Saturday, 19 December 2009

Doctor What....?

I really must get on and do the rest of the Boarding School report. Michelle has given me loads of notes, but it's finding the time.
Anyway, in the meantime, I was watching Doctor Who, and wondered if we could do our version of the series. I was mentally running my eye over our Staffroom of beaks, and I think we would have the perfect cast.
First of all the Doctor himself, my favourite was Tom Baker so we'd need somebody else who is totally insa....... er that is eccentric, and ol Anthrax immediately springs to mind. Ruffle up the hair, and wrap a soft, strong and very very long scarf round his neck and he'd be perfect (well I use the term loosely, you must understand).
Then there is his arch-enemy, The Master. That's got to be our Deputy Head ol Postie. Not that our two revered Beaks are at daggers drawn, it's just that Mr Melman looks like the Master, face fungus and all, and has the right sort of evil attitude. He thinks nothing of whacking a naughty pupil hard if he catches them up to no good....... no milk of human kindness.
And for the cyberman who better than Mr Malcolm, a dead ringer for the role, or we could shove a wheelie bin over his head and cast him as a dalek!
Dr What-not would need a couple of intrepid female companions, so step forward Miss Livingboobs and Miss Teabags, and there you have it!
We could shove them all in the TARDIS, have a super duper time unsupervised and they would be back at the end of the school day all ready for Final Assembly after goodness knows how many adventures! And tired, so any whackings would be nice and gentle....

Friday, 23 October 2009

In the School Grounds.

The school grounds were stunning. So spacious, and the air was beautifully clear, other than if one was down wind of Prof Robertson's pipe!
It was a glorious venue.

Day One - School time

First of all, I'd like to point out that this blog about Boarding School is a joint effort between Michelle and myself. We have pooled notes and memories in order to protect the innocent!

Saturday morning, after a nice sleep in comfortable beds, we did our ablutions, changed into uniform, tidied the room and trooped downstairs for breakfast. Mr Malcolm greeted us by asking if we had been having tap dancing lessons in our room the night before. At our blank stares, he explained that it had been a tad noisy, what with the fart machine, us nipping up and down stairs, and then there were the other noisy "toys" he had discovered when the lights went out. He left us to eat our breakfast and do our chores with a curt order to see him in the Staff Room once we were finished. We did so. I retired to our common room to recover somewhat, but michelle's death wish was alive and well and she was foolish enough to cheek Eff-1 again. I watched her following him out of the school, and followed, curious to see why. Poor old michelle was sent to run around the lawn until ordered to stop! She managed quite a good power walking technique and went round about 7 or 8 times in all, and nearly managed to stop to chat to Prof Robertson before she was hauled back into the Staff Room. The usual noises issued forth and I nipped upstairs to get my PE kit for later.
We'd been told to fill in the sandwich list for lunch. There was lots of choice, and we were even able to request a second sandwich if we thought we were going to be very hungry. Sarah Robinson obviously thought that Professor Robertson needed some extra rations, especially as he's quite tall and sturdy, so she very kindly changed his "2" to "200". And do you know, he wasn't the least bit grateful! In fact he wrote it down as an offence in her punishment book! I'd made an addition to Mr Malcolm's choice, and added a request for a portion of hemlock as seasoning. He came across this later on in the day, and took umbrage. I couldn't sit comfortably for ages afterwards.
Seconds later the bell went, and I made it down to the common room just in time. We were all lined up ready to march across to the classroom block when tommy mac and michelle confessed that they didn't have their PE kit. We waited while they retrieved it, and had "Late" written in their punishment books, then marched off in a neat single file, me at the front behind Miss Liversausage, the others strung out behind me. As we approached the front door, I raised my water pistol grenade to shower Miss Livingstone. Unfortunately, unlike a proper water pistol, you can't tell which side the water is going to come out of too easily, and I only managed to squirt water to one side. Michelle was much more successful though, and thoroughly soaked Miss L's head. The downside for michelle was the fact that the glass entrance door acted like a mirror and Miss L knew exactly who was at fault!
We were taken all round the classroom block and shown the usual offices, fire escapes etc, then settled down to the first lesson, Military History with Professor Robertson. I was really excited cos I like history, and I kept firing off all these questions at him about what were we going to do, could we do this period or that period. After he told me to stop talking for the third time, I had to take my book to him for an entry re unnecessary talking, and I thought I had better desist.
We had a super lesson. The ultimate aim was to learn about the Evacuation from Dunkirk. Prof took us right back to the WW1, although he just skirted around that because he refuses to discuss the Great War as he considers it was simply murder, and we discussed social and economic conditions between the wars. It was fascinating. Michelle got caught passing sweets to tommy mac. Mr Malcolm spent some time in the room, and gave me and michelle an admonitory clip round the ear whenever he passed us just to warn us to be good. And I was being good! I always am if I'm interested in something! I think Prof was getting a bit peeved too, he seems to be a Beak who likes to control his own class.
At the end of the lesson several of us had to see Prof regarding our conduct. We got a stern lecture about behaviour and the consequences of interrupting his lesson which really struck home. He followed this up by saying he would come and find us and inflict our punishment when he was ready to do so. There was a dull thud as four tummies turned over and sank like stones! We went down to get our drinks at break feeling distinctly apprehensive.
In fact I think the trepidation must have got to Sarah cos she played truant during the next class! She got caught eventually of course,and had to face the wrath of both Miss Livingstone and Prof Robertson, which is quite a rich mixture!
The next lesson was PE, with Mr Malcolm. We started off with some stretches and bends, and followed those up with a hilarious set of games with a balloon. I think the balloon won. He then had me out at the front of the class demonstrating some dance moves. The fact that I have two left feet, no sense of rhythm, and difficulty in working out my right from my left in moments of stress incensed him somewhat. He tried writing L and R on the backs of my hands, but that upset any rhythm that I'd actually managed to find. In the end he sent me back into line, put some music on, and called out the moves as we did them. The others were moving quite nicely, especially tommy and michelle. I side stepped neatly to the curtains, and hid behind them for the remainder of the lesson. I wasn't missed. At least eff-one did ask at one point where is bethany? But I think he probably felt a bethany less class was all to the best. Then there were footsteps, and I heard Miss Livingstone's dulcet tones. As the line of dancers advanced upon my hiding place, I slipped out and tagged on the end. And I got away with it too!
And so to Lunch, dear readers. We will break here, and I will reveal all (or as much as I dare) of the activities in the afternoon.
bethany and michelle

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Boarding School prep

For prep at Boarding School, we were given an essay to write called "The Vanishing Headmistress". This was my contribution.

