I lost fifteen pounds today. Not fifteen pounds in weight, I should point out, which is a shame, given that that would wipe the look off the instructor’s face next week at my zumba-till-you’re-thin class (‘Only a pound this week? Are you having some difficulty understanding the diet?’) But fifteen pounds in cash. It’s my own fault. It was folded and zipped in the pocket of my warm and waterproof green coat and though the thought that I should put it somewhere safer kept knocking on the inside of my skull, I didn’t listen. I’m kicking myself now and wishing that I had.
The fifteen pounds wouldn’t have been folded in my pocket if I hadn’t been in a rush this morning and had to dash to the corner shop at the last minute to buy a bottled drink. And I wouldn’t have been in a rush if I’d got my bag ready last night instead of doing it this morning, ten minutes before I was due to leave the house (at which time I discovered that I didn’t have a drink to take with me). And furthermore, I would’ve been able to get my bag ready last night if I hadn’t decided it was a good idea to go out for a curry. So it was an expensive tea, really; in effect, I’m down the price of a curry and the cost of a bottle of drink (which I didn’t end up needing), as well as the fifteen pounds. The money could’ve fallen out at any point during the morning and going over and over where exactly it might’ve happened is pointless (though I’m doing it anyway). I only hope that the person who found it was (a) not a hungry sheep and (b) really, really needed it, so that finding it made their day. I don’t think it’s any coincidence, however, that today’s date is the thirteenth.
I needed the bottled drink because I was going on a trip with two coach loads of 7 to 9 year olds, journeying into the depths of the earth beneath Castleton in Derbyshire. Sods laws, after the really hot weather we had last week it was pretty miserable today, as well as very, very cold, though discussing it with colleagues as we stood eating sarnies in a windswept field, we collectively failed to come up with any memories of visiting the Peak District when it hasn’t been pretty miserable and very cold. Not that it mattered overly much, given that we spent the majority of the day in dark, dripping caves. With varying levels of enjoyment, as it happened; mostly, the children were completely under-whelmed.
I discovered today that I have a dwindling fund of patience with kids who moan about how dirty their shoes are getting, ask continually when they’re going to be allowed to eat and openly and loudly share their thoughts on how bored they are. And it’s not as if it’s boredom by over-exposure; the majority of our pupils never make it to the countryside around our own town, let alone further afield. To be honest I was expecting quite a bit of oohing and aaahing and was more than a little fed up with the non-stop whinging I fielded throughout the day. ‘Were we that bad when we were little?’ I wondered loudly to myself. Did we find everything so dull and uninspiring? And to cap it all I discovered, half way through the afternoon, that my fifteen pounds had decided it couldn’t stand it any longer and had exited my pocket. I’m not sure I’ll ever get over the abandonment.
The good news is that I’m heading back to Derbyshire on Saturday, for the second of three writing workshops I booked myself onto in a village near Bakewell. I’m travelling alone this time – no Thelma and Louise this weekend, as my pillion passenger is in France, doing research for her WW1 dissertation. But I’m really looking forward to it. Definitely no reprise of dull and uninspiring Derbyshire this weekend for me.