Friday creeps closer. The end of thirty two years as a wage slave. The earning will have to continue beyond Friday but it will take different forms and I feel no pressure to get straight back in the work groove come September. Instead I may travel....Tanzania, Antigua, Guyana...who knows? I gave instructions that there were to be no flowers, no present, no card but my immediate work colleagues kindly mustered £85 and asked me what I wanted.
At the weekend, it happened to be "The Great Sheffield Art Show" - an annual exhibition of amateur art held in the university's Octagon Centre. I met up with Sofia - our Higher Level Teaching Assistant - and we moseyed along the aisles and through the catalogue until I found a picture in the price range that I could live with and which would be a simple but lasting memento of twenty four years service in one secondary school.
The view is of a country road in Derbyshire not far from the Nine Ladies stone circle. It's called "The Road From Stanton Lees" and it is either by Philip Towler from Doncaster or Geoff Kersey. The label on the reverse is unclear and the picture isn't signed. I like the idea of the road going off into the distance - a journey travelled. I like the architecture of the winter trees and the confidence of the colouring, the big tree clothed or choked by ivy. I wonder where that road will lead me now that the chalkdust of thirty two years and more is finally settling. Beyond the nine ladies and into tomorrow.
"The Road From Stanton Lees"