A week away (I'm sorry for being shit)

Ok, its been.. one week since I blogged at you.. but I'm back. The reason I've not said or noted anything down is because I've been busy getting into my second teaching placement up in Hereford.

Its all go now and I'm busy planning lessons to take next week (Week beginning 1st March). The school is great, the kids are.. well, as kids are anyway. The staff are really supportive and its didn't snow all that much up here the other day, not like some poor sods in the South West who got caught in a blizzard.

Just had a chilled weekend seeing friends and family and now I'm getting ready to go back to it tomorrow.

Haven't had a chance to check out any other blogs at the moment- does that make me a bad person? I hope not, I do like reading them and will try my best to leave some comments here, there and everywhere.

I'll blog again but not sure when as I'm a busy bee now... (Having said that I've got time to do this so.. Ah.) Haven't seen Tony Robinson again which is a shame. And in relation to the last comment, Harriet: I haven't heard of Fat Tulip, what is it???..

Dazed and confused for now, need sleep to prepare for the days ahead. Keep warm everyone, its bloody bitter out there. x.


Guess who I saw in the pub the other day...?

Yesterday I went for a meal with my girl in a pub just outside Bath. It was a very old country pub, large interior, warm and cosy surroundings complete with good food and real ale.

As we approached the front door to the pub I saw someone who I thought I recognised. On closer inspection, once we'd entered the pub I knew exactly who it was. We had never met, yet I've seenb him for the past 20 -odd years. It was comic- historian elf man Tony Robinson, he was having a roast dinner and a glass of coke. He and his crew (Not the time team crew) had decided to do a spot of afternoon's filming in this particualr pub and filmed a piece on the eccentricities of the victorians. The piece Tony (First name terms now don't you know) told the camera was the interesting fact that Victorians used to employ hermits to go and live on their estates. Rather like an ornamental water fountain or a neatly kept lawn, a hermit living in a grotto at the bottom of the garden was seen as just another spectacle to be wondered by the many guests and visitors to the grounds.

No self- righteous Victorian would have been seen dead in those days without a hermit.



I'm busy doing my frickin' college work at the mo', so I thought I do the obvious thing and pass off a blog with some old bullshit of mine...

I have a story to share with you constant reader. I did wrote it when I was a fresh faced nub of a lad of 16. For my english language A level, I was asked to write a story of my own. The genre, length and form was completely down to my own choice.

I was (and still am) into the works of a Mr. Stephen King and I thought to meself, 'Hey, why not write a horror story, yeah?'

I thought about what to base it on. The problem with reading books is that you get bogged down with thinking from inside and can only see what you've already seen for a large part of the time. It IS difficult in this day and age to be original. And I'm not saying that what I finally wrote was in any way original.

One day, whilst travelling to college on the bus it came to me. A horror story set in a school. Now, since I did write this, there have been many stories, of the horror genre set in school and there were stories of this nature before I'd written this. 'The Faculty' is one... 'Scream 2' is based in a university... Um.. .. well, I'm sure there are a few more out there.

I just wanted to write the story from the perspective of when a teacher would be thinking of the pupils 'Ooh, if I could only throttle them..' What if they could really do that? ..

I added a bit of 'The Shining' and brewed it up with a dash of 'Saved By the bell'. Now, I was only 16 so do bear with me. If you can take 5 minutes or so, then do so. If not, come back when you have the time.

Right, cup of tea at the ready? Then We'll begin...

The Cheshire Cat.

