Tuesday, 20 January 2009

The Farmer and the Head Mischief

A school is a very different place when the children are not there! So after Mass this morning it was nice to have a tour of Moorlands School today to meet the staff and children. My first visit had been a Governor's meeting and there was a distinct absence of children then and no real idea of what the school felt like! Today though was different! A quick coffee in the staff room and then a wander from class to class, seeing children at their work (and play!), having a quick conversation with members of staff and children alike. 'Are you a Head Mischief?' asked one little girl. I knew what she was asking...but I was neither a head mistress or 'a head mischief!' It reminds me of one of my visits to a primary school when I was a Curate in Barry. 'Are you a real farmer?' I was asked in the playground. I didn't, at first, know what the little boy was asking. Me? A farmer? Of course not. At least, I don't think so. Was it something I was wearing? If I turned to look behind me would I see a flock of sheep that had sneaked up behind me in a Disneyesque fashion?! Ahh, farmer! I quickly told him that, 'No, I wasn't Farmer Dean. I was Father Dean. Now he had to work out what that one meant! But soon he was busy rescuing his ball from the drain! Perhaps he never gave it a second thought!

This afternoon it was another school. This time the more auspicious surroundings of the Cathedral School in Llandaff to work with a group of Year Sixers to plan a Mass for a Chaplain's conference (to be held there in February). The task today? To explore what we would do if we could change the world! There were many different propositions! From having 'Chocolate Friday' when everyone in the world was given chocolate (why stop at Fridays I thought?!) to making sure that everyone had a job or a home. Perhaps the chocolate idea wouldn't be too favourable in the eyes of the recently announced £1.4m strategy from the Welsh Assembly to tackle obesity in children aged 7 to 13 years - but perhaps it was an apt suggestion from a pupil in a school where Roald Dahl was once a pupil!

It's been many years since I picked up a Roald Dahl book to read. In fact I only ever remember reading one or two when I was a child. At the moment I am making up for lost time and making my way through the Chronicles of Narnia (none of which I have read before!) I started with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and have just started The Magician's Nephew but even though they are very slim volumes, simply written for children, I always seem to be ready for sleep as soon as I clutch the pages! It's where I'm off now I think. So it's up the stairs I go, clutching my C.S. Lewis! Maybe I'll get to the third chapter tonight before I fall asleep! I'm not sure why I'm so tired...maybe it's all the farming I'm doing!

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