Thursday, 8 October 2015

For National Poetry Day... A Poem

A Poem

I can't be doing with people
Who want to bugger about.
I can't be doing with people
Who feel the need to shout.
I can't be doing with people
Who are pointlessly rude
And I can't be doing with people
Who are ugly in the nude.

National Poetry Day logo

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Rebel, Rebel ..

A school should be an establishment of learning, not of correction. A place to inspire and lead, not cudgel and cow but someone, somewhere seems to be forgetting that.

I've ranted about the Teen's Academy's newly designed uniform skirts before. Skirts that have been designed and introduced purely in an attempt to stop girls from rolling their skirts up to shorten them.
Shall I just repeat that: They've taken special measures to make sure that the girls wear uniform skirts that aren't either 'ill-fitting or too short' (ill fitting meaning too tight obviously), just in case girls expose too much thigh. 

The Teen's Academy is not the only school to be taking these measures. One school has introduced a truly hideous tartan knee length skirt more suited to Hyacinth Bucket. and others are insisting that all pupils, boys and girls, wear trousers instead to get rid of thighs altogether. Though heaven forbid if the trousers might be a bit on the tight side.

Predictably last week The Teen got detention because, despite the new skirt and the new rules. or maybe because of them, she had the dreaded skirt rolled up anyway. Just like the crowd of girls, each and everyone of which had their skirts rolled over at the top, that were with her. Though only my particular Teen was singled out for detention, presumably because everyone else had shorter legs.

When did this happen? When did we become so obsessed with covering over the thighs of our female children, because schoolgirls, aged 11 to 16, whatever you might like to think they are, are still children.

Like the saying boys will be boys (used, it seems to me, as an excuse or reason for anything from farting to fights in the playground), girls will be girls, and girls will roll their skirts up.

Girls will also plaster themselves with more make-up than Boots, do inexplicable things with their eyebrows and turn themselves orange. They'll think they look pretty damn good doing it too. They'll be wrong, but still.

Even if you put an extra logo on the waistband or dress them up like middle aged members of the WI, they will still be girls who want to be girls. Some of them even might break the rules just because those rules are there in the first place.

Perhaps if our young girls (and boys for that matter) weren't continually exposed to fully grown women twerking away in nothing more than a pair of glittery pants and a pointy bra and being lauded, applauded and rewarded for doing so, they might have less of a need to hoick their skirts up to their badly plucked eyebrows before presenting themselves to the world in the first place.

But maybe it's just less bother all round if we make our girls feel guilty about, embarrassed and ashamed of their own bodies instead.

Meanwhile The Teen - academically bright, studying for GCSEs, a gifted pianist, teaching herself Japanese in her spare time and not a natural rebel - has had her detention.

She went with her skirt rolled up.

So sod the thigh hiding despots, and hurrah.

skirt guidelines for teenagers

Monday, 5 October 2015

The Cat That Wasn't Our Cat...

Murphy Cat
Our cat Murphy 1995 -2015 

In January this year, Murphy the family cat passed away. He was 20 years old and I'd lived with him longer than both husband and children. He was family and when he died we mourned him as a family member, lost and irreplaceable. The TeenTwins commemorated Murphy's life with black cat tattoos and for months afterward every so often I would think I'd caught a glimpse of padding across the floor out of the corner of my eye.

And then one day, five months later, I didn't just see him in the corner of my eye. He was there, as calm as you like and solidly real, on the kitchen step, sat, expectant.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Poppies: Wave at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Yorkshire Sculpture Park Poppies The Wave

Unfortunately I didn't get to London to see the sensational Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red by artist Paul Cummins last year. The installation, designed to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War, flooded the Tower of London's moat with bright red ceramic poppies,one for each of the 888,246 British and colonial lives lost in the war.

Silent Sunday


Sunday, 27 September 2015

What To Expect From Your Student's First Term at University ...

So you've finally packed your 18 year old bundle of joy off for their first year at university and maybe it feels like the final step on what has been a hard road so far...

First of all your child had to choose a university to apply to and spent literally minutes completely ignoring glossy prospectuses. And there were visits to arrange to universities, chosen purely on the length of the student union bar and whether the accommodation had an en-suite. And going to university open days: hours and hours of schlepping around campus after campus when you'd much rather be checking out the local shopping centre. Purely for research purposes, obviously.

And then there were the exams and all that accompany them: the nerves, the worry, the sleepless nights, tears and heavy drinking.

Silent Sunday

Emley Moor Mast


Wednesday, 23 September 2015

The Five Lies Teenagers Tell Everyday.

Teenagers lie.

A lot.

At least according to this article in the Daily Fail they do. Around 60%, the article claims, of 13 to 17 year olds tell up to five lies a day.

The article goes on to say that scientists have discovered that teenagers are, in fact, the very best liars around ...

liar liar pants on fire

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