It was 11:00 exactly. Dan Lewis was late for his English lecture. He was still on the bus. He looked down at his wrist-watch.
11:02, 52 seconds.
"I'm late, very late." Dan thought of himself as the white rabbit in "Alice in Wonderland". The bus was one stop away. The old lady was taking her time paying. Dan noticed a large bus queue behind her. All elderly people.
"Sod this." he whispered and got out of his seat. He then scrambled through a forest of legs poking out from either side, nudged past two old ladies, and leapt out of the bus doors. He landed hard, but managed to pick himself up. Then he sprinted towards the college.
"Damn it." Dan raced up the concrete steps, through the auto- matic doors (which never seemed to open quick enough) and through reception. Dan failed to notice the empty office behind the reception's glass window. Up the two flights of steps, tripping once and banging his shin harshly.
Dan was amazed as once again, time sped up when you needed to get somewhere fast, but completely opposite when you had nothing to do.
Through the two wooden doors, and down the bleak white corridors. Dan's trainers squeaked insanely against the plastic floor.
Then, down the thin corridor and a sharp turn left. Dan slowed down. Approaching destination. Extinguish all lights. Fasten seat belts. Dan was at a walking pace, and - noticed that, oddly enough there were no murmurs from other classes. Just, silence. That awful silence seemed so unnatural. Dan reached for the door. It read:

English A3

Dan breathed in sharply. The door knob turned and Dan opened the door. He then entered.
The room was an ordinary square shape, but as you came in, three quarters of the room was blanked out by a wooden chipboard. On the reverse side of this was the black-board. This meant you couldn't see the class, only the lecturer's desk.
"Sorry I'm late-." Dan lost the rest of his excuse under his breath.
Silence. Still that god awful silence. It was just too quiet. Dan noticed as he explained a thick, almost salty odour was around the room. Even the room itself was quite gloomy, even though the blinds were open. Dan walked around the chipboard and failed to notice the carnage around him. His mind had completely shut off as he walked towards his desk. As he numbly sat down, his feet splashed in a thick, treacle-like substance.
From in front he saw Peter McEwan's severed arm resting on the desk. Peter himself was unrecognisable, sprawled underneath the desk like a mis-used doll. Dan suddenly switched on again, recognising what was going on around him.

Everyone was dead.(Or on their way to being)
Monica Simmons, throat gorged away, staring intensely at the blackboard. David Sommers, jaw yanked out of place with ears missing. Scott Andrews, head shaved to the skull, blood everywhere.
Angelica Edwards and Helen Nichols, crushed together via their skulls, probably by lying them both down head to head and smashing a heavy object down between them.
"-get out-"
"Pugs" Smith, disembowelled with a mouth overflowing with large wedges of chalk. Dan, still numb and confused from what was going on around him, failed to notice Mrs.Frost get up from her desk. Her face wasn't as it usually was. She normally had a warm, friendly face and she always had a trace of her smile around her lips. But not today. It was somehow darker in complexion, and she was a lot thinner. Usually, she was a stocky-nearly-plump type of person, but something had happened which made her look like she hadn't had a meal in days. Her gaunt body past through the rows of dripping desks.
Mrs. Frost was five metres away, with a sledge-hammer in both hands. Dan saw through her sweaty, long dark hair which clung in sickly thick clumps to her forehead, that she was grinning. It was an inhuman smile. Then she opened her mouth and croaked a few words that Dan couldn't make out.
Dan's feet slipped slightly as he leapt out of his chair. Mrs. Frost followed him eagerly. Dan ran behind the chipboard and out the door, but could hear the deep breathing and shallow click of heels from Mrs. Frost, now gaining.
Dan's mind was full of confusion, questions flooding backwards and forwards through his mind as he shot into the corridor, deciding which way to escape.
Mrs. Frost appeared out of the dark classroom and immediately swung the hammer down in undescribable speed. The adrenalin pump in Dan's body was far to slow for him to react, only what seemed like pure luck made Dan dart to the left. Mrs.Frost's axe dug deeply into the wall of A4. Then Dan got up. He hastily turned around at Mrs.Frost trying to retrieve the axe.
"WON'T-COME-OUT!" she yelled, echoing through the long college corridors.
Dan was away again. His heart a step ahead of him. He ran down the corridor noticing Mrs. Frost's giggles of joy as she finally wrenched the axe out.
Dan ran past a fire alarm, but managed to smash it. The awful klaxon sound slowly started up. Then, Dan raced down one flight of steps, then another. As he reached the bottom, he looked upwards. The double doors smashed open, the axe forcing its way through the hinges. Glass flew in all directions.
Still, Dan managed to look upwards even though shards of glass were narrowly missing him. Mrs. Frost poked her head out of the smashed door. Then the rest of her body slid through the narrow gap. Her body scraped against the jagged frame. Dan noticed huge chunks of her ample frame was being horrifically gorged away as she squeezed through. It seemed as if she was
oblivious to the pain. Dan screamed, only for looking at her suffering. It was a nightmarish sight.
She was grinning again. It was a sad, pathetic grin of pain and confusion mixed into one. It was almost like the Cheshire cat grin, a crafty sinister smile.

