December the results came in. Sparkle of early summer mingled with grades of the year’s subjects, a year’s responses to things half-understood, knowledge recalled willy-nilly or rote. We ran free of results as the beach beckoned. They still come in. We watch our children deal with a pronounced B, teacher’s comments sometimes unhelpfully ambiguous. ‘Co-operative? Usually.’ Or does it ever stop? December, the results of our year still a mixed scorecard. What was that all about? Even at eighty they have the ‘failed the exam’ dream, only notice ‘Room for improvement’, not the A with ‘Excellent’. Glad holidays are here.