I love school holidays.
This may sound like a strange thing to say for someone who hasn’t been a teacher for ten years and whose kids are well past their school days.
But school holidays are wonderful.
Because school holidays mean delicious cocooning silence for the first half hour of my morning train commute.
Now please don’t think that this is a rant about the youth of today and their disrespect for others. It’s not. It’s just that the first half hour of my commute is the tiny bit of time that I have carved out for me to write. And for exactly sixteen minutes of that time the local high school kids surge into my carriage and command centre stage.
They don’t do anything wrong (mostly). They are just LOUD. Exuberant. As you should be when you are a teen. The carriage fills with their energy: sudden shots of laughter, high-pitched squeals, the click-clack of skateboards, the bouncing of soccer balls, shouted conversations about assignments, or exams or TV shows. Sometimes there is even singing. (I love the singing.) And dancing. And acrobatics. (True.) They are highly entertaining - and extremely distracting - but only once have I felt the need to say, Oh, come on, guys, keep it down. Please. Which they did immediately with red faces and swift apologies.
Funnily enough it wasn’t until midweek last week that I noticed their absence, that I snuggled into the silence of my empty carriage and immersed myself in the voices of my characters. It was nice, I have to admit.
And I have another whole week until the sixteen-minute daily circus returns.