Monday, March 16, 2015

World Book Day Week - if you see what I mean - day 4, Thursday 5th March: The Posh School, Cambridge 

I do not have to be on a train before 7 a.m. This is a good thing. The Posh School is perhaps five minutes' cycle ride from my home. This too is a good thing. Local bookstore Heffers (host to all of my book launch events thus far, bless them) are selling books at the school so I have no need to take copies in with me. This also is a good thing. It will be no trouble at all then to arrive on time and in a perky state having had a lovely easy morning of it. And I do, more or less, but it's a good job I allow myself a ridiculous amount of spare time to find the place.

I find the right road easily enough and cycle down it looking for the school. There are posh houses and some posh larger buildings that might be businesses or a school, but I don't see a nice clear sign anywhere with the Posh School's name on it. When I am definitely further down the road than I ought to be I consult Google Maps on my phone. It gets me to the general area but I know better from my experiences with the running app than to trust the accuracy of the GPS to provide absolutely specific location. This one building here looks fairly hopeful but lacks any definite signs of, well, children. And there's no sign at the gateway, nor one (so far as I can make out) by any of the doors of the building itself. I try the next gateway along. Here there is a closed metal gate with a number pad and intercom beside it. Inside I can see a bike rack with some children's bikes in it. So that looks hopeful (though still no signs anywhere).

I press the call button on the intercom.



I wander along to the next gateway (definitely just someone's house) then back to the intercom.

Press, wait, nothing.

A mother and child appear. Mum starts to punch the code into the keypad. I think maybe she'll take pity on me and let me in at the same time.

'Is this the [name of Posh School]?'

'Yes. But the reception's back there.' The mum points back to the first gateway. 'You probably need to go back there.' I go back there.

I wander in through the gateway. Still no sign. No sign that says 'Reception' either. I try the door that I think looks most reception-like. A man coming out of it explains that, no, this is catering, but he'll take me to reception. Perhaps I am projecting but I sense that possibly he has done this before. More than a few times.

At reception I am met and greeted and asked if I found the place all right. I explain about my slight delay.

'Oh, our head has a real thing about it. Refuses to have a sign. Drives delivery men mad,' says my host.

'I'm not bloody surprised,' I think.

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