Monday 23 October 2017

Diary of a Schoolteacher: Even on our mid-term break we just can't get away from those pesky kids

Mid-term break at last and I've decided to head off to Waterford with Mr Moobs and Mr Finnegan.

Can't afford to keep up the old tradition of driving around England, which is a pity as it's always fun to see Moobs being threatened by angry army/nuclear power plant/beautician's staff for taking unauthorised photographs through fences and windows.

The look of terror on his face has Finn and me in stitches and the great thing is that he never seems to learn.

Best of all is the fact that in England we know we are safe from the remotest possibility of meeting either of the two groups of people that we want to forget about -- our colleagues and our pupils.

Personally, I can't take hearing Kurt describing one more female staff member as "stunning" or Finn labelling any more pupils as "pure evil", so as we stroll down the Mall in Waterford, I remind my companions that Miss Gossard and Dean O'Thugarty are officially personae non grata.

Then out of the corner of my eye I see him. Damn! I knew we should have forked out the extra money for the sake of a few days' asylum anywhere in the UK or the continent.

Neither Kurt nor Finn have spotted him, but I know Charles Windsor knows that I am just a few metres away from him and we both know it's too late to avoid each other.

Kurt's eyes are still following a group of four or five women as they laughingly show each other what they've just bought in a boutique and Finn's caught up with contemplating the historic reasoning behind the physical orientation of the Mall itself. But mine have locked with our school's most shifty character; the leader of our town's most notorious family.

Instantly Charles' instincts kick in as I see him scan every face in the street for threats, shoot glances up at the rooftops as if there might be a sniper positioned on the parapet of Dunnes Stores and then he nudges each of his two companions to warn them of the approaching danger of three teachers.

I don't recognise either of the ferret-faced duo flanking him like presidential bodyguards and as I approach Charles to say hello, their facial expressions make it clear that I'm to make it quick and move on.

"Just up here for a bit of shopping, Sorr," Charles explains and neither of his two cronies, nor mine for that matter, utters a word.

You're shopping all right, I think to myself, but only because nobody here will recognise you.

Still, I respect Charles and his culture and smile as much to show him that I'm glad he's seeing a little of the world over the break as to let him know that if anyone asks I'll say I didn't see him or either of the two young gents that he introduced as his cousin.

Before long we're back in the car heading for Rosslare. Maybe we'll go to Wales after all.

E Grade

Irish Independent

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