PINK GUITAR

Numb and naked in the kitchen

You’re there popping your pills,

Mourning ritual habitual

Stem the overkills

You knock ‘em back like candy

I say you gone too far

You say «stop acting like you give a shit»

And you grab your pink guitar

 

So, You’re naked on the sofa

With your pink guitar,

Strumming out your dead bar blues,

(You got) Menopausal mourning

(An) Afterlife lament,

You sing «There’s nothing left,

And, nothing to lose.»

 

I’m just so tired of you now

And you’re sick of me to

We’ve gone from love to hate, to drifting through.

There was a once upon a time

We were partners in crime

What was ours, was yours, was mine

 

So I’m leaving this place

That we once called home,

(Oh) Where my heart don’t lie no more,

You gotta listen to your heart

‘Cos your heart never lies

That’s the, beatin’ truth for sure

 

And now I’m drifting

No fixed abode

Following my heart

Down this broken road,

This sure ain’t tripping

This ain’t no movie too

You’re road running in my head

Can’t run back to you

 

Now I’m sittin in a bar

In a town with no name

Or a name I can’t remember,

Been driving day an’ night

I can’t forget you right

Need a drink to forget you better.

 

And there’s a girl up on the stage

So full of hurt an’ rage

She’s strumming out on a pink guitar

Screaming her dead blues

Say’s she’s got nothing to lose

I hope she never gets that far.

 

 

Sugar Free Cereal Bars For Halloween??? Are you crazy???

Hollowing out a pumpkin – a messy and fastidious business and probably the closest I’ll ever get to brain surgery – anyway Mr Jack O’Lantern is now on the windowsill burning into the dark Halloween night. I can’t say he looks scary, more of a stupid smile …

Sweets are ready too – a big bowl sitting by the front door, awaiting the hordes of ghoulish kids that will soon come to darken our door.

I’d swear that sweets are getting smaller – in comparison to the chocolate or candy bars of my childhood, today’s offerings are tiny – or have I just got bigger? – of course I had to test the merchandise, so few chocolate bars went my way) chomp, one bite, two bites and they’re gone. Increasing obesity levels, rampant tooth decay and a massive hike in cocoa prices – the trend is away from large bars – but no kidding, the size of today’s bars … it’s a joke.

This year, I bought decent « branded » candies – I guess it is in a reaction to all those years I went trick or treating with my daughter and her friends – traipsing round the neighbourhood with a coven of kids in tow, in search of candies – and some people occasionally gave decent sweets, but the result was often crap – cheap candies with near-sounding brand names, from the discount supermarket or the leftover sweets from last year – it doesn’t seem right to have to look at the « use-by » dates on the candy wrapper before your kids can eat it. And what is worse than last year’s Halloween candies? Why, the box of cheap chocolates you got as a gift at Christmas but never got round to eating – stale chocks with « white » surface markings, loaded into your kid’s

Halloween bucket by some seedy-looking old guy – has he washed his hands? DO NOT EAT THAT! You scream at the kids.

There were those Halloween’s of old when I would buy the sweets and then « plant » them with neighbours in the afternoon.

« Oh, the lady at number 21 gave us looooaaaaads of coooool sweets, » my daughter and her fellow witches and wizards would enthuse through mouths full of chewy toffees and bubble gum. (Yeah kids, but that’s only ‘cos dad planted them with the neighbours this afternoon.)

My Halloween nightmare was the lady giving out sugar free cereal bars – what the hell, this is Halloween! A fistful of marshmallows ain’t going to get my daughter tipping the scales.

Okay, I can see some ghosts floating down the drive, better go and fill them full of candies.

Happy Halloween readers.

The Worst Sunday Of The Year

dirty-socks-clip-art-at-clker-com-vector-clip-art-online-royalty-wy1poc-clipart

‘Tis the worst Sunday of the year – that last drab, depressing and doom laden dominical limbo before the long hard crawl back to reality. Tomorrow we head all back to those places we so cheerfully left a couple of weeks ago – schools, offices, factories – no matter where you are headed on « the first Monday » back, it is perhaps the most difficult return to reality of the entire year. And once back at work with all our other long-faced colleagues, we lethargically and indifferently wish each other a Happy New Year.

