Emily and Phoebe

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Rivers of mud

As I type, there is thunder and lightning over Athens and the sky has unleashed a mighty rain that is forecast to last all day tomorrow. This creates a slight problem, because for the last two weeks, workmen have been digging up the road outside the kids' school so that it can be turned into a semi-pedestrianised street (which everyone is very happy about because it will be much safer). However, because the road is currently unsurfaced, come tomorrow it will be a muddy, miry mess, impossible to negotiate. And judging by the strength of the rain right now, the JCB currently sitting at the top of the street may well have been washed all the way to the bottom. (At this point, one might ask why the powers-that-be decided that the best time to do roadworks outside a school was during term time, when hundreds of kids and their parents use the road every day, and more specifically in October, when floods are almost guaranteed, rather than during the summer, at Christmas or at Easter. The cynical might suggest that it is because there are local elections just around the corner and the council wants as many people as possible to see how much it is doing to improve their lives. This might also explain why children's playgrounds are being refurbished, bright new garbage bins have been installed on every street corner, and the motorcycle police are very visibly riding around making us all feel safe and protected and keeping the local doughnut shops in business.)

But I digress. The point is that tomorrow we won't be able to get into school through the front entrance. Instead, we'll have to use the gate at the back of the school, which opens onto the park. And Emily is worried.

"What about in the afternoon, Dad, when Mum comes and picks me up? She won't know where to go!"

"Don't worry love," I explain cheerily, "I'll tell her where it is! I'll even draw her a little map. What could possibly go wrong?"

"Oh brilliant!" she responds gloomily. "With your drawing skills and Mum's sense of direction, I'll be stranded there for hours!"

It was generally agreed that although Emily could have expressed herself with slightly more tact, she had a point about Nevi. Which is why we have very pragmatically decided that she is now old enough to walk home from school by herself. Hurrah!


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