Monday 16 April 2012
It is the first day of a new term at Acacia Primary — and the madness of the school-run begins again.
Thirty years ago, there was no school-run to speak of. A few of the teachers at Acacia Primary would park their cars near the Old Man’s house each weekday morning, and drive away after the school-day was over. That was the extent of it. IIRC, things were much the same until sometime in the 1990s.
In 2001 or 2002 — it cannot have been later than the spring of 2002, as the Deceased Lady was in the living-room with us, and she went into residential care that summer — the Old Man and I briefly discussed the traffic-chaos caused by the school-run.
Nowadays, there is congestion and chaos each morning, towards 09:00, and each afternoon towards 15:30. Cars park halfway (some of them two-thirds or three-quarters) onto the pavements. Some of the cars I recognise day after day: the red Saab, the pale gold Vauxhall, various Escargots. There are a few BMWs and more Audis; I’m not sure whether there are any Mercedes.
I don’t know the boundaries of the catchment area for the school, but the area cannot be all that extensive. As I said to the Old Man in 2001/02, some of the children must be “driven absurdly short distances to school”, and home again. “But that won’t change,” I continued — and it hasn’t. Parents aren’t willing to let their children find their way to and from school unaccompanied; and making the journey on foot doesn’t appeal. (I concede that some of the parents who drop their children off early, no doubt drive on to their place of work, and after the end of the work-day drive back to the school and collect their children — but not all of the parents on the school-run can plead such an excuse.)
After breakfast, I drive to the recycling centre and dispose of some household electrical equipment.
Then I go into town. This is my first trip into the centre of Peakville for several months. I call at Richter Henker LLP, and I have lunch at the Moon Under Water.
[Original posting 16 April 2013]