Sunday, 17 April 2011

Being grounded. . .

Hello.  Day 2 of my Easter break.  A beautiful, spring day here in the North East of England. Although, my morning was slightly soured by Gwyneth AGAIN. I shall give you a little warning, her latest birdbrain quote makes reference to the word 'grounded'. Have you ever heard a nurse/ teacher/ double glazing salesman/ dog groomer EVER use that word?  

"I cleaned a bearded collie's anal glands this morning, I felt so grounded."

"I sold £15,000 of unnecessary double glazing to a 96 year old war veteran today. It was a grounding experience.'

Today our shallow heroine was simpering about how domestic chores calm her.

"As soon as I throw a tea towel over my shoulder I feel grounded. Brad Pitt's mother taught me that."

Dear God, the inanity. Imagine if that were true though. I tried it out today. I was listening to my i-pod whilst gardening.  One of erstwhile fanny rat Rochester's tracks came on (Natalie Merchant). I felt a little breathless and weepy remembering the swarthy one (and his wickedly UN-Lib Dem approach to sex). I rushed to the kitchen, thew a damp tea towel over my shoulder and waited for the loneliness and desolation to pass. I eagerly awaited the sensation of being 'grounded'. Nothing. Another panic attack struck later whilst I checked my online balance, and discovered I had only £2.16 to last until Thursday. I tried a tea-stained, Egyptian cotton hand towel this time, over the opposite shoulder. Still nothing. So, I am sorry Gwyneth. You speak a lot of poppycock. I was going to ask my doctor if he could swap my antidepressants for a monthly Cath Kidston prescription, but on reflection, I think I'll stick with chemical rather than terry cotton grounding in future. 

By the way (and this is my last Gwyneth Paltrow reference, I swear) Do check this out.  I have watched it at least 16 times today.

Let us move on from Gwyneth now, shall we?

Last Wednesday turned out to be the most stressful and challenging day I have ever had at the School of Hard Knocks. It shouldn't have been so, it was the afternoon of my class's Bacchanalian royal wedding street party. At precisely 2.30pm we were in the midst of a highly charged game of musical thrones. Suddenly a stony-faced Pompous Pilate strode into the room. At first I thought it was jelly and ice cream he was after. Sadly, it wasn't,

'I know this is a really bad time Miss Underscore, but I need you to come with me, NOW.

We walked down to his office together.

'Today is probably one of the worst days I've had in a long time. The kind of day that makes you question why we bother doing what we do,' the ruddy faced bounder snarled. 

Dear God. You know what was going through my mind, dear reader(s), the blog.  Fuck it.  He'd found Parma Violet Tea. I had tried to keep everything anonymous. I had been ultra careful ever since Waffle narrated the tale of being sacked when her own blog was discovered. But, on Wednesday, there were still some photographs of me on certain pages.  I'd been discovered. I knew it.

'Go in, have a seat Miss Underscore. This is serious, I'm afraid.'   

Fucking hell. Already seated in Pompous's swish office was Bambi, the SOHK's deputy head. She was sternly clutching a notebook and pen. Bambi (wife of a Methodist preacher) is a perplexing mix of June Whitfield and Magda Goebbels. Her face was frozen in an expression of emotionless gravity. I felt like Ruth Ellis about to receive her death sentence.  

'Are you on Facebook, Miss Underscore?'

'Err, yes, but I haven't used it in months, years probably.' 

'Well, I'm really sorry about this, but two parents have made abusive and libelous comments about you on their Facebook pages. Certain threats have been made too.  I hate to do this, but I am going to read what has been posted. I'll warn you now, it's not nice.'

I shan't repeat what was said, but it was indeed pretty devastating and nasty stuff. The parents in question, to make matters even worse, were both members of the estate's most notorious criminal family. What had I done to warrant such fury, you may wonder? Well, nothing really, just made a girl miss her 10 minute break time, to catch up on some unfinished work.

I thought about my class, upstairs, enjoying their party. I started to cry. 

'It's awful but I am not going to stand for it.  I'm going to ring the police now, and social services too. We'll get this sorted out. I've been through it myself, you know.  In my last school a group of parents only went and set up a petition against me.  Went round all the houses on the estate. Got over 100 signatures too.'

I must confess, through my heavy, Max Factored tears, I did manage a barely suppressed snigger at the thought of an Anti-Pompous movement. 

Bambi, prim and proper, and (to be frank) slightly dim interjected,

'I wouldn't care, Miss Underscore, the spelling and grammar are both atrocious. I mean, that line about you being a 'stupid cow and a fucking biatch', since when does bitch have an 'a' in it?I despair, I really do.' 

I have to say though, Pompous has been uncharacteristically wonderful throughout the whole sorry incident. The police were called and have cautioned the two parents involved. I can't say that I feel particularly threatened, I don't feel unsafe. I do feel desperately sad though.  I work incredibly hard at my job. My class are happy, happy children. My job is my life. Several people have asked me whether I'll be looking for a different school. SOHK can be a bleak, depressing and threatening place. I love it though. I am determined not to allow this incident to change that. My union are suggesting I refuse to teach the children of the parents who abused me. I can see the sense and logic of that, but I've decided to continue to teach the girls. It is not their fault, after all.

Of course, I may live to regret that decision. Who knows. Drug-addled mums with unresolved anger issues and hands weighted down with Elizabeth Duke sovereign rings can pack one helluva punch. And, I must confess, I am certainly not relishing the prospect of next term's Parents' Evening.

Mind you. I have learnt my lesson. I have now removed EVERY Miss Underscore photo from the blog. So, for the benefit of those who are new to Parma Violet Tea, if you want to know what I look like then you must imagine a heavenly composite of Ingrid Bergman, Greta Garbo and Ava Gardner.  Got that?


  1. I wanted to say thank you, and wasn't entirely sure how so I went with a comment, which I hope isn't against blogging etiquette. I'm entirely new to this blogging thing and utterly overwhelmed to have a follower never mind a follower who liked my lamentations enough to mention them on twitter. And I feel it's only fair to out myself as an avid reader of your blog, albeit one with a previously unconquered fear of commenting.

    Thank you, again.

  2. I didn't know Gwyneth was such a pain.
    You had a really crappy day didn't you although from a Canadian perpective your day sounds like somthing from The History Boys with Toya from Coronation Street. Hoping for a better Monday.

  3. Oh Kolya, no need to thank me. I love your blog already. It's often the comments and interaction that is the most rewarding thing about blogging.

    Clever Pup. Monday will be better - I am now on my Easter holidays, so no more encounters with venomous, jobless fuckwits who have nothing better to do than spend hours on a social networking site, spouting nonsense.

    Now, back to Twitter . .

  4. Oh no! So nasty - those [unprintable] [unprintables] - how dare they cast aspersions on the lovely Miss Underscore? Gawd, I hate to think how addled they are, if they can't even understand what a good teacher you are - ah, crap.

    Hoping something really, really good happens this week to counteract that. Gold sovereigns raining from the sky, a talking cat, a Nobel Peace Prize, something like that.

  5. I can imagine the waves of adrenaline you must have felt coming into PP's office. I am sorry for the nasty twits. May they fall into a deep puddle of nice as soon as possible.

  6. Bloody shitting hell. How horrible. Hope you are having a lovely half-term and not thinking about those evil witches.