Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My Christmas Present To You

It's Christmas, nearly and Mum is absolutely empty of christmas cheer because Dave Dooley has won the parent governor fight. He has already given out free giant bags of sweets to us all which is brilliant. Except I will not be allowed to eat them at home so I have given them to Dexter for safekeeping. Hmmm. Everyone has had a threatening letter telling us that Mrs Trundle will be back after Christmas and Mr Bagnall has told us to enjoy the holiday.

Dexter's dad has bought the biggest christmas tree in the entire galaxy while my dad reycled one from last year and it is rubbish. For some reason, he has stuck some massive bird decorations on it. They are quite bad. Mum says that because George is bursting out of his baby suits and is walking (not my idea of walking unless you need at least two knee operations) we cannot 'take the risk with a big tree' because he might try and eat it or decorate himself with it. He needs to grow up.

Here is my Christmas present to you. It is an action movie for you to enjoy in case James Bond isn't on. Happy Christmas.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Local Parent Governor Politics Turned Nasty



Local parent governor politics turned nasty today as feisty Dorothy Marshall, 40 (pictured with her son, George) slammed fellow contender, 30 year old builder, Dave Dooley, as "worse than The Godfather in that Mafia film".
'He's using bagfuls of
sweets to bribe his way onto the school board!' she said. 'Then I was sent a threatening letter, warning me to stay away from the election! These are underhand, criminal and pathetic tactics and I have already made the police aware of what is happening. That man is a political vegetable.'
Mr Dooley commented, 'she's mad.'
There were reports of fighting in the playground today as children caught up in election frenzy exchanged blows. There were no serious casualties but acting head teacher, Mr commented, 'Our OFSTED report gave us an,
'excellent' for relationships between children, I just don't understand it.'
When asked about playground rivalry, Dorothy Marshall said that, 'I will not tolerate violence in any form on or off the playground and that certainly is one of the platforms of my school governor campaign; along with the reintroduction of locally sourced giant vegetables for school meals, extra targetted homework and a total ban on sweets and builders.'
When asked to clarify this last statement, Mrs Marshall said that she was not being elitist and that builders had every right to live normal lives just like the rest of us.
Mr Dooley commented, 'she's mad.'
'Events pertaining to the parent governor election are a school issue,' a police spokesman said 'although Mrs Marshall's arrest for disorderley conduct is a matter of public record.' Mrs Marshall refused to respond to the police statement.
This newspaper has learnt of a surprise last minute entry to the school governor race. Mr Ranjit Patel will be spreading a message of joy and peace and hoping to win votes with his message of yoga, sandals and happy thoughts.
Mrs Marshall said, 'whilst I agree with Mr Patel's philosophy, I cannot see how happy thoughts will get the dinner cooked although sandals might be a good idea in the summer.'
Mr Dooley said, 'they're both mad.'

Sunday, November 16, 2008

DON'T. That's All. Just DON'T.

After we got home from the police station and a BIG WARNING that next time Mum would be slapped with an ASBO before she could say "Parent Governor", I find this on the hall floor.

Dear Mrs Marshall

My people have heard that you intend to stand for Parent Governor at Nupton Valance Primary. DON'T. That's all. Just DON'T.

Yours Sincerely

A Well Wisher

'"DON'T"!' Mum is screeching and her hair is flying about. 'That Dave Dooley can't stop me standing for School Governor!'
'I don't think it is Mr Dooley,' I say.
Recently, I have been watching elderly programmes on freeview. One of them is called 'The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' and it is absolutely the best detective stuff without cars, I have seen. Sherlock has a sidekick called Dr Watson and even though he is a doctor, he is a bit stupid. Sherlock solves everything, uses disguises, jumps about a lot and even has an arch enemy called Professor Moriaty.
'Why not? Why not?' shouts Mum.
'Elementary,' I say and stroke my chin for good measure. 'Look at the spelling, it's all correct - isn't it?' I am mostly guessing at this one but Mum nods. 'And see the paper,' I hold it up to the rubbish energy saving half watt bulb. 'It's the really good printing paper from Tesco and ...' I wave it about for effect, ' ... it does not smell of aftershave.'
'What's going on?' Dad comes up from the cellar, holding a set of false teeth. 'Why're you so late, Dorothy? You know Wilfred has school tomorrow.'
Mum turns to me and flares red like a warning light. I ignore her because she has to learn.
'Mum attacked Mr Dooley with a bin bag of sweets and got arrested.' I shrug. 'It was fun.'
'I see,' says Dad and he is mashing the gnashers together in his hand. 'Bed, Wilfred. I have to discuss something with your mother.'
Hmmm, I do not have to be Sherlock Holmes to guess what that is about.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Zombie is Toast