Oh, how the hell can you be happy? Off to work in the dark and heading home in the dark. Off to work through torrential rain, snow storms, fog … it is no wonder that animals hibernate. Why don’t we do the same? From 21st December through 21st March, we should just stay at home, nestling under the covers with a hot-water bottle and a good book, or sitting swathed in thick sweaters, curled up in front of a roaring fire with a good whisky and non-stop feel-good films on the TV.

This is the period for the Winter Blues, or what medical experts now call Seasonal Affective Disorder – you get depressed in Winter, so sit at home under a sun lamp for three months or head south for the duration. Our bosses, masters, employers, enslavers … they must have realised by now that they will gain little profit from making us work in these dark times.

No exaggeration – In France, we will all be back in the class room or in the office come 8am on Monday morning – What in heaven’s name is the point of starting the Learning process at 8am? No one ever learned anything much before 10am. In the evening it is the same, kids finishing lessons around 6pm. Even in summer no one is especially receptive after 4pm.

Then of course there is all the light and heating. Save an hour’s energy by starting the winter’s day at 9am (or even 10am).

I plead for this every January, and I am totally serious – work less and save energy and by working shorter hours in winter, people may just be more receptive.

And so, here we are, the evening before the morning to come, which, if you have kids means, frantically doing all that homework that the kids were set before the holidays, but haven’t even touched. Why oh why do teachers even bother setting homework for the Christmas holidays? Kids never do it. Even as far back as the first year of primary school, at the tender age of 6, my daughter was set holiday homework: Of course this is France where formal written homework is officially forbidden in primary schools, but all teachers give their pupils something to learn – poems, multiplication tables, words for spelling test or a dictation – and in many households I daresay that the children have been studiously slaving away all through the Christmas break, but in this house … 4pm on the evening before the next day, first we try and find the school bag that has been thrown in a far flung corner of the house, then we try and find the « to do » list and then we ring round every other parent trying to find out what to do.

« Oh s**t, my offspring has left everything at school » – more phone calls to other parents. The exchanging of e-mails.

« Oh yes, that would be so kind if you could just scan the list of vocabulary /poem and send it by mail. »

« Oh f***, there’s no more ink in the printer – okay, you’re just going to have to learn this on screen. »

Then we get the stinky sports bag – yes your kids have got PE, first lesson tomorrow and their kit has spent the past fortnight festering at the bottom of a bag – yes, we do have a spare kit, but that is at the bottom of the laundry basket – just go dirty or give your kid a false sick note?

By some miracle though, at some point before midnight, your kids manage to get their homework more or less done, and after a long rummage through the darkest recesses of drawers and cupboards, you manage to muster some semblance of a sports kit.

Don’t worry, it can only get better.

 

Why did the Three Bears Go For a Walk In the Middle of Breakfast?

Hooray, it’s the weekend – that 48 hour blip when we all catch up on life – housework, washing, shoppingn and if you have kids, it’s that time for near-family breakdown as, last thing on Sunday night, your offspring retrieve their schoolbag form where they flung it on Friday evening, and begin their homework.

Hooray, my daughter has finished her formal school education meaning an end to the Sunday night homework stress. Notwithsatnding, as a teacher, Sunday is quite simply the prelude to Monday and is dedicated to lesson preparation. Looking for new and exciting ways to teach English grammar. The wife is working on probabilty, the mays and mights and what ifs and what could have happened … to impart these structures to her students she has hit on the idea of «Unsolved Mysteries»

So, here’s an unsolved mystery – the Mary Celeste. Being a lazy chap, I have «borrowed» the Wikpedia entry on the mysterious fate of this ship and her crew (I have to say it is succinct and well written and I certainly could not have done better.

Mary Celeste (often misreported as Marie Celeste) was an American merchant brigantine, discovered adrift and deserted in the Atlantic Ocean, off the Azores Islands, on December 5, 1872. The Canadian brigantine Dei Gratia found her in a dishevelled but seaworthy condition, under partial sail, and with her lifeboat missing. The last entry in her log was dated ten days earlier. She had left New York City for Genoa on November 7, and on discovery was still amply provisioned. Her cargo of denatured alcohol was intact, and the captain’s and crew’s personal belongings were undisturbed. None of those who had been on board were ever seen or heard from again.

What might have happened to the crew of the Mary Celeste? What could have been their reasons fo abandonning ship? They might have been kidnapped by Aliens? They could all have just decided to go for a swim during the middle of dinner.

Looking for more exploitable and «teachable» unsolved mysteries, I suggest one of the greatest mysteries of all time.

