Showing posts from September, 2014

Reasons why I'm feeling nostalgic for my old manual typewriter

I have some observations to make after buying a new laptop at the weekend. 1. PC World is not the place to be when you're already feeling your age.  I had to spend an hour in the kitchen when we got back.  I used my food mixer, toaster and kettle, just to comfort myself that there were some things I could plug in and operate without having to watch a Youtube video first. 2. People who work in computer stores have a lumpy bit under their jumpers.  My husband said it would be where a set of keys is attached to their belts, but I suspect they are the remnants of where the umbilical cord hasn't quite healed yet. 3. Shouting, 'Oh, I must have that one!  Look - it's got a bright blue casing!' is the quickest way to make sure your husband sidles away from you and into the camera aisle. Fran wasn't so interested in its Intel Core i3-4030U Processor as she could have been 4. Even though your new laptop does have a pretty blue casing, you will still want to

Reasons why Fran Googles 'Discount Botox deals' on a regular basis

I wrote this article for the Times Educational Supplement in 2010.  I wasn't quite fifty then.  My, my, it resonates even more now.     Teaching is the elixir of youth?  Pass the cocoa ... They say being a teacher keeps you young, and to someone pushing 50 who says, "Gosh, is that policeman old enough to be out alone?" this could be fantastic news. If only they didn't just mean inner youthfulness. I could do with outer help; the anti-wrinkle creams and the "give-you-a-fake-waist" vests don't do the job they used to. I will be interested to see just how young teaching can keep us when we don't get our pensions until we hit 96. There comes a point, surely, when no matter how many teenagers you meet each day, if you can't hear them, see them or remember their names, the benefits of being kept young at heart are limited. Still, I'm seeing a money-spinner here, and you can peruse my new website to

Evidence that senior moments can even happen to junior people

I have so many senior moments these days.  In fact, I think I am in one long Senior Moment and every now and then I have a Junior one: a minute or two of lucidity when I rush around and get as much done as possible.   But some moments of disorientation happen to everyone - young and old - when it takes a while for things to become clear.  Do you have experiences like these?.......... 1. Someone asks if you'd like a cup of tea and then they make you coffee instead.  That first sip ..... 2. You put someone else's glasses on by mistake and wonder when and how you wandered into the Hall of Mirrors. 3. You begin to undo your trousers, thinking you have a pair on with one button, and can't get them over your hips.  You've put on three stone in one day?  Then you find they're a three-button pair. 4. Your taxi arrives to take you to the station, so you run outside and hail it, dragging your case.  So does your neighbour opposite.   5. You wake up on

Evidence that Fran finds the strangest things amusing

These are things which have made me laugh today. It really, as you'll see, does not take much. 1. I noticed a banner advertising a Weight Watchers meeting at a church called St Mary Immaculate.   2. Someone had discarded a lottery ticket on the pavement, presumably in a fit of pique.  It was labelled, in red letters, 'Lucky Lucky Draw'.  Not that lucky, then. 3. We went on a half-hour barge trip up the Grand Union Canal in Warwick as part of a 'Canal Open Day' event.  A large Texan man with a drawl to die for did the commentary on the history of my local canal.   4.  I saw these at the Open Day and still don't know why they were there.  Everything else was to do with boats.  Was it because 'goats' rhymes with 'boats'?    5. On the bus home, I played 'I've seen you and I know you've seen me and I know you're pretending not to have done' with one of the teenagers from my school.  This happens often.  Ther