Showing posts from March, 2011

Evidence that not all female teachers were good little girls when they were young

Along with nature-loving followers who stay loyal despite my occasional posts about dead rats, using cat skins to clothe babies, and hating green fields, I now seem to have a few whose blog names are things like 'I adore making pretty cushions decorated with flowers' or 'Stencilling patterns onto textiles is my idea of ecstasy'.

I thought it was time to 'fess up, just in case any of these lovely people were expecting me, at some point, to post any pictures of my latest ventures into fashion design or velvet curtains.  I so hate to disappoint.

This little story may illustrate the extent of my skills in using a needle and thread of any sort.

When I was fourteen, we had to learn how to sew at school.  I use the terms 'learn' and 'sew' very loosely here, as you will discover.

Rather than starting off slowly with a handkerchief or a teatowel, as I was advised, I decided, being a pig-headed adolescent, I would make myself a pair of trousers.  As this wa…

Reasons why one should not look at the carpet when one is getting ready to go to work

As a Bad Start to the day, nothing beats finding four pieces of woodlouse body on your hall carpet just as you're setting off for work.  Symbolically, especially when you're trying to settle into a new job, it sucks.

What makes it even more of a Bad Start is having made friends with said woodlouse at the weekend while it meandered around your living room carpet as you sat with your feet up reading a book.  I'm tempted to claim I was reading Kafka's Metamorphosis, in which he wakes up as a beetle, but I wasn't.  Shame.  These little coincidences are helpful to the blogger when they do happen, but it's no good lying about it because then you get thousands of comments (I wish) saying, 'Oh, I'm reading Metamorphosis too - isn't it fab?' and then you have to lie again in your reply comment and claim you've read all his books and you're a distant relative and had him round to tea on many occasions and ... oh ... it can all get very awkward.


Reasons why I always envied Bob Marley

There are bathroom cupboard mirrors, and there are full-length mirrors.

And that is why I've always wanted Big Hair.

When I look in the bathroom cupboard mirror (from the neck upwards), I am just about content with the size of my hair.  This is because it is in proportion to the size of my face.

Here is someone with hair about the same size as mine.

So, I don't need Big Hair if I just use my bathroom mirror.

The full-length wardrobe mirror is another matter.  When I look in that, if I start at the top and look gradually down, this is the effect.

My thinking is, how much more I'd be brave enough to look in the wardrobe mirror if my hair was anything like this ...

Or maybe if it were like this ........

Or even like this .......

If I had any of these hairstyles, I'd be looking at something with proportions more like this.

What inspired this post, you ask, apart from the usual crazy and random decision that precedes most of my posts?
It's because I washed my hair this morn…

Evidence that embarrassing yourself on public transport could be a family trait

So many people asked, 'How's the Japanese Student?' when the earthquake hit that I thought I'd let you know that the Younger Daughter, currently studying Japanese, was in England at the time.  She's just gone back to Hiroshima Uni, ironically one of the safe places to be, it being in the south of Japan.

Anyway, she's written a funny post about her journey back to Japan and in it she even freely acknowledges that I am her mother.  This is an unbelievably rare and proud moment (whaddya mean, 'I bet!'), so I want to share it with you, if you'd like to look.

Evidence that embarrassing yourself on public transport could be a family trait

Evidence that I should be put away quietly in an institution for the safety of everyone else

I have proved myself a liability to both the human and the feline species today and am determined to stay in for the evening so I cause no more trouble.

Tricky moment 1.  I went to see my Granny who's 88 and a bit frail.  When I was getting ready to go, I picked up my handbag and slung it over my shoulder.  Now, I'm not one of those who carries around one of those diddy little numbers with a comb and a sewing kit in it.  So it was stuffed to perdition with books, my Walkman, a bar of nougat the size of the Great Wall of China and all the usual paraphernalia. I bent down to kiss my Gran goodbye, and when I did, the handbag swung off my shoulder and lamped her one in the stomach.  She yelled out, 'You punched me!'  Unsurprisingly, she looked shocked by this, being unused to her granddaughter attacking on her on Saturday afternoons just after we'd done the crossword so nicely together.  I did explain and apologise and explain and apologise and explain and apologise som…

Reasons for being realistic about your parental ambitions

In 1947, Noel Coward performed a song called, ‘Don’t put your daughter on the stage, Mrs Worthington’.
I wrote my own version.
Why?  Whaddya mean, why?  How the heck do I know?  Why are you so demanding?  Just read, dammit, or go and hassle someone else.
Don’t put your daughter on the stage, Mrs Jones (subtitled: One of Those Annoying Songs where the Title is exactly the Same as the First Line Which Seems Like a Massive Cop-Out But I’m Only Copying Noel Coward and He’s Well Famous So Leave Off)
Don’t put your daughter on the stage, Mrs Jones You may dream that she would make a ballet star But her legs are awfully plump And her shoulders tend to slump And the wooden leg could hinder her from getting very far
Don’t put your daughter on the stage, Mrs Jones You’re sure that she should be an opera diva But her voice is rather flat And you must remember that All the sinus trouble that she gets won’t really help her either
Don’t put your daughter on the stage, Mrs Jones I know you’d like to see her in a …

Evidence that it's a good thing patients don't know what happens in hospitals ....

I love this BBC story about how doctors slag off their patients without them knowing ...  I know it's from 2003 but I only just came across it. They don't call me the Zeitgeist Blogger for nothing, you know.

I used to work as a medical secretary in the National Health Service in my pre-teacher days.   I remember one doctor telling me that, if he had an awkward patient, he would warn the next doctor to see that person by writing at the end of the patient's notes 'is suffering from serious proctalgia'.  As 'algia' means 'pain' and 'proct' means 'bottom', you can see that this wasn't exactly a compliment.

Another source of medical misunderstandings - only this time not deliberate - was when we secretaries used to take doctors' letters down in shorthand before typing them up for signature.  When I was first a medical secretary and didn't yet know all the terms, one doctor dictated to me what I THOUGHT was ... 'I recommen…

Evidence that some teachers would rather muck about with book titles than do their marking

What would happen if characters from one classic text got mixed up with characters from another?

Romeo and Cleopatra - in which an Egyptian queen falls in love with an Italian far too young for her and, to be honest, with a tendency to whine.  Her family is cool with her move to Italy, though, because she's such a pain in the arse, asking for milk baths all the time and wanting her hair straightened every morning even though it's naturally a mass of curls, that they are glad to get rid of her.  In the end, after a brief affair, Romeo gets fed up with her for the same reasons, as well as for the fact that until now he has only fancied girls with names of three syllables, and Cleopatra is a bit of a gobful, especially if you stumble over it, and look stupid in front of all your mates, and God forbid, the Capulets, who will pull out a sword faster than you can say, 'Capulets, Capulets, wherefore art thou so lairy?'  There is a passionate scene at the end of the play in wh…