I am told I cannot go trick or treating because it's against, The Rules. We are eating spaghetti bolognese made almost entirely of giant marrow, apart from the spaghetti. It is horrible.
'You might upset some old people,' says Mum because she is very keen on old people.
'Granpa Jack is old and he's taking a group of old people out to get treats.'
'He is not!' shouts Dad.
'He is,' I say 'and he says they're all going to be demons and wear red pants and tights.' Mum gives a little scream. 'AND, Dexter is going with his dad, Mr Dooley and he's dressing up as a gut eating zombie,' I inform them as I suck up one piece of spaghetti at a time. Mum gives Dad a look across the table. 'It's true' I say. I can sense them wobbling now under the power of my fantastic arguing. 'Furthermore, (their eyes widen with wonderment at my cleverness, I am on a roll) Mr Dooley is going to collect as many sweets as he can so that he can donate them to the school tuck shop.' Wait for it.
'There isn't a school tuck shop,' says Dad. 'For the very good reason that all your teeth will drop out.'
I pause and savour the moment. Here we go. 'There will be when he becomes school governor.'

So, I am Count Wilfredo complete with excellent 75p fangs, black cloak from Tesco and a giant bucket for snatching all the sweets from under the nose of the Dooley zombie. Mum is a ghost. She found one of my old sheets and cut eyeholes out. She didn't notice the spiderman on the back and I haven't told her.
Outside, Mum strides down the High St. She is walking as though she is wearing a business suit.
'We'll just call on people we know,' she says, 'then we won't alarm the elderly. Tuck shop indeed!' she adds. She is a very brisk ghost, flapping her arms and twirling round all the time and is already surprising all the baby children out with their responsible adults. 'Sorry didn't see you there!' she tries to pick up one of the children she has knocked over.
'Monster!' says its parent which is not technically correct.
'Better keep an eye out for Mr Dooley,' Mum says, rushing away from the scene of the crime, ' - don't want him hogging all the sweets!' She is trying to sound jolly about sweets now which is a dead giveaway. She wants his blood.
I spot Dexter who is bandaged up to his eyeballs in loo roll.
'How many sweets have you got then?' I yell.
'Not quite enough for a school tuck shop,' shouts Dexter.
'Nearly there, though!' yells the impressive zombie next to him. 'Bet even your mad parents will vote for me when they hear about how much free stuff I've got for the school.'
He holds up a bulging bin bag.
'Er, maybe,' I say. Mum sidles up behind me.
'Bet your Mum will spit bricks when she hears about this, eh?' he yells.
'Er ...' I er.
'Better than her DISGUSTING organic veg crud she makes for all those poor old people ...'
'Um ...'
'They feed it to their cats! And even the cats won't eat it! Ha!'
'Well ...'
'Aghhhhhhhh!' The spiderman ghost flies past me.
The zombie is toast.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Anyway, I Knew This Would Happen

Anyway, I knew it would happen. Mum told me to look out for a surprise at school. Before I could even speak to him, Dexter started fighting me. No surprise there - but he then tried to stuff a piece of paper down my throat while shouting out words we normally only whisper. When I had wiped all the spit of the paper, I found this ...

OROTHY MARSHALL - Governor in Waiting!

o there. As a mother of one son in Year 5, I would love to be a governor at Napton Valance Primary School. I obviously have a very keen interest in the education of my child and would like to further his career by being involved in running the school.

I a
m involved in a great deal of charity work for the old folk and often cook up huge quantities of my special organic vegetable medley (thanks to Oliver-James' parents for their regular giant veg donations!), so that the old folk can eat something healthy every so often. The old folk I visit often have cats which they LOVE - in fact I often find the old folk feed my organic vegetable medley to their cats because they love them so much. Touched by this display of feline affection, I not only doubled the quantity of medley I gave out, I also established, 'The League of Cats' charity shop in town. You must visit!

