8th October 2004 0

Dear Geoff,
I hope you don’t mind me calling you by your Christian name. I realise that it is normally considered inappropriate for a pupil to call his teacher by their first name but I think that the medium of the letter is quite an intimate one and within the four corners of this piece of paper I feel able to open up a bit more than I might otherwise do in the confines of the classroom. It’s a funny thing. My Dad tells me that he used to call one of his old headmasters Mr Phillips until both Mr Phillips retired and Dad went to university at which time he changed from Mr Phillips to Pete. He’s dead now. Pete that is, not Dad. He was a golfer, as is Dad.

Anyway this is not developing the theme of the letter as it should be not that I have a particular theme in mind. There are no threads coming out of this train of thought; no revelations; no profundities. Two good words there: revelation and profundity. I think I prefer profundity but really have nothing against revelation. This in itself is not much of a revelation nor is it a profundity. If I were to tell you that I was a in love with you that would be a profound revelation. In fact it would be totally astounding and I also have to tell you that it is totally untrue. I thought I’d get that in quick to make sure that there are no misunderstandings here, Geoff. It’s all very well playing around with words but we have to draw the line at playing with fire.

Staying on the subject of fire there is a fireworks display on at the rugby club in Lincoln. It has been an excellent event for the last couple of years. Good value for families and safe to boot. I don’t use the word boot in the context of rugby footware here of course but I’m sure that you realised that. We are a fairly keen rugby family here. I play with the Under 13s at Lincoln RFC, my brother Joseph and John play with the Under 8s and Under 6s respectively. Dad is past it now and sticks to writing the rugby reports for the Echo and the Chronicle and he also maintains the club website.

Poor old John has had his first taste of rugby injury as he has broken his collarbone during an unfortunate period of rough play with Joe at the club yesterday. They weren’t officially playing – just messing about whilst Dad watched the first XV. John had scored and Joe followed through and fell on top of him. The poor lad was in some discomfort and a friend of ours Sue Protheroe, who is a doctor, made the diagnosis and despatched Dad and John off to the Accident and Emergency department at the Lincoln County Hospital. This is conveniently down the road from both our house and the rugby club. He is going to be out of action for a few weeks with his arm in a sling and is an illustration as to why properly organised mini rugby at his age is non-contact.

Dad tells me that Saturday afternoons at the A&E department was a fairy regular event when he was playing!

Later that evening we were scheduled to go to the 18th Bailgate Scout Group family quiz evening at the Bailgate Methodist Church. Dad said it wasn’t normally his cup of tea on a Saturday night but both he and Mum thought that we should support the event. It turned out that other people we spoke to at the quiz felt exactly the same. There is a scenario whereby everyone taking part in the quiz was only doing it because they felt that they should support the event. I’m sure that the organisers thought that they were doing the right thing. Nothwithstanding this we all had a good time.

I went on Callum Mackenzie’s team much to the annoyance of Dad who thought I should be supporting the family. The Davies and Mackenzie teams were level on points at the halfway mark. Then after the cup of tea Mum took John and Hannah home and the bombshell was dropped. The next round was on the Bible. Of course being complete heathens neither Dad, nor Joe’s Godfather Terry who had come along for the action thought they had much of a clue in matters Biblical (despite being well read!) and with Mum having gone home they had lost their subject matter expert. In the end they called home on Dad’s mobile and spoke with Hannah who relayed the questions to Mum whilst she was reading John a bedtime story.

We got nine out of twelve in that round. Not bad and even Joseph contributed with “frogs”, that being the second plague of Egypt. All those days at Sunday School had paid off at last. The Mackenzies beat us by half a point in the end. Not bad considering we had lost half our team at the break. Clare Mackenzie ended up giving Joseph and myself a lift home and Stuart went to the Morning Star with Dad and Terry. A reasonable finish to the evening they thought.

Off to bed on – more in due course



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