Tag Archives: school life

Coffee, or something stronger?

Good day, dear citizens of the new world. My cup is full and there’s a socially distanced seat near the bookshelf here in our favourite coffee shop. Grab your beverage and head my way so we can catch up.

First of all, tell me all about your world. What has been happening to you over the past few weeks? I am sorry I haven’t met up for a coffee or even visited your blogs and websites. There is no valid excuse other than I didn’t feel like conversing with humans, in person or online. Do you ever feel like switching off? Maybe hibernating in a cave? Well, disconnecting is my coping mechanism. Those that know me well don’t mind and those that do…well, maybe we aren’t as close as we imagine.

My news is: the sprogs have returned to school. Apparently, the sickness and flu bugs received the same memo and were in full attendance from day one. War has commenced and our learning institutions are fighting the great fight to stay open as our invisible enemies threaten to overwhelm the system. Who will win remains to be seen. I have my money on a bottle of tequila and my bat cave door remaining shut. What’s the point of placing bets on that battle? You got to know hold off, know when to fold up, know when to walk away and know when to run. Betting against these odds is a lose/lose situation.

Would you like to hear some horror stories from the front line? Well, face masks are being worn and hands are being washed. Social distancing is adhered to during line ups and lunch times. But, someone forgot to tell these bugs to butt out during the in-between times. They love killing time in bubbles, sharing anecdotes with their oblivious asymptomatic carriers. They roller coaster up and down the stairs next to minions pushing in unison to get to classes and kick off after school with those careful kids walking cheek by jowl down the country roads. It kind of reminds me of Goldilocks and little Red Riding hood on vacation from the bears and wolves, laughing that they’ll never get caught because they are too damn clever. If only the viruses understood this winning attitude and followed the rules of carefully prescribed bubbles. The battle continues. I’ll keep you posted on progress (if I decide to come back out of my bat cave).

In other news, I managed to published my ebook, Moofy and Flo. It launched rather quietly a few weeks ago, without the pizazz of repeated sharing across social media and piggy backing off friends’ platforms. Needless to say, it fell flat on its hairy a…face! So, in the spirit of sharing, I’m attaching a pic and a link. If you feel the need to entertain your tiny sprogs with a delightful tale of friendship and frolicking fun that goes wrong, download a copy. The paperback version is on hold. I am battling with formatting and will try to get that down before the world ends. If I don’t, well..no one will care, will they?

Things don’t always go to plan when you try to help your friends. Trying is what matters in the end.

Before we end this titillating tête-à-tête, I must share a rather amusing story of what happened this weekend. It’s not funny in the hilarious sense – rather, an tale of stupidity and the loss of faith in some youths. It all went down on Saturday night at about 11.20pm. We were still up, watching some dribble on the telly, when there was a screech of brakes outside the window. Next, a swooshing with the impact sound that makes your insides go queasy. I ran to the window, trying to decipher where the sound had come from, or ended up. Nothing. So I ran to my sprog’s bedroom window where a horrible scream emanated from the front of our house. It wasn’t one of those, ‘Oh my god! Someone died!’ kind of screams. It was more of the ‘Stop him! Oh my god! Catch him!’ variation.

By the time we got downstairs and out the front door (in our pyjamas), the neighbours had already assembled around the front garden of the house adjacent to ours. We live at a road junction which has become a thorough-fair for traffic avoiding roadworks and late night speed trails. While scanning the area to see what had occurred, I noticed my neighbour’s front hedge had a gaping hole in it. The grass was smooshed down in front of it and the focus of the gathering spectators pointed to something hidden beyond that toothless green grin. Just as I was about to ask what happened, I spotted a figure climbing over the hedge and dropping like a drunk bee onto the pavement. Being the good citizen that I am, I pointed to this young fellow and asked if he was involved. The avengers raised their war cry to stop this grass seed from leaving the crime scene as his friends had done before we arrived (which explained the earlier screams). Unfortunately, the hyped up youth thought it best to run through the defense line and ended up face to face with me. We both bent forward, ready to scrum. He lunged to the right. I turned and grabbed his shirt, holding on for a mere second before releasing it. Thoughts flying throw my adrenalin-fuelled brain warned me to watch out for germs and to remember the laws of the land. He stumbled straight towards the hubble who in turn snatched and released the lad. We watched him run up the road to the harrowing sounds of rage and despair. Funny enough, no one gave chase. The joys of being an adult conscious of the limitations of our wrath. The last bumbling fool to leave the car was so drunk, he forgot his phone as he stumbled over the remnants of hedge. Halfway up the road, he staggered back to retrieve his things, then walked away without anyone batting an eyelid. So much for the avengers.

