Monday, 27 August 2012

FICTION - Camomile Crescent

In recent years Camomile Crescent had become one of the most sought after residential streets in the large town of Wishbourne.  It had not always been that way.  For most years of it's existence it had been a leafy, but run of the mill, road with a small underachieving school at the end of it.  No one was particularly bothered by it's Victorian style houses because the people living in them could not afford to restore them to their original beauty.
However, after a new Government initiative was cleverly snapped up by the new 'business minded' school Head Teacher, an unprecedented turn around in the schools fortunes occurred.  The shabby local comprehensive became the local 'Academy of Excellence' with a new multi-million pound, modern framework replacing the old tired seventies building.  An institution that would cater for pre-school to sixth form.  After several years ruthless recruiting and head hunting of the best academic teaching staff, the school started to achieve outstanding, and head turning OFSTED results - year after year.
The undesirable became the desirable.  And with that came the flood of those that were pushy (and rich) enough to secure their childs place within the Academy.  Parents of moderate means living in the area found the school was 'over subscribed'.  As such the Academy sent out many letters stating 'unfortunately The Academy can not accommodate your child at this time.' forcing parents to send their sons and daughters instead on a 45 journey across town.
Crazy parenting however, came to a heady climax when a staff member finally blew the whistle on the fact that the Head Teacher was taking multiple financial bribes from the highest bidders for the places for little Harry or Harriett.  Following a comprehensive investigation and the appointment of a morally endowed Head Teacher, a whole new wave of competitiveness was born into the town.
Places were allocated according to a strict post-code agenda.  Families, who had for years, lived in the surrounding roads, avenues and lanes found themselves inundated with unsolicited offers for purchase of their properties.  Those that could no longer buy their way into the school, wanted to buy themselves into the area around it, thus providing an in-road for their offspring. 
The older generation living in the area, with their own children long grown, had been keen to sell their properties for the ridiculously over inflated prices they had been offered.  Of course the purchasers didn't actually want to leave their big, lavish houses to live in the Victorian properties they claimed the deeds too.  They simply needed the address.  This cunning plan was subsequently thwarted when it became apparent that half of the homes in the area were unoccupied.  Rules were again set in place that qualifying addresses must be occupied by the applicants for at least 10 months of the year.
Within months of the new rules taking effect the area became over run with affluent families with children from the ages of conception (and before) to teens all residing in homes duly extended, renovated and restored.  But in amongst the new tenants were those that had not bought their way in.  Families that had always lived in the nice street in a quiet area that had once had a small school at the end of it.  Couples who liked their character Victorian home and were not prepared to be bought out of a place they had made a multitude of memories.  Those who were not of the same, driven mindset of their neighbours that had arrived on the doorstep. 
It was the birth of the Academy and it's ensuing success that single-handedly helped develop the most unlikely collection of tenants in one district.  For some reason the most sought after one being Camomile Crescent.  No one really knew why, many said it was the name.  A road that now housed an uncomfortable mix of married couples of moderate means, young families who by chance happened to be living in the area already and those rich and pushy enough to have placed themselves into it.
The residents of Camomile Crescent and their different lifestyles might ask if they can all live in such close proximity?  Can who they live near, really make that much difference to  their lives?  Are things between houses really as different as they seem? 
Can the residents of Camomile Crescent love thy neighbour?

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

What Has Happened to The Mother Duck?

Well, she is still alive and well!  Writing about Motherhood is wonderful, but with that comes the exception that sometimes actually 'doing' Motherhood takes precedence.

And that is exactly what has happened since 20 July 2012, my last blog post.  The Summer Holidays hit.  That six week period that you both look forward to and dread.  You get excited about the extra time with your babies.  No watching the clock and getting stressed with the school run traffic.  No uniform to get washed, dried and ironed in record time. 

Yet at the same time, you are thinking how on earth are you going to get everything done that you would normally do during the school day?  The answer - you are not.  How are you going to keep them entertained but not spoilt?  The answer - you just do.

And that is exactly what we have been doing around here.  We have been enjoying the Summer Break from school.  However I forgot just how much more time having two children at home full time takes up. 

I can not just blame the arrival of the Summer Holidays for my writing abandonment though.  The London 2012 Olympics has to also take some of the blame.  I have been hooked on it since the first bar of music at the [fantastic] Opening Ceremony.  I have watched with awe and pride.  I have been inspired.

Which leads me to factor number three having a detrimental affect on my writing efforts.  Running.  I am so hooked on running again that I have got a 'proper' training schedule and everything now.  I am on a four week preparation programme before I hit the eight week one for my 10 mile race in October.  This requires at least three mid-week runs and a weekend.  Therefore my 'free' time is generally having to be spent pounding the pavements.

Time is scarce at the best of times, but even more thinly spread than normal right now.  But September is a mere weeks away.  The Olympic flame will fade.  School will resume.  Writing will get a look in once more.

In the mean time I will endeavour to post as and when I can.  There is lots going on in our world that I wish to record in our journal of life.