This isn’t the morning to discover that you have a hole the size of a five pence piece in the sole of your boot. The rain and wind are driving in from the west with a velocity bordering on venomous. It’s the first day back at school and I am trying to manoeuvre the children out of the backseats without bashing the car beside us. I have parked too close and am mouthing ‘SORRY’ to the man beside who is refusing to look at me but no doubt thinking that I’m a clampet.
I wanted to walk the children down with the dog this morning. I wanted to it to be a pleasant experience, after all the randomness. I can get oddly emotional about them going to school, (which is quite ironic since I’m often looking rid of them.) I wanted to smile at their wee friends and their other mums and dads, or at least try to convey that I was smiling behind the mask. But there is no time for any salutations in the car park. Just as the water seeps into my sock and I squeeze the three of us between the cars, another mum calls over that they aren’t letting any of the pupils in before their appointed time: we are seven minutes early. We clamber back into the car. Both children have donned wooly gloves and warm coats. The Older Child left her detachable hood on a class trip to Oxford Island, so she is wearing a pink hat with a star on it. It is pointy and makes her look like an elf. The leggings they are wearing were labelled ‘cosy’- I had bought these for after Halloween, in a fit of organisation. I didn’t imagine they’d be worn on the 25thAugust, but since nothing in 2020 has turned out the way we’ve expected, fleece lined leggings should be the least of it. 2020- the year that just keeps on giving.
At 9-12am they begin bleating that they’ll be late, so we do the sideways shuffle out of the car again and weave our way over to the gate. The rain falls in torrents. I see The Small Child’s teacher at the door as she herds in half the class, ‘Bubble A’. Although her hood is up obscuring her face, I know by her gait that she is reassuring the children as they come in. She taught the Older One last year and I feel enormous relief that at least some things remain consistent.
I come home and strip off my soaking socks and leggings. I am so grateful that I’m not teaching at the moment- that I can come into my warm kitchen and reheat my coffee. It’s just as well LSB and I are both here, so we can act as referee between all the animals. The visiting cat (Fat Bramble) has taken up residence and our tortoiseshell is giving him daggers through slits of eyes. He disappears under the sofa with a disconsolate mew. The dog is bewildered by the inclement weather. We put her coat on her earlier so she could go out to pee but she just stood at the door looking back in at me with a hurt expression. Greyhounds are a very sensitive breed apparently. It doesn’t pay to be sensitive these days. I voice my concern that she is going to urinate, (or worse) on the floor again so LSB leaves what he’s working on and dons his coat. Fetching an umbrella he trudges up onto the grassy bit of the garden where she prefers to pee and holds the brolly over her while she relieves herself. He comes back in, peels off his sodden socks and is now back at his computer looking like a Jedi with in his green hoodie. I’ve just interrupted him to ask if he thinks greyhound coats come with hoods. He starts googling. While he’s at it, I ask him to see if he can buy us a golf umbrella made from recycled plastic. Apparently both are available on Amazon. I feel that it’s quite wrong to name a storm after a Saint who was so fond of livestock. Or the present Pope for that matter. Surely he wouldn’t have approved? They should be running these things past the Vatican before letting them through, in my opinion.