Wednesday, 13 January 2010


Well, here we are in London ... well in the outskirts of the capital at any rate. My son’s first day at his new school was last Tuesday – rapidly followed by two days off due to the inclement weather conditions (which didn’t actually stop US from getting there but “Health & Safety issues” made it necessary to close the school for fear that children may have thrown a few snowballs at each other).

He was rather circumspect after his first day ... he’d been off school since I removed him from the Arts & Media College in Bournemouth in November 2009 and, to be honest, I think ANY school would have been anathema after that length of time. He’s been partaking of private maths tuition and his Ma’s slightly deranged take on home education since I withdrew him from the Bournemouth school. I’m not exactly sure how much he’s learnt over the past couple of months but he’s now not quite as fearful of dealing with all things numeric as he used to be, he knows all about The Goon Show and can sing “The Ying Tong Song” very well indeed.

I was VERY edgy about his reticence after his first day and you can only imagine how relieved I was when I collected him on his second day (which turned out to be last Friday) when he was grinning from ear to ear and telling me how much he’d enjoyed himself, how great the teachers were and how puzzled he was that two young ladies had asked him out. I am blessed with a son who’s neither aware of how handsome he is, nor how cool. He was very bemused indeed that anyone of the opposite sex would be interested in a “nerd” such as he thinks he is!

He had homework to do over the weekend and even set about that with gusto. I expect the novelty will wear off soon and we will settle into a less excited routine but how very good it is to have a kid who can’t wait to get to school each day.

The house is all but sold in Bournemouth – we’re due to complete by the end of this month and, not being a great one for “hanging around”, we’ve already found a house very close to his new school indeed and have had our offer accepted on it. Hopefully we should be installed therein by the end of February which will be marvellous ... the house is truly nothing special – just a three bedroomed, solid, terraced family home – but how good it will be to move out of the tiny rented flat we’ve been in since the first day of the year and once again be able to have our “own” stuff around us. It will also be very good not to have to travel 48 miles each day on 2 school runs!

My last blog "The Lunatics Are Running The Asylum" attracted a great deal of publicity thanks to that ever-delightful and kindest of Tweeters, Stephen Fry, but - inspite of hearing responses to it from the Headmaster of my son's previous school and a representative of a large teaching union on the BBC's "South Today" and on Radio Solent - I still have had not ONE word of explanation nor an apology for the mismanagement of my son's education at that school ... other than the Union representative stating during his interview that my blog had not been "helpful" to the "professionals". Oh, I am SO very sorry ... would that these "professionals" had have been "helpful" to my son!

So, we’ve had a tumultuous few months – an emotional roller coaster during which there have been many occasions when I’ve questioned the logic of the decisions I’ve made and the decisions following the “big decision” haven’t been easy at all. We’ve sadly had to have our much loved big dog re-homed as it just wasn’t feasible to bring her with to London; we’ve had to up sticks and move from a very comfortable home indeed firstly to a rented, furnished flat; we’re still coming to terms with the implications that moving may have for our business and a lot of time is spent HOPING that trade will be as good as or better for us in London than it was in Bournemouth – but the main thing is we have a son who is now enjoying going to school and is getting the sort of education that every kid deserves to have. And THAT is worth all the doubts, fears, uncertainties and soul-searching.