B-Team News 5 February 2023

British schools are harsh. The amount of times my kids have been told to “be more resilient”, since they started school here 4 months ago, is a bit much. I assume they are used to dealing with kids who are being overly dramatic and so they draw hard lines. It’s like being in prison. They talk to you from behind the office window, they roll their eyes, they pound on the glass when they try to grab your child’s attention instead of using their name, they shame you for not feeling well. You would think they are dealing with the worst lowlifes on earth. This is not a caring and warm environment to be sure. This is what it’s like to feel unwell and ask the person in charge, who is supposed to have your best interest in mind, “may I please go home, I am not feeling well.” “You need to be more resilient.” It took my daughter over one hour today to talk the staff into calling me so that she could go home. She had to be her own advocate, stand her ground and argue and cry for one hour. She felt unsupported, shamed, deflated, and downright hysterical by the end of it. She came home sobbing. She couldn’t believe how “meanly” these women treated her. WTF? When are you old enough to be treated with respect, that you are not trying to pull one over on the school or your parents. That you are completely capable of going home and getting into pj’s and finishing your work independently. From the look’s of things here, it is not in years 11, 9 or 8. Be compliant, keep your mouth shut, fall in line.

My girls and I went to see Dirty Dancing at the Dominion Theatre this week. The actors were cast to look so similar to the ones in the movie. The clothes even looked identical! They added a few new scenes and cut some others out but overall, it was the film – live. I had never been to a west end show where the women in the audience were screaming and cat calling to an actor undressing on stage before. Neither had my teenagers who were shocked by it. They had never seen women behave that way before in fact, it was amusing. It was an inexpensive night out (tickets for under £30), with a theatre full of rowdy ladies, which turned into a dance party at the end. Fun!

We went to my son’s friends house for a meal and drinks last weekend while the kids went to an arcade. It was lovely to meet a new family and see the kids enjoy themselves so much. Two days later I received a call that their whole family tested positive to covid. sigh. We’ve all been feeling “off” this week. Several negative covid tests later, we are resting, and waiting for the one that shows positive.

Teachers all over the UK went on strike for one day this week over low wages and as a result, the kids had a day off from school. Teachers, nurses and rail workers are all striking regularly, this is not the England I remember. There is so much disruption on a regular basis. It’s hard to understand how society and the government undervalue these professions that are so vital.

Walking through Regent’s Park and Marylebone this week had me thinking about the royal cypher and when will it change, now that Charles is King. The royal cypher are the initials of the monarch that decorate lamp posts and post boxes all over town. Elizabeth Regina (queen in Latin) and George Rex (king in Latin) as seen in the photos above. I’ve read that the tradition is to leave the lamp posts as is as a way to commemorate when they were installed. I expect to see gates, postboxes and money change in the near future though. Maybe once the coronation happens in May?

My husband and I set out Sunday morning for a date walk/meal in the village of Leyton. Leyton is part of the Borough of Waltham Forest in East London. We waited way too long (over one hour) for potato hash and vegan haggis toasties at a Scottish sandwich joint in Leyton. The restaurant used to have a food truck set up outside of my husband’s office in Victoria many years ago. He had been craving this haggis sandwich since returning to London, hence our outing today. The food was very yummy but worth the wait, I’m not sure it was for me. He, who had had the toastie on the brain for a couple of years, was happy to wait. We walked the 5.5 miles home after, which was lovely on this gorgeous sunny day.

8 thoughts on “B-Team News 5 February 2023

  1. So nice to read your newsy update of your life in London! Wow! Harsh is the word for your school! I don’t know if it’s the British way or just your school! Poor thing😢 it’s bad enough to be sick let alone told to ‘buck up’! Nice you have so many walking opportunities! I enjoyed my visit with Stephen & kids when we walked through Hyde Park and with you seeing the Science museum among other things! London is an amazing city! But, I’m sorry I didn’t get to Melbourne! Enjoy! I have a direct flight from SFO to Istanbul in April so no stopover in London! Maybe next trip? Love Aunt Betty

    Sent from my iPad


    • I am not sure about whether or not it is the British way or we are just unlucky with school choice. J says his school is not this way and that they are more focused on “pastoral care”. We were pressured to find schools on short notice so our research was slim at the time. It is a very different environment to Australian schools, who value respect for the individual and encourage independence. Look forward to seeing you next time you pass through London.

  2. I absolutely hated English schools! When my Mum realized things weren’t going to get better, she pulled me out and homeschooled me. I have so many bad stories. They genuinely don’t trust teens and the teachers behave like kids while expecting the kids to behave like adults. Nope. Not for me

      • I get not everyone has the same experience, especially with immigrants. My parents talked to other immigrant parents about what was happening to me and about half of them said something similar was happening to their kids. And even some English parents said the same thing

  3. oh my god I would have loved the Dirty Dancing show – that was my favourite movie for so long!!!! Love the descriptions, really sorry about the school situation as we discussed……. And I wondered about the royal cypher – so interesting – I never knew what ER stood for!!!


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