The Vanishing Headmistress.

The girls of the Liverwort Young Witches Coven School were very excited. In two weeks time it would be Halloween, the most important Festival of the school year.
Bethany and her friend Michelle were really, really excited. This year they were Middles, and would be taking a practical part in the Festivities. The previous two years they had been Juniors and were only allowed to watch. This year they were both thirteen years old, so deemed “sensible”. Well, the rest of the Third Form were deemed sensible, there was distinct unrest amongst the Staff whenever Bethany’s or Michelle’s name cropped up. However, Miss Malcoma, their form Mistress, had urged the headmistress, Miss Liverwort, an evil old crone it must be said, to let them take part in the activities.
“Both Bethany and Michelle are coming along quite nicely in Potions”, Miss Malcoma had told Miss Liverwort, “especially since we had the reinforced glass put in the windows of the Potions Lab. And that nasty green stain on the floor has almost faded. Perhaps they can work together on a small spell making project. They are both somewhat uncoordinated in broomstick dancing, and anyway there are fifteen in that Form, where thirteen is ideal for a dance exhibition.”
Miss Liverwort agreed, albeit somewhat reluctantly, although she did temper her agreement with promises of dire punishment for both Miss Malcoma and the girls if anything went wrong. Miss Malcoma paled perceptibly; Bethany and Michelle however were thrilled.
“I know,” said Beth, “let’s do that spell where we change an egg into a chicken and back again. You got a B for yours in the last exam, and even I managed a C.”
Michelle nodded eagerly, and the girls went to ask Prof Robbo for the proper ingredients for their spell. They tapped politely on the door and went inside. The room was empty. The girls decided they would just help themselves to whatever ingredients they needed. This was really very naughty, and strictly against the rules. Bethany and Michelle quickly gathered everything they thought they needed, substituting a couple of things they could not find for something similar, and scuttled off to the Potions Lab. The door there was locked.
“What do we do now,” asked Michelle.
“Kitchen”, replied Bethany succinctly. “I know it’s out of bounds, but we do need to practice.”
The kitchen was deserted. The girls took a saucepan and started to mix the herbs and potions, heating it gently until the mixture bubbled, murmuring incantations as they worked. Bethany started to look worried.
“It’s supposed to be bright pink, isn’t it?” she asked.
“You didn’t put a feather in it,” replied Michelle.
“Bother and blow!” snapped Bethany.
She let herself out of the back door and scurried across to the hen coop to find a feather. In her haste, she left the coop door ajar, and didn’t notice the hens streaming out behind her.
Arriving back at the kitchen, Bethany threw the feather into the pot, and cried out
“Eggio, disperatu, henus exactamus”.
Michelle started to say that she thought that was wrong, surely is was “disperam” not “disperatu” , but then she gripped Bethany’s arm.
“Someone’s coming in,” she hissed.
Bethany glanced into the saucepan, the mixture wasn’t bright pink at all, it was brown and a bit muddy looking. She hoicked the feather out of the pan, then followed Michelle who had fled out of the back door.
Gwladys, the Welsh maid, a nice girl, but definitely on the simple side, entered the kitchen.
“Oh goodo, Cook bach has made Miss Liverwort’s cocoa already. I’ll take her up a big mug cos the old bat is getting a cold, and she’s evil enough when she’s well. Plus she’s all bunged up, and she needs to be able to smell properly on Halloween.”
Gwladys tipped most of the contents of the girls’ pan into a large mug, and carried it off to the Headmistress’s study.
“About time too, Gwladys, you lazy girl” snapped Miss Liverwort, drinking most of the mug's contents at one gulp. “Groogh, everything tastes foul today.”
She glanced out of the window while Gwladys stood by the door, pleating her white apron between nervous fingers.
“Oh Gwladys, the hens are out. Get some of the girls, we must round them up.”
As Gwladys hurried to do her bidding, Miss Liverwort stood up. She felt rather peculiar, maybe this head cold was turning to flu. She really felt as if she was shrinking, and her wings were scratchy. Her wings? Miss Liverwort peered down, she was covered in brown feathers. She fluttered and hopped onto the window seat, and just as Gwladys re-entered the room she fluttered into the garden and joined the flock of hens running hither and thither across the lawn.
Gwladys ran outside and bumped into Bethany and Michelle.
“Miss Liverwort has vanished Miss Bethany. Her clothes are on the floor, and I saw a hen jumping out of the window. And Miss Liverwort never finished the cocoa I found in the kitchen either.”
Michelle and Bethany looked at each other horror stricken. Then they turned and ran round to the Headmistress’s garden. Several girls and Mistresses were already there, shooing the hens back into their coop. Twenty-five identical brown hens looked balefully through the wire. Bethany and Michelle quietly melted out of the crowd.
Next morning, in the absence of Miss Liverwort, Miss Malcoma took Assembly.
“Girls”, she announced, “something very serious has happened. Our beloved Headmistress…..” she paused as a suppressed murmur rose from the assembled girls, many of whom were casting their eyes up to the ceiling, “our beloved Headmistress, Miss Liverwort,“ continued Miss Malcoma firmly, “has vanished. We have decided to bring forward our Halloween Feast to today, as once the Authorities are let loose in this school, it will probably be closed down. People outside the Magical World do not understand our Scene. We will be called bad names. So after the Feast, all the Junior and Middle girls will be sent home early.”
One of the doors at the far end of Hall drifted open. A smell of roast chicken wafted around the room.
“As a special treat,” continued Miss Malcoma, “we will be having barbecued chicken, all lovely and fresh from our own hen coop.”
Bethany and Michelle gazed at each aghast.
“Looks like we may get away with it, Shell,” murmured Bethany to her friend, “but do remind me to go for the vegetarian option at the Feast.”
The End

