(aka Bike, est. 2007)
Copyright© 2017 Angharad
This is a work of fiction any mention of real people, places or institutions is purely coincidental and does not imply that they are as suggested in the story.
The soup was well received, in all fairness, my lot usually enjoy it probably because it gives them an excuse to eat loads of bread to soak it up in their tummies and thus minimise poisoning risks, or so Trish informed me a few weeks ago. Much to my delight even David had some and complimented me on it. At least I think he meant the soup, but it could have been the bread, right.
David explained that he was writing a cook book and the sauce he was making was an experiment, it was apparently a celery sauce which we were going to have on salmon fish cakes. I mentioned watercress and he said everyone does watercress sauce, he was trying celery to be different. I like celery and I also like salmon, so I don’t have a problem as I assume the two will go together quite well. If not, I can always sack him tomorrow.
I left him in charge of the kitchen going back to my study with a cuppa and my Guardian. I leafed through it feeling well fed and thus in postprandial contentment when I came across an article which suggested that when most children leave junior school their reading age is above their physical age but within a year or two at high school it begins to drop and by the time they leave, their reading age is two or three years lower than their physical age. Some of it appeared to be through laziness, they prefer to read easy things rather than have to use their brains. If true, it might explain how some of our first year students are so thick. We set them a relatively simple report to analyse and critique and some of the results look like they were done by junior school kids—the good reports, that is, arguably the use of crayons identifies the bad ones.
To maintain this ability we have to keep them reading challenging things. Trish and Livvie already do this, and the others are quite good too. But if they need a challenge I’ll print off one or two of the episodes of that long running soap thing by the Welsh woman with the unpronounceable name and ask the kids to find anything that resembles a plot—I’ll give them a couple of days, though I doubt they’d find one in a hundred years, unless it’s to conquer the world by sending it to sleep first. If they’d threatened to read it to ISIS, they’d have surrendered after the first paragraph. How to fall off a dormouse or something totally nonsensical.
I sent Si a text saying that Pickerskill had been in touch and was going to offer us some dates for next weekend. I got one back a while later saying he’d be there, in fact he hoped to be home this weekend.
On Friday, while in my office at the university I had a phone call from Sister Maria, apparently someone had been mooching round the school seemingly oblivious to the fact it was half term for Hampshire schools and thus indicating to us both he had no children of school age or he’d know already.
When challenged he showed them his ID and it was John Jackson, yeah, him from the Echo, who rarely makes me feel good. He was asked to write a feature on sport in schools in the area of Portsmouth and that would include any special sportswomen or girls that the schools had produced. Because I’d warned her that this could happen, she said she’d think about it but none came to mind immediately. I’m sure she’ll be forgiven in confession for telling fibs, but I thanked her for her covering for my children and for telling me. She reminded me that speech day would coming soon and she had requests from the governors and several parents for me to present the prizes again. Apparently the priest I met last time, Father O’Reilly, had confided to her that he’d reduce his input to give me more time to entertain them.
Apart from the fact that I am so busy, I’m running out of out-takes to use to make them smile and we all know that if you try to invent them, they go wrong or look like they’re faked. Comedy is all in the timing which is why unconscious comedy is so funny, because the timing is right but the players in it can’t see that or the consequences/circumstances in which they’re going to act. The obstacle isn’t seen by the victim who falls over it or down it and they blithely continue until the crunch.
I suppose I could download some from the web but then that’s cheating. I do have the one of the deaf badger. Oh I haven’t told you about that, have I? We were doing the filming in the early evening for the dormouse film, showing the woodland as dusk fell and I was talking to camera with a nightingale singing in the background when this badger just trundled through the scene as only badgers can. I immediately froze and shut up and the thing came and sniffed at my leg making me jump and squeal and there’s some camera shake because Alan laughed. Normally any of those would have frightened a normal badger to run off, but this one continued trundling along and then found the bag with Alan’s sandwich in and tore it apart and ate his cheese sandwich while he continued to film and swear at it.
The whole thing lasted about ten minutes so I’ve never shown it before. We decided it must be deaf as it paid no heed to our voices and seemed unperturbed by our scent. Possibly it was just habituated to humans, there were some houses about quarter of a mile away so they might have fed it there and thus it lost its fear of us. I have grave concerns about this in wild animals, it makes it too easy to abuse them and it also can make them reliant on us for their meals and lose their skills in foraging or hunting. No, healthy wild life is wise to remain very suspicious of humans, who can be more perverse than a wolverine with its tail caught in a gin trap.
As I was about to leave for the weekend, my phone rang again. “Prof, there’s a John Jackson on the phone asking if you were in, are you?” My sense of anticipation dropped to a feeling of just having sat in a dish of cold custard. Do I speak with him or not? If I don’t he’ll pester me at home. He’ll almost certainly know that Danielle is my daughter, the football club will show that and if he looks at the reports of schoolgirl soccer, he’ll see both Trish’s and Danni’s name in them and know they’re mine. Let’s face it, since the political demise of my namesake prime minister, the only Cameron’s who feature in anything, seem to be my family or the in-laws. Oh bugger, what to do?
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