The OFSTED Visit

Do you want to know a secret? Our instructions are: “Do not tell anyone about the OFSTED visit on Social Media.” Sorry this is England not North Korea. If you’re not English, notice I don’t say British, that’s because the Scots and the Welsh are preparing to leave the Union and because we’re dumping Europe to be Mr Trump’s friend. I know, it’s like a Carry On Film, laugh if you want, the rest of the world is, so I’m preparing to be English. Anyway if you’re not English you might wonder who OFSTED are? We used to call them School Inspectors. They say that an OFSTED inspector is akin to a Eunuch, they know how it should be done, they see it done everyday but they can’t do it themselves. As former teachers they interpret Animal Farm as an instruction booklet rather than a novel.

It was entertaining to see the smoke and mirrors appear, even more entertaining to see the inspectors turn up with a fan and a hammer. The plan was that they visit for two days and if it looks like you may be Outstanding they stay for four days and bring in reinforcements. Our inspectors left after two days. When they got to our construction department they kept saying they didn’t understand how we linked one subject to another. Now if you’ve been following me for a while you know I’m not the cleverest fairy in the forest. I mean FFS I teach kids how to knock nails in wood, y’know? It isn’t advanced Maths. So now they have gone, we are officially a Good College, the chickens appear to have regained their heads and have stopped running around in circles, peace is returned and its nearly Christmas. Hurrah!!

Posted in Blogging, Carpentry, Education, Freedom, Humour, Life, Opinion, people | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

The Darkness

No, not the band from the naughties with the caped screaming singer.

The darkness within your soul or whatever you choose to call it. The one that crawls out of the night, usually around 3:30 – 4:30 am. What’s that shit all about? And it’s starting to get more frequent. I remember when my biggest problem in the early hours was an erection (no pun intended 😂) And definitely no pic.

Anyway, back to the plot. I have these massive rows or I am fighting for survival at work, it generally gets nasty, then the alarm goes off and none of it matters anymore. I mean, honestly, most of it is fabrication, my head makes it up while I’m asleep? Maybe I should just buy some Viagra 😂

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Band of Brothers (and Sisters)

The sun rises over the plain as the band of volunteers trek resolutely to the gathering place. They have an hour to prepare before the invasion; at which time a horde of combatants will descend upon them, not quite as scary as the peasants outside Frankenstein’s castle but descend they surely will.

These volunteers who choose to awake from their slumber in the early hours of Saturday morning, after, in some cases, a decadent Friday night are all sizes, all ages (and I mean all ages), all genders and share a common goal – to prepare. They take what is basically a field with hills and convert it into a five kilometer, challenging arena for the horde. Two hundred to four hundred combatants  face the challenge every Saturday morning at 9 am.

This is the phenomenon known as Parkrun of which there are now 585 in the UK, each one set up and run by 12,527 volunteers every Saturday morning at 9am. I am one and love my Saturdays, be it a fast hard run or volunteering it’s just a feelgood factor that is now part of my life.

The recent rain has taken its toll but we still like a laugh and after all its just a 5k run round a field, isn’t it? 😂

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Melting in Mombasa

We passed a small truck with animal carcasses swinging in the rear and a cart strapped down with vegetables. The carcasses were ravaged by flies and I realised I was looking at a butchers van. I tried to experience a culture shock, I tried, honestly I did but I guess I’m not the culture shock type. Our bus weaved it’s way through the busy streets as it transported us from the airport to the hotel so I sat back and admired the colorful vista of the Mombasa streets. It’s pissing down here and has been for a week so I’m reminiscing on a trip some years ago to beautiful Kenya.

The heat was tolerable, if you don’t mind being in a constant state of ‘wetness’ hmmm… sounds wrong but hey ho 😉. We had a chalet, well more of a posh hut –  it had air conditioning and the sweat dried once you manage to crawl in there. The staff in the hotel were so…. lovely and the breakfast ‘Egg Chef’ was a real character, a born entertainer. For some reason later in the day he told me about his grandfather who had been part of the Mau Mau uprising and hanged by the British. “What a fucked up world” I said.

