Well, half term came to an abrupt end and I have been plunged into the seething swamp of insanity that is the School of Hard Knocks. The children seem crazier than ever, Pompous seems even more boorishly Dickensian. And, of course, my schedule has just been frenzied: between the hours of 6am - 6pm I just don't sit down, life is dog-walking, teaching, marking, meetings. By 7pm I am literally dead on my feet. I fit in an hour's planning for the next day and collapse into bed. Meanwhile the dust is settling deep enough on my furniture to write my name in and Everestian piles of washing and ironing grow daily. Everything feels so chaotic and disorganized.
But, there was one story from the SOHK that did make me roar with horrified laughter this week. You may recall Pompous Pilate's attempt to bully me into taking a class of mentally challenged reprobates, and how I valiantly stood firm and refused. Well, my 'near miss' class are next door to me. I hear the shouts, screams, thuds and tantrums every day and give silent thanks that they are not my responsibility. Class 7 would make Bedlam seem like a Buddhist retreat.
This week, one of the class's more troubled children went to the toilet and stripped off. He then leapt around the classroom naked as a jaybird, squealing and lunging at the horrified pupils. His appalled teaching assistant managed to get hold of him, calm him down and lead him back to the toilets to get dressed. There she found his pile of clothes, they had been methodically arranged into a neat and tidy pyramid - the biggest items on the bottom, his socks carefully balled up and placed on top. The boy had added one final flourish to his garment sculpture though - a fresh, steaming poo.
Love in a Cold Climate
Well, not much to update on my interweb dating. I need to grasp the nettle and agree a date with C&C (the Cary Grant impersonating financial adviser). All my instincts do tell me he is a decent bloke, funny, understated and down to earth. I like him, I must say. I sent his picture to Madam Noir. Her assessment?
'Hmmm. He looks like a happier version of your ex, Senor Boldon. Although, C&C was smiling in that picture, unlike the Maharaja of Morose who just used to glower.'
(For Madam Noir, any resemblance to the Lexus driving lothario is almost as bad as discovering a potential beau is the twin brother of Ted Bundy.)
"Senor Boldon used to smile, his smile reminded me of Sid James's lascivious grimace.' I sighed, feeling quite nostalgic for the stir-fry obsessed misanthrope.
I must get the date with C&C arranged though, I must be brave. I just can't help but think that all relationships are just a recipe for pain and heartbreak. It feels a bit like willingly lying down on a railway track and waiting for the inevitable carnage.
McF, the godless Glaswegian fireman is also as eccentrically witty as ever. He shocked me this week. He'd received an email from a woman whose opening line was to claim to have breasts 'like melons'. She followed up this boastful claim with documentary evidence, a photo of them! I asked McF how they were, and how he had responded. He said he they were impressively 'succulent' and that he had simply congratulated her on her genetic advantage and then never contacted her again.
What an odd thing to do though, send a photo of yourself naked to a fireman you have never met! Although, I did once get sent a pic by a 23 year old fella via match.com. He led me to believe it was an innocent holiday snap. I was expecting to see the cheeky Irish scamp happily posing in front of Milan Cathedral, or similar cultural landmark. In fact, the pic was of an him with an entirely different kind of erection. I can't help but thing you'd be on a sticky wicket, starting a relationship with such a brazen exhibitionist. If McF settled down with Madam Cantaloupe he'd be forever wondering how many other scoundrels in the emergency services had his girlfriend's breasts as their screensaver. It would be the grit in the oyster of any relationship, I fear. A bit like the thought that your girl had shagged your big brother. Speaking of which . . . .
Bald Man Jogging
Madam Noir and I set off for our weekly latte and scone date today. We have to drive through Senor Boldon's manor to get to Newcastle. I am always on the alert as we pass through, like a lurcher looking for a rabbit. Today, in the distance I spied a jogger who was staggering quite precariously past a bus stop.
'Oooh Madam Noir. Bald man jogging. That could be Senor Boldon!' I cried.
I looked closer, Madam Noir was slowing down Ava (her red Golf GTI) to approach a roundabout. The jogger had now stumbled to a standstill and was grasping on to the bus stop to steady himself. He looked rather red faced and haggard.
'Dear God, Madam Noir, it IS Senor Boldon!' I screeched (this was the first time I had seen him in an eternity).
'He looks like he's turning blue, is he alright do you think? He hasn't half aged.' Madam Noir noted (she is a qualified first aider, she has her own fluorescent tabbard and everything).
'Less like Bald Man Jogging, more like Dead Man Walking.' I quipped. In truth, this sighting simply confirmed my view that jogging cannot be good for you.
It was odd to see the Burger Baron again though. Stirred up all sorts of thoughts and feelings. My personal achilles heel is that I just can't let people go, this is my personal cross to bear (christ, I still email Rochester). I find it difficult to get close to people, but once I have feelings for someone I find losing them unbearable. It seems so odd to see a someone jogging down the street, someone who I cared about massively and shared so much of myself with, and for them to be as remote as a stranger. . .
'Madam Noir, he did look rather ghastly and ill. Do you think we should go back and offer him a lift?' I suggested.
Madam Noir responded firmly, but silently. She simply pressed her Timberlanded foot powerfully on the pedal and we wooshed off in the opposite direction.
I can't afford you . . .
Now, interesting point, this. I don't want to go out with a poor man. I know that may sound rather snippy. It is not like I am purposely looking for a rich man to pay my bills and look after me. I just think that one of us should have some money, and that patently is not going to be me. Consequently, I have set an appropriate salary range for potential dates on my dating profile. There is also the point that I want someone who is relatively settled and successful in life. I am just trying to be honest, but I am aware it may look quite bad. I have just received an email from a bloke with the title 'how much?' This is what it said:
'I was about to compliment your lips but it dawned on me my subject line might be misconstrued! The compliment is intended, but the above ref was to the income level of your prospective beau. I don't think I can afford you; if you follow. Better stop digging that hole. Maybe when my three book deal comes through... '
Here is the question - am I wrong to set an income level?