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Showing posts from August, 2009

Reasons why buses are good places for developing character

Note: If comments about eating olives in oil on buses are likely to confuse you, please read this first:

about eating olives on buses


When I'm bored and in need of a dilemma, I get on a bus. Bus journeys provide all the experience of dilemmas you need. Like the other day, when an old lady dropped her credit card, and it slid under her seat. I didn't know whether to let her get it herself (she might have had arthritis and I would have felt like an evil witch) or dive under her seat and fetch it for her (she and all the others watching might have thought I was an evil thieving witch) or pretend I hadn't seen it drop (which would have been most unconvincing as I had already said, 'Oh dear, I think you've dropped something').

I really wish that someone would write a quiz about bus dilemmas, then I could test myself and be fore-warned about situations that might happen and how I'm likely to deal with them.

Oh, how incredible is that? There's a quiz right here…

Why I don't mind, just once, a misspelling of Creative

Thank you to pippa for my Kreativ (I am saying NOTHING) Blogger Award. And thank you, too, Pippa, for advising me how to get it on my blog without you sending it round in a taxi.

Now I have to nominate seven others to receive the same misspelling (whoops, I said it). I can't guarantee that these are the same people I did/did not nominate last time I was asked to play this game. Don't shoot me. And also don't shoot me if you don't like getting awards. It's totally up to you whether to send it to anyone else. And this list is very much a mixture: languagey blogs I love because they talk about apostrophes and stuff, funny blogs I love because they make me laugh, a new blog I've discovered and really like because she likes all the books I like, and one very clever blogger who posts all kinds of intellectual arty stuff I can't fathom and then some fab creative writing - more please, you know who you are.

Have fun working out which is which. I hope you find somet…

Reasons why you should check carefully before going to the movies

Here is a selection of films currently showing in London. I don't know what the hell they're about. It's much more fun to look at the titles and speculate about them in very silly ways ...

Aliens in the Attic - the first of a series of alliteratively-titled films using two nouns beginning with the same letter and all concerning unexpected visitations in domestic spaces. Soon to be released are: Bison in the Bathroom, Canaries in the Conservatory, Duck-billed Platypuses (platypi?) in the Dining Room ... you get the picture (ho ho).

The Boat That Rocked - another series concerning things which amazed people but which shouldn't have as they were perfectly predictable. Soon to appear in your cinemas are The Eggs That Cracked When Placed Underneath the Potatoes in the Shopping Bag, The Woman who Cried when Faced with FOUR Mirrors in the Shop's Changing Room and The Man who Took a Day off Work when He Sneezed Twice in a 48-hour Period.

Dance Flick -A movie, about a bully wh…

Why buses are better than soap operas

I've found a lot more out about my fellow bus passengers lately than I really wanted to know.

Got on the bus yesterday and sat at the front. A chap's on the phone to his mate, saying 'Hey, mate! Meet up tonight? Thing is, I haven't had a shower for days! Sorry about that! Ho ho ho.'

So I'm glad he was sitting at the back.

Then, a girl gets on the other day wearing under a very small T-shirt what I presumed was one of those push-up bras that convert your chest into a vegetable market display. Anyway, she had quite a deep cleavage, and on either side of it were a couple of matching tattoos. Were they initials of lovers? No. Were they dramatic pictures of lions or devils? No. Were they exotic Chinese characters? No.

They were large pawprints.

I really didn't want to know this about her. What kind of statement are these tattoos supposed to make? 'I have a cat which is five feet tall when standing on his back legs so his paws land just here?' or 'I …

Why I am eco-queen 2009

The one thing about having such a long summer holiday as a teacher is that you have so much time to get the Christmas presents sorted. I've been using all my creative powers during my break to come up with some fab ideas, guaranteed to thrill all my friends and relatives this Yuletide. If you are one of them, you are in for a TREAT.

1. One advantage of being so busy in term-time is that you have no time to sort out your bellybutton fluff. Voila! Seven weeks' worth of fluff carefully extracted and kept in a pillowcase, then lovingly hand-knitted into a soft and silky sweater, makes a super gift for a favourite relative. Who wants real wool these days? So itchy and hot. So last year. And not just that, but the interesting speckled effect of the sweater adds a touch of rustic charm to rival anything from the fashion shows.

2. My, my, the length of my toenails! No wonder my shoes were tight! It took me half an hour to clip them on the first day of my holidays, and I was just about…

Stupid things parents and machines say

I've been thinking today. (Hey, watch out.)

I've been thinking about how parents say lots of things which make their kids think, 'Dur. How stupid is that?'.

Also, I've been thinking about how machines say lots of things which make me think, 'Dur. How stupid is that?'

As you can tell, today I've been thinking about things which are stupid.

(Just a normal day, then, I heard someone say. How can you be so mean?)

Stupid things parents say.

(By the way, I've said all of these, and at the time, it all seemed very logical. Looking back, though ...)

1. You've lost your Geography book? Oh dear. Where did you put it?

2. Do you want Mummy to smack you?

3. Well, okay, climb the mile-high slide, but if you break your leg, don't come running to me.

4. It's cabbage. I know you didn't like it last week, or the week before, or the week before that, or the week before that, but maybe today you will.

5. Of course there's no crocodile in your wardro…

Why I think socks should get more sympathy

Everyone complains about how easily socks seem to get lost in the wash/dry process. But does anyone ever consider how they feel once separated?

BALLAD OF THE LONELY SOCK


I am a sock, a misplaced sock And lonesome as can be ‘Cause, darn it, no one knows I’m here Lying under the apple tree. Last night I hung there on the line Beside my matching twin; A pair of socks in speckled green Which warmed the feet of Jim.
Then, as the evening sun went down, The peg which held me fast Was wrenched away so quickly That I pinged across the grass. No time to say a fond goodbye, Will I be missed?  Who knows? Now here I languish, damp and cold, And filled with grief, not toes

If only I had been bright pink, Not dull and leafy green. I know there's very little chance Of ever being seen. No more to clothe Jim's chilly foot; Those travellin' days are done. My life as 'sock' come to an end, My life as 'mulch' begun.

Evidence that people don't always match their luggage

I'm sitting on the train. Man gets on. Big bag slung over his shoulder. Sits down opposite me. Puts bag on lap. Bag has big lettering on it, saying, 'BUGGER'. I mean, BIG lettering. No shame. No two ways about it. No hiding.

My, that's bold, I think. That's mighty bold. I wish I could be that honest about who I really am. I wish I could say, 'Ner ner ner ner ner' to the world like that.

But then he catches me looking at the bag, and what does he do?

Goes red. Turns the bag round, so I can't see the word. Clutches it to his chest. Looks embarrassed.

Eh? What the heck was that about?

Let us speculate together. There must be some explanation.

a) He was late for work, dashed out of the house carrying some big folders, realised he couldn't possibly carry all the folders under his arm, dashed back in for a bag, checked his watch (Damn, only a couple of minutes to get to the station), grabbed the first bag he could see, and didn't realise what it said u…