Showing posts from March, 2012

Evidence that Fran is NOT married to George Clooney and therefore still goes to Tenby for holidays

So, the Spring term is over, and I couldn't be more pleased than if George Clooney knocked on my door right now and said, 'Okay, that's it, I have to admit it, you're what I've been waiting for all my life.' 'I know,' said George, scratching his head.  'I'm as puzzled as any of you about why I didn't realise Fran was my ideal woman before!' We're going on holiday tomorrow, revisiting a place we went to two years called Tenby in Pembrokeshire, Wales.  Our last visit spawned a series of Tenby posts which readers who were following me then may remember (and if you're still here, THAT is called stamina).  As I recall, one post involved sardines and rows of dead rats.  Oh yes, the usual quality you have grown to expect was evident back then, too. Here is the post I wrote just before we went two years ago.  I could write you another one but, to be honest, though I'm ashamed to admit it, every single detail in here is goi

Evidence that a week at a health spa doesn't always yield the results you're looking for

The fact that my daughter sent me a teabag in my Mother's Day card ('I thought I'd buy you a drink, Mum') reminded me of the teabag knickers I made once. My sister press-ganged me a few years ago into going to a 7 Days of Torture Holiday, otherwise called a week at a health spa.  It was in a hotel in Scotland.  Before I tell you about the teabag knickers, here are my main memories from the week. 1. Having a bath in peat will mean that you will be expelling peat from myriad orifices for weeks afterwards and will still have dried mud in your bellybutton a year later. 2. If you will insist on eating a lake of porridge first thing in the morning, in panic that the rest of the day will only involve mung beans, you can expect to feel uncomfortable lying face-down for a massage ten minutes later while someone pummels your back as though tenderising steak. 3. A healthy walk along a loch usually involves involuntary ingestion of four thousand midges. See point 1 about or

Evidence that Fran can celebrate World Poetry Day seriously without one reference to dead frogs

To celebrate World Poetry Day on Wednesday, I thought I'd post something a bit more ... well ... poetic, than the usual drivel.  And offer you a challenge. This is one of my favourite poetry exercises and I've used it with adults and schoolchildren.  You write about people/relationships by comparing them to various things to create extended metaphors.   1. Think of a person/relationship you would like to write about. 2. Ask yourself the question: If this  person were an animal/piece of clothing/piece of technology/building, what kind would they be?  Why?  What are the similarities?  Make some notes. 3. Now form your main ideas into a short poem.   Here are some of my own efforts.  Animal He gathers food for winter in dark places, scurrying between cupboards to check progress, dropping nuts and seeds in his agitation. He glances backwards, quickly,  sniffing the air for thieves. Clothing She is hairshirt. The sweater with the scratchy label. The skir

A few Fran thoughts for Mother's Day

My kids have all left home now, and don't live nearby, so Mother's Day is a bit different round here.  But then, on the other hand, Mother's Day with OUR family was always going to be different, whether they were here or not ... Here are my Mother's Day thoughts: 1. If you pass on your bizarre and dark sense of humour to your son, you have only yourself to blame when your Mother's Day card is the birthday card you sent him earlier that month, recycled, and with all the irrelevant bits crossed out. 2. For the same reason, your older daughter's version of 'buying you a drink for Mother's Day' may involve her sellotaping a teabag inside your card. 3. Sending your youngest daughter a text saying, 'Happy Mother's Day.  Oops.  No.  That's YOUR line.' is likely to be taken offence at, however funny you thought it was at the time. 4. When your kids have left home, taking yourself and your husband out for a Mother's Day lunch is

Evidence that rugby isn't one of Fran's specialist subjects

I'm watching rugby on the TV (England v Ireland) and, to be honest, I may as well be watching a Swedish film without subtitles for all I understand about what's going on.  Here are some things I have learned, however. 1. If someone leaps on someone from your team, leap on them too, in a male body equivalent of one-potato-two-potato-three-potato-four.  It's a fun game. 2. The more you resemble a double garage on two legs, the more use you are in a scrum. 3. Watching rugby on TV means that, when they kick the ball towards the goal (is it called a goal?) you, the viewer, are going 'did it go through?  did it?  did it?' because you can never tell from the angle 4. There are two opportunities for men without necks to be on TV.  One is as a player in a rugby game and the other is on 'Embarrassing Bodies'. 5. Only other people the size of a small island can withstand being launched into head-first by someone else the size of a small island.  Anyone else w

Evidence that Fran cannot be trusted to take lesson observations seriously

I'm having one of my English lessons officially observed next week.  My friend, who's also a teacher, says I need to 'introduce an element of risk, because that's what they like'. I am considering one or more of these strategies to introduce said element of risk: Risk Strategy 1.  Teach coastal erosion.  I know nothing about coastal erosion, so this should definitely introduce an element of risk.  If I find a nifty little way of linking it into one of their GCSE Literature texts, I'm sure this will prove acceptable. ('Of Mice and Men' is about mice ... mice live behind skirting boards ... skirting boards are around the edge of rooms ... coasts are around the edges of land ... link sorted.)  In fact, I've got my essay title planned already.  'Coastal erosion and the Wall Street Crash: discuss.' Lennie looked anxious.  'If ah tell George I was the one who pushed that ol' house nearly off that damn cliff, he ain't gonna let