May 31, 2015

Thursday 30th April-Friday 1st May Lightning Strikes

Morning…things are looking up we have a cleaner! She came last night after we had cleaned the house and it didn’t look too bad and she starts tomorrow after everyone has made a mess..it is that quick! Tonight’s job is sorting out my costumes and ironing them for tomorrow’s dress run in the theatre …apparently the creased look that I’m a fan of as my back hates ironing, is a no go!

Time Hop has reminded me that it was a year ago our school was hit by lightning and made headline news.

I can remember very clearly sitting in the staff room eating my lunch when suddenly there was an almighty bang and crack, louder than anything I have ever experienced before. For a split second the mind wondered if it was a bomb or an explosion. I was aware of people screaming, crying in the distance, colleagues around me either cowered or jumped up and everyone was shaking with shock in the aftermath. In the immediate silence afterwards, the staff realising that everyone in the room was ok, suddenly jumped up and ran out in different directions. Some ran to the front entrance and office, where they apparently found shaken parents and children who had been on their way into the building at the time of the explosion. I ran down the corridor towards my classroom. I could still hear children crying and was aware that as I ran I had a mug of half drunk tea still in my hand. I deposited it on the side as I rushed down the corridor. As I reached my classroom the children, some very upset and shaking, were in the process of being shepherded out of the classroom by the lunchtime supervisors. In times of crisis people all pull together and the whole school did a huge, massive pull that day. The children were all congregated in the hall, registers taken, parents contacted, upset children comforted, children with ear damage looked after, stories were read and I found myself playing the piano in the hall leading a whole school sing-along! As one colleague said it was how you imagined it felt like in the war.. everyone pulling together, trying to stay calm, distracting and calming both upset children and adults. Whilst we were in the hall others were assessing the damage and dealing with the emergency services. The lightning had hit the school and on its path sliced through the middle of a large tree outside my classroom.

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The force had blown out a classroom window next to my role play area, where children had been playing. Some of these were the ones so shaken and upset.

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It threw the clock off the wall.

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It had blown the bark off the tree, damaged the roots and thrown pieces of wood far and wide across the school grounds…it’s force was astounding.

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It destroyed outside displays and equipment, frazzled our phone system, and computers and whiteboards in the vicinity were destroyed.

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The area was deemed unsafe until the tree which was still warm, was taken down, the window mended and a phone system in place.

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All the children were collected by their parents and in no time it seemed everything was sorted. The next day the children were able to see the zig zag crack in the tree, where the lightning struck and realise what damage lightning can do. What they perhaps didn’t realise was how very lucky they were, as by rights it was lunchtime and they should have been playing outside underneath that tree. That would have been a very different story.

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It’s Friday, It’s the first of May and time to face a day of Indian dancing and learning about the Hindu God Krishna.

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It’s also time to prepare and face up to a weekend ahead of dancing and performing. Finally, it’s time to face up to the fact that after three days of eating a cardboard lunch I made up the calories I lost by drinking wine last night with a friend…sadly, much needed! I’m useless…