27 November 2010

Saturday Satire - The Queen and Dolly Parton

Queen Elizabeth and Dolly Parton die on the same day and they both go before an Angel to find out if they'll be admitted to Heaven.

Unfortunately, there's only one space left that day, so the Angel must decide which of them gets in. The Angel asks Dolly if there's some particular reason why she should go to Heaven.

Dolly takes off her top and says,

'Look at these, they're the most perfect breasts God ever created, and I'm sure it will please God to be able to see them every day, for eternity.'

The Angel thanks Dolly, and asks Her Majesty the same question. The Queen takes a bottle of Perrier out of her purse, drinks it down. Then, wees into a toilet and pulls the lever.

The Angel says, 'OK, your Majesty, you may go in. Dolly is outraged and asks, 'What was that all about? I show you two of God's own perfect creations and you turn me down. She wees into a toilet and she gets in! Would you explain that to me?'

'Sorry, Dolly,' says the Angel, 'but even in Heaven,

A Royal Flush beats a Pair - no matter how big they are.

25 November 2010

Thanksgiving and Winter Weather

Happy Thanksgiving to those in America, or serving overseas. It must be a lovely thing to celebrate each year and we Brits could do with something to celebrate today instead of which we have the first dusting of snow and Winter weather.

Even here, at Tre Agan, we had a shower of Hail and Ice this morning and overnight. Murphy and I went for a walk this morning with the sting of little ice balls hitting us both. He wasn't keen on it, and my cheeks were cold and stinging by the time we returned home.

Further up country, they have had major snow falls, and it looks as though it is heading further South... Still never mind, only one month now until Christmas time. Looking forward to celebrating my first Christmas in our own home in Cornwall.

23 November 2010

Winter Sunsets

I love watching the sun set of an evening, it is fascinating to watch the sky turn red and grey then dull into evenings dark light.

Tre Agan is preparing for Winter and for the festival of Yuletide. Odd Parcels are hiding in the various cupboards, and a sense of bartering amongst friends is occurring. One of my students has honey and I have promised to give her some recipes in return for a jar so that she can give out a recipe with a jar.

I have finished, finally, after much indecision a waistcoat I was knitting. It had been remade I can't remember how many times as I couldn't make up my mind whether I was making it for me or for a friend. Now that my job involves me driving a lot it is just the job and I have already ordered some more wool to make a darker version.

I am also making some christmas stockings, one for me, one for SOH and one for Murphy. All the same pattern, made of black suede like fabric, black velour at the topping and with some Cornish tartan as the trim. Mine will have a red button, SOH has a purple button and Murphy's of course will have a green button to go with his Irish name. Pics to follow when complete.

Yuletide decorations are being brought out of storage, checked for safety; not just electricity but also Murphy factor as he is on his own we don't want him taking ornaments off the tree to chew.

22 November 2010

Word of the Week : Literacy

lit·er·ate  (ltr-t)
a. Able to read and write.
b. Knowledgeable or educated in a particular field or fields.
1. One who can read and write.
2. A well-informed, educated person.
Originates from Middle English litterate, from Latin littertus, from littera, ltera, letter.

For most of its long history in English, literate has meant only "familiar with literature," or more generally, "well-educated, learned." Only since the late 19th century has it also come to refer to the basic ability to read and write. Its antonym illiterate has an equally broad range of meanings: an illiterate person may be incapable of reading a shopping list or unable to grasp an allusion to Shakespeare or Keats.

The term functional illiterate is often used to describe a person who can read or write to some degree, but below a minimum level required to function in even a limited social situation or job setting.

An aliterate person, by contrast, is one who is capable of reading and writing but who has little interest in doing so, whether out of indifference to learning in general or from a preference for seeking information and entertainment by other means.

More recently, the meanings of the words literacy and illiteracy have been extended from their original connection with reading and literature to any body of knowledge. For example, "geographic illiterates" cannot identify the countries on a map, and "computer illiterates" are unable to use a word-processing system.

20 November 2010

Saturday Satire - The Golfer

A man staggers into A&E with a concussion, multiple bruises, two black eyes and a five iron wrapped tightly around his throat. Naturally, the doctor asks him what happened.

"Well, it was like this", said the man. "I was having a quiet round of golf with my wife, when she sliced her ball into a pasture full of cows. 

We went to look for it, and while I was rooting around noticed one of the cows had something white and shiny at its rear end. 

I walked over and lifted up the tail, and sure enough, there was a golf ball with my wife's monogram on it stuck right in the middle of the cow's behind.

That's when I made my big mistake."

"What did you do?" asks the doctor.

"Well, I lifted the cow's tail and yelled to my wife, 'Hey, this looks like yours!'

"I don't remember much after that."

13 November 2010

Saturday Satire - Taxi!

A stark naked,drunken Australian woman, jumped into a vacant taxi in down town New Delhi.

The Indian driver was immediately beside himself and just kept on staring at the woman. He made no attempt to start the cab.

