Mrs England and the pleasures of learning

Sunday 21 October 2012

I chat with Mrs England, who is involved with XYZ pre-school. She has twins aged 9 (a boy and a girl), and a son aged 4. She reckons that there is too much pressure and competition in primary schools nowadays. I concur, telling her about the relative lack of pressure when I was at primary school, and other ways in which primary education used to be different. I also tell her that, when I am at the Old Man’s house near Acacia Primary, I never see children in tears when they arrive for school, or looking reluctant to set foot on the premises. On the contrary, most of them seem eager to get through the entrance-gates — though of course “I don’t see what happens in the classroom.”

[Original posting 21 October 2013]

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People from prosperous enclaves

Saturday 20 October 2012

Today, eight of us go for a walk in the countryside near Celtic Cross. Mr VM can’t join us — he is abroad on business.
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Winter approaching

Saturday 13 October 2012

At about 05:20, Sirius and Orion are again visible. It is a cold and clear morning.

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Cantor, Oldgreen, Forth, Zero

Friday 12 October 2012

At 07:00, lights are on in the upper storey of the school, brighter than yesterday morning.
Shortly before 08:30, a little black 5-door hatchback is parked alongside the Old Man’s front lawn, to the right of centre. It departs just before 08:40, and although when parked it was pointing away from the school, it now drives past the school and towards George Street.
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Mr & Miss Fern

Thursday 11 October 2012

At about 07:50 the grey Bonsai parks below the sapling, part-way onto the pavement.

It is after 08:25 when the black Honda parks alongside the Efords’ house. The male driver gets out shortly after 08:30. He opens the nearside rear door, and out gets a little dark-blonde girl who is wearing a pale-grey anorak with pink hood-lining, and tights. The man and the girl head off towards the school.
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New tech, new tot

Wednesday 10 October 2012

At 08:25, a silver Ultra is parked at the kerb alongside number 35. Several minutes later, the Kulaks’ car parks to the rear of the Ultra, and then Scarlett’s car parks to the rear of the Kulaks’ car. Today, Scarlett’s hair is blonde without brown streaks.

Sometime between 11:15 and 11:20, a silver Stetech approaches from the direction of George Street, turns, and parks alongside number 35. The driver is a slim woman with red-brown-purple hair. She gets a blond(e) one-year-old out of the offside rear, and carries it across the road. Then the two of them walk to the school, with the toddler’s left hand in its mother’s right hand.
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Mistaken identity

Tuesday 9 October 2012

When I put out the recycling, I see light spilling out from the CJs’ kitchen towards the street, and I hear the engine of a car that is on the CJ’s driveway. The car, which doesn’t have its lights on, may be the 53-registration Compass that I first saw yesterday morning.
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Wheeler Bonsai, Fern Ultra

Monday 8 October 2012

At 07:00 the lights are on throughout the upper storey of the school, but not in the BE.
Not long before 07:50, a grey Bonsai has parked, at least half-way onto the pavement, alongside the upper section of the school-house garden. A woman dressed in a grey and pale-blue anorak gets out of the driver’s door. She returns to the car at 07:55. At George Street she turns right.
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Getting the chop

Sunday 7 October 2012

In the evening, I notice that the lowest few branches of the sapling have been lopped off. I’m not sure whether this was already done when I was last here.

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How long does it take to say “No”?

Friday 5 October 2012

Today I phone the repair-shop where cousin Naomi’s TV has been languishing since the middle of August.
When the TV broke down, it was two days out of guarantee. The repair-shop contacted the European HQ of Kamikaze, the Japanese manufacturers of the TV, to see whether they would make a contribution (hopefully a 100% contribution) to the costs of the repair.
I phoned the repair-shop from Naomi’s house on Wednesday 26 September 2012. The woman on the end of the line told me that she was still waiting for a response from Kamikaze.
This afternoon I phone again, from Suburbia Somnolenta, and receive much the same response from the same person.
This evening I phone Naomi, intending to tell her that we are still in limbo. She tells me that the woman at the repair-shop has phoned her at about 16:30, to say that the answer from Kamikaze is “No”. (What a coincidence, that the repair-shop hears from Kamikaze only a couple of hours after my phone-call!)
On this showing, Kamikaze treat their customers with discourtesy — or maybe the word is “contempt”.
Naomi has decided to buy a new TV instead of having her old one repaired.

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