words


L.O. To identify and analyse the components of sonnets

Year 7! Stop this racket! Settle down!
That you’ve arrived late from PE is bad
enough without …you acting like a clown,
Grimaldi. Quiet while I’m speaking, lad.
The objective this lesson is up – DAN!
You need to get your backside on your chair
and planner on your desk, now, please, young man.
The objective, you may have seen, is there…
on the board, Lewis; it’s on the board,
if you were paying attention you’d have seen
it, instead of wasting time we can’t afford
throwing a basketball around with Jean.
Yes, you can pick it up at four pm
from welfare, where I’m sure there’ll be a chat
about why it has ended up with them.
I’m only glad it’s not a cricket bat.
Chewing gum in the bin, Jean, thank – good shot!
Now, can I start this lesson off, or what?

 

Soundtrack for reading (sorry the embed went wrong, will attempt to fix it) :

Blue Drag – The Hot Club Quintet

This week I have been occupied by being back to skool, back to work. It is about equal parts exam countdown (upper years), easy-peel units on poetry (lower school) and mordant commentary with colleagues about where work might be next year. Motivation is sketchy. Sometimes little moments can be a reminder of why teaching is such a lot of fun, but a great deal of it is just the same stupid job territory as every other stupid job.

Depends on how sunny it is, mostly. Maintaining a positive demeanour in the teeth of the things with teeth.

There are multiple projects having nothing to do with earning money with which I would be far happier to engage. However, on a day-to-day basis, they are all just partially-recalled dreams, forgotten in the waking to maintain the project of watching numbers apparently related to my worth appearing and disappearing from my bank account at the same time every month.

Some Gormenghastly ceremony, the meaning of which is long since lost, that participants go through with little enthusiasm.

That’s the teeth. Ach, it’s not all lugubrious pondering and late capitalist mope! Pretty sure I shouldn’t be keeping myself up late writing… Sweeping out the mind before turning in is a highly valuable process, though.

I’ll put the chin-stroking down to a definite post-holiday blue drag. Last week it was all frolicking in familiar precincts. I remembered there was a typewriter somewhere in the house and got that out. The four year old (just picking up on an interest in written letters and numbers) now asking if they can ‘get on with some paperwork’…

lore preschoolsum

I love the faint suggestion of millennial significance, that this is a cipher holding arcane truths about the underpinnings of things.

I also love that it means “today i helped put a tent up in the garden and then did some important paperwork on the typewriter’. Or something different but also fabulous, depending on how the light hits the runes.

Infinite monkeying about! There’s a career goal. Keeping that in mind should see the rest of it fall into place.

Friday night and clearing off a few of the tabs, thought I’d follow Austin Kleon’s plan for sharing a few items.

Lizzo – Juice!

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Just as we have found means of generating useful energy that are better and less damaging than coal, so we need to find means of generating human wellbeing that are better and less damaging than capitalism.

George Monbiot drops the adjectives associated with capitalism, identifying it as the dead and overpriced racist milkshake duck it is.

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Epic Beard Men – Pistol Dave

Elegaic masculinity! Kind of goes with Slots by Dan Panosian, which I just read in the trade collection, from Knaresborough Library.

 

 

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Whatever happens with Leeds United football club this season – ups, and downs, expected – Elland Road, nay, Yorkshire, has become a better place for the presence of Marcelo Bielsa.

Can I ask how you lift yourself, Marcelo? Do you take yourself away from this intense feeling for a while and do something different to lift your spirits?

I think when you receive a blow, to ignore the consequences is not the right path. Pain has a natural process for disappearing and if you want to force this process or hide it, it is meaningless.

 

Not your average football manager!

 

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Austin Kleon, portable routines and “sharing something small every day” (what prompted this).

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Doing a lot of rethinking on the record collection, having read through a New Yorker article on Ralph Ellison, a man and his records (…can’t take it with you man…)

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You can take this with you… the wonderful Ali Spagnola, the song that doesn’t end (works best on phones)

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Easter holidays. Springtime associations of refreshment, rebirth.

Despite an overarching theme of annual rejuvenation – green shoots of recovery and all that – over the Easter weekend the negative implications of return and revisitation sat squat upon the mantelpiece. A chocolate figurine of Cthulhu, glowering.

