Alice Cooper is singing in my head.
As the unwinding begins and the end of term becomes a matter of days not weeks the school enjoys an orgy of expeditions and trips that constitutes an activity week. For previous sins my week compromises of two three-day trips to Belgium and France to explore the cemeteries and battlefields of World War One. 4am starts and coaches rammed to gunwales with children very few of whom give a flying toss. It’s full on for all three days, and what do you know, by the time we get to the moving and heartbreaking Menin Gate ceremony they’ve all got it. There’s usually tears, and the empathy quotient of the students have, for the most part, been boosted or at least sparked into life.
A fourteen-year-old crying to me: ‘Why did they all have to die? It was so horrible’, in some awful way, made the whole trip worthwhile. The vomit, the constant herding, the confiscation of fireworks and the lack of sleep patrolling corridors – all of it.
Maybe there is hope…
I’m signing off for a few weeks but will be back in September. Thanks for reading the ramblings of an old and possibly bitter man. I leave you with some smashers.
First up Gaz Coombes with his latest and possibly best for a while, then a smidge of Ryley Walker who I will be seeing at EOTR and my all-time summer song from the incomparable Bill Withers.
Have a brilliant summer if you can. As take what you want or need.