Archive for April, 2013

Sick but not so Sad – 4 ways to feel better

April 20, 2013

As I type this sunny Saturday morning I am laid waste by another cold-flu infestation. I have a throat from hell, a head of porridge, a heaving chest, and very soon a red and sore nose. I have more of these afflictions this year than any other year in recent memory – indeed it is the endless winter germs of Narnia.

I am going to be ill for the weekend. No, dear reader, not because I choose to be, but because that is how it has been ordained. My delightful baby girl who passed this onto me –having acquired it from her elder sister – is regaling me with the manifold discomforts to come. So, I am readying for the disease storm and gathering my comforts around me.

eeyore

Rules for being sick at home

1.Make yourself comfortable: set yourself up in a nice cosy place. This could be the lounge room, tucked in a corner, with blankets and cushions on the sofa, telly on, remote in hand. Or bed for the day, snuggled beneath the doona, room darkened, your sleeping mask close by, music softly playing somewhere, a dvd box set to snooze in and out of. Remember you need to be in a peaceful place and away from those you live with so you don’t infect them and you can just worry about getting better.

be comfy

 

2.Medical supplies: have what you need to ease your sufferings close at hand. A good box of tissues is crucial as the better quality is infinitely kinder on your nose than the cheaper stuff. It is worth the investment. Have your favourite throat lozenge: Strepsils reign at our house, just the ordinary Orange does. But any soother will do. Lemsip is handy as is a decent cough medicine. I also recommend having pain killers in reach, especially the ones that make you woozy, so you can snooze your way through your illness. Don’t forget a hot lemon and honey drink too – excellent for the throat and general well being. Perhaps a medicinal Brandy wouldn’t go astray, or a small glass of sherry or some other fortified wine, the sort that warms as it goes down.

cold & flu remedies

 

3.Indulge in simple comfort food– plus a few treats of course! Nice food helps you feel infinitely better. Comfort food is for when you need comforting and what better time for comfort than when you are ill! Eggs and toast, although not together are excellent comfort foods. Toast and vegemite is one of the most reassuring meals in the world for Australians at the best of times, so in the worst… A list of toast: toast and melted cheese (with vegemite, recommend it), toasted ham and cheese sandwiches, toast and jam, toast and beans, etc. Scrambled eggs are lovely, as are simple old boiled eggs. And don’t overlook the simple pleasure of soup; tin or packet, but it should be thick with things in it. You are allowed cakes too: sweet things make you sweet. Plus you are allowed a personal stash of chocolate to get you through, especially as chocolate is so excellent at soothing throats. And because you are ill you can eat whenever you want and not feel constrained by meal times.

Vegemite

 

4.Passive activities are recommended. You need to rest so holding a magazine to flick through or a book to idle away time is not too taxing. Nor is lying quietly watching the TV. But do not burden yourself with weighty matters, go for fluff, things you really enjoy – things that will make you feel better. So if you want to watch all of Black Books again, or Bergerac, then why not.

black books

Be nice to yourself. Hopefully your loved ones will be nice to you as well and make a cup of tea or coffee and bring you the papers to read. Be still, rest, don’t worry and soon you’ll be all better and back to your bouncy Tigger best.

tiiger bounce

Get well soon. (Images courtesy Google Images)

 

Advertisements

There is only Love

April 13, 2013

In the end Love is all that matters. Hopefully you were made in love and when you go you will be surrounded by those you love because you have loved.

In the meantime – go in Love and live a life worth living through love – yes feeling a bit soppy this blog, but really if there isn’t love what else is there?

Love-fam

 

Today is simple – Do only 3 things

Do the things you love

The things you really love, that make you happier and more able to face the world – sleep in, read a book all day, play in the garden, write your book, have a long lunch, eat chocolate and drink champagne

Love-bed

Spend time with the ones you love

Those ones who love you back unconditionally – show them you know and love them too. Have a coffee with your friends, chat for ages on the phone to your mother, walk your dog, watch your favourite box set with your best bloke. Yes, just simple things show the love.

