Saturday, 23 November 2013

Little Hitlers

I was watching a programme today about the rise of Adolf Hitler. He was the chappie who became the German dictator in the early 1930's and led the world into a ghastly war. I know hindsight is a  brilliant thing, and as Prof always tells us in Military History class, you can't judge history by today's standards.  Those of us who went to school in the fifties and early sixties  can empathise with this principle, our younger friends and acquaintances who were educated in the more liberal 80's and 90's can have no conception of the terror which we faced daily at school, never knowing which large, often angry, adult, was going to assault us and with what....cane, strap, blackboard duster, ruler, hand..... I even got kicked once. You didn't run home to  your parents in those days and complain, chances are you'd get a clout round the head for  coming to notice in the first place!
Anyway, back to Uncle Adolf. He really was a ridiculous little man, and it's a mystery to me just how he managed to sway so many people to his way of thinking. Of course he was very loud, very in your face, and had a total belief that he was 100% correct and anyone who disagreed with him must be an idiot.  A total disregard for authority, and a complete lack of respect for others, a pure ruthless drive to get what he wanted, and any organisations, people, or ways of life  which didn't defer to him were trampled on willy nilly.
According to the programme he didn't give a damn about  anyone, he even had his friend, Ernst Rohm, the leader of the brown shirts, killed because he feared that people might like him better, and possibly want Rohm as a leader instead of himself. This didn't gel well with Adolf; he believed he was the best, and anyone who got in his way would be removed. Luckily (or unluckily from the point of view of history), Hitler wasn't one of your shy, deep, keep your thoughts to yourself sort of guy. He was loud, brash, arrogant, and had the manners of a bullying lout. People caved in because of what they thought he could do; after all, hadn't he proved his own worth to himself early on in the War....paper hanger to military genius in one fell swoop!
Thankfully the world has  improved since then. Still lots of wars and problems of course, but Dictators  in the political world  tend to get dealt with fairly swiftly.  There are pale imitations going around still,  traffic wardens tend to spring to mind, but programmes such as this really are a real warning from history and offer much food for thought.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013


Well, I got the most demerits at boarding school. I even managed to beat Tommy Mac, our resident bad boy. Only by 2 demerits, and he was the boy with the mostest, but it was a small victory!  It all started the first night, someone was given a house point for doing their allotted chore, so I thought right, that's the way the wind is blowing, and set out to gain as many demerits as I could! Mr Malcolm helped, unwittingly I might add, when my continued refusal in his class to read out loud resulted in me reaping a whole seven demerits! Sorry Mr Malcolm.......

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

The Midnight Feast

Imagine, dear readers, the scene of the crime. On Saturday night we were thwarted in our efforts to indulge in a Midnight Feast in the Staff Room owing to the vigilance of our dear Headmistress. She had caught me creeping across the Dining Room and sent me back to bed. Instead, I let myself out of the side door, scrunched as quietly as I could across the gravel path, slipped and slithered and scrambled up onto the grass, and padded quietly round to where the others were supposed to have unlocked the side door by the Staffroom. It was locked. I couldn't see in very well, I'm just not tall enough, but assumed as the others were standing round in a circle they must be playing some sort of game. They were, but sadly not through their own choice. I tapped on the window and made frantic gestures to be let in, and tumbled into the Staffroom to find that the game the others were playing was "explain to Miss Livingboobs why we are not all in our beds". She was in the middle, leading the commentary. We  will draw a veil over the next ten minutes, suffice to say we all crept back to our beds and slept on our tummies for the remainder of the night.
We decided that maybe with the Beaks having their sleeping quarters in between the Boys Wing and Girls Wing it might be better if we had  our own gender Feast the following night. Opposite to our dormitory (Michelle, Sarah and Bethany) there was an empty dormitory, so we earmarked that for our Feast. Deedee, Katie  and Sandra duly arrived with goodies, and we settled down to put the world to rights while sipping wine, and eating cakes and biscuits. Katie thought she heard a noise, so we doused all the lights, and sat in absolute darkness, ears strained for the least sound. Slowly the door opened, we all tried hiding and suppressing our squeaks of terror as Tommy Mac bounded into the room with a cry of "here you all are". He was closely followed by Chris and Malcolm, all clutching bags of more goodies. These had been confiscated the night before, but Mr Malcolm told Chris to leave the bags on the kitchen table while he took him through to the Staffroom for punishment. Michelle and I retrieved them and hid them in... well, never mind where, we might want to use the same place next year! They had decided to try and come and find us, and had negotiated the creaking  floorboards in the dining room successfully.
We continued our chatter and our Feast, and all was well until the door was suddenly thrown open, and Miss Livingstone stood there, absolutely amazed at our temerity.  Thankfully she had only popped into the kitchen to retrieve her phone, and had no toys about her person. She had been  alerted by the light from the dormitory window above the kitchen spilling out into the courtyard, otherwise she would have returned to her slumbers  unaware of our naughtiness.
We were sent back to bed with a smacked bottom and the promise of proper retribution in the morning. she didn't forget, either! But all in all, we can chalk up yet another successful feast.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Boarding School is Imminent!

