Like all our weeks, the last two weeks have been very active but especially for our two grandchildren at school.

They are racing to the end of their first year at school. And just to reassure any parents and grandparents worried about their precious little ones starting school this September, don’t worry it will all turn out great in the end.

Ok, we are saying that with hindsight, and it won’t stop you worrying as a similar comment didn’t stop us worrying. And worrying did not help them nor did it hinder their progress. So think carefully before worrying yourself to a frazzle. (But you will do just that, anyway.)

When I said at the beginning of the second paragraph “racing to the end of their first year at school” I truly meant it because they have both taken part in School Sports Days with three races each.

But just before I talk Sports Days I’ll just get the academia out of the way. The two of them had brilliant reports in every subject. They are more than capable of everything and get on well with teachers and other class mates. Most important they are happy, the teachers are happy, their parents are happy, t’other grandparents are happy, and we are happy. So everyone’s happy.

To be honest I expected no other outcome. I have worked and played very closely, week in, week out, with them both, as I have our younger two grandchildren, too, and I would be fully aware of any weak areas or problems.

And so to Sports Days.

I’m not a big Sports Day fan. I have hated Sports Days since my very first Sports Day at school as a wee six year old. On that first Sports Day I started out with major confidence of winning but was so slow I came in last, way, way behind everyone else. I proudly kept that standard up through Primary School, Junior School and Secondary School, even though I put everything into practicing. I was always, always last by a mile (yes, even in the 100 metres I ended up a mile behind everyone else). In those days there was none of this cheering and clapping the one struggling and coming in last. The crowd looked away in embarrassment muttering “Loser” to one another.

On Sports Day and the practice days leading up to them I was so stressed and so bored and in total wasted a good week of my valuable life when I could have been doing other things, like writing.

Grandchildren Freya and Rory’s Sports Days rekindled those feelings but these were overcome with pride as the two of them did so well.

This was Rory’s very first Sports Day but Freya had had one last  year because she had a year of sampling school every afternoon to get her ready for starting school when she was 5 years old. Or was it to see whether she liked it or not. Fortunately she did. I do not know the options if she didn’t like it. Would she just have stayed home and bummed around all day for the rest of her life.

My fear with first Sports Days for grandchildren is that they will inherit my ability or lack of it, with first Sports Days and end up with the heebie-jeebies every summer for the rest of their school life, and that’s a long, long time.

But, no problem they both did well and put that one to rest. And Ewan and George are already showing they love sport and are very competitive so no problem there I am sure.

Both Sports Days were very well organised and attended with wonderful weather as you would expect in the Summer of 2018. But it was interesting to compare the two school’s events.

Freya at Coddington School did a horse’s head handle race, which has to be the best race for me. I think I could have won that as you were relying on the horse’s capabilities and not mine.

From being a child I loved the Stanley Holloway record of his The Lion and Albert monologue. This is about a little boy who goes to the zoo and pokes a lion with his horses head handle with dire consequences. This was a firm favourite on “Children’s Favourites” when I was a kid. It’s probably too scary for children today. But it still makes me chuckle and horses head handles makes me think of it.

So I loved that race.

At Rory’s school the PTA is pretty brilliant and they served drinks, tea, coffee, etc, to parents, at a price of course, but, with that weather, we needed it. So they take the ‘biscuit’ (get it) for a brilliant Sports Day.

I was relating this to my daughter (who is a teacher too) and she knocked the smile from my face by saying at her school on Sports Day the PTA served up bacon butties. All I can say is “Wow!”

I know a member of Rory’s School’s PTA and suggested the bacon butty idea to her. She told me next year I was very welcome to go and make bacon butties for them to sell. She clearly has not sampled my cooking.

At Rory’s School, Leen Mills the little ones who are just finishing their first year, Rory being one, did an end of First Year Bash Sort of Concert, They sang songs, with photos being shown in the background, of things they had done in the year and there was a list of each child’s dream of what they wanted to be from wolves to astronauts, policemen and firemen.

At the end the teachers presented each child with a certificate of an achievement unique to that child. Most were really funny. One little girl got one for ‘always beating her dad at bingo’, another ‘for having the most boyfriends’. Rory’s was more serious ‘for being the loudest speaker in the Christmas play’.

I give major credit to the teachers on this one. It is fantastic, the time they must have put into that and they proved they know their pupils inside out. It is what teaching is all about and it should not be full of stresses and strains and box ticking to hit targets.

These are the same teachers who gave mums and dads of children starting school last September, a tea bag and a small pack of biscuits to help console them after dropping their child off at school for the first time.

If I wore a hat I’d take it off to them.


Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. —Charles Swindoll


Happiness is…a horse’s head handle race


It was so cold yesterday my computer froze. My own fault though, I left too many windows. – George Egg

(Sorry not very seasonal)


Love is…just too darned hot!



Highest Chart Position: No.42    10th August 1985


©2018 Phil M Robinson