Thank God it's Friday

22nd October 1999 at 01:00
Monday Early days, new resolutions. I am - after all - writing in the second week of term. I will clear my desk on Friday. Every Friday. I will spend Thursday afternoons reading DFEE circulars and updates, and exciting management manuals. I will touch paper only once - deal with it, delegate it or bin it.I will go to the gym. Really. And I will go to bed early. Feel like Bridget Jones. Need a new dinner lady the way Bridget needed a man.

Tuesday I feel haggard after nightmares about rooms. Will four classes appear in the same room? With two teachers? Have I sent the largest class into the smallest room? I cannot relax until the timetable has run a week. No dinner lady applicants.

I chase would-be theatregoers for cash - a September theatre trip is lunacy, but decided in the holidays to book it rather than miss it. That's what makes the years seamless and long holidays mythical. Well, along with results and reading big novels and producing lists. Midnight bedtime. Oops.

Wednesday I do dinner duty before seeing would-be public speakers, another new year task. I don't know why I'm auditioning, because last year's team were chosen by lot - "Pick a straw!" - and went on to win the English Speaking Union's national final. The auditions are time-consuming, and some of the best people are heavily committed to play, choir, orchestra. I resolve that next year I will ask for people whose only ambition is to speak.

From school to gym, where my sweaty glow is surpassed only by a glow of virtuous pride.

Thursday The printer and I finalise a two-page glossy newsletter telling the world what we did last year - a best teacher in the West, a new theatre, results. He breathes in - "Oooh, that's going to cost you!" - whether I'm talking photos, paper quality or speed of production. This makes me nervous as I sent back last year's batch for poor print quality 24 hours before we needed them. We're using a new printer this year, but I'm not sure I can tell the difference. And he doesn't know anyone who wants to be a dinner lady.

Friday Oops. Missed Thursday's reading engagement. Next week, maybe. At lunchtime I see prospective editors of the magazine - wannabe journalists who have written nothing beyond obligatory coursework. Ah well. Enthusiasm is lovely - and it's a long time until May, when the proof-reading starts. I write another ad for a dinner lady, clear my desk - whee - and then head for home. Oops, forgot the gym.

Hilary Moriarty is deputy head of an independent school in the west

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