Mrs. Frost was laughing through her grin.
Immediately Dan sped off. Through D-block, another door, down a small flight of upholstered steps and -
Dan noticed Mr. Harris at the bottom of the corridor. Mr. Harris was holding up the severed head of Elaine McDonald, a first year student, whom Dan had met. Dan's heart stopped, as Mr. Harris dropped the head, which hit the floor with a soft thud. Then Mr. Harris advanced towards him on all fours. Joseph Harris, the Applied Maths lecturer was crawling towards Daniel Edward Lewis.
But Dan had completely forgotten about Mrs. Frost, and Miss. Edgar, Mr. Kaiser, Mr. Dickinson, Mrs. Bolan, Mr. Short, infact nearly all of the colleges main staff. They were all gaining behind Dan.
Suddenly Dan clicked to his senses again, and avoided the now sub-human Mr. Harris by running - into the portly frame of Mrs. Parker. Mrs. Parker was the head college cook. He bumped into her and immediately slumped back down to the floor. He looked up at Mrs. Parker and in the back of his mind he could only hear Mr. Harris's grunting drowned by the dull, droning fire-alarm.
Mrs. Parker produced a large kitchen knife, like the one Norman Bates used so many times before in "Psycho". Dan swept to one side, knowing Mrs. Parker was too slow to react. As Dan went past her into the science block, he heard her groan loudly as she struck the oncoming Mr. Harris through the neck.
Once in the science block, Dan knew what to do. He stepped into Sci - 2. More bodies. More carnage. Some pupils had tried to escape, their hands stretched towards the door. Dan blocked it all out, and ran to the gas taps. He hastily turned them all on. Outside the room, Dan heard the ghastly moans from the lecturers. They were coming.
After a few precious seconds, Dan reached into his pocket. Out came a packet of cigarettes. Dan cursed under his breath and dropped the box. He delved in again and this time retrieved a brass zippo lighter. Flicking the zippo to life he threw it into the room. It skimmed across the laboratory tables.
Dan had already ran out of the room.
The lecturers were now barely 5 feet away from Dan. They were facing Dan. Their numbers had grown somehow. The caretaker, Mr Ashmore, the secretary Miss Pickles and, STUDENTS! Crowds of students behind the caretakers, all in a daze. They were staring directly at Dan.
Quicker than lightning he pushed himself through the corridor, nearing the fire-exit. As Dan neared the door he had only one thought,
"Had it worked?"
The crowd of lecturers were just outside Sci - 2, when the college went up. The explosion deafened him as he burst through the double doors. The blast propelled Dan across a patch of grass and he landed harshly into one of the many open rubbish bins. He then fell into a deep coma from which he would never awake.

After these years it is still only a rough draft, but the underlying idea is still there. I hope you liked it, whether because it was good, so bad it was good, so bad it really was just bad or just plain stupid. Either way I'm proud of it, reading through it is embrassing and cringe inducing but it's a part of my checkered past.

...Or maybe it's the reason I got an 'E' for my A-Levels. Hmmm..


Come on, work damn you!

God sake.

Today I've been trying so damned hard to get on with my database project set by the college to be completed for the end of next week. It usually takes an A level student about 3 months to complete, but being ever the optimist I'm doing it in a couple of days.

