Ariana Who?

I’ve been a bit idle on the blogging front over the last two weeks. About as idle as being “far too busy with end of term exams, final year housing admin, Christmas concert preparations and affairs of the heart” can be – if you want my honest answer.

Looking about me now, it’s rather hard to believe that I’ve been working here for almost three months exactly. But for the sporadic Christmas decorations, the staff room looks much the same as it did back in September. It was about 18°C back then, too. I tell you, it’s been an unseasonably warm winter. Perfect for the Romanians who came to Extremadura for the harvest, but mystifying for the rest of us. It’s almost Christmas Day, and the leaves still haven’t fallen from the trees yet. Stranger still, some have started to flower anew in the warm weather we’ve been having, so there’s a mix of browns, reds and vibrant greens. And at the same time I’m seeing photographs taken by colleagues of mine who remained in Durham, showing the place beset by magical, snow-dusted scenes that seem to have leapt from postcards or travel brochures. It’s so very hard to imagine when I’m having to go into school in a light shirt every day, because I’m still overheating if I take more than one layer. Bonkers, I tell you.

The Christmas concert is tomorrow, and it’s scuppered any plans I had on exploring Plasencia with Madre, who came to visit yesterday, as it falls bang in the middle of her stay. Technically it’s on my day off, so I could be an absolute Scrooge and demand my rights, but I’m not that much of a heartless bastard, so I’m chained into conducting two potential disasters tomorrow night. My two 2° ESO classes wanted to do Shakin’ Stevens Merry Christmas Everyone and Ariana Grande’s Santa Tell Me (I’d never even heard of that one), but democracy being the troublesome beastie it is, everybody has to have something to do: singing, dancing and…. <sigh>…. percussion. Cue twenty two boys volunteering for percussion, six girls for dancing and two for singing. Bang, bang, bang.

Fat chance. De eso nada.

 In two weeks’ practice (or rather, three hours apiece), we’ve just about got them down… Just. But it’s going to be more trouble than it’s worth, frankly, and it’s bringing back bad memories of thinking myself capable of being a Musical Director last year. Ha! I’m not a leader. At best I reckon I could make a good Ulysses, scheming from the sidelines, but the responsibility of leading everything – the percussion, the choreography and the notation, not to mention the discipline – is a severe (if deserved) punishment for my unstoppable enthusiasm. That’s what an exec is for; dividing responsibilities. Still, I’m learning at a ridiculous rate; and as I’ve said before, I’ll come out of this year with all the makings of a bloody good parent. All I need is a Spanish girl, the One, and she’s eluding me still.

Ill throw down a summary of the year in a bit, but before that, I’ve another six hours of class to get through today. England’s calling, but my phone’s on silent until the madness that is the Christmas term is finally over. Then, and only then, will I have true cause for the Hallelujah. BB x

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