Thursday, 29 August 2013

There and back.

On Tuesday I abdicated from my post as child-carer in chief. In other words, my daughter returned from holiday and I handed the children over to her. It’s been interesting, I’ve learnt more about the game Minecraft than I really need (or want) to and I have become quite inventive at persuading three awkward eaters to eat more or less the same thing at the same time. I am a great believer in the socialising aspect of family eating. 

Talking of which, last night we went out for a celebratory (return of mother now with an engagement ring on her finger) and farewell (grandma, aka me, about to depart for Galicia once more) dinner. We went to a supposedly Italian restaurant in the hotel where my daughter has a gym membership. The food was fine, certainly Italianate, although I'm not sure that adding Mozzarella cheese to a burger makes it Italian. 

Everyone behaved splendidly and a  good time was had by all. 

In the course of my stay here we have traveled like demented, undecided gypsies, between my house and theirs with occasional complaints on both sides about both venues. During that time, the eldest grandchild received GCSE results, or rather result, as she sat only one GCSE this year in year 10. A grade A in Science, which pleased her, especially as she professes to have done no revision. 

I was reading about yet another controversy regarding public examinations in this country. Apparently large numbers of secondary schools enter pupils for the same subject with several examination boards and the select the best result as the one which “counts” for the school’s league tables and for the pupil’s personal record. How can they do this? Back when I was teaching, you had to select the examination board and that was it because the actual exam for a particular module of a particular paper was at a fixed time, the same time for all examination boards. Undoubtedly this was meant to prevent just the kind of “best result” trading that has seemingly been going on. Have things changed so much in the five years I have been out of the system? 

No doubt Mr Gove will put a stop to such shenanigans and all will be well. Hmmmm!!! Whatever the final outcome of all of this, I do not regret being out of the system altogether. 

Last weekend, I sent my trusty old bike off to a good home. This is a fairly ancient lady’s bicycle, practically a Rolls Royce of bicycles, made by the tried and tested Dawes company. I bought it from the second hand shop down the road (a building now converted into several bijou residences) and it served me well until I spent a holiday using a borrowed more modern velocipede with proper gears. My poor old bike with its three gears seemed suddenly inadequate and I bought a new hybrid on and off road bike which is a delight to ride. The poor-old-bike was relegated to the shed until a friend expressed an interest in it. She just wants to potter up and down her very flat road, along to the shop and back. And so off it went. More space in the shed. 

And now, I am all packed up, boarding card printed, ticket for the last bus from Oporto airport to Vigo bus station purchased on line and properly printed – unlike my journey here when I had only a proof of purchase – and I’m ready to go. 

Swimming pool, here I come.

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