Rhyme and No Reason!

Blogger, author and rhymester who likes to find the humour in life.

#SoCS – Egg — March 19, 2016

#SoCS – Egg

school, sports day, races, parents
image courtesy of Wikimedia

We have rather a topical prompt word for Linda’s Stream of Consciousness this week with ‘egg’.

Now, of course, my first thought was Easter as that is hurtling towards us at tremendous speed. I am sure I could go on and on about Easter eggs, but that will only make me hungry and I haven’t got any chocolate in the house at the moment!!

I am going to go totally down another path and talk about the good old British sports days of yesteryear. When I was at school, I remember them being lots of fun (we are talking about primary school here). A lot of effort went into organising the games, and of course, parents were invited too.

This meant that all the children wanted to try their best to impress their parents. We had all the usual running races, but there were the fun ones too like the egg and spoon race (being a klutz I was rubbish at this), the sack race (pretty exhausting this one, jumping about in a small sack trying to get to the finish line), and the three-legged race, being tied at the ankles to another child, and having to run in unison to the finish line.

As you can imagine with these races, there was a lot of tripping and falling over, but we just got up and kept going.

It was all very competitive in those days too, it was encouraged to want to win. At the end of it,  there was usually a mum’s and a dad’s race. I don’t remember my mum ever taking part in this and I can’t say I blame her, as that was also pretty competitive!

Last time I went to Miss Hap’s sports day at primary school, there were none of the races I remembered so well. There was a skipping race, that she managed to win despite losing a shoe! It is not about the winning now, though, everyone get points and prizes which are totted up at the end.

There were  no mums and dads, shoes off, sleeves rolled up, ready to run for glory down the length of the school field elbowing away their rivals (Thank God)! No, it is all very civilised now. For a start, most of the schools use a local sporting facility or recreation ground as they don’t have a field.The area they cordon off for the races are much shorter than I remember. The kids all have their bottles of water, sunhats and suncream on. We didn’t, if we burnt to a crisp then so be it!

Sometimes change can be a good thing!

 

TJ’s Household Haiku Challenge – Art. — February 20, 2016

TJ’s Household Haiku Challenge – Art.

Day of the Dead Homework

Today TJ has given us ‘art’ as our prompt for his household haiku challenge.  I have never been any good at drawing and am not much of an art connoisseur either. I have always admired those that are talented artists and am even a little envious of them!

For my haiku this week, I have featured a drawing my daughter did for her homework when she was 11 years old. I was very impressed.

Miss Hap’s art homework

A skull for ‘Day of the Dead’

It looks so lifelike!

 

 

The Great Book of Lists Chapter 1.4: The Books That Transport Me. — January 26, 2016

The Great Book of Lists Chapter 1.4: The Books That Transport Me.

Bookcases

Today’s Book of Lists, devised by La Duchesse d’Erat, is all about books. The books that meant something to us, took us on a journey, entranced and excited us. Any book that captured our imagination, or had some kind of impact.

This is kind of harder than I thought actually. I love books and have quite a few (all over the place), some of which I read over and over. It was tricky just to choose a few, but here are some of my favourites:

Enid Blyton- The Mallory Towers collection. Now, I was brought up on Enid Blyton books and could have chosen any of the many that I have rea.  However, as a girl, I always wanted to go to boarding school, and rather fancied myself as Darrell, the girl whose school journey we follow right up until the upper sixth form.  She was a good, solid student who was popular with her peers, but occasionally got it wrong because of her ‘hot temper.’

Charles Dickens – Great Expectations. Although I had to read this for my English lesson, I actually enjoyed it and bought my own copy. I was fascinated by the spooky old lady, Miss Haverhsam, in her faded wedding dress and cobwebby house. I felt sorry for poor little Pip living with his spiteful sister, and rather dull brother-in-law. Then, he meets the convict and his life changes. I love the fact that Dickens’ books are such a good indication of the social history at the time  and the way he writes, I felt that I was right there.

Jilly Cooper – Riders. Ah, I love a good ‘bonkbuster’ and they don’t get much better than good old Jilly Cooper! I like the way she gives a list of all the characters and a map of the fictional town/village where they live at the start of the book so you know who is who. She tackles showjumping in this book, but also goes on to write others about the art world, orchestras, polo, teaching, and television. All of them feature one character throughout, who is, of course, rich, handsome and a hit with the ladies. These books are always entertaining as she has a very witty style.

