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Blue cheese – I absolutely love it! Especially with pears. I love the creaminess and the pungency of the cheese combined with the crispness and sweetness of the pears. It’s a meal on it’s own.

Stilton and Pears

I know…., traditionally the cheese course  is served after the main…. not before ….or  during. But when everyone in the household is happily occupied elsewhere, what’s wrong with a little indulgence while preparing dinner, especially after such a roller coaster day.

In the Morning……,

  • Double checked the emails and discovered the sports tournament is tomorrow not today – last minute scramble to accommodate revised schedule and to placate bewildered young people –  (most important question though, what should I do with the food I’d prepared?)
  • weather changed, skies opened with a vengeance. Soccer practice not cancelled so children turning into triple headed monsters in an effort to get out of having to go. Didn’t work.
  • cat sick on doormat
  • no petrol in car
  • late for work (yes, lucky me I get to work on a Saturday!)
  • ‘welcomed’ at work by 2 students who’d missed the message that their class was cancelled – couldn’t bear to send them away so did a frantic dash into the resources and tried to look cool and in control while teaching 2 classes simultaneously
  • no sugar in staff kitchen
  • no biscuits in staff kitchen
  • sugarless coffee and sad apple for morning tea

However, by late afternoon things were looking up. I had an ‘outside my usual budget’  stilton in front of me, a glass of reisling and the last of the pears from the pear tree in nice big chunks on a plate, and life was all good again. All thanks to the conversations I’d had earlier this afternoon with some complete strangers at a Business Expo. In a nutshell I had changed some people’s lives. Wow!

So I bought some expensive stilton – to celebrate my great achievement – changing people’s lives. Fantastic. Their careers had just been catapulted off on new and lucrative trajectories. A training course for one and a job opportunity for the other – not bad for 30 minutes work. These are tough times. Who wouldn’t want such brilliant opportunities? And they fitted into our requirements perfectly. it was a win-win situation.

But  as I settled in to a second glass of wine and began preparing dinner I realised just how naive I was being. To change someone’s life – goodness, that’s a big responsibility. And why would anyone want that? Imagine what a burden it would be, not to mention the egocentricity and selfishness of even thinking about such a claim. No, I didn’t want that at all.  I needed to take a reality check.

I believe Maria Montessori had it right when she said that it is the role of educators is  ‘to aid life, leaving it free to unfold itself’. She was talking about children but I think it can be applied to any age. I hadn’t changed anyone’s life. But maybe I had helped them to unfold and grow an idea that they had been quietly nurturing.  Maybe I had provided them with an opportunity or the motivation to explore that idea further. What lucky people to have such exciting challenges and possibilities ahead of them.

That then, seems to me, to be far more satisfying than thinking that I had changed someone’s life. It even gave the stilton some extra sweetness.