Open Daze

May 30, 2014

The village has been celebrating the new school with an open evening for the whole community (well, newish – it fell off the back of a lorry in October and has been in operation since January but sensibly they decided to wait to have the party in May)

I’m extremely jealous of the library

school library

And the school run isn’t that shabby either…

evening sun

There’s something about riding home with the evening sun still filtering through the trees gone nine o’clock that makes those short winter days worth the misery. Well, almost

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Wagging Tongues

October 3, 2013

I think I have written before about my ambiguous relationship with Wigtown* and its book festival. This year, rather than see what creative corner the organisers could hide the local writers in, we took matters into our own hands and have – for one day only – planned a little mini festival of our own, disguised as a pop-up bookshop (yes I know, London people, you are so OVER pop-up shops but bear with us because the trend has only just filtered its way up here and we still find them unbearably exciting). There will be readings. There will be books and pamphlets for sale (including, of course, the Fankle). There will even be my own book for sale. There will be hand made Moob hats (no, I didn’t know either). It should be a blast.

It had better be, because I’ll have to be waiting to be picked up at 7:50 AM on Sunday at the road end due to an inconvenient delivery of an entire school to Nearest Village which will be blocking off the road to the village that morning. Honestly, you wait five years for something as exciting as a school to be delivered, and it happens on the one weekend you aren’t going to be there to witness it. I just hope there’s someone waiting at the school, otherwise they’re going to be landed with one hell of a ‘while you were out’ card to pick up…

* note for the confused: while ‘Bigtown’ isn’t really Bigtown’s real name (and nor is Notso Bigtown Notso Bigtown’s), ‘Wigtown’ is a real place. I gather this has caused some confusion in the past…


Two Cultures

September 9, 2011

Speaking on the phone last night to my sister, who has recently done a similar ‘town mouse’ move to mine but in France (and with better weather…), she told me about how the parents were holding a sit in at her daughter’s school because they felt the pupil teacher ratio was too high. Even though an official had been sent to explain that there weren’t enough spare teachers to go round, and other schools had a greater need (which my sister, in her non-confrontational/spineless (delete as appropriate) British way thought was fair enough), the parents were having none of it and went ahead and barricaded themselves into a classroom all the same.

This puts the response of Nearest Village to the imminent withdrawal of our school bus into some perspective. The bus is a thorny issue because the school is tiny and the catchment area large, and only four pupils are actually entitled to free transport to school. The others were only allowed to use the bus as a favour because they either lived too far from the school, or too close – anyone over the age of eight being deemed able to walk or cycle three miles to school, or two miles for the younger kids. The four kids who are entitled will get a taxi (you have to wonder at the savings that will provide), the rest will have to hoof it, or – more likely – get driven to school by their parents. Or – even more likely for some of the more far flung ones – move to a school in Bigtown as that’s where their parents will generally be driving anyway.* Now I, personally, obviously think that the answer is for everyone to cycle to school but I’m aware that I’m in a minority of one on that issue. So I, like everyone else in the area, has done the decent British thing and signed a petition against the idea. You can imagine how effective that was. Sometimes I think we could stand to be a little more French…

*And anyone who thinks that that’s exactly the reason the bus service is being withdrawn from the smaller village schools so they’re forced to close down is clearly some sort of a conspiracy theorist. Personally, when it comes to Bigtownshire council, I’m more inclined towards cockup…