Unsuitable Girl

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  1. Who knew Manchester was such an exciting place?

    A Christmas market with beautifully lit stalls both inside a fantastically Gothic Victorian Town Hall and outside in one of its many spacious squares, draws the visitor in and even gives the chance of exchanging a word or two of Italian while buying nougat, and what an array of varieties, so wide it was bewildering.

    And as a birthday treat, I was taken  to the Palace Theatre for West Side Story, which was beautifully rendered, with original choreography and wow did they pull it off!  Combined with Bernstein's vibrant music it was engrossing, though we all knew the story and the approaching tragedy, the narrative held us till the end, tears tipped over and trickled down in the darkness of the audience.  Young love crushed by the ways of the world, Shakespeare got it!  It never fails to ignite.

    Then a new experience for me...a cocktail in a cocktail bar at 'Room', in another very grand Victorian Gothic baronial building.  Built by  the wealth of  cotton barons in the mid-nineteeth century, it still holds its gravitas, grandeur and sense of style in the wonderfully sculpted  and vaulted stonework.  Then behind the cocktail bar, we walked into a vast restaurant still in the same 'room', whose height was at least two houses, and there I had the most delicious sirloin ever...the most delicious whitebait ever, and fabulous sorbet around which the chef had written in chocolate, Happy Birthday and placed a candle in the middle. And the waiter brought an on the house Prosecco with a very fragrant strawberry perched on the glass for me! This was a second Prosecco of the day as I had had a Bellini (Prosecco with peach juice) in Carluccio's with lunch.  That's another thing.  Manchester Station has a great Carluccio's ...so tempting we gave in and went there.

    On the way back to Melissa and Paul's flat, we wandered through the Christmas market and saw a stall with fabulous Venetian style masks, which were so beautiful Melissa and I decided that a Masked Ball should be a necessary part of a well lived life...oh to dress up in a long gown, matching sparkly mask and dance, dine and float on bubbles of champagne from crystal glasses.

    Happy Birthdayed me!

  2. Meeting of minds

    I was making a classroom visit in my local school. The children are delightful and avid for whatever is on offer in their bright new classroom.

    Two minutes into entering the classroom on Thursday 14th November, a small boy, Robbie, aged five, having heard this visitor being called ‘the maths governor’, invited me to sit next to him as they were all had having their snacks after playtime outside.   After ‘What’s your name?   and ‘Have you come to help?’ He launched his profound inquiry,

                ‘Do you know about infinity?’

                 ‘Yes I know about infinity,’ I answered, recognizing a miniature Sheldon Cooper (from the Big Bang Theory) with his dark eyes in a still cherubic face.

     His companion for snack time, Julie, joined in to tell me,

                  ’It’s bigger than the whole school,’ eyes expanding to encompass this thought, and inviting my contribution.

                    ‘Yes, I know, bigger than the whole world even!’  My eyes mirroring hers. 

                     ‘Yes,’ chipped in Robbie. ‘Can you count to infinity?’

     Julie sitting on the other side of me asked,

                      ‘Is it bigger than the sun?’

                      ‘Well, yes, it is really, bigger than the whole universe!’ I said.

     Their eyes now like saucers, and munching away on their carrots and apple snacks, there was a small silence.

                       ‘But can you count to infinity?’ asked Robbie again.

     Maybe he thought maths governors have special powers.

                      ‘Well, if you just did counting all day, every day and night, all the time from when you were born, you still wouldn’t get to infinity,’ I said.

     Robbie looked at me, eyes so shiny and intelligent, biting his lower lip.

                      ‘Yes, and even if you kept on counting when you’re dead you still wouldn’t get to infinity,’ he said, crunching  his carrot.

                       ‘That’s right,’ I said.

     

    Who knew that a five year old could grasp such a concept, and be excited by it?    I think sometimes we unknowingly limit children by our own short sighted view of what they can perceive.  

    NB: The children's names have been changed for obvious reasons.                   

 


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