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Friday, 4 February 2011


At last, my contributions to our school in Nuova Lazio have been recognised.
My years of ceaseless toil in the classroom and office are going to gain me the ultimate accolade,
My sterling qualities of leadership, grammatical fussiness, organisational excellence, duty-dodging without being caught and general rugged good looks have all resulted in a glorious outcome.

My rugged good looks
No, I haven't been appointed an Assistant Principal, or a Deputy Principal.
No, I haven't been given a pay rise or extra holidays.
No, I haven't been crowned "Ultimate Control Freak" by my fellow pedagogical practitioners

My award is much more profound (and satisfying) than any of these.

I found out about my recognition from Wayne, the caretaker at our school, who occasionally teaches music with Colin, our leaf-blowing bassist.  I had just arrived at school at 7:20 am, and had been surprised to see that my usual parking spot under the trees next to the school minibuses had been taken.  It wasn't my spot you understand, only the Principal, DPs and a select few have designated parking spots, but this was the spot I've been using for the last 7 years, and all the staff who drive know it's mine.

I was actually quite surprised by the intensity of the emotions which surged through me when I saw the other car parked in my spot. 

Astonishment; that anyone else would even contemplate using, let alone actually use my spot.
Anger; How dare they use my spot.
Resolution; I'd get my own back, I'd have my revenge for parking on my spot.
Puzzlement; Whose car was it parked on my spot.  I didn't recognise it.
Concern; What if it was a big rugby (probably League)-playing contractor who could snap me like a twig?
Fear; Maybe the car's driver didn't know it was my parking spot.  Maybe It had never been noticed.  Maybe nobody knew or cared what I did..  Maybe nobody knew me.

Wayne was passing by and I asked him whose car it was.

Disaster.  It was the new DP.  I was stuffed.  He could park where he wanted.  He outranked me, and he got in to school just as early.

Then Wayne told me about my recognition.

As from next week I would have a NUMBER.
I would be given (with due ceremony I am sure) a Staff Car Park Sticker, with my own unique number on it.  Wayne and Colin would then paint, with their usual grace, style and attention to detail, my number on my parking spot.
It would be mine for all eternity.  No other mortal would dare use my spot ever again.
The ultimate recognition of indispensability to Nuova Lazio High had been awarded to me.

I was so proud.

Never again would I have to worry about losing my spot.
Never again would I lie awake at nights worrying about the car parking in NLH.
My spot was secure.
Nobody would ever dare as much as set foot on the hallowed ground of my spot.

Unless he was a big rugby (probably League)-playing contractor who could snap me like a twig


  1. TSB (of RBB) you are indeed blessed!
    I park in the commoners' park - the furtherest park from the admin block. The only thing that makes it stand out is that, if you park in the parks near the trees, birds shit all over your car. Quite symbolic really.

  2. I never trust anyone who wears other people's underpants.

  3. God, in his infinite wisdom, gave me a penis.

  4. I've just checked the geological data of Nouva Lazio and liquifation off the clay in that area normally results in a sink hole under number 16!

  5. Sad to hear he passed away. Sad you don't look like him.

  6. "Sad to hear he passed away. Sad you don't look like him."

    Who passed away?

    Sir Sean,
    Richard [of RBB]

    please explain Second.

  7. Look guys,
    could we please keep the split personalities/egos/ids etc. down to two or three each. It's getting confusing

  8. Sorry to burst ones bubble here TSB but it's not you that's indispensible in this story but the number/space allocation. Who uses it is completely changeable. It's probably some sneaky neo-management performance managing system - you know the number allocated may be dependant on performance rating thus making your parking space a visible sign of status and position in the internal pecking order based on usefulness to the school etc.

    Or not, on the other hand...........

    Aye - nothing to worry about.


  9. *impressed face* Isn't it sad the strange things that make us happy as adults? I get equally ecstatic if a neighbour puts their bin back after the rubbish collection.

  10. Alistair, thsnks for bringing me back to reality, however I was also told by Wayne that only the "senior"staff would be getting these precious numbers. I just hope he was alluding to my position in the meritocracy and not my age and general rugged (but wrinkled) good looks.

  11. Hi Alison,
    thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.
    I agree, it's a bit sad that getting a parking space is the best moment of the day.
    Mind you, I can remember at school, that the high point of the day was seeing if you could survive from 9 till 4 without:
    Getting the belt for mis-spelling a word.
    Getting thumped for not getting out of the way of the school's official bully.
    Managing to eat the school dinners wothout throwing up (especially the watery yet somehow lumpy custard)

    So I suppose that life does slowly improve.
    Bins left by the pavement notwithstanding.

    BTW really enjoyed your blog on Hestia's Larder

  12. Number 16?
    I can't think of any scenario where this is a good ranking.
    In rugby and most other sports this would put you on the bench.
    It is the fourth power of two though and which is why it was used as a weighing measure in Britain and China (16 ounces to the pound etc.)
    It is the age of consent in many countries and has been the magic number that titillates deviant old men ('Only sixteen', 'Sweet Sixteen' etc).
    More relevant though it is the minimum age one can join the army in the UK. Kismet?

  13. Alison, I just read some posts from your blog - great!


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