Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Torn and Frayed

20 weeks and one day... 4 whole calender months (plus a little at either end)...

As I have become more regular, I have been a less regular blogger. I'm going to try to improve in March. A while ago I was waffling about coming up against ghosts of UC-past, well I will get to the second ghost that spooked me, but before that: here's a school/trouser related incident, that for once only vaguely involved colitis...

Lovely-wife has started a new job in the last couple of weeks. She has finally had enough of the high-pressure, high-stress environment of the Neonatal ICU and left to move into the community, as a nurse attached to a health visiting team. Nine to five, no weekends. A far gentler, far less traumatic way to help nurture the newest members of our race. As a consequence she requires use of a car. And as a wise and responsible geography teacher (!) I cannot condone owning two cars. Fortunately i have been able to turn to my trusty scooter (a little Vespa LX50) - much better for the environment, and an absolute god-send on the traffic soaked streets of Brighton.

However, as parent-chiefly-responsible-for-the-delivery-and-collection-of-boy2-to-and-from-school (as I believe is my official title), mainly due to ability to escape school by 3.15 (that is not to say I cease to work from this point, before anybody rolls out that old chestnut...), this has meant having to tool up my youngest for a life as pillion passenger. And thus we have bought him a crash helmet.

And so it is that each morning for the last week Boy2 and i have left together on the bike, so that I can drop him at a friends house from where he can be taken to school. It is a short, straightforward ride. But, being the disorganised and chaotic person that i am, I usually need to be at school as early as possible in order to photocopy the days resources (I know I suggested earlier that I was some kind of environmental warrior - but, needs must, you know...). And so once I have delivered my precious cargo the rest of the journey is conducted at rather more of a hurry. Herein lies the cause of my most frequent trouser-upset...

In my determination to get to school ASAP, yesterday, I jumped back onto the bike with the leg-splaying vigour of a gymnast vaulting the olympic horse... But, sadly, with none of the grace. As my weight made contact with the seat there was the ominous sound of rending seams - it is true to say that in the grips of the UC I have been slimmer! - and one glance downwards confirmed my fears: oh why did I wear such colourful undergarments this day?! Too late to turn back, I pushed on to school, my embarrassment slightly cooled by a chilling wind to the gusset. Upon arrival I foolishly crouched to put the wheel lock on the bike, to the accompanying rip of the rest of my trouser seam - now hilariously split from FRONT to BACK! Ooops. Could I go through a day with my stripey pants on view to all and sundry? Is that even morally acceptable in a secondary school?

Struck by a flash of inspiration I rushed to the Design Tech department and headed for the Textiles rooms (with school-bag coyly hanging to preserve modesty), whereupon I found the Textiles teacher (surprised to see me because a) this is an area of school I've barely even set foot in, and b) it is true that she and I have had perhaps only one conversation in 8 years (more of that in a moment)). "Help!", she looks perturbed, "you might just be able to save my life", looks troubled, "look!" consternation turns to fear as I lift the bag and bend over...

Once over her initial shock, "Get them off!" she cries, and I stand, guileless, in my underpants and socks while she whips them through the sowing machine. Naturally about 3 other female members of staff managed to find a reason to come in the room, met by the site of my skinny legs... But she did a marvellous job, and normal service was resumed.

What's the UC link. Well, that one converstaion I referred too? A few months ago, this very same teacher came up to my classroom to talk to me about UC. It would seem she too is a sufferer. As I am such a blabbermouth about my own UC, she'd heard on the grapevine that this was the reason for my absences over the years. She just wanted to talk to me about her own experiences - I think it helps so much to be able to talk to someone who can really empathise.

After that chat, I really warmed to her - we have never had any kind of contact (before, or indeed, since excepting this recent incident), but the unifying power of the UC bond is strong. And I have to wonder whether she'd have been quite so readily willing to sow my trousers up there and then if we didn't know what we know about each other...

2 comments:

Paula said...

ah, what a funny story :D ... good to hear you're putting the weight back on :D

Rich said...

Weight and UC is a funny thing: in the grips of it you get super skinny; get on the preds and you bloat right out; get off the preds and you shift that rotundity; and now for the first time in a couple of years I'm paying for all those custard creams I find so hard to ignore... Mmmmmm custard creams...