Friday 28 March 2014


I saw something amazing today.
I was invited to teach at a school near Woking this morning. It was in a year six class. They worked very hard with great enthusiasm.
Break time came. The school has a small playground. The gardens of adjacent houses border each side. At one end of the playground there are climbing frames, a climbing wall and scrambling nets. Many of the children worked off their energy grappling with these constructions. There is a small area for football with a set of, five aside, goal posts. Because of the size of the  area, the proximity of the houses and the nearness of the climbing frames the children are not allowed to use footballs to play football. Many children would get hit by flying balls and the balls would invariably end up in the neighbours gardens. However, they are allowed to play football with one tennis ball.

I was astounded. The speed of the game and the individual skills of the boys and girls, stunned me. They controlled long passes at speed with the outside of their feet. They shot first time with pinpoint accuracy. Their running on the ball was as smooth as a panther chasing its prey. High balls thrown out by the goalkeepers were controlled on the chest, on to a knee and brought to their feet with one deft action. Dribbling, side stepping, step overs,(with a tiny ball!!!!????), Cruyff turns and drag backs,  were achieved with heads up  and eyes looking for space and all the time the children were in perpetual motion.
I have played football myself and coached school football teams for many years. I have never seen such effortless skills as these!!!!!!!!!

(This might make you laugh. They all wore their school uniforms including collars and ties!!!!ha! ha)


Wednesday 19 March 2014


Apparently Shakespeare, in the guise of Romeo and Juliet, sells chocolate bars. I saw this advertising hoarding on Raynes Park Station, near Wimbledon,the other day.

Here is Jane's effort!!! What do you think?

Chapter 1
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a sweet tooth, must be in want of a delicious bar of Cadburys Milk Chocolate.
However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth of his chocolate cravings are so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered immediately, the rightful property of someone or other of their village sweet shops.
"My dear Mr. Bennet," said his lady to him one day, between her sucking a crunchie bar and swooning over a chocolate flake "have you heard that Netherfield Park is let at last?"
Mr. Bennet replied that he had not.
"But it is," returned she; "for Mrs. Long has seen crate loads of chocolate bars being delivered already, and every one with wrappers advertising, offers. She told me all about it."
Mr. Bennet made no answer.
"Do you not want to know who is going to provide these inviting special offers with every chocolate bar?" cried his wife impatiently.
"You want to tell me, and I have no objection to hearing it."
This was invitation enough.
"Why, my dear, you must know, Mrs. Long says that Netherfield is taken by a young man with vast boxes of Cadburys Milk Tray from the north of England; that he came down on Monday in a chaise and four to see the place, and was so gorging himself on a chocolate bar,   at the time, that he agreed with Mr. Morris immediately; that he is to take possession before Michaelmas, and more of his chocolate bars, in wrappers advertising the said free offers of e-books and Kindles and all kind of wonderful temptations will be  in the house by the end of next week."
"What is his name and how do I get hold of some of his chocolate with the free offers?"
"Bingley," and you must use your pinz nez to read the small print on his, "Mars."

Thursday 6 March 2014

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING ( born 208 years ago today)

Elizabeth-Barrett-Browning, Poetical Works Volume I, engraving.png

Born: March 6th 1806 - Died: June 29th 1861 

                        How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
                                    by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)
                                     How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
                                            I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
                                       My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
                               For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
                          I love thee to the level of everyday's
                                    Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
                                    I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
                                        I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
                             I love thee with a passion put to use
                                              In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
                                   I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
                                                    With my lost saints, --- I love thee with the breath,
                                                       Smiles, tears, of all my life! --- and, if God choose,
                                  I shall but love thee better after death.