Sunday, 22 December 2013


The kids I teach get progressively less lovely over the course of the week.

Each class had to have an end-of-term progress test (something they all seemed weirdly excited about). Following which, we let them do nice Christmassy things - making cards, learning an English carol; that sort of thing. And, as a treat, they got chocolates as well.

The Tuesday class are so damn nice they weren't interested in eating them at all, but had more interest in affixing them to their cards in order to make them extra-special.

The Friday class, by contrast, came down like a wolf on the fold before I'd even crossed the threshold; the plate stripped bare in microseconds in a frenzied blur of unidentifiable scrabbling limbs that reminded me of the way they used to depict fights in The Beano. Fortunately they'd taken longer over their tests than the other classes, so I was able to pack them on their way before the sugar rush had been able to properly kick in.

Christmas has felt different this year. The cycle has gone through the magic years, the grumpy years, the boozy years, and the blimey-it's-Christmas-again-how-did-that-happen years. Maybe it's teaching kids or maybe it's been the couple of Christmas concerts I took part in, but it's felt a bit special again this time.

Anyway, we're off back to the UK for a week. The journey may well be reduce me to Scrooge-like grumpiness again, but, in the meantime Buon Natale / Merry Christmas / Nadolig Llawen everyone!


  1. Great post, Philip. I don't know where you head to in the UK, but we live in Southend on Sea and our local airport is great for flights to Marco Polo. easyJet. The station is 50m across from the airport with trains in to Liverpool St. Regards Andrew

    1. Hi Andrew, we usually fly to Gatwick with Easyjet and pick up a hire car - our family/friends are quite widely spread throughout the UK so we usually find we have need of a car. We've also used the Ryanair flight from Treviso a couple of times (and so far we've been lucky!).


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