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Wow. I'm a member of website where long-standing members apparently take pride in making their profiles as obtuse and unreadable as possible.

What an awesome experiment in social conditioning.

Unlike the bulk of b3tans, I am happy to tell you more about me: I'm thirty-something, an engineer, and almost certainly more intelligent than you.

Now fuck off; I'm not here to make friends.

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Best answers to questions:

» Dumb things you've done

Some people shouldn't be allowed to teach
This was recalled by someone much earlier telling tales of scientists doing stupid things.

For my sins, I am a science teacher in what would be politely referred to as a 'Comprehensive' school. Seeing as we're in the near-vicinity of several grammar schools, we are in fact more of a bottom-feeder. Needless to say, any illusions I once possessed of being a cross between Mr Chips and Robin Williams in Dead Poet's Society have been crushed under the sheer weight of imbecility I have to deal with while attempting to be inspirational.

Most of the teenage twunts I have to deal with aren't permitted to go near glass or tweezers, let alone Bunsen burners, because of their incessant need to attempt to burn, lacerate or throw things at each other, rather than carry out the carefully-planned and sterile experiment I had in mind. The aforesaid seem to be very contented with the 'turn to page 152 and copy this diagram' style of teaching. It keeps them out of my hair while I sit at my desk and read b3ta and my email under the guise of 'writing reports'.

But every now and then, I get a fresh intake of wide-eyed youngsters who are pretty well-behaved and I feel inclined to show a bit of practical work to. So the first thing we do is a little Health And Safety exercise. I say 'little' - this can often drag on for several lessons. We're talking here about youngsters who will look straight down into a lit Bunsen to 'see if it is working properly', and take a sip of sodium hydroxide because they weren't sure what it was and thought their gustatory senses would be better able to cope with it than the complicated business of reading a fecking great big label with 'caustic soda - harmful' written on in child-friendly 50-point Comic Sans.

So, eventually, we work our way round to 'safely handling glassware', for which I have to demonstrate the use of a test tube rack. I make sure to warn the little chitterlings not to put anything containing glass on the edge of the bench and never to put an empty tube straight onto the bench, because it will roll straight off and break. I also deliver a stern lecture on the perils of broken glass, not trying to clear it up themselves, and making sure they don't have more contact with it than necessary. I tell gruesome, and largely fictional, tales of what happens to people when fragments of glass get into the bloodstream or the digestive system. To be honest, I terrify this bunch of 11-year-olds about as much as amorphous silica ever could do.

And then I lean over to the sink to carefully rinse out the tube I had been showing them. I had neglected to wear my lab coat for this bit of the lesson, as it's bulky and smells of cats' piss, for reasons that I've never been able to identify.

The corner of my suit jacket catches in a tub of 50 test tubes which I had, against my prudent advice, left on the edge of the bench. 50 test tubes shatter on the floor. I don't think I've ever seen so much broken glass. The floor of the lab ceases to be pristinely swept and now more closely resembles the shoot-out scene from The Matrix.

Every pupil in the room instantly flattens themselves against the back wall, terrified in their new knowledge that they might "inhale some and rupture their pulmonary blood vessels" (why did I tell them that? Why?!). The inevitable cynical kid, that even the nicest class always contains, is pissing himself laughing. The words "Oh Cock" have unavoidably escaped my lips and the Teaching Assistant, who is a firm Catholic, is standing there mortified and already composing a letter of complaint to the Head.

As I tell the youngsters not to worry (so much), I shift slightly towards my trusty dustpan-and-brush and realise that a large shard of hitherto test tube has somehow entered the top of my shoe and is burrowing along my instep, apprarently intent on severing any tendons it may encounter. The blood is already oozing out of my tasteful grey sock. Several pupils are then further alarmed by my bellowing like a werewolf with his goolies trapped in a vice.

I bend down to remove the offending glass, headbutt the bench on the way down, and collapse in a heap on the floor. Only the certain knowledge that there will be chaos if I pass out stops me going for a little sleep right there and then.

Trying to regain what's left of my composure, I lever myself up on the side of the desk, and address the class: "OK. Now you need to open the textbook to page 152 and copy the diagram".

Length? A full page of your exercise book, and don't forget to label with a pencil and a ruler.
(Thu 27th Dec 2007, 17:02, More)

» Asking people out

Oh God, this digs up bad memories
Some of the most excruciating times of my life have centred around asking girls out.