Love-zanz

Say I love you

Yes, actually say the words, but as F Scott Fitzgerald said ‘action is character’, so do things for them too – throw the ball for your woof, make dinner for your partner, let your teenage daughter spend all day in the bathroom. Hug them, and yes tell them. I love you – still three of the best words you’ll ever hear.

love-dave

 

Remember the amount of love songs out there – Love is All Around and in the end, despite the winter that never ends, the job that sucks the joy from your very being, if you have love in your life, you are better than fine. Remember love and be loved. It’s enough -more than enough. (Images courtesy Private Collection)

Education Wars – stop the black v white view of teaching

April 12, 2013

Education in the UK is a mess. It’s clear that the divisions within the educational community are deep and wide and tremendously destructive. How can we have a world class tertiary sector alongside dismal secondary (and primary) education? How can Gove be so wrong/right and teachers and their unions so right/wrong? How can so many students from public schools get into Russell Group Universities compared to other sectors? Why does opposition to Gove or Wilshaw bring out vilification? Why are teachers led by the nose by their lefty unions, as if they are unthinking drones? Indeed, why are teachers all lefty Marxists who are lazy beasts who have too many holidays and are paid far too much?

snoopy & marshmallows

In fact the question to ask is why doesn’t the media ask incisive questions about Education and do some considered investigative journalism about the state of education in the UK. There was a report in a broadsheet recently about the advantages of young teachers and fast tracking promotion in schools. But it was a superficial piece that did very little to look at how schools were deploying staff, only a one sided presentation about the merits of fast tracking, with comments from young teachers. Surely the story about Annaliese Briggs, recently appointed to Pimlico Primary, at 27 years old, without teaching qualifications is worthy of a serious investigative piece? What does this development tell us about the current state of education, not to mention the future of the profession?

Education touches many lives, whether it’s getting into the school of choice, support for students with special needs, league tables, academy take-overs, free schools, curriculum changes, standards, access to universities of choice. For parents it is central to their family’s well being for many years. The stories about couples moving to get into the right catchment areas are legion in the papers, as are the stories of heartache when children cannot get into a school at all, let alone one of their choice! It is no wonder that Education is a topic that causes great division in society.

But, it does not need to be so. I am very far from being pro-Gove or pro-Wilshaw. I consider both men driven by their egos and a belief in their own rightness at the exclusion of all else. All that I read about Gove supports this, from the amount of dissenters to his policies, to the bullying of his staff. I have worked with Wilshaw, so I know thereof what I speak. Both men have an abiding belief in the avenging, correcting all conquering hero, not a view I subscribe to, but observing the parlous state of state education here I can understand their positions.

Dear reader, the Education world does not have to be viewed as black or white, which is what our educational political masters, in league with the media, would have us believe. Teachers are not lead by their unions, nor are they in charge of what happens in their curriculum and not everything Gove says is, or should be automatically rejected by teachers as, rubbish.

The truth is that the politics of division is useful, it manufactures fractures and breaks where there are none, it makes wars where there is no need and it keeps the politicians in the news.

Shockingly, not everything Gove says is automatically rejected by ordinary class-room teachers. I come from a system where there is no such thing as a two tiered exam system, or the chance for endless re-takes – I find this to be the cause of much unnecessary angst and confusion in my school. It’s not actually that difficult to design an exam that caters for the range of students. And there seems to be an awful lot of money being made by the various exam boards peddling their wares to support their curriculum. Is Gove wrong to try and shut them down?

