Day 188

Level 2 Chi Kung.

Presented Jack’s driver and escort, and Dash’s escort with tins of baking, and sent Dash off on the bus laden with tins of baking, and wine for his teacher and teaching assistants. Dropped Katie at school with alcohol for her teachers, then had a blissful 45 minutes drinking coffee and reading a magazine in Gail’s, the new cafe in the village, before Katie’s year 3 assembly at 10am. A short and tasteful affair in contrast to the lengthy and over-elaborate pageants of key stage one. Went straight from the school to do the last of the non-food Christmas shopping. The shops were mercifully quiet – the only queue was at H&M (where I wasn’t even buying anything – just changing a pair of Jack’s track pants for a smaller size) which I think was more because they only had one person serving in the whole enormous shop rather than because it was particularly busy.

All of which was great so long as it was just because everyone else was still working and not a signal that the economy is heading for hell in a handcart once again.

Slightly embarrassing experience on the way home from collecting Katie. We often struggle – particularly if Katie’s class is a few minutes late coming out – to get home in time for Dash’s bus. A few times, having called at the house and got no response, they have spotted us walking down the street and stopped and let Dash off. This saves them having to return at the end of the run, and avoids us being told off. So, when Katie and I spotted the characteristic white bus coming towards us, we both attempted to wave it down – me for some reason resorting to the gesture used for hitchhiking in Africa (where sticking your thumb up is regarded as rude). As the bus drew alongside us with no sign of stopping, the bemused bus driver gave us a feeble wave, clearly wondering what the hell we thought we were doing. Wrong bus.

Feels good to have all the presents dispatched. I used to do it on the last day of term, but discovered the hard way that it only takes a lost hair brush, a missing school shoe, or a bus or taxi arriving early and the carefully prepared gifts are left sitting forlornly until January.

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