People who know me now might be surprised, but I was a painfully shy teen - I suspect most of my brash exterior may just be an overcompensating cover-up to make sure some of the 15-year-old tragedies which still haunt my life never re-surface. Until this QoW, of course.

To excise a history which would otherwise have me curled up in a little ball and weeping like Gwynneth Paltrow on Oscars night, I will simply present the story of Asheley.

Asheley (I still remember the oddball spelling to this day) was sex appeal personified. Glorious secretary-specs like those worn by Michelle Pfeiffer in The Witches Of Eastwick, an enticing bob of hair, and a full-length school skirt that she only occasionally allowed to reveal a glimpse of perfectly-rounded calf. She was relaxed, chatty and used to do a pouty thing with her lips that drove me wild. I spent hours talking to her, and it was so easy. Not like talking to other girls that I fancied: conversation with Asheley was so natural, so easy, and we talked through a range of topics beyond most teenagers. Politics, books, theatre, nothing was beyond our expertise. She must have known I was at least interested. With the benefit of my wisdom, I know now I should have just kept up the chatty relationship and - one day - she would have succumbed. Instead, I chose to write...THE LETTER.

Heaven knows why I ever thought it was a good idea, but I asked out an unconscionable number of girls via letter in my teens. As is fairly evident, I have no problems with florid prose and I suspected a few Shakespeare sonnets might be the finishing touch. Obviously, no luck. I'm pretty sure one lass contacted the police about a suspected stalker, and another potential bedmate interpreted my letter as an intention to sleep with her Mum (really, don't ask).

Anyway, I swore things would be different with Asheley. I knew she was bookish, and a big fan of Black Beauty. I painstakingly read swathes of Anna Sewell biographies, cringing horribly as I did so (at the time my reading material of choice was good sturdy thrillers by Alistair MacLean). I carefully composed a letter from Asheley's very own 'Black Beauty', expressing my loneliness and very subtly hinting that I'd like an equestrian-minded female to come and be my stable-mate. It was, if I might say so, a work of genius.

With trembling hands, I sealed the whole thing up in a powder-blue envelope, and casually sauntered around the corner to where Asheley lived. When I was 99% sure that no-one was home, I dashed down the drive, shoved it through the letterbox and ran like Linford Christie with a bulldog biting his goolies.

I sat at home and pined for three days. Every love song on VH1 (I really was a sad child) was devoted, in my mind, to Asheley. I used to lean on the windowsill, stare out and shed tiny tears as I wondered what she was doing. I was willing her to come cautiously up to our drive on tiptoe, powder-blue envelope in hand. Was she undergoing the same agonies I was? Did she have the same feelings of curiosity? Would my sexual experiences carry on being limited to a brief and unerotic fumble with Tracey, the town bike?

Eventually, my father forced me away from the rainy windows and dragged me off to play nine holes of golf. Two pathetically unfulfilling hours later, I dragged my grubby golf shoes over the doorstep, only to put spike-marks and mud all over a delicate, lacy-edged envelope...

Ohmigod! My heart literally leapt. There's no feeling like it when you feel your chest push you up with excitement and anticipation. I could barely breathe. I whisked the envelope up to my bedroom, inhaled deeply of the perfume that coated the letter (trying to ignore the overtones of local grass and dogshit), and - oh so carefully - slit the envelope open.

What Asheley had written turned me upside-down. I've kept it ever since, hidden from all future girlfriends and wives. Every now and then, when I've felt like I can't sink any lower, I've sneaked out this grubby bit of paper from a desk drawer and read through it a few times. It never fails to work. And I am sharing it, with b3ta, for the first ever time.

What did she say to me?

This.

...
(Thu 10th Dec 2009, 20:46, More)

» Annoying Partners

Nearly entirely irrelevant poo story
Apologies for near-offtopicness, but it's a good 'un and I thought I ought to share the lurid details before they got lost in the mists of time. I suppose this - to a large extent - qualifies me as an annoying partner, given that I was sharing a hotel room with my wife at the time.

So, we had just completed a delightful week away on the Isles Of Scilly, and rounded off our time with a couple of nights in Falmouth rather than attempt the slog up the M5 at 8pm of an evening. Having gorged on fresh-out-the-sea-that-day fish all week, I was getting cravings for something hot and spicy, so I booked us tables at the Gurkha curry house on the second night.