James Herriot – It Shouldn’t Happen to a Vet. Again, this is part of a series, of semi-autobiographical books written by  James Alfred Wight,  about his life as a country vet in the 1940s after he qualified, in the north of England. This book and others he wrote had me roaring my head off. His self-deprecating humour and hapless manner made for many a funny story. Added to that the unpredictability of animals, making a recipe for disaster told in a manner that left me with tears streaming down my face at times, it was that funny.

So there you have a few of the many books I have enjoyed over the years. I have greatly enjoyed writing this post and remembering those wonderful stories. I might just have to dig some of them out again!

 

 

#WRITESPIRATION 75 WRITE ABOUT THE RUSTY THING — January 13, 2016

#WRITESPIRATION 75 WRITE ABOUT THE RUSTY THING

Write about the rusty thing

Sacha has given us the prompt of ‘rusty’ this week for her Writespiration challenge. I didn’t feel that I would be able to come up with a story this time, so I have gone with a poem instead.

I am pretty rubbish at English

And Maths was never my thing

I was always bewildered by Science

As for Music, I never could sing!

I was totally lost in Geography

History was never that clear

Religious Studies were hopeless

PE had me quaking in fear!

French was not my best subject

And Spanish I had not a clue

Cookery was never my forte

And Art was disastrous too!

So when my daughter struggles with homework

And asks me to help if I could

I tell her that I am a ‘bit rusty’

Rather than I’m just not very good!

Think Before You Blog. — September 28, 2015

Think Before You Blog.

I am not one for analysing my stats (mainly because I don’t really know how to). However, I understand the basics like number of views and what my top posts are.

Today for Writing 101, we are to study our stats, and write a post based on a choice of expanding on a popular post, or trying to write specifically for people from the country that brings in the most views. We can, if we choose, write one about the search terms used that bring traffic to the blog, referrers or clicks. The latter sounds a bit too complicated for me, so I am going to keep it simple and write about my best viewed post instead.

I have noticed that one post in particular, that was my most popular, was also the one where I caused the most controversy. It was my own opinion based on the Christmas Concert that I attended at my daughter’s school which you can read here.

I have mentioned that I am prone to inappropriate laughter, and can be set off by the slightest thing. Well the drum did it during this concert, and despite trying to rein myself in, I just found it hilarious, as did my younger sister sat next to me.

I don’t know how many times I mentioned that I was actually impressed by all the work and effort that the staff and the pupils put into this concert, especially as some of the children had only just started in September and had never picked up a musical instrument. The problem was, that I had made a bit of fun on my blog, and my daughter decided to tell a few friends at school, who told other friends….who told parents…..who told teachers!

Oh dear! I had a couple of comments reminding me how difficult it was to put on this type of show. I was reminded that it was CHILDREN I was being mean to (despite me saying that I loved it at the end), and I took the post down.

I felt pretty low, even though I had intended it as a tongue-in-cheek post, it had been completely misunderstood and they had missed the point entirely. I have since put it back up as (hopefully) the dust has now settled.

I actually nearly gave up blogging after that, even though at that time I was completely anonymous, and nobody knew which school concert I had attended (until my daughter proudly informed all of her friends). It taught me a lesson though.

I shall keep my gob firmly shut after this year’s concert (assuming I am not banned)!

Episode 5: Back To School — September 14, 2015

Episode 5: Back To School

This afternoon I was invited to a ‘parent’s tea’ at my daughter’s new secondary school. As per usual, I had completely forgotten about it until the last minute! I phoned Mr Grump to see if he was close to finishing work (he is a delivery driver for a charity), as I did not want to face this ordeal alone. My daughter, having only started three weeks ago, had already made herself known,as was the norm with her,

In her very first reception year, she was the child that had to wear as high vis top as she kept trying to do a runner at lunchtimes; In junior school during the first week, whilst I was dropping her off in the morning, the headmaster saw us and greeted her by name, which was not a good sign (I later found out that she had flooded the toilets by turning on all the taps, leaving them running as she thought it would be fun).

I myself used to attend this new school back in the late 70’s when it was a boarding/grammar school. It still is a grammar school but no longer has boarders, and some of the old buildings that were used for this purpose, have now been turned into more classrooms, so it had changed quite a bit since I was there.