"What's wrong with you mate, haven't you ever seen a naked white woman before?"

" I'll not be staring at you lady, I am telling you that would not be proper where I am coming from". 

"Well if your not bloody staring at me mate, what are you doing then?"

"Well, I am telling you, I am thinking to myself where is this lady keeping the money to be paying me with."

12 November 2010

Student Finances and Fees

I'm in a dilemma over this one, the increase in tuition fees has riled many students, alienated others and possibly will deter some students from going down the route of a conventional university education.

I know the Open University has seen a rise in the number of people applying for its courses as a direct result of the initial fees increase so I would anticipate another increase now that fees are up to £9,000 a year.

I got my degree through the Open University and consider myself proud to have achieved it my way without help and assistance of either employer or the Government.

However, where I disagree with the current situation (excluding the student riots which were deplorable and demonstrate their greed as well as appalling behaviour) is that no-one has addressed the need for graduates in certain fields, such as engineers, scientists etc. Why hasn't the Government seen the need for scholarships to encourage people into these streams of academia whilst providing less support for the most popular courses which are considered softer degrees.

We talk about the brain drain, and affect it has on our future in this country, but the toll of such appalling debts (even though the repayment factor is kept to only those who earn over £15,000 per year) is going to be even more disastrous.

It takes both sides to see the argument, but only one side can do something to make the changes necessary to make the future brighter.

11 November 2010

For the Fallen

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.


10 November 2010

The Great Storm is a'coming

One of my favourite episodes of the Vicar of Dibley is where they were discussing the Great Storm and each character remembered their version of the storm that was the Greatest Storm that Dibley had experienced. You couldn't listen to it without laughing and I always remember it with humour and the warmth of Dawn French's character.

The reason for saying this, is the expected storm riding off the west coast of England and due to cover us all tonight with high winds and rain. Hopefully it isn't like the storm of '87 that was so destructive but they have forecast the surf to be 8-10 feet high and you have to feel for the souls at sea tonight.

Hopefully tomorrow morning will be calm and serene, with a dryness around 11am for the Great Remembrance for the fallen.

09 November 2010

Word of the Week : Amaze


–verb (used with object)
to overwhelm with surprise or sudden wonder; astonish greatly.
Obsolete . to bewilder; perplex.
–verb (used without object)
to cause amazement: a new art show that delights and amazes.

Middle English amasen, to confuse, stun, astonish.

1. astound, dumfound, stun, flabbergast. See surprise.
This follows on from Stupid being similar to Amazed.
I found this lovely quote on a website and thought to add it to this post
"A schoolmaster should have an atmosphere of awe, and walk wonderingly, as if he was amazed at being himself" Walter Bagehot (1826–1877), British economist, critic
I still wake up each morning enjoying my job, though at times I doubt my ability I try to do well and encourage my students to do their best.

06 November 2010

Saturday Satire - Shark Attack

Two great white sharks swimming in the ocean spied survivors of a sunken ship.  

"Follow me son" the father shark said to his son, and they swam to the mass of people.  

"First we swim around them a few times with just the tip of our fins showing."  

And they did.    "Well done, son!  Now we swim around them a few times with all of our fins showing." 

And they did.  "Now we eat everybody." And they did.

When they were both gorged, the son asked,"Dad, why didn't we just eat them all at first?  Why did we swim around and around them?"

His wise father replied, "Because they taste better without the poo inside!"

Now you know...

Why Sharks Circle You Before Attacking.

04 November 2010


Thank you for all your good wishes, yesterday's session went really well. The feedback was good and in parts very good with a few constructive comments on what I could do better.

I apparently am very aware of the need to maintain personal space between me and my students and consistently ensured that the appropriate amount of space was maintained and I was blissfully unaware of it.

I enjoyed the hour session, and tried not to be too aware of the Tutor's presence in the room, and it passed by so quickly that I was concerned we wouldn't be able to complete the task but to my relief we did and with a few minutes to spare.

Just have to write up a microteach, I have two to do in a relatively short period of time, one on a subject of my choosing and the other on the acquisition of language... hmmm

03 November 2010

Keep your fingers crossed

My first observation for my Teaching course, the PGCert, is this afternoon. Only an hour in length out of the 3 hours I am teaching but it is important that it goes well.

02 November 2010

Word of the Week : Stupid

adj. stu·pid·er, stu·pid·est

1. Slow to learn or understand; obtuse.
2. Tending to make poor decisions or careless mistakes.
3. Marked by a lack of intelligence or care; foolish or careless: a stupid mistake.
4. Dazed, stunned, or stupefied.
5. Pointless; worthless: a stupid job.

Interestingly this word derives from both the French stupide as well as Latin stupidus, from stupre, to be stunned, from stup─ôre to be amazed.

How it comes to mean slow to learn or understand I am not sure. I think that meaning is a more modern meaning applied to people with low intelligence or slow on the uptake of something but its original roots meant more like the subject was amazed at what he/she saw.