Monday, 19 October 2009

Boarder - Day One

On Friday, my Guardian dropped me off at the Headmistress's house so that I could be taken to boarding school. The whole trip was a bit too far for my Guardian to drive, and the School Authorities refused to let me be sent on the train by myself as (in role) I am only thirteen and three quarters. Tommy mac had been ordered to report to Miss L too, as she had decreed that "two of the naughtiest pupils in the school" would be better off directly under her eye. We weren't too sure because we wanted to plot, but we had to do as we were told.
In actual fact the journey was quite uneventful. We started off a bit late cos it was decided that we should go in convoy with Mr Reamon, and he had to bring Katherine. I'm sure the three of us could have managed to travel across country all by ourselves quite successfully, it's awful when you gain a reputation! Still, we were allowed to stop at a motorway cafe and we had burgers and chicken, and tommy had something veggie and then we were off again!
The cars bowled along quite merrily, and eventually we reached the school. It's gorgeous, nestled in the country, miles away from towns, and motorways, and it was a long way from a train station so it was as well Miss L took us.
We helped to carry everything in, and had a good look round. There was that wonderful school smell of polish, and dust, and old cabbage and disinfectant that is so heady. Mr Malcolm and Michelle had arrived a few minutes ahead of us, and Prof Robertson turned up not too long after with Sarah Robinson in tow. Apparently none of our Guardians had trusted us to travel alone, even Nicola was dropped off at the school gates and trundled her school trunk along the drive.
Miss Liversausage took us upstairs and showed us our dormitories. Me, Michelle and Sarah were in the big dormitory, and Tommy Mac was in the boys' dormitory. Miss L had put Nicola and Katherine in a smaller girls' dormitory further along the corridor, I believe she thinks we are a bad influence. Can't think why. We had a quick nose around the staff corridor. It was a bit galling to find that one set of stairs from our floor opened up directly outside Mr Malcolm and Prof Robertson's rooms, and the other stairs were disturbingly close to Miss Liversausage's room, while Mr Reaman was close too. We could see that was going to cause us some logistical problems when it came to feasting.
We went back to the dormies, and changed into uniform, then went downstairs for my favourite, Shepherds Pie and vegetables. We set the tables, and just as the food was ready, our School cook and her assistant arrived, and we were all set for the term. The cook, Mrs Lovett, and her assistant Miss Todd were given the room next to ours, and we were put on our honour not to disturb or annoy them during the night. So of course we didn't, being on your honour at New Grange Manor is taken very seriously by all the pupils.
It being the first night, we had a bit of free time which we put to good use by finding an empty dormitory and hiding all our booze, erm I mean our lemonades of course, in the bedside cabinet. Sarah, michelle and I spent some time blowing up a couple of inflatable men, an inflatable woman, and a crocodile. We were annoyed to find that a couple of the things had punctures, so later on, tommy mac filled the bath with cold water and we dunked the things in there to find the holes. Tommy had brought some white plastic tape, and it made quite good puncture repair plasters! We hid the men under the spare bed, and popped the woman into the wardrobe, ready for action.
Mr Malcolm caught me trying to go out of bounds and sent me to the Staff Room. I didn't think I'd get into much bother on the first night of term, but Mr Malcolm gave me one of his skin stripping reprimands about behaviour, good manners, adherence to rules etc, then dealt with me in the usual NGM manner with, to my mind, somewhat more enthusiasm that the occasion demanded! However, you can't argue with Beaks, and I retired to the kitchen for a comforting cup of hot chocolate! Once the sting had abated somewhat, vengeance occupied my mind!! I sought out michelle, cos I knew she had several suitable toys.
Lights Out came first though. We were far too excited to go to sleep. We chased in and out of each other's dormitories, and then michelle hid a fart machine in Mr Malcolm's room, along with a couple of noise machines. We just got out of there in time, cos he came up the stairs while we still hovering and gave us a lecture about what would happen if we went into his room! We ran back upstairs, and he came along to put the Light Out and tell us to go to sleep.
Sleep was well out the question though. I'd put new batteries in my snoring teddy, Nelson (he only has one eye) , and the other two were on the edge of their beds chatting away. I'd given tommy mac one of the walkie talkies I'd brought, and we tried that out. It was fairly successful. Then Mr Malcolm came storming in. He'd had to come back upstairs cos of all the noise and he was a bit cross. However he didn't have any of his "toys" with him, so I cheeked him back and didn't turn Nelson off when he told me to....... Sadly I hadn't noticed what Sir was wearing on his feet, and I found myself face down on the coverlet, getting several swats from one of his slippers. I hopped back under the covers and pretended I was going to go to sleep.
He turned the light off again, and departed. Michelle and I gave him five minutes, then we crept out onto the landing. We could hear the Beaks and the Cooks chatting away down in the kitchen. Not clearly, you understand, we weren't eavesdropping, just listening to see when they were going to go to bed. It took a while but eventually they trundled off one by one. While Michelle kept watch, I eased myself down a couple of steps, and aimed the remote control at Mr Malcolm's door. We were rewarded by the most amazing growling fart which reverberated all round the Staff landing . Encouraged, I jabbed the button two or three times more, then scuttled up the stairs as his door suddenly opened.
This time he brought his strap upstairs with him. Suitably chastised, we did actually settle down to sleep.............
to be continued.