At the Gurkha, I ordered a Piro-Piro chicken and a chilli paneer. Both came with lumps of fresh green chilli, a fruit which I love the taste of, and one which my digestive system treats with relative equanimity. The Piro-Piro chicken came with an extra treat, a mid-sized roasted chilli on top - about 4 inches long, and a brownish-purple in colour. Having no fear in these matters, I popped it in my mouth, chewed it a couple of times and swallowed it down. I expect you're all waiting for me to get a shock? No, not really. It was smoky, liquoricy, not too hot, and altogether a satisfactory chilli experience. The curries were delicious; I swilled them down with a couple of pints of Doom Bar, and we retreated to our excellent B&B (the Poltair guest house, whom I must namedrop because they gave us a free upgrade to their nicest room). An hour of telly and early night. Job done.

Wave 1 - Rattle your sabres, boys! 2:05am. Having dropped off and had a somewhat disturbing dream about Dara O'Briain and Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook, I was awakened by my stomach making a 'you know what? You'd be more comfortable on the toilet.' sort of gesture. Having been told off already this week for farting in bed, I retreated to the en-suite, possibly expecting a mild ring-of-fire incident as retribution for enjoying a spicy curry. Instead, I experienced one of those 'Just A Fart' disappointments. But this just wasn't any old big fart, oh no. What started life with the tone and timbre of a 50cc idling motorcycle quickly accelerated in volume, acquiring the accompaniment of a whining like a dozen banshees and the counterpoint of a Lancaster bomber passing overhead. The water bubbled in the toilet bowl, the extractor fan switched itself off, and in the harbour, a container ship sounded its foghorn in bemused reply.

"Cap'n! That foghorn is not marked on our charts!"
"No worries, Number One. It's just a man having a difficult dump in Emslie Road"
"Well, let's at least show him some solidarity"


Suspecting this was the main movement, rather than the overture, I sat with a steely grimace for a couple of minutes and then tottered back to bed.

Wave 2 - A warning shot across the bows. 2:15am. Barely five minutes after convincing myself that nothing else was on the way, my stomach made warning noises again. This time, it was less 'you might be more comfortable on the bog' than 'you will seriously bloody regret not moving me into the lavvy right now sonny'. Gritting my teeth at these unbidden messages from my bowel, I dropped the boxers again and made contact with the cool porcelain. I wasn't going to settle for another JAFfa, although initial signs weren't promising as an emanation with the sound and volume of a small wind machine emanated from my bottom. I was pretty sure that the curry was wanting to effect its exit by now, so I grimaced and pushed hard, crinkling my forehead and pulling the face that Compo used to do when he saw Nora Batty's tights. The reward for my efforts was a single passing - a lump the size and density of a lead ball-bearing, which rolled mockingly around the bottom of the bowl. Still, the pains had passed. Maybe it was really only a bad bout of wind?

Wave 3 - The first cavalry charge. 3:45am. If you could have drawn a map of my internal organs on my ample belly that night, I'm sure I would have been able to trace this curry's passage to the nearest centimetre. Every time, the gut wrench shifted ever so slightly, and this time, there was no mistaking that something really wanted to move on.

Sweaty-foreheaded, I hoisted the toilet lid once more. The damn thing was starting to look like that rock that the Greek chap had to roll up the hill. I was resigned to another windy moment, and - such was the volume - wondering how I could fill gas cylinders with some sort of anal attachment, and flog the results to BOC. This time, though, there were additional vocalisations:

I said: "Oh, ooh, God, God, God". I'm not normally so devout.

My arse said: "Spluph, sploo, splsh, splsh, brrrrrrsplsh, splsh, splut, splsh, splsh, sppprrrllllllll, slsh, slsh, spluph, SPLUPH, SPLUPH". I sat there and recorded the exact spelling for posterity. The feeling was awesome. The smell was also awesome, but in a very different way. It was like being locked in a room with Piers Morgan's compost heap.

This would probably be the end of it, I thought. I can normally dispose of a curry in one sitting. I was taken by the size and shape of the chunks (number 6 on the famous Bristol Stool Chart, if you're wondering) and how similarly they resembled the bits of chicken and paneer I had not long ago masticated upon. Odd, really, given that I'm sure they were properly cooked, and I often eat a lot of Indian spices without complaint.