Why did the three bears go for a walk?

Okay, so three bears living reasonably comfortably in a small house* in the woods, suddenly, during breakfast one morning, decide to go for a walk, and they don’t even lock the house when they’re gone.

*I say small house because mummy, daddy and baby bear all shared the same bedroom, so I guess we are in some kind of one up, one down cottage.

Imagine, you are in the middle of breakfast, perhaps not yet fully awake and therefore, not quite in your state of full mental awareness. You are waiting for your porridge to cool down and suddenly you just leave the house and go for a walk. Why?

unknown

I don’t know about you, but I take breakfast as soon as I get up, so I’m still in pyjamas and I certainly wouldn’t go for an early morning walk in my pyjamas, except to put the dustbins out or retrieve my morning paper from the letterbox.

What made daddy bear just walk out the house and what made mummy and baby bear follow him? A strange far off noise or lights in the sky – some distant and untoward event that merited closer investigation? It can’t have been all that «untoward» if the bears later returned.

Perhaps daddy bear just decided he needed a stroll around the garden whilst his porridge cooled down, and mummy and bear simply followed him outside – for we do not know actually how far the three bears went or even where they went or how long they were gone. Obviously they weren’t going far because they didn’t bother to lock their house. However they were gone long enough for Goldilocks to eat their porridge and have a nap.

Of course, the three bears lived in more reassuring times and they lived in the middle of a forest – they didn’t need to be as security conscious as modern bears. Unless of course, they simply rushed out the house so fast that they forgot to lock it or mummy and daddy bear were suffering from mild dementia or perhaps they were just stupid.

What if they had locked the house? Well Goldilocks might never have got in.

This of course brings me to the second unsolved mystery in the Three Bears Mystery. Who was Goldilocks and what was she doing wandering round the forest on her own early in the morning? (I say early because I presume the bears got up early, though we don’t know on what day this happened. Imagine it was a Sunday and the bears were actually sitting down for a brunch, generally taken later than breakfast)

So, at an unspecified time of the morning on an unspecified day, a blonde girl (of unspecified age) is walking through the woods on her own. Why? Is she too simply out for a walk in the middle of breakfast?

In some versions of the story, Goldilocks is a «little» girl. Why would a little girl be wandering around the woods on her own? Is she lost? Has she been abandonned by her parents? We know that Goldilocks is suffering from hunger and fatigue – she needs food and a bed – quite logical that she may venture into an empty house in search of sustenance and rest. If this last scenario were the case, We can assume that Goldilocks has been on the road for some time. Is she running away from some one? The girl needs help though. Just as well she found the bears’ house and not Hansel and Gretel’s bewitched, edible cottage.

Let us assume that Golidlocks is not «a little girl» but a teeanger advancing into adulthood. She might just be crossing the woods as a short cut home form a wild all night party. She might be fleeing from a gang of people smugglers? Or is there something more malevolent in the Goldilocks mystery – is she actively seeking the bears to steal their porridge? Was it indeed Goldilocks who created the diversion that made the bears leave their house?

Fairy tales are good for this kind of probability exercise.

Sleeping beauty for example – why wait 100 yars for a young prince to come and cut your hedge? A good gardener with a decent hedge timmer would have done it far sooner and far quicker.

The Seven Dwarves – They own a diamond mine for chrissake, but they live in a small cottage and all sleep in the same room. They don’t even employ a housekeeper – they wait until a princess comes along to do all the cooking ad cleaning for free. Are these dwarves just plain mean or is their some kind of sexual or masonic motif? Hey they all sleep together then along comes Snow White and no one even makes a play for her.

What if Cinderella hadn’t lost that glass slipper?

What if Munchkin laborers had gone on strike and not finished the Yellow Brick road before Dorothy blew in?

And what if I didn’t manage to find some plausible way to end this post?

And what did happen to Goldilocks?

Seasonal Pumpkin Brain Surgery

Here is a Halloween post full of the philosophical musings of an aging dad. Enjoy and Happy Halloween.

Halloween? What’s that?

It’s the time when dad hollows out a pumpkin to make a lantern, and the pumpkin is always too bloody hard, and dad never has a decent knife and ends up using a selection of power tools and kitchen utensils and gets covered in fibrous orange gunge as he hacks away to dig out the inside of this most indigestible of vegetables.

I’m not a brain surgeon, but Halloween is that time of year when I come as close as I will ever get to carrying out major brain surgery.