“It is what it is,” he said and shrugged. I attempted to speak Swahili but only really managed to get as far as ‘Jambo.’ They told me it means hello but also ‘how are you doing?’ (not in a Joey from Friends way) it has many uses depending on how you phrase it, so I kinda stuck with Jambo. The hotel was a little dated but really comfortable sadly it was closed not long after we were there due to inter communal differences, that’s the British of saying, ‘shit storm.’ Take a look at before and after.

I met a lovely family from Geordie Land (they’re all lovely up there) the father didn’t believe in Sun Tan lotion and yes, we did explain that Sun Tan lotion is different from Father Christmas. Anyaways eventually we convinced him that 40 degrees in Africa is different from 20 degrees in Newcastle so he acquiesced. We didn’t see him the next day, his wife said he was in bed. Never having used any protection he didn’t really see the difference between Sun Tan lotion and After Sun.

One night we were visited by the local Masai tribe who danced for us. It was quite a spectacle and I had a go but I did feel uncomfortable that such an ancient proud people had to perform in hotels, there again maybe they thought it strange that westerners payed to see them doing something they enjoyed doing anyway?

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One night we had a bit of a gathering and one of the women placed a drink order with the waiter, something like five beers, two Gin and tonics, two Pina Coladas and two cokes. He looked at her and nodded. You know what? We never saw him again 😉 Oh well nice to remember the hot days in these days of rain and wind.

Posted in Blogging, Humour, Kenya, Life, Travel, Vacation | Tagged , , , , , , | 37 Comments

The Indian in the Airing Cupboard

Living in Delhi or Mumbai you may be puzzled by the title but the Indian I refer to is what we now call Native Americans.

When I was 4-6 years-old Native Americans didn’t exist, well they did but they were Indians and they fought cowboys. I spent many happy hours riding my Palomino (mum’s old bike) around the plains (abandoned aerodrome) slaughtering said Indians Native Americans in defense of the fort (dads farm) or ranch (dads farm) My best friend was Johnny (imaginary) and my true love June (also imaginary) always at my side. Life was good. Until:PTDC1555

To quote Meatloaf, ‘Though it’s cold and lonely in the deep dark night,‘ you awake for no reason you can explain. The bedroom door is ajar. And, illuminated solely by the moon’s glare, like Judy Garland in the spotlight, is the airing cupboard door! For the uninitiated: An airing cupboard is where a hot water tank was situated, before the days of combi-boilers. It was Mum’s domain with clothes folded in an impeccable fashion and no male was allowed in there. So where else would a revenge seeking Red Indian  Native American hide? I stared at that cupboard night after night. I was terrified because I knew he had a Tomahawk and was waiting to jump out to slaughter me. He never did (in case you’re wondering) But I guess it taught me that every action has a reaction, in a strange way 😘😘

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Observations by the Pool

Splash, laughter, splash, laughter, scream. They’re all having such fun but you know there’s going to be tears at any moment. Then it happens and you nod cynically to yourself, thought so. The hysteria eventually ceases as little Johnny realises that when his sister splashed water in his face the world didn’t end, he isn’t blinded for life and his sister is so very sorry. And so the splashing and laughing resumes.

For two little tots though, it has been different. They have cried for two days as their parents endlessly adorned them with Batman/Spider-Man swimming costumes, armbands and rubber rings. These ‘tools’ of floatation have been accompanied with constant words of encouragement “Isn’t this fun?” And lots of oooohs and ahhhs in that wonderful baby talk that we adults adopt when talking to small children and animals. But to no avail, “No, no want to get out!” The toddlers cried and sometimes screamed.

Then, today something in the universe changed. Today, the father, who in all honesty has the tenacity and patience of a Highland Deer Stalker, manipulated them into the baby pool whereupon realising they could stand they commenced to jump up and down now he can’t get them out 😂😂

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Roasted Yorkshireman

Makes a difference to Roasted Beef I guess. I love roasting in the sun and I know all about skin cancers etc, but you know me by now? Totally irresponsible when it comes to that stuff. What I do love about this break though is the Cyprus cool (ish) mornings, well at 06:30 at any rate😂

Thunderstorms have been forecast but unlike England where it’s going to piss down all day the Cypriot Gods only allow them at night. This leaves beautiful fresh mornings for running and blistering days for roasting, (thigh? or breast? 😉) Although this morning was a trifle precarious and stilted 😂

Posted in Blogging, Cyprus, Freedom, Humour, Life, Opinion, people | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

I’ve Been a Naughty Blogger

Anyone typing ‘Naughty Blogger’ into their rather seedy Search Bar hoping for stockings and suspenders are going to be hugely disappointed.