Wave 4 - The second cavalry charge. 6:00am. I've always been struck* by my novel dumps in the past (the piano leg that was like trying to flush a rolling pin; the one that somehow effected a perfect 90-degree right-angle halfway through extrusion; and most of all, the two perfect spheroids that bobbed in the toilet bowl, bouncing off each other like a little fecal Newton's Cradle), and this one was a new experience. It was EXACTLY THE SAME as the previous one. Same achings, same noises (I won't replicate them), same producedure, same Number 6 lumps**, same wiping procedure (only four sheets - surprisingly few...). As I was convalescing, I coined the term 'deja poo', which resulted in me having to explain to the wife why I was sitting in the bathroom sniggering like Muttley on Prozac at six in the morning. I was really hoping this was over, now, because I had a five-hour drive up the M5 the next day...

* Please note, when I say 'struck', I don't literally mean 'hit on the head'. That would be weird.

** This is not a 'Prisoner' reference. Although it would be cool if it was.


Wave 5 - Heroic procession into Berlin. 8:40am. No! No! Not more, surely? I hadn't eaten this much; there can't have been this much left in my intestines.

I was nursing a cup of tea, having sent the wife downstairs for her full-English and unsurprisingly not feeling much like one myself. The first cuppa of the day is often a good bowel-opener, though, and I found myself with the old familiar rumble down below. It was worryingly like deja poo all over again.

This one was different, though. A couple of preliminary lumps left my sphincter feeling like someone had taken an electric sander to it. As I sat there, wondering if this is how Alan Carr feels every morning, my colon spoke to me one last time.

It squeaked (yes, SQUEAKED. Like a mouse, or an Ewok. Never a noise that you want your anal region to make), paused agonisingly, and blew out a short but incredibly loud trumpet that could have melted cheese at a dozen paces. There followed a prolonged sensation which at the time I likened to trying to give birth to Edward Scissorhands. My ring was being scissored open by razor wire and dipped in sulphuric acid. I cried a little bit. And, then...blissful, glorious emptiness. My guts relaxed more than Roger Moore's acting technique. They were finally empty and at peace once more.

Turning round and routinely inspecting the bowl resulted in a sight which I will take every precaution not to see again. There, bobbing in the sea of foulness, and - I swear - grinning back at me, was a 4-inch long, brownish-purple, barely chewed chilli pepper, every bit as intact and recognisable as it was atop my Piro-Piro chicken 12 hours before. It didn't take much conclusion to work out that it was responsible not only for the razor-edged ring torture, but for precipitating the relentless charge through my digestive system that the rest of my dinner had had to endure.

I felt alright after that.

But, please take my advice, if you have a curry in Falmouth, don't eat the chilli.
(Sat 6th Aug 2011, 22:42, More)

» "You're doing it wrong"

I'm Doing It Wrong
Let me take you back to last week's Question Of The Week.

www.b3ta.com/questions/power/post784483

Isn't that lovely? All the nasty shit that's been bandied about on these boards about teachers; it takes a genuinely uplifting teacher to remind us what arseholes we've been on this board in the past.

Well, arseholes, bring it on, because frankly I don't give a fucking shite. By my reckoning, in the carrying out of my job in the past three academic years, I have been called a cunt three times, a motherfucker twice and been referred to - within earshot - using various derivatives of the f-word more times than I care to count. I have been smacked around the back of the head, punched in the stomach and had a pupil attempt to ride his bike straight over the top of me (not least while calling me a 'fucking tramp' after knocking me to the ground). Two of my colleagues have retired because of injuries caused by pupils.

I work but a forty-hour week, but am expected to account for thirty of those hours in precise intervals of five minutes on demand. Can I just put this godawful fucking proposal in front of anyone else with a job, please? Would you be able to produce a detailed schedule of what you did between 10:05 and 10:55 yesterday morning and detail what it actually achieved? This is becoming the fucking norm for teachers.

I am expected to teach elementary chemistry to pupils who cannot read and write; detailed chemistry to pupils who cannot reason abstractly; and advanced chemistry to pupils who cannot even perform simple fucking mathematical calculations such as division (actually - much of this is not true. I spend so much time instructed to teach pupils to behave, write, add up, exercise social skills and answer exam questions, that I don't actually get round to teaching much Chemistry at all). The former two-thirds will happily admit that they do not give a shite about learning a compulsory subject because they are going to work for their father for the rest of their foreseeable lives. They will thereafter perform their best impressions of howler monkeys in all lessons, thereby rendering any able pupils in their class unable to progress. If they tire of that, they will throw things at me, steal anything they can lay their hands on, or just sit and ignore me while listening to music on their iPhones. Electronic appliances which I am no longer allowed to confiscate under some fucking namby-pamby 'Every Child Matters' ruling. If you think I'm being blithe about ECM, let me tell you that some of the nicest, most genuine and mature children I've taught have come from families that quite frankly do not give a holy shite. And that fucking breaks my heart.

