The past week at school was a busy one. The intermediate phase wrote their assessment papers and all the staff, including the foundation phase gathered in the hall to assist with the marking. There was a great spirit of camaraderie,laughter at the exam howlers and of course we got lunch. I have never before taught at a school that fed the staff so regularly – I was told that they did this because you couldn’t complain if your mouth was full:-) When all the marking was done and dusted between 4 and 5 each afternoon – the foundation phase still had their regular marking to do and of course we didn’t complain!
On Friday, there were no assessments, and it was lovely to have a one o’clock closing time with no marking. I stayed at school to finish off my week’s marking and then treated myself to a visit to the hairdresser, as I could not longer hide the grey, and my true age was beginning to show. It was bliss – Johann must have gone to an excellent hairdressing school where they learn how to say the right things to their clients. I don’t care how extravagant his prices are – I will pay as long as keeps telling me how gorgeous I am. He lies with such sincerity and his head massage is the best in the world.
It’s a long time since I was a student at the best college ever founded – sadly it closed down in 1975 – but it’s graduates still live on and there is a GTC Old Girls’ Guild in many cities and towns all over the world. The Cape Town branch meets each November to commemorate our founder, Mother Cecil. We invite a priest who knew Grahamstown Training College or whose wife is an Old Girl and have the same Founder’s Service as we did each year when were students. We sing the two college hymns and play a recording of a college choir from 50 years ago sing the Te Deum. And the nostalgia is amazing. Afterwards we have a scrumptious tea and catch up with old friends. This we did this past Saturday afternoon and once again I am so grateful that I had the privilege of attending this amazing college with an incredible tradition which instilled in me the passion for teaching that I have to this day.
I have many passions but gardening is not one of them. However, in suburbia you do from time to time have to pay attention to that part of your home. I am lucky in that I have a good friend who loves to be in the garden and in return for fish and computer lessons helps me to sort mine out from time to time. This morning we had a date at 9:00 a.m. and I decided that the time had come for my two teen-aged grandsons to get interested in the joys of garden work. Josh was already up and a bit shocked when I asked him to come and help. Jay’s muscular body had to be coaxed out of bed and into manual labour. In the end they both complied with good grace and were an enormous help as there was lots of digging, pulling and chopping to be done. After a couple of hours the transformation was rewarding in itself. Margy and I then took them off to the nursery to buy a few new plants and we allowed them to choose one each which they loved and would not be persuaded to change their minds about. We then indulged in scones, jam and cream, coffees for Margy and me and fizzy drinks for the lads.
Back home they joyfully planted the new flowers and shrubs and were proud of the results. They promised that in future they would help more regularly with the gardening. Oh and Grandpa? He made a brief appearance – said ‘what the heck are you doing?’ – saw that everything was under control and left us to it!