This is my original blog for all our non-caravanning trips since 2009 and more recently posts about coming to terms with being single again having been widowed in 2018. And anything else too really!

My caravanning blog is (Get Your) Legs Down and all our trips in the caravan are there. My grog blog is The Ale Archive where I list every beer I’ve ever tried.

Friday, 31 August 2018

A Single Life | “Cleared”

Firstly, as always, thank you for your comments and kind words about part 2. I’m really enjoying writing these, it’s very therapeutic. One of these days I’ll learn to type!

In this one I want to talk about going back to work. As I type this on it’s the end of our first week back and overall it’s been positive, however there have been poignant reminders of the seismic shift in my miniscule corner of the universe.

The process of going back to work actually started last week, with an INSET day on the Friday before he bank holiday weekend. I got a lift in with friend and , until the summer our Head of Transport, and kept a low profile in his office until it was time for our assembly. Before going in it was nice to have a few words with some of my colleagues in Transport, a couple of whom are going through a particularly tough time too just now.

Our summer INSET day is in reality and hour and a half of the heads of the schools - Senior, Prep & Pre-Prep welcoming everyone back and introducing new teachers. The acting head paid a nice tribute to Trev in his opening speech.

The Bursar introduced the new support staff, delivered some awful puns as per usual and also paid a nice tribute , not just to Trev but to another colleague who passed away last year after a battle with cancer.

Afterwards I caught up with the school Chaplain for a chat and whilst - as many of you know - I don’t do God in any form - his words and warmth were very comforting. We looked at possible dates too for Trev’s memorial which the college will host. More on that in another post soon.

And that was it - a nice gentle re-introduction to the work place. I must confess to being a little apprehensive but came away feeling more positive.

Work proper started Wednesday which meant a quick visit to pick up a minibus on Tuesday. Again, seeing just a few people, nice and low key, was good.

There was no problem getting up at silly o’clock on Wednesday and I’d probably laid awake for an hour waiting for the alarm to go off. I’ve found since  Trev’s death that although I can usually get to sleep - assisted by varying amounts of alcohol -  once I’ve been up for the usual nocturnal visit the mind goes into overdrive and I can rarely return to the land of nod. Getting up early to drive meant too that the grog the night before was a no-no which probably contributed to an even more restless night.

Anyway, the morning school run went fine - with some nice words from one of the kids too. They have more idea what’s going on at the school than most of the adults! One of the housekeeping staff who I pick up on the way through hadn’t heard the news so I explained what had happened mindful that he’d lost his wife after an illness only a few months previously.

It was the afternoon run, taking the kids home that it was all brought home again. Immediately after dropping the last kid off I used to send  Trev a text to say that I’m finished and on my way home. He’d know then roughly when to have dinner ready for. It was one word - “Cleared”. This time I even reached for the phone before realising it was something I wouldn’t be doing again. Whatever time dinner was ready was down to me now and there would be no-ne there to share the time up the table with. Just when you think you’re getting used to the new normal along comes something else to try and unbalance you.

Being around the school during the day - as I was for much of Thursday - was fine. Although we both worked for the school often our paths wouldn’t cross at all during the day such is the nature of our work as drivers. In fact watching the usual beginning of term chaos play out was quite comforting. Some things never change - cue the circus music.

Even the bus breaking down on Thursday night didn’t bother me too much. Ok, it was a pain in the derriere but another constant - we’ve had a few breakdowns with the current fleet. What was different however was that I didn’t have to call Trev and tell him I’d be late. There was no dinner in the oven at risk of getting spoilt. Trev would - out of solidarity - always wait until I got home before we ate, however late the hour, despite me urging him to get stuck in. None of that this time - in fact I didn’t really care what time I got home to be honest. It didn’t matter.

Despite only being back at work three days I was looking forward to the weekend, but as I drove back to the college this evening, I could feel myself getting lower. I knew I had a couple of things planned over the weekend but on Friday nights it was always the pub for a bite to eat and a couple of pints or a chippy. We’d digest the weeks goings on at work, have a laugh and a moan too and I really missed that tonight.

The chippy was good though and the accompanying Argentinian Malbec is softening the edges a bit.