That Boarding School

Just home from boarding school, and it was even better than last time. Didn't think that was really possible, but it was! We had such fun! We had lots of interesting lessons, and we were so full of mischief that the Staff Room reverberated night and day to our cries of woe once we had been caught, which we invariably were.
Anyway, first of all I need a hot drink and a chance to quieten down from my excitement, then I will share all (well nearly all ) with my readers.
Bethany Grant
Head Girl

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Boarding School Imminent!!

It will be boarding school soon. We have got so much mischief planned!! My guardian is busy washing and ironing my uniform, including my PE kit all ready to pack in my suitcase. I have one or two things to go in there too!
I'd love to share with you all just what we are going to get up to, but as I've said before, the odd Beak occasionally casts an eye over this, so you will have to wait until term is over, and I can reveal all!

Monday, 14 September 2009

A Busy School

School was very busy this last term. First of all we had presentations. Jane won Pupil of the Year for most individual house points, and Roman House won the House Shield. I'm House Captain of Romans, so I was well pleased with the efforts of my fellow Romans.
School actually started off fairly quietly. We have this little game that we play, called "pegging". you have to see how many pegs you can attach to a Beak without them catching on. It's not as easy as it seems because they are aware of our goals, and most of the Beaks shy away nervously if a pupil approaches within 18 inches of them. New Beaks are the easiest, because they haven't developed the highly suspicious nature of the regular ones! And then of course there is practice. You need to have a very quick, light hand to do the deed as you stroll past. My Nemesis befell me as I tried to peg Mr Armstrong. He was wearing a natty piece of gent's tailoring, a striped blazer, and we'd already chanced our luck by asking him where he had "parked" his boat. Apparently it was moored at Henley and we were to watch it. After a moment's confusion as Henley is some way up River from our venue, it dawned on us that it was our behviour we had to watch. So I strolled past with a rather nice green peg, with a tail on it, but I fumbled the pass, and I hadn't got more than two or three paces away when the words "Grant, see me straight after Assembly" stopped me in my tracks.
Once the unpleasantness was over I wriggled back to my seat, and settled down for history. We had a super lesson on ancient Romans. We learned about the structure of the Roman Army. Prof had provided lots of pictures, which we studied while he explained the difference between officers and other ranks, and all about the punishments they got if they didn't fight hard enough. We learned all about the origin of the word decimate..... fairly innocuous today, but two thousand years ago it meant the death of every tenth man in the offending legion. Scary hey? I think the other beaks were a bit surprised at how well behaved we were, but most of us were disappointed when the lesson came to an end.
We worked our way through maths and Drama, collecting entries for our Discipline Books, and having them dealt with during breaks. Tommy and I went round everyone making sure that they were all set for our major plan for the day's mischief. Mr Armstron had recently reminded us about Politeness to Teachers. At NGM, when the Beak comes into the classroom at the beginning of the lesson, we all have to stand up, and remain quiet until given permission to sit. This time, when ol Amstring came in, we stayed sitting, chatting amongst ourselves, throwing toys about etc. Sir was incensed, our books were collected and the spare Beaks assiduously wrote down our offences as we started English Grammar. In the interim I quietly turned on my Fisher's Price tape recorder which was hidden under my desk complete with specially doctored music cassette tape.
We were about five minutes into the Grammar Lesson when the tape kicked in, and the theme from the film Jaws filled the air. I put up my hand, and remarked brightly, "Please Sir, they're playing your tune!" Mr Armstrong glared around the classroom, but even he had to smile when he found us all grinning back at him, wearing the jelly fangs which Tommy mac had provided! There was more scribbling in the books!
We finished off the day with a set of Puppet plays based on the Punch and Judy theme. Vikings dropped their baby, Saxons did theirs in original Anglo Saxon which incensed Miss Livingboobs who does not allow uncomplimentary language in school, Romans did a parody of Postman Pat and his black and white cat using the Beaks as their models, and Celts wowed us all with a tale of cannibalism which won them the House Points on offer.
I checked my discipline book and found I had several entries still to be dealt with. Nothing too serious in my opinion, but Mr Armstrong wasn't very appreciative when I shrugged my shoulders at him when he called me to task for entering the kitchen without permission, and Mr Melman (Postman Pat) wasn't too enamoured of the grow your own wig which I had bought for him. Well, the weather's getting chilly, I was just thinking of his welfare, he has a broad forehead and must feel the cold! I didn't feel cold when they both finished dealing with me though. Mr Malcolm kept on blaming me for impertinence, and he nearly punished me for pegging him when I hadn't. I was telling him it wasn't me, and Ol amstring who was passing by told him that if I said it wasn't me, it wasn't, cos I am very truthful. I still got punished for cheek though, and he kept losing count I think, and starting from the beginning, cos there were several lots of six involved!
So all in all another fun day. And the next thing is boarding school! We have got so much planned for that! Unfortunately I can't give much hint of that here cos this is glanced over occasionally by the odd Beak, and we don't want to spoil the surprise! So more about that after the event providing I can settle comfortably on a chair long enough to type up the account!

