267. Strengthening Our Cores …

Now, I want you to squeeze the balls between your thighs.  Some of you have got small balls but that’s ok – they’ll work just the same…

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266. Yes, we have no..

“One Roast-Chicken-Dinner-For-One,” says Mrs Jones.

“One Roast Chicken-Dinner-For-One,” says Clark-from-Sainsbury’s-telephone-ordering-service.

“Eight bananas,” says Mrs Jones. “As green as possible.”

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265. Welcome, March, with wint’ry wind –

It’s March the first, hey nonny no, and my muse, like my garden, is frozen.

I made a bash this morning at a blog on the theme of snowy days in school which inched towards the spell-binding conclusion that children like snow and cleaners don’t.  So if today is cold and miserable, well – at least I spared you that.

So I’m going to palm you off with some pictures of our most recent visitor.  Stay warm, stay safe; speak soon.

264. Good times never seemed so good…

Margaret played first clarinet and collected the subs.  In truth, we barely knew each other; I mimed with the second flutes and we rarely rubbed shoulders with our reeded sisters.

But she sent me an email in June 2012 which meant a lot to me at the time and still sits in my Parkinson’s folder, in case of wobbles.

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263. BraveHeart

“I know this is a difficult question,” says LovelyFuneralDirector, “but have you thought about what you want to do with the ashes?”

She is a woman, by the way, this LovelyFuneralDirector. All three of the funeral directors we’ve met are women.  As are both registrars, the minister and the train driver on the Yorkshire to London Express. Sisters are doing it for themselves. We just need one of us to find a cure for cancer and we’ll be well away.

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262. A Jelly Miscellany…

It’s been how long?  A month?  Surely not…  Oh dear.  Let’s catch up then.

Back from our travels and plunged into getting the living room decorated ready for CarpetMan to do his stuff last Monday.  We’ve been working on this since the spring but with a week to the deadline, still had the fireplace to tile.

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261: Candle in the wind?

The Danish word for Baking Soda is Bagepulver and if you’re looking for it in Lidl’s in the Copenhagen district of Frederiksberg, it’s in aisle three alongside the flour.

I was convinced that the scorch mark on the pristine white kitchen units of our AirBnB came about through me putting the toaster onto the chopping board, thereby bringing it too close to the wall unit.  ActorLaddie said that I would have noticed if the wood started burning but, in truth, I do have a habit of wandering off from the kitchen mid-task.   Especially if I’ve got a blog rattling round in my head.  So really, Dearest Reader, it’s your fault.

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260. Such stuff as dreams are made on.. .

Elizabeth popped up in my dreams last night; just as Hale and Hearty, Stuff and Nonsense as she was the week I started teaching in the adjoining classroom at Thrush Woods. Middle Infants – me, and she had Tops. We bonded a couple of days into my first week, when a passing ‘what are you doing with your lot this afternoon?’ revealed a shared love of Schools’ Television.

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259. The mystery of the Vanished Blog…

Act 1 Scene 1: A partially decorated living room in North London; crammed with furniture. Evening.  There is a large picture window at the back.  Empty mugs show evidence of recent human activity.


Off stage, a phone is heard ringing.  It switches to answerphone.

Ma: (off stage) Just wondering if you were home yet.


Ma: (off stage) Hope you’ve had a good weekend.


Ma: (off stage) Haven’t seen a blog recently.


Ma: (off stage)  Catch you when you’re back then.



Programme Notes.

Meanwhile, in Salisbury, ActorLaddie and I are bunking off the endless decorating to see a friend performing at the Playhouse.  We’ve shoved the furniture from the end of the room we haven’t done into the end that we have; the painting stuff has been left out in case any wandering elves have had a spare minute.

The Airbnb is rather wonderful – look:


It’s run by a hearty woman with dogs who shows us to our room up a rather splendid staircase: Escher would have liked this one.


Salisbury is gorgeous in the crisp Autumn sunlight.  I’ve not been before, though ActorLaddie played here on a tour ages ago.

I’m awestruck by the Cathedral: apparently the main section took only thirty eight years to build – from 1220 to 1258. How the blazes something this spectacular was built at that time is beyond my comprehension. AND they managed to keep up to date with their blogs. One can only look and wonder.

Inside, there’s a Chapter House built to house a 1215 copy of the Magna Carta.  The room has a frieze of stories from Genesis.  The guide, Chris, pointed out his favourite section: the sculptor had been tasked with showing the Pharoah driving his chariot into the Red Sea, in pursuit of Moses. Clearly having no idea what a Pharoah or a chariot might resemble, he gives us instead a rather splendid farmyard cart.  Can you spot it?


Patrons are now asked to leave this blog quietly, so as not to disturb the sunset.

IMG_20171028_175350005-EFFECTSFor your own safety, you are particularly asked to pay attention to this warning on the reverse of one of Carrot’s bog-standard, badgeless birthday card.


258. Day 18: And finally, please take your partners for the Eurostar Villanelle …

What shall I bring back from this holiday:
Our tour round Northern Europe on the trains?
What memories for when I’m old and grey?

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