By naughty I mean lapsed, one comment already from the delightful Angel at https://watchyourlifeinpictures.wordpress.com/ left me feeling all chastised and ever so humble, 😘 I’ll try and explain. The Siege of Mr Khan’s Curry Shop (the novel what I did write) has been edited by the very talented Esther Newton https://esthernewtonblog.wordpress.com/ Her feedback was fabulous, but a lot of work is required so next week was going to be my last post as I threw every spare moment into a final rewrite 😩.

Before I could throw myself upon my pen and the ink of my blogging soul seeped into the sand I realised that Further Education is a crock of poo (didn’t want to write ‘shit’ in my blog) I could go on, but that would be boring, ask the Princess she’s been listening to it for years.

So tomorrow I will resign and from January I will be a full time writer. I’ve always said. “If you really believe and have faith in something then it will happen.” Looks like it’s test time once more. I don’t know, the things I do just to get a blog post out 😘

Posted in Blogging, Freedom, Life, Lifestyle, Opinion | Tagged , , , , , , , | 45 Comments

Beverley’s Golden Girl

Ten year old Roisin wanted to run but could only commit to every other weekend and her local athletic club demanded every weekend so she joined Beverley Barracudas Swimming club. But running was something she wanted, so her mum took her to the local Parkrun on some Saturdays but why would a ten-year-old little girl want to run 5k with a bunch of adults? A question I posed to my running partner and Roisin’s mum and you know what she told me? “Fun.”

Roisin established herself as a talented runner and swimmer from the start. Running her first 5k in August 2013 at the Peter Pan Parkrun with a time of 24:16 she was soon running up front with the men and held the Junior Women’s record for 6 years, her last PB was 21:07. It was Mark Walby of Humber Tri-Athletes who suggested she may like to take up the Biathle, a continuous run, swim, run. Roisin, relentless in her persuasion, convinced her mum and dad that this wasn’t just a fad and they decided to invest the time and expense required to transport Roisin to training and competitions and so she joined the Humber Triathletes Junior training sessions.

Flick to 2018 and Roisin had the required time to compete in the National Championships at Salford Keys. Her mum thought that the water possibly resembled a swamp and the kids could have used an upturned shopping trolley instead of a buoy, but Roisin was determined and her mum thought, ‘at least we have a decent National Health Service. and Roisin can drink an can of coke afterwards.’ Apparently coke can get rid of germs. So, Roisin took up the challenge and in July of that same year aged fifteen, found herself in Egypt as part of Team GB. She cleared one and a half minutes off her previous time, finished 8th in the world, 2nd girl in the team and helped the team secure a Silver Medal.

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A scare came this year when Roisin developed knee problems and visited the physio. He was amazed that she had reached Championship level, but on a positive note said if she carried out all the exercises he had prescribed there was no reason why she shouldn’t be a Champion. This year Roisin has already qualified for the World Championships in Florida in 2019 (in 4weeks time) and the future looks bright. Like all our top female athletes, Roisin has had excellent grades in her GCSE’s, she trains hard, eats well, gets her rest and is committed. But she is going nowhere until the eyebrows are just right. 🙂

 

Posted in Athletics, Blogging, Life, Lifestyle, Motivation, Opinion, people, Running, Sport, Women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Parkrun Princess

So last year the Princess having never run in her life decided to start running, but kept it a secret as she worked her way through the Couch to 5k program, she never told a soul. I guess she was probably wary that I may try to take over and ‘coach’ her. Well, I call it coaching and she calls it bullying, I didn’t know there was a difference; having been coached by the Master many years ago 😉 So today was her very first 5k Parkrun and guess what she wants to do more 😂 Just goes to show what you can achieve if you really want, proud of her 😀

Posted in Athletics, Blogging, Life, Opinion, people, Running | Tagged , , , , , , | 43 Comments