In our house, the Halloween pumpkin was a true father/daughter moment.

When the offspring was too young to handle sharp implements, I was the magical pumpkin maker and all my creations, however bad would be welcomed with squeals of childish delight. No matter how crap the creation, we had a pumpkin. Of course, dad being dad, I would never bother to measure the area of the windowsill and I would buy the biggest pumpkin possible that was always too big and would inevitably fall off the windowsill and go crashing to a squelchy orange death in the garden below.

In later years (when the offspring could do all that creative stuff with a sharp kniffe without asking an adult), it was my daughter who made the pumpkin, and of course dad would go mad because she wasn’t making it the way dad would.

We’ve never been great pumpkin makers, all our efforts have been far too smiley to ward off evil spirits, and then, in this, my daughter’s 18th year – up pops an enthusiastic dad asking if nearly fully-fledged adult wants a pumpkin, to be greeted by a nonchalant and very non-commital « maybe. »

« Make one if it makes you happy, » says my daughter, who, despite her leck of pumpkin enthusiasm, is busy making herself a Witch costume to go Trick or Treating with friends.

I guess like all dad stuff, I have come to yet the end of another era, and now, unless I make pumpkins for myself, my next venture in seasonal brain surgery will be with my grandchildren (Yes I am sad.)

Trick or Treat

And so to the art of the Trick or Treat. Yes, this is France, where, until 20 years ago, no one had ever heard of Halloween. So, I remember back when my daughter was still a kid, I would run round the neighbours planting sweets and treats in the early afternoon, so my daughter and friends would have something to fill their baskets when they went knocking on doors.

You know, in a country where Halloween is not really a tradition, a successful Halloween takes a lot of organising; Now, though, my daughter is too old for this « kids’ stuff » and that dad/daughter rite is more or less dead and I am kind of sad, yet tomorrow night my daughter will be terrorising people for sweets – I still can’t work this out… you don’t want to make a pumpkin with dad, but you want to go Trick or Treating with your mates.

I now have a confession to make – I hate pumpkins. Over the years I have tried making soups and pies, and the humble pumpkin is just a « difficult to cook » and tasteless veg that gives you bad indigestion (but no flatulence).

And to the point of this post. What is Halloween?

A good marketing opportunity for toy retailers to glean a few extra pennies before Christmas really begins.

Being Dead – A job for life

A chance for the Dead to have a night off – because we are celebrating that porous moment where those in Purgatory come back to haunt us and we also celebrate the dead. So why shouldn’t dead people have a party and a day off? You are dead for a very long time, so a day off being dead is a very good idea. We all take a day off work from time to time, so why shouldn’t the dead get a day off work as well? Actually if being dead was a real job ???? I suppose the wages would be quite low and you certainly would not have the very complex question of retirement and pensions. Being dead is a job for life.

Time to leave you for Halloween as I go downstairs to make my own pumpkin.

 

Forgetting those Summer Daze.

Those sure signs that summer is finally here – those iconic, traditional events, local and national, marking the start of the “Grandes Vacances” – two months of long, lazy summer daze, when most of France seems to shut down and we all head off for our well-deserved place in the sun.

Down here in my corner of la Douce France, summer starts with the funfair. For as long as anyone can remember, the fair hits town in mid June for a month of dodgems, hot dogs, candy floss, the House of Fun, the Ghost train and all those heart-stopping rides that you should never do after a large burger and fries. The same rides every year for years, the funfair is a never changing constant where mums and dads measure time by the reaction of their kids – at first, frozen with fear on the ghost train as a toddler; now my daughter just finds it all a bit cheesy. “The ghost train isn’t scary” she remarks with a sneering teenage indifference, but I know she’d still like a go. A fistful of Euros later, we are sitting in a car as it slowly drives round the “fright of your life” – same as last year, same as ten years ago – we know where the skeletons dangle, we know exactly where someone dressed in black robes and a “scream” mask will jump out and scare us. Cheesy but reassuring, we never want it to change.

And in those years where the years seemed to plod slowly along we waited for the fair, like Christmas, like a birthday – and now, the years are just fleeting past. “Oh the fair’s in town again” I say one morning at breakfast. “Surely not!” exclaims the wife. “Is it that time already, It only seems like it was here a few weeks ago.” So, this year, I hardly even noticed the fair setting up, the huge semi-trailers laden with gear rolling into town, the rides slowly taking form, long days of nuts and bolts as the fair workers jump around their vast metal structure like steel monkeys, getting their erections just right for our orgasmic moment.

