Tag Archives: family

State of play (stop the world…)

I’m tired. I’ve had two nights of parents evenings (both full, no gaps) and my daughters birthday yesterday. It’s more than that though. I’m not quite sure how to explain it other than a mental malaise. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job and I love my children (both the ones I teach and the ones I sired), I enjoy teaching and work in a great school full of happy people. My two little ones are well behaved, cheeky and full of energy and love. But… I’m tired.

I wondered if it might be the March of time. As I trudge wearily to my eternal resting place (let’s face it, I’m more likely to be heading down than up), adding more mileage each year, burning both ends of my candle, is it all catching up? I don’t think so. I’m only in my thirties.

Winter then? Waking up and heading to work in the dark. Finishing work and heading home – in the dark. Cold, rain, wind and more cold. I don’t think that’s it either though. I love the winter. I love my winter clothes (that long herringbone trench coat, my scarf collection and my wonderful flat caps), I love the Christmas period and the dark ales that are around at this time of year. So no, definitely not the season.

Too much work? Too many hours? Again, probably not. My job, boss, class, school and staff are amazing. I love coming to work and even the marking has recently become an enjoyable thing. Some of the writing my kids are doing is fantastic, the maths is moving along nicely and the other subjects happen in the afternoon when I do my assistant head bits and bobs. So nope, not work.

What then? Why then? How then?

It hit me yesterday. Trump. Well, Trump and Brexit. More than that I suppose. People. People are stupid. We are becoming a world of idiots run by idiots.

I’m off to pack now and move to a cabin in the woods. Give me a call when we come to our senses.

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‘Scissor sister’ and other hair based puns.

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My sister is a hair dresser, which means she has to ask meaningless personal, but not over personal, questions to up to 20 clients a day. What’s more, she needs to act interested in the answers each time.
This is even worse at Christmas, as questions are all the same. It’s not just before Christmas though, it’s after as well. Here are my sisters most hated questions that she has to ask…

Before – have you done your Christmas shopping? Where you spending Christmas? What are you doing for new year?

After – how was your Christmas? What did you get? How was your new year?

Now I feel I need to point out (mainly because my sister told me to) that she is genuinely interested in what her regulars have to say. Some of her regulars have followed her round London for many years (not in a stalker sense but to get hair done) and a few of them are her close friends, these are the ones she would ask the questions to anyway. It’s the walk in, sit down, have an awkward chat types that do her head in.

As a customer at a hairdressers I know what she means. The small talk can be agonising. You can go one of two ways. 1) chat as little as possible, hoping the hairdresser will run out of steam and give up or 2) go full steam ahead and divulge your life story. I generally go for option one as I have no problem with awkward moments. I almost treat it as a challenge, trying to answer in the least possible words as I can without being outright rude. I believe there has to be a better answer though. Here are my suggestions.

1) bring back the barber shop quartet. There would be no awkward silences if the hairdressing staff all sang 1950’s songs (harmonising of course) all day long. There could be some awkward noise though.

2) get Buddhist monks to cut hair. This is a bit of a career change for them and they wouldn’t be able to practice on there friends but the vow of silence would solve all problems.

3) anaesthesia. Just like going in for an operation. Count back from 10, go to sleep and wake up with a brand new hair cut. It might bump up the price a little to have trained medical staff in the salon but hey, they could take whatever tip they wanted while you were out cold.

So next time you go to the hairdresser, why not ask them how they are, what they have been up to, where they are going on holiday this year. And don’t forget to seem interested when they show you the back of your head, even though you will never have to look at it!
Who else in our society keeps the pun as well as hairdressing salon names.

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There’s no encouragement to drink less.

I went out the other night. A very rare treat as I have a young son and a demanding and time consuming job. I had a really good night and had a couple of drinks to boot. While in the bar I asked my wife what she would like, I went to the bar, ordered my drinks and was asked the killer question… Would you like an extra measure/shot for only 60 pence. I of course said yes. I went back and gave my wife a much larger drink than she had asked for, explaining that it wasn’t much more money. She turned to me, thanked me and said “they never encourage you to drink less”. It struck me that in our health conscious world surely they shouldn’t be promoting more alcohol. Surely they should make it harder to get drunk and hence damaging your organs not easier. This seems to me to be one of a long line of ‘more, more, more’ culture. Here are my others…

1) BOGOF. The ‘buy one get one free’ offer always gets me. I fall for it every time. Either I a) change what I was going to buy and get the deal or b) buy something I didn’t go in for in the first place. I once saw a man have an argument over cheese, he only wanted one block of cheese but it was on a BOGOF offer. The girl on the checkout was so perplexed that he only wanted one block she was insisting he go get another. The other problem is when there is only one left. Even though I would buy that product individually, and I really don’t need double the amount, I will still pick an alternative as I feel like I was being done out of free stuff if I bought just one.

2) cinema. The cinema meal deal is as expensive as a real meal. Seriously. Having been recently, I asked for a large coke and a small popcorn, the reply was ‘you can get a large coke and a large popcorn for only £8.75’. Only? Only? My dinner later that evening cost about £10.00. As an aside, I tried the popcorn, it was stale, I told the person behind the counter and she asked me, not her boss, If I thought she should do a fresh batch. Erm no thanks, I’ll eat the stale stuff.

3) Fast food: supersize anyone? Why should my blood have an easy job getting through my arteries? Bring it on.

I am yet to walk into a bar and be asked “for the sake of your liver, would you like to pay 60 pence less and get half the amount?” I suppose that wouldn’t make much business sense, just common sense. At this festive time of year I am reminded of Richard Attenborough in miracle on 34th street sending people to where they can get toys cheaper. The best we can hope for is an asda (Walmart) price promise. Come shop with us, go check every item on line and we might give you back 59 pence. Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas.

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To blog or not to blog?

I am really enjoying blogging. It’s an opportunity to say whatever you like to complete strangers. It’s a kind of therapy really, clearing out all the thoughts that swirl around my brain and putting a full stop ( literally) at the end of it. But it has also created a list of problems I hadn’t even considered at the start. Here comes another list…

1) what to blog about? I now find myself laying awake at night, considering what I can speak about. This is not a writers block problem at all, it is quite the opposite. I had at least five topics today, ranging from my friends wife who has recently released a book to the school trip today.

2) is it a family thing? Yesterday I spoke about my grandparents, today I considered writing about my young son. Do I really want to put my real personal life out there? And that brings me onto point 3…

3) is anybody interested in what I have to say? The simple answer is yes, it appears so. I am averaging a good number of hits a day. The problem is this: will I continue to do so? Is what I am saying of any interest to you? I hope so. Plus, I find myself constantly looking at my stats on my WordPress app.

4) how often should I mention the books? The reason for starting to blog was at my publishers behest. He thought I would enjoy it. He was right of course, I’m loving it. But it does come back to the fact that I would like people to go to the titles tab and look at what I have had published (little shameless plug there).

All this said, the problems of blogging are far outweighed by the joy I get from it. I think that, even if the book bombs, it is something I will continue to do.
Please keep reading, I will be right here.

Andrew Thomas
Blogger

Ps. Am gonna ask my friends wife if I can blog about her this week. Tomorrow will be about the great tradition of the school trip. Maybe.

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