Like an offer for the Greek Gods, one child brought me a dead bird in the playground. It was at the very least in keeping with the theme of ‘Olympic day’ and I adopted a discus stance as I threw it in a bush (the bird, not the child).

The coach trip to the Olympic centre involved endless renditions of ‘I’m a real spring chicken’ and one case of vomiting. When we arrived at the centre we were greeted by Athenia, Apollo and Hermes or when they forgot and broke out of character, Sheila, Malcolm and Dave. Hermes, or Herpes as one child kept calling him, was our guide.

The rain arrived as promptly as the moaning started. Some had good reason to. One child had arrived with no coat and wearing sandals. The same child that had showered me with the dead bird then flipped it (showed me his middle finger). “Mohamed did this” he whined. “You don’t need to do that” I explained “you can just say he stuck his middle finger up at me”. “It hurts though, look” he pointed to a cut the size of a rabbit’s nostril on his finger.  A mistake anyone could have made.

To ease their dampened spirits I turned everything into an adventure. Wheelbarrow racing became chariot racing, welly boot throwing was the javelins of doom, tree stumps were transformed into seats of truth and the tarpaulin covered skip where lunch took place was the Kingdom of Zeus.

The sunshine arrived and the closing ceremony was a thing of great beauty. Children from my class climbed the winner’s podium and beamed while holding their medals. Olympic heroes don’t often wear Mickey Mouse hats with black ear flaps and face the wrong way, but I felt proud.  That child interrupted our moment. “It hurts when I clap” he griped. “Don’t clap then” I snarled in a voice I didn’t even recognise.

The sign of a good day out is a coach load of mostly slumbering kids. This was a relief as it meant only a handful heard me misread a story with “Mr Kranky wailed” as Mr Wanky.


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