Is Gove wrong to change the way Education is delivered in the UK? Perhaps some of his methodology needs revision, some of his priorities need challenging, as do some of the current educational practises… But to pretend everything is hunky dory is to live as a frightened ostrich does.

snoopy & sax

A curriculum based on facts and skills is the most sensible way to go. A less emotive word for facts might be content. Skills need to be hooked into content. Many commentators are now ranging the Education wars into those who support the American E.D Hirsch and those who reject him and his list of facts for American students so they can close the poverty and achievement gap – The Knowledge Deficit: Closing the Shocking Education Gap for American Children. Interestingly he comes from a literature background (not education) and discovered the lack of broader knowledge through reading tests. Most experienced English teachers know that the further students go with studying English – A levels and beyond  (but GCSE’s too) – the more advantaged they are by reading widely from an early age and knowing about the world.

This was brought home to me twenty years ago, incidentally not that long after Hirsch came to his conclusions, when I had several students from Papua New Guinea in my A level equivalent English class. They were hard working, keen and responsive students. But one of the areas of deficiency I could not over-come for them was their lack of knowledge about the Bible, myths and legends and other English literature texts referenced in the literature we were studying. It reinforced what I knew instinctively, that the more widely read you were, the better your ability to understand texts and then write about them and achieve the grades you needed to go onto university.

Thus, dear reader, the importance of reading to your child all those wonderful fairy stories and legends from long ago, and then keeping them reading widely and independently cannot be overstated, despite the electronic temptations of our age.

snoopy & homework

I was also privileged to work with some clever people in curriculum design who understood very clearly that you learned ABOUT English THROUGH English. To wit, that skills and knowledge were not separate entities, that they worked together, that certain ‘facts’ of English had to be learnt, such as grammar, spelling rules, structures of texts; that certain texts had to be read. Thus students had to have a diet of Shakespeare, novels, poetry, short stories, modern drama and non-fiction texts, as well as an expectation of independent reading, that would go onto inform their writing and success in exams. Creativity did not suffer and students were excellent at discussion, group work, using evidence to support opinions, and the use of their imagination.

A misconception that needs to be smashed apart: Teachers are not in charge of what goes into the curriculums they teach. They are rarely consulted about what they think about teaching and learning – I’ve been doing this job for 30 years and I’ve been consulted only once about changes. Most ordinary classroom teachers are told what is going to happen next and then go on to do their best to implement the changes in the best way they can for their students’ needs. Teachers are not resistant to change if they see the need for it. But too many changes over the years seem to be about anything other than what is in the students’ best interests. Teachers are not naturally left wing or Marxist and they invariably do what is expected of them within their school structures, following the various curriculum specs their school has opted to work with. Nobody I know who teaches English has been happy with the change from Course-Work to Controlled Assessments and would cheerfully tell anyone who cares to listen what should be happening in the fraught and political world of (subject) English assessment. But, as we were told recently by a senior man from AQA (our exam board) changes would be coming thick and fast for some time and we were all in for a turbulent ride. Where are the changes coming from? The top: not teachers. Our opinions on exam content, weightings, grade boundaries are not sought, believe me.

Labelling is a damaging thing. Left wing, Marxist, reactionary, conservative, liberal, progressive – all labels that are imbued with meaning intended to damage and discredit. Labelling is about marginalising and therefore discrediting comments from the people or sectors given such labels. Therefore quelling opposition and discussion. Surely Education is too important for this on-going mudslinging? We need to stop the commentary of division – just because the NUT says something doesn’t mean it should be dismissed out of hand by Gove and his acolytes. Just because Gove says something doesn’t automatically mean it isn’t worth consideration.

It’s time for all sides to bury their egos and look to the future of the children of the UK, together, in a measured considered way. We need to stop indulging in false dichotomies – rote learning v discovery learning; facts v imagination; exams v course work; academic subjects v arts subjects: Gove v teachers.

snoopy-working tog

Education should not be about which politician or public figure/organisation wins but what is done for the children of this country. We must stop the Us and Them approach to Education, whichever side of the Educational fence we sit upon.  (Images courtesy Google Images)

In Education Wisdom and Youth: you need both

April 10, 2013

It seems to me that a war is being waged against the wiser, less youthful of us in the work-force. There seems abroad a belief that young enthusiastic workers are what organisations and especially schools need. Now I’m not cynical enough to think this is just about money and being able to make young people work harder, or because they’re easier to bend to the organisation’s ethos. But I do wonder why there is a belief that youth is better than wisdom and that, especially in Education, young people should be fast tracked and any old teacher is automatically a drain on the system and needs to go.

