Monthly Archives: May 2015

Jah’s “interview” at a local Primary School – Moving to North West London

There was a Church of England school at the end of our road in London where the new house was, but there were no places. In fact, they had a long waiting list. Fortunately there was another large Primary school within a ten-minute walk, so we made an appointment to visit.

We arrived in London far too early for Jah’s interview, so we took our sandwiches to the nearby park and he played in the sandpit.

I was slightly surprised to think that he was going into the Junior school (today’s Year 3 and upwards). Time had flown by. He was quite tall for his age. The only children around in the early afternoon were pre-school children and he looked almost like a gentle giant beside them in the sandpit.

small children in sandpitImage courtesy of sattva at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The interview went fairly well, although I was a bit alarmed to  learn how advanced some of the children were and that included children for whom English is a second language.  They seemed to be far more advanced than Jah and his friends in Leicester.

After a fairly lengthy discussion about Jah’s level of attainment and his interests and abilities, we were taken to see where the Juniors had their classroom. I was most surprised to see that it was at the top of such a large building. The view was excellent, but I wondered how teachers managed all those stairs with a big class.

However, I was reminded again that he was no longer in the Infant stage. Juniors would feel that they were being promoted and therefore be able to cope and hopefully behave a bit better.

I could almost read a thought bubble above Jah’s head. He appeared to be impressed and fortunately not overwhelmed at the prospect of attending school in such a vast building.

school

I detected a different kind of atmosphere from the Leicester school.  In those days the Primary schools did not have a uniform – no sweatshirt in school colours, but the Leicester children were supposed to wear “sensible” shoes and clothes.  I did not seem any “sensible” shoes on the children, although it was actually summer, so perhaps little sandals were a good idea.

Here in London in those days, the children wore very casual clothes.  I had already noticed that phenomenon when visiting a secondary school for Sam.  It had surprised me when I saw a teenager standing talking to the Head teacher in a very relaxed manner.   Added to that, she was wearing a Very Scant top!  Her outfit could be more accurately described as “ultra-casual”. Admittedly it was a very hot summer’s day, but her sleeveless top was more suitable for the beach. However,  this was London in the 1980s and that was evidently how it was.

The good news was that there was a place at the Primary for Jah, so we sealed the arrangement.

This was the last piece of the jigsaw to be completed before the move.  [Job tick. House tick, Arrangement for Anna to remain in Leicester tick. Convenience for Lucy that we would be in the same town as her tick,  London house tick. London Schools tick. . . . .]  

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Freedigitalphotos

We were now all set.  

Bank Holiday Post – A moment for something Completely Different. Leisure activities.

Dear Readers. As you know, the theme of my blog is Adoption Reflections – Multiracial Family.

Most of my life I wear a metaphorical “hat”, saying mother, grandmother, wife, friend. ( Previously when I was working I would sometimes be wearing a metaphorical hat of colleague).    I feel so fortunate to have four offspring and five grandchildren and to have good friends and former colleagues.

HOWEVER, there are small things I do or see, just with a ‘me’ hat on. Or sometimes a “me and D.” hat. It is some of these that I would like to share with my readers. One couldn’t do this in the middle of a published book, but I think it is allowable in a blog. I follow other peoples’ blogs (for example The Bookwitch) and I enjoy it when the writer takes a flight of fancy.

Here I will pause in our family story and indulge in a flight of fancy. OK?

With a bit of imagination I actually could link to my theme what I am about to describe. I could perhaps entitle it “Diversity” or “Family holidays”, but that would be rather forcing the issue.  (One reader said to me that she preferred L-o-n-g- blog posts, so this might suit her. I hope so!)

A couple of years ago, my husband D. and I decided to take a long weekend break in the South of France. We like travelling by train and the idea of travelling by Eurostar and the TGV to Marseille seemed very attractive. We had a very interesting time in the Marseille area.

view from Marseille station What a view from Marseille station!

 Marseille harbourThe harbour

We went on a boat trip round the harbour and the coast, took a beautiful train trip and weirdly that trip only cost about 5 Euros, because we were there during a special ‘Patrimoine’ weekend, when travel is cheap!

train. Marseille area

 

 

 

 

 

The highlight of our trip was a KITE FESTIVAL. It was free, colourful and entrancing. We met so many people who spend their leisure time building and erecting wind-blown scenes for pleasure. The slightly ‘forced’ link with diversity is that the participants of these delightful hobby activities came from a variety of European countries. (Strangely, apparently nobody came from Britain, but the countries mentioned were France, Belgium, the Netherlands. . . ) The creations must have given the creative artists pleasure and they certainly did the same for us. I can best illustrate this by a few photos.

wind fish

wind flowers

wind penguins

 

 

 

 

 

It is interesting that the people who built these delightful wind-blown artefacts were not doing it for financial gain. I think they were simply making these things for pleasure – to give delight to themselves and anybody who happened to be passing.

wind scarecrows

We spent most of the afternoon looking at the small creations and talking to the creators,

Jardin des chats + M

before wandering over to see the more traditional large kites.

traditional kites

 

I feel happy that I have found a medium whereby I can share these expressions of joy with others!   Thank you for dropping by.

 

N.b. We took our children for quite a few camping holidays in France. I must remember to write a bit about that one day, but in my next blog I shall return to our family history.