Tuesday, 23 July 2013


Today I got paid for eating Domino’s Pizza and watching The Amazing Spider-man.

Jimmy came in in a foul mood and refused to do any work all morning (and it’s end of term, so for ‘work’, read maths games/colouring in/gentle, undemanding, semi-educational activities punctuated by treats and end of term reward events. Like DVDs. Or pizza).

To try and help him recover his day and get out of his foul mood, I tried to persuade him to come and choose his pizza toppings.

“Don’t want stupid pizza. It’s boring!”  (He’s been talking about nothing else for days)

“You’ll be sad if you miss having pizza.”  (He will)

“I hate pizza. It’s boring.”  (It’s not. It’s his favourite thing in the world)

“Well, you need to make a good choice now if you want pizza.” (He does)

“Don’t care. Don’t care. Don’t care. DON'T CARE. DON'T CARE!”  (He blatantly does)

“Okay then. I’ll have to order you a school dinner...”  (I do)

Time Passes.

Our pizzas arrive. Staff and students. It’s a pizza party and the mood is euphoric. Every pizza is labelled with the appropriate pupil’s name. They locate and collect their pizza and take it to their seat.

“Where’s my pizza?”

“You didn’t want one, remember? You said pizza is boring and you hate pizza, then you started shouting at me.”

“I was only joking. Can I have my pizza now?”

“There is no pizza for you.  I didn’t order one for you because you didn’t make good choices.”

“But I want it now.”

“It’s too late now. You need to be good when I say, otherwise you don’t get nice things.”

Jimmy sulks and refuses to eat his school dinner, which- to be fair- looks questionable, though he’ll literally eat anything. I saw him try to eat a shoe once. If I’m honest, he could stand to skip a meal or two, so I let him sulk and refuse to eat.

Perhaps meanly, I also make a point of saying to everyone as we eat our pizzas:
“Is everyone enjoying their pizza? Good!  Well done- you all made GOOD CHOICES so we get to have a pizza party. Mmm- delicious pizza!  Mmmmm!”

But we have to do that to make sure he connects the dots.

He totally does.

After about 20 minutes, once his school dinner is nice and cold and the baked beans are all disgusting and congealed, he sits down and starts sheepishly eating it.

It doesn't look very nice.

Maybe next time he won’t be such a little bitch about it...

Thursday, 11 July 2013


Stop or wave?  Stop or Wave? STOP OR WAVE?!

I just don’t know...

I’ve become a wave.

I’ve become a don’t stop walking, slow pace a little and wave a bit- and maybe say something weird and quick and rhetorical like “Heya- y’aright?” but never stop walking.

Which is odd because I was always, ALWAYS a stop. I’d beam from a distance, wave a bit, slow down, pull up (looking carefully behind me to avoid annoying any followers, as if driving, and pull in somewhere convenient for a proper conversation.

With anyone!

Well, not quite anyone. But anyone I sort of vaguely knew. I wouldn’t feel awkward, it wouldn’t be stilted, it would always be quite jocular and good-natured- a brief chat and then part company happily and be on my way.

And now?

Now I scope from a distance, keep walking, smile, say “Heya- y’aright?” or whatever, but DON’T STOP WALKING.  Don’t even slow down! Keep moving, don’t initiate or respond with anything likely to stimulate further discourse. NODON’TSLOWDOWNDON’TSLOWDOWNDON’TSLOWDOWN! Phew!

Made it.

I have no idea why this change has occurred. Granted I’m busier these days than I was as a student, and spend less time just trolling around town aimlessly- but that wouldn’t explain the complete lack of enthusiasm for engaging. I used to actually like irrelevant, off-the-cuff nonsense with people I loosely knew. It was nice feeling you knew lots of people and knowing a few faces as you wander about.

But now I’m not just less enthused, I’m actually avoidant. It feels like a hassle and I dismiss the value I once saw as needless effort for no benefit.

Sounds a bit mean-spirited now I think about it.

I should add, this is only for those fringey-friends of friends types that you know, but don’t know well.

I have two exceptions- people with whom I happily pause and gossip in the street...

Proper friends.

...And hot people.  People I don’t know too well but who are super fit.

I am a shallow, petty man....

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Activity Week

Such a funny term.  It really doesn’t describe what it is at all.

At the end of the year, we have Activity Week at school. A week where we go off timetable and do... well, activities. Fun things, trips, games, visits, etc- under the umbrella of ‘enrichment’.

Activity Week was last week.

And what a week it was.

I’m earning quite well these days. I got my nice promotion in September, I’ve gone through the pay threshold this year and I’m doing quite nicely at present. So it feels a bit bad that I’m paid a not insubstantial amount of money to spend my week basically playing.

On Monday we went to Knockhatch, an adventure park In Hailsham. I spent the day rowing on the boating lake, sliding down the avalanche slide, jumping off the demon drop, bouncing on the giant pillow, racing round the go-kart track and zipping down the zip-wire. It was amazing fun, and I got paid to do it. On Tuesday we went to the Sovereign Centre in Eastbourne- a long way to go for a swimming pool, but they have a wave machine. So another hard day’s labour.

Wednesday we did a scavenger hunt, an egg drop competition a quiz and giant Pictionary, followed by Laser Quest on Thursday, which is probably the most fun anyone has ever had. There is something immensely satisfying about spending the day running around in the dark, under UV lighting, shooting your colleagues in the back. Then on Friday we watched Despicable Me 2 at the cinema  and had Dominos Pizza.

All in all not a bad week.


Pretty well paid, too...

It does kind of make up for the verbal abuse, the kicks, the punching, the spitting and the general lack of respect we get the other 29 weeks a year.

I know.  It wasn’t a typo. THE OTHER TWENTY-NINE WEEKS...