Tuesday, March 28, 2006

#64 on the innocence of youth

Current mood - pissed off (I’ve never been more pissed off)
Current music – Vertigo by U2 (very very loud)

I overheard a classic conversation between some 12 year old pupils today…

1     have you got it?
2     What?
1     Have you got it?  You know?
2     What?
[I fail to catch what was muttered.  I become involved.]
Me (to 2)     Well, have you got it?
2     I dunno
Me (to 1)     What has he got?
1     Mayfair.
Me     Mayfair?

Time out here.  I’m thinking porno.  Yes I was 12 once I and know what has currency in school.

2     Oh Mayfair.  No.
Me     Mayfair?
1     Mayfair.  It’s at McDonalds.  You know, Monopoly.
Me     No, but it doesn’t matter.
3     I thought he was talking about cigarettes.

I told my pal and we pissed ourselves laughing.  Given the shit that landed on me soon after I’m glad it happened otherwise this blog entry would have been about other people saying things that I might have later regretted.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

#63 on the half full/half empty cliché

Current music: Albinoni’s adagio
Current mood: up for it (work for work complete)

Yes I’m back for those who noticed (which cuts out most of the world’s population) and those who care (which cuts out most of them) from a particularly intense period of life in which I’ve pinned my colours to the mast of my school and applied for the position of Deputy Head Teacher.  Hopefully I’ll get an interview and I’ll keep you posted on how it all goes.

At church today my good friend confided in me his lack of confidence in his sermon and I said that it would speak to someone’s heart.  Who could of known it would have been me?

The gist of it was (remember it’s mothering Sunday) that we only develop the vocabulary for describing how well our parents tried to parent us later on in life.  It’s actually easier to recall times when our parents were pretty crap at it and not recognise the love they show(ed) for us in the mundane day to day existence.  Heaven knows I can think of reasons to recall when my parents (my dad in particular) was unbelievably crap at it.  I could make a list of the holes in my experience when he simply should have been there and could embark upon some deep psychological treatise on why that was and how it has so deeply affected me.  I could, honestly I could and indeed (usually to myself) I have, but hey, and this is the point of the sermon for me, fuck it, there were other times when he was doing his best and I just never realised.  He probably was bored and a bit shit at fatherhood by the time I came along but I turned out alright and my kids will do ok by me too.  

He’s dying of cancer now.  I’ll not see him again.  I want to make some sort of peace with him but the problem is I think he is at peace with himself, selfish cunt, and so I’ll just have to say that my glass is not half full, nor is it half empty; there is no glass, just a man who did his best and son who is doing his best too.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

#62 on failing to use new words in conversation

current mood - overwhelmed
current music - 'Toxygene' by The Orb (that's internet radio for you)

Well my use of ‘manse’ was forgotten today in the rush that is the crazy world of Year 7. We learned to paint with powder paints (a skill that I correctly guessed had not been taught adequately to this bunch of impatient end-gainers who have no time for laying down layers of paint when felt tips or poster paint straight out of the (expensive) bottle and slapped on to the paper will do for me thank you very much).

So please allow me to make amends by telling you that my dwelling could not possibly be described as a ‘manse’. Nor a hovel. Somewhere in between I suppose. Let’s call it 'home' for the sake of argument, complete with children, rooms in need of decoration and paperwork in piles large enough to call furniture.

Tomorrow I shall try with my new word of the day – ‘uxorius’. No you’ll just have to look it up for yourself.

Monday, March 13, 2006

#61 on using new words in conversation

I’ve decided to widen my vocabulary. So each day I shall try to introduce a new word in conversation. Dictionary.com a going to send me a word a day.

Tomorrow I shall try to say the word ‘manse’ in the correct context.

I may even include these new words in my blog. In fact I shall and you can try and guess which word it was.

Reminds me of a drinking game – each player has a bottle of scotch to drink. Then one player leaves the room and the others have to guess who it was.

#60 on filling out application forms

Current music: ‘Iris’ by Goo Goo Dolls
Current Mood: daunted

The process for filling out an application form is immense. I can’t go into specifics about the job itself suffice it to say that I’m looking at a couple of hours each evening this week just to get the bastard typed. My supporting statement is looking like it will run into 1000+ words and I’ll need to design a CV from scratch. But some friends have each agreed to take a look at it this weekend and constructively criticise it. And there’s nothing like a deadline to motivate me!

All in a week when I’ve loads of Greenbelt stuff to sort and a house that needs to be see a hoover and duster raised against it in anger.

So there’s a little bit of excitement in there as well. I’ve gone through the ‘there’s no point in applying’ frame of mind and am now in the ‘I’m gonna make my application and interview performance good they’ll have no choice but to appoint me’ place.

I’ll keep you posted.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

#59 on the use of technology in church services

current music - 'in constant sorrow' by the soggy bottom boys
current mood - cross (with self) because didn't get done all i'd planned and will have to get up early tomorrow.

