Thursday 16 May 2013

Gluttony for punishment

On a happy note I received a press release this morning, and unusually thought I'd use it:

Sweet...everyone loves a baby story.

"HUNDREDS of fluffy cygnets are beginning to hatch at Abbotsbury Swannery in Dorset after the first baby swan was born at 7.45am today (16 May). The Swannery is the only place in the world where visitors can walk every day through a colony of mute swans, see cygnets hatching and participate in mass feedings at 12 noon and 4pm.

Swanherds noticed the first signs of hatching when the pen (female swan) on nest number two became restless and began hovering over the nest, to allow the emerging cygnet more room to peck its way out of the egg. The pen is continuing to turn the remaining six eggs, until they finish hatching."

But not all bird stories are quite so happy.

As a rubber duck aficionado you can imagine how distraught I was to see this sequence of photos as Florentijn Hofman's floating, inflatable sculpture came to a sticky end in Hong Kong's harbour.

I stopped buying from Amazon when their tax avoidance scams became known a year or so ago...and it has burst into the open again here.  If I could avoid Google I would, but I'm trapped in their net (even Blogger is Google-owned isn't it?).  What fascinates me is that all these businesses and many, many more have 'Corporate Social Responsibility' policies, yet without batting their eyes, they can't help but duck their most basic of responsibilities.  The greed is good philosophy seems to have been ratcheted up more and more in the last thirty years...let's hope it is close to breaking point.

I don't know why I do it.

This is The Cat's and The Boy's last term.  Exams have begun.  The stress levels are high.

But at the end of the exams, their school days all just seem to fizzle out.  Shortly, they go on exam leave, and only go to the school when there's an exam on.  At the end of the exams, that's it.  They don't go back.  For the parents, it means their seven year involvement ends with a whimper, not with a bang.

So a little while back, I proposed to the school that a celebration dinner is held for the parents of the Sixth form leavers.  For me it's a chance for the parents to thank the school for turning their babes in arms into something approaching an adult, and like wise for the school to thank the parents for their support.  The headmistress leapt on the idea, and the culmination of my efforts takes place on Friday.  Dinner for 140 of us.

But it does make me wonder how some parents function.  When asked about dress code by one mother, I replied 'lounge suits'...which is most people's lingo suggests a dress code for women as well.  I got a shrieking reply that she wasn't going to wear a lounge suit...what was she supposed to wear.  I've had to move some people around because the people they asked to sit with no longer want to.  I had one parent accuse me of telling him the wrong I told him the right one, and he just wrote it down wrong.  I've had people ask to sit with particular people, only for me to find out that the people they've asked to sit don't want to sit with them.  I've had a parent ask if they could bring their kids... it's a semi-formal dinner for parents.  The original hall 'The Great Hall' we were due to be in suddenly became unavailable because the teacher who booked it for me forgot there would be exams in there.  And so it goes on....

I'm looking forward to it.  There may be a tear in my eye.