Susan Morrison: I had the school run licked from day one

We were really lucky back in the days when my kids went to school. Our house was literally right across the street from the primary.

Tuesday, 24th January 2017, 9:00 am
Don't get into a fight with a determined lollipop lady. Picture: Toby Williams

We were really lucky back in the days when my kids went to school. Our house was literally right across the street from the primary.

We could walk our kids to school. In fact, we were so close we could actually stand at the front door and watch as they navigated safe road crossing for the first time, under the steely eye of what I still believe to be Edinburgh’s most terrifying lollipop lady. I once watched her stare down a refrigerated artic lorry until it screamed to an airbraked standstill, inches from the palm of her hand.

Have to admit, I was fairly smug. In fact, we emanated smugness as we walked past the cars edging down the narrow road to the school. All right, it was only me that was smug. The Boychild was too busy rabbiting on about Pokemon.

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Dubya greets well-wishers on inauguration day. Picture: Getty

Things changed, and in the last two years of the Boychilds primary career, we moved to darkest Leith. Rather than change his school, we stuck with Abbeyhill. This meant we had to take a bus, or, on rare occasions, use the car.

Now, Edinburgh is a congested city, but there’s usually somewhere you can park safely for a few minutes if you look and think. We had to walk a little, but it wasn’t far.

At the risk of reactivating that smug forcefield, I never double parked, never parked on the pavement and never put my car in a position were it caused a nuisance for other road users, such as ambulances or patient transport, a lot of whom are around at the same time.

Getting kids to school is hard when you are working, on your own and flexitime means you’ve only got 8.2 seconds before your zero hour pay gets docked, although, curiously, the worst offenders seem to be driving terribly expensive cars.

Dubya greets well-wishers on inauguration day. Picture: Getty

So, parents with kids and cars, a little consideration to other road and pavement users when you drop off your beloved at the school gates would not come amiss.

Parachutes at the ready

Later we livened up the school run by making the children watch The Longest Day and A Bridge Too Far. As soon as the car came to a halt I’d scream “Go! Go! Go!” and the kids would launch themselves out on to the pavement in emulation of Polish paratroopers under the command of General Sosabowski in World War II, as portrayed by Gene Hackman in A Bridge Too Far.

This we dubbed the fly-by school kid drop-off. It was ok in the car, but fairly startling on the Number 35.

Dubya’s not the dumbest after all

George W Bush is not one of America’s presidential giants. There were times when I really thought he struggled to find the top of the Air force One stairs without a map.

Two things must have occurred to George on Friday. One, he is no longer probably the worst president of the 21st century so far. President Weetabix-for-Hair has that correct answer for future pub quizzes covered. And secondly, just how tricksy are plastic ponchos? Entire Tattoo audiences can don a poncho in a twinkling during a Scottish summer downpour. Poor George battled valiantly for ages before giving up.

All that plastic rattling round his head must have drowned out half of Trumps rambling rumbling. Hang on,’re not as daft as we thought . . .

Jeans size is an alternative fact

Oh Donald, who cares how many people came to your Inauguration? Oh, that’s right you do. Your press spokesman insisted that “record numbers came to the inauguration”. Photographic evidence clearly indicates otherwise. Was this a mistake? A misspeaking, perhaps? No, this was an “alternative fact”.

Weightwatchers just went in the bin. Who needs diets when I can live in a world with alternative facts? Hand over them size ten superskinny jeans and you just watch me get into them, once I let them out. Well, unpick the seams.

Play spot the Brexit strategy

How many Brexits are there? I’m only asking because there were only two choices on my ballot paper. Remain? Leave? Not, Leave with benefits, or Leave in a huff.

We started off with just Brexit, then we got soft Brexit, closely followed by hard Brexit.

Theresa May moved to quell the confusion. Brexit, she said, meant Brexit. Yes. That’s right, it does. Like flux capacitor means flux capacitor. Correct. It’s a collection of vowels and consonants that mean a thing, but what it doesn’t tell you is how that thing works. If it did, we’d all be driving around in repurposed De Loreans heading back to the future.

For a while, we had a red, white and blue Brexit, which is fine, but no-one gave me the option of a colour scheme. To be brutally honest, I’m not sure those are the colours I would have gone with.

Now Theresa has unveiled the clean Brexit, which no matter how you look at it, is a messy Brexit. Or is that an alternative fact?