I’m feeling absurdly reassured by having done a timed agenda for the next governors’ meeting. There was absolutely no point with the previous Headteacher – wonderful man, fine Head, but there was no point in trying to restrict his verbal flow. But on this occasion, there’s a disconcerting amount of stuff to get through and it mustn’t overrun because we’ll lose concentration and be tired out. So I added timings to the agenda and have sent it out, with Helpful Pointers to speed up meetings (the last one didn’t go well, frankly, with several unexpected items being raised that, had they been brought up by phone or email sooner, could have been covered much more simply and effectively. It’s much of the reason I was highly frazzled for several weeks afterwards).
Today, I went to a Nadfas study day, which was excellent, and at lunch I sat next to my friend Angy, with whom (ooh, grammar) I’ll be sharing a room on our group visit to Vienna later in the year. It was not until after we’d agreed this, a few weeks ago, that she reminded me that she snores heavily. But she has very fine earplugs for me, she said reassuringly. Oh well. I’m not brilliant with earplugs as I like to sleep on my side and anything in the underneath ear feels very uncomfortable, in my experience. But no matter, I can put up with most things for a few nights. In my turn, I explained that I listen to the radio, wearing earphones, when I can’t sleep, so there may be the dim glow of my iPhone during the night – though I’m happy to huddle under the bedclothes and will try not to disturb her. The single room supplement is around £250, an absurd price which both of us are unwilling to pay, so it’s worth a bit of forbearance.
I haven’t been to Vienna for many years, not since I was a child. My parents visited it last in 1960 and they had a wonderful time (without Wink and me, that is…). However, not remembering it at all myself, what I do remember is my mother saying how shocked she was that so little had been repaired after the war – fifteen years on, that is. There were still bullet holes in buildings, for example.
I’ve never seen anything like that in English cities, though I do remember derelict areas in London, undoubtedly caused by bomb damage. These have been built on long since, of course, and what I mostly remember is the rosebay willowherb growing on the rubble. As poppies grow on newly turned earth, rosebay willowherb grows on a bomb site. I haven’t seen it for years.