Tuesday, April 04, 2006

When Teachers Give Up and Collapse

I am not unaware that my usual outpouring of self-focused meditations on life, while never exactly prolific, has dwindled to a paltry trickle in recent weeks. Mostly, I blame the college inspection. It has now finished, and we appear to have just about survived it, although I am crawling through this week with the sole aid of many videos.

Good stuff and less good stuff has happened in my absence from the internet. On the more worrying side of things, the draft mental health bill has died a very overdue death, with its worst totalitarian excesses immediately resurrected. (You can't say the government never responds to campaigners. They might have responded by making things twice as bad, but at least they've done something. Um.)

In better news, last weekend I made my quarterly return to Darkest Hampshire and took The Girl with me. There was a dinner with family and everything. On the way back, we stopped at Winchester in the hope of finding a cream tea, what with being Down South. Four Costa Coffees, two Starbucks and a Whittard's later, we concluded that every town centre in Britain is now exactly the same (and with nothing at all for us poor tea-drinking people). We got back on the road and eventually found the perfect cream tea at a garden centre just outside a small village called Kings Worthy, complete with home-made scones, clotted cream, strawberry jam and a round of what has come to be affectionately known as The Suicide Game because of how I feel when I lose. Which is every single time.

Back we go, then, to videos, quizzes and vague essay plans on big green sheets of sugar paper.

3 comments:

Aidan said...

Well, you can't leave it there... at least throw in a few of the crucial rules of said Suicide Game, or share all with the rest of us...?
Hope the pre-, mid- and post-inspection stress is withering happily and swiftly away now...
Very odd about the draft mental health bill - it's drifted along for, what, three or four years now? Suddenly dying an almost-unnoticed death the other week, only for its inherent uncertainty to throw up a few more twists almost immediately... A whole lot of confusion from on high - reassuring, innit...
From brief visits to Winchester, including a fortnight there covering a court case, I became quite fond of its just-about-odder-than-other-South-Coast-towns-ness, though I do tend to blank out all coffee places almost instinctively... It's like a Government-approved protection racket, those prices for a mere cup of coffee...
The best cream tea place I remember being taken to every so often as a kid, and once or twice as a supposed grown-up, is just opposite Kew Gardens - coffee: meh; eclairs, yeah....

lilwatchergirl said...

I really like Winchester. It's somewhere I could move to if I ever wanted to leave London (which wouldn't be for a while, but has to happen at some point). Despite my protestations to the contrary, I'm really a bit of a Hampshire girl. Sometimes. When I want to be.

The Suicide Game is a (very harsh) game of categories which can be played by from 2 to 100 players. You choose about six categories - countries, food items, song titles, band names, British towns, authors etc. Next, you choose a letter of the alphabet at random (there are a few ways of doing this). You then try to think of nouns to fit into those categories which begin with that letter (for example, if the current round is using the letter C, an answer in the 'author' category could be 'Agatha Christie'). I'm sure you get the point. Anyway, it's fiendishly difficult if you're not great at thinking on your feet, and I have never, ever won a round. My main aim in this game is therefore to do slightly less appallingly every time I play. That's it, really. Not that fascinating...

Mm, cream teas near Kew. I think someone else has mentioned that cafe to me before. I work near there. It shall be arranged.

Aidan said...

Sounds a little like a board game my family had called Topix, and which could always be relied upon for fun - and feverish rivalry - during family holidays...
Better luck next time...!
Hmm, maybe it should be suggested as a potential Olympic sport by 2012...