The chairs in the school hall were on the small side. It was difficult to imagine Mr B sitting on one of them. Fortunately help was at hand as Our Boy had sussed out the lie of the land and led his Dad over to a rather
more comfortable perch on some stacked benches. Me? I was happy to take a (small) seat in front on the grounds that it might be quite fun to pretend to be six years old again.
Row by row of red jumpers filed
into the hall under the careful eyes of their teachers. Sam grinned hugely at us as he took up his position with his school-mates. Last, but very much not least, in marched class 1D, among them Young James dressed in a white plastic apron over his PE kit and
a pair of oversized blue household gloves. Yes, it was Class 1D's Assembly on the subject of "Mini-beasts". Also known as Creepy Crawlies.
It's ages since the last time I had the pleasure of watching a Class
Assembly. Plus my knowledge of minibeasts is somewhat slim. Miniscule, even. I was there to live and learn. In the most enjoyable sense.
The story unfolded before our starry eyes. A trio of diminutive TV news-readers
stepped forward to announce that an infestation of mini beasts had taken hold at Birchgrove Primary School. There were reassuring noises from a handful of diminutive police officers, after which Young James and the rest of the Bug Busters stepped in to take
control. Every child had at least one line to say, we all smiled our encouragement as each little one piped up. The whole class next told the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, complete with actions and there was a spirited performance of a song called
"Minibeast Madness" which stayed annoyingly in my head for the rest of the day.
The finale was unexpectedly brilliant. The news team announced that the entire school was now free of Minibeasts - only for the
whole of Class 1D to don scary bug masks, with associated Minibeast-like gestures. The TV trio fled to the back of the hall and we all applauded loudly.
After the rest of the school had trotted off back to
their classrooms, Form 1D basked in the congratulations of parents, grandparents, siblings and teachers. The head teacher rightly heaped fulsome praise upon their excited heads. They were, she reminded us, only five and six years old but had demonstrated excellent
learning and performance skills, along with exemplary teamwork. James was just pleased that we were all there as demonstrated by his after-performance hugs for his Grandad and me.
That was yesterday. Today
is today and I have been laid low in my hotel room, smitten down.
By a bug.