Z makes a Complaint and finds herself in a Procession

The post arrived. Still no tax disc for the car, and I can’t sell the blighter until I have one. I phoned the DVLC in some annoyance. In their favour, I will allow that the phone is answered on the first ring by a person, once you’ve been routed correctly by pressing a couple of buttons. The woman at the other end of the phone was puzzled, assuring me that it had been posted both times, and asked me for my address. It accorded with their records. “You are living there at present?” she asked in a ‘let’s confirm the obvious and check the kettle’s actually plugged in’ sort of way. I confirmed that and said grumpily that I can’t use the car without a valid tax disc. She said I could pick it up today at my nearest DVLC office or she could send it by registered post. I opted for the latter, because I’m not catching the bus to Norwich, then catching another bus to the station before walking up the road to the office. I mean, after all, because I can’t drive there as it’s illegal to drive without a valid tax disc.

So I should have it tomorrow or Monday.

By this time, I was due to leave for the school music lesson. I asked the Sage if it was still raining. No, and the wind had dropped from the half-gale that had been blowing. Still cold though. He asked me what time I had to be there, and when I’d return – if he’d offered a lift I’d have accepted, but he didn’t and a vestige of pride stopped me asking.

At the school, a cover supervisor was there looking a bit worried. “We’ve just got to fill 15 minutes before the assembly” she said. The pupils didn’t behave all that well, but they were all right. She had a quiet voice and she didn’t have much for them to do – when we left for the hall, I was nobbled by the Deputy Head. “Are you here as Chairman?” she asked. “Er, I suppose I am, yes.” She sent me out (I know, darlings, like a naughty girl (well, not really)) to find the Head.

So it was that the Head and I stalked into the hall, in front of our most senior and best beloved governor, the Head Girl and Deputy Head Boy and a whole procession of Old Boys and Old Girls, for the Founder’s Day assembly. Fortunately, I didn’t have to give a speech – although extempore public speaking is not one of my weaker areas in fact, as you can probably guess. It was rather splendid. Bill, the senior and best beloved governor, who is a former pupil of the school, a teacher there for many years and since then a governor, and who has the distinction of having a room named after him (people are often surprised that he is still alive; that is, it sounds like a memorial but isn’t) spoke about the history of the school, which was founded in 1565. Actually, that date rings a bell. I think it’s the same date as the Norwich assay office was started – Norwich silver is very rare and I’ve never handled any dating from 1565, but I do know of a 1567 piece (not belonging to us).

Then the Head Girl gave a speech and then the Deputy Head Boy and then the Headteacher. In between, there was music; a piano solo, a performance of Blurs Girls & Boys, Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, which the music teacher had altered the lyrics of (ooh, don’t you love grammar?) for the Remembrance Day assembly last week, which was rather lovely, and then a piece from We will rock you which is the next drama production next term. All very fine and some of it really rather moving. I could have done without being sat out in the front, but fortunately I’d happened to put on some smarter than usual clothes; a very nice grey flannel skirt and a cashmere polo-neck and I didn’t look caught out.

And then we processed out and I went back to the music lesson for the final ten minutes. Not that it was particularly productive, but I went round each group asking them what instruments they were playing in the arrangement of Word Up and how they were getting along with it. Next lesson, they will be recorded playing.

I took the photos of the shop window and will put them up later or tomorrow.

Oh, and it’s absolutely perishing now. Cold north wind. No sign of snow though, as yet.

2 comments on “Z makes a Complaint and finds herself in a Procession

  1. Dave

    I often used to get shoved to the front/top table at public events. Didn’t like it then, glad it’s much less likely to happen now.

    The only thing I know about 1565 is that Pope Pius (IV I think) died then.

    Oh, and Rio de Janeiro was founded.

    And if I remember right, the Great Siege of Malta started.

    But that’s all I know.

  2. Z

    Between us, it’s as if we were there, Dave.

    Yes, I always have to sit in the front at various lectures and concerts. As you’ll imagine, I’m much more of a whispering in the back row sort of girl.


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