The future father of my children is…a bookworm

25 09 2013


When he is not stealing cars, committing bank robbery and engaging in dubious activities with hookers on GTA5; FFOMC spends much of his time with his nose in a book.

This is a hobby of which I am entirely supportive. He is extremely well read and enjoys a wide range of genres (although fantasy is without a doubt his favourite). The ability to lose oneself in a good book is a pleasure and an opportunity to escape in alternate realities and FFOMC can become really absorbed in his reading material.

He is currently working his way through a blogging challenge answering questions about books he has read and is on Day 10: a book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving. I love a good book myself and he has made some great recommendations over the years we have been together and has bought me some great presents such as The Hobbit, The Witching Hour and he even indulges my interest in Batman comics and graphic novels from time to time. Without a doubt, it was his suggestion that I read Terry Goodkind’s series, The Sword of Truth that has given me the most pleasure as a reader.

Of course as is the case with many hobby’s it can be irritating on occasion particularly on holiday when he can lose 8-10 hours, often totally forgetting that I am even there.

We spoke recently about our favourite childhood books. If he is to be a future father then it is probably best that we share the same ideals when bringing up our future children. We are in total agreement about classics like The Hungry Caterpillar, Meg and Mog and of course the Mr Men and Little Miss books. However he does not quite share my passion for Peace at Last and Where’s My Hat, and has berated my poor parents for not introducing me to Dr Seuss. I cannot abide anything by Roald Dahl and I doubt he cares much for The Worst Witch or Sweet Valley High.

No doubt our future children will have their favourites, and just to try us, they will bear no resemblance to our own nostalgic attachments to books read to us by our own parents, but I feel we should ensure that they experience the joy of reading and being read to.

What is your favourite childhood book and why?



Grand Theft Auto 5 Widow

17 09 2013


I would not generally describe FFOMC as the “bouncy” type, however tonight he bounced through the front door at the end of his working day full of the joys of spring and giddy as a teenager.

At midnight last night customers queued at gaming stores to acquire their copy of the latest in the GTA series.

FFOMC did not join the midnight fans but arrived home clutching his own copy that he bought before work. I made sure I checked his bag for scorch marks as this game appeared to be burning a hole in its canvass prison throughout the day begging to be played.

The first order of business after a beaming explanation of the nights entertainment was to complete the set up in the computer room, transferring cables and consoles, downloading goodness only knows what and readying his man-cave for what I anticipate will be a long night.

A short amount of time was allocated for a hasty dinner but I get the impression that had it taken longer than 25mins from his walking through the door that his would have been enjoyed on a tray and most definitely in the other room.

I have often joined the ranks of women abandoned by their partners on “new release day” and have resigned myself to the temporary (I hope) position of GTA5 Widow. Although I am hopeful that the position will be rendered more tolerable by FFOMC’s acquisition of a set of headphones so I cannot hear what I can only describe as the sultry drone of “ghetto slang” through the ever so thin walls.




Charlie Hunnam to play Christian Grey

10 09 2013

Charlie-Hunnam 1

When FFOMC casually informed me that Charlie Hunnam has been signed to play sexy billionaire Christian Grey of Fifty Shades fame I responded with a resounding:




While I would not claim to be a fan of Sons of Anarchy, FFOMC has followed it for some time and I often find myself sneeking a look over my laptop screen at his sculptured body, displayed on our HD wide screen TV.

Charlie-Hunnam 5

It does not take a huge stretch of the imagination to see why this 33 year old actor captures my interest; his shoulder length hair and goatee beard place him firmly in the category of “my type”.

I was horrified to discover that there has been some backlash and even an internet petition demanding that this role be recast. So for anyone unsure of his suitability I have attached a couple of pictures.

Charlie-Hunnam 4

He can certainly rock a suit and capture the essence of a billionaire businessman.

Charlie-Hunnam 2Without their usual twinkle, his piercing eyes could reveal the tortured origin story of this deeply damaged character.

Charlie-Hunnam 3And he looks fantastic without his shirt.

I cannot wait to see Fifty Shades on the big screen and I am confident that Hunnam will deliver a captivating performance as ole “twitchy palms”.

“I wanted a Big Yellow Teapot but I got a Red Mushroom!

29 08 2013

Big yellow teapot

I do not see my sisters very often. When I do spend time with them I am reminded of how nuts they are.

There is always a tendency to reminisce when family and old friends get together and my trip to Northern Ireland was no different.

We were enjoying watching Baby TV with my nephew and giggling about our own childhoods.

Christmas was a popular topic and we all found ways of torturing our parents in our own unique ways.

We all had experience of coveting the most wanted Christmas gift – making it extremely difficult for poor Mum and Dad searching for “Keepers”, “Mr Frosty”, “My Little Pony”, “Care Bears”, “Polly Pocket’s” and many others. But we also recalled some more specific problems we caused during the season of good will to all men.

I started to ball rolling when I walked to the post office to personally post my letter to Santa. When Mum and Dad suggested I write my list they were informed that I had written to Santa and that he knew so they didn’t need to worry about it.

My younger sister asked for what sounded like a “tuck” – Mum and Dad didn’t know either. She received a Truck but to this day no one actually knows what she asked for and whether this gift made the grade – but I must hand it to my parents for not permitting gender stereotypes to dissuade them from their purchase.

As we giggled our way through this discussion my baby sister was most indignant when she said “You think you had problems – I asked for a Big Yellow Teapot but I got a Red Mushroom”.

