A daily photo-blog of my life as an American transplanted in the UK.
Thursday, 5 February 2009
Day 128 of 365: What's for Tea?
Tonight's menu: Gammon (boiled), potato waffles, egg, and baked beans. Joint effort by hubby and myself. I must say I'm quite pleased with our work.
I was so good today, trudging through the harsh, wintry conditions to make it to school (well, Matt did most of the "trudging," to be fair, since he drove me). But earlier in the week -- Tuesday to be specific, the council did a blanket closure for all of Birmingham City Schools. This made life simple as I checked the BRMB radio website and saw this announcement, so I went back to bed. Schools were open sporadically through the area Wednesday, but apparently many had received a lot of flack for closing and "not giving parents enough notice." They claimed that teachers and staff were just lazy, even though it was the council's decision. Whinge, whinge, whinge!
Wednesday night rolls around and the snow started coming down in small flakes, but at a steady pace. I was expecting another closure when I looked at BRMB around 11pm and noticed a large number of schools in the Birmingham areas had already called in their school cancellations -- the school for my post was NOT one of them, however. Surely the council will see the potential road dangers and step in? Then my alarm wakes me Thursday morning at 6:40am...I check BRMB again and now roughly 300 schools are on the list. Again, my assigned school is NOT one of them...so I quickly get ready and Matt and I head out the door.
Traffic through Kingswinford and Dudley were backed up pretty bad and it was a snail's crawl. At one point I believe it took us 40 minutes to go just 6 miles! All the while we're listening to the radio and hear that now Solihull (outskirts of Birmingham city centre) has issued a blanket closure and the count for Birmingham city schools is up to 400 closed. Knowing I won't get paid if I don't go in, we proceed to the school with caution on slippy roads.
I arrive to school surprisingly on time, and leave my bag in the car with Matt to quickly run in and get the "run down." The Headteacher tells me that they have not made the decision to close and they were going to see how many students arrived -- possibly sending them home around dinnertime if the roads appeared to still be poor. I return to Matt in the car park and explain this to him. We evaluate for a bit on whether or not I should stay and ultimately decide it's better to get paid for the day, so he leaves me there.
About an hour later, when another supply teacher and myself are still sitting in the staff lounge awaiting our classroom assignments, the Deputy Head walks in to inform us that the school is remaining open, however, because of the low attendance, they won't be needing supply staff for the day. By now, I'm praying that Matt hasn't gotten very far in traffic so I call his mobile only to have him answer and announce that he had only JUST made it back home and made himself a coffee.
It took him an additional hour and a half to get back to me through morning traffic. The only good thing is that I still get paid for the day since I made the effort to get out to the school, but I will agree with the radio DJ's...Birmingham City Council needs to get their thumb out in the future.
After two and a half years in a long-distance relationship, I packed my life of 29 years into 21 boxes and moved to England to marry and be with my husband, Matt. Now I'm reveling in the youth of my 30s in Great Britain, supply-teaching in primary schools near Birmingham and enjoying newlywed life, being a mommy, and all the surprises they bring!