Amazing Guitar Skills – performing ‘Sing’

The song ‘Sing’ by Gary Barlow is an incredible one. It gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it. The power of children and adults singing together from around the world. Amazing!

Here is the Gary Barlow video. If you have never seen it then sit back and enjoy.

I was on YouTube looking for an instrumental version of it and came across this video. One man in his house, performing over the backing track with his guitar.

What talent!!! It’s brilliant.

Here is the video.

Advertisements

The Comeback Kid

My jaw almost kit the ground today when one of the children in my class took everyone by surprise.

To remind you – I teach – I teach 3 and 4 year olds, and that pretty much guarantees that there will be shocks and surprises – on an almost weekly basis.

Today a little angel of mine was feeling sick (Eng. = poorly; Aus. = crank).

I’m so international.

The mum (of sick child) arrived and came into the classroom. I explained how her daughter had not been feeling 100% and that with her soaring temperature, it was best to have a nice restful afternoon at home. Being a teacher who encourages the children in my class to express themselves and be confident individuals I was not surprised when another of my little treasures started chatting to the mum.

She asked the mum why her little friend was going home – to which the mum replied, “Well she’s not feeling very well, so I am going to take her home”.

This clearly wasn’t enough info – more please – “Why isn’t she well?” (the girl asked)

The mum smiled back and explained that her daughter had been feeling sick during the morning….

The girl looked at the mum – thought a bit and said – “Perhaps you should have thought about that before you brought her to school today”.

It was said in a flash of brilliance – but with such innocence….. I almost choked.

Kids.

My childhood novel: The Bag Basher

When I was younger I loved writing stories.

I was always writing short stories and poems. I’m sure that if I was to go back to my mum’s house and look in wardrobes and under my old bed that I would find lots more. 

A while back, I was looking through some old stuff in my apartment and I found a book that I’d written. The Bag Basher, my first novel (hmmmm) was written when I was eleven years old.  

It’s really taken me back in time. The story is rather tragic. I’m sure a psycologist would have a field-day interpreting what it means. Basically, the story is ‘violence meets a touch-of-campness’. Read on and make of it what you will. Happy Reading.

Chapter 1:

Mrs Brambleberry was the worst type of woman who you would like to be with because she was always bashing people. This had gone on for about one year now and the postman was considering leaving. He looked so bad with all his bruises, all over his body. Each time he’s tried to post big letters he had to fold them in half. SHE DIDN’T LIKE IT. She would just stomp out of the house and hit him.

In her back garden people said she must grow handbags because she had so many. One day she would carry a green one, the next day it would be blue.

Anyway, let’s get to the point. She had a nephew called Jeremy Stimple and it was the summer holidays, so he was coming to stay with her.

When he came, she was nowhere to be seen. He looked all over but she was not there. This started his mind going. “Where are you Aunty?” he shouted, but there was no answer.

As soon as he went round into her back garden, there she was with her handbag tree.

Stick with it… It gets very exciting! Who’d have believed in handbag trees.

Chapter 2

By now he had started to wonder what she was doing because when he came she didn’t even say hello to him. Next to Mrs Brambleberry was a little chemistry set.

She dropped a little bit of solution onto a branch of the tree and a little bag grew.

“Aunt”, Jeremy shouted, “It’s me”. But she didn’t look.

That night they were both very tired and went straight to their beds.

It was about 12 o’clock at night when two evil-looking men smashed the back window and crept into the house. The both had brown bags and started to pick things up.

Mrs Brambleberry started to cough in bed. She got up and went downstairs. On the way to the kitchen she thought to herself “Where’s my picture? Oh well, I must have moved it and then forgotten.”

The burglars both said “Cor, we were lucky, but we had better get down again before she comes back”.

When she went back to bed they started stealing things again. In one corner of the room there was a big golden bag. Mrs Brambleberry probably used it when she went to dinner. They quickly put it into their sack. By now it was 1 o’clock and so they left.

In the morning Jeremy came down into the front room to watch TV. The only problem was….there was no television set nor any of his aunt’s things. He quickly looked out of the back window and saw footprints in the sandpit and a piece of black and white material. This was when he knew what had happened. They had been Robbed! (Notice my use of a capital letter – I was really emphasing the event!)

Could this story be more stereotypical if it tried? Okay, so it all seems rather predictable, but black and white robber material? What!? What was I thinking? Tragic – hope you’re enjoying it so far.

Chapter 3

Jeremy just couldn’t believe his eyes. He ran upstairs and into his Aunt’s room shouting “Aunt you’ve been robbed!”

When she woke up she said “Calm down now, you must have had a bad dream”.

“No, no, I’ve just been downstairs to watch TV but there’s nothing there”.

They both went downstairs to find an empty room. “Aaaargh” she screamed. “Phone the police!”