So, I still have a little spare time - even after helping my husband sort out his Rare and Unusual Teeth Collection - to assist the head teacher in sorting things out. I'm good at that. Just ask Wilfred!

Warmest Wishes
(me in fancy dress!)

P.S. Alot of the old folk live in bungalows built by Mr Dooley. They often have bad chests and damp related illnesses.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

We Must Unite!

Mrs Trundle is not at school for a few days. According to us she has gone off to assassinate the second son of a Lithuanian duke. Mr Bagnall says she's not feeling herself. Ha.

Anyway, Mr Bagnall has seized power. His first act is to tell everyone that parents can become governors at the school - Mrs Trundle never allowed this. I think this is a stupid idea:

a. because when she comes back she will be thirsting for blood and parent-governors will be top of her hitlist.
b. because there will be actual fighting between parents about who is going to be a governor
c. parents will make sure we are all working

I get together with a load of others in the playground for an important meeting:

'My parents will be at school tomorrow, demanding to be school governors when they hear about this,' says Itisham. 'They really, really like to interfere.' This is a BIG worry. Iti's parents are both doctors. 'They will be looking out for diseases every two minutes and giving us jabs all over the place.' Iti shakes his head. 'We'll have to wash a lot.'
I shudder. 'Well, mine cannot get enough committees and groups to be head of in this tiny town. It is not enough for Mum that she bothers all the old people with her chatting and organic vegetable medley. Oh no, she'll be here forcing her organic vegetable medley on us and making us talk to girls about feelings.'
'D'you think she'll ban rugby?' asks Tyler and he fiddles with his illegal mini rugby ball. 'That would be bad.'
'My father was mayor in Poland!' shouts Polish Jacob, he likes to shout in english - he says everyone shouts at him in english. 'He will insist on being President of the governors!'
'There are only going to be two governors, Jake,' I say.
'That is enough for my father!' says Jake and he smacks one fist into his palm. 'He will bring in cabbage and beetroot soup and break dancing lessons!' Jake loves break dancing and he throws himelf onto his back and waggles his legs in the air. 'It is better than rugby!'
Tyler narrows his eyes. Dexter runs up, so something must be up.
'You'll never guess!' he says, then is distracted by Polish Jacob. 'You look like a beetle, Jake, is that what you are? A beetle?'
'Dexter!' I push him a bit until he falls over.
'I am break dancing!' shouts Jake.
'What?' I ask Dexter.
'What?' he replies, picking himself up. 'Oh yeah,' he pulls a piece of paper out of his pocket. 'My dad's going to head governor - here have a leaflet.'

Dave Dooley I am 37 with one son, married for too long! Ha ha!!! Joking aside, I am a Director of the county's leading specialist bungalow building provider: DAVE DOOLEY - SPECIALIST IN BUGALOW BUILDING I am excellent at building bungalows and being in charge, so I believe I will be perfect as chief governor. My hobbies include bunglalow building, shouting and spending time with my family.


'This is full of spelling errors,' points out Iti.
Dexter shrugs. 'Who cares, my dad'll ban spelling when he's chief governor.'
Everyone starts looking at everyone else.
'We must unite,' I say, 'not fight!' Then, 'for a change,' I add. Some hope.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Victory is Ours

