We are fast approaching that time of year when our culturally diverse community celebrates significant milestones in their calendar. I may have gone too early for some, whereas others may be well advanced in their planning – but the clock is ticking on preparing for festivals including Diwali, Hanukkah and Christmas.

There are timely reminders along the way of course – this week we have been spooked by Halloween, and the changing of the clocks provided that all important extra hour in bed. Further signs will follow and before you know it, Daniel O’Donnell will be promoting another ‘unmissable’ album as a gift for any occasion.

A recent supermarket trip to purchase spicy Spanish chorizo was like navigating a slalom course around pop-up stacks of chocolate selection boxes and table crackers – further prompting our subconscious that December is calling. This will be reinforced in the coming days where different faiths and communities will celebrate the power of light over darkness, good over evil, and the sheer excitement of families enjoying firework displays across the country.

An early memory I have of the build up to the festive season was the annual bonfire and firework display at the home of Uncle Barry and Auntie Anne. Not my real Aunt and Uncle – but I was raised in a time when your parents’ friends were automatically labelled as relatives. Nonetheless good people, and boy did they love Fireworks Night. On the other hand, I did not.

‘Remember remember the 5th of November’ we would all shout as the bonfire was lit – a ceremony that was as symbolic for everyone else as it was terrifying for me. See I was not a fireworks fan. I didn’t like the noise, and I was convinced the remnants of the firework would somehow land on me and ignite my parka jacket. It would be dark, normally cold, and all I could think about was creeping inside and watching an episode of ‘Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em’. I just wasn’t cut out for the high risk world of pyrotechnics.

I actually remember speaking to my parents about moving abroad, as Bonfire Night was not a global phenomenon, we could relocate to a part of the world where the gunpowder plot was not celebrated at all. I presented, what I felt at the time, was a viable plan to move to Sweden – the birthplace of my grandmother. Whether it was the delivery of the idea, remember there was no PowerPoint back then, my parents felt it best we remain in Peterborough – much to my disappointment.

Once Fireworks Night passed, the build up to the different festivals we celebrated when I was at school was far less stressful. And now as an adult, being part of the school community is a blessing as this half-term although busy, is full of excitement, adventure and joy for students and parents. There is so much to look forward to including the nativity at Knell House, Upper III’s Christmas Play, Carol Services for Junior and Seniors, and the fabulous TAPS Candlelit Procession to name but a few.

As the march towards the end of the calendar year starts in earnest, we can’t wait to welcome you into school for some or all of these events, and share moments with your daughter that will last a lifetime. Then in the years that follow, you can reminisce…and remember.

Pete Holliday, Director of Marketing and Admissions