Us Brits are good at waiting for things – we endure apparently endless summers characterised by rain and disappointment in the vain hope that there will be a couple of weeks of sunshine at the end of it, we’re all patiently looking forward to the day that David Cameron and his equally clueless friends fuck off and, if we see a queue for something, we join it. It doesn’t matter what the queue is actually for, it’s in our DNA to stand in line for an interminable amount of time. We even voted Waiting for Godot the most important play of the 20th century, so something about sitting around waiting for nothing to happen is obviously something that strikes a chord with us. Speaking of which, Wednesday was one of the longest days of my life as Kate and I nervously sat by the email inbox hitting the F5 key ad nauseam hoping for news of Dylan’s primary school place.
My sister, who lives in another county, got an email at 6am informing her that her little lad, Jack, had been given their first choice. With the local council’s website seemingly blissfully oblivious and the previous correspondence we’d received simply telling us the date we would hear, we turned to social media to see if anyone else had received any news. Just about everyone I knew around the country had heard first thing. Some had been given a set time for later in the day when information would be forthcoming but, for the most part, people knew where their kids were going in September. Everyone, it seemed, except for people in East Sussex. Well, that’s not entirely true… the local paper knew how many had got their first choice, so the information was available.
Finally there was some news. It was late morning and the council Facebook page carried what seemed to be a hastily written update saying that emails and letters would be sent out late afternoon. Nothing on email or their own site – or Twitter, for that matter either – just a Facebook update. As both a concerned parent and experienced communications professional, I was tearing my hair out but I suppose it was something.
A few hours later and after much pacing around the living room doing irreversible damage to the carpet in the process, we got an email. We got Dylan’s first choice. Just as well as it was our only choice because we don’t drive! Phew. We slumped into the sofa, relieved. I think I lost a stone as well as most of my fingernails and am also contemplating buying some Just For Men to disguise the greys that have started to appear at my temples, but we got the news we wanted. Eventually.
We told Dylan the good news. “That’s nice. Can I watch Monsters Inc?” he said.