Led worship at church today. Enjoyed the preparation and the delivery much more than preparing and delivering a sermon a couple of weeks ago. Hooked up with some resources from the Wild Goose Resource Group, rewrote some of the liturgy and made the whole service about the communion meal rather than letting the communion become a bolt-on at the end of the service.

The PA system didn’t work.

The laptop and projector worked just in the nick of time. By the way I think Songpro is a piece of shit.

The music for the band arrived just in the nick of time.

But the service went well nevertheless.

It made me wonder…

How on earth did the early church we so idolise and want to emulate (a futile mind set in my opinion by the way) ever survive without an overhead projector?

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

#58 on the great year seven project

Work is fun at the moment.  Part of the great Year Seven project is to free up time to release teaching time for more topic based cross curricular stuff.  So at the moment the children are gathering stories for a school news magazine and plans are being drawn up for the children to present their work from the French Trip as a web site.

It’s really god fun seeing the children get into these activities and their improved behaviour (by and large) is a worthwhile trade off.  I’ll keep you posted as the results come through.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

#57 On having an electronic diary...

My latest train of thoughts and ideas has taken me from getting a new phone that incorporates a PDA as well so that I can ditch my diary and notebook, to running outlook on the PC at home and at work so that I could synchronise what’s going on with them and now I am mucking about with customisable desktops that raid bits of outlook and stick them in the corner of the desktop for me to keep an eye on.

I’ve tried a few programs tonight, DesktopX being my favourite so far. I’m told by people in the know that Windows Vista, if and when it ever arrives, will do all this automatically but who knows when that will be.

Kinda takes me back to the days when you’d get a floppy disk off of the front of a magazine and run a program that would animate all your icons in Windows 3. Course it drained every last drop of memory out of your system and nearly drove it into the ground but then life itself was slower back then. Come back 386, all is forgiven.

On a separate note, I finished ‘Dead Air’ last night. Brilliant. But with Iain Banks in the driving seat it’s what you’d expect. Can’t say too much for fear of spoiling it for readers who come along to The Reading Circle, but for those who have read it I have to say that Ken Nott, the central character is so like me in thought and word but so not like me in deed. Ken said what I think and believe so much it was uncanny but it did make for a great read.

Good plot, great climax, satisfying ending.

Sunday, March 05, 2006


An attack of diarrhoea has left me feeling low and a bit sorry for myself today so I decided to take it all out on some skeletons, goblins and some nasty looking things that look a bit like the great big monster Muppet whose name escapes me.

Yes, now and again (usually when one is too ill to do much else, a game of Diablo is required to cleanse one’s soul and remind oneself how good it feels to beat the brains out of baddies on the screen.

Long live computer gaming. Problem is to play these games requires a long life.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Through His Eyes

Spent two and a half hours travelling from central London to Kew Gardens today as engineering works closed a section of the District Line that I wanted to travel on. But the journey by train, bus and foot was worth it (and the £10 entry price) to see the most wonderful collection of orchids. Their beauty was matched only by their fragility and I felt as though I wanted to hold my breath as I wandered around the exhibition.

But my entry today, dear readers, is not about me but my beautiful, if not reckless, son S who ran up and down and in and out paying no heed to petty grown up rules at all. Rope barriers were to be swung on, dirt was to be grabbed, leaves were to be rubbed against a cheek. There was not a moment of vandalism or malicious intent but instead a careless abandon of any civil respect for stuffy, British behaviour. And as I charged around after him apologising to tourists as he slid down steps on his tummy, I wished that I could see the world through his eyes.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Two Hats

Current Mood:  brain-dead – not stopped working since 7:30 this morning
Current Music:  ‘Use Me (live)’ - Bill Withers

Went to see N in his debut role, Mr Gumpy in the Reception Players hilarious production of Mr Gumpy’s Outing.  I was so proud.  A was so proud.  N did so well.  But with his mother’s performer’s blood and my exhibitionist blood coursing through his veins it’s hardly surprising.

I also found myself mentally ticking boxes about his speaking and listening skills.

That’s what comes from wearing my teacher hat and parent hat at the same time I suppose.

‘Dead Air’ has been started and I’m quite enjoying it so far.  It’s quite an easy going first person narrative tale.  The cover and blurb made me feel that it would be more aloof but not so at all.

In fact I am now going to go to bed and read some more.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

When Intelligent People Gather to Discuss Intelligent Books

Current music: ‘On the Hunt’ – Lynard Skynard
Current mood: self satisfied (just done a super poo)

Another great ‘Reading Circle’ tonight. Readers of previous posts will know that I only managed to get my hands on to the book (‘The Time-Traveler’s wife) a few days ago so I had not read very much of it at all. But that did not spoil my enjoyment of the excellent discussion that went down tonight.

Next month is film night allowing us two months to read ‘Dead Air’ by Iain Banks. Looks pretty meaty but I quite fancy it.

Oh no, that looks and sounds like a food reference. Bugger.