I was up with the lark this morning (not that I have actually seen a lark yet in Waterloo) to make the first Eurostar to London to attend a teacher recruitment fair over the weekend and host an alumni gathering on Saturday.

It has been a great week in school, culminating in a Fabulous Friday: our student-led TEDx talks, Art Vernissage and Basketball Tournament made for a brilliant evening where I felt very proud indeed to be head of St John’s. I marvelled at the ingenuity of our students to organise and host three visiting schools alongside our home-grown speakers for the TEDx event. The Art Vernissage showcased the brilliant art and sculpture of St John’s alumna and current parent, Nicole van Reuten – if you haven’t seen her artwork yet, come visit! And the girls’ and boys’ basketball games were great – fast-paced, high-energy and full of team spirit.

Domestic home life on the other hand has been quite a challenge! Our boiler has been broken for 12 days and counting now; 5 days for the first technician to come and identify the problem, 5 days awaiting a spare part from goodness knows where. Spare part is now installed but hasn’t solved the problem!

Only having one warm room in the house has plunged us back into the 20th Century with memories of my granny’s cottage in Scotland – during the winter, toasty warm in the small sitting room in front of the log fire, but decidedly Arctic everywhere else… beautiful feathery ice patterns adorning the inside of the windows each morning… seeing your breath condensing like smoke when you nipped to the bathroom… a year-round pantry that was as cold as any fridge, always deliciously stocked when we arrived with a trifle, a pot of soup and an abundance of home baking.

Of course, this rural idyll is lovely to look back on, but the charm of living without heating and hot water is most definitely beginning to wear off! Whilst I am in a London, my children will be cycling to the golf club for showers and doing their homework in the sitting room, swathed in blankets. Thank goodness though for the wonderful showers at Royal Waterloo Golf Club!

So as I look forward to my return to Belgium, my greatest wish is that we will have a highly-skilled heating engineer waiting for me at our house and an imminent return to modern life!


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