So, a bunch of us run into the dining hall.
'Harvest festival display!' I shout, 'follow me!' Dexter and me leap over the neat rows of tins-of-food-that-you-never-eat-unless-you-are-absolutely-starving.
'Get behind the giant vegetables!' I yell. We are quite lucky because, Oliver-James's mum and dad are very keen on growing big veg. They brought in the biggest potato in the world on their roof rack. It took 10 juniors to lift it down.
I peep round the side of a monster cabbage.
Mr Bagnall strolls in. I think he is smiling but the moustache makes it difficult to tell. 'Well children, I have locked the outside door - you're safe.
Somewhere inside the school, some baby children scream.
'I don't think a locked door will stop Mrs Trundle,' I point out. 'She keeps a laser cutter in the caretaker's shed.'
'She's in!' shouts Tyler. Mrs Trundle charges into the hall. He arms himself with an oversized carrot.
'This is brilliant,' says Dexter, picking up a tin. 'It's like all those battles in Lord of the Rings or world war 1 or something.'
Mrs Trundle does some impressive Stick of Doom manouvres as she thunders towards us.
'Come out!' she screams. 'Those giant vegetables won't save you now!'
Mr Bagnall and his moustache leaps in front of her and we cheer. 'Remember your training! The children are your friends!!'
'HA!' she cries, then 'HA!' again.
'Don't make me say it,' says Mr Bagnall, 'just give me the stick and I won't say it...'
I look at Dexter and he looks at me.
'PUT THE STICK DOWN ... PRUNELLA!' shouts Mr Bagnall.
It is like the pause button has gone on until Dexter stands up.
'Prunella!' he says, 'is that her name?'
Everybody starts mouthing the word, 'Prunella.' I think it must be like when you know the real name of a demon or a wicked fairy and just by saying it, it takes away their power.
'PRUNELLA!!!' we all shout at her. 'PRUNELLA! PRUNELLA!'
She drops the stick and runs from the hall. Victory is ours.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Fascinating Invention No. 15 - The Parachute

Fascinating Invention No. 13 - The Parachute

The first parachute was drawn by Leonardo da Vinci in about 1500 but he never got round to making one. That was left to Faust Vrancic, who in 1617 actually jumped from a Venice tower holding onto a parachute. At least he did not use a dog for his experiment as this is what Jean Pierre Blanchard did in 1785.

He took his dog up in the air for a balloon ride, probably jollying him along with lots of talk about the view and whatever and then…’LOOK FIFI – A CAT! FETCH!’ and he chucks him over the side attached to a not very good parachute. Maybe the dog did not die because Blanchard did use a parachute again to escape from his balloon when it suddenly exploded (I think Fifi was getting her own back).

Anyway parachutes got better because of dogs and mad Frenchmen and soon it stopped looking like a rigid pyramid and became a silky umbrella. Lots of people starting jumping from towers and then aeroplanes, just for fun. The big problem was the wobbling canopy.

Lots of people tried to stop the wobble, including Sir George Cayley, who thought that a cone-shaped parachute would do the trick; until Robert Cocking became the first person to die in a cone-shaped parachute accident in 1837.

Of course, it was someone in the army, Captain Thomas Baldwin in 1887, who said they should cut a hole in the top to stop the wobble and this worked. Parachutes became VERY BIG in the wars and now you get loads of different types and loads of different types of people use them – but not dogs.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Run For Your Lives

Itisham has a gerbil called, Lewis. He likes to put him in a green plastic ball and watch him charging all over the kitchen floor. He runs like mad in a straight line until he hits the broom/wall/cooker etc and then tumbles backwards to go the other way until he hits the broom/wall/cooker etc. Lewis reminds me of Dexter playing British Bulldog. He goes in a straight line until he hits a person/wall/the ground and then changes direction until he hits a person/wall/the ground. He is quite rubbish at playing this game because he gets over excited.

- he forgets where his home is
- he forgets who is on his team
- he forgets he is in school with teachers and dinner ladies all over the place

So, there he is forgetting everything. He has knocked over 5 baby children, got a whole load of girls to be on his team - most of them run round screaming, except for Alice Taylor who tries to be a nurse - and caught NOBODY, even though it is his turn to be bulldog.
Alice Taylor has me in an armlock. 'Just pretend you have a broken leg,' she orders, 'I'll mend you.'
'I've got you!' cries Dexter and he wraps his arms around me.
'Get off me, you idiot! It doesn't count when you're injured!'
'Yes it does!' yells Dexter, 'and you're my first catch! British bulldog, 1,2,3!'
'Shut up! It's stripey jumpers!'
'Oh, what a delightful game!' trills Mrs Trundle. She has appeared out of nowhere, her good eye twitches. 'Stripey Jumpers! I've never heard of that!'
Dexter jumps away from me and knocks into Polish Jacob.
'Yes,' says Polish Jacob, who knows nothing about British Bulldog and is even worse at it than Dexter, 'and you get to use the stick of power - here,' he says and thrusts a ginormous tree branch into her hands. I manage to stop myself slapping my hands to my head in utter despair. We are pushing her too far.
She trembles and I know she is trying not to use the stick of power on the nearest child.
'Back away slowly,' I hiss at Alice. 'She's going to lose it.'
'I can't stand it!' she roars. She runs at me with the stick. I scream a tiny bit and head for base.
'Don' do it! Mrs Trundle, resist - you know you can!' It is Mr Bagnall. His big moustache is wobbling as he shouts and runs to come between me and the Trundle. 'Don't give in to your violent urges!'
Too late. She is laughing and wielding the stick like a Gandalf.
Mr Bagnall blows his whistle. 'Get in,' he screams, 'run for your lives!'

