitable Miss Phyllis Brown who my class believed had had an unhappy love affair with a Spaniard, possibly having her heart broken when he went to fight in the Spanish Civil War and she had to return to England. We never did find out the truth of the matter. My new friend Joy had no memories of such things. Maybe her class was less romantic than mine.

However, she did remember the singing and asked me if Miss Brown had regularly made my class sing “the song about the squirrel” at the start or the end of almost every lesson. Yes, indeed! And we delighted the rest of our Italian class with a very tuneful rendition of this delightful little song:

Yo soy una pobre ardilla.

Chiquitilla, débil soy.

Soy pequeña mas risueña.

(Now I’ve forgotten the rest of the words.

We are probably members of a small but select group who know this little ditty. Some might say that that is all for the best but we felt a certain satisfaction at having found the past in common. As I have said on many previous occasions, it’s a small world – el mundo es un pañuelo.

As for the outside world and the events going on there at present, this evening I am expecting to find some comment on Facebook from my Italian teacher, probably overjoyed at the prospect of Mr Berlusconi finally talking about resigning!!

1 comment:

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