Tonight is the night of my kids school fete. Otherwise known as a fate worse than death.
A biannual event filled with noise, sugar and small children screaming.
I baked a lemon cake last night for the bake sale stall.
I donated blocks of chocolate and jars of lollies for prizes.
I paid 2 x $36 for ride wrist bands and then the worst of all I volunteered on the toddler game stand.
One hour watching other people’s children after working all day with other people’s children.
And I don’t usually work Fridays.
So I turn up.
My stall is set up in the shade and there are chairs to sit on. People don’t pay for admission so I don’t have to worry about handling money.
I sit down next to another volunteer.
She is one of the girls in my sons class grandmother.
We had the best chat over the course of our one hour shift.
She was born in Hong Kong and went to boarding school in England.
She had never seen cutlery when she got to boarding school and her first meal was mashed potato, peas and meat covered in brown runny gravy.
She had no idea what it was or how to eat it.
When I asked her what she does now she said she’s in investment and runs her business online at home.
When I asked her how she had trained to do that she told me she’s qualified as a nuclear physicist.
Then I told her about my job and she couldn’t believe that I teach 26 four year olds who mostly don’t speak any English.
She said she thought I was hilarious. I told her that I wished I was a selective mute because I have no control over my mouth.
I asked her if she saw the post on the entire class messenger group where I accidentally posted screen shots about the side effects of lithium instead of sending it to someone else.
She said she hadn’t but she thought it sounded pretty funny.
She also told me she hadn’t because she’d decided after living in Tasmania while working and schmoozing politicians she decided she didn’t want to have a mobile phone anymore.
We finished our hour of duty and hugged as we said goodbye and said that we would catch up for coffee sometimes.
Thus proving that sometimes when you dread something for weeks you might actually end up with a new 67 year old BFF.