Two weeks ago I ventured to the north of England having been invited by my daughter who teaches English as a second language in the college there. I was very excited as I had been asked to run a workshop there for would be students of health and social care. I was going to be doing this in my capacity as chair of trustees of a care home. I jumped at the chance because I haven’t been in a classroom for a number of years, and although I felt a bit of a fraud, because I don’t actually do any of the day to day work in the home, I was quite confident I know what it involves.
I was also thrilled to be able to see my daughter and her fiancé again as I hadn’t seen them since Christmas.
The journey up was a bit fraught as the train left twenty minutes early. So much for a leisurely time at the station. I got on just in time and read my book until a very garrulous lady came on at Crewe. There was no reading after that. She managed to extract the last drop of information from me- obviously trained by MI5 if not by the KGB All would have been well if she hadn’t thought I was much older than her. I was. But I didn’t think I looked it! She was grey, wrinkly and. Oh dear. I can’t think of a third for this triplet.
Anyway, I got to my hotel which was miles away from the centre. Booking dot com I will never believe you again.
Then I couldn’t check in as it wasn’t four o’clock. And no cafe or restaurant. I was aware of that but somehow I didn’t believe it.
In the end I asked for a glass of water. The lovely receptionist made me a cup of tea then rushed the room preparation. I was so pleased. It was perfectly clean with a nice bathroom. Not exactly the Sheraton where I am now, but pleasant enough.
I couldn’t completely relax because the next day I was going to do my workshop I was prepared, but I didn’t exactly know if I would be on the right track and as I said, I hadn’t been a classroom since the pandemic started, and I’m nervous at the best of times.
In the evening we went for a lovely dinner – oh yes before then I’d met my daughter in the market and we’d bought some delicious cannoli and croissants( for my hotel breakfast) and then settled for the night before my ordeal.
I have to say Bolton taxi drivers are lovely. I took several cabs in the twenty four hours I was there. They all commented about my “foreign” London accent, in the nicest possible way and then proceeded to reveal to me about how lovely Bolton is, and to point out where they lived, went to school, etc. Sweet. And funny
In the morning I went to the college to act as TA for my daughter. Watching her teach was an eye opener. She’s hilarious. One of the kids actually asked her if she’d been an actress. She is so expressive. It was great.
Then In the afternoon my ordeal began. except it wasn’t an ordeal. As soon as I entered the classroom I felt at home. 17 teenagers and three TAs. Just how I like it. All prepared with questions and eager to do the right thing. Except of course those who were listening to their music. But I didn’t have to do anything about that!
So. All went well and I was thrilled. And I’m getting paid for it. What a treat.
I came back to London to discover I had Covid! But that’s another story! But Bolton was great.