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Thursday, 5 April 2007

Money can't buy...

Today was the last working day before we broke up for the Easter hols - hurrah! The children are such hard work and once again, James will be working all over the bank holiday. On this occasion however, he will bring Freya with him - I just haven't informed him yet.

I put a nice bottle of Krug from the cellar into the fridge this morning, in anticipation of being able to partake of alcohol again imminently. The end to my abstinence is finally in sight, hurrah!

This afternoon I was introduced to a new client and although I say new she was immediately familiar to me from the various first view events that I have attended over the years at the Dulwich Picture Gallery. Anne instantly recognised me too, and as we are virtually neighbours and in holiday mood, we trotted off to the nearest Starbucks for a decent latte and a chat.

Anne joyfully informed me she lives in a palatial mansion in the middle of the Village - good for her! She has twin children who are now grown up and have left home - how satisfying for her, she shall probably have a restful Easter.

Then Anne moved on to the subject of Dulwich independent schools, the temperature dropped substantially...

Anne volunteered that her son Geoff had been a boarder at Winchester from the age of seven - clearly a great source of pride to her. But daughter Rosie had been unsuccessful in her attempts to gain a place at School 1 or School 2 at the tender age of three and a half, and had "been forced" to attend local independent School 5 . I must admit I felt slightly sick at this point in the conversation, as I realised that there would be a hasty end to our friendly chat.

Tears welled up in Anne's eyes as she described her "intense sense of rejection and disappointment" almost twenty years ago!

"All is not lost though", she explained, "Rosie subsequently secured a place at Imperial and studied medicine, so she was not silly after all"... Clearly!

There are lots of very bitter parents out there, who have had the enjoyment of their children's young years sullied by their chosen schools refusal to allow their children a place. I don't think that Anne was so much disappointed for her daughters sake, but more for her own perceived loss of social standing in the locality!

Anne then asked me the inevitable dreaded question:

"So what school are your darlings attending then?" I had been fearing this moment since the subject was raised...

"They are at The Prep nursery", I replied.

"But you have a daughter," she said, "and they are shown the door at age four, are they not? where will she go next year?"

"School 1," I answered quietly.

"Well bully for you", she hissed before marching out of the cafe.

The poor woman has clearly been miserable for years suffering from affluenza - there are afterall some things that money just can't buy!

It was too close to the Easter holiday to do serious business anyhow, the Big Boss will never know about this lost contract...


Nunhead Mum of One said...

All that pressure!!!

dulwichmum said...

It really can be very difficult indeed at times - just being Dulwichmum!