Just a few memorable moments...being interviewed by German TV (don't ask why I put myself up for it, and especially don't ask the better question of why anyone in Germany might give a toss about my views on early years education) - and one of the children just isn't having it. So I am outside, the sun is shining, a lovely scene of a nursery school garden, and this little boy just keeps sprinting up to the camera on his trike. He controls his stop rather well. The camera man is relieved not to see his whole kit go down. He goes off again and skids just in front of me. He wants to get by. The whole interview stops and he gets by. Then he wants to get through again.
It was all done so sweetly, with real playful humour - he knew he was being inconvenient, he knew it was funny, and he knew if he smiled like that he would even charm the camera man. (Though perhaps that charmed look was out of politeness?)
Me - I managed to stumble my words and then chatting to the journalist I wondered if the old East German nurseries had perhaps been very institutionalised places that weren't that good for children. She replied that they were the most wonderful places. She still remembered her nursery worker, who had looked after her for around 6 years. She had the fondest memories. Now, she told me sadly, the old East German centres are being closed down. I followed up saying it was a busy day and we were all pretty stretched...to be told it all looked very calm and seemed very well-staffed. Perhaps even over-staffed.
Wished I'd stayed clear of the chit-chat.
Next morning, feeling rather groggy for being at work at 7.30am, had to go to the corner shop and get some full-fat milk for the children. I think that there is some kind of health kick going on in the world of school milk because we keep getting semi-skimmed - which is not suitable for young children at nursery. Accosted by a neighbour complaining about parents parking on the housing estate. Explained that I had asked parents not to. Problem re-stated. Response re-stated. We parted with reasonable cheerfulness after all, and it was certainly better than the relations with the neighbours in the early days - like getting a cup of tea slung out of the window and over me when the children were being "too noisy" in the garden, or "the worst day of my life" when two neighbours turned up for a community open evening obviously drunk, and aksed why they couldn't have the children's garden for their own garden. After all, they would rather like somewhere to sit out in the sun.
Since then, relations have improved and I do like working in the middle of a housing estate after all, for moments like being stopped on my way to the tube to be told by an elderly neighbour how much she liked watching the children play and how beautiful all the new plants were.