We've had a depressing day following yesterday's election and results.  The dangerous buffoon is now in charge for a further five years, we will crash out of Europe and the 'boys' club' will no doubt line their pockets whilst the gap between those who have and those who have not widens further.  We agreed not to switch on the television and the radio went off after Ken Bruce.  We couldn't bear listening to the accusations and the back stabbing and the yahooing and the endless post mortems which have become par for the course in our politics and news media in recent times.  We moved through the day in some kind of awful fug, not really doing a great deal of note.

So I'm pleased to be here, home late, from a wonderful evening of friendship and laughter and hugs and catching up.  Back in January 2016 I retired from teaching at the school where I had worked for thirty five years and tonight it was Mohinder's turn to retire and I got to see some much missed folks.  The School is in the inner city and has faced challenges throughout its lifetime, but it was always the people that made it somewhere great to work and to learn.  There were no distinctions between support staff and teaching staff, we were all there to do the job and we celebrated and laughed and wept and reinvented ourselves over and over together.

Mohinder has managed attendance for nineteen years, cajoling and encouraging and becoming famous for her stories of walking miles to school whatever the weather and however ill she felt.  Stories which grew larger and more magnificent in her effort to get unwilling students in through the gates.  It is testament to her professionalism and nature that so many staff and ex-staff like me were there tonight to see her off on her new adventures.

My first hug when I walked through the door of the restaurant was from a young woman who exclaimed, 'It's Mrs C!' and then reminded me I had taught her English 21 years ago and that she had been quite a badly behaved student, 'but not in your lessons.'   Those encounters make all the challenging times worthwhile.  A is now a confident, well educated woman working back at her old school in administration.  And so the wheel turns.  I wonder what kind of great country we would have if these caring folks oozing integrity were in charge......

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