Sunday, 27 October 2013


A wild, wet and blowy day today. There are warnings of storms from the South of England to the southern edge of Yorkshire. All of you in the south, nail down the garden furniture, call the cat in, lock the windows and bar the doors. Then go to bed. Trains are being cancelled tomorrow morning, so don't even attempt to go to work first thing. Most of the schools are on half term anyway.

On my first teaching practice I found that the teachers hated windy days, and I soon discovered why. It gets into the children. If you're a child, you know how it is. When there's a gale blowing you can either struggle against it or run with it, and you, like a leaf, would rather be swept along. You come back into the classroom like Atlantic breakers, full of whoosh, and you know you can fly.

It gets into animals, too, especially cats. You can tell there's a storm brewing long before you see any sign of it because the cat's on top of the wardrobe, in the sink, under your feet, or chasing invisible imps up and down the hall. Here is a wild thing, thinks the cat. I will catch it. This time,this time, I will catch it.

As a small person, I have occasionally had to grab a handrail, a lamppost or somebody's arm to keep from being blown away. On the north-east coast sometimes it was all I could do to keep the baby buggy from flying off into orbit with my youngest child in it. At any second, I thought, poor little LYS will be waving down at me as he soars above the North Sea on a big baby adventure.

Last time there were storms in the Calder Valley, a vicar friend of ours forgot to bring in his daughter's trampoline. next morning, it turned up in the churchyard.

So snuggle down. Sleep tight. May all your storms blow over.

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