Sunday, 18 December 2011

An NGM Christmas Parody

On the first day of Christmas Miss Livingstone gave to me,
A paper on archaeology;
On the second day of Christmas Miss Livingstone gave to me
Two exploding pens;
On the third day of Christmas Miss Livingstone gave to me,
Three shepherds pies;
On the fourth day of Christmas Miss Livingstone gave to me,
Four whippy canes;
On the fifth day of Christmas Miss Livingstone gave to me,
Five unctuous Beaks;
On the sixth day of Christmas Miss Livingstone gave to me,
Six straps a cracking:
On the seventh day of Christmas Miss Livingstone gave to me:
Seven sorts of jelly:
On the eighth day of Christmas Miss Livingstone gave to me,
Eight spoons a-flicking;
On the ninth day of Christmas Miss Livingstone gave to me
Nine Beaks a whipping:
On the tenth day of Christmas Miss Livingstone gave to me,
Ten puppets prancing;
On the eleventh day of Christmas Miss Livingstone gave to me,
Eleven fairies dancing;
On the twelfth day of Christmas Miss Livingstone gave to me,
Twelve pupils singing.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Night of the Cane

We had a small contingent of New Grange Manor pupils at NOTC last Saturday. Myself, Tommy Mac, Chris and Andrew all turned up together with Miss Livingstone and Mr Holmes. Tommy, and the boys and me had to go to the school lessons. We had a rather interesting lesson with a Miss Barclay-Stevens on creative writing. Well, Tommy appeared half way through the lesson on account of Miss L had got caught up in traffic. During a break we managed to souse a Headmaster of our acquaintance, ol Jonesy, with our water pistols. He chased me into the classroom but all I got were three light taps off a borrowed cane, there just wasn't the room for a decent swing, so I reckon I got off lightly!
The next lesson we attended was taken by Miss Prim from Muir Academy. The Muir is going to be 25 years old next year.....quite an achievement. I thought that maybe Miss Prim had forgotten me, so when she asked if anybody present didn't know who she was, I stuck my hand up! Unfortunately she remembered me only too well and I got a swingeing whack across the hand off her small tawse for my cheek! We did a Shakespeare test during that lesson. Modesty almost decrees that I shouldn't say who got the top mark, but pride in NGM insists that I point out that I achieved eleven and a half marks out of twelve!! Mr Holmes had given us a rather interesting lesson on Shakespeare a few terms ago, and contrary to popular opinion amongst the Beaks, I do listen in class!
Tommy and I didn't particularly want to watch the caning competition, so after attaching a couple of pegs to Miss Prim's coat, we sat upstairs chatting and putting the world to rights. The competition was duly run, and the cup awarded to the winners, and I prepared to pack my stuff into my satchel as my Guardian wanted to get me home. Miss Prim in the meantime had spotted the pegs, and do you know, dear readers, despite their being zillions of pupils there, (well a couple of dozen or so), she simply bawled out "Bethany Grant!" and sent a lad to fetch me to her! Anyone would think I had a reputation for mischief. Retribution was swift, and suitably er....suited to the crime! But all in all a good evening, although I understand that Mr Jones is still gunning for me. But hey ho chums, it gives a bit of challenge to life don't you think?
Bethany Grant

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Night-time Frolics.

