As a rule, I like surprises -
So long as they're not the big spider in the bed, aliens with a vendetta visitation, sudden summons to judgement day, or even worse... pub running out of beer type.
Surprises are particularly something writers seek to spring, whether with characters or stories, because they make for memorable books.
And as a rule, I don't like assumptions.
I know I shouldn't make them, tell myself not to, but I do; as, I imagine, do most of us.
Because it's a human failing, right?
But in favour of assumptions - they often lead to surprises of the pleasant sort.
Two examples have been making me smile this week, both concering da yoof at raising aspirations events.
(It's one of the delights of my teaching thing, how often dem kidz spring their surprises.)
Case one -
A group of three probably 16/17 year old girls, giggling away in a corner at a break.
I always wander round during breaks, to see how an event is going, as it's probably the truest measure.
The girls were looking serious and concerned, and very funny old me asked them why -
Perhaps with years of experience of my daughter, Niamh, I asked - "Are you talking about boys?"
To which came the answer -
"No, we were discussing whether, if we'd been this age a hundred years ago, we'd have been racists because of the nature of the times."
What can you say but wow?
Case two -
I always use lots of exercises to teach, and one girl, as soon as I set a task to work on, was straight on her phone.
Oh dear, I thought. Not paying attention, can't wait to get on social media etc.
Until I asked for answers, she put up her hand, and read one from her phone.
And it was terrific.
Maybe I won't berate myself so much for being human and making assumptions.
Not when they can lead to such wonderful and memorable surprises.