One week to go…

Watched The Debate last night.  Good move by Brown to get the reference to his gaffe over and done with.  What I like about these debates is the lack of squabbling, jockeying for time, people speaking over each other and the chair trying to shut them up.  They have their allotted time, they state their case succinctly and move on.  It’s very refreshing – plus, it allows you to think more clearly about what each of them is saying.  I thought each of them came over quite well last night.  I was amused by Clegg doing his ‘parent in the middle’ act as though trying to keep the others apart.


Here’s a poem I wrote up at the chalet:


A hammer is hitting a Peach

as far as the Long Arm can reach

the SPG won it

but nobody done it

– now who has a lesson to teach?

The first line was inspired by a series of road safety ads in the 70’s which showed a hammer hitting a peach.

I had a couple of others but now I can’t find the paper I wrote them on.

Stretch limos annoy me.  I saw one yesterday that was the length of a bus and I thought, ‘how far can this go?.  Imagined it full of drunken idiots in suits and party frocks.


Then wrote a couplet:

hire a stretch limo

the size of your ego

Time to go.  Time waits for no man.  Nor woman either.

Kirk out.

Good evening peeps

Good evening peeps!  Back from a very productive time at the chalet.  The novel is taking shape and I’ve finished ‘Wolf Hall’ – no mean feat at 650 pages.  I thought it was very good but the dialogues drove me mad: she uses speech marks only erratically and uses the pronoun ‘he’ to mean both Cromwell and the man he is talking to – so you can’t tell who is talking and whether they’re talking or just thinking.  I read some of the dialogues 2 or 3 times and still wasn’t sure.  Still a masterly portrayal of Cromwell (Thomas not Oliver) and the court of Henry VIII with the shenanigans that went on between his first and second marriage.  She spares no-one.  I was expecting a more explicitly feminist reading of the events, which didn’t happen although I guess it’s there in the events anyway.  Nobody comes out of this well.

I was going to quote a dialogue but now the book has gone back to the library.

I have some new poems for you but I’ll leave them till the morning.

Looking forward to the debate tonight.  It seems Gordon Brown may have lost the election – in Rochdale at least.

Kirk out.

Good morning bloglets

It’s my day to go to the chalet today.  Last night watched ‘Stardust’ with Daniel – a very odd and inept film with practically no sense of drama at all.  It limped; the plot was silly, the acting not great, and – oh, I can’t be bothered to say any more about it.  Daniel liked it though.  It was a week of odd films from the library – we got that one and ‘How to Lose Friends and Alienate People’.

At chalet till Thursday – then a Bank Holiday weekend coming up.

Apparently they’ve just decided not to prosecute anyone in the case of Blair Peach.  I thought that was all over and done with years ago!

The police have really reinvented themselves since then.

Or have they?

In those days it was easy to know what to think.  The tories were pure evil, CND was right and you got out and demonstrated about it, it was bleeding obvious that you voted Labour.  You read the Guardian.

Nowadays I don’t know what to think.  Except that CND are still right.

Here’s your portmanteau word of the day: microchasm.

Back on Thursday

Kirk out.

A bit manic today

You get two posts today because I’m feeling a bit manic.  Amazing the difference it makes, having two pots of tea instead of one in the morning (I woke up much twirly).

Trying to blog more about Home Ed as this is one of the blogs linked to Facebook for other home edders.  Today groups available were ‘baby science’ (can’t remember what they did but so far they’ve done an impressive variety of stuff including life cycles of various animals, insects and plants); older Science which they did in the park, and English, where they had to write a story which ended with the words ‘and that’s why I can’t eat shellfish’.  Daniel wrote half a story which looked promising and I want to read Holly’s also.  So a busy day!

Philosophy was good – we talked about Kant and utilitarianism and discussed the pros and cons of bankers’ bonuses.  It’s interesting to be put in the position of defending something you believe to be wrong – as lawyers do.  Not that I was – I was on the other side.  My arguments were as follows:

Bankers’ bonuses are unfair on bankers, for two reasons.  Firstly, because they have to take these huge bonuses whether they want to or not – and if they don’t, their mates will mock them and say ‘Who do you think you are, making out you’re better than us?’  Secondly, it is very bad for them because it isolates them from society and from the wider world. Ironically, in a free market, they are not free because of their attachment to money – and they don’t realise they are not free.

A little clumsily-expressed but it’s a work in progress.

On the radio they’re talking about QR codes.  I seem to think I blogged about Mark’s failure to explain these.