snoopy teach

I confess, I stand firmly on the side of wisdom: youth having deserted me some time ago. But once I was a young teacher: keen, energetic and quite good at my job. I was promoted to Head of Department relatively young. The fact that I have remained at that level is incidental – I actually like it. And I firmly believe that any organisation worth its salt, and especially a good school, must have a mix of youth and experience.

When I was starting out I asked my favourite English teacher, whilst on my first round of school placements, why she would want a newly qualified, fresh out of university teacher in her department. I was struggling to see the benefits of inexperience; the memory of rubbish student teachers keen in my memory. She said it was because they brought new ideas and insights about teaching and it was always good to get new ideas and be inspired by others.

In my first school we were all pretty much newbies – teachers, heads of department in their first appointments; even the principal was in the second year of his first time as head-teacher. The only one in the school with any measurable experience was the deputy who had been at the school for 25 years. He was wise and kind and did a lot for this young teacher who made a beginner mistake. I had pushed two year 10 girls into a corner (not literally) and even knew I was doing it while doing it but had no idea how to stop myself and rescue the situation with everyone’s dignity and authority in place. So the girls were duly sent outside, the deputy picked them up, had a soft word and returned them to my care. Later he knew exactly how I’d managed to trip myself up. There was no reprimand, no scolding; no being made to feel a fool. All he said was, ‘You’ll never do that again, will you?’ And he was completely right.

For many years I was one of the youngest in my department, surrounded by women who were hungry readers and old school grammarians. It was wonderful to check with them about grading accurately, correct expression and have meaty discussions about books over lunch. I knew where my skills lay in running the department so never felt intimidated by their experience or resentful of them having some of the best classes in the school – in fact I gave them to them!

images-3

I remain the queen of English (just), presiding over my team like Elizabeth 1 – fierce but loyal, brutal but kind, encouraging but cautious; willing to say yes, but only once I’m convinced of the merits of the proposal. It’s true, young people bring an energy and vigour to an organisation that we elder statesmen no longer possess. We have – if we’re lucky – gravitas, a steady hand, a broad and detailed understanding of the subject we teach, the system we work within and most importantly the nature of the teenage beast.

My young people bring their up-to-date knowledge of modern culture, they plan fastidiously, they mark late into the night, they make beautiful power-points and resources, they invent exciting ways to engage the students. But none are ready for the fast-tracking advocated in some quarters. Their practise is strong but still developing. They need to teach A levels, work in different schools, experience a greater range of students and organisational structures.

Some of my crew will go onto be amazing leaders one day. But to promote them now would be cruel. They would be faced with situations they could not manage, people who would not co-operate; asked to be accountable for much more than their own students. At the moment they need to develop their craft, hone their skills as a teacher, work on that for a few years. Many years ago where I worked in Australia you could not be considered for promotion before you had completed a 6 month assessment and you could not do that before you had been teaching for five years. Interestingly, as I noted in a previous blog, this amount of time corresponds with Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours to become an expert.

images-4

Ability needs to be rewarded. Advancement should not be just about seniority. The merit principle should prevail. A department or school that is too full of inexperienced teachers – as my first school was – is a dangerous place to work. A department or school too full of experienced teachers waiting to retire is a recipe for stagnation. You need both – energetic bright young minds mixing in with calm and experienced warriors. We rub along together and rub off on each other. My team love me and I love them – but importantly we learn from each other, improve our practise and do the best we can for our students. (images courtesy Google Images)

Endings are as important as Beginnings- in writing & life

April 8, 2013

As writers we know we must begin with a bang, something that the reader/agent/publisher/examiner can’t resist. We want impact, engagement, originality to make the audience want to read this little bit, this taster and then to read on, to enjoy the banquet of eloquence set down before them.