That's right. I've left it to the last minute, again. But never mind, this weekend is for work!

However I DID go out last night, had an immensely lovely time. Some tequilas later and we were all very talkative. But to cut a short story shorter, today has been quite non- productive so far. Feeling slightly jaded from the previous night's activities my motivation has decreased to now having barely enough will to breathe and blink and pump blood around myself. Everything can just wait.

But I have now made a start. Its all there, laid out in my head and I know what to do. I just need to keep at it. It will be ok believe me. However, before I actually started work, I did sit down at my computer for 2 hours and subsequently got distracted. Heres the list of distractions I've had so far today.

(1) I cooked rice in the microwave and watched it get cooked.

(2) I played Jedi Starfighter on the PS2, and was pretty good at it.

(3) I put 'Pet Sounds' on, and didn't do any work in the time it took to play the entire album, which included extra studio snippets at the end of it.

(4) TV, but not for long- I only watched it for very short periods, channel skipping because on a Saturday afternoon there's very little on.

(5) I sent some e-mails.

(6) I read a motoring atlas.

(7) I played a bit of guitar and bass guitar.

You see, I need all of these things to be removed from my line of sight- no even better, put them in a room where I can't get at them. Lock it, throw away the soddin' key. I can't cope with distraction. Its so tempting. I reckon I need a distraction from being distracted the whole time.

Ah, work, that'd be it. I'm now going to do some, just watch me.

And as you've noticed theres one other distraction, and you've just read it.


Trilogy Insania

It would appear that Lucasfilm have announced that Star Wars: Episode 4, 5 and 6 will be released in the US and Canada on DVD from September 21st and here in the UK sometime soon after that. Great stuff.

What's not so great is the fact that George Lucas does not have any plans to release the actual original versions of the film, and instead only use the special edition films he released in 1996-7. Ok George, your pissing even more fans off now..

You see, it all started with the special editions. In the new films new sections were added which enhanced the characters personalities and attitudes, for instance in A NEW HOPE the part where Greedo attempts to shoot Han Solo first but misses implies to us that Han Solo isn't as wily or as cunning as he made himself out to be in the original films. The addition of a crap looking Jabba the Hutt into A NEW HOPE also adds insult to injury.

A lot of the special effects added later DID look good and in my humble onion helped the story a lot better. For a large section of geeks (pot)- I mean fans out there however, this revising of all the films has led to disappointment and resentment. I liked the original, I grew up on the original- anything else is... well, its pretty, it looks polished and lets face it, it has a cleaner, more refined edge to it, but its not how we remember it when we were knee- high to the sofa.

Then the prequels were made. Now if Lucas had statrted to tip the star destroyer by releasing the special editions, he'd be letting the shit hit the fanbase with these. The feelings amongst many forums on the net voice the same kind of gripes.

Jar-Jar Binks. Crap plot. Cheesy feel. Over produced. Many of these factors and more have gotten fans all het up over the new films. That they don't quite fit in with the overall feel of the original films, and.. it makes you wonder if the 'original feel' of the original 3 films is something Lucas is trying to shy away from.

Personally is Lucas farted and put it in a can I'd buy it, I'm that shallow. And I don't mind the prequels at all. And I think the special editions are equally cursed and blessed. And I'll lap it up like a consumerist zombie that I am.

But I DO have a theory on why the DVDs are being released in September this year...

Because the following year Star Wars: Episode 3 will come out onto the silver screen.. soon enough it will be released onto DVD later in that year making the way for the final glorious Hexology (?) Star Wars DVD will be released just in time for xmas 2005. I do think that the September release is just a ploy to go out and line Lucasfilm's pockets again.

It happened with myself and Lord of the Rings, when I bought Fellowship of the Ring as soon as it was out on DVD only to learn a bigger and better version was coming out later in the year! Los bastardos! So, I'm patiently waiting for the big final boxed set on that too. Bloody hobbits...

