Friday, April 15, 2011

In Memory of Sarah and Victoria

Some of you may have been reading me long enough to remember the post I wrote two years ago today. Others may know about my 365 Day Project, a photography project I'm doing through Flickr. For today's photo I had a very strong urge to incorporate a photograph of Sarah's grave into my shot. The problems with this idea are many. Photos of Sarah's grave are to be found on the web but using them would infringe copyright. To avoid this I would really need to take a photograph myself, which would mean visiting her grave. Sarah is buried in Allerton Cemetery, only a 45 minute journey from my house, and actually less than half an hour from where I was this afternoon. However, Allerton Cemetry is huge, easily the largest cemetery I have ever visited in the UK and I had no idea where the grave was. I phoned Liverpool Council and spoke to a very kind man who told me that the record office could tell me the plot number and which section it was in, but that the turn-around for this would be within 48 hours. It seemed like a doomed mission.

However, I decided to go anyway. Cemeteries are calming places that sooth my soul when I am as restless as I was today. I have passed it before but never been in. I drove up the main drive and parked my car near the central chapel, with absolutely no idea where to go. I spotted a grave under a tree festooned with Liverpool scarves, but it was for a serviceman killed in action in Afghanistan in 2009. I wondered around in a large circle for maybe 30 minutes and spotted an urban fox, trotting through the cemetery towards the woodland area but nothing else. As I circled back again towards the chapel, resigned to giving it all up as a bad job, I saw the soldier's grave again and then, across the grass saw a tree with much older scarves hanging from it.

Amazingly, I had parked my car less than one minute's walk away.

RIP Sarah, Victoria and the other 94.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Jolly Holidays

All the Education Authorities in Merseyside have signed up to a common term format starting from this year, in an attempt to standardise terms. No half term shall be less than six weeks and no week shall have less than three working days. This means October half term will always be the third week, February half term will always be the second week and the Two week holiday between the Spring and Summer terms will always be the first two weeks of April, regardless of when Easter is. This means this year, of course, the end of April is very bitty, with four Bank Holidays in the first three weeks of term, thanks to the Royal Wedding adding to the mix with Easter being so close to the May Bank Holiday. Meanwhile, Cheshire are sticking to the traditional two weeks around Easter, so my holidays are very quiet - I've not been off when schools are in like this since I became a teacher. It's peaceful, but rather strange and leaves April as a very messy set of short weeks... Ah well, some you win, some you lose...