Friday, 21 August 2009

Term time is approaching

Term time seems to be creeping up on us. Time, I think , for some serious plotting. I can't disclose much on here just in case it's being monitored by the Beaks, but it depends rather on whether they have accrued any computer privileges. Our Beaks, you see, are parked safely in the Home for the Frail and Befuddled between terms, where they do bed pan training, knotting courses, or, in the case of our Head of English, just hang upside down from the rafters in the basement, like a bat. Good behaviour and compliance does, or so we pupils understand, earn the Beaks privileges, like using the computer, having a real knife to cut their meat rather than a plastic one and so on. Computer privileges can be something of a nuisance though, as we are frequently called to task or ordered "On Report" by a disgruntled Beak. Still, I'll take a chance cos there are a couple of things which I need to know.
Would anyone know what is the best sort of glue for attaching teeth to a mousetrap? And would it be a good idea to transfer current from the mains through the Staff Room door handle, or would that be just a tad too strong? Science isn't my best subject.
I really must go and sort through my satchel, update the contents, and get rid of anything superfluous to my needs, like exercise books and test papers.
Bethany Grant
Head Girl

Sunday, 9 August 2009

The School Trip

We had the bestest ever school trip yesterday. And we didn't have to wear uniform, not even our NGM tee shirts, so I wore my Little Miss Trouble tee shirt! We went to Stonehenge. It was brill. By "we" I mean Miss Livingstone our long suffering Headmistress, Mr Malcolm, and Professor Robertson, who were the beaks in charge, then there was me, tommy mac, peter martin and sarah robinson. It's difficult, being summer time, for all the pupils to get together outside of term, lots of them have Guardians who take them to nice places like Cornwall or Blackpool. My Guardian sent me to stay with his miserable Cousin at Gloom House in Grim Cove, but they didn't keep me long, however that's another story!!
Back to yesterday. My Guardian decanted me at the Headmistress's house. We were a few minutes late owing to unexpected developments at home, but I got there before tommy mac!!! Yayy, tommy was late, again....Miss Liversausage told him off! We sat quietly in the car while we were driven down to a carpark near Amesbury, I think it was called, where we met Prof Robertson who had very kindly offered to bring sarah robinson down with him. Peter martin was dropped off, presumably by his guardian but I didn't see him arrive at first, then Mr Malcolm arrived. I'd tried sending Mr Malcolm some alternative driving directions and a change of time, but he'd sussed out what I was doing and I was under strict instructions to behave myself, or else!
Tommy, me, peter and sarah got into a huddle cos we wanted to apprise sarah of a couple of things we have got plotted for next term and her Guardian doesn't have computer privileges. Bit of a Luddite or so I understand from sarah. Anyway, the Beaks were immediately suspicious, they always are when they see a gaggle of us together, can't imagine why. So it ended up that tommy and peter were kept together with Miss L, sarah had to ride with Prof, and Mr Malcolm made me ride in his car with a threat of a reprimand if I didn't toe the line. His reps tend to burn strips off your skin, so I thought I'd better be good.
Eventually we parked, and walked along this track towards Normanton Down Cemetery. The landscape was amazing, softly rolling hills with humps along their ridges. Miss Liversausage explained that these were barrows. There are lots of different types, and this area is fair peppered with them. The bronze age people and the neolithic people used to park their dead relatives in these barrows, along with grave goods. Tommy wanted to go and dig a hole, but Miss L said we were not allowed to go right up to them.
After a while, the track that we were following rose up and up, and then, at the crest, we could see right across the valley to where Stonehenge stood out in all its glory. It was spectacular to us 21st century folk, and we knew it was there, it must have been awe inspiring to the ancient folk.
After a stop for drinks, we pottered back to the cars, and went round to Stonehenge itself.
First priority was lunch. The weather was glorious and we just sat in the field and munched and chatted. Miss Livingstone wanted to take us all across to see the barrows up close. By this time, I was in a bit of difficulty. My walking boots are still rather new, and a bit stiff, and I'd managed to grow an enormous blister on the side of my big toe, plus the waistband of my jeans was scraping across the scar I acquired recently in hospital, and my side felt like it was on fire.
The beaks were somewhat reluctant to leave me to my own devices. Eff-one (Mr Malcolm) seemed to be of the opinion that I might knock the stones down like a domino run if I wasn't watched. I think he was still a tad miffed cos I'd suggested we use him as a sacrificial goat as a sort of practical lesson on what happened in the olden days at Stonehenge!
Anyway, I believe lots were drawn, and it fell to Prof Robertson to give up the 3 mile round trek to the barrows and supervise my behaviour. Having felt his hand on more than one occasion, I decided I didn't want to run the risk of a spanking and sat quietly while the others set off on their expedition. It was very comfortable sitting in the sun. Prof Robertson and I discussed various aspects of military history, and the life and times in the late nineteen forties, fifties and sixties, so the time passed quickly and pleasantly.
When the others returned, we were taken to a harvester restaurant where we had a scrummy meal. Everyone was still on their best behaviour and it was fun eating with the grown ups.
After that we said goodbye to Sarah and Prof cos they had a long way to go home, and we went off to drive home. It was super fun, and I do hope we get to go on another day trip.
Bethany Grant
Head Girl

Sunday, 12 July 2009

July Schoolday.

