Sunday, October 26, 2008
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 ...
DOROTHY MARSHALL - Governor in Waiting!
Hello 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 am 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!
Dorothy (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
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.
VOTE FOR ME!
'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
'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. 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.