This started me thinking about some of the other ways that it had changed as we meandered along various corridors, up and down stairs, and in and out of the various buildings. The first thing that struck me was the classrooms no longer had the retro 50’s desks that we used to have. The ancient,  wooden single desks that had a groove etched out for pencils etc and a little hole in the corner which used to hold a  pot of ink in order to fill up the fountain pen that was compulsory (even when I went we had to write in fountain pen, but thank goodness, refill cartridges had been invented by then, as God knows, I made enough mess just changing them, let alone being let loose with  pot of ink!

These desks also had a lid to them which was very handy to store your books in, and hide behind if you wanted to avoid the teacher’s steely glare (naively, we thought she couldn’t see us), and a telling off swiftly ensued.

My daughter wanted to introduce me to her maths teacher, and this was the second shock, He was warm and welcoming, not to mention encouraging and enthusiastic, but what struck me the most was that he was wearing a funny tie that had various sums all over it! My math’s teacher was a bloody dragon to say the least. She  struck the fear of God into us poor terrified pupils, with her cap and gown engulfing her skinny frame; Her  small stature did not suit the bellowing, foghorn voice that emitted from her as some brave soul dared to tell her that they did not understand something! Big mistake,! That called for a total humiliation in front of the whole class for them, plus the rest of us were stupid idiots if we dared to admit that we did not understand it as well. The verbal lashing we got from her would ring in ours ears, and we soon learned to shut up, keep our heads down and get help from someone else!

I was shown to the PE area next which evoked some pretty unpleasant memories. Nowadays, (God, that makes me sound old) the PE kit is skort, joggers, shorts, hoodies,polo shirts, shin pads, mouth guard,dance kit and all kinds of other stuff. We had a polo shirt, little tiny skirt, and bloody great passion killer knickers that we had to wear underneath, which we wore in ALL weathers. For Gym we had a lovely little black leotard which looked good on no-one. As for mouth guards etc, we had never heard of them. On one occasion whilst playing hockey, I got whacked in the mouth with a hockey stick, told to go to the Home Economics department for some ice to put on it, then hurry up back to the game and get on with it!

The biggest humiliation of all was the dreaded shower afterwards…..I remember those with absolute horror. We had a large, waist height set of showers, we lined up at one end,, the teacher would whip of your towel (we were naked), and we had to have a quick shower and come out the other end. This was mortifying for body-conscious young teenagers, but there was no getting out of it!

Once our tour of the school was over, we went back to the hall where refreshments were being served….needless to say there was a massive queue, and being rather partial to a cup of tea, I was disappointed that we did not have time to wait, as Mr Grump had to get back to the depot before it closed…mind you a must admit I was glad to get out of there. However much it had changed for the better, I am pretty glad my school days are over. Now I just hope my daughter enjoys hers!

Episode 403: Proud Mummy! — July 4, 2015

Episode 403: Proud Mummy!

Ah, the school report. I remember being given an envelope addressed to my mum near the end of term which I knew contained the dreaded school report. Back in ‘those days’ things were pretty simple. You were given A B C D E  as a grade for your school work. This might be followed by a + or a  –  but all in all, very easy to understand! If you got an A you were doing well, and an E meant you were in the shit, both at home and at school!

I never got many As unfortunately, except in English (because I liked it). I got by mostly on Bs and Cs which of course meant that I always got comments on my report such as ‘could do better’ and that kind of thing. Mum was a little disappointed (Dad more so when and if I ever told him) but I just did not like that school.

Anyway, Miss Hap goes to the same school but luckily for her, she is not blighted by my lacklustre results as all of the teachers have left since I was there. I received her report by e-mail! I got a notification that it was up on the school website and that I could log in to see it.

I managed to do it this time thankfully as it saved me the humiliation of e-mailing the school back and forth when I could not even log on last term,and had problems being able to read it in the right programme!

Gone are the days of the good old grading system and now we are graded with a number and a letter. For example 6A, 5C, that sort of thing. plus another number from 1-4 for ‘attitude to learning!’ It is all a bit confusing for me; especially as I still refer to her as a 1st year  rather than being in year 7 (why the hell they had to change all that. I really don’t know, especially as we still have a sixth form, which I am assuming would be a year 15 or some such nonsense)!

Anyway, Miss Hap has had a pretty bumpy first year, with more than a few setbacks, some more serious than others, but all of them upsetting. This meant that we have also been to the school for meetings on a few occasions, and have got to know a couple of staff members quite well. (I have to say they have been brilliant).

