I expected to sit with JB (resplendent in a green dress) at table 19 at the staff meeting, but instead found myself next to GR. Even though retired for almost a year, LM joined us. GR had just swept the board in the annual teaching awards. He was happy to share the secret of his success with the pair of us: giving his students ‘the eye’.
After the meeting, I invited my immediate colleagues back to my street for a party in the shed that I had installed on the pavement just outside number 20. PC, DH and FR hesitated over my invitation, eventually refusing. So instead I walked with BR back to his house.
We took a long, boring route along the main road, trudging like a pair of refugees, or recently released prisoners. We passed some people fly-tipping, but were too nervous to challenge their behaviour. We were also sorry to see that the yellow-painted building that used to be a nature centre had been sold by the council and was now a residential property. Then we had to navigate our way round a group of drunks fighting outside a pub.
Eventually we reached BR’s house at 8:30pm. From there I rang my mother and told her that I would soon set off home by bus.