Boarding school is looming, just a few days to wait now.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

June School

June School was all super fun. I felt slightly odd as my Guardian had forgotten to pack my skirt and I had to wear black school trousers all day! My Guardian was awfully upset by the way my dinosaur costume shed  green fluff all my uniform shirt. Mr Holmes caned me for being in costume in ol F1's  lesson (we decided it was a stegosaurus rather than a T Rex cos of the spines all down the back btw) but my Guardian reckons I got off lightly and should have been whacked for the fluff too! Even suggested it should be put in my book for next term, cheek!
I was sadly deficient in the pegging game too. I tried valiantly during F1's  class but he kept on the move and I couldn't quite manage it. George confessed to pegging me last term. We tried to explain that it is just Beaks who get pegged, as they are in authority, he mistakenly thought that I was a figure of authority being Head Girl, but we explained it doesn't work that way!!!!
The Grim once again took my solicitous enquiries into the current state of his memory loss as cheek. S'not fair, I just wanted to make sure that he still remembered who he was. The HBTC takes such good  care of the inmates that I wouldn't want them to think that one of them wasn't up to scratch! ( For the unenlightened, the HBTC, Home for the Bewildered and Totally Confused, is where our Beaks are parked between schools.)
For homework, we  might need  to nip down to the local undertakers and ask if they have any empty boxes going spare so we can knock up something suitable for Miss Livingboobs (would that be Miss Sadlypassedawayboobs after the event I wonder?) for next term. Not that we expect her to become defunct next term, the coffin will be  something she can keep in  storage hopefully for years and years and years. And our other homework is to do our own version of Five on a treasure island...... yo ho ho and a bottle of ginger pop, and lashings and lashings...... of lashings.
Mr Malcolm and the other beaks  managed to spend the majority of the day  missing the lovely poster which Michelle had forwarded onto me, the one showing the  T Rex and Mr Malcolm, and asking what's the difference? The answer, dear reader, being that the dinosaur was friendlier, and possibly a tad  brighter........ not a sentiment which actually pleased ol F1 I must admit, that brown rattan biteth like a serpent. Still, all good fun, and no offence to the old dinosaurs!

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Mentos Volcano

We did something really, really naughty at school last term. My Guardian is still appalled at my behaviour. Jeff just casually pointed out to me and Tommy Mac that there were some Mentos sweets on sale in the Tuck Shop, and Dr Pepper. I bought the sweets, Jeff  "borrowed" a bottle of Dr Pepper, and we popped a mentos sweet into the bottle. Never in our wildest dreams did we expect the result! The whole thing just erupted into the air, as did Miss Livingstone, who was somewhat perturbed by our behaviour! Retribution was swift..........

Ours was better than the picture. Chris had to mop the ceiling!

The Tudors

I was thinking about a lesson we did some time back on The Tudors. Just pondering about Catherine of Aragon. She had been married to old Henry for quite some time, but sadly only managed to give him one live child, a girl, Mary. She went through numerous still births and miscarriages, bad enough in our time with  clean efficient hospitals, it must have been a ghastly business then. But what happened to poor Catherine? She was a  loyal  woman, who just wanted to live in peace and friendship, but along comes a scheming hussy who sees in Henry a rich man who can give her things, including, if handled properly, the Crown of England. Ann Boleyn was her name -  some thought her a witch, she did have an extra finger I believe, something to be abhorred in those days, they tended to be awfully superstitious.
 Ann worked on the principle of what Ann wants, Ann gets, and set herself the task of ruining  the relationship between Henry and Catherine. She didn't care how much hurt or humiliation the other woman went through, Ann had set her sights on her goal and trampled over anything in her way to get what she wanted.  Hampton Court Palace is a testament to her selfish greed and hypocrisy. I suppose, to her credit, she did produce Elizabeth, who turned out to be a marvellous Queen, and of course she did get her comeuppance  at the Tower, having her sweet little neck hacked through by a French sword. It's difficult to think about people so many centuries ago as real people, with real emotions, failings and achievements.  I hope we get more history lessons, putting flesh on well known names.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

February School

Well, what can I say, that was a super school. We had lots of new pupils, Robin and Michelle came back again after several months' absence as did Mr Grimshaw. (I understand that the Matron at the HBTC [Home for the Bewildered and Totally Confused] where our Beaks are parked when not attending school was pleased enough with Mr Grimshaw's progress in bed pan training that he was allowed to come to New Grange Manor all by himself. Of course, like Mr Malcolm, he did have to wear a name tag so that he would remember who he was, but it was brilliant to see him again!
Lessons were fun, and Lunch was scrummy, despite the somewhat predictable jokes that we were tucking into Shergar..... Only the best horse meat at NGM you note......!
It had come to our notice from an anonymous source, (thanks Geoff), that Mr Ray, contrary to popular opinion (and with all due respect to Mr and Mrs Ray senior) was actually born and not found under a stone, and that he had a birthday to celebrate the day after school. Miss Liversausage obligingly brought in a cake and a birthday card. I offered to supply candles, which on the day were provided to me by an anonymous source, (thanks malcolm), and Mr Reamon was foolish enough.... er that is, kind enough to light the candles and bring the cake in at Final Assembly.
We were then treated to the sight of Mr Ray trying to blow out his birthday candles. Strangely he didn'tseem to have enough puff. Every time he blew one out, it reignited itself! The whole school just collapsed in convulsions of mirth, over which could be heard the dulcet tones of Miss Liversausage wailing "Grant, I trusted you!"
Mr Malcolm gave me his "see me in the Staff Room" look, but as painful as the consequences were it was well worth it. That memory will keep me giggling throughout the long dark days of winter until next school.
Bethany Grant