Monday, September 15, 2008

British Bulldog

I cannot begin to talk about George and his stick-eating ways just at the moment - it is too painful.

So, here is what is happening at school. Mrs Trundle has come back from her course, 'A Way In - really communicating with your class' and is bothering everybody with excessive smiling and 'how are yous?' She seems to have given up the idea of a. being a part time assassin b. using school money to go on educating foreign trips c. being generally horrible.
It's all pretty disturbing.

I decide it is time to test this new niceness.
'Let's play British Bulldog,' I say to Dexter. We are mooching about in the playground, kicking the tiny stones we can scuff up from the tarmac.
'It's banned,' says Dexter.
I shrug.
'I see your point - maybe if we just have a couple of boys each,' says Dexter.
'Well, just don't tell everybody,' I say, 'you know what happened last time.'
He looks blank for a moment and then the light goes on. 'We got banned. I'll be Captain.'
'Me too,' I say, 'I did think of it.' I run off to find players, I want to get all the good ones before Dexter does.
I find Tyler and Itisham and Polish Jacob. Tyler does rugby and knows about charging about. We choose our home. It is the brown bit of grass underneath the office window. Dexter has the netball semi circle. Ha. We all come together in the middle. Polish Jacob, who is Polish and has no idea what is going on, agrees to be the bulldog.
'Just remember,' I whisper, 'no shouting, no really big hitting and don't say British Bulldog out loud.'
'But we still have to say "British Bulldog 1, 2, 3!" when we catch someone,' says Dexter.
'Call it 'Stripey Jumpers', says Tyler, who knows a thing or two about stripey jumpers.
'Agreed!' I say, 'Let's play!'
And that's when it starts going slightly wrong.

Friday, September 12, 2008

George's Black Hole

By Wednesday teatime we were all still alive and not sucked into a black hole where we are crushed into nothingness or forced to play parallel universe football. It is all a bit on the disappointing side really.
In actual fact our house is a bit like being in a parallel universe right now because my baby brother, George is on the move. He is like a black hole. He sucks us all into his horrible baby world and now we cannot escape and soon he will crush us into nothingness.

First off
. He goes everywhere and we all have to follow him because of the terrible, terrible danger lurking at the edge of every cupboard door, table corner and under every cushion.

Look out! Run from the fluffy cushions!Aaaaaghhh!

Second off. It is The Rule that George is not allowed to put small things into his mouth because:
. he will
swallow it, be poisoned and die
b. he will try and swallow it, choke and die
. he will not swallow it, stick it up his nose and die
But nobody has told George The Rule because a very bad thing happened.

Mum plopped George into my room, without asking me. I know this because when I go into my room he is there, wobbling a bit as he stands up, hanging onto the stick insect table.
'Oi!' I say, 'what you doing?'
He does not answer and my insides go into a kind of
freefall and I know something bad has occurred. Crunch. The it comes to me and suddenly my room is a million miles wide as I race across to save him.
Too late.
Sticky, my best stick insect is prodding out of George.
His front legs are waving a bit like he is saying goodbye before he disappears into the black hole that is George's mouth.