With a dismal sense of familiarity, I found myself struggling through a four day festival of booze triggers. Classic sweet and sour British combinations of hot weather, no work to endure, personal and social stresses kicking about half-resolved and shoulder-barging good vibes aside, football matches not even remotely going one’s way…

The perfect half-empty cup for topping up with a little something to Set You On and See You Through.

The weather was kind of awesome. In particular, I was jonesing for iced cider – “Two pints of cider. Ice in the cider.” Ah, crisp freshness! The sun meandering into that golden hour glow, refracting through the glasses, the mellow clink and fizz of fresh cubes dropped in.

Then of course a turn to paschal red wine for sorrow and mournful contemplation as the weekend pressed on, and a heaviness accumulated in the air, suggesting rain and thunder were needed if not quite imminent.

It wasn’t just the football. For me, considering the combination of contributory factors, there’d been a fair bit of build up. It was bound to take a week or so of not having work to take one’s mind off things to filter through. Family things… and I need to get a new job, so there’s all sorts of associated existential angst, and blah, blah, blah – how about a beer?

Because that was another element that recurred, a familiar odour in among the cocoa wafts and barbecue scents and fresh mowed grass, generating instant recall. The little voice questioning what business I had in not drinking, in denying the urge to fest and to commiserate with such a true and tested companion.

Savour the solace! Trust it. Let it soothe and slake your thirst. Let it slip down and softly caress away those cares and strifes…

Kind of Kaa in The Jungle Book? Only I was on to it, so the voice modulated into sounding more like Sylvester the cat, thuth lothing itth efficathy.

So, no. Every excuse I was making for myself to have at it and recommence boozing was allowed to express itself, then given a polite yet firm nod of acknowledgement before being shooed away.

I mean, yes, I seemed to have eaten my weight in sugary treats… but even that ebbed over Monday, as with a final baleful glance ever-waiting dread Cthulhu slunk off in search of someone else to pester, leaving a trail of chocolatey footprints.

What has risen may sink, and what has sunk may rise.

Today I made it to 72 days off boozing, anyway. A number of cosmic significance! Re-set.

Had a productive night despite “not feeling it” in any sort of sense. By the end of that process, managed to have actually achieved something, even though I didn’t really feel like I had, but I had.

O mind, what slipp’ry fuckery is this
with which thou dost my daily chores attend?
Surely thou couldst thy chunterings abate,
if only for a bless’d second’s respite;
turn from thy dull and prating rattle
to modes melodious, soothing and becalmed,
not these inconstant-yet-constant alarms,
that squeak, and chide, and taunt, and offer nought
but discord and doubt, when thou couldst assure
with but one word of self-love, cheer or praise?

– Anon., At the Sign of The Doubtful Salmon, c.1609

 

 

More shipshape verb than shipshape noun though.

Not feeling fit for much but crossword clue allusions to the state of things.

Arrived at the joinery department tonight to place top on table. Discovered that this would entail, in the TV chef manner, that I first make my table top.

While my initial reaction was that as tasks go, this took the biscuit, I quickly warmed to the idea.

Three sections of timber, cut to roughly the dimensions required, needed to be joined up.

“Biscuits,” said the instructor.

“Biscuits,” I agreed with a nod, mouthing “Biscuits?” through an imagined fourth wall.

Equipment needed here would include a biscuit jointer, which is a tool used to cut crescent-shaped slots in the sides of the timber. Simple and satisfying to use!

You then liberally apply glue (we use Cascamite, a strong powdered resin wood adhesive), and insert the ‘biscuits’, which are dry ovals of compressed wood. These expand when they come into contact with the glue and form a strong bond between the pieces.

The gluing was also satisfying… slathering it on, squidging the sections together, then lining them up and clamping.

You can just about make out the marking up: a pair of diagonal lines forming a V across the sections removes any possibility of sticking them together the wrong way round.

Then I practised dovetail joints… but I’ll save those for a later occasion.

Next week: Random Orbital Sander (either another tool or a Stereolab track). Meanwhile, perhaps a biscuit. Rewards!

 

 

 

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