Showing posts from December, 2013

Evidence that Fran never lets up

To celebrate the New Year, I thought I'd select a post from each month of 2013 for you to browse through while you drink port and contemplate your fifteenth turkey sandwich of the season. And this might be a good time to ask regular followers to say, in a comment, which kinds of posts you like the best.  I've been writing this blog for six years now and, very rudely, have never asked ..... In January, I was given a 'snow day' off school. In February, I made a bread and butter pudding. In March, I had moved on from thinking about puddings to pies In April, Cinderella met the Three Little Pigs In May, I met the mo

Reasons why Fran might be buying a dog, a ride-on lawn mower, and an Open University course in mining

I just looked up a 'calorie burning activity' chart to see how to burn off the nine zillion trillion calories I have consumed over the Christmas holidays. According to the chart, which tells you how many calories you would burn off in an hour, I don't have to do any of those boringly traditional activities like running or playing tennis.  There are so many other exciting options listed that hadn't even crossed my mind.   Bagging grass burns off 327 calories.  It just seems an unusual activity.  You can't just say, 'Oh, I think I'll go and bag some grass' like you can say 'Oh, I think I'll go out for a quick run.'  Presumably, one has to mow a lawn first, and if I've mown a lawn, I want a packet of Bourbons and a nap, not an hour grass-bagging. Bakery (light effort) burns off 204, but the figure for 'heavy effort baking' is not supplied.  I'm not sure of the difference either.  Is light effort baking making small, delica

Evidence that pigs are not the good cooks they think they are - a poem for Christmas

I've updated this Christmas version of 'The Three Little Pigs' which I wrote years ago. A family of pigs, brothers three, were leaping around, Christmas Eve. The wolf had been caught (or so they had thought). From his huff and his puff, they were free. Relieved at the end of their scare they danced round the fire, unaware that in that hotpot was a wolf who was not fully cooked, but just medium rare. As they went off to bed, closed the door, from the pot there protruded a paw.... Though more warm than he’d like, he’d not give up the fight. A poor sign for the porcine, for sure. He’d wait until midnight , then soon, he planned by the light of the moon to exit that pot, give those piggies a shock and be gorging on trotters by noon . But all of a sudden, his light sas blocked out by a terrible sight. A HUGE man with a beard down the chimney appeared. Wolfie peed in the gravy with fright.  ‘Ho ho ho,’ said the man, with such

Evidence that Fran's teaching of poetry can ignite passion for literature in the most unwilling young hearts

I've got a great book by Ruth Padel called, '52 ways to read a poem'.   I love teaching poetry.  It's one of my Favourite Things.  But the students don't always feel the same. And I've discovered that they, too, can think of lots of ways in which to read a poem.  Here are 25 of them.   with head on desk with head nodding involuntarily until nudged by classmate with head shaking from side to side in disbelief that anyone could find poems exciting with head in hands with hands on head while leaning as far back on a school chair as humanly possible without crashing to floor with head inside blazer, hiding from cruel fact that current poem is only one of 36 to be studied with fingers in ears with hands over face with hand round own neck, mocking self-strangling with hand over open mouth in 'no, no, don't tell me I have to write about this' gesture while writing note to classmate which says, 'do y

Evidence that Fran may well be banned from local shops very soon

After yet another embarrassing incident today, I said to my youngest sister, 'I am losing all my faculties, one by one, I swear.' She said, 'Oh, dear, poor you.  What can I do to help?' She said, 'Oh, don't - you'll make me cry.' She said, 'Here, come and give me a hug.' She said, 'We might as well put you in a sack and throw you in the river right now, then.' That's what you need, isn't it, when you're becoming older, and vulnerable?  A sister who stays faithful. My last blog post was about the fact that I needed new spectacles.  Today, I found that I can no longer express myself clearly and perhaps need speech therapy before I lose total control of my lips. I was in a gift shop in Warwick.  Downstairs, it's all pretty candles and soaps and teddies and linens and ceramics.  Upstairs, there's a section for clothes. I was standing by the bottom of the stairs and a woman peered up them and said to me, 

Evidence that Fran needs new glasses as well as a shedload of money to pay for them

I definitely need to book an appointment at the optician for new glasses.  Here are the signs. 1. I was reading a book today about new words which have been invented in the last ten years.  I came across one in the 'A' section that said, 'A580'?  A 5 8 0?  I'd not heard of it.  What was it?  A strange computer code?  A new paper size?  The name of a new character in Doctor Who?  Why does no one tell me these things? Then the type swam into proper focus and I realised it said ASBO, as in 'anti-social behaviour order.' 2. When I began typing this post, the screen had that kind of 'your words have immediately gone under water as soon as you've typed them' look and I've had to turn the make-the-font-bigger-thing (not sure of its technical name) up to maximum. That's better, but there's only room for one paragraph on the screen. 3. When I'm reading anything aloud at school, I'm doing that 'hold the book at a distan