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Friday, December 09, 2005

Sophie, out of the blue at the breakfast table this morning :

You know what's the worst thing about giving someone a cold? After you've given it away, you've still got it! Wouldn't it be better if when you gave it to someone, they took it away completely?

So profound. If slightly worrying; coming up with the the idea of passing on a cold in order to get rid of it oneself seems a bit anti-social, to say the least.

Sophs has a Christmas carol practice at a local church this morning. She's not terribly excited about this, as, oddly, she doesn't care for Christmas carols. I think she gets that from Bobby, who doesn't like them either. Freaks. Soph has, however, been torturing us with her rendition of Good King Wenceslas on the recorder for days on end now; she's awfully cute but awfully squeaky. Emily, who also took recorder lessons in her time, has been joining in, and the resulting cacophony kills Stephen, who, of the five of us, seems to the the only one with much actual musical ability. He keeps trying to teach them better (or indeed, any) techniques, and they pay no attention to him at all. Such is life with younger sisters.

All the Christmassy activities at Sophie's school make me feel vaguely uncomfortable; there's not even the teensiest nod of the head to the non-Christian children. It's not that I don't love Christmas myself, it's that I'm uncomfortable with it being imposed on children of other faiths. As Unitarians we believe that everyone travels their own path, and there are many right paths; it bothers me that the kids' schools seem to take it for granted that there's only one right path, and that's the Christian one.

There's sending of Christmas cards (fun for the kids; they post them in a big red postbox in the reception area, and the teachers deliver them to the classrooms), decorating the classroom with Christmas trees and nativity scenes, and countless Christmassy timefillers (eg Soph did one of those word-search thingies about "the real meaning of Christmas" (baby Jesus's birthday, apparently), not to mention the carol service. So, no pretence here that we're celebrating "the holidays", this is all about Christmas, and not the secular Frosty the Snowman version either. I asked Soph how the lone Muslim boy in her class felt about the carol service and so on, and she said he likes to sing. I hope he doesn't resent, now, or in years to come, having to celebrate another faith's religion.

The post just arrived. The sudden flumping noise as it comes through the slot in the door always makes me jump if I'm here alone. There's a letter from the doctors' practice : my formal letter of appointment. Now I'm going to have to call them and tell them I'm not going to be taking the job after all. I feel very guilty about letting them down; I know they'll be able to find someone else but, especially after I wrote them that that thank-you letter and was so happy I got the job, it feels horribly two-faced to turn around at this stage and say I don't want it after all.

I did stress to the learning support co-ordinator whom I met yesterday that I would be giving up this job, and that I was nervous that the job at the school would somehow fall through and I'd be left in the lurch. She assured me that wouldn't happen, and that I definitely had the teaching job. I hope she's right.

Okay. Enough procrastinating. I'm going to make the phone call. Yuck.

Darn it. The practice manager wasn't in. She's only coming in on Monday. The day before I'm supposed to start my training. Ugh.

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