'Looming' implies something rather threatening, doesn't it? It also means imminent. In our house it's a bit of both. On Tuesday, Romy - being our only Primary student now - starts back at school on her own. And she's going to a new school - again. Since we moved house, we've been trying to persuade the local council to allow our children to use the free school transport but they haven't budged. If we want to use the bus, we have to send our children to the specific schools - and last year, Ruy and Romy went to the Primary school that DIDN'T provide for children from the villages.
Just before the end of term, Romy agreed to go for a few days to the other school, just across the road from her own, where the bus collects and returns the children to the villages every day. And gives them lunch too. (Not the bus, the school, of course!) Under no pressure, she gave the new school the clear thumbs up and said she'd be happy to go there in the new school year. Alcala is a small and close enough community for her to already know several of the children there and, as a bi-lingual child who has achieved excellent standards in her Spanish studies, she's being welcomed with open arms...
And she's really rather excited about going in on the first day and getting to know her new classmates - whilst still having lots of friends in her old school. Being a sociable and adaptable girl, and rather more mature than many of her contemporaries, I have no doubts she will be absolutely fine. More than fine.
Ruy has finished Primary School and now, like Mateo, is entitled to take the bus to any of the two main Secondary schools in town. He starts at Alfonso XI next week, just a day before his 12th birthday and admits to being a tad nervous. Unlike when I moved to Secondary school, not knowing how many of my friends would be there or who would be in class with me - all but two of Ruy's current classmates are going to the same school. I think he will be fine too. It's a big jump from Primary to Secondary, but Ruy is always wanting to be slightly older than he really is - so much so we often get confused at his birthday time. From the day after he was 11, he has talked about being nearly 12 - and even before he actually reaches this number, he's ready to be a 'proper teenager' at 13. I suspect it's all because he is desperate for a mobile phone. Apparently, he's the only one in his class who doesn't have one. Tough!
And whilst I do hope it doesn't mark the end of the close relationship he and Romy have - they've played and laughed and fought and generally been great company for each other for many years now - it feels like this summer might be the one of the last where they really haven't needed anyone else as long as they've had each other.
But I do believe he knows that and I should just let him get on with it. (This is a 'note to self' that nagging has a negative effect and I must try and remember!)
Yes, that look is definitely a suspicious one!
The new school year is also a 'loomer' for the family that is part owl and no part lark. We are all dreading the early morning rise. There have been days when Mateo hasn't seen the morning hours at all other than those between midnight and 2am...
Our first summer in La Casa Rosales has been a lovely, long and lazy one. I have adjusted remarkably well to not working in the afternoons - by working just about every morning! I've been teaching two little girls twice a week and it's been an absolute joy. The good thing is they want to continue after school begins so I shall go and teach them at home a couple of evenings a week. They've made a book of Nursery Rhymes over the course of their classes and have illustrated each of the songs. The eldest, Rocio, has a real artistic (and linguistic) talent and her book is a real credit to her - it's been a pleasure to teach them. And another real pleasure came this week when I heard that all our students taking the Trinity College exam have passed! Every single one and some with Merit. It was a day of great rejoicing when we found this out and I have bumped into several of them in town and they are over the moon themselves. Couldn't be more delighted for a super group of students. And a good start back for their new teacher - it would have been such a shame if anyone of them hadn't passed.
So, September starts and the summer passes. My cupboards are creaking with homemade tomato sauces, sun-dried tomatoes and fig jam. We have frozen peppers and tomatoes and a store room full of melons, peppers, potatoes and courgettes to eat in the coming weeks. FR has been busy building us beautiful and original shelving units to store all the things he's just about to fetch down from the barn in Leon and he's also worked wonders in the garden, filled the outhouse up with enough wood to last us for the next few cold snaps and cooked us some pretty amazing barbecues. And now he's ready to start back with his drama group in Granada.
I have a nice feeling that we will all manage the changes rather well. And the end of September brings us a little stream of visitors, including Janice and Mark! SO looking forward to them coming. Then my mum comes - and then later in October, I'm hoping to meet up with another old friend who is coming out to southern Spain for a couple of months and has promised to come and see us.
And guess what - the verb 'to loom' apparently comes from the Old Norse verb 'ljóma' - meaning 'to shine'! That must be what I meant in the first place.