First things first, Gloria is still OK and hasn't been pecked while I've been out, and I have also bought a load of chicken wire to reinforce the run as much as possible.
Also, I take back every uncharitable thought about Educational Welfare and their involvement with my client, because the meeting we have just had was polite, helpful, supportive and above all made my client feel like she's doing a good job whilst at the same time giving the Father a hefty boot up the behind. Without breaching any confidentiality I can say he needed it.
On the way there I'd already been to one meeting and also gone into town to purchase the chicken supplies. I realised I didn't have time to go home and started to worry about the impression that I would be making, my age, the jeans and low cut tshirt I'd thrown on this morning as pretty much the only things clean, my professional status as part of the voluntary sector, and how on earth I was going to manage to get my client more help without either repeating conversations that were totally private for her or possibly even getting her in more trouble.
Anyway, as I was busy taking myself seriously and worrying that either nobody else would, or I'd be asked to take on an even more active role which overstepped my madate, the heavens opened. My first thought, with considerable irony, was that it served me right for being so soppily poetic yesterday as I romanticised the storm I watched from that little bathroom window two years ago. My next thought was that any control I actually had over how I appeared to other people was utterly gone.
So I had a good laugh at myself, and stopped worrying about how it would look to arrive amongst the smartly dressed council employees, looking like a drowned rat, in casual mummy atire, and carrying a huge roll of chicken wire...