Additionally, over the last few months I have been planning a colleague's lessons (on top of my own) because she is long-term ill; determining set lists because my departmental leader can't cope with it; and demonstrating practicals for another 'science' teacher who is not qualified to do so because the department is chronically under-staffed and we are having to draft in members of the PE and Geography departments to teach our lessons. Putting it into some sort of perspective, we currently have five full-time science teachers in a school of 1100 pupils. The average class size is nearly thirty. I have one set of thirty-five, which causes a bit of a problem given that there are only thirty-two chairs in my teaching room.

I'd like to point out that any of the above occurs before any of the Public Sector cuts that have just been announced. I have already been told that I will need to buy the majority of my own pens, crayons, whiteboard markers and so on for the next school year. This with classes who aren't capable of keeping hold of a fucking book for more than twenty hours without reducing it to pulp or sawdust.

On the point of dealing with troublesome pupils, I will quite happily demonstrate that during the course of routine phone calls home I have been called a 'twat', 'fucking incompetent', and - most entertainingly - been told 'Sir, your attitude is crap'. All of this from the progenitors of the aforementioned monkey-howlers that I am expected to educate.

It might be worth, at this point, illustrating that I feel that after six years teaching at the school I have acquired a degree of respect from the pupils. This is merely because I have acquired the skills to make a class sit in quiet, not call me a cunt in the corridors, and take my threats to phone their parents seriously.

Whtat really fucking pisses me off is that the school I allege to be my employers will bend over backwards for some of the fucking kids who are spoiled rotten by their parents. They don't get the cane any more, they don't get lines, they don't get to clean dirty desks. What do they get now? They sit in the fucking sports hall and read a fucking book for an hour in the name of detention. This might be bloody great for the fucking nationwide literacy strategy, but even the stupidest of our fucking kids have worked out that this ain't too bad a punishment in the middle of winter when all you've got to go back to is a house crammed with siblings and barely a one-bar fire to keep you all warm.

Why do we mollycoddle like this? Well, about 10% is because of the deprived children above. Totally legit; no problem with that; they're better off with us than they are at home, sadly.

Unfortunately the other nine-tenths are pupils whom we cannot afford to expel because they would be too fucking expensive for the school, and because they have been tested for intelligence and are therefore capable of gaining a certain number of GCSE grades. No question of whether the kids actually want to fucking achieve for themselves - no, all that matters is that we produce the grades to keep the Government happy.

To this extent, we are asked to break exam-board guidelines: make pupils produce coursework time after time until it is good enough, perhaps even writing segments of it for them, with the onus placed on us - the teachers - if it's not up to their target grade.

I am living in an entirely results-driven society, and have produced the best average improvement scores at all Key Stages for all my pupils for the last three years of my teaching.

Of course, I am deemed to be failing at my job. Why?

Firstly, while I had a class of pupils sitting silently and completing a test, I logged onto a website for ten minutes to check the status of my local sports team. I was therefore deemed not to be in control of the class.

Secondly, when confronted with a class of 30 pupils, 28 of whom flat-out refused to work for a full hour, I put the latter 28 into detention. I was accused of refusing (yes, me - not them - refusing) to teach them.

Because the latter class were GCSE critical (ie. might be getting C-grades if we wrote their coursework for them), I have been placed on a final warning. Because results are the important thing, you see? Not the fucking staff who are expected to deliver those results.

Now, I'm by no means claiming that the above two instances were correct courses of action, but would anyone else here think it was a case of putting one's job on the line?

Apparently I'm doing it wrong. And - frankly - I say screw anyone who attempts to glamorise the teaching profession.
(Sat 17th Jul 2010, 2:07, More)

» Family codes and rituals

The family chant
Forgive me if I may be serious, but our only meaningful family ritual pays tribute to a gentleman who means an awful lot to me.

