LovelyYoungColleague – like so many of my teacher friends – has had the year from Hell. Planning every night into the wee small hours: lessons for children who may or may not be in the classroom; may or may not have caught last week’s topic introduction; may have access to internet at home but, given the extreme poverty of the catchment, probably haven’t.Continue reading →
“There were so many old people!” says Ma.
Well, yes. A vaccination centre for the over 80s is likely to contain folk of a certain vintage – and all a jolly sight wiser, for sure, than the idiots who have spray-painted ‘Covid hoax’ and the like onto the walls of said centre and of our local station.Continue reading →
with apologies to Thomas Hood
No pubs - no gyms -
No bars - no swims -
No dawn - no dusk - no proper time of day -
No sky - no sunny view -
No distance looking blue -
No sag-aloo – (unless for take-away) -
No shopping just for fun -
No picnics in the sun -
No coffee with your mum with cake and biscs -
No film night with the gang -
No jigsaws with your Nan -
No meeting kith nor kin, no Rule of Six -
No galleries, no plays -
No Homes and no Aways -
No birthday celebrations -
No romantic trysts in stations -
No rousing hymns in chapels -
No bobbing for no apples -
No visiting things pastoral -
Not even Barnard Castoral -
No sooner up, it’s dark -
No kickabouts in park -
No travelling at all - no friends to stay -
No where to hang the washing
No thing to do but noshing –
No place to go - it’s raining anyway
No buses, so the car but there are jams - nowhere to park it (PARK IT!))
No loo rolls yet again - no friendly caff - no Christmas market (MARKET!)
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No cinema, not even for a member -
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds, -
It’s Sunday afternoon and we’re facing some tricksy decisions, ActorLaddie and I.
A.L. has been canvassed for his views on re-starting practices for – shall we say – his Interpretive Cross-stitch Group. And I have been asked where I am on this Sheep Scale:
An answer is required from ActorLaddie, so we mull. On the one hand, there has been a full risk-assessment of the school-hall used for practices and the Cross-Stitch committee are happy with it. There will be much gelling and the group will not share needles.Continue reading →
“It was a dark, black mask and I thought it looked OK, it looked like the Lone Ranger,” says Donald Trump.
ActorLaddie looks up from his book. “Surely the Lone Ranger wore his mask over the eyes? And anyway, why on Earth are you watching Donald Trump?”
“I’m not – I’m watching Sarah Cooper. I went onto YouTube to check some face-mask stuff and I got side-tracked. Wanna watch?”
ActorLaddie joins me at the table and together we watch Sarah Cooper lip-syncing to Donald Trump talking about masks. Then one of our old favourites: Trump talking about injecting disinfectant. Then – oh, there’s a new one! Trump talking about ‘acing’ the Montreal Cognitive test.Continue reading →
Right now – Boxing.
Alex holds up to the camera a notebook on which he has written the word ‘Boxing’.
Two forward, two crosses, two up. And I’m looking for eight out of ten from you. I want to see eight out of ten for effort. Ready?
Ready, I say. Though as we’re all Muted, only the cat hears and she’s too polite to listen. The bell rings and we’re off, PD Warriors together, bashing the hell out of thin air, at a rate of eight out of ten for effort.Continue reading →
It’s threatening to be a day of hiding under the duvet and reading about people doing stuff, rather than actually getting up and doing stuff myself.
Specifically, I’m about to tackle a Guardian article Shelf isolation: stylish reads to keep your spirits up. This is by way of window-shopping really: my actual reading in lock-down has stalled at Harry Potter. I do love a good school story. I hated school, mind, but I have memories of a blissful week in bed with some childhood disease, working my way through a pile of June and Schoolfriend annuals bequeathed by my slightly older cousin.
So, now, essentially, I’m hiding in Hogwarts: back on the school stories but with the added resonance of being books I read aloud to YoungLochinvar and the InfantPhenomenon in happier times.Continue reading →