Friday, February 3, 2012

School lists, pantry lists and timetables

Come up here, O dusty feet!
Here is fairy bread to eat.
Here in my retiring room,
Children, you may dine
On the golden smell of broom
And the shade of pine;
And when you have eaten well,
Fairy stories hear and tell.
{From a Child's Garden of Verses, Robert Louis Stevenson}

The school lists aren't out as it turns out.  Massive disappointment.  Due apparently, to unanticipated "walk-ins" last week.  Presumably this means late enrolments.  I suggested to the young teacher we encountered in the hallway that perhaps the school shouldn't make promises it can't keep when it says in the final newsletter for the year that the lists will be up at a specified time.  All fell on deaf ears of course.   She took my name like like I was being pulled over for doing 80km in the 40km zone.  We'll be lampooned in the staff room. There's goes my kids' chances of scoring the popular teachers, getting good grades, breaking the job market ...

Meantime, I am bracing myself for next week when the SSO is away travelling for work and not, I might add, to glamorous destinations, but to places which are one ring out from the Great Australian Outback, if a map of the continent were the geographic equivalent of the growth rings on an ancient eucalypt.   He's also driving long distances when not being flown in very small charter aircraft.  Makes me nervous. 

I'm also not sure how I am going to accommodate the school run and mounting number of after-school commitments.  Some deft organisation, abundant frozen meals and pre-packed lunches will be required. In fact, it's the crowd catering which stresses me the most about next week.  I plan to follow Jenny Rosenstrach's advice on marinating chicken legs ahead, deconstructing meals and following the cook once, eat twice mantra.  I've replenished the pantry with sesame oil, soy sauce, red curry paste, nori crackers and Angostura Bitters (oh, that's not for family dinners) and even bought items, such as semolina and soba noodles, which signify a level of culinary ambition I may not be able to achieve.   But I am emboldened by my holiday reading.  The danger is of course that I spend more time basting and crumbing than I do reading and playing. 

Postscript: The school rang a little later to tell me the lists were up and advise who were my children's class teachers.  The staff member couldn't have been more obliging.  I take back all I said.   The children emailed the SSO and he phoned back to celebrate and commiserate their mixed fortunes.


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