In fact, we want this as we begin new parts of our life too. We prepare for hours for a night out, a party, the first date. We do the same for a job interview, for the first day at our new workplace, school or university. We research, we plan, we prepare. We want to be liked, loved, chosen. We know we have to begin as we mean to go on – that you only get the one go to make that vital first impression.

snoopy

And, if we’re lucky, if we’ve worked hard enough (because it is more about work than luck and more young people need to get hold of this simple idea) then we will prevail. We will have made the mark we want to make and not look back.

For a while anyway…

Ask any writer and they’ll tell you that writing the book is the easy bit, getting it published and read – getting it out there – is the hard bit. Ask anyone who’s been married for more than five minutes and they’ll tell you staying married, sticking at it, is the hard bit. Marriage takes work. Being successful in your job takes work too – riding the waves of success, surviving the troughs of disaster. It’s the middle of the essay where the big marks are. It’s the keeping going that shows who we are – tenacious, smart, flexible, resilient. The middle is the hard part where you can see the shore, you’re swimming towards it but the current sweeps you away, or a storm confounds you, or the sharks keep circling you want to stop or leave but must keep going, because usually the rewards are worth it. Remember Odysseus, his long journey home after the battle at Troy; remember the transition stage of delivery, when you can’t go back but a few more pushes, a sniff of gas and there is your beautiful baby.

Odysseus

 

And then there are the endings…

For some time now I’ve been teaching my beloved charges about the strength of their openings but not without attention to the importance of ending well. The examiner needs to be sucked in, but then she has to be reminded of the quality of the writing by a sound, memorable ending. Novels too must end effectively and leave the reader satisfied, wondering, uncertain – a range of emotional possibilities but they must feel something. As long as it’s not disappointment. A novelist’s job is to craft and work those words and sentences so that their message, their idea is left reverberating long after the reading has gone. As Edgar Allan Poe almost said: leave the reader feeling something, and as if their time was well spent. Sometimes it’s easier to begin with your ending and work backwards. Knowing how to end your novel can be as important as how to start it. I struggled with my latest effort (Ophelia, for my study) with the first couple of full drafts ending with a limp, wet ending that even I didn’t like. It took until draft 4 to get an ending that resonates, that has emotional impact and now I’m back to the beginning.

But too often we don’t have control over our endings. Relationships fail and we walk away too easily without thinking through the consequences of that failure. An ending that could have been avoided? Perhaps we should have talked more, taken more notice of the other one, been more considerate, more involved, less angry and selfish? More of us should think of the damage from discarding a relationship too easily – what are we left with? Debts, broken homes, damaged children, debilitating loneliness? Before you end a relationship make sure you’re doing so for the right reasons, because there is violence or abuse, because you have done all you can to make it work and you’ve thought through the next step: you’ve planned your ending, so you have an idea of the steps you will have to take towards making a positive new beginning.

What of work, when that sours, what do you do? Do you plan your exit as carefully as you planned your interview, your first day? Work can be a treacherous place and just like a relationship it can be very tricky to call the ending effectively. But to resign in temper, to go sick or stressed indefinitely is no way to end a job. Where is your dignity, your self respect, your ability to get another job and you will need one. Don’t act in haste, consider what is right about your job, what needs changing and where your best options lie. Like moving house or remodelling the existing one, the choices are never that cut and dried. Plan your work exit as carefully, if not moreso, as your beginning. Reputation matters. Leave things completed, leave on good terms (as far as is possible); say goodbye and leave any nastiness to someone else. This is about dignity and self respect. Marriage the same – it does you no good to end on a speech replete with spleen and bile. Go in peace, the quiet dignified way so you can begin again with your own integrity in tack.

