Actually in our case it really is out for ever, because we’re moving to a brand new one in August. So brand new that building work is not even completed yet, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. And so just as quickly as it started, it seems, Y4 is over and ten long weeks of summer stretch ahead. I’m not scared, I have plans, and with the help of these bookings, plus the month-long trip back to the UK, plus a little nip of vodka now and then – oh, and Vietnam in August – well, I think I’ll cope.
In amongst all this I have one eye on the horizon. SM is conscious that our visit here has been extended – not unhappy, just aware. I think we are all a little worried about his transition to the new school, because last time it was unexpectedly tricky and we’d all like a smoother move this time round. It’s been a mixed old bag of a school, and saying goodbye today to the place, and to some of the people, reminded us of what we’ll miss:
The lush tropical courtyard garden, the rolling green playground, the massive running track, huge retro outdoor pool with cantilevered roof, snake-fondled climbing frame, the red-toothed betel chewing gate man, rousing school songs, fab and utterly wonderful Y4 teacher, brilliant bus auntie and sweet paper airplane-making driver (not while driving, thankfully), plus the basic but essential plus point of relative proximity to home (apart from in a storm, when every journey in Singapore takes an extra hour). Most of all we will sorely miss SM’s Best Friend, who stays at the old school while we move on. As I type they are chatting over an after-school dinner like an old married couple; that’s one thing that will never change.
So then, the things we won’t miss: the mad elf outfit with balloon shorts, the stinky Glastonbury bogs, snakes on the climbing frame, bizarre lack of email system, odd tinted windows on the music classroom (WHY, I always wondered), marathon three-hour school shows with wobbly sound system and no cushions, unidentifiable lumps of gristle in the canteen food, lack of any trace of breeze on entrance steps, chilly welcome to the Y3 class – all that. No postcards for you lot.
I meant it when I wished the teacher well this afternoon, as I collected SM, Best Friend and BF’s Little Brother for the very last time. Stuffed into the back of a Comfort Cab with a year’s worth of classroom tat each, we waved to the man at the gate as we left, and I had a little urge, Ferris Bueller-style, to chuck all the bags out the window as we skirted Star Vista Mall until I realized that, well, if you don’t hold on to something there’ll be nothing to fondly dig up later down the line.
So we’ll miss you, funny old school, and you, Best Friend (although I reckon we’ll see you more once we’ve left).
To be continued…