Yes!  Last summer:

I think it would be great to have an internet group for the philosophy.  Sadly I can’t see the tutor going for it, partly because some people would be excluded, partly because she’s something of a technophobe, but also – perhaps mainly – she’s a bit of a control freak.

Oops!  Did I say that?

Hyperspace calls

Kirk out

BTW if any philosophy people are interested the poem I quoted from was Wm Blake, Auguries of Innocence

Marx isn’t dead – he’s just resting

It is good, in a way, to hear phrases such as ‘the capitalist hegemony’ bandied about again.  I’ve missed them.  I’ve missed the old-fashioned ‘capitalists are bastards and Trade Unionists are heroes’ dynamic – it stiffens the blood and gives strength to the tonsils.  Or something.  Although I always find that Marxists are singularly lacking in imagination: they say things like, ‘do this and the system will collapse’.  Exactly why and how it will collapse and what that might look like, they don’t explain.  I expect they haven’t really got that far in their thinking because they know, deep down, that things just don’t happen like that.  Because society isn’t divided into a block of ‘the rich’ and ‘the workers’.  I have a number of more complicated thoughts on this which I shall develop in time.  But on the way home Mark and I were talking about bankers (re: my homework) and saying that ‘the rich’ are just as divided as any other group – it’s just that from the outside they seem like a homogenous lump.

Well Alan Sugar does anyway.*  I think it’s very ominous that he donates to the Labour party.  It is interesting how many traditional Labour voters are saying that they can’t vote for them any more – mostly over Iraq but other issues as well.

So.  Philosophy today, followed by going into town and then various things to do before the car goes back.  Compost to chalet.  that sort of thing.

Enjoy your day

Kirk out

* A Sugar lump!

PS  Oh, and I’m going to take a different angle on why bankers’ bonuses are wrong – it’s because greed is very bad for them and they are in a prison of their own making.  They are not free though they may imagine themselves to be free.  That sort of thing.

don’t vote, it only encourages them

Couldn’t fire up the laptop this morning, hence no blog posting.  Great teacher training day today.  Now thinking about two arguments against bankers’ bonuses for philosophy tomorrow.  Gosh, that’s so hard.  Erm – is it because? – or is it? – oo, that’s a tough one.  I’ll need to sleep on it.

Went to the Secular Society this evening to discuss a motion that “this house believes that we should not vote”.  An old-fashioned Marxist spoke in favour, suggesting that voting is irrelevant and changes nothing and that if nobody voted the system would collapse (how exactly this would happen he did not explain).  The motion was defeated by 17 votes to 7 (a jam-packed meeting, as you can tell.)

Tired now.  Just thought I should update you.  Went to Vicky Park after teacher training where they have a new skate park and Daniel can practise his skateboarding.

Kirk out.

You will see the Doctor now…

Did ya see it?  Didya?  Good episode, I thought.  I’m starting to think of Matt Smith as the Doctor, not just ‘that new guy who plays the Doctor’.  Didn’t recognise the woman until she tied her hair back – Daniel did tho.

Bought Daniel a new skateboard today.  He has been practising his bumping and grinding in the park.

Mark was out today with a person who shall be nameless.  After he’d made the arrangements with her I thought I’d be helpful and check that they were getting the right bus, as Mark knows nothing about buses.  I phoned her back.

–  Just thought I’d check you were getting the right bus’ I said, ‘as Mark knows nothing about buses.

– Ah, well, we’re getting the 74 to Anstey’, she said.

–  Well,’ I said, ‘if you’re planning to visit the chalet, it’s a long walk from Anstey.  You’d be better off getting the 54′.

–  I don’t know if we’re going to the chalet’, she said, sounding somewhat peeved at the mention of the place, ‘we were going to Bradgate Park’.

– Well,’ I said, ‘you’d still be better off getting the 54 to Cropston and then walking up past the reservoir.’

She sighed.  ‘I’d looked all this up and planned it out’, she said, sounding even more peeved.  ‘And I only heard about this chalet plan five minutes ago!’

–  OK then,’ I said.  ‘I just thought – ‘

–  I know you’re only trying to help,’ she said, in the tone of an adult addressing a child trying to steer an HGV, ‘but I had it all planned out’.

At this point I got really pissed off.  I managed to say something polite before I hung up – but I was really annoyed.

Those of you who know the person will know what I mean.  Those who don’t, won’t.

Glad I’ve got that off my chest.  It makes me feel better about putting her in my novel anyway.

Teacher training tomorrow.  All prepped except that the plug-in thingy – what’s it called? – the IPOD – no, the toaster – no, the – damn, what’s it – ah, yes, the pen drive – has gone wonky and obliterated two of my documents.  Fortunately all the others, which represented two days’ work, were still there.

