Tuesday 7 June 2011

Common did or mean

I should make it very clear, there were some excellent teachers at that school, though there were also some poor and indifferent ones.  I may go back to the topic - in fact I'd like to, if only to think it through for myself.  I was quite happy there, and if I was unstimulated I didn't mind, I preferred to be left alone. My sister, however, was not happy at all and, looking back, it's hard to understand why our parents didn't move her to another school.

Today, I spent at the high school, first with a meeting between me, the head and the financial manager.  There's a lot happening, in preparation for becoming independent of the local authority.  We've not had our application accepted yet, but have been told that we've passed the preliminary stages.

After that, I spent the rest of the day in Year 9 music.  It's at the limit of what I can help with, sometimes a bit beyond, as it involves composition and I don't have the knowledge.  I was better with the afternoon group than the morning one, having picked up some useful tips.  In addition, the afternoon group are very friendly, if, on occasion, slightly too much so.  I'm too old and experienced to get myself into difficulties, and they are fine.  Teenagers are great, and it's interesting to see how a tricky personality can get drawn into a lesson and do some really good work.

This evening, I went round the Common on a trailer, drawn by a tractor.  There is an annual inspection, where a couple of dozen owners see what's going on and how it's being maintained.  It is a privately-owned common, where 400 acres are owned in 300 shares, known as 'goings', mainly by private individuals, but also by charities and the town council.  The Sage, who is a Common Reeve (voluntary management committee member) owns 10 goings; I went as a representative for his cousin.

A large part of the common is rented by the golf club, much of the rest is let for cattle grazing, and the rest is open to the public for walking on.  More management is required than you'd think; a lot of birch and oak saplings grow from seed and have to be cut down, as does gorse and various wild flowers, when in the wrong place.  At present, the main problem is dog-walkers on the golf course, who seem oblivious to the danger of beetling into the line of fire of a driven ball.  There's plenty of space for them to walk, it seems perverse to trot along the fairways.

Afterwards, we went for a drink at the golf club.  It was a lovely sociable atmosphere and I rather wished I played, or had the least inclination to, for the pleasure of going there.  When we finally rolled home, I couldn't be bothered to cook.  I put a frozen pizza in the oven.


Dave said...

If I could afford it I would have no objection to playing golf (indeed, I'm playing pitch and putt with my son next week). Wild horses wouldn't drag me into the clubhouse.

Rog said...

You, Sir, are nothing but a Common Reeve!

Roses said...

*shocked gasp*

A Common Reeve. Well. We've socialised together and you've waited until now to tell me?


Roses said...

PS. How about we go to the Club House on Dave's behalf?

Christopher said...

Now I shall spend all day worrying about Charles I.

The Boy said...

You're going down the accademy route? Fascinating, I shall have to dig through your archive.

The convulutions of British land ownership equally fascinate me. Is this common ownership a relatively new thing, or something a bit more ancient?

Unknown said...

Well I agree with Chris. What has all this to do with the trial of King Charles I, who 'nothing common did or mean upon that memorable scene' ? We seem to have wandered a long way from the man Charles Stewart.

Unknown said...

Sorry. Withdraw that last comment please. I've got the connexion I think.Inspection of common by Common Reeve. Bit ruff though.

Z said...

If I could spare the time, Dave, I'd want to be doing something more useful. Once in a while, perhaps, but that wouldn't make me a half-good player.

He's my bit of rough, Rog.

I have no idea why Dave is so against the idea of going into a room where there are comfortable chairs and friendly people, with a lovely view out of the windows and the opportunity to have a pleasant drink with a friend. Takes all sorts, Roses!

Chris, I'm so sorry to tell you, but it didn't end well for the King.

I'm not sure I've said a lot about it, Boy, I'm fairly discreet about the school, from the management side at any rate. I can't wait to be free from the lack of accountability that the local authority displays in the spending of our money.

The Fen Reeves (now called Common Reeves) were established as managers of the Common in the early 18th century, but grazing rights were attached to ownership of properties in the town well before that, very likely before 1500, and they could be bought and sold separately from the properties.

Z said...

Indeed, we 'did' the Common, Mike!

Dave said...

I have nothing against comfortable chairs and a lovely view out of the windows.

luckyzmom said...

I am often at the sink in our kitchen which looks out to the first tee of the golf course (neither of us play the game). I have often seen people strolling, usually in pairs, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they are holding up golfers games or that they could possibly get struck and seriously injured. This dispite the notices to stay off.

We had pizza last night too!

Z said...

Or a pleasant conversation with a few friendly people, surely? There were no rules up about what sort of clothing to wear and, although there was a bar, no evidence of unseemly swigging.

Minestrone tonight. How come I never seem to make less than a gallon of minestrone, even though there are only two of us?!