I was delighted to see that Miss Hap had done particularly well in Art. Now she says she cannot draw and has got herself in a state about it, She also at first, did not score that high in the subject due to lack of confidence. You can imagine how proud I am when she had a glowing report with her teacher saying how far she has come and how much she is applying herself to it. I was so pleased with her last Art homework, she spent so much time on it (the picture is the end result) and it paid off!

She also came top in German with 82% as she absolutely loves it! Considering the fact that she has a lot of self-confidence issues, and has struggled socially at school, I am extremely proud of her. It is not so much being top, it is overcoming the fact that she felt she couldn’t do something, but stuck at it and proved that she could!

Episode 370: The Purpose of My Life! — June 11, 2015

Episode 370: The Purpose of My Life!

A Momma’s View has set a challenge and prompt that she had nominated me, and a few others for. In it, she asks for us to say what we think our purpose in life is and what we’ll take home when we leave.

It’s funny but this is something I rarely think about when I am feeling all happy and bright! It is more something I ponder when I am feeling down and grotty, However, this is going to be a positive post so any negative vibes can bugger off and leave me to my happy thoughts!

I always thought when I was younger that my purpose in life was going to be something to do with children. When I was growing up I always wanted to be a Nanny looking after other people’s children before settling down and having my own family with quite a few children of my own. After all, I was one of six myself.

Becoming an aunty when I was 15 years old only reinforced this wish, to nurture and look after children, and I used to get up in the night with my niece to give her bottles, and babysit as often as I could.

Well, for a number of reasons, it was not meant to be that I had lots of children (Although I do have some waiting for me in heaven), or even fulfil my wish to work with children as I went off and joined the Army instead!

Fast forward a couple of decades, a couple of ex-husbands and a  fair few jobs, ranging from working for the Department of Work and Pensions to working in a kebab shop. plus a few more in-between! Then I got a job in nursing!

I loved it. My daughter was very young then (about 2) and I was on my own, but I managed to get this job as a Healthcare Assistant at the Day Hospital, working mainly with the elderly who came in for a number of therapies and meetings, as well as to attend clinics. This seemed like the job I had been looking to do all this time.

However. my hours got changed after 18 months, and as my daughter was just starting school at 4 years old, and no longer attended nursery I had to look for something else! Funnily enough, it turned out to be in the local secondary school on  the ‘Student Desk.’ What an eye-opener. I have never been sworn at so much in my life! Suffice it to say it wasn’t what I had expected it to be (huge respect to you teachers)!

Anyway, I got back together with Mr Grump at this time after 25 years apart and we got married. I managed to get back into nursing and go to University for 2 years to train for a higher position as I wanted to learn more. Again, by choice, I work with the elderly.

I feel perhaps my purpose in life was not to work with children (although I am truly blessed to have my daughter), but rather to try to help look after elderly people. To offer them a friendly face and cheery disposition, and have a few laughs with them as well.

As for what I will take home with me. I think it will be the knowledge that I have tried really hard. I have tried to instill in my daughter old-fashioned manners and consideration, and despite the challenges we have both faced, I do know that she can be compassionate and kind to others when needed. I have tried to be a good friend, a good mum (not always easy), a good wife (3rd time lucky! The other 2 husbands were not exactly the best either) and a good worker (I know at least I got that bit right)!

I would like to nominate the following, should they wish to participate:

Hugh

Sue Vincent

Rich

Donna

Rob

Ritu

Joey

Episode 301: Miss Hap’s Mishap! — April 23, 2015

Episode 301: Miss Hap’s Mishap!

Unfortunately, my old nemesis ‘anxiety’ has come calling again recently, and I have been feeling steadily worse as the days go by. What with my gammy eye as well, I don’t look that great either!

Anyway, suffice to say, I have slept a huge amount today, and done very little else. Miss Hap went off to school and Mr Grump to work, so I was pretty undisturbed for most of the day. (What a shame I can’t sleep so well at night)!

By the time Miss Hap came home I had woken up but was still a bit groggy. I noticed though that she appeared to be limping. Before I had a chance to ask what was wrong she thrust a carrier bag at me. Curious, I opened it up, only to find the sole of her shoe in it!

Now school shoes are a bit of a bugbear with Miss Hap, not least because she has extremely flat feet with no arch to them at all. Add to that,  the desire to have something that is not going to be classed as ‘old-fashioned’ (like the Clarks shoes she has had right up until secondary school). It has been quite a challenge all-in-all.

