Wednesday, 28 July 2010

This IS The North Of England

After a trip to the continent, life in general tends to descend to earth with a big bump. My bump came in the form of having to do a local school run.

"This IS the North of England," scowled the classroom assistant who was obviously not overly pleased at having drawn the short straw and was on bus duty in the coach park. Pointing out that it had been 33 degrees in Paris the night before was perhaps a tactless remark which had not engendered feelings of goodwill towards bus drivers.

The 33 degrees had been downgraded to 22 degrees in Kent. Then the further north we traveled the more the temperature gauge plummeted, until on arrival at the bus depot it hit 9 degrees. Now, sitting in the coach park, it was like a November day with storms and high winds.

12 hours later, things had changed. It was 4am and I was crossing over the High Pennines en route to South Yorkshire to pick up another school. It was the sort of morning to thank God for being alive. There had been a small frost in the night, the winds had dropped and the whole region had an air of calm about it. The sky was three tone pink, the clouds were purple and mauve, the blinding orange of the sun made the fields shimmer and glimmer. There were pockets of mist scattered at various places in the valley. The peace continues down the deserted motorways to outside the school gates.

"Ey up. I'm worried, driver. I don't think I have enough sick buckets........"

The peace is shattered. Reality beckons.

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