Not on a school night! – revisited

Memory Lane wander

For the last 5 years of my headship career & since, OH & I have gone out for supper on Sundays. The psychology of this came from two areas –I have always disliked Sundays even as a child & when I was working, it was the day that I had to get all those jobs ready for school. The promise of going out for supper was something to aim for during the day, toiling through reports & paperwork.

When the day was fine, if the work was portable & I didn’t have to do an assembly the next day, we might go down to Weymouth or Bournemouth. Although it is a 2hr journey each way, it really relaxed me. I would often use it as either time to sleep or if I’d brought work with me, it would the sort that I needed to talk over with OH – heavy duty chats!

Although I am no longer a head teacher, I did have some governor work to do that needed a sounding board so off we went to Bournemouth. The weather was wet but mild & we always keep ‘Umby’ in the boot for such occasions. We park at the top by lots of the hotels & enjoy a walk down into the town, trying to decide which ‘country’ to go to for supper. On our last visit, just before Christmas, it was clear that the recession was hitting hard. Lots of units were boarded up & there was an air of hopelessness about the place.

By the end of March the picture was changing. Many businesses were springing up – lots of different restaurants enticing us with a brilliant selection of food – Japanese, Thai, Korean as well as the usual Indian eateries. We decided that we would support an ‘ailing economy’ & go to a Greek tavern. The food was delicious, ambience just right & as usual the Retzina went down a treat.

The route back to the car has always been a long one, going down to the beach & walking along the promenade. There was still a fine mist falling but the temperature had kept reasonable. We were engrossed in our continuing conversation about how pleasing the regeneration of the area was. It was almost as if we were residents with a vested interest. Do you do that to places you visit regularly – feel like it in some way ‘belongs’ to you?

Well, Sunday, March, rain did not equate to a busy throng of people around. We saw no-one at all as we walked through the park – I don’t think that has ever happened before. Had we got the time really wrong with the clocks? The Council had done really well with changing the lamppost lights from the usual flower displays to hanging Chinese lanterns across the path to celebrate the new year. It was good to see community cohesion in action!

Walking along the promenade we were reminded that although it was officially Spring, Mother Nature still called the shots. Although the waves were not crashing they were vocal enough to let us know that it would not be wise to enter in. Behind us, the pier, soon to be filled with hustle, bustle, lights & noise was silent in the thickening gloom of the mist.

We did manage to spot a trio of lads with their cycles sheltering in the doorway of the toilets which had long been locked but other than that – no-one. Finally we came to THE zig-zag.  For most users, it is a path that provides a way of going from the beach to the top. For me it has always been a test of my fitness. If I can get up without having to stop that would be good. Without needing resuscitation once at the top – even better!

Now, my darling OH has slight OCD tendencies & was presented with an immediate  problem. He holds the umbrella up with his left hand. As it was pich black we went up the slope arm in arm when I needed to swap sides.

“You’ll get wet though,” says OH

“Not if you swap hands I won’t,” says I.

“Oh,” says OH.


Our journey home was uneventful-just had the company of Clare Teal & David Jacobs. We got home just before that witching hour when the carriage goes back to being a pumpkin & Cinders & Charming go back to their day jobs.

Altogether a very pleasant Sunday adventure but what would the Headteacher say? Do you have ‘not on a school night’ rules?Have you got routines that help with difficult days? How are Sundays, particularly the evening for you? Do share!

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  • Yes, I have places that ‘belong’ to me, all of East Devon, West Dorset, Totnes and Dartmoor!

  • I love your Sunday supper routine, Julia – what a wonderful idea!

    Even ‘tho my son left school 3 years ago and joined up to the Army soon after, I still find myself regularly ironing on Sunday evenings (a job I hate!) – even ‘tho I no longer commute into the City, so could easily do it on Monday morning if I had no clients booked in!

    It’s definitely time for a re-think and setting up a new routine … especially now school is no longer an issue!

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