ending

Endings are the doorway to new beginnings. Just because you change jobs doesn’t mean you won’t remain in contact with those people, especially if you remain in the same industry: you may need to call upon them one day. Divorced parents need to remain civil for their children’s sake, if nothing else: and you can build a whole new relationship as some of the pressures that pushed you apart fade away. Some people  re-marry! Leaving home for the first time is an ending but it is the beginning of a whole new life. You don’t want to slam the metaphorical door on your parents, do you?   After all, the way the world is you may meet or need your past again. None of us can see the future well enough to burn all our bridges…

 

And finally, the ultimate ending…

Go out as you want. Death stalks us all and it isn’t ghoulish to plan your own funeral. In fact I think it is a thoughtful thing to do for your loved ones, who in their grief (we hope!) will be relieved of the burden of guessing what you want. So make plans – pick your music – a bit of Highway to Hell if you must, choose your flowers, pick the poetry you want read, opt for a Viking funeral if you want, decide on the casket, book the church or which ever venue suits you. Pick the headstone and epitaph too – actually I would NOT leave this to others. Plan it as meticulously as anything else – make it the best ending ever, not forgetting to cater for the after party where your loved ones can drink your booze, eat your canapés and lament your passing. After all you want your family and friends to know you’ve gone!

viking f

Remember, beginnings matter for a whole range of areas, things where you are in control. But can you remember how you came into the world? Is there anyone left who was there? You may not ‘be’ at your own ending but you can be in control of it and make sure you are remembered as you want.

Life and stories – beginnings, middles and endings – over and over, again and again. (Images courtesy Google Images)

Why Write?

April 6, 2013

Why do anything, come to that? But in a world of words and an iMac groaning with a million of my own published and unpublished words, I do ask, as a writer should from time to time: why do I do what I do?

There are the romantics and the realists, the famous and the desperate, the paid and the unpaid. I have been paid for my writing, I have won prizes and been published. As I type and you read, my small collection of e-books garners a tiny income every day. But I am far from famous and not sure on any day how desperate or realistic I am about my writing ambitions.

 

Writing is one of the oldest professions, well story telling is and that is really what I am discussing herein. Men at war, travellers, families around their evening fires told stories to entertain and while away the evening. The Odyssey, the Canterbury Tales, Beowulf all come to us from this tradition. In the beginning we told stories about great deeds, noble acts and people – we told stories to inspire and teach lessons about how to behave, how to be noble and great. We made up scary fairy stories to keep our children out of the wolf heaving woods, away from the bears and things that would eat them.

Writing was for entertaining, for enjoyment, a way to connect with others. That’s not changed. The fact that we write so many different stories every day does not alter the prime imperative to entertain and say something meaningful.

the odyssey

 

So to one of my central points: a writer needs a reader. Many preferably but one can be enough. You know what it’s like reading stories to your child at night – it needs only the two of you – the story teller and the listener. It’s one of the most intimate relationships there is: writer and reader, as cosy and close as lovers.

These days it is like a return to the past of the old story-teller around the fire – the reader is right there responding, cheering, booing, crying. The teller discovers which bits work, which bits need refining and the next time his tale will be that bit different, that bit more atuned to the audience. Today we are in that space again with people able to comment on blogs, write reviews on-line, vote for stories to be funded based on a reading in a public place. The writer is right there in the face of the reader – no longer an anonymous distance separating them only troubled by a fan letter or a signing from time to time. This is the tradition Fan Fiction falls within – post a chapter, get responses, revise and modify your story and if you are a certain female parodying another certain female’s story of love and passion you have a best-seller. Yes, I am talking about 50 Shades of Grey!

The thing I really like about Fan Fiction and the reason I quite admire EL James, is that long ago many of us wrote stories in our exercise books based on other stories, imagining ourselves into a world created by others and now such secret writings can be shared with others, so we can see if what we’re doing is valued by someone else, someone who likes the original stories too and wants to spend more time there. Readers are voracious creatures, once they find something they love they remain devoted for life. You simply have to witness the popularity of a ‘series’ in any genre.

fan fiction

 

Why do you write? The famous and great still seem to start with a story for themselves, an idea that won’t be ignored. JK Rowling had an idea that burned and worried her, Hemingway the same. Stephanie Meyer hid herself away just to write about oddly chaste vampires. Big stories began small. We know of the competition between CS Lewis and JRR Tolkein to write the best Christian allegory for modern times which gave us Narnia and The Lord of the Rings – stories that echo and resound today. Amanda Hocking sat in her room and just wrote – because she wanted to.

