Herding Cats

The problem with being a novelist is that I often don’t have strict enough deadlines. The problem with living in London is that my children’s school trips are hard to resist.

I’ve been on two in the last two weeks. The first to the Globe Theatre where it was a thrill to stand on its stage and mouth lines from Romeo and Juliet.

This afternoon I just came back from the Cabinet War Rooms, an amazing museum of all things Winston Churchill. Imagine having lived a life of such event and historical significance. One of the most moving things was the footage of his state funeral as a whole city stood silent in homage of the man.

There is a huge interactive table where every day of his life is accounted for historically. And if you happen to place your finger on a date of all around significance the table lights up. My daughter and her partner touched November 11, 1918 and the whole table bloomed with red poppies.

Our job as parent helpers is to help the teacher navigate the children’s way on public transportation. Today we took the bus and tube. Keeping track of almost 30 children on a very busy London tube is highly entertaining. I love watching the eyes of the other passengers widen with horror as our crowd troops noisily in. We then made our way past Westminster and St. James Park. It truly is like herding cats.

But I love going on school trips. I’ve known these children for seven years now. Ever since they all began together at the tender age of three. They are now ten: full of themselves, irreverent, and very funny, definitely products of a childhood in London.

And I am always amazed at how much they have to say to each other after all these years. This year 6 is their last in primary school. I will miss them all.

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One response to “Herding Cats

  1. Lisa

    Have a great holiday Nina – do you still do the turkey thing even living in the UK? I loved the Globe Theater as well – I missed the War Room because during the student trip I was sent out with the group of the more “challenging” students to find Abbey Road which didn’t happen because of construction on the line that would’ve taken us there. Remind me to tell you how Chris amost incited a terrorist incident on the Tube with a group of 37 American teenagers. We will never let him live it down!

    Have a great holiday – I remember those elementary trips (sigh)…miss them too. Teenagers think it’s horrific to have your Mom on your school trip

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