One of the most exciting parts of boarding school are the Midnight Feasts, and after Lights Out mischief that we get up to.
On the first night we were all really tired. We had a small confab, and decided that we would go to bed and go to sleep for the first night, to recharge our batteries. In actual fact, Chris crept downstairs after Lights Out and left about four plastic cups, with a trace of alcohol and a number of sweet wrappers on the common room floor. The rest of us slept on, wrapped in innocent slumbers! I gather that Miss Livingstone did try and keep awake, listening for us, but to no avail. On Saturday morning we were asked about the "Midnight Feast" but of course we all looked blank, and genuinely asserted our innocence!
Saturday night was different. We gave the Beaks plenty of time to get to sleep and duly crept down the stairs. We had to get down the first set of stairs from the pupils' floor to the Beaks' floor, then creep down the main staircase to the ground floor. We decided to have our Feast in the Staff Room. Although it was out of bounds, it was much more comfortable than the pupils' common room, and we were being so naughty anyway we thought we might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb. We had lots of scrummy nosh, pork pies, biscuits, crisps, sweets, and nice things to drink, I had wine with lemonade, and there was beer and cider. We were chatting away, putting the world to rights when the door suddenly opened and Mr Melman appeared. It gave us a bit of a fright, I can tell you. We tried to incriminate him by offering to share the food and drink with him, but he was having none of it. He told us to pack everything up, then put us over the bench for six strokes of the strap before sending us back to bed. All in all it was worth it........
The following night we thought we might be safer. Mr Melman had had to depart to real life earlier that evening, and once Mr Malcolm was asleep nothing would waken him.
We still had a fair bit of food left over from the previous night's feast, plus more alcohol, so we got stuck in. There were fewer of us, as some of the pupils were just too tired and had stayed in bed asleep. We were a bit tired too, so we decided that we would try and get back to bed by 1am so as to get a few hours unbroken sleep. We had decided we would try the ultimate in naughtiness, and throw noise makers into Miss Livingstone's room and outside Mr Malcolm's room on the way back up to our beds. However, the best laid plans of mice and men..........
We were just about to pack up when the door opened and Miss Livingstone stood there, warmly clad in a dressing gown, and clutching a cane. There wasn't really an awful lot we could say, except ouch when we were over the bench getting six...... Michelle, Sarah and I arrived on the first floor first, Tommy was explaining cider to Miss Livingstone downstairs at the time. We decided to hide in Mr Melman's (empty) room and chuck noisemakers in the beaks' rooms. Unfortunately Miss L came bounding up the stairs. Michelle was caught on the landing, I was just coming out of Miss L's room and Sarah had dived into the bathroom. Sarah tried to tell Miss L that she had had an urgent need for the loo, but unfortunately that bathroom didn't contain a toilet, that was in a separate stall next door! So that was another six and an order to get to bed.
We trotted upstairs, and hung about for another ten minutes or so. Tommy was up and ready, Michelle had just popped to the loo and Sarah was still in the dorm when I crept along the top corridor. I'd suggested that we went down both sets of stairs, so that at least one of us would make it to the Beaks' floor. I opted to go down the far stairs and clutching a noisemaker in my hands I scuttled along the corridor to the top of the stairs. You can imagine my horror, dear readers, to find Miss Livingstone standing on the bend of the stairs, with a face like a gorgon. I legged it back down the corridor to my dorm yelling "Cave, Beaks" but Miss L followed me relentlessly. I had to go over the end of the bed, and received a further six which entailed me having to lie on my tummy for about five minutes before I could roll over and go to sleep! We did get the noisemakers into the lobby by Mr Malcolm's room, but he didn't appear, thankfully, and we had to wait until after breakfast before we received retribution for that! Midnight Feasts are such fun!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

The Fun we had

We arrived at the venue and helped to take in all the bits and pieces then went up to our dorms to get changed. Michelle and I were allowed to wear our summer dresses for the evening, the bottle green gingham ones with the little white collar. That was much more comfortable than shirt and ties. I was awfully excited about being there and I got a bit over excited and answered Mr Malcolm back so I think I was first in the Staff room when it came to being sent there for a whacking. He was very kind though, I got a dozen with the strap rather than any off that ghastly smoked dragon of his!
Dinner was a bit late cos Mr Tesco hadn't delivered everything that Miss Livingstone had ordered, including the ingredients for Friday's menu! So she and Mr Reamon had to go foraging.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Michelle's Door Posters

Michelle decided to brighten up the school premises by attaching various posters to doors around the place. In the interests of modesty, Miss Liversausage's picture now sports a large sunflower to cover her embarrassment. As for the picture of Mr Malcolm, Michelle's assertion, "Mr Malcolm, World's Weakest Teacher" does have a touch of irony about it. Mr Malcolm is indeed a practised wielder of implements, (and I think a lot of the practice was performed on my nether regions) and one of the fiercest teachers I know! I only have to glimpse him removing his smoked dragon from the implement bag and I find myself pleading for leniency. He's a tad deaf too.....!