I shall just have to try to remember everything I know about Patanjali.  And you can pronounce it ‘Per-tan-jer-li’ though for years I thought you couldn’t.

So there!

See you anon.  Don’t blink!

Kirk out.

Reading “Wolf Hall”

at the moment.  Getting into it now.  It took me a while, mainly because it’s very hard to tell who’s speaking.  I’ll give you a taste in a mo.

Nearly prepared for teacher training tomorrow.  Today we are going into town to buy Daniel a skateboard and then he wants to go to Braunstone Park to try it out.  Plus, I have to finish getting ready for tomorrow.

Watched “How to Lose Friends and Alienate People” with Simon Pegg.  I generally like Simon Pegg but this was an odd film which didn’t quite seem to know where it was going.  Kirsten Dunst plays the woman-who-can’t-stand-him-and-is-the-catalyst-for-reforming-his-character – oh, and of course is much, MUCH better-looking than he is.  This never happens the other way round.  I liked Kirsten Dunst in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” but I thought she was dreadful in this.  Simon Pegg was not bad but the plot seemed quite confused and in the end I lost interest.

I think I mentioned before that I am reading “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas” with Daniel.  He is really getting into it.  Need to find more stuff for him to read.

Enjoy your Saturday.  Apparently Mark is now “organiser” of the CND stalls.  But who is the organiser of Mark?

Don’t look at me!

Kirk out

Oranges are NOT the only fruit!

Mark always seems to buy oranges – I don’t know why.  I come back to oranges.  I can’t eat oranges any more – they give me indigestion.

Watched the debate last night.  If I were to vote solely on that basis I’m not sure who I’d go for.  Clegg strikes me as a little too plausible, Cameron pleasant but slightly ineffectual (although he did show a moment of passion – can’t remember what is was about tho) – however, I have never seen a more unnatural smile than on the face of Gordon Brown.  You could practically see him telling himself, ‘Smile, now! Smile!  SMILE!!!’  It was, as one journalist said last week, a rictus: his mouth went square and his eyes looked dead.  Scary.  I never thought he should be PM – I could buy him as Chancellor, though I didn’t like him – he had the right temperament; dour and grim, a constant air of ‘you’re not going to like this but it’s good for you’, like a Scottish Kanga giving Roo his Extract of Malt.  But as PM I don’t buy him at all.  Perhaps he’s making up for all the relentless smiling Blair did when he was in office.  Anyway, I think he’s cold, over-pragmatic and can’t let go of power.

On a party level, it’s very hard to decide.  Labour seem to be taking their traditional voters completely for granted and may regret this; the Lib Dems seem to have one or two good policies (chiefly cancelling Trident – although according to Mark they will replace it with Cruise missiles, so no party ticks the CND box); they would also (again, according to Mark) vote with Labour to bring back the CSF bill with all its dreaded provisions for HE.


Perhaps I’ll just get in the booth, close my eyes and make a wild stab at the paper.

Teacher training this weekend.  visiting Loughborough today and doing some shopping.  Daniel is practising his skateboarding.  It looks like another lovely day today, so enjoy it!

Kirk out

Feeling a tit

Slightly anxious about a mammogram I’m having today.  Various people have told me it’s a Bad Idea to have it; others have told me it’s no big deal and nothing to worry about.  So I couldn’t decide and went with the default position which was to attend the appointment.  I’ll think about it a bit more before next time, perhaps come up with something else.

This poem was going through my head when I woke up:

Sexual Revolution, Women

the genie is out of the bottle

the tit is released with the jottle

we can’t be affronted

it’s ‘what we all wanted’

Yes.  Keep your hand there.  On the throttle.

I haven’t nailed quite as much as I wanted, due to the lack of rhymes for ‘bottle’ – but I wanted that play on ‘tit’ and ‘jottle’ so kept it in.

I guess my anxiety is because our aunt died of breast cancer -although that was probably because she refused a mastectomy, which I definitely wouldn’t.  To be honest, my reaction is, ‘what’s the big deal?’  Although I might feel differently if it actually happened.  But I’ve breast-fed both our children, I have a loving husband – don’t think it’d be a huge emotional problem if I did need one.  But probably all this is moot.

Or ‘moo’, as Joey said in Friends.  ‘Like a cow’s opinion – doesn’t matter.’

The animal rights people were up in arms.

Up to chalet today.  Back Thursday.

Kirk out.

PS  Just realised, a year after writing that poem, that the expression is ‘not a JOT nor a TITTLE’, not the other way round.  So I’ll have to rethink it.