3 July 2009

...and other 16 year old, scholarly pursuits

It was hot and sticky. Motivation was low. There were 3 women with an overgrown sense of childish rebellion. So we decided to mess with the manager's head. A & C were in their office with the door open. I walked past the manager in reception, went out the back door and round to A & C's office. They then closed their door to indicate that they were in a private meeting. I climbed in the window. A climbed out of the window. A then went round the back and in through reception to join the meeting I was having with C. The manager was well and truly confused.

"I thought you were in there...?"

" No it's J & C in here."

Opens door to show us sitting in the office, deep in conversation.

gcse english oral exam

Wish I'd paid more attention to myself when I talked about the thing what does the wotsit with the er... you know those little things. My GCSE english oral exam was about hayfever and how it affects your ...immune system?? cells?? Really can't remember - bringing on a scary 'Flowers for Algernon' moment. Anyway it produces some kind of reaction at a very basic level that has nothing to do with pollen tickling your nasal hairs and subsequently makes me want to cut my nose off with scissors, scratch my eyes with barbeque skewers and wrap my toothbrush with sandpaper just to reach that itch at the back of my throat. Only irritated more by the fact that this is the first night in ages when I've wanted to pull the duvet cover over me before going to bed rather than pouring myself onto the top of the bed weighing up how long it will take science to create an ability for humans to turn cold-blooded in the summer. As opposed to at the drop of a hat.

2 July 2009

3 happy moments in my week

It's just a sunflower but this sunflower was given to me by the next door neighbour when it was just a stem and two tiny leaves. This is a sunflower in a garden that has no beds but I've turned my front step into a little forest and it shouts look at me I'm gorgeous. The sunflower happens to be one of my good friends favourite flowers and this one gave me an excuse to text her a picture of to brighten her day. It's just a sunflower but it made me disproportionately happy when I left the house for work to see it's outer petals first peeling open.

I walk my dog, Monty, every evening in the same place but since we've had this really hot weather it's been so much more of a pleasure. One day this last week my friend Elaine joined me to tell me some good news and we paddled. Monty used to be really frightened of the water but with the encouragement of some other dogs he's been getting braver in the water and I love this snap of him balancing on a log and Elaine pretending to kiss him! These silly moments in random half hours need celebrating.

Earlier this week I had a text from a friend saying; 'You'll love the market outside m&s' so after my meeting I headed down and there was stall after stall of Tunisian goods. Even a stall selling red shoes! Uncanny how well my friends know me. I have a growing tug towards the Arab states of North Africa so I couldn't resist these hand painted tiles of doorways. Just a touch symbolic! At least three of them are ajar. And of course, looking at them reminds me of my upcoming trip to Morocco at the end of August.

Pinchmill Islands

Went to a very cool place with my learners today: Pinchmill Islands near Sharnbrook. It's a series of islands in the river connected by bridges in places.

The water can be shallow and still, knee deep in weeds, still pools deep enough to swim in and fast running currents that the light bounces off so you can't see where you're putting your feet for paddling. We got the chicken, kebabs and prawns cooking
on the barbeque and the brave ones waded in - some getting wetter than planned!

Can't show pictures of learners obviously so here are a couple of snaps to give you an idea of what the place is like. Arun is back on the team and is here immortalised hitching up his britches! The river is teeming with fish - I thought maybe chubb but i'm no expert. Particularly enjoyed just letting the young people talk today. Sometimes a day with no formal structure is the best for developing relationship, finding out about the issues they are facing and getting to know them better. Loved watching two guys get to hang out together for the first time - neither of whom you'd imagine ever giving each other the time of day in mainstream school but a camera fired them both up and got them talking. I love this job!

1 July 2009

Persepolis 2.0

If you haven't already read the first two graphic novels called Persepolis, I urge you to. They are excellent, accessible and important. In brief it's about growing up, emigrating and returning to Iran. Written autobiographically by Marjane Satrapi, I can't think of a better way to spend a few quid or if you're feeling really tight and live nearby, I'll lend you mine.

Just received this today persepolis http://www.spreadpersepolis...about Iran's post-election uprising. If you've been awake you'll have noticed what's been going on recently. This piece of work is based on and inspired by Satrapi's original work. Dated from June this year, you can't get more hot off the press, up to date, relevant art.

28 June 2009


The Park