Sticky, before the bad end.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

This Is Not The Right Experiment For World Domination

Dexter called round and said we have to go and play football NOW because the end of the world is on Wednesday.
'You're talking gibberish rubbish again, Dexter,' I tell him.
I have decided to be extra clear about what I mean with Dexter - he is a bit thick at times. He kicks at his football and knocks over a pot plant.
'Well if you're not going to play then I'll have to ask Tyler because this is pretty much the last chance before we all get sucked into a black hole. Would've thought you'd heard about it, he says. 'My dad says they should close the school but I bet Mrs Trundle keeps it open and we'll all be doing a spelling test as we die.' He pulls an imaginary cord round his neck and lolls his tongue out.
'Yeah I know that,' I say, even though I did not because nobody can even hear the radio or TV withmy baby brother, George bellowing all the time; so I am spending more and more time with my earmuffs on talking to the sticks in my room. Even now, George is cranking himself up for a big yell upstairs. 'Yeah, should be good.'
'I wish we did science like that,' says Dexter, pushing the pieces of broken pot onto the gravel. 'A giant colliding thing would be ace.'
'A what?'
Dad pops his head up from the cellar stairs. He is polishing Lord Baden Powell's molar which he got for a present from Grandpa Jack.
'Large Hadron Collider,' he says to me, 'Thought you'd know about that.'
'I did,' I lie suavely or at least I soon will ...

So here it is:


is not small even though it is dealing with the most tiny piece of the universe - a part of an atom called a hadron. The LHC is 26 miles of underground between France and Switzerland and has taken 10 years to build by 20 different countries.
It looks like a world domination experiment done by someone called, Dr Mad. When one of Dr Mad's evil assistants presses the big red button all the hadrons will hurl themselves from both ends of the tunnel, colliding. This will make the teeniest explosion ever in the tiniest amount of time. Dr Mad thinks he will have unleashed human eating monsters from a parallel universe which only he can stop - for a price.


BUT in actual fact when he has stopped laughing he will find out what happened a trillionth of a second after the universe was created 13.7 billion years ago OR

We will all be sucked into a black hole. It could go either way.

The main things to know will be:

a. about new and interesting particles in the universe
b. dark matter - what it is and why it matters
c. this is not the right experiment for world dominationI better go and play football, to be on the safe side.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

I Suggest You Try Tesco

I am definitely back from Stroud because we are in town and Dad makes me try on 4 million pairs of black school shoes - all the same. Finally he chooses the perfect pair and it turns out you get a free school bag as well.
'Excellent,' says Dad, 'now we don't have to buy you a school bag.'
I poke at the bag. 'Think again Father of Mine,' I say. 'I would rather use Mum's handbag.'
'Nothing wrong with it!' snaps Dad. 'Now, what's next on the list...ah, new PE kit.'
Most of my friends get their stuff from Tesco but Dad says that if we do that then local shops will go out of business. So I am forced to be seen dead in Mr Elliott's School Emporium.
'Ah, this takes me back,' says Dad as he pushes open the tinkly door. 'Good old Eggy, I used to come here to buy my school uniform!'
I shake my head at this horrifying news. 'I'm sorry, Dad - I didn't know.'
Mr Egghead appears from behind a rack of grey shirts. He has bottlebottom lenses in his face sized glasses and not one single hair on his head. It gleams in the spotlight.
'School? Size? Sex?' he asks.
'Nupton Valance Primary. Nine year old boy,' snaps back Dad.
Mr Egghead laughs a low sniggery laugh. 'I see.' Hahahahahahaha.
I look up at Dad in a questioning sort of way.
Dad coughs. 'We just need a PE kit.'
Mr Egghead stops laughing. He bends low and whips out a tape measure. He flings it around like one of those ribbon gymnasts in the Olympics. Then straightens up.
'We're all out of PE kit in his particular size,' he says. 'In any size,' he adds with a sneer.
'But I can see them over there,' I say, pointing to the shelf marked, PE KIT.
'He's sharp,' says Mr Egghead, 'too sharp - now excuse me I have trousers to rearrange!'
'But,' says Dad. 'But...'
'I suggest you try Tesco. Good day!' And he laughs again. Hahahahahahahahahaha
'I don't remember him laughing quite so much when I was young,' says Dad as we are chucked out of the door.
'I don't think anybody normal laughs quite that much, Dad,' I reply. I am struck with a brilliant idea. 'I left my school bag in his shop - shall we go back and get it?'
'NO!' says Dad, 'you can choose your own - from Tesco.'
The Voltaic backpack uses photo cells to charge itself up and then you can keep going with your mobile, I-pod and night vision goggles as long as you like. You cannot get it from Tesco.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Going to Stroud

We are travelling to Stroud for our holiday and will not be seen for about two weeks. See below.