28 November 2006

It is rare that science provides explanatons for things that happen in everyday life. Despite what the scientific folk claim. Being an arts student myself, I cannot personally see the justification of having been compelled to partake in lessons such as chemistry, biology, and (even more heinously) physics. Apart from when it comes to things such as why all the biscuits end up tasting and smelling of lemon when a packet of lemon creams are dispersed in the tin, and why my hair dryer has a cold setting to finish off the flick of my 'do. Crucial things like that.

But I am convinced that there must be some scientific explanation for the so called 'blanking out' of a certain brother of the little and eccentric kind. Perhaps it has something with the density of dreadlocks, or the dispersion of grime about his person. Maybe it is the chemical imbalance caused by excessive amounts of red bush tea coursing through his system. Whatever it is, scientific research should be carried out forthwith. I will even personally fund it. As it is beyond exasperating and the arts are suffering due to this exasperation experienced. Therefore, science will be justified.

It could of course be down to pure genetics.

21 November 2006

But are children human?

'The right to POO!'

Teaching a first school class of 36 all about Human Rights was never going to be easy. Emerging from the class an hour after entering, the three of us Human Rights Group representatives were shaking, slightly hysterical wrecks. The most stressful, yet hilarious hour, with even a little moral education thrown in for good measure.

The fact that by the time we arrived at the first school they had already heard that we had gone to the middle school by mistake beforehand was not the best start. They obviously thought we were nutcases. Nutcases who would be teaching young children about the rights that every human being should have. Though, on meeting the teacher before the lesson, she reassured us that although there was an autistic boy in the class, he could be removed immediately if he started heckling us. Rather naively, and more than a little foolishly, the three of us decided to split up and single handedly run a small group of the terrors. And with that, all remnants of authority or discipline were thrown out the window.

I took a rather anarchic approach to dealing with my group, therefore promoting rights to freedom of speech, free choice, and the problems of state intervention. That, and them just not paying a blind bit of notice except to ask why I was wearing a short sleeved t-shirt over a long sleeved t-shirt. If they only learnt one thing today then it was the importance of layering.

With one child expounding on the importance of medication, security and community (all written down and spelt correctly), and another shouting how everyone should have the right to fart, hairspray and trees, it was abit of amixed bag. Mind you, there's definitely some activists in the making... 'Marcie, you do letter writing don't you, to try and change the world?' An earnest nod was the reply. The same girl and discounted all the other rights being discussed for her own three, which had obviously given great thought to. To look after yourself, to look after other people, and to look after your environment. That kid'll go far.

In voting for the most important three rights we came up with, the children treated it as a competition, taking it personally if the right they had come up with wasn't voted. Liam, head in his hands, was last seen wailing 'Curse you! Curse you, whoever voted for the right to life!'

15 November 2006

The oldies are the best...

The problem with wanting to go to an Operetta at the local theatre (and no, it's not what you would think. I happen to be very fond of the odd Gilbert and Sullivan. Despite being teenaged. They have a lot of clever, witty wordplay, doncha know) is that lots of other people want to go to. Lots of other people who are of a certain age. Lots of hard-of-hearing, brittle-boned, infuriatingly slow people of this certain age, which hovers at about the 80 mark.

They all know the music inside out and back to front naturally. Which is fine. Just not at a low hum in my ear, vibrating at just under the actual note and causing an under the skin irritant. The man next to me (a small, solid, leathery chap) insisted on intermitently deciding to hum the odd phrase during the opening medley, flitting between under the breath mindless noise and launching into out-and-out accompaniment. The whole thing was entirely unrecognisable as what was actually being played up on the stage. But he was content, chuckling every so often, and obviously thinking himself a true Gilbert and Sullivan connoisseur.

We, in our youth (and that is including the menopausal mother) were sandwhiched between coachloads of geriatrics, which meant that it took f-o-r-e-v-e-r to get in or out of our seats. No matter how apologetic one is, the guilt is still instilled within you when you are forcing the poor dear to ease their aching frames, uncomprehendingly slowly, out of their imprisoning seats. That is if they see or hear you wanting to get past in the first place. Polite coughs just don't cut the mustard in senile situations.

I was spared the humming in the second half. The man didn't turn up next to me. I hope to God he didn't suffer a stroke during the interval.

