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The long awaited final day of term, a weeks holiday is upon us finally, but what a strange way to end the week. All the staff were called into a meeting at lunchtime, a rare occasion as its so disruptive to the kids lunchtime, we usually have any important meetings straight after work, so I knew this was going to be significant. Our head is very aware of how fast gossip and rumours can spread, and so took the decision to avoid that by not waiting until the end of the day. It turns out that one of our colleagues hadn’t turned in for work today, and for whatever reason, the head had gone out to visit him, only to find his body at his home and that he’d passed away in his sleep. He was only a few years older than myself. I’d never worked with him directly, but I’d known him for not far off 20 years, he started working at the school before even I joined. It was such a shock that I think most people didn’t even take it in straightaway. A very sad way to end the term, especially those of us there that have been at the school for a number of years, when the team was much smaller and closer. I know he lived alone and I’m not sure if he had much family, but my thoughts are with them. He was one of those nice guys at work that even if you didn’t know him well, you knew that no-one had a bad word to say about him.

We finished the rest of the day, all the while feeling grateful for my own health and all I had at home with my wife and daughter around me. Eventually it was time to go home, and I noticed a few spots of rain on the window, nothing to be too concerned about, so with my waterproof gear on I set off for home on my bike and could never have prepared myself for what happened next… the heavens quite literally opened and I have never seen rain like it, let alone been out in it or even attempt to cycle through it. Just a mere 10 minutes later and the roads were beginning to flood and traffic was slowing down as a result. It felt like an entire days rain had come down in just 10 minutes, and I could not have been any wetter if I’d swam home along the canal! The waterproofs I’d worn were a jacket and hat, and at least they did their job, but from the waist down, it was like I had been wading through a river! I was so glad to be home safely and changed into dry clothes. The mother in law had been looking after Olivia and usually brings her home before I get back and waits, although today she’d stayed at her own house with Olivia not surprisingly, so once I was dry I went to collect her in the car and stopped for a lovely hot cup of tea, which was like elixir from the gods after the soggy and cold ride home!

The evening was a rare night out for myself with a few friends from work, at an indian restaurant, Akbars on the Hagley Road. Known for its lavish interior and looking a bit like a palace from the outside, it gives the impression of high quality, fine cuisine… sadly this couldn’t be much further from the truth. About 10 of us met up and had a pleasant evening together catching up, although it was never going to be a late night. We headed our separate ways about 9:30pm, some heading into town, and some heading home. I was glad to be home in time to see Clare before she headed to bed, and open a couple of beers before I turned in myself to try and get some sleep ahead of tomorrow mornings run.

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