The new school term has started and the clock is ticking down to the beginning of my term as Chair of the school governors for our local primary school. I've been a governor for about 18 months and, back last September, agreed to become Chair this October for a year, if no-one else stepped up.
Of course no-one else has stepped up. They're no fools.
Back in 2009, agreeing to do this was rather like buying a sofa with nothing to pay for the first 12 months. A gradual feeling of doom descended on me as the academic year progressed. A year of watching, via email, the current incumbent struggle through teacher appraisals, parental complaints, resignations and resource gaps.
As this summer wore on and the email frenzy increased, a feeling of panic would bubble up each time I opened my Hotmail inbox and I'd gulp down hysterical laughter.
And now the first full meeting of the new academic year is a couple of weeks away and I remember nothing, NOTHING, from the detailed and prolonged handover which the outgoing Chair has given me.
Why, oh why have I got myself into this situation? Again? My sad and desperate need for validation, that's why. I was flattered into it, like so many stressful jobs in the past.
'FK, I think you'd make an excellent chairman/bazaar organiser/support manager/PTA helper/scone maker/kid's club chair/fancy dress coordinator...'
'Really?' I simper, 'How nice of you, of course I'll sort out 20 Christmas stalls and clean the Santa outfit/take on 36 direct reports and do quarterly reviews/bake 120 scones by Saturday/cover 100 tampons in silver foil for bullets in ammo belts.'
I've recently started having a recurring nightmare of myself at the end of the December term. I'm sitting on the floor of the deserted school hall, surrounded by the scattered pages of a ruinous Ofsted report and draped in a Father Christmas beard and cloak in dire need of a dry-clean.
I'm rocking slowly backwards and forwards and, if you lean closer, you can hear me softly keening the words, 'Special measures...special measures....special measures'.
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