11 November 2006

Be still my beating heart

Stop press. Hold the phone. Hang about. Just wait a darn bleedin' minute there.

Something remarkable has come to light. Something that will strike hope, reverie and extreme anticipation into the hearts of those fully initiated in the world of SJP. The drought may be over, and salvation may arrive imminently.

I am of course referring to the rumour circulating (discovered by my ever-dependable, trustworthy, and downright infallible associates at Glamour magazine) that Sarah Jessica Parker et al are in talks about a Sex and the City film.

Hopes for this holy grail of the shoe-loving, clothes-marvelling, New York-aspiring gal have been continually dashed time and time again, with word on the street being that not everybody involved wanted to take the franchise further. But that could have all changed. I can barely contain the excitement.

A part of me thinks that perhaps the series should stay just that, a series for the small screen. It was of its time and fabulous while it lasted.
However, just imagine those Manolos, Jimmy Choos, bling Samantha jewellery, and SJP's curls up on the cinematic screen, preserved forever in celluloid, and providing true escapism to the masses of girls/gays that so idolise the foursome.

Is it a good idea? In the immortal words of Big, 'Abso-f*cking-lutely'

7 November 2006

Sobering School Trip

Even if I were 'allowed' to, I am not sure whether I would consider learning to drive a car or not. Or monster machines of death and destruction as I shall now refer to them.

Tutorial is usually a tedious affair, a superfluous period of the week with only enthusiastic cries of 'Team Blight' and cross stitch conversation from Blighty to get us through. Not so this week however. A trip was to be taken. A trip to the fire station. Excitement barely covered the breadth of emotion felt by 13NB.

Road safety was the name of the game, with four volunteers being cut out of a car as if they had been in an accident. Though the fun actually began when we all had to don fireman (fireperson? PC but sounds less cool) outfits complete with size 10 boots, fire resistant gloves and bright yellow hats with eye protection screens. Much hilarity had, and photos taken. Not entirely sure what the point of this was as we were only standing watching the car being cut up. But anything to get into the spirit of it all. Apparantly we needed to be protected from the flying glass etc as they shattered the windows and ripped the car apart. Mr H wasn't given an outfit though. Maybe he didn't need protecting.

Kind of exciting, but very scary. Lots of talk of death, injury, 'the golden hour' (once the hour's up and you're still not in hospital then you're pretty much done for), and how all the newfangled so-called 'protection' on cars can actually prove detrimental and lethal when trying to rescue people. Goodo. When there were the inevitable sniggers at the back, the leading fireman (the one who grunted least) stated stoically and from experience, 'Oi, no laughing. This is some serious shit.'

Serious shit indeed. Many spine boards, oxygen masks and destroyed cars later we all watched a stream of those hard-hitting, graphic, heart-wrenching adverts they use to make you drive more carefully. Followed by pictures of crunched up cars from accidents the chaps have been called out to.

Two people I know have their test this week. I am never getting in a car again.

3 November 2006

Curtain Twitcher

To have a man (or a mere slip of a lad, as he appeared to be) at the window, stood christ-like with arms raised and body obstinately darkening the length of the pane, is a remarkable thing.

To have such a man observing you eat breakfast, with hair arranged in obligatory bedhead peaks and frizz, whilst concentrating very hard on pretending to read the paper, is more than a little disconcerting. Especially at godforesaken hour, when the transition from dreams to reality has not been completed in its entirety.

It is not so much the fact that he is there, on the other side of the glass, a couple of feet off the ground, more that the whole scene seems perfectly regular. Like I often have floating men looking into the kitchen over breakfast. As I walk in, sorting out file and school bag as is the norm, a mere nod in the direction of said man happens almost without concious awareness. It is good manners to say hello and acknowledge people in the morning, and it should make no difference if they are floating outside one's window or otherwise. A bit of British stiff upper lip and old-fashioned decorum is all that's required.

We both sensed the other as we went about our business (him with his frame painting, me with my coffee sipping), yet remained affably seperate from each other. He could look into my world from the outside, peering in with the security of double glazing as a distancing device. I could feel warm, comfortable, and smug as I revelled in being inside and out of the sheer-bloody-freezing-ness. A happy arrangement.

Of course the whole thing is a lot more alarming when it's the bathroom window they're stood at. Eek.