185. Desert Island risks…

Today I am covering Mrs Grenfell’s class and am under instructions to lead a discussion on different sorts of airborne travel: aeroplanes, helicopters, rockets and the like.

“I have something sad to tell you about Mrs Sugarsprinkles,” I start.  The children glance at Mrs Sugarsprinkles, who attempts to look grave.  “At the weekend,” I continue, “she got stuck on a desert island.”  I draw on the whiteboard a stick figure with a sad face and long hair, standing by herself under a tree on a small island. I add some surrounding sea and sharks fins, in an attempt to rack up the excitement.  Bit of a masterpiece, if I say so myself.

“Luckily, you had your mobile phone, didn’t you, Mrs Sugarsprinkles?”

“Indeed I did.”

“Am I correct in thinking you phoned Mrs Grenfell to rescue you?”

“Quite correct.”

“I wonder how Mrs Grenfell rescued her?  Have a think with your partner and see what ideas you have.”

After we’ve all had a good think, we share our ideas.

Judi suggests a boat.  That would have been such a good idea, I say, if Mrs Sugarsprinkles didn’t get horribly sea-sick on boats.  Mrs Sugarsprinkles agrees that she really doesn’t like boats.

Ian suggests a car ferry.  That’s a very clever idea, Mrs Sugarsprinkles says, but alas, as mentioned earlier, she gets sea-sick in all boats, including car ferries.

Maggie suggests a speedboat.  Another good try, we agree, but Mrs Grenfell didn’t send any sort of boat, speedy or otherwise, not wanting Mrs Sugarsprinkles to get seasick.  Can we think of a way of rescuing Mrs Sugarsprinkles which doesn’t involve boats?

Alan?  “She could put on a life jacket and float home.”  Float is a great word but Mrs Sugarsprinkles would be seriously worried about sharks.  Mrs Sugarsprinkles attempts to look seriously worried about sharks and we all have another little think.

Thora’s hand shoots up, eyes ablaze, voice clear with confidence.  Mrs Sugarsprinkles could cross the sea, she assures us, by bouncing on the heads of all the sharks.

Genius idea.  Who wouldn’t forgo a rescue helicopter for the chance to cross the sea bouncing on sharks?  Surely the only way to travel!


Travelling on the tube Saturday night, I was offered a seat by a pregnant woman!  Good grief.

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