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Showing posts from February, 2014

Evidence that Fran may be better off going bare-necked

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I cannot wear scarves as part of an outfit.  It's a shame, as they appear to be in fashion, and as regular readers will know, I am always one for a trend.  Just call me the Zeitgeist Blogger, and watch out for next week's post on purple corduroy flares, cheesecloth blouses and Bay City Roller tartan tank tops.

I have tried the scarf thing and have a selection of them.  But, whatever I do, and however I wrap them or arrange them, I end up looking as though I've been attacked by a patterned carpet and forcibly smothered.

For illustrative purposes, and to show you what I look like in a scarf, I am going to Google 'attacked by a carpet' and see what I find.  I cannot resist.  Back in a moment.











Hm.  Not many actual images of people being attacked by carpets at that very moment.  Life is so unfair.  But I did find this.  Seems a little harsh on the lady with the hair.






And then there's this one, which is a kind of 'prequel' picture, being the moment before the…

Reasons why Fran quite liked being in prison

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I went to prison last year.  Some of you may remember my mentioning it.  Don't worry - no one had found the millions under my mattress.  (Phew!)  No, I was actually there to run a poetry workshop.  All the prisoners were male and sentenced to at least four years in jail, so their crimes must have been pretty serious.  But I had a fabulous day and their responses to the workshop were very moving and often skilful.

I thought I'd post one of the poetry exercises I did with the prisoners.  It worked really well and you're welcome to use it if you're a teacher, or have a go if you're a writer.  If you're neither of these, the pictures are quite nice ...
First, I showed them a picture of a market.

I'd written a plain description of what was happening.

Plain description People are looking at the produce. Traders try to advertise their wares.
Then I showed them my attempt to turn the plain description into something that was more of a (draft) poem.

Turning it into p…

Evidence that Fran has done a variety of things twice

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I said to my sixth formers on Friday,  'Chances are I'm going to be a Grandma for the second time this week.'

'The second time this week?' one of them said.  'That's very impressive.'

'Er - let me rephrase that,' I said.  'Chances are that, this week, I'm going to be a Grandma for the second time.'
And I was! 
Galling, though, to have someone in your English Language A level class point out your faulty syntax.
Anyway, here's the baby.  Phoebe Esther Hill, born very early on Saturday morning.  A sister for Elijah, who's now 20 months.





Here are some other things I have done twice.
1. Given birth to girls.  I had one baby girl in 1983, a sandwich filling of a little boy in 1986, and then another baby girl in 1990.  The sandwich filling is the one who's the father of my grandchildren, so he's done pretty well, despite starting out as a lunch ingredient.  
Here's the younger of my daughters with her niece, newborn bab…

Evidence that Fran has been humbled over the years ...

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I think Mr Gove has a special servant who looks at a clock all day and says: 'Mr Gove.  Another five minutes has passed, sir.  Time for an announcement about what you are going to change in education.' It's not that I disagree with all Gove's ideas; I like his apparent wish to drive up standards and instil higher expectations.  But he just throws out ideas randomly, like confetti, without properly consulting anyone and it's so destabilising for the profession.

I was browsing through some of my Times Educational Supplement columns; I wrote for the newspaper over a period of several years.  This column was from 2007 and examines the way new teachers are like teenagers ...



You know when you're about to become a parent, and someone feels it their duty to tell you what it’s really like?  You smile indulgently, because you know your kids will be different.  
           Someone informed me when I was pregnant that her kids argued over the number of baked beans she se…