The Wedding Reception Conversation


A few weeks ago I found myself deep in the Essex countryside attending the wedding of two old friends/colleagues. They had been a couple for a long while and indeed we had worked together in another time, in another school, in another part of London. Both are fine teachers with unique strengths. Their early courtship was kept private from their colleagues (and myself), harboured safely in the clandestine glances and nuances of language that I never seem to decipher.

Indeed when the prospective groom came to see me in my West London office, in order to finally apprise their love to their fellow professionals, I thought it was a joke. I laughed heartily until I realised my male colleague was not laughing with me. He was merely smiling.

Fast forward 5 years and I am in a tastefully decorated marquee on an Essex farm drinking pink champagne and catching up with former colleagues from that West London school. One had moved on to a village school in Hampshire, another was working for a left wing think tank. Our former senior teacher had left teaching all together to raise a family in the French countryside. It was the newly provincial mother I found myself talking to over my sixth glass of champagne.

“I have been reading your blogs, but you need to write more of them,” she shouted in my ear over the sound of the band playing an old Motown classic.

It has been just over a year since a childhood acquaintance inspired me, via her own blog, to start a journal of my school’s adventures as it moved from failure to success. It was true then and now that I wanted the blog to be an exercise in catharsis, a chance for me to release some of the inner demons knocking about inside my head. If others found that notion entertaining so be it. The first rule of Head Lines was it is cathartic. The second rule of Head Lines is: It is Cathartic.

So I make no apologies for the infrequency of recent entries. I don’t think that this is down to a lesser need for inner cleansing but more to do with busy schedules and shifting goals. The period occurring in the few months after school’s success has ushered in a range of personal physical changes. In January I quit smoking. In February I joined a gym. In April I was diagnosed with diabetes. In May I turned 50 years old.

So the outward looking symbolism of the blog’s first year appears to slowly giving way to a more introspective theme. So be it. As if to reinforce the notion the diabetes clinic has told me that I should abandon my trusted size 11 Doc Martens in favour of something kinder to my feet. (Remember, dear readers, equally at home marching through a period of transition as well as…well…at home in the bottom of the wardrobe).

Keep the Faith,

The Head

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