Bethany Grant

Door Posters

Michelle decided to brighten up the school premises with various door posters. I thought I would share a couple of them with you all. In the interests of modesty, Miss Liversausage now sports a large sunflower, and I really must point out that "Mr Malcolm, World's Weakest Teacher" is definitely the biggest understatement ever. The man is practised with both rattan and leather. In fact I think he did most of his practising on my nether regions........ He certainly kept me in line, one glimpse of that smoked dragon and I was actually pleading for leniency. Not that that cut any ice, he is one of the fiercest teachers I know!

Boarding School

Boarding school was excellent! The weekends just get better and better as we smooth off the corners. Just now I'm a tad tired, and my eye and ankle hurt. I got an infection in my eye, and something nasty has bitten my ankle and made it swell a bit, so I shall have a good night's sleep and let you unfortunate souls who missed the weekend into some of the secrets of our success! It's a bit like the chappies on St Crispin's Day, there were eight of us pupils, five teachers and two catering staff who didn't lie abed but went forth to do battle!
Bethany Grant

Thursday, 15 September 2011

It's tomorrow!

We are off to boarding school tomorrow. Just a few more hours then I can revert to thirteen and three quarters! Everything is packed away, including the board games for quiet time in the evening. And some other bits and pieces which I won't mention now cos the odd Beak (and our Beaks are odd, believe me) casts an eye over these ramblings to try and discover what mischief we' re planning, and to try and stay one step ahead of us........ fat chance!
Watch this space, the adventures will be related next week!!
Bethany Grant
Head Girl

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Getting Closer!

It's getting closer. Only another two days and we will be off to Boarding School, how exciting is that? My Guardian has washed and pressed my uniform and most of it is now in my suitcase, my jumper is still drying, so all I need now is my underwear, pj's and washing kit and I'm ready!
My Guardian has packed several games in my case too, so we can have some fun in the evenings. Nothing too energetic of course, cos we'll be tired after all the schoolwork during the day!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Fun to Come

It will soon be boarding school time again. How very exciting. We are just a small gathering, a group of motley adults who come together for three or four days and meld into 1950's schoolchildren and their hard pressed teachers! I believe there were a couple of vacancies this time for pupils. The recession has hit hard and folk are pressed for money and time of course. I had to save my pocket money up for months so that I could afford to come. One chap turned the offer down, I understand, because he had spent his formative years in boarding school and didn't particularly want to go back there again. He can be assured that our take on boarding is nothing like the real thing! Of course we have lessons, wear uniform for the whole weekend, sleep in dormitories and eat in the refectory but the food is scrummy courtesy of two excellent cooks. And the fun we have outwitting the Beaks has to be experienced to be believed!
So at the moment I am getting my uniform ready, all washed and nicely pressed, sorting out stuff from my satchel that I don't need, and stocking it up with things I do need!
I can hardly wait!
Bethany Grant
Head Girl

