Sunday, 16 September 2012

Strictly Come Learning

It seems Peter has decided to get right behind my weight gain campaign and arrived home with fifteen, yes I do mean 15, jam doughnuts last night, they were on special offer apparently.

Now I do like the occasional doughnut it must be said but the key word is occasional and it takes me all day to eat one. I have no idea what I am meant to do with fifteen of the things. No doubt Andrew will help me out, and Peter, but it is still going to be a challenge.

Woke up to a dull, drizzly morning after, what must be said, a deep uninterrupted sleep. So why do I feel more tired now than I did yesterday? Weird or what! Today I have to do some work 'scream' and start ironing all the things Andrew wants to take with him. Now before anyone shouts 'make him do it himself', this is not going to be any old ironing session but a masterclass and Andrew will be doing most of it under close supervision.

To my absolute delight Strictly Come Dancing was back last night with the launch show, and what a show it was. The celebrities were real celebrities for once, there was not one name I didn't know. I even think the judging panel are on par with the days of Arlene as we have a real dancer in Darcy Bussell, who might actual give some valid feed back instead of the inane comments of Alisha Dixon. I just cannot wait for Oct 5th and the first show.

It is going to be a bumper weekend as on the 4th Oct the new series of Red Dwarf starts, Peter thinks I might be disappointed but from the trailers I think it might well be surprisingly good. Yes the cast have aged, what do you expect, and some more badly than others but the humour hasn't and isn't that what matters most?

This morning watching the rain fall whilst drinking a cuppa I spotted my resident squirrel burying nuts on the lawn. He'd dig a little hole, pop the nut in and then stamp it down. My lawn now looks like a very small mole has been at it but I don't think this squirrel will be going hungry this winter.

In the news the changes for the GCSE's has been announced so stand by for outrage from teachers over the next few weeks. As an ex-teacher myself I actually think the new proposals are a good idea. They have done away with the A*, not because they don't think there will be kids out there capable of getting it but because getting an A under the new system will be harder and so more valuable. Under the current system A's are so common they have been completely devalued which is why the A* was introduced in the first place.

Instead of easy modules and coursework there will be just one three hour exam at the end of the course. This will cause the biggest upset as there will be those who claim that some students will lose out as they won't be able to cope with such a long exam. The other argument is that it will also disadvantage those only capable of retaining information for a term at a time. What they are forgetting is that the 'bit at a time' system has actually encouraged children not to remember or learn things. At the moment they only need to remember things long enough to write it up in coursework or for the end of term exam and being kids that is all they do. It is my belief that the GCSE has made our children thicker, the new system will encourage them to think and to learn. Yes there will be children out there that genuinely will not be able to cope, but there always have been which is why we had grammar schools and secondary moderns. And whatever you think of them that system worked really well being able to bring out the best in children no matter what their abilities. There were very few kids who left school without the skills to get them into further education or work, unlike today when a good percentage leave without even being able to read.

My one dispute with this system is that it is not going to come in until 2015. Why wait that long? Surely 2013 would be a long enough wait. I really cannot understand why this country takes so long to change things, no wonder we are in such a mess, sometimes it really is an advantage to be the Hare in the a race.

Well I have a rather unpleasant task to perform which I've put off long enough. I have to de-flea the cats. This is one of those essential little tasks that has to be done regularly for everyones sake but is not appreciated by some. Both Smirnoff and Tarmac absolutely hate it. I use the little phials that go on the back of the neck, much les traumatic than powder or shampoo but you wouldn't think it by the fuss that's made. Both cats, normally placid and lazy turn into a combination of Usain Bolt and Jack the Ripper the second they see the packet. After we have caught them and done the deed, to much growling and hissing, we are then subjected to the most tremendous sulks, often for days until all is forgiven and harmony reigns once more.

See, I say I'm going to do it and then write as much as I can to put it off that bit longer. That is how much I hate it.