My family have produced a glittering array of male relatives whom I find mildly embarrassing or annoying (and I have no doubt they feel the same way about me). However, every March 1st we all gather together to recite:

"Come quaff off your Sherry, and let us be merry
All you that look to be saved
Then toss of your bowls, and be merry souls
For this is the day of St. David.

This is a good week, when we wear a Leek
And carouse in Bacchus' fountains
We had better be here, thou in pour small beer,
Or in our Country Mountains."

For a long time we thought that Ode To The Welsh Leek was a slightly crazy invention of my grandfather, but as time went by we discovered it has a rich history (see www.povertystudies.org/Links/Rhwymbooks/Ode/Ode-TitleStory.htm) and the family genealogists believe we might well stem back to the battlefield origins of this noble poem.

In any case, this annual recitation is a sincere and heartfelt tribute to my grandfather, Ken...

Ken was a man of few words but incredible courage. He served the Royal Navy during two wars and was the Service heavyweight boxing champion on two occasions. He returned in 1945 with barely a penny to his name, adopted a smallholding in his native Taff valley for a pittance of pay, and began raising sheep.

Over the 1950s, he and my grandmother became completely self-made and self-sufficient, raising two children and being able to scrimp enough money to buy the farmhouse and small patches of land thereabouts. Yet he remained infinitely modest, dry-witted and an inspiration for his sons, their sons' generation (including myself), and - through his inexhaustible fund of his anecdotes which have been passed down - the next generation today.

He was a wizard with his hands, always ready to make wooden toys for children, and right up to his 80th (and final birthday), a firm devotee of his Welsh heritage, Christianity and real ale. He was - in short - the perfect grandfather.

'Ode To A Welsh Leek' was his personal signature tune, from lord-knows-where. He used to usher us all into the front room to raise glasses of homemade mead and recite this ancient poem. His face remained solemn, and often a trickle of a tear would course down his cheek as we chanted away. It was odd as kids, but we grew used to it, year upon year, and it was finally how we knew him best.

It was finally adopted as our family memory of him in a freezing cold late-winter in about 1996. Grandad was well over seventy at the time, but he still kept a small flock and several hives, and tended them with the same love as he would his own family.

March 1st rolled around, we had a smashing roast dinner and congregated with our glasses to chant our paean to St David. No sooner had we finished, then a white-faced farmhand appeared at the patio doors. Several of us were scared out of our merry little skulls by this flat-capped apparition, but Grandpa calmly strolled across the room and a muttered conversation ensued. Before too long, Grandad gasped in shock, quaffed his mead and dashed out; nine other family members all followed with concerned yet helpless looks on our faces: we were no sheep-farmers.

One of the flock was having terrible difficulties giving birth. She was thrashing around on the barn floor, in grave danger of killing her lamb. The vet was on call, but we'd all sensed it was just too late.

What Grandad did then seemed nothing short of miraculous...

The adults, expecting a grisly birth, had protectively shielded the children, but Grandad - with terrifying strength - wrestled the sheep to stillness, and then take the terrified head, lay it in his lap, and mutter gently in Welsh. For twenty...thirty...forty minutes, we stood there dumbfounded, watching a septugenarian man on his knees in a freezing cold barn, treating a pregnant ewe with as much love and tenderness as he would a member of his own family. The sheep lay terrifyingly still: we could have sworn it was dead.

Eventually, the miraculous happened. A slight twitch, and a bloody ball of skin and bones was deposited onto the cold concrete floor. Matter-of-factly, Grandad hauled himself to his knees, slapped the lamb on the rump, checked its breathing and watched the little mite meticulously until it began to suckle. We all exhaled for the first time in nearly an hour and a half.

Grandad was suddenly, uncharacteristically sharp: "Inside! Now!" he ordered. It was difficult to argue. We all trooped inside silently.

Inside, he recharged our glasses without a word, his eyes glazed over and he chanted again:

"Come quaff off your Sherry, and let us be merry
All you that look to be saved..."

Falteringly, but with increasing strength, we joined in with this charming, strong and granite-muscled pinwheel of our family. It was a wonderful, touching moment, albeit a primitive one, and something I am sure that no-one who was present that day will ever forget. The song had always been once, and once only. To repeat it, in honour of a member of Grandad's flock was something quite unique.

Since then, every March 1st, this poem has been our own, as we remember that great day. The day that we heard...


Farmer leek odes sandwich ewe ills.


(Ah, sod it. I've already been to Hull...)
(Thu 20th Nov 2008, 21:40, More)
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