However, we were lucky that just before school started we found some that we liked (as in they were not too high or too flimsy) and that she was prepared to wear. Now, I don’t know if anyone remembers the ‘beetle-crusher’ type shoes (or ‘brothel keepers’ as we used to call them, God knows why), well they have made a comeback.

I think they were originally popular with the ‘Teddy Boys’ of the 60s (I don’t actually think girls wore them), and I quite like them despite my sister (Mrs Masterchef) saying they resembled some sort of orthopaedic shoe!

We bought her some lovely black (of course for school) suede shoes, which in keeping with this style had a one inch thick rubber sole which looks like a caterpillar tread that you have on tanks.These lasted quite well for her as she wears shoes out pretty quick. The next pair we got had ‘jewels’ on them but were not allowed, so we bought this last pair which were not the same quality, hence the detachment of the sole!

Miss Hap thought we could easily remedy the situation with a bit of glue as she is not allowed to wear trainers whilst we sort out some new ones. Oh well. looks like we will have to risk the wrath tomorrow as the jewelled ones will have to make a guest appearance for a day!

Episode 253: More Than I Bargained For…. — March 26, 2015

Episode 253: More Than I Bargained For….

Yesterday afternoon I had to go to an appointment for my ‘yearly diabetes review.’ Seeing as I have only been officially diagnosed for about a month, I thought that the surgery were very ‘on the ball!’ I had already had to change the appointment from today as I was originally working, so that it was on my day off.

Anyway, I had fallen asleep in the afternoon as I had a couple of really awful sleepless nights, plus an early morning yesterday, so was shattered. I woke up feeling really groggy, with less than an hour to go before I had to be there. Mr Grump was going to come with me as he usually finished work way before the time I needed to be there.

He didn’t. I waited and waited, I still hadn’t heard from him (I was on the landline with my sister for about 10 mins) so I jumped in the car and got there 5 mins late! I HATE being late, and am usually 10 minutes (at least) early for everything, so it put me out and I was cross!

I tried to book myself in on the screen, but the ‘computer said no’ I was too late and had a sad face to emphasise the point! I had more than a sad face, I was wild! Anyway I spoke to the receptionist who was actually quite nice (Doctor’s receptionists have rather a scary reputation) and said it was ok and that she would tell the nurse I was there. (I whispered as discreetly as I could (when there is a waiting room full of people it is not always easy) if she could give me a pot as I had forgotten to bring a urine sample with me.

She made a nice performance out of rummaging for a bag (it was see-through) for me to put it in, then said that I might get called in straight away, and there might not be time to go to the loo. I thanked her and went to sit down, I saw my friend’s partner so chatted with him for a bit, as I had not been called in The receptionist sidled up to me, and stage whispered that I could go and do my sample as the specialist nurse was making a quick cuppa!

I excused myself from the friend and went off to do my business. My mobile buzzed into life, as I went to sit down but I ignored it (I hate talking on the phone in public places). It was Mr Grump! I sent him a couple of choice texts then my name flashed up to be seen.

I went into the room, apologising for being late, and muttering about husbands! She told me to calm down a minute before she took my blood pressure! Anyway, she stared at me a bit then asked me whether I went to the Grammar School. I said yes, and it turns out she was in thee same class. I didn’t remember her name, but her face was familiar.

That made me feel even worse. Here I was , no make-up on, scraggy hair, stupid from sleep still, and in a bad mood to boot! Things did not improve when she told me to put my sample down, take off my boots and socks and get on the scales!

Oh the bloody humiliation, I have got horrid feet, and she was going to have to get close to them to check them, as well as see how heavy I am! She, of course was slim, pretty and nicely groomed. Great!

She was however professional (well once we had gossiped a bit about this and that) and spent a lot of time looking at my previous bloods and God knows what else. She ended up putting me on meds for my diabetes which I really wasn’t expecting as I have been trying really hard with my diet, as well as taken up hula-hooping thanks to lovely Ritu

She also was concerned about  a couple of things which prompted her to ask me whether or not there was rheumatoid arthritis in my family. Strange question I thought, but my Mum has terrible arthritis but I am not sure which type. She also wanted to know if my joints ached. Well, I do have problems with my knees a lot. Anyway I am now going to have to be screened for that!

I came out of there a bit bemused, and shocked. I know people complain bitterly about the NHS, but they have been very thorough with me. I certainly got much more than I bargained for, in more ways than one!

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