Well, that was a fun day. We had co-ordinated a certain amount of mischief in the days before school began, and huddled together just before Assembly to fine tune the details! We had decided that Mr Melman was to be the target of the rhubarb project. We have nothing against the dear man, it was just that his subject lent itself to our needs! He's the Social and Economic History Beak, you see, and we get some very interesting lectures about famous, and infamous folk in history. The ploy was to wait and see which poor sod he had angled in on this time, then use their name as the cue for chanting "rhubarb". We were going to claim that we were victims of post hypnotic suggestion, but retribution landed far too swiftly for us to try and swing that one. The first problem came when Mr Melman, or Postman Pat as he is affectionately known amongst his little charges, revealed that he had left his notes at home, so was considering doing a General Knowledge quiz. By chance there was available a little project on William Corder, the Red Barn Murderer, so Postman Pat being a believer in democracy, decided he would put us to the vote as to whether we wanted history or General Knowledge. Tommy went round the boys, I nobbled the girls, and it was suggested that we all vote for History! We did.
The beauty of having the subject of the lecture as the cue word is that the lecturer has to keep repeating the name as the talk continues... even when he's twigged! It didn't take him long to twig either, and he had Mr Malcolm (aka eff-one) scurrying around the classroom collecting our punishment books, then writing "rhubarb" under the list of offences! Retribution was suitably painful, but the giggle factor was worth it!
There was quite a lively race meeting after lunch. Racing grannies and nuns bounded along the track, and several of the pupils were betting quite heavily. Yours truly was out of this bit of mischief. I'd upset eff-one a tad by dropping a pill into his orangeade which transformed into a snake (the pill not the orangeade). He took exception to this, and also decided that as I was handy, he would wipe off a few more offences from my list. They are amazing those lists, they are like Topsy from Uncle Tom's Cabin, they just grow! Anyway, I think he was slightly on the miffed side, he certainly laid on with a will anyway, and I retired to the step outside the back door to recover my composure for several minutes. The only advantage was that I was not hauled away by the Headmistress to be dealt with for gambling. An offence which is definitely against the school rules.
At the beginning of school I'd managed to secrete a grisly sounds machine in the cupboard behind the teacher. It went off several times before Mr Grimshaw (the Grim) tracked it down. There was another one going off at the same time, a ruder one, which gave mine some respite and a chance to moan again. Mr G expressed his displeasure in the usual way, and I do rather bemoan the fact that we are not issued with soft cushions for our rather hard school seats.
I was in a funny old mood overall cos I was so thrilled to be back after being off sick last time. I decided to see what would happen if I tried some blatant defiance. I said "shan't" to Postman Pat, and refused to let eff-one confiscate a tap prank, telling him "no, will not"...... The results were reprimands which curled my toes, and chastisements that I can still feel as I type. I did make my apologies, and I've ticked that off my things to try to do, and put them onto my list of things not to be attempted again because the consequences are too dire.
We had a rather interesting maths lesson with Miss Brookes (Miss Teabags....what else could we call her), doing tangrams. They are a lot trickier than they look. We also had some questions on triangles, and I was thrilled to five out of five right, cos that meant a house point (and they are as rare as hen's teeth most of the time!).
Archaeology involved a lesson on Stonehenge. I think most if not all of us were disappointed when it had to be cut short cos we were running out of time. Still we've got that to look forward to in September.
We didn't manage absolutely everything that we had planned, but then there is always next time and it's good to have some plans in reserve.
Lots of good harmless fun, plenty of nice naughtiness, and we have inculcated the new oiks into the ethos of the school, no sneaking, no letting someone else take the blame for your mischief and we all pull together against the beaks.
Bethany Grant
Head Girl

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

New Term

The new term is creeping up upon us. I am so excited. I missed last term due to ill health, so I'm going to doubly enjoy myself this time. We have been plotting. Can't mention the pranks here cos sometimes there is the odd beak (and our Beaks are odd, believe me) lurking about. I don't want to forewarn them. But after school, I will reveal all!

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

The Midnight Feast

We were all quite tired at the end of the first full day. We'd had several hours of formal lessons, and after tea we'd settled down to an hour's prep too. I tried injecting a spot of liveliness into prep, but all I managed was to infuriate Mr Malcolm into handing out a caning which left me very well behaved for the remainder of the period!
After Prep there was one more lesson, star gazing, but I had to remain indoors because my Guardian had forbidden me to go out into the cool night air. The others all enjoyed the lesson, but we were all very excited because we had planned a Midnight Feast.
First of all we had to get past Lights Out. Sadly, our excitement caused us to chatter, and Miss Livingstone descended upon us and placed us on report for talking after Lights Out. We kept a bit quieter after that. Michelle and I took turns going out on the landing to see when all the Beaks had gone to bed. It was lucky we were on the top floor and they were on the floor below, cos we could spy on them quite easily.
We'd decided that the traditional hour, Midnight, was to be our target time. The last of the Beaks headed off to beddy byes at 1130, and we set about waking the others. Tommy mac and Peter were fast asleep, but woke up quickly once they realised it was time. Katherine and Nicola were a much more difficult task, and we had to reluctantly leave Nicola who was just too soundly asleep to rouse!
We gathered all our tuck, and started creeping down the stairs. Tommy mac remarked that stairs make much more noise after dark, and he was right, they creaked and groaned as if to wake the dead!
However we reached the ground floor safely, and ensconced ourselves in the Staff Room. Yes, I know the Staff Room is out of bounds to the pupils, but we were being so naughty anyway, we didn't think it would make that much difference!
We had a super assortment of goodies, cakes, crisps, nibbles, chocolate, coke and cider. We raided the kitchen to look for more goodies, and the boys had a Cup Final Championship on the football thingy game . A couple of the girls nipped out the back to smoke, then we all returned to the Staff Room and chatted for simply ages. Not a soul stirred upstairs, and we were thrilled to think we'd got away with it.
Next morning however nemesis caught up with us! We were summoned into the Staff Room, and Miss Livingstone produced some wrappers, and a cidery cup which we'd been careless enough to leave behind. We knew the game was up, and anyway, at New Grange Manor we are on our honour to tell the truth, so we confessed. We made sure that the Staff knew that Nicola was innocent though, we look after our chums at NGM.
Retribution was of course, swift, Robert and I got double as we are Head Boy and Girl... there's always responsibility with office! And although we all, except Nicola, had some difficulty sitting comfortably at breakfast, the memory of the Feast kept us giggling for the rest of the day.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Boarding School

That was the bestest, superest, dooperiest weekend ever! And once I can sit comfortably for a period of time on this hard seat, I shall share some of it with you! Things like the Midnight Feast, the Kitchen Raid (which we got away with), the 2am bombardment of sound bugs (which we didn't get away with hence my discomfort!) the school trip to the seaside, all sorts of wonderful things!

