Okay, maybe not everyone, but everyone who should be wearing a school uniform and sitting in Geography classes, but is, instead, roaming the streets like the feral animals they've become in a mere two days.
You see, it's half-term this week and that means that the nation's juvenile riff-raff is out of school, running wild and existing in places where they shouldn't exist.
There are lots of programs on television at the moment about the sorry state of the educational system here. Why can't Gavin read? Because he's never in f@#$ing school, that's why! Apparently, it's too much for British schoolchildren to attend school for more than eight weeks at a time, so they are given half-term breaks three times a year, along with the usual holiday breaks for Christmas, Easter and Summer. Good grief.
Perhaps if the children here went to school for more than two months at a time, they'd get out of school before the last week in July. At any rate, they'd be in school this week, instead of in my way, which is where they are now.
Today was Stitch 'n Bitch and our meeting place wasn't its normal haven, but the temporary evening haunt of a group of hormonally-challenged, teenaged, gum-snapping, trendy shitbags.
Yeah, I said it. Gum-snapping, trendy shitbags.
It had been a long day as a friend and I had already gone to (and left) Oswaldtwistle, where we attended our monthly beginner's patchwork class. Two competing high-maintenance pains-in-my-ass, one certifiable loon and an hour's drive later, all I wanted was a croissant and a hot chocolate and to put the finishing touches on a scarf that I have been knitting for what seems like two years.
It wasn't to be. My fate was to wait in a line - pardon me, a queue - behind a, frankly, indistinct gaggle of pubescent girls wearing too much make-up and wardrobed in a decidedly finite array of styles. They looked like quasi-animated Bratz dolls, except with skin the color of burnt sienna and the texture of chalk, thanks to too much fake tan and heavy-handed makeup applications. One of them looked like a Seville orange with Chrissie Hynde's hair tacked on; her smoky eyes - meant to evoke sultry adulthood - made her look like she'd tripped and fallen into coal dust. They were clumped together in a cloud of combating perfumes and lip gloss shades and clad in ridiculously similar (if not exactly the same) outfits. All while eying up immature, boy-band wannabes - complete with highlights that would make a circa 1982 George Michael proud - who were sitting in the back of the cafe, quacking their inane opinions at max volume.
I will be soooo happy when half-term is over.
But I'll only be happy for two months: the Christmas holidays are just around the corner.