They were doing a bit on bullying in the Princess’s school the other week. She came home and asked me, “Have you ever heard of Bebo?” “Yes,” I said, “I was a bit old for it, but I remember it being popular at one stage.” “Huh,” she said, “it was in a list of social media that might be used for bullying that we were looking at in school. We had to order the list by likelihood of each platform being used as a tool by bullies. We ranked Bebo last as no one had ever heard of it.”
Archives for May 2016
Until last month, the boys always did their homework together downstairs but now I see that they haul their schoolbags upstairs and do it in their rooms. I am not sure whether this is the next stage of development or whether the new childminder is taking very much to heart my injunction to her to speak to them in French.
I suppose whether or which, they probably both need desks in their rooms.
A former colleague used to say to me that he liked to watch my face in dull meetings as all my emotions flicked across it. I never entirely believed that this was true and a part of me felt that I always kept a very straight face.
My belief has been undermined by a former colleague who now reports into one of my old bosses. He made a proposal to her with which she disagreed. “That’s a real [Belgiawaffle] face” he said. Apparently my name is a byword for showing exactly what you are thinking on your face. Alas.
The Butcher’s Dilemma
It is the season of the street parties, fetes, school parties and garden parties.
The local Educate Together school is having a barbecue on the same day as the church garden party.
Our local butcher who gives generously to all local causes was approached for a loan of his barbecue by the ET school before the parish council could beat a path to his door. In the absence of the butcher’s barbecue, ours was inspected and deemed a worthy substitute. At mass on Sunday, however, I was told that it was no longer needed as the butcher had sourced another barbecue for the church garden party. There’s a man with keen commercial sense.
The deputy principal in the Princess’s school upbraided the students for being so nervous about summer tests. “They’re just like primary tests,” said she. Up shoots the royal hand, “Not really miss as our primary tests were mostly formative but these are summative.” She had to explain formative and summative to the class. I wonder what they make of this in the staff room. Perhaps they are too demob happy to dwell upon it and who could blame them?
More History Than We Can Consume Locally*
This year it has been all about 1916 and the decade of centenaries. Since 1916 is only just out of living memory for most families, there is still a lot of memorabilia knocking about in attics, under the stairs and under the beds and stories from that time which have been passed down a couple of generations. I recently got a load of stuff from my parents’ house which I may tell you about another day when I am feeling stronger.
My favourite story remains that of my mother-in-law. Her mother was a young girl during the revolutionary period and came home to where she lived in the flats (always a hot bed of rebellion etc.) to find the Black and Tans parked outside and the building cordoned off. She went to go in saying to the soldier on the door, “I have to go in, there are soldiers in my house.” “Aha,” said he, “how do you know it’s your house?” “Because it’s always our house,” she said wearily.
*Stolen from Saki: “The people of Crete unfortunately make more history than they can consume locally.” This is equally true of Ireland.