Keep calm and.....HITLER!!! How I learned to love the Bomb

It isn't.
Hitler gave us a Snow Day.

Tales of the Unexpected: the school was shut today because, during BSF work, builders discovered a suspected World War II bomb in the foundations of the rubble that was our modern wing. You might be more surprised to learn that BSF work still happens somewhere than the idea that Nazi ordnance underpinned the load bearing walls of our science wing for seventy years. 

Everyone to the Andersons! Getting hundreds of children safely outside is easy when everyone's done the drills a thousand times- an example of the utility of all those dreary mornings spent counting heads in the rain in response to a nervous alarm system.

What's harder is resisting the urge to say, when pupils ask why they have to leave immediately; 'A NAZI BOMB from the PAST!'  I believe that mumbling a few words about 'No cause for alarm' is what Plato would have called a 'Noble Lie' if such a thing could be said to exist. A Noble Lie. My conscience is clear, although misleading children sticks in my throat, even at such a time, to avoid panic.

There are few, if any times when you can say that the Luftwaffe disrupted your lesson plan. Risk assess THAT, f*ckers. 'Name of potential hazard: Incendiary Bomb. Actions taken to minimise risk of born fifty years after the Blitz.' What next? Stubbing our toes on Saxon bear traps?

Who knows what lies beneath the ground upon which we tread? Amazingly, many of the kids just took it in their stride, having been raised with the seige narrative of the Blitzkrieg from the cradle. 'Just a bomb, Mum....a German one,' I heard one girl say on the phone to her mother. Moments like that remind me of the perfect adaptability, resilience and good humour that lurks in the hearts of all people, along with all of our other less utopian potentialities.

'Make sure you DO NOT MISS the cursed Behaviour Guru!'
Of course, in perfect human obliviousness, some people were crowding round the entrance of the site to see if they could see anything; also absolutely human, however much it may assist them winning next year's Darwin Award. Who can blame them? The chance to see The Hurt Locker happen before your eyes doesn't come often. It reminded me of when I ran a nightclub in Soho, just as the IRA were wrapping up their act back at the turn of the Millenium. A bomb could turn a nightbus into confetti two streets away, and people would ask me- without missing a beat- if I knew whether the N33 was still running through Trafalgar. Ah, the IRA, you almost get nostalgic. They were proper terrorists; even gave you a warning call and a password. Are you listening Al-Queda? Are you?

People often wonder, 'How could you live in Sarajevo, in Baghdad, in Belfast during the fighting?' And of course the answer is, you just do. The human spirit casts many shadows, but it is infinitely flexible, durable and pliable, strong as steel when it needs to be, and soft enough to curve round any obstacle, given time.

Take THAT, Hitler.

Next week:

  • SEAL for Nazis
  • Nazi Learning Styles
  • Nazi Gym
  • Assessment for Nazis
(That's enough Nazis, Ed)


  1. What an exciting day for you! Love the phone call to mum.

  2. Well written Tom and a particularly reflective conclusion... kinda like a wise wink at the end of Points of view.

  3. What, the SEAL for Nazis?

    Cheers, Rebecca


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