Wednesday, 11 July 2012


My son's last day at his prep school today. I remember the first when I contacted Ms Booth, the extremely efficient heart of the ship to find out if he'd passed.  She told me he hadn't then corrected herself and told me he had. I burst into tears because I was so relieved, so happy that he'd be joining a school where I felt he would thrive.  His first teacher Ms Appleton now retired had a wonderful turn of phrase and understanding of boys and men for that matter.   Picking up Tom once she said that boys continue to grow physically after the age of twelve but don't emotionally.  They stick at 12.   I disagree. I think some stick before but Tom has grown (all five foot ten and a bit of him) and thrived.   It's a salute to the teachers at the school.  It's the teachers who make this school what it is. A school may have wonderful facilities but they are only there to facilitate the teachers do their job. And the Tower House teachers do it brilliantly.  Teaching is such a worthwhile vocation.   At times I am sure extremely frustrating others rewarding and if you work in Inner London, terrifying and depressing.

I watched Tom play drums brilliantly at the prize day amongst his friends who are rounded, grounded, caring young men. They all watch after each other which is a very special quality I hope they keep into old age and pass on to their own children.  They're kind.   Ambassador and Head Boy in his year spoke extremely well, one from the head, the other from the heart.   Everyone won and deserved a prize. The singing was beautiful (poignant to hear boys so young singing 'yesterday' the lyrics belonging to someone much older in years).   The rock and swing bands were magnificent.

Tom's father was there, the first one he's made and the only one Jeremy hasn't. Thank you Jeremy for always being there for Tom in the past.  Your influence on Tom is a very positive one.   And thank you Tim for helping Tom with his drums.  His dad takes the credit but you are the one who deserves it.  It would be churlish to thank his father, but I'm very very glad he was there. Tom was very pleased to see him.   And Mr Geary, the captain my captain of the school.   Thank you for putting so much time and effort into helping Tom.     And Mr Nunn, and Ms Laird, and Mr Peyton, Mr Hare, Mr Evans, and Ms Bennett, Ms Gray, and Mrs Lamplough and Mick (who says these boys are the nicest Year 8 he has ever had.

Tom has signatures all over his white shirt. He no longer has to hang up his ruddy blazer after being asked six times to do so. I may ceremoniously burn it in the middle of the lawn.    I am still thinking about it.

I was busy in Waitrose this morning, looking like a wino with a romantic streak.   Bottles of vodka, wine and flowers for the teachers I handed to Tom this morning to give out.    Something obviously went a miss. The headmaster and head of art didn't get their vodka.  Teachers thanked me for wine when they should have got vodka and vice versa. I hope Ms Bennett got the whiskey and the women got the flowers.        I'll get the two missing vodkas to them at the beginning of next term.    Thank you Tower House for all the help you've given Tom and you've given his mum over the years.

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