Thank God it's Friday

29th November 2002 at 00:00
Monday I have begun the campaign to persuade Mrs Thomas to join me in retirement so we can travel and see the world, or at least visit her sister in Bognor Regis. We have already been offered a summer job cleaning luxury villas on a Greek island. The idea of lazing in the sun after the morning's work is tempting, but eating Greek salad every day, less so. I sense a 50:50 indecision.

Tuesday We dine sumptuously on the best that Mamp;S has to offer and our current favourite tipple is Lanson Ivory Label champagne (if it's on special offer). It's a reasonable compensation for mopping up reception children's puddles. The salary factor is strong and retirement looks less than 50:50. Oddbins's cheapest Lambrusco is no substitute for Lanson.

Wednesday If she finishes we can travel to all the Burnley games, home and away. That might have been a good idea in the 1960s, she says, but it's not tempting at the moment. In truth, even reading an old national curriculum technology ring-binder is more fun than a visit to Burnley on a wet November night. Plus it's pound;19 to get in. Retirement looks remote.

Thursday Who do you prefer, I ask, Maeve Binchy, Penny Vincenzi or Jilly Cooper? She looks in her bag. There's a music policy to rewrite, files on assessment, target setting, action plans and a load of PIPS, whatever they are. Early retirement looks green for go.

Friday We always eat out at weekends. There's Bellinis and Fat Franco's. The Agra or Sheesh Mahal. The Olive Tree. The Owl (pub grub). Or the Drum and Monkey (fish). "If I retire," she says, "there'll be no more of this; it'll be cheap casseroles and eating leftovers." She has a point. Retirement is on hold, we decide, as I book a table for 8.30pm.

David Thomas David Thomas is a retired primary head. He lives in Leeds

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