Sunday, 5 September 2010

Today's irritations

1. How, when dying my hair (a lovely bitter chocolate colour) I have also managed to dye:

  • The walls and floor of the bathroom (do you remember the shower scene from Psycho?)
  • Several fluffy towels
  • My right big toe (which, when combined with green nail varnish makes me look like I have gangrene)
  • A vintage Laura Ashley duvet cover
  • My i-pod earphones (I was listening to Tears for Fears whilst dying)
  • My underwear

I know this is becoming a boring refrain, but the first thing I would do if I was not poor would be to go to my hairdresser ever two weeks and let him do the hard work. Sadly, I have to now dye my hair. I have a few (ahem) Betty Boothroyds. I think you know of what I speak. I am just grateful I didn't inherit my Dad's genes. He had totally white hair from the age of 28.

2. I don't want to vote for any of the Labour leadership candidates. I am torn between the two Eds, but I never respected Balls whilst he was in charge of education ( keeping up with his daft initiatives was the pedagogical equivalent of patting your head and rubbing your tummy). Ed Milliband has a slight speech impediment and looks like he spends his evenings in a tent in the back garden, reading Dr Who manuals and scoffing Wagon Wheels. I don't like David Milliband either, he's too smooooooooth. He's got that irritating veneer of metrosexual smarm (just like Blair, Clegg and Cameron). Choosing between the Milli-band of brothers is like choosing between Harry Potter and Adrian Mole. There is part of me suspects that both of them are still virgins and wear days-of-the-week underpants. I want a real man as leader of the Labour Party. Preferably a pipe smoker and a whippet owner. Someone with integrity, gravitas and a touch of eccentricity. Where are the Tony Benns of our age?

3. Speaking of politics, do you recall Cameron's pledge that there would be no cuts to frontline services in education or health? Well, that's a joke. Our school has been told that although its core funding (for staff, pencils and loo roll) remains the same we will face a 75% cut in all of the grants we once relied on for 'extras'. These were the grants Labour awarded to schools like ours, schools that serve the most deprived and challenging of communities. They funded breakfast clubs, trips, music lessons, after-school clubs etc etc. This funding announcement coincided with one about the government's new flagship 'academies'. They will be receiving extra millions, as a 'reward' for their excellent academic achievements. It is of no surprise that these new academies are based in leafy, middle-class areas. So, the new government is taking money from the poor and giving it to the rich. Astounding.

The Tories believe that we live in a meritocracy, that all children are born equal, and have equal chances and opportunities to succeed in life. It would be wonderful if that was indeed true. However, I would love these Oxford-educated Tory twats to come and spend some time in an inner-city school. They might see that for children brought up surrounded by crime, chaos, poverty and abuse, learning is not always a priority. They might see that for those children, progress will always be slower. They might see that teachers in these schools have to work twice as hard. This doesn't mean that teachers or children are failing. At least Labour appreciated this, and injected extra resources into these schools and communities to try to redress the balance, to compensate for the inequity.

OK. Party political rant over. Now back to business as usual: namely the abuse of fanny rats and BMW drivers.

4. I suddenly wondered today whether Rochester has acquired a personalised number plate for his BMW. That really would be a cuban-heeled step too far. I don't think I could ever forgive such gratuitous ostentation. Madam Noir and I, discussed the issue over tea and scones today (a cherry scone for me, slathered with inch-thick butter). I think I have come up with the perfect plate for the peg-salesman of the year.


5. I am going through a very granny-esque, 1970s food phase. I am devouring stews, dumplings, corned beef pies, scones, hot pots and the like. And, I have become reacquainted with proper, claggy onion gravy (preferably over mashed potato, or seeping into Yorkshire pudding). I plan to start an internet campaign to reintroduce thick and luscious gravy to the word and outlaw the pretentious abomination that is 'jus' (shudder). I have already thought of the perfect name for my gravy blog. . .

The Persecution of the Jus.

6. I did consider making Wayne Rooney my 'Fanny Rat of the Month'. However, to be fair, I can't help but think that would be an insult to fanny rats everywhere. A fanny rat never has to pay for sex, he relies on a his suave wit and debonair charm to woo his victims into bed. A kerb-crawling, illiterate thug with a face like a chewed toffee is not, and never will be a fanny rat.

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