By me, love.

Dear Friends,

Maybe try and see this an annual review, a bit like one of those informative Christmas letters you receive updating you on who lives where, who married whom and the luxurious snaps of the Caribbean vacation. It takes me a while ( over a year) to gather my thoughts and think of something vaguley interesting and entertaining for you to read. This may prove to be neither, but I’m determined not to move off the sofa until I’ve fninished. Strap in. Here goes.

Would you like (hilarious) school based stories about Covidgate, how life is progressing post Brexit, a book review, or none of the above? Hmm, don’t answer, it’s not really a poll.

Sometimes I think I have so much to say. But it’s not always appropriate or edifying to say it. If I wrote about Brexit I might cause a few hot heads. Alternatively I could write about education, but I’d have to be careful not to upset anyone, or toooo many people. Truth be told I’d probably upset myself writing about some areas of education. If only I had a cat, then I could write about the comical, precarious and ridiculous postures it likes to lie in.

I think I should buy a cat.

Apparently it’s International Cat Day today. Nice timing.

After musing for all of three minutes, I’m going to write about love. Or something along those lines. Everyone likes to read about love don’t they? It’s our common denominator, the language that unites us. The four letter word that says everything.

A few years ago someone commented to me, “You went to boarding school, why don’t you work in a private school? Class sizes are smaller, children are better behaved, teachers more respected ..” and the list goes on… not my list I hasten to add. I was rather taken aback by this statement and admittedly am still puzzled by it. I think I know what they were trying to say, but I fail to see how the two are linked. It was was a fabulous boarding school, but not a private one. Just because I like to shop in Waitrose it doesn’t mean I want to work there does it?

For a number of years I did work in a private school, a prestigious one at that, and they were undoubtedly some of the happiest years of my teaching career. Yes, the children were well behaved, respectful, and the class sizes were slightly smaller, but only by 3/4 children. Not 3/4 of a child , but by three or four children. I have also worked in state schools both in a city and the rural flatlands of Norfolk overlooking surviving windmills and lazy grazing cattle.

In said “prestigious” private school one of the boys in my class was ‘diagnosed’ by our brilliant, resident school psychologist as suffering with “infantile depression.” He was 5. At the time I knew very little about depression in adults, let alone children, but I clearly remember his dark brown eyes looking desperately sad as he gazed vacantly across the classroom at his peers who played and laughed together. I will never forget his mother’s confession in our parent’s meeting. As she spoke, tears streamed down her face, her eyes hidden behind dark oversized Loewe sunglasses. “He came at a bad time in our lives. We are both at the pinnacle of our careers.”

Once I had got over the shock of her upsetting comment I wanted to do everything in my power to help this poor, yet materialistically rich, little boy. The psychologist, who was also a good friend of mine, explained to me, that whilst it was right that I wanted to help him, I would never be his parent, and any significant improvements would only take place if his parents were to make some changes at home.

I am not writing here about parenting. I am not a parent and so it would be foolish of me to even try. However, what I am pointing out, so it seems, as I reach the end of my annual blog, that money cannot buy you love. But you already know that. I am also saying that love comes in many different forms and money, in the main, is irrelevant.

Employed or unemployed parents, or carers, Gucci glasses, or glasses from the local market. Parents who recruit the attentive chauffeur or armed (rather good looking) bodyguard to escort their offspring to school, or the single dad who forgets that his child is even meant to be in school that day. Does one love his child more than the other? No! Of course not.

I am reminded that in 1 Samuel 16:7 “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

Demonstrations of love are very different. Some people do not know how to show love, possibly because they weren’t shown it themselves. But we shouldn’t make assumptions if we do not know the whole story. And that is for another blog post…..

Enjoy the summer my friends, be it a drizzly staycation or relaxing on a luxury lounger in the Maldives slurping on a piña colada overlooking the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean…..😉 🏝 🍹

Earnsie Bay – Cumbria. I am here. Quietly bobbing about.