I think you must begin with yourself. Write a story you want to read, about characters you are interested in, doing things you find compelling. Writing to find out, to solve problems, or consider them in a different way is also a good starting point. I write to find out, to explore the great ‘what if’ questions of life. I am not interested in epic adventures of old, of heroes and wars. I’m more concerned with human failings, with love, loss, striving, falling down and how we get up again. I am quite interested in how we cope with loss, why people keep secrets and what happens when they are revealed. And I’m curious about people who live outside normal expectations of behaviour; the eccentric, the odd. I guess these are the sorts of stories I like to read about too. It follows doesn’t it?

lord of R

 

Recognition comes after the story and the audience. If your story is compelling enough and people love it enough (not just the agent or publisher anymore: thank you on-line self publishing) then recognition will follow. Riches and fame are still unlikely, are still for the few. For every new star there are thousands wallowing in their wake, not quite making it to shore in safety. If you’re writing fiction for money then you are a fool. You are as likely to win Lotto as you are to make it big from writing. If you’re writing to get published traditionally then you should stop now. It’s a hard as it ever was to get the attention of a mainstream publisher. EL James only got there after the Fan Fiction route, not instead. Amanda Hocking was an on-line best seller well before she hit pay dirt with the mainstream world.

Write for other reasons and then, if you are good enough, the money will follow. Most (creative) writers have another job in the real world. Ironically it seems you are freer as a writer when you are unknown, before expectations from readers and publishers push you in directions you may not want to go. Don’t write for the money it will screw with your head, push you in directions that can only compromise your integrity and imagination. Remember what happened to poor old F Scott Fitzgerald when he sold his soul to Hollywood in his latter years. Write because you want to, because it means something to you.

FScottF

 

In the end write because

You have something to say, something you are passionate about

You love words and language and playing with them

You have to – you can’t stop yourself

Writing is the thing that makes you feel utterly alive

Writing is when you feel most yourself

Writing is like making magic and we all need more magic in our lives!

(Images courtesy Google Images)

It’s The Little Things I Hate – That Will Send Me Mad

April 5, 2013

The love has gone, joy is hard to find but in the midst of the longest, coldest winter of my life (is it climate change or have we slipped through the wardrobe to Narnia?) I seem to be stumbling upon all the little things I hate and they are about to send me quite-quite mad.

narnia

 

So, a list, not in any order and not exhaustive by any means…

No wine in the house

No chocolate in the house

wine and choc

The internet being down

Finding the fridge or cupboard bare of what you were expecting to be there – who ate my treats???

Having to change the loo rolls EVERY time

Being at the end of the platform when the train suddenly goes from 10 carriages to 6

Leaving work early to find London Bridge in the middle of (yet another) meltdown – so no early home-time after all

london bridgr

Losing all your bookmarks when the hard-drive is re-booted

Spilling my dinner on my clean top (again – becoming a real mucky duck)

Random rudeness from strangers

The constant nastiness in the media about teachers

mr rude

The sudden disappearance of an old obscure favourite song from Youtube

DJ’s talking over your favourite song – especially cutting the ending short

The random rearrangement of supermarket shelves – why Tesco, why?

tesco shelves

The indecent amount some people get for nothing – think bankers, football players

Never being in the right place at the right time … on so many levels

The unreliability of the weather

london snow

 

A list that could go on forever and mutate into things I really hate. A list of things that if combined in the correct or incorrect way can and does lead to a personal melt-down, moments of madness, a shout and a stamp of the foot before stalking off to sulk upstairs for a while – but only a short while I hope! (Images courtesy Google Images)