I should make it very clear, there were some excellent teachers at that school, though there were also some poor and indifferent ones. I may go back to the topic – in fact I’d like to, if only to think it through for myself. I was quite happy there, and if I was unstimulated I didn’t mind, I preferred to be left alone. My sister, however, was not happy at all and, looking back, it’s hard to understand why our parents didn’t move her to another school.
Today, I spent at the high school, first with a meeting between me, the head and the financial manager. There’s a lot happening, in preparation for becoming independent of the local authority. We’ve not had our application accepted yet, but have been told that we’ve passed the preliminary stages.
After that, I spent the rest of the day in Year 9 music. It’s at the limit of what I can help with, sometimes a bit beyond, as it involves composition and I don’t have the knowledge. I was better with the afternoon group than the morning one, having picked up some useful tips. In addition, the afternoon group are very friendly, if, on occasion, slightly too much so. I’m too old and experienced to get myself into difficulties, and they are fine. Teenagers are great, and it’s interesting to see how a tricky personality can get drawn into a lesson and do some really good work.
This evening, I went round the Common on a trailer, drawn by a tractor. There is an annual inspection, where a couple of dozen owners see what’s going on and how it’s being maintained. It is a privately-owned common, where 400 acres are owned in 300 shares, known as ‘goings’, mainly by private individuals, but also by charities and the town council. The Sage, who is a Common Reeve (voluntary management committee member) owns 10 goings; I went as a representative for his cousin.
A large part of the common is rented by the golf club, much of the rest is let for cattle grazing, and the rest is open to the public for walking on. More management is required than you’d think; a lot of birch and oak saplings grow from seed and have to be cut down, as does gorse and various wild flowers, when in the wrong place. At present, the main problem is dog-walkers on the golf course, who seem oblivious to the danger of beetling into the line of fire of a driven ball. There’s plenty of space for them to walk, it seems perverse to trot along the fairways.
Afterwards, we went for a drink at the golf club. It was a lovely sociable atmosphere and I rather wished I played, or had the least inclination to, for the pleasure of going there. When we finally rolled home, I couldn’t be bothered to cook. I put a frozen pizza in the oven.