I HAVE A NEW JOB!
I am leaving The School of Hard Knocks. In January, I take up a post as Assistant Head at a new school. I am so thrilled about this, I can't tell you. My only nagging concern is that I am going to have to be all impressive and shit. Am I up to it? That is a worry. I expect I am not. Still, it is much more money, and I gain immense satisfaction from the fact that I am abandoning Pompous Pilate, and leaving him without a Year 6 teacher, just in time for his next OFSTED inspection! JOY!
I have decided though, after suffocating under Pompous's regime of blustering ineptitude and bungling farce, that I really want to have my own school. I am not even sure just being a Headteacher would do it. I want to set up an Underscore Academy. I would separate boys and girls:
Boys (in the Tony Benn wing) would study allotment management, old-school socialism, tent erection, pipe-smoking, bonfire building, the wit of Woody Allen, the suavity of Cary Grant and the poetry of Ted Hughes. Their uniform would be tan cords and chunky knit sweaters. They would raise funds for the school by farming cashmere goats and training fleets of gleaming, cravat-wearing retired greyhounds to ferry people around town.
Girls (in the Judi Dench wing) would study the novels of Daphne du Maurier and the poetry of Dorothy Parker. There would be compulsory courses in fanny-rat identification. The girls would be experts in word politics and economics, but also study for a Bobbi Brown diploma in lipstick/ blusher co-ordination and flicky eyeliner. Their uniform would be a neat cashmere cardigan, tweed pencil skirt and ballet pumps. Knitting and crochet would be an acceptable form of PE, as would beating egg whites for meringues and piping whipped cream into a brandy snap biscuit. Girls would have lessons in spring and summer underneath ancient oak trees or by a sparkling, silver river. In autumn and winter, their lessons would be in front of log fires, accompanied by fondant fancies, pots of strong tea and The Boatman's Call.
Doesn't it all sound heavenly? Will Michael Gove go for it, do you think?
Her funeral is this week. Here you are, Aunty Joan, a picture just for you.
Anyway, I am sure you are all wondering what has become of feckless, fanny-rat salesman, Rochester. Were you not? Oh well. I shall tell you anyway. This week, the rogue made a most unexpected and unsettling reappearance in my life. . . . I shall nip out with the lurchers and then return to tell you the torrid tale.