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Gulp! School Tomorrow!

It's tomorrow! The hols have come to an end, and we are back to the grindstone! I wanted to go by train, cos there was always the chance of accidentally getting on the wrong train and going to Land's End or John O'Groats by mistake, and having a few days of unsupervised mischief. However, my Guardian has got the route planned out, including some stops en route, and I've been warned I've got to be good while travelling.
Once I've put my stuff away in the dorm, and changed into uniform I'm slated for an interview with Mr M. That's not Mr melman, the Deputy head, it's the beak we call Eff-1. Mr Melman, if my readers remember aright, is ol Postie, but unfortunately his parole was revoked or something (he told one of my chums he was moonlighting elsewhere, "working" was the term he used I believe but....) so at least that's one pair of Beakish eyes which won't be glinting like gimlets in our direction!
I am experiencing some trepidation, although Eff-1 seems to be a quiet sort of bloke, he's no slouch with a cane, and, with hindsight, I do wonder if I was slightly more cheekier than I really intended. Still, the whole point of punishment is to make the miscreant feel sorry, so if I can convince him that I really, really couldn't be sorrier than I am now, he may let me off. It's worth a try anyway.
It'll be fun sharing a dormitory again. I need to smuggle in a few things in my tuck box, we must have a dorm feast, it's traditional. Depends I suppose on who is duty bed time Beak too as to when we can actually plan it. We have another little plan in the pipeline, but this one might be quite difficult to actually implement. I'll report on that later, if we manage to pull it off.
I had a moment's panic when I couldn't find my school shoes. Thankfully they were wrapped in a bag and in the car boot already. Matron would have had a few things to say if I'd turned up in full uniform and trainers!
So tonight is the last in my own little bed, with my toys around me, and the trees waving outside the window. It'll feel funny tomorrow, being in another bed. Hope the mattress isn't lumpy!
My Guardian says I have to have an early night so bye for now.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Boarding School.

Boarding school is getting closer and closer. My suitcase is very nearly packed with my school uniform, including a couple of extra white shirts. My holiday homework is done too, all twenty two pages of it! My Guardian has checked the route, and we are going to have a bit of a sightseeing tour on the way there. I've been trying to pack my own bits and pieces too. I'm sure there will be lots of scope for mischief once we are settled in.
I'm already in a bit of trouble though. Misunderstood again of course, Mr M has taken high spirits as impertinence, and he is determined to reform me. Oh well, it's been tried before and I've popped back up. Irrepressible was the term used, I believe, along with incorrigible and recidivist! But then, a quiet, studious, subdued bethers would probably be more of a worry to matron than the usual article. Hope the grub's good...... you know what school dinners are usually like!

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Dead Computer

No news at the moment cos my home computer has died to all practical purposes. And I don't much fancy sharing my blogging thoughts in an internet cafe! But watch this space new computer is winging its way towards me!

Saturday, 14 March 2009

What a good school day.

Wow, what a great day. The beaks were in good form, too good on occasion, nothing escaped their eagle eyes! I'm not quite up to chatting about it all now, this chair is a tad too hard to do much sitting at the moment. So I'll mull over the events in my mind, and share them later. I'm still a bit shaken by the reprimand I got off the Deputy Head. I hadn't realised quite how naughty I'd been, hiding outside and missing the start of the last lesson, and his stern words hit home......

Friday, 13 March 2009

Golly Gosh!

It's so exciting, school tomorrow! I've got my uniform neatly pressed, my shoes are shining, and they are all safely stashed away in the boot of the car. My satchel is in there too. packed with school stationery, pens, pencils and some bits and bobs of which more later. The day after school to be exact, just in case any of the beaks have gained computer privileges in the Home for the Frail and Befuddled and are looking at this. Peek a boo Sir or Miss if you are!!
From all accounts it sounds as if we will have a decent sized school tomorrow. Plenty of pupils, and (unfortunately) a plethora of Beaks, so mischief is going to take a fair bit of planning. Never mind, it's often the spontaneous mischief which works the best! Like the time I spotted a decorative bell at the car boot sale just before school, decorative cos it had no clapper, but in other respects it was a double of the school bell. By some judicious sleight of hand, I substituted my bell for the school one. Come 9am, the head beak started swinging the thing backwards and forwards, but no sound issued forth. When he turned it upside down to investigate, Matron chirped up with, "Oh dear, Head Master, you've lost your dangler", and the whole school erupted with laughter.
We're not allowed to touch the thing now, rotten spoilsports, and we do have to do as we are told, otherwise we get an entry in our punishment record book, and that augurs all sorts of unpleasantness. However, I've nearly run out of pages in my record book, and I reckon once I get down to the last entry, I'll be able to behave however I want cos there will be nowhere to add new punishments! Neat hey?
Right then, I need to go and prime, er that is, check on a couple of items, make sure they are in pristine order.And make sure my pencil's sharpened ready for Art. It really is going to be such fun!

Monday, 2 March 2009

Nearly Spring Term

Term time is drawing closer.
Time to regress to a period when
teachers had to be called "Sir" or "Miss", and uniform regulations were strict. Wonder what we will be learning this time, and just how many pranks we will be able to pull off in class!