It’s the first year, I didn’t notice the fair, the first year that I seemed truly unconcerned, even indifferent, the first year that I haven’t been – I have to go before it’s all over – a trip to the fair is a seasonal rite of passage –

And those other ritual transitions into summer? They too have passed my by. Cherry-picking, hauling the heavy ladder up against my cherry trees and then spending days on end harvesting the delicate sumptuous fruit. This year though, there are no cherries – when the trees were heavy with blossom, we had an unseasonal freeze and then weeks of rain, so that early evening ritual, when I return from work, pull on my gardening gear and climb into a cherry tree – well I’ve really missed it, climbing from branch to branch, “risking” life and limb, just to go that bit higher and stretch that bit further for one elusive juicy ripe red cherry. I like it up in my cherry trees, staring out across the gardens and exchanging greetings and cherry talk with my neighbours who are up in their trees. I also miss that inexact science of jam making – slaving away in the kitchen to concoct jams that will tickle our taste buds through the winter and bring us just a little hint of summer with every spoonful. Cherry jam with ginger, with whisky, with cognac with whatever is too hand and might go well with cherries. I’m missing all this.

Those events that mark time and summer time are just escaping me this year.

I switched on the TV the other day and watched the Tour de France, that most iconic of cycle races, where a couple of hundred men on flimsy bikes pedal their way up and down in France in pursuit of a series of coloured jersies. The departure of the Tour de France used to be an excuse to drop everything and spend the afternoon sheltering from the sun, slumped in an armchair with a cold beer, watching someone else do all the work. How could I have missed the Tour de France, that’s like waking up on December 25th and saying “I forgot it was Christmas.”

Reasons for “forgetting”

What I might call “the weather differential” – those weeks of incessant biblical deluge from spring into summer – there was no distinct weather change to say that summer was on its way .

The “age factor” – drifting along aimlessly at fifty.

The changing role of dad – I used to take my daughter to the fair and now she’s not that age where dad takes you to the fair ..

And finally, perhaps, none of these things are very important anymore.

What I will NOT miss about school (now that my daughter has left)

“School’s out for summer” sang the Coop, but “School’s out forever” for some kids, including my daughter, who has finally finished her formal school education. Time then to dwell on those things that I will not miss about school.

It is that day in France when hunreds of thousands of school leavers get their final exam results. My daughter has just passed her shcool leaving diploma with flying colours – she has earned her « passport » to life and also finished her official schooling.

I am a happy dad, flushed with my daughter’s success, but also glad that this chapter of parenthood is over. Never again will I have to attend a parents’ evening and sit listening to a teacher drone on about all my daughter’s faults and imperfections. Never again will I have to suffer other parents, never again will I have to help with maths homework , never again … you know what, I’m kind of missing school already.

So, parent Vs teacher

Ah yes, we have all been there – sitting on those uncomfortable wooden chairs in a dingy classroom that smells of … classrooms – a combination of sweat, pencil shavings, disinfectant and school dinners – that unmistakable school stink that hits your nostrils as soon as you set foot into any establishment destined for the education of the young.

(Yes, what is it about that school smell ?– it reminds me of tinned vegetables.)

So, there you are, with THE TEACHER. Aforementioned teacher looks you over, like running you through a body scanner , peering over their spectacles, taking you in.

« Pleased to meet you Mr and Mrs ; I am Mr/Mrs … your daughter’s …. teacher. »

I don’t think « pleased to meet you » is quite the correct greeting, more a case of « At last, I know what you look like. I was wondering, judging by your offspring’s behaviour in class, if his parents were human at all, but you are obviously human, now I can find out if you are as dumb and objectionable as your offspring. »

For the two of years that I spent teaching in French secondary schools, parents’ evening was both a bane and a highlight – bane, because you had to stay after school – highlight, because you finally get to meet all those who are biologically responsible for that heterogenious, mass that makes up your class.

And so, begins the denigration and assassination of that child you have so lovingly nurtured and now placed under the intellectual guardianship of someone who talks like Steven Hawkin and dresses from a dumpster.