If you wish to sign a petition for getting the ORIGINAL star wars trilogy released, visit Original trilogy.com where you can help play a small jedi mind trick into hopefully getting Mr. Lucas and associates to change their minds...

George Lucas: cinematic visionary or money grabbing git?


He moves in mysterious ways...

My old suit was starting to smell, and the odd stain here and there from a few nights of being on the razz meant it was time to give it a good clean. Plus a few other jackets previously ignored in the warddrobe = A trip to the dry cleaners.

Today I drove to a quaint distrcit of Bristol called Knowle, or "Satan's Fiery Pit of Desolation for All Those Poor Souls Eternal Dam-Ned". Yeah, its not really that nice, but the little shopping district just away from the centre of Knowle is bearable, the place I was heading to.

The centre of Knowle comprises of a police station, put there I suppose as a sort of a laugh really, because the amount of scallies and pervs up there is not balancing with the threat of police presence in any way. They may well have just built a toyshop or a Fishmongers for the amount of help it would do. Not having a go at the cops up there but - sorry, wrong meeting, I'll get back2dapoint.

I went into the Dry Cleaners (Twas Johnsons) and was greeted by a friendly swarthy man dressed very neatly. Short cropped black hair and quite tall, he asked me what I wanted. Well.. my hands were full of clothes, and I was in a dry cleaners, but not being sarcastic, I told him anyway. He sounded scottish at first, but on later inspection I found him to sound Mediterranean, French, Arabian? It was an accent I couldn't place for the life of me. But he was so friendly and even offered me a chance to joins the Johnsons Discount Scheme. This meant signing up to get reductions on future dry cleaning. What the hill I thought, I'll probably be wearing suits all the friggin' time soon, even to bed, so what the hey ha?

I paid the man, and as he was filling out some forms I looked at his name badge and realised instantly why the guy had (a) A foreign accent I couldn't place, (B) Was really friendly and christian-like.

The badge simply read:


...Oh yeah, (C) Rise from the dead.


Witchfinder general nonsense

Below are a few excerpts from the book "Strange Beliefs, Customs & Superstitions of New England". This book underlines the weird and wonderful ways the Puritans who settled in New England in the 17th century formed their own set of beliefs and morals on life. Many of these rules were related to witches, so you may probably be able to understand how close to reality many puritans were at the time. (Well, there wasn't any television for starters)

Here are a few gems of advice concerning telling the weather. Remember this was in the days of old where not an awful lot was understood about the world. (Could be argued we're still in the same position even now... but thats another story..)

Forget Ian McKaskill, lets have some random 17th moronic goobledegook:

* The Crescent Moon *

When both ends of the crescent moon are pointing away from the earth, you will have 30 days of good luck if you spit on the ground 3 times, and then rub the spit into the dirt with the sole of your right shoe.

* The new moon seen through a window *

If you see the new moon for the first time through a window pane, you will have 30 days bad luck.

* Spring Weekend Forecast *

If it rains on Easter Sunday, it is sure to rain on the next seven sundays....

.. The moral of the above statements is a simple one. People in the past were small- minded dwads and could make anything up to put the fear of god into everyone else. And those god fearing people would believe a lot and ask no questions in return. So, please don't believe everything that you read. Hey, for all you know, I could be making this up.. (I'm not)

(By the way, I had a wonderful weekend, the events of which I'm sure will be posted by Crumb and Pencil but I'll let them tell the tale if they want to. Suffice to say its always a pleasure, never a chore to meet up with you guys and we must do it again soon * SNIFF * ...)


Listen to the band

I've spent the last few days over in Bath staying at my girlfriends house. Myself and various members of my course, all went out for a night on the razzle. It was one of those really well- rounded nights which leaves you waking up in the morning thinking;

"Aw, was that it?"