I’m going to say it; if my parents were alive, the evening would have ended differently for those fine figures of society. Given the police still needed to catch them and test them for alcohol and drugs in their system before either substance disappeared, they were savvy enough not to stick around. Forget about taking responsibility and facing your mistakes. This is 2020. If you can lie, then ultimately get away with it on a technicality, you’re in the right. Isn’t that the modus operandi of politics and leadership these days? Let’s see what unfolds in the next few weeks. I’m not holding my breath for an apology from our future selves to my poor neighbour for the damage done.

Well, my cup is empty and so is my news basket. Send me your news and updates in the comments below and I promise to reply within the next few days. I hope we will get a chance to share a drink and enjoy each other’s company again soon.

Stay well and stay safe.


My father taught me to never make false promises. If I said I was going to do something, I should. He would be so disappointed in me this weekend. This is why: Continue reading

Perspectives of a Mature Student

Study leave. That dreaded time when the impending exams drawing ever so close invoke a cold sweat that trickles down your spine,  indicating your feeble attempts to grasp those last valuable nuggets of information to make exams less terrifying have failed. Well, at least that is how I used to feel as a teenager.

What has changed now that I am a mature student?

Firstly, that infernal ticking time bomb of a clock with its weedy little fingers wrapping around my pumping heart has not changed at all! My attitude to the fear has indeed lessened thanks to better preparation and less stressing out. One great thing about being older is that you learn not to sweat the smalls so much. I’m a great believer in things happening at the right time and our influence over circumstances, up to a certain extent. For example, taking the premise of my studies and how to approach historical objects, we observe, interpret and communicate what is there to be seen and the information gathered or already known about an object. If I take that same approach to my exam paper, I will observe the same, interpret the question and communicate my answer accordingly.

But, what about the examiner’s focus and personal opinion to my answers?

Will they agree or disagree with what I have said?

All I can do to ensure a positive outcome is to take on board their personal evaluations of the questions and their supplied feedback on what they wanted from us students, then deliver the same. The rest is left up to their interpretation of my answers and whether or not they agree or disagree with my communication of the same. In other words, don’t sweat the smalls.

Having a decent amount of knowledge on the subjects helps a great deal – something I should have figured out as a teen but didn’t! The purity of setting aside studying time has not developed over my many years on this earth and I still struggle to settle down to bury myself in books. Who wants to do that when the sun is shining and their are plants to pot? Or the house needs cleaning? Or…I could go on but I’m sure you get the gist of what I’m trying to say. I’m excellent at procrastinating. The time set aside for studies is depleting like sand in a timer. As it trickles away, I scramble to catch up with the chapters and retain what little information sticks to my gravelly old grey matter to help me pass these infernal exams.

How does it feel to study with your own children?

My final perspective on being a mature student is the competition between my sprogs and myself to do well. So far, I have attained a first for my first half of the first year. This second half has seen me progress towards a first with little wiggle room left to achieve it. I want to get it to prove to those little mites that anyone can do it – even an old frog like me! It gives them incentive to try harder and yes, I do enjoy being called a ‘nerd’ or a ‘swot’ which is totally different to when I was younger and these words weren’t as complimentary. Now, I revel in those names and try to push harder to keep them. That’s a big change and one that I value because that drive is needed to keep me going not only in my studies but in my writing too, especially when I’m exhausted.

In all, becoming a mature student has taught me to value family life and free time. My free time gives me opportunities to learn more about this world and open my mind to improving in my writing and learning skills. Of course, it completely changes the meaning of the word free time, but I think it’s open to interpretation. Watching my children struggle through their studies reminds me not to take things for granted. I am on my second wind and they are just starting out. This is very difficult and confusing at the best of times. I think I’ve learned not to push them as hard as I used to (I was a bit of a tiger mum!) and to understand that everyone learns in a different way. Look at me – I prefer pottering and them coming back to my studies every few hours with a fresh mind that has stewed on the ideas from before. It gives them time to take root and stick around for longer than five seconds. Looking at the sprogs, they have different ways of understanding what they learn too and it gives me a chance to show them that it’s okay to be different and to study in their own way. As long as we all enjoy the process, it doesn’t feel like hard work and therefore produces better results.