We know all the comments, and we know how it will be from the moment we meet the teacher – the parents of the good kids get a cheery welcome, a beaming smile and a good firm handshake, whereas parents of the bad kids get a limp handshake and an embarassed smirk, as if to say ,« why did you bother having children in the first place ? »

Then comes the litany of « should work harder » right through to this absolute corker from one of my daughter’s former maths teachers : « I don’t understand what your daughter doesn’t understand. »

« She doesn’t understand maths » we retort.

« But what maths doesn’t she understand ? » asks the exasperated teacher

« All maths. »

This is what the French might call « une dialogue de sourds » (literally meaning a dialogue of the deaf) – I think we just politley walked away when our five minutes was up.

I could write a book about this, however time to move on to those other things I will never miss about school.

Perfect Parents

Other parents – OH MY GOD !! – you know the scene – standing round the school gate, listening to other mums and dads lauding their offspring with loud (so everyone can hear) enthused, eloquence– accentless, posh tones that reek of tennis clubs and mixing with all the right people – you don’t want to listen, but you are forced to hear it – their childrens’ achievements, just how intelligent their offspring are –

Listening to the supermums and dads, I was reassured in a way – with every child destined to be a Nobel Prize winner or an astronaut, I thought « oh well, in a few years, these brainy little bastards will be running the country, they might do it decently – no need to worry about the future. »

I wasn’t so much the lyrical waxings given by the parents, it was when they would openly admit that they were working their kids through the program for the year ahead.

« Oh yes, Johnny finds it too easy at school, so I’ve got him private lessons and he’s working through the syllabus for the year above. »

Meaning that every other parent in the class is doing the same with their kids, so they don’t trail behind « Little Johnny » .

So, like all French parents, we packed our daughter off to nursery school at the age of three – not madatory, but 99% of parents do it. The problem is that nursery school ain’t about having fun – doing drawings and rolling round in the sandpit NO, this is where formal class teaching begins, and kids start doing stuff like learning to read and count and …

« Oh Johnny can already read » says Johnny’s super fit, lycra- clad sports mum – so every other mum starts reading with their kids and by the end of the year – they can all bloody read – except our kid of course, and so you get the beckoning inger of the class teacher – « I’m worried about your daughter’s progress, she can’t read yet … »

This is when you want to tell the teacher that the formalised teaching of reading is not actually on the syllabus for the year in hand

« Oh I know, but it’s always good to start them early. » she whispers knowingly.

Ok miss, but you aren’t actually teaching the kids to read, it’s the parents doing all the work !

And of course when Johnny is six, he is already reading Harry Potter in English – I bet he can’t understand it though.

Now, being an English dad, I would talk to my offspring in English when I picked her up from school. It didn’t take long for the supermums to start doing the same.

Yes, I’ll be glad to be shot of other parents  (or is it other parents who should be shot ?)

And what else ?

Homework (AAAAAAAAAAAGH !!!!!!!!)

In French schools there is no specific homework timetable. Kids can sometimes have nothing (very rare) or (as was often the case) come home at 5pm with « a couple of exercises » for the next day – meaning that every teacher they have had in one day, has set work for the next day.

I would personally ban homework – a national law to ban all school work at home after school – any teacher found setting any kind of homework would get a minimum 25 year prison sentence, with no chance of remission.

The limp, high pitch, far off infantile plea …

« Mum …Dad, can you help me with my maths homework »

 (Let’s run and hide)

And we tried to help, but always late into the evening and to no avail and in the end

Well, It is like me in science, however hard I tried at school, I’d always get the same lousy mark as if I’d done nothing at all, so why bother ?

Homework never achieved anything other than filling up the short evenings after a long day at school.

Some experts will say that it is good to give kids something to do at home, so they learn to work regularly on their own. Yeah there is something valid in this, but instead of rote learning or repetitive exercises – in this day and age of Internet, let’s do some research.

As a teacher, to the chagrin of many parents, I stopped giving formal grammar drills and exercises for homework – giving kids exercises means that they get good at doing exercises – So, annoyed were some parents at my unwillingness to give exercises for homework, that they bought their kids grammar books, made them do the exercises at home and then asked me to correct them.

« Can’t you correct them ? » I asked

« We don’t know the answers. »

« So why didn’t you buy the version of the book with answers ? »

In homework terms, the weekends and holidays were always the worst. Teachers figure that the more time you have, the more work you should do … erm what about time to play ? (a few badly-drawn cartoons from 2008).

John King

John King 1

John King 2

And this concludes (so far) what I will not miss about school.