Sunday, 14 August 2011

The Field Trip

Mr Malcolm very kindly organised a field trip to Kingley Vale so that we could look at the really ancient trees. In the event, there was him and Miss Livingstone and four of us pupils. We met and set off in convoy. Me and Tommy mac had to go in Miss Livingstone's car cos she said she wanted to keep an eye on us. She didn't need to worry too much about me cos I had already given Mr Malcolm my word that I wouldn't do anything to let the school down in public. Of course that still gave me plenty of scope to cheek him when there were no non-school people around, so I did. (And I paid for it last term!!)
First of all we had to walk down this long path. It was a whole kilometre long but reasonably flat so we made good progress along there. Just inside the start of the walk was a hut. But not just any old hut. It had the history of Kingley Vale from ancient times right up to the present in words and pictures around its walls. There was a picture of Vikings and Romans fighting, not Tommy Mac and Chris Pike, but the original ones, they looked awfully fierce.
We pottered off along the forest path. You should have seen the yew trees. They were absolutely amazing. They were really high, and so thick, the trunks wee massive. Some of them were reputed to be 2,000 years old, which meant they were saplings when jesus was doing his Ministry. A lot of them were hollow inside, they had been attacked by a fungus called chicken of the wood, but the outside bark still lives and nourishes the tree. Some of the branches had bowed down to the ground in places, and put out their own roots making new trees. In one clearing we saw this tree which was just a stump with roots sticking out either side, and it looked like a giant crab. I could just imagine it at twilight, or when the mist was lying on the ground, it would look like a giant creature looming out of the forest.
Mr Malcolm had made out questionnaires and brought along a hand-out. We stopped at all the posts on our walk (all 25 of them) and read about the surrounding area. We picked lots of leaves from the various trees, oak, yew, all sorts of species. We even found some flints on the ground.
Miss Livingstone decided that we should eat our lunch before we tackled the hill up to the tumuli. She and Mr Malcolm hogged the bench out in the valley,and the four of us settled down on fallen tree trunks just inside the wood. It was fun eating our packed lunches in the open air. Miss Livingstone came across to make sure that we were all right and to have a cherry stone spitting competition with Tommy mac. So in years to come, there might even be cherry trees in the forest! Unfortunately Miss Livinstone spotted the cider which Tommy was polishing off, and smelt the cigar which Chris had been smoking, so they got into trouble last term too!
The path up the hill was hard. It was steep, it was stony, and there was a massive drop to one side. And there were no loos on the site at all. There were however lots of bushes. Our beloved headmistress disappeared at one point, clutching the toilet roll (Andrex I believe, keeping it in the family) which she had thoughtfully remembered to bring. She returned to us after a suitable period looking distinctly flustered. The toilet roll had made a dash for it down the hill, and it was only some very slick footwork on Miss L's part which prevented it from disappearing completely!
We carried on to the top of the hill, taking increasingly more frequent stops for rest. The views were spectacular. We could see the sea. And away across Portsmouth we even saw the dark shape of the Isle of Wight crouching on the horizon.
We trundled on and eventually we reached the barrows, the tumuli on the top of the hill. Miss Livingstone explained that the larger one was a bell barrow. Mr Malcolm then annoyed her by walking onto the top of one of the barrows! Miss Livingstone reckoned they should be fenced off to avoid any more damage to them. She pointed out this pond barrow which was close to the other barrows, it was a sort of circular hollow in the ground. We discussed whether or not there might still be people, or the remains of them, inside the barrows.
From there, thankfully it was downhill all the way. It was a lot easier but we still had a fair old way to go. Eventually we came upon the path back to the car park. I don't know how the others felt, but I simply plodded along there, one foot in front of the other, and prayed for a sight of the cars! Nonetheless I was chuffed I had made it all the way round, even though it took us five hours for a walk that was advertised as 1.5 hours duration! I'd had to be rescued at Stonehenge!
We went back to Mr Malcolm's home for a very welcome cup of tea and chatted for a while. Two of the pupils had to go back home, but Miss Livingstone said Tommy Mac and me could come with her and Mr Malcolm for dinner if we promised to be good. Well of course, with the lure of food of course we were going to be good!
First of all Mr Malcolm took us to this lovely pub. it was right by the sea, and looked amazing. However, once we looked at the menu, we decided we would have to go elsewhere. I know my Guardian would have had lots to say if I'd paid the prices they were asking. It would have tied up my pocket money for the next six weeks!
Instead we went to a Carvery where we had a scrummy meal, and even scrummier desserts. After that we had to say goodbye to Mr Malcolm and make our way back to the rendezvous where our guardian's cars were waiting to take us back to our individual homes.
It really was a super day, and I hope we can have some other school field trips in the future.
bethany Grant

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

A new story

upper hand and defeat the batty one?

