Minus Two Degrees

Nicholas Quirke was feeling the chill of the minus two degrees morning temperature on 27 November 2020, even though the heating was on, it suddenly felt no different to a winter in England, waking in the dark to a bracing cold day. The sunshine was misleading. It looked like a glorious day but there was no doubt the hazy days of of summer and autumn were over. It was a teaching day and he made sure he spent the morning relaxing as he was going to need his resources to get through the four hours he would spend in the company of reluctant learners. When lunch of hot dry noodles had been consumed he wrapped up warm and cycled to the APM store and Teasure. He had decided that this was a good location to work and have tea as it was an almost straight cycle from the mall to the school and only 15 minutes. Nicholas enjoyed the warmth and comfort of the tearooms and managed to get some work done including looking at potential Christmas presents in the Black Friday sales. He had a problem though as Amazon wanted him to confirm his account via an SMS verification to his UK phone number which was seemingly impossible for him to obtain. He had contacted his service provider who were dragging their heels in responding to him. He was going to have to make a phone call to get to the bottom of things. He cycled to the school and was charmed to pass by the twins Anthony and Alexander, in his first lesson, who were being peddled to school by their grandfather. He focused on the theme of Thanksgiving and the class was fun and entertaining for all. The lesson that followed with the older children was equally fun though oddly their knowledge of the American festival was not as comprehensive as the youngsters. They were joined in the class by a serious adult who observed with a cool and detached eye and when they played Hangman and the kids got a little raucous and over excited he was concerned that the observer would be horrified by the moment of anarchy. He swiftly got them under control with his silent and stern stance and the lesson resumed its steady course. He asked Lily and Colin who the watcher was and transpired that it was a prospective parent and was impressed with the lesson. He did not finish till 8.15 pm and meant a 50 minute journey home in the freezing night air and he did not get home till past 9. He would have to forgo any supper but was happy to have a couple of snacks as he conversed with his sister to arrange the purchase and delivery of Christmas goods to China. He felt he had barely been in before it was shower time and bed time.


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