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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

First term

The Jewish New Year is in September; something which makes absolute sense to Granny. Even here, where summer extends through into October - and sometimes beyond - there's a sense of things waking up and turning over. Of the sadness of end of summer and all kinds of other things; and the excitement of starting again. For Granny and Beloved the prospect is of twelve scientists plus wives, hangers-on, turning up in early October for a scientific workshop. She and her friend Lucy who is flying over to help will be making breakfast for 10 people and a three course lunch for almost a week for more than 20. The house meantime has to be scoured from top to bottom, cupboards and wardrobes emptied, linen sorted-out, rewashed if necessary, ironed (no, Granny never irons for herself or her family, but guests, paying for the privilege, are another matter.) What food can be prepared in advance and frozen will be prepared too. Beloved normally would be doing some of the cooking at least. But this time he's been asked to take part in the workshop by the man organising it, one of his great admirers, who claims to have based his life's work on an insight provided by Beloved. The only problem there, according to Beloved, is that he interpreted the insight wrongly.....Granny does hope there will not be blood on the floor. Working in the kitchen, divided from the dining-room turned workshop by a small rug hung up for the purpose, she will be listening anxiously. Beloved claims he will be tactful. But she's not sure quite what he means by 'tactful.' She can only hold her breath,

Today too she's holding her breath for another reason. September is not just Jewish New Year: it's school new year. And Beloved Eldest Granddaughter is starting at her comprehensive school today. Granny will be ringing her later to find out how she got on, but doubts she will get much information. Meantime she feels almost as nervous as the B.E.G herself, and beset by the sense of time passing so fast, so fast. One moment there's a new baby, first grandchild, blink and there is an eleven year old in a comprehensive school uniform walking to school on her own for the first time with a group of local friends. The school is in a two year old building and the Bristol Education Authority, not known generally for efficiency, let alone good schools have set up a safe, lit path, via common land and allotments which does not involve crossing roads; good on them. But it's a further source of the kind of anxiety that can only be avoided by living in a vacuum sans family, partners, children. Granny as you may have gathered by now does not.

But she will still get to her laptop to write when she can. Be sure of that.

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