Sunday, 13 February 2011

February School

That was a very lively school! The line up of Beaks included Miss Livingstone, Miss Brookes, Mr Grimshaw, Mr Malcolm and Mr Ray, while Mr Curmudgeon lingered in the background watching the kids with his curmudgeonly eye. There were around sixteen of us in class as we welcomed several new pupils, andrew, jennifer, richard and john (apologies if I've missed anyone out), and some old friends returned including adam, nicola, patricia and susie. At morning assembly katharine hedge was made House Captain of Celts, a good choice as she led Celts to a resounding victory in the House Cup last school year. We all applauded her.
The day had already got off to a lively start. Readers may be aware that our Beaks (teachers) are parked in the Home for the Befuddled and Totally Confused between terms where they undergo such things as bed pan training, how to do knots (although getting knotted is a speciality of Mr Melman's to be fair; he wasn't at NGM this term as he was tied up elsewhere), short term memory training and the like. Well, knowing this, when I saw Mr Grimshaw (aka The Grim) sporting a name tag with "Mr Grimshaw" written on it, I thought it only solicitous to ask him if he had it on in case he forgot his name? As Head Girl I do like to be aware of the special needs of the Staff as well as the pupils. His reply, would you believe, was to ask me for my punishment book and put in an entry for "cheek"! There's just no pleasing some folk. And I must admit the Grim was in good form, obviously he had been eating his Weetabix, I think daisy would concur with me on that one!
We actually started the lessons with Mr Grim, bitesize history, and this time we made it right through to Elizabeth the 2nd. nicola did the writing on the board for Mr Grimshaw, and got a well earned hp for herself for being helpful. I'd hoped to start the leson with a bang, but the new detonators I'd bought turned out to be defective. it took me until the last lesson before I managed a satisfactory bang, although that didn't stop me being punished along the way for all the abortive attempts!
In Biology we consolidated all that we'd learnt in the past couple of lessons by doing a test on bones and organs. I was quite chuffed with my results, despite muddling up the carpals and metacarpals, ditto the tarsals and metatarsals, and together with katharine taylor earned a couple of precious hps for my efforts. We got the same mark, despite being several desks apart!! t
ommy mac and I helped to give out the tests and gather them in and we were awarded hps for being helpful which was rather nice.
Maths was rather fun. We learned all about co-ordinates by drawing a "Treasure Island" , filling in things like the pirates' encampment, a village, forest, volcano, rivers, anything really we could think of which seemed pertinent, then providing questions and answers as to their co-ordinates on the map. It drove the lesson home much more efficiently than just using dry numbers.
Lunch was rather scrummy. I dropped some foam expandables into the beaks' drinking cups, but yet again, I'd bought defective stuff and they didn't expand. A couple got a bit soggy and I dropped those onto Mr Malcolm's head so that was a result. Only problem was I was unable to sit comfortably for the next few minutes and eat my pudding.
We've got several people off long term sick at the moment, so in Art we made Get Well cards for them. We divided into our Houses and each House was given their own "invalid" . Romans made cards for Michelle, as she's a Roman, Vikings made one for Prof Robertson, Celts did Matron's, and Saxons made one for John Smith, one of their number. We do wish that they all get well soon. We produced some excellent cards between us, and Miss Livingstone intends to post them out as a surprise to cheer them all up.
The final lesson was something of a mystery. Mr Ray lectured us on truth, with disjunctive conjunctions, "p"'s and "q"s, up and down arrows, tills (?) T/F, "and and or" and I should imagine at this point you are as baffled as I was. Being bored, I resorted to my usual cure for this, and caused some disruption. Mr Malcolm actually hauled me out of class rather than writing in my book, and gave me a thrashing which kept me very quiet for the remainder of the lesson. Especially when I asked why he hadn't signed anything off in my book and he said that was an "extra". I still had several offences to be dealt with, and Mr Ray and the Grim dealt with them in their usual salutary manner!
Final Assembly was enjoyable as we discovered how many hps we had all earned during the day. I was pleased I had worked hard and done my revision, and my homework, it brought dividends! That's the nice thing about New Grange Manor, you get credited for working hard and being good even if the Beaks are very strict with wrong doing! So a lovely day all round, and thanks also to chris, danny, geoff, stuart and if I've missed anyone out...sorry!
Bethany Grant
Head Girl