Sunday, 22 February 2009


"Hmmm....." It's jolly difficult you know, to read expression in the written word. I mean, take that Hmmm which the Deputy Head so kindly left. Could it be taken as a murmur of approval, shorthand say for "Goodness gracious, I didn't know the dear girl had been paying attention so intently in class, and to apply herself to work outside the classroom so energetically, well, I am gratified...." or " What a clever pupil, and how gratifying that she should use me as the role model....."
(New paragraph)It's not easy you see unless you can hear the tone of voice that was used. Emphasis is the word I think our erstwhile Head of English, one E.ver P.resent (well he's always hovering nearby when mischief is afoot) Armstrong, would use. You can follow the reasoning in the sentence, "the cat sat on the mat", as in "the CAT sat on the mat", "the cat sat on the MAT", or "the cat SAT on the mat."..... three different emphases..
So back to ol Postie and his Hmmmm...... There is of course a third option, the hmmm forced through gritted teeth, the raising of the eyebrows, the scowl, the fingers twitching as if holding an imaginary cane. Knowing my station in life, as a lowly pupil at private school, I reluctantly admit I rather favour the latter.... The choice that is, not the consequences. I don't want to be on the carpet again, it's starting to wear a bit thin where my feet shuffle about, explaining myself to an irate Beak, but in an unfair world I think the last line of the poem will come to fruition, and Sir will doom me to Detention.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Poetry Appreciation.

One of my favourite lessons at New Grange Manor is English. I'm also very interested in History, but that's a subject for another day. Anyway, I've learned quite a bit about the different types of poetry, ballads, narrative verse, sonnets, limericks etc. One of the types which appealed to me was parody. I found an interesting poem in a St Jim's book, by, I think, the author of the Billy Bunter stories. it seemed to cry out for parodying, so here goes.......

The Deputy Head.

He stalks abroad in cap and gown,
His countenance is thund’ry;
He wears a fierce forbidding frown
Which startles all and sundry
When Mr Melman’s on the prowl
A leather belt tightly gripping,
Few stop to meet his angry scowl-
To safety they go skipping.

No sterner tyrant walked the earth
Since the fierce days of Nero:
No connoisseur of human worth
Could hail him as a hero.
But NGM children dislike him not,
And Susie , Beth and Tommy Mac
Continually applaud their lot;
They’ve such respect for Postman Pat.

In those “unhappy far-off days”
Of which the poet prattles,
Timothy, perhaps, had childish ways,
And played with hoops and rattles.
But if he ever was a youth.
(And many NGM-ers doubt it)
Our Postie has, to tell the truth
Forgotten all about it!

What makes him so severe and stern?
That is a puzzling question:
Perhaps he often gets a turn,
Of painful indigestion!
Perhaps a pessimist is he
Who pines in sad seclusion,
And sees in life no fun or glee,
But sadness and delusion.

To spare the rod and spoil the child,
Is not his resolution:
In fact, when Ol’ Melman’s wild,
He does great execution!
To rule by kindness, not by fear,
Should be his fixed intention:
But when he reads what’s written here,
He’ll doom Bethany Grant to detention!

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Mundane Thoughts

I recently bought a video of "Madagascar". I'm not a fan of cartoons, but rumour had it that our Deputy Head has the same name as one of the stars of the film, so curiosity got the better of me. Interesting... the psychology I mean.... He didn't choose Mr Alex, the lion, the brave leader of the...... er.... gang rather than pack I think. Or Gloria, although I can maybe see his thinking re that particular character, or Marty the adventurous zebra, no he went for bumbling, cautious ol Melman, the one with the neck. As I say, interesting. It's made me think about the other names that our groan ups have chosen, or had thrust upon them.
Mr Armstrong is fairly obvious, the bloke does have strong arms, and a certain skill in placing a stroke.... No doubt all that cricket that he gets up to when not incarcerated in the Home for the Frail and Bewildered. You'll remember the place I think, the beaks were sent there when the NHS closed down their other Home. EPA., as he likes to be known ( Edward Peregrine perhaps... we really must investigate this ) found his niche in the basement once again, where he hangs upside down, from the rafters, like a bat.
Miss Brookes probably thought she was fairly safe. A short snappy name. But lateral thinking is de rigeur at NGM, and from Brooke we arrived at Brooke Bond, and from there it was a simple step to arrive at Miss Teabags.
Matron Godders, is easy, from Matron we get Matey, because School Matrons are supposed to be kind, motherly, the repository of our darkest fears........ it's a bit of a blow to find that ours has 20/20 vision and eyes in the back of her head. No getting any naughtiness past her!
Miss Livingstone, our erstwhile Headmistress. What a gift her name is. Such possibilities for even the least naughty of our schoolchildren.... Miss Liversausage (my favourite) Livingboobs (usually from the naughty boys) Pavingslabs...the list is endless.
And then comes Miss Molestrangler. Now that is a name to conjure with. I have a sneaking suspicion that anyone who chooses Molestrangler as a name should perhaps be treated with kid gloves...psychology again!
Mr Reaman, is he a real man. or a remnant ...being rather new, we haven't quite got our heads together over this one.......
Miss Trescothick..... another weird and wonderful name...a devil to spell, especially backwards, and almost impossible to pronounce when one is in the grip of great emotions, having perhaps, just been discovered causing inappropriate noises in class. The dear lady does have sharp hearing! But again, another wonderful name to play with, Miss Teacosy is my favourite, and as we have Miss Teabags, they do rather make a set!
So these are our (more or less) regular Beaks. (For the uninitiated, a Beak is a term of endearment for a Schoolmaster/Mistress. Eyebrows have risen when individual teachers have been referred to as Beaks, but then, it is so much more respectful, and kinder, than Muppet....
So that's the faculty at New Grange Manor, interesting bunch, and bane of the life of misunderstood pupils!

Friday, 23 January 2009

Tempus Fugit

A whole week since last school, several more until the next. Time for memories to chuckle over, and even more time for plotting new mischief. Time too to sort out my uniform, get it cleaned before I drop into the Party on the 7th. Time to start spreading the word that NGM is up and running, let folk see the new green jumper and blazer and get them used to associating bottle green with NGM. Gentle bratting I think, we are not St Trinian's.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

First Thoughts

Well, this is all rather exciting. Never done a blog before. It's something that bears thinking about. First few bloggy thingies will ramble a bit I think.