Posts Tagged ‘City’

Much flapping in the Vicarage this morning. The Vicar and I had put the lights out too late last night. Note to self: Christians on their way to heaven get to bed before eleven. As a result we were late up this morning and not chivvying the kids as early as usual.

We seemed to be getting away with it – it was 8.15am, the boys were downstairs and dressed and the Queen, so it was thought, was dressed but on the loo upstairs. We have to be out of the door at 8.40am at the latest.

Then it all started to go wrong. The Engineer had a meltdown because he wanted to practice the piano before his breakfast. As it was already 8.20am we suggested he eat first. Major strop. Then it was 8.25am and the Queen was still absent. I called up and she appeared out of the toilet. In her pjs. She’d been reading.

Following coaxing and flapping in equal measure we managed to make school just as the whistle went in the playground at 8.45am. Phew, we did it. But not everyone did.

Just as I see every morning, as I headed back home at 8.50am many stragglers were appearing down the slope that leads to the school gate. Some were with parents and being hurried, others with parents who mooched. And some kids were strolling along on their own.

When I spot kids on their own who lack a sense of urgency I like to encourage them to get one. ‘Chop, chop you’re late’ is my normal cry. It’s not always effective. But this morning I had success with a gang of lads who I see almost every morning as I head back.

‘I’ll time you – see if you can make it down to the gate in 20 seconds’ I said. It was wonderful to see them pelting down to school. They were only a few minutes late, but they are learning the habit of lateness and a lack of respect for school rules. I never see a parent with them. I’m sad for these boys and suspect that they are going to struggle to bridge the growing gap between rich and poor, reported by the National Equality Panel this morning.

At the bottom of the BBC’s report there is a graph which shows much inequality is ‘unexplained’. I wonder how much correlation you could find between a lateness and absenteeism record in primary school and future success.

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Beautiful City 1

Beautiful City 1

The Curate remarked that my artistic shot of a beer can might give you the wrong impression of the lovely place where we live. Empty beer cans are a fact of life here, where excess alcohol is the cause of many troubles. But you mustn’t think that discarded beer cans are all there is to life in the inner city.

The picture above was taken in our local country park on New Year’s Day. We can get there in ten minutes in our car and you can see our church spire from the top of this hill, if you look in the right direction. About twenty of us from church climbed the hill and enjoyed seeing our breath in front of us and feeling our legs beneath us as we walked off some Christmas calories.

Beautiful City 2

Beautiful City 2

This shot I took last night from my kitchen window as the light faded on a bright and cold snowy day. This magnificent tree lifts my heart when I do the washing up (so that’s nearly every day).

There is much beauty where we live, as well as brokenness. And not just in the scenery.

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