Lights Out Ladies!

Follow one woman's tales from the staffroom of a quaint, newly co-educational, English boarding school in deepest, darkest Dorset. (*all names have been changed.)

Summer Term - Week 10

Posted by Lights Out Ladies
Lights Out Ladies
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on Monday, 10 June 2013
It's Inter-House Rounders today which has meant most of the girls have taken Period 5 off to "get in the zone." This appears to mostly involve listening to motivational music whilst streaking their cheeks with eyeliner for that warrior-like look. There are only 3 girls houses at the school so I reassure a girl from Boudicca that she will definitely get bronze. Not being the brightest girl in the house (she still pronounces it Boo Dikka) she looks pretty happy with my assurance.

There are a few staff milling about as we set up the pitch for the long-awaited games. It's a rather close, cloudy day but the forecast has assured us there will be no rain at least. We spent a miserable day last week huddled under the cricket pavilion as the rain lashed above us and the girls tried to cheer each other up by telling jokes about getting to third base. Now though the pitch is awaiting our She-Warriors and the battle is about to commence.

I am umpiring the second game - when Boudicca will take on Austen - and have been brushing up on my Rounder's rules. There are a lot of them and the game often comes to a halt when we all start to debate whether in fact Felicity was guilty of 'obstruction' or whether Trixie was wrong to knock the Rounders post away with her bat. Half rounders are awarded for getting to second base and this is reasonably easy to do as the largest girl in the year - a dumpling known to her friends as Poppet - has never once broken into a jog during the game and she covers that area. Walking to pick up each ball the person running has not only celebrated their rounder but has also had time to high-five the rest of her team and finish her water bottle.

Today's games are tense and Austen take the lead in their first half. 14 and 1/2 rounders in 30 minutes. One of them claims it's a school record. But then all comes to a grinding halt as Poppet calls for a water break. There are no such things but the girls instantly down bats and head to the pavilion to re-apply their eyeliner and discuss tactics. After twenty minutes I'm wondering what to do when they all charge back out onto the field. Boudicca's first batter - Gems - looks steely in the square. Taking aim she gives the ball an enormous thwack and sets off. At 13 and a 1/2 rounders with 3 minutes left the atmosphere could be cut with a knife. The ball is struck and now Felicity takes off round the field. Incredibly Poppet decides that this is her moment and charges towards the ball. Scooping it up she lobs it to 4th base and the girl there catches it. Felicity is out, Austen have triumphed and Poppet is given a chair lift, which lasts less than 10 seconds when the girls realise they can't manage it.

Felicity is looking non-plussed as all the Austen girls huddle around her. I can just make out one girl saying, "At least we get bronze" before they all troop inside.

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