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A letter home from school

By Jo Green - Fri 23rd Dec 2011

Thursday was the last day of school before the Christmas break for my daughter.

On Wednesday, the day before, she came home with a note in her bag advising us in in both Valenciano and Castillian, confirming that Thursday was to be the last day before the Christmas break, but also that 'Papa Noel' would be visiting the school.

(Mr Grumpy, my other half, remained convinced that this meant Noel Edmonds, but I reminded him that he would be most unlikely to take a break from his latest grueling round of Seasonal 'Deal or no Deal' specials.)

The note went on to say how the children could dress as Shepherds if they chose to do so (Must be a Spanish thing... ?) and that the AMPA Mothers brigade would be serving Hot Chocolate from 3pm (...Once again, Hot Chocolate at Christmas must be a Spanish thing ...?)

Despite perusing my trusty Collins English-Spanish, and running the note through Google Translate, I could find no mention whatsoever as to what time the school day actually ended, and whether (as previous years) the parents could pop along mid-afternoon to watch Papa Noel gove the kids their presesnts before bunking off early.

Mr Grumpy is mostly uncommunicative at the best of times, but promised he would ask the Spanish Mommas what was happening when he dropped my daughter off in the morning.

His reaction when I arrived home from work at the lunchtime told me pretty much everything I needed to know....

He did ask the Valenciano Mothers Union what time school ended, but there was a huge difference in opinion between the fact that Santa was Leaving at 3pm and that Santa would be giving presents out from 3pm.

This was all the more worrying because 3 of the Mothers he asked were in the AMPA, and were supposed to have organised the whole thing.

The Gaggle of Mammas decided to head for the nearest Cafe to debate the issue, which didn't help matters as my OH had somewhere else to be and simply wanted to know what time one of us should collect our daughter.

In the end I opted to turn up at 4.30pm, prepared to wait around if I had to. Papa Noel had been and gone, and my daughter was playing with a few stray shepherds.

I still have no idea what the note meant - in any language - but at least now I know that the notes sent back from school are best off ignored.

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