How Things Go…



Monday morning and I am dropping off my youngest with her cello. As we reach the school gates, I realise that my wife has taken her car to work. I realise, not through the logical paths of realisation, but through the miasma that is the early morning rush to school.

“I won’t be able to pick you up and your cello from school at  4.30 – just hang on a little – I’m getting roof-bars for the Galaxy.”


  • We have a Ford Galaxy
  • We are going to France on holiday in just less than five weeks
  • We are taking our bikes
  • It will be a cycling holiday based around a wonderful city called Annecy in the French Alps
  • We need our bikes.

The last two years have seen a rapid decline in my i potential. We have moved from being moderately comfortable to being borderline bread-line (this is my wife’s take on our situation).

My problem is that I cannot face the fact that I am a teacher; a teacher whose whole career careered out of control and broke down smoking on the side of some preordained motorway. An there it still sits, steam coming from most of its orifices. My wife thinks that i am faking it. She thinks that I have been – it. She thinks that I think too bloody much. She is probably right.

There has been a change in her attitude in recent weeks. She is forever asking me what mu plans are – I have no plans. Indeed, I have consciously planned to have no plans. I am certainly averse to failing – and I have a plan not to fail – but I do plan not to have plans. Plans can box you in, plans can reduce your ability to react or respond to opportunities.

And what is an opportunity? It’s a chance. a chance that things might turn out better than they had promised.

The restless nights have returned. My wife suffers more than me – at the moment. I have, however, been making huge strides and a late surge in the sleeplessness stakes. Last night allowed me to make up a whole stack of ground. We both lay awake at various points in the darkness, neither of us acknowledging the other’s waking. It is a lack of words that keeps the lie that we are each separately asleep, rather than being annoyingly  awake.

If we don’t talk about it, maybe the gates to that other world will  open for a few more hours at least. They didn’t, they just kept swinging on the rusty hinges.

From the vast prairie of ‘not-sleep’ I emerged this morning almost an hour earlier than I was intending to. My waking needed rubber-stamping with the making of tea.


Tea is my Pavlovian trigger in that it confirms that I am now awake, and that the hours of half-sleep have been vanished.

I have to go, now…


I shall return to you when the roof-bars have been fitted.

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