It turns out that a group of the head teachers have put together a special programme to honour two of their recently retired colleagues. The retirement age here is 55, but from their appearance and energy levels you would put both ladies in their early forties. They are dazzling in coordinated red and black attire. The programme includes heartfelt and tear-stained speeches, poems, songs, an acrostic – ‘R is for robust, rambunctious, resplendent Rosie’ – and a dramatic skit. The love and respect felt for the retirees is palpable.
Finally comes the giving of gifts. Two male head teachers have the task of presenting the tokens of appreciation – a set of jewelled gold earrings each. Rose, known for bringing laughter, warmth and a wonderful line in topical poems to liven up every meeting, is up first. She removes her earrings and tilts her head to let her presenter carefully begin putting the new pair in. The room collectively holds its breath as the heavily emotional proceedings of the afternoon come to a head.
Rose, always blessed with perfect timing, chips in:
“Now we see if he knows fi find de hole.”
The resulting shrieks of laughter must have been audible in England.