So, it seems that I courted controversy after all, with my casually cheery approval of Al and co's term-time holiday. If it helps, Dilly had already said that she felt quite guilty about it. I encouraged her, however (so, not so helpful, loves) - yes, I do know the problems it causes teachers when there are a few pupils off every week and it's necessary for them to catch up later, but the benefit to Al and co as a family will outweigh that, I'm quite sure.
Today has been quite busy, with back-to-back meetings and no time for meals. First, a meeting with my vice-chairman (have I ever mentioned that she's quite brilliant and I'm astonishingly lucky to have someone who is a lovely friend as well as a totally reliable back-up?), then a brief meeting with the Head before a Steering group meeting, then three-quarters of an hour at one committee meeting (I'm not on that committee, though I normally go to its meetings because I'm the supportive type, honestly I don't interfere) before it was time to go to the meeting where I am a member. I got home, had a couple of slices of bread and Marmite and a half-glass of wine, wrote the AGM agenda, answered some phoned queries, before shooting off to another meeting with the Sage. We picked up fish and chips on the way home and I'm well down a bottle of wine now.
Mary is brilliant and kind in how she backs me up. She's so much more conscientious than I am. Occasionally, it gets to be a tiny bit pernickety, how detailed her care is, but she's right actually - that I'm more inclined to wing it once in a while is something we can get away with, but I enjoy the risk and can cope with the frantic flurry when I need to catch up. She isn't the least bit plodding, just reliable. I love her dearly and the only thing is, when we get together we really want to chat and find it hard to keep to work matters. She used to be chairman, and then her mother-in-law had a serious accident, and Mary looked after her for months, so I had to take over day-to-day, and that's rather how I became chairman - so we have supported each other in our time. She, I and the Head make a good team, and he has a good team at school too. And yes, I have got an exit strategy, I'm not planning to be doing this in five years' time. I put a lot of work in to something, and then I let go. I will miss it, but I will leave it and not look back.
The volunteer thing, it's remarkable, really. It's good, that there are so many people who are still motivated to help for no intrinsic reward. We've got a couple of vacancies on the governing body, but we intend to hang on to them - in a year's time, the middle schools will close and some good, experienced governors will be available, and we'll have some of them. I've already secured a couple (I'm good at recruitment - well, darlings, could you imagine that they could resist an enthusiastic Z?) and I want them to know that their expertise will be valued. Middle schools may be on the scrap heap, but good teachers and governors are not.