The German Exchange Visit


We signed a form at school to show a provisional interest in the exchange programme happening this year, and the next thing, there was a meeting and they were arriving yesterday….I think we missed out on a letter somewhere, but no matter. Various schedule juggling then took place. Then there was a frenzy of activity in the house. It needed to be tidier, less dusty. And the spare room needed a blitz. Despite my best intentions, it gets used a store room between visitors, necessitating a stress-inducing burst of activity when the time comes to use it again. Each time I say I will not do this again…Dusting, hoovering, cleaning the windows inside, actually ironing the duvet cover. (We never do normally). Worry about whether the bed is ‘aired’.

Then the pretence starts. That we live a better, more wholesome life than we do. Similar things used to happen when the Class Bear used to come for the weekend, with his little spy-in-the-house diary. Always felt you couldn’t do that Slobby thing when he was here, and felt obliged to do something Worthy and Educational. The school have given us a full itinery, which is not what we would normally, do, nor indeed what we could afford to do normally. A visit to a climbing wall, out for Sunday lunch, a trip to a bowling alley. One wonders whether it is in fact a good idea to give this somewhat rosey, false view. I cannot just blame the school, I have colluded too. The German student is a lovely polite girl, and I wonder what she will make of us, in our lone parent, messy, cat and degu household. I hope she has a good time, and that she likes us!


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