First week back

It’s the first full week back at work and school and everyone was flagging by Tuesday.

Exhausted woman


The first week back at school after Christmas is always a bit of a slog. By Wednesday attempts to wake people up were met with groans; by Thursday people just refused point blank to open their eyes at all.

Only son has been upping his homeschooling campaign by praising my teacherly abilities and complaining that school is holding him back. “I am ready for secondary school right now,” he said. He is in year 5. I think his view of secondary school has been slightly warped by binge watching of Harry Potter films over the holidays.

Daughter three was only on a four-day week, but was on a deadline for art GCSE which seems to involve inordinate amounts of homework. She has been sketching and stencilling all holiday and still hasn’t finished.

Meanwhile, after Monday I had an email from daughter two’s school ominously entitled ‘compulsory time’. Apparently compulsory time is detention. I skimmed down the email. Daughter two was being kept in for an hour for swearing. I’ve never heard daughter two swear. “What on Earth did you say?” I asked. “Oh mum,” she said, rolling her eyes. “My friend told me to say this word in Italian and I didn’t know what it meant.” Apparently the Italian teacher, who she said it to, did.

Everyone has gone off the sandwich fillings I was using the previous term; daughter two has already had parents evening; the road to primary school is closed again, causing multiple tailbacks; and there are roadworks everywhere.

Away from all of this is the sanctuary of work. People are still catching up and coming to terms with the end of year party being over so email levels are low-ish. It’s that planning ahead time of year which is less full on than the September to December onslaught.

There’s also been a wedding in the family this week which was hugely emotional because the groom has just been diagnosed with stage four cancer. “Don’t be sad,” he said and we really tried, but cancer is a godawful thing and the wedding vows are so poignant at a point when life is so very fragile. Despite there only being 24 hours notice of the wedding taking place, the room was packed with people, many of whom had travelled some distance to be there, a tribute to the newly weds. So we sang ‘All you need is love’ and we talked and laughed and remembered funny stories. Because that is what life is, and life is worth celebrating.

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