Trips to foreign fields – food for thought
So the last week has involved two separate trips to France / Belgium. First up 96 Year 9 students exploring World War 1 in Flanders and the Somme – my last school trip. A hangover or a last hurrah? Felt like an almighty hangover, I’m afraid, as certain students failed to understand the basic ground rules for behaviour and relentlessly demonstrated their innate stupidity through failing to comprehend that their actions would actually affect their trip. Cliche it may be, but genuinely hearing the penny drop as a student is informed that he doesn’t have any free time (in which to create havoc for a local population) was a moment. His face formed a pout not dissimilar to one of those botched surgical procedures you might catch late on a dull TV night. Nothing funnier than a sulky child! On this trip I also heard a joke worth repeating. War of any sort is to be abhorred, joking about it is fraught with danger but this one’s black humour saves it. I believe.
Near the village of Langemark the tour guide turned and said to the group ‘ This is where Adolf Hitler went over the top.‘ A student raises an eyebrow and says to her mate ‘Bloody hell if they thought he went over the top here what the hell did they think about World War 2?’
Boom and indeed boom. By the end of the three days even the poutiest of students had got the point of the trip. TF!
Arrived home 9.30pm Sat night full of cold. Negative Covid test. Left home 4.30am Sun morn for the beaches of Normandy. A 3-day whistle-stop tour putting together an itinerary for a group visit next year. If you’ve never been the sheer scale of the D-Day landings come into sharp focus as the locations each in their own way demonstrate the enormous human endeavour and sacrifice required to shift the Nazi’s hold on Western Europe. It is at once humbling and enraging. A mere twenty years after the war to end all wars, another bastard war! I returned home Tuesday night – still full of cold and suffered the final indignity of having the car pulled into the customs shed at 22.00hrs. With a cold snap of a latex glove ringing in my ears we eventually got home at 00.30.
Still found time to listen to some good stuff on our travels. First up Shed favourite Cory Hanson has released a single featuring the title song for his summer release ‘Western Cum’ which didn’t feature on the album itself. Cue more guitars, harmonies etc etc. Also I have been investigating Kevin Tihista following playing some on this week’s edition of the radio show which this week features all the usual stuff plus some Bruce, Van Morrison, Richie Syrett, Sandy Denny, Joni, The Nighthawks and many more.