Thank God it's Friday

24th January 2003 at 00:00
Monday Day one of the Christmas break and I report to Lisa for a fitness check at a new leisure centre. She gets stuck on the regular medication question. I explain my need for daily thyroxine. Lisa is perplexed so writes down "bad firoyd" and moves on.

Tuesday My friend's daughter is home from art college. As this sophisticated young woman explains her conceptual rationale for her work for her finals, I remember when we used to go to the swings and pick strawberries together.

Wednesday I'm off to the leisure centre again and decide to have porridge before I go. I can't remember the proportions of water to oats so I guess.

As I make the tea I catch sight of a huge balloon inflating inside the microwave. I turn it off quickly and open the door. There is a disgusting splat as the porridge bubble bursts, shooting some through the door. No workout.

Thursday Lisa greets me as a returning geriatric and leads me to the bikes, asking if I remember how to use them. Instead, I go for a swim as I am much happier in the water. Later, in the changing room, a familiar voice rings out: "Vicky, isn't that your head over there?" I panic - what do I grab first, my towel for modesty or my glasses for myopia?

Friday The man who services the central heating arrives late and dismantles items from the depth of the boiler. The window cleaner rings the bell, saying it's not his week but he recognised the plumber's van outside and has called in for a chat. I make them coffee as they discuss sport strategies and clubbing venues. My teacher's dormant reflex is awakened and before I can stop myself, I say: "Could we stop the chat and get on with our work, please?" It's time to get back to school.

Gill Pyatt is head of Barnwood Park school, Gloucester

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