We began the night in a pub called 'The Bell', which usually hosts free music on a Wednesday night with a guest band playing. And, fuck me, if there isn't a guest band playing free music on a Wednesday night called 'Drop the Box'. They were very good, very folky but maintained a mainstream whimsical pop- edge to them. They also came from the Orkney islands, so fair play to them for coming to Bath. Go forth and get a record deal I say, you were brilliant.

After each song, I was clapping very loud, in a fashion handed down to me by my friend Pencil, who taught me the ways of the Offensive and Rude clap i.e. one which sounds like a loud crack next to your hear, not a warm, inviting golfer's clap or a tiny clippy infant clap but a big mother of a clap, a thunderclap if you will.

Anyway, it was this clap I used to outclap all the other clappers on my table. They all had good clap, but I won through in the end.

I'm talking about clapping a lot in this pub owing to some organic cider being quaffed time and again, which has burnt out some precious conversations and jokes I'm sure. Someboady on the table probably told me the correct answer to the square root of mnius 1, but I really couldn't tell you now

But after the pub closed we moved on (Some members had to leave for one reason or another) to the club of O'Neils. Again, hazy memories run amok here, although I do remember dancing and talking to a giant.

And I woke up at 10.30 the next morning, remembering a vague sense of coming home, making tea and watching a programme on snowboarding for a good half hour. My hair had shaped itself into another lovely style that would probably fit in with the styling of hair in the film 'Bladerunner' or a member of the 80's synth group 'A Flock of Seagulls'. And I woke with a smile on the inside.

I do so love the act of inebriation particularly when the moment is just right.


How silly of me

Last night, I did something that I haven't done in a good 4 years. It was fucking stupid of me when I thought about it afterwards and I totally regret doing it now. If I could turn back time to around 10 o'clock I would yell to myself and go:

"Don't do it! You don't understand what you're doing!"- only I did understand. I knew full well what the implications would be once I did it. The problem was, it had been so long since I'd last had it, I'd forgotten the consequences of its eventual actions. Consequences that I've had to live with ALL day...

I took 6 pro- plus pills at 10 o'clock in the evening, with the feeble intention of helping me finish off some application forms to schools. The only thing was I finished my work 5 mniutes later and went to bed soon after.

Until 1 o'clock my body was asleep, but I lay down with my eyes darting in different directions like I was a spectator at a high speed tennis match. My head was buzzing like a fuckin' alarm, and I'm sure I had a little grin on my face, smiling at how fast my eyes could move, smiling at how my eyes were the ONLY thing moving from my body and smiling at how annoyed I was at this silly situation.

Results: Tired and beaten all day. I recommend it!


Primary Experience Day

As part of my course, I had to visit a primary school for the day. Afterwards, I would base my experience on a short essay. This would then give me an insight into how kids make the transition from the middle to the secondary years.

I'd not been in a primary school since I was of primary age so it really took me back to see these tiny kids that at times reminded me of the little podling creatures featured in Jim Henson's "The Dark Crystal". They were all hyperactive, chatty but at the same time, eager to owkr and in a way polite, or at least a lot more forgiving than most of the secondary school pupils I have encountered. I'm not tarring all secondary students with the same blame- brush but its seemed as if I got a lot more positive response from these small sapling people.

The classroom walls were decked with various poster projects which depicted elements of history, mathematics, english, geography and art, along with a board full of stars which pupils could add their own star alongside their name if they had been good or sat still for a minute. The ceiling had paintings hanging from strings that webbed out from a central spoke in the room. It all looked very cosy and just right for a good teaching environment.

The staff were really welcoming and I really did enjoy myself. I looked back on today, and, walking home I got thinking as to whether I'd really made the right choice in choosing the Secondary route as opposed to the Primary route...

Nah, I'm being silly. Besides, primary kids can't answer you back- where's the fun in THAT?


Badd speeling

I don't want to be known for the blogger who doesn't check his work once its been entered onto the system but I've read through a few blogs of mine and realised, really how bad my spelling is. I simply have overlooked basic spelling errors throughout.

I apologise and will endeavour to phrase, structure and correct arrange my letters into words in the near phewcher.