27
Jan
09

The woman in black has scarlet fever – finally, some colour in my life

“We don’t want to worry you, but there have been several diagnosed cases of scarlet fever in year three…”

This letter narrowly pips last year’s missive about the strange man hanging around the lower playground with a camera during PE lessons (turned out he was a bird spotter, although that’s what I’d say if I was a paedophile in hiding) to the post in terms of the worry factor.

The woman in black felt slightly overdressed for the school run

The woman in black felt slightly overdressed for the school run

Generally, I ignore all letters that arrive home from school, or at the very least I try very hard to. The last time I did look at one, it was three sheets of A4 instructing parents how to make an exact replica Tudor costume for seven-year-olds. Just who is at school? The children, or me? My delicate ego can barely afford further shame on the scale of what I will only refer to as: The Egyptian Servant Costume Debacle.

Letters from school serve only three purposes: to chastise (‘there have been several cases of headlice in school – have YOU been checking your child’s hair?’), to beg (‘there are still plenty of spaces left for parents to sign up for a stall at the Country Fair!’) or to extort (‘the school trip this year is to Saturn. Please send your first installment of £12,053,021 to the office by Tuesday morning’).

I cling to the hope that if I ignore things for long enough, they will go away. This is a policy which has let me down very badly in the past.

Scarlet fever, however, cannot be ignored. I have tonsils like golf balls, a tongue like raw beef and a rash that renders me even more loathsome to the eye than usual. I am weak, weary and irritable. Those who know me might think this is no different to normal: they have yet to see the creeping plague over my shins and wrists.

I may take to my bed. Inform the emergency services if you hear nothing for more than 24 hours – or at least whip me up a Tudor costume, it’s ‘History Alive!’ day at school next week, and I have a feeling Tudors didn’t wear Darth Vader outfits. Boring, madrigal-obsessed bastards that they were.

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3 Responses to “The woman in black has scarlet fever – finally, some colour in my life”


  1. January 27, 2009 at 10:40 am

    Yet to experience it as an adult, but well remember finding stuff for a miserable Saturn exchange student to do on a wet Sunday afternoon.

  2. 2 pinnythewu
    January 27, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    God, it’s not bird flu is it??

  3. January 27, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    Pinny, you’re right. They SAY scarlet fever, they mean HN51.
    Thus far I have resisted the urge to fly into the patio doors, nest in the chimney stack or relieve myself over the nearest car. But it is early days.

    And Becky, yes, foreign exchange students were very NEEDY, weren’t they? For ‘needy’, read ‘loved by your parents far more than you’. Mine had a dual personality – an obnoxious, arrogant, impossible to please arse when with me, a saint when dealing with my olds. Thankfully, I managed to get out of visiting her parents in France through subterfuge, smoke and mirrors. I had had enough cultural exchange by then.


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