Friday, November 17, 2006
The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time
It's important to be able to laugh at yourself, right? How about to giggle at yourself in such a way as to unnerve school cleaners and frighten school children? While wearing lycra leggings.
On Monday I cycled to school as usual, dressed to impress in my waterproofs and leggings, which for the record the QPS staff have banned me from wearing other than immediately after, or immediately prior to riding the bike. Even the fetching red stripe and reflective panels have failed to sway them. But once I arrived in my room I realised to my dismay that I'd forgotten trousers to change in to...I'd taken them home on Friday to be washed (a rare enough treat for them) and neglected to pack them again. Were I a pupil I would have simply blamed my mum and worn a groovy pair of trousers from the lost property box, but considering I had 3 schools to teach in that day, including the High School up the road, leggings or cast-off half-masts were not going to cut it. I needed to have my shower then get up to the supermarket to buy a pair of trousers.
The shower is joined to the school office, and connected to the school corridor by means of a short passage and a door to which I have a key. Locked in, I showered and and went to my pannier to find my towel, also taken home for washing. And also left there. So now I am naked, showered and standing with no towel and no trousers in the school office. Can you see the headlines yet?
Question - how many paper towels does it take to dry someone roughly my size and shape after a shower? Answer - 9. Who'd have thought.
Dried (of sorts) and dressed (in a fashion) I had about half an hour to go and buy trousers...plenty of time. I dumped my stuff in my room and fetched my wallet from my bag, or would have, had it not also been safely tucked up at home. This is where the giggling started.
I had to borrow money from another staff member, walk to the shop in my lycra while greeting every pupil and parent on the way, and buy a fetching pair of brown cords. Mmm, £15 well spent.
Not content with this level of general humiliation I had an appointment at another primary school at 11.15 and had decided to try out a new cycle path to get there. The route I have used previously is all on road and though it only takes 20 minutes to get there I thought the path might be a bit faster and a bit quieter. The path started off promisingly - well surfaced, old railway line, nice Autumn day. But not for long - it descended into a bog, rutted and muddy with no signs and eventually no apparent way to get off it. My "street" tyres, with no grips, just spun about as I tried to cycle, spraying mud and mulch over my back and head while my shoes and the bottoms of my super new trousers, sticking out from beneath my waterproofs, went from smart-casual to tramp dirty-protest. Arriving at the school I wasn't sure why I was getting such curious, pitying and scathing looks until I went to the toilet to wash my hands and saw that my face and hair were covered in mud too.
The rest of the week didn't bless me with luck either - Wednesday saw the wettest day here for a long time, and was the day I took the motorbike to work. A training course until 3pm, then a splash back to QPS for a meeting 4 till 6, then off to Bo'ness through torrential rain for a 7 to 10 rehearsal left me wet, cold and quite possibly rotting. Luckily I had taken it easily on the back Borrowstoun road as rounding a corner I encountered a huge puddle, well, a flood, right across the road. Even at 30mph or slower the bow-wave went over the bike and down my jacket. Really.
Lorna is out tonight - ladies' night for some of the mums from her various meetings. Kit's new pleasure is being dangled upside down and for extra laughs, swung around.