And what a nice surprise it was to waken today with the warming rays of the sun through the windows, to glance outside and see the trees basking in the calm stillness of a fine morning. So with no scope for excuses The Grasshopper had to take to the roads after a fortnight of inactivity, a test to see what remants of man-flu hampered the muscles and the airways.
What little breeze ruffled the air was unsurpassed by any wind created by pedal power. It was slow progress but the muscles eased me round my short route, and the need for exercise and fresh air was stirred once again. It can only aid the fight against the remaining germs in the sinuses and lungs.
But cycling was not the highlight of late. Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending The Urchins’ school, for the occasion of ‘the showcase’ of a term’s work on knights and castles, a theme which will continue into the Gala Day parade on the morrow. Astonishing; the work these youngsters have done, and we are talking primaries 1-3 here, fair gasted my flabber. In the presentation event I was surprised to see Urchin the Younger given the lead role, as the prince, all crown and ermine robes, acting out the rescue of the damsel in distress entrapped in the woodland, attacking the trees with his mighty cleaver from his trusty charger, to live happily ever after. His very entrance to the hall raised a titter amongst the watching minions, though he managed to laugh off his slip and slide on his erse, a victim of wet gym shoes after crossing the wet playground. Proud parent and grand-parents witnessed every move and every word. And Urchin the Elder was not to be outdone, her words expressed loudly and clearly and with never a hesitation.
It is heartening to see the great strides made in modern education, with children as young as five given the confidence to learn lines, to sing and dance and to perform in front of audiences. It would never have happened in my day, and there are few shrinking violets coming through the schools now. Confidence, and ability, fantastic.
Then we went on to to the IT room, where these little cherubs had been making films and showcased their computer skills. To top it all the classroom itself was a veritable medieaval kingdom, decorated by talented teachers and children fully engaged in the topic at hand. It all gives you faith in the future, of the country at large, and your own offspring in particular.
And so in the interests of good moods and looking forward to the efforts the children and parents will make with the castle theme on the tractor and trailer in the great parade tomorrow, I’m going to stay away from politics, from yesterday’s FMQs, from the Secretary of State and his referendums muddle, from Westminster’s scorn for Holyrood, and from the BBC. I’m going to smile, think about The Urchins, their school friends and the local community – for a while anyway.