Over the Summer

I worked at Summer School teaching English to 8,9 and 10 year olds. 

I was lucky, as most of the children in my class were a delight! There was one rather spoiled Spanish girl, who got very sulky if reprimanded, but other than that they were lovely! The weight was towards Spanish and Russian in the first couple of weeks, tipping towards Chinese for the final three. 

We went out to lots of interesting places - we painted plates twice, went to The Living Rainforest
We went to the Look Out Discovery Centre

to the Science Museum

to Beale Park

to Bucklebury Farm Park 

and to other places too. Unfortunately the Fire Station had to cancel at the last minute, so we went to the park instead. Judging by the number of sirens and blue flashing lights that went past while we were there, there must have been some fairly serious emergency going on somewhere.
We had planned to go to two musicals, "The Gruffalo" and "Charlie & the Chocolate Factory" but unfortunately we didn't manage to get to "The Gruffalo". We did lots of work on the story during the week, including making Gruffalo fairy cakes, and talking about descriptive adjectives used in the book, but the best laid plans...and all that.

The performance was at 12.00 and we had planned to treat the kids to a late lunch at MacDonald's afterwards (though, quite frankly, it's not much of a treat in my eyes!) We set off at 9.00 in good spirits, but the traffic was heavy all the way into London, finally grinding to a standstill on the outskirts. We edged forwards, little by little, not knowing what the holdup was, until we came across a car broken down in the middle lane. The bus driver gallantly stopped the bus, hopped out and encouraged our less-than-athletic Kids Leader* to help as well. With the two guys in the car pushing too, while the girl steered, they managed to get the car to the verge. Much applause when the two Heroes climbed back on the bus!

We imagined that the traffic would improve after that, but no. It didn't. We discovered that Hammersmith flyover and Hammersmith bridge were both closed, so one can imagine the effect this had on traffic flow. Time ticked inexorably towards the start of the performance, and by midday we had only just reached the jam that was Hammersmith. So David took the decision to turn round, head back to Newbury and spend the afternoon in the park. Which we did. We went to MacDonalds in Newbury,( who were scarcely fazed by our order for 28 Happy Meals, and various wraps, burgers and other comestibles for the adults) and had a picnic in the park. 

After getting the bus back to Downe House - a ten minute jaunt - one of the kids enquired "David, why did it take so long to get to the park and only a little while to get back...?" I don't think any of them missed "The Gruffalo" after all!!

We did make it to "Charlie..." however, which, despite our seats up in the gods, was very enjoyable. There was some squabbling over the hire of opera glasses, and we are convinced that one child failed to put his/hers back after the performance, and the descent to and queues for the toilets were a bit tedious, but generally A Good Time was had by all. 
I'll tell you about some of our extra curricular activities another time...

* I'm being unfair here. David actually performed some very sprightly cartwheels and - hum - "interesting" yoga poses during the time. It's just that I don't see him as a pushing-cars-kind-of-guy! 

Thank you, as usual, for your comments and "welcome home"s 
MRS TUBBS: I've taken note of the site you linked to for slow cooker recipes...I'm rather tempted to try the SC bread.

POMPOM:Thanks for your good wishes for my health - still not back to normal, so I might ask at the Pharmacy for something to help. I used the SC for the first time last night - I thought the meal was a great success, but poor Mr FD has S-&-D today. I don't think there's a connection, as I am not affected in a similar way, but you never know...!!

MICHELLE: Thank you for your welcome! 


  1. So lovely to hear from you! Glad that it was successful despite awful traffic. Did you stock up on any particular Britush essentials whilst you were here at all?x

  2. Well come back to the blogosphere! I realised that you were working in the UK and wondered how it was all going. All the best, Jx

  3. Gosh, you're a great teacher...so many field trips, learing so many different things. That's wonderful.


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