It is amazing how these experiences are both unique and universal. Christmas was also a time when we were close as a family and it’s amazing to think that these fond memories keep us close after all this time.

We did not choose to be divided or predict where our lives would be today but I love my little sisters to bits.

Sometimes in life we get the big yellow teapot we asked for and sometimes we realise that the Big Red Mushroom is a great alternative.

mushroom house

Les Mis Teaching Parody

22 07 2013


A while ago I mentioned a little writing project I was working on.

Tonight I can finally reveal that I was re-writing the lyrics to Les Mis famous song, “At the End of the Day” as a teaching parody to be performed at the head-teacher’s leaving do. The performance tonight went realy well and the jokes seemed to be well received by my colleagues.

I am really pleased with the performance of my small team – only 5 of us performed though we were attempting to represent the entire staff voice.

My lyrics are below and if you want to sing along, the karoke version can be found here:


Les Mis workers

Les Miserable – Teaching Parody

ALL: At the end of the year the head teacher’s retiring. And it’s clear that this college will not be the same. But before you go away, there is plenty that we want to say, you are lucky to escape the future of teaching. Bet you’re glad that you’re leaving.

Teacher 1: At the end of the day we all feel overloaded. Just remember your thoughts as a new NQT. AFL, PSHE and now it’s SMSC. Raise your hand if you agree its C.R.A.P.

ALL: Brings us all close to crying

Teacher 2: And don’t get us started on all of the marking. This new bloody system is driving us mad. 30 hours that I spent, marking books for all of year 7, you must tell them what went well and advise them how to do better, I need to get away, at the end of the day.

Teacher 3: At the end of the day each child is different. And you need to consider each one of their needs. Thirty children in each class, who need guidance and teaching and learning but despite the work that we do it’s never enough.

ALL: To deserve an outstanding.

Teacher 4: Have you heard that Ofsted might come in today? Pray in your lessons they don’t come your way. I trust that your folder is ready to hand and your lessons are planned for all of their stay.

Girls: And the boss he never knows how much time we all spend on our laptops. And we don’t have any time for our family at home. They forget what we look like!

ALL: At the end of the day we don’t have any money and our buildings are coming apart at the seams. What we spend is ill advised like a roof for the path between buildings, while the ceilings back inside are leaking all over the children & we cannot afford to pay, at the end of the day.

Teacher 5: Remember when planning your enterprise trips, it’s important for you to look at the risks, but coach bookings are handled by Joan not on your own & that takes the piss.

Teacher 1: Got a letter this morning, its a real nasty business. I forget to take registers 2, 3 and 4. Is there anyone else here who’s worse than C Driver  I’ll bet you a fiver, they’ll show me the door.

Teacher 2: Our students cannot read or write and their books are quite a fright, we need a whole school plan of action. We’ll introduce a learning loo, so that staff here can learn too while they do a number two. Stroke of genius yes my friends working life just never ends even when you do a poo.

ALL: At the end of the day we don’t care about Ofsted. They came and they went and we’re still only GOOD. All the training and planning and prep – and still no one think’s of the children yes it’s easy to forget that that’s why we’re here. Year after year.

Teacher 1: It’s my fault that this year there was no school production. My line managers off and I’m finding it tough. But you were there at the year 9 performance, the candle light soiree – is that not enough?

Teacher 4: (to Assistant Principal 1) At the end of the year you will get a great office.

Teacher 3: (to Assistant Principal 2) I cannot believe you just gave it to him.

ALL: While you’re sunning yourself on a beach or swanning around on a cruise ship, think of us here on the breach, no let up for even a second and we’re all feeling jealous of you – and the things that you’ll do.

Teacher 5: I do not understand at all, the plasma flat screen on the wall, of your office there in Kingston. Do you not have enough to do? Please believe me we all do we have no time to watch TV. Even at the end of term all the children still must learn we cannot show them DVD’s.

ALL: We will think of you fondly long after your gone

Retirement starts today.

Right JO On your way!

Experience days

20 07 2013


It is my first Saturday off for the summer holidays.

Even though I still have two days at work next week, I have had one hell of a year and as far as I am concerne the summer starts today.

The weather is gorgeous and I want to be out and about doing non school related stuff. So in about an hour I am off to London with FFOMC and two good friends. We plan to visit the Natural History museum fo a bit of culture – I know I should be excited about the dinsosaurs but I am really excited to see the amazing building.


Natural History Museum

After an afternoon bumbling round we have booked into a restaurant, but not just any restaurant. We will be dining in the dark. The premise is that by removing one of the senses – in this case sight – that other senses are heightened. To add to the experience, we will not know exactly what we are eating. Diners can choose between one of 4 themes for the menu: Chefs surprise which seems to be exotic, Seafood, Meat or Vegetarian. I havent decided what I will opt for yet and do not know what to expect from the experience – although it does remind me of a risky novel I read recently which deals with the sexual reawakening of a woman when her sight is removed – I doubt it is the same thing!


I will no doubt have plenty to say about the experience when I get home.

My Name is Earl

19 07 2013

My name is Earl

Recently, FFOMC and I have been watching My Name Is Earl.

I love the concept. The premise is a man attempting to alter his entire life based on the premise that Karma will punish him for past mistakes. He spends the series attempting to right his personal wrongs in an attempt to appease karma. Genius!

It is a great thought that karma controls what happens to us on a long term basis. We cheer the hero as he ticks people off his list and scream demands at the TV insisting that he add to his list on occassion when he gets it wrong.

My favourite quote from tonight’s episode has to be:

“Boys! Get Mama’s plastic stripper shoes out of your lego box”