Wednesday morning looked ominous: well at least the weather did. It reminded me of when, as a schoolgirl, I used to make up rain dances with my friends, every summer sports day in the hope that a downpour would cancel the whole thing. It’s not that I didn’t like sports- I loved them –but I never saw the value in running around a track, unless of course somebody was chasing me. Invariably then, the rain did come but we had to do our races anyway.
Hand on heart, this year I did no rain dance whatsoever. In fact, I was focussed on the BBC weather report every half hour and on the hour. Light showers.
The field events passed with us all smiling and staying dry, yet the start of sports day looked a little worse. Then the wind picked up and instead of blowing the clouds away, it seemed to direct them all to Farlington.
In true British and eccentric fashion, we soldiered on until the girls were starting to feel cold and very damp. With only the relays left, calling it a day was definitely timely.
We apologise once again to all our loyal parent spectators that we couldn’t keep you a little drier. Heartfelt thanks to all of our lovely Prep 5 mums who manned the refreshments gazebo: hopefully a swig of Pimms, a hot cuppa and some strawberries warmed everybody’s spirits a little.
We are immensely proud of you all for weathering the storm and our very, very grateful thanks go to all who organised, competed and helped at the event.
F J Mwale
This week has been an unsettling one; not just the weather, but my routine has been knocked sideways. The things I usually busy myself with have been put aside for other events. For example, with Prep 6 away, I found myself teaching some Prep 5 English and telling the time with Prep 2.
Then there was my car: a low and loud humming noise, that turned out to be a wheel bearing, is now all fixed but zooming back and forth to the garage had to be slotted in.
Believe me or not, but I do tend to ‘stop in’ when it’s a school night, and yet this week I ventured up to the Hampton Court Palace Festival midweek where I was ‘rockin’ in the aisles’ with the best of them (one not to post on Twitter, I think).
The torrential rain has also at times disrupted our normality, but adaptability ought to be the mother of invention, rather than necessity. Our highly resourceful Prep staff has mustered and amended to make all seem business as usual.
Yesterday’s news brought a wholly different sort of unsettling. An uneasiness crept in about personal safety and trusting others, as we heard of the disturbing news about Jo Cox. It came in a week when, asking the girls to think about what being British means, several of them mentioned the sense of safety and security that we enjoy in this nation. These are unsettling times, but rather than stopping us in our tracks, we find new ways of moving forwards. Many of the newspapers quoted, ‘Jo believed in a better world and she fought for it every day of her life’.
On a more practical note, with so much happening over the next three weeks (stay tuned to the weekly diary date sheet) it’s likely to remain as unsettled as the weather, but let’s make the most of every new day, whatever it brings.
Mrs Mwale, Prep Headmistress
We have been asking the children this week what it means to be British. Answers range from thoughts of British foods: tea, jam on toast, roast beef and cabbage to Wimbledon, fairness and safety, speaking English and being an island nation. Naturally, featured in most of the girls’ musings is the Queen and the wider Royal Family.
Today heralds the start of the festivities to celebrate the Queen’s official birthday and our Street Party and PTA summer fair launch us forwards in a celebratory spirit. Girls were tasked with making a red, white and blue party hat, over the half-term break; in usual Farlington style, they have gone the extra mile and created some amazing designs! Having heard about some of these (but not yet seen them and certainly not to be outdone) I spent a little of yesterday evening producing my own! What fun to put aside thoughts of reports and emails and try to create something fit for a celebration.
The Queen is our longest reigning monarch. At the ripe old age of 90 she still works a 40-hour week; she has advised 12 British Prime Ministers and heads up the Church of England. What a great role model to have.
There are of course other celebrations this weekend – the Duke of Edinburgh reaches his 95th birthday today and for those of you who love ‘the beautiful game’, it all kicks off in Paris this weekend.
Following the news avidly in Prep this term, we have much to be mindful of and very much to celebrate. Many happy returns, Your Majesty!
Mrs Mwale, Prep Headmistress