Open your mind

We are off to Rome later this week.

Just a short break for the kids half term holidays, that also brings the veil down on one role – before the curtain opens on another.

“Make sure to have some time off” was the advice from Simon, a friend approaching a similar phase in his career.

The planning for this trip predates any moves I may have made to take on a new work challenge. It goes all the way back to the start of the last school year (Year 4 for LLK). A throwaway comment that if LLK ever studied Rome at Primary School, I would organise a trip to the Eternal City.

I knew what I had to do as LLK stood on stage in July, playing the lead role of Boudicca in the story of the Roman invasion of Britain.

Watching LLK take some interest in the Romans, reignited some interest in my own Roman studies. I started an Open University Open Degree just before LLK was born. I was fed up at work and didn’t know where my next interesting challenge would come from. So I tried to occupy my time with studies.

It started well. I passed the Certificate in Humanities – learning about classical architecture and the History of Art. I moved on to the early courses of the Humanities with Classics programme. Then LLK was born. Then I changed jobs. The spare time I had was gone.

The enthusiasm, as it always did in school, faded the minute we got on to something that no longer interested me. So I made excuses – new father, more work. I didn’t sign up for the next block of studies.

Nothing has changed. I’m still a father that is about to start a new role, but with a two hour “commute” and two nights away with work a week. I am sure a lot of that time will be taken up with work, but if there was some spare time – better to put it to something useful than just the local food and wine establishments.

Maybe next autumn when I know where I am, what I am doing and can judge the free time I have. Until then I’ll more than make do with Tom Holland, Mary Beard, Professor Michael Scott, In Our Time and hope, nae pray to the gods that Natalie Haynes gets another run of Stands up for Classics.

Maybe next year. It would give us another excuse to book a trip back to Rome.

Chris Written by:

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