Monday, October 03, 2005


I'm not quite sure what sound a balloon makes when it bursts. No, that's not right at all. The sound, I am all too familiar with; my ability to accurately transcribe it is in doubt. The effect, as ever, is the same. Hands full of razor sharp cuts and a face which feels like it has been forcibly stuffed into a nest of mosquitoes. Please forgive the biologically inaccurate simile, I guess I should have said fire ants but I didn't want to overstate my case.

When I began this, what shall I call it...annual sabbatical? Anyway, whatever label I choose to append to it, it was in the sure and certain knowledge that it would, as it has done for years now, end with a sigh of resignation and an acceptance of the reality that duty calls and that I must do that which I must do, mark the fucking scripts and teach the courses.

Only now, there are no scripts (fucking or otherwise) to mark and no courses to teach. And now that the twin pillars of my financial security have been removed, I find myself looking up at the roof and wondering, "How long?"

The Hungarian education system has recently undergone a complete overhaul with the result that, for the moment anyway, independent international language qualifications are not as necessary as they once were. Once the system settles down, this situation may well change, in fact I think it will but the upshot for the independent language schools is that, as long as kids are forced into a study of English and/or German alongside their preferred subjects at A-level, one, their lives will be more difficult and two, the demand for out of school tuition will fall.

So, it is time again to put my tried and trusted maxim of, "Worry not, something'll turn up" to the test. In the past it has proved infallible but that, as I am sure you are aware, is no guarantee of future success.

I find it interesting how the mindset changes. Suddenly, everything has a price tag. After years of casually tossing everything I fancied into the shopping trolley with nary a thought, there is now a reconsideration, a balancing of desire and necessity. I have, tonight, drunk all of the beer that was in the fridge (this post comes to you by courtesy of Beck's, in direct contradiction to the Amstel and Stella in the title of this blog, by the way) and have thuswise drawn a line under that part of my weekly shopping bill. The fact that I have now started in on my stocks of Islay causes me not one twinge nor pang of guilt. I have supported this family for more than ten years now and in some style so I reckon I have more than a little credit in the bank as far as that goes.

And it is to her credit that Idris recognises this and has gone around all the nursery schools in town promoting her music nursery service and ensuring at least a minimum fiscal stability until such time what, exactly? As my savings run out?

Three months due today on the life insurance/pension least that's running at me when I'm 60, I'll be fine.

So, from hence, whither? Bugadifino. I'll pour myself another cut price Finlaggan and remind myself of the mantra, "It'll be alright, you know it will".

Oh, fuck.

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