Thursday, October 03, 2013

Married to the job

There are good points and bad points about being married to a teacher.

On the down side, you have to take your own holidays in the school holidays: a time when ferry operators, airlines, hoteliers and renters of cottages, to name but a few, rub their hands gleefully and connive to extract colossal sums of money from families with children – and families with teachers.

Then there’s the acorns. Mrs Teach has been out for an nature walk, liberated a few oak sprigs, and brought them home in triumph to create an autumnal display for her classroom.

But a note of caution has crept in. What if the little ones take a fancy to the acorns and eat them?
Could Bath & North East Somerset education department afford the compensation claims from the parents of all those poisoned tots?

Probably not, we reckoned, so the oak sprigs were arranged tastefully in a vase on the sideboard at Dixon Towers.

From where they shed acorns as fast as Premiership football teams shed managers, all over the floor.
And if you don’t know what it feels like to tread on an acorn as you stagger downstairs in your bare feet at six o’clock in the morning to make your beloved a cuppa, well it’s on a par with treading on a Lego brick.

But more quercine.

And that’s about it, as far as the bad points are concerned.

What about the good points?

Well, there’s the delight of sharing in the end-of-term booty, as grateful parents present your spouse with chocolates, biscuits, cakes and even the occasional bottle of wine along with the thankyou cards and handmade gifts from the little ones.

Then there’s the added insight you get into the political process, particularly with regard to the UK education system. Did you know, for instance, that the Secretary of State for Education is Mr Michael Gove MP? Well, you do now.

And do you know how many thankyou cards and boxes of Milk Tray Mr Gove gets at the end of every school term? Exactly.

The best bit of having a teacher for a wife, though, is getting to help out. No, not with the teaching. Best leave that to the professionals. But with the DIY.

Take last weekend. Mrs D had ordered a mighty metal boot rack, tinies’ multicoloured wellies for the storing of. And guess whose Saturday job it was to put it up?

Off to school, where there’s trouble at the gate: We’ve got the wrong keys. Back home, pick up right keys, back to school.

Assess disassembled boot rack. Hmmm. Thickly wrapped in industrial-strength clingfilm, no visible instructions.

Wrestle with clingfilm, find bag containing 12 bolts and an Allen key so flimsy even IKEA would be ashamed to hand it out with a flat-packed wardrobe. Still no instructions, visible or otherwise.

Home again home again, this time to pick up some serious tools. Use powers of logic  to construct the mighty rack. Stand back and bask in spousal thanks. Which, in the end, are the best thing about being married to a teacher.

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