A dangerous case of ringworm swept the school. We were all on red alert, viewing everything we ate and drank suspiciously and employing the most unpopular children as our official tasters. I’m relieved we reached the day without incident although I did see one child scraping his arse along the carpet (to be fair though, he did this before the outbreak).

My birthday, which has always before coincided with half term, resulted in my hangover’s hangover having a hangover. Bleary-eyed I stared at the first lesson plan. How many times can the children clap in a minute? Shout their name in a minute? Jump up and down in a minute? I wanted to scrape my sorry arse all the way out of there.

I told my class I was 175 years old, for that’s how I l felt. I expected at least one of them to question it. They didn’t even bat an eyelid. One child commented that I “might be older than the head teacher” (should I pass this on?) another that in his original country “you are killed when you reach hundred”.  Dear Loyal subject, congratulations on reaching a hundred! Sorry about your impending senicide, signed Queenie.

The downside to stepping on behaviour in the first term is you make the occasional enemy. When making their potions I appeared in a few too many cauldrons for my liking, one thankfully contained a thousand slags (although I regret she may have meant slugs).

The last day of term provided the children with the opportunity to meet not one, but two living legends. Admittedly one was only pretending to be living, as an actor portraying Mary Seacole. The children were caught up in her incredible story. “Oh if only someone would let me help the soldiers!” our ‘Mary’ wailed “Lord just show me a sign”. At this point her mobile phone went off. She let the potentially good news go to voicemail.

Later we visited our local library and met Michael de Souza, creator of ‘Rastamouse’. I was yanked from the audience to play the ‘eponymouse’ hero. No amount of bling could stop my attempt at Jamaican patois from avoiding a round trip to Essex and crossing the Atlantic a few times. I realised I could never try to take a day off with ‘Foreign Accent Syndrome’.

Happy Half Term!


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