They phoned the police and then went on a burgulars trail. It was quite easy because they found a trail on Aunt’s beads on the floor. “They must have fallen out of my jewellery box when they ran away”, she said. Everything they found they put into a carrier bag so that they could take them home. Eventually they got to the very last bead and thought that they’d lost the trail, but they were wrong. The trail had stopped by a thorn bush and there were tiny bits of black and white material caught – so they followed it.

Mrs Brambleberry went right through the bush and sat down in dismay. There she found a secret map.

Seriously!?? Black and white material. I can’t believe that the 11 year old me really thought that people wore black and white when breaking into houses… Oh oh. So – How will it end? What do you think is going to happen in the fourth and final chapter?

Chapter 4

Mrs Brambleberry clearly understood the map and she went into the tree-house (which was in the map). She found the secret rope and got inside. Once inside, she was struck dumb.

Where are the thieves? she thought.

Jeremy came running in and said “Look around. There must be a trapdoor somewhere. We’re upstairs. It’s only upstairs”.

They searched for ages bu they couldn’t find the trapdoor until Jeremy spotted a piece of carpet out of place – and underneath they found the trapdoor.

It was hard to open but eventually they opened it and caught the thieves. Mrs Brambleberry got all her things back.

THE END

P.S. Before the thieves were put into prison, Mrs Brambleberry poshly smashed them in the face 100 times with her handbags.

Oh – A happy ending. Well, for some. It was all too easy. The shortest chapter seems to indicate that I’d lost a certain level of interest in the story.

As for ‘poshly smashing them in the face with handbags…’ All I can say it  – Don ‘t get on the wrong side of Mrs B.

I hope you enjoyed it. I hope it made you giggle. It was a long time ago when I wrote it. Such innocence.

And –

Just in case you wondered… I wrote a sequel three years later.

I might share it with you all one day.

No one gives you a manual when you have a baby.

Our neighbours have just had a baby. We’re thrilled for them. I’m a little green with envy – he’s just so cute!

Our Dutch neighbours live upstairs – it’s The Netherlands after all, so everybody pretty much lives upstairs/downstairs in apartments.

I got to thinking about those first days as a parent.

How do people know what to you?

I expect it’s all about learning ‘on the job’. I’d be so nervous.

So………..

I did some random googling (as always) light research and discovered this.

Maybe I’ll email it to my new neighbours – just in case.

Frantic Origami

We recently had International Days at my school. It is a time to celebrate our school’s multi-cultural make-up.

The children come to school dressed in a traditional costume or clothes to represent where they come from or where they have lived. We have a big parade where all the children walk through school in front of each other and all the parents. It’s a great sight!

Loads of the parents volunteer to come in and run a stand representing their countries. There’s food to eat, games to play, puzzles to work out and things to make! I love it.

This year I had some volunteers to come in and work with my class.  My class are 3 years old. We did lots of different activities – making flags, sharing stories, craft fun, dancing and lots more…

Next, we were going to try…. origami.

Yes, origami with 3 year olds.

I was a little stunned to begin with – but the children loved it.

I am not sure whether they loved the activity more or the fact that their teacher (me) and teaching assistant were frantically rushing around our little circle (with 13 children) helping to fold paper left, right and centre.

It was simple origami. By that I mean – extremely tricky rather complicated. I giggled as I worked.

I think I’m an origami pro now!

I’m glad it’s the weekend – I need the rest!

Not a child from my class - I just love the expression! Boats next time, maybe?

Invisible: I was not.

Long summers. Playing outside until the street lights came on or until it was too dark to see across the garden. Building dens. Climbing on the garden shed, even though it was banned. I loved my childhood. I had the best times with my brother, Nigel and my two neighbours Becky and Ben.

Becky was my partner in crime. We lived two doors away from one another and did everything together. Becky was 18 months younger than me, but was no wallflower. We laughed together – squabbled together -fell out – made up, but had the time of our lives. I’m smiling now, thinking back to the fun of the 1980s.

It was after the hurricane of 1989 that the fences in the back garden were blown down. 8 fence panels all ripped out over night. The next morning we looked out to see pieces of fence all strewn across the garden. It took quite a while to clear up. I was about 10 years old and keen to help as much as possible (I think). Maybe I’m looking back with those rose-tinted glasses.

My neighbours has one son, a lot older than we were. We were always peeking through the fence to see what was happening on the other side. It was all very exciting as a child. But, when he got a girlfriend the spying continued. We’re stand and giggle. Once the fence was down though we would wave then run and hide. It was more fun than it sounds.

On one afternoon, we’d played games, cycled, been to the park and back. A great day! We returned to my back garden and noticed the teenage neighbour with his girlfriend in the room. We giggled about it. Kissing was something to laugh at still. (Eeewgh – the thought of kissing…..) We crept towards the house, keeping ourselves well hidden. A brick wall divided the patio areas at the rear of the houses and so we tried to get as close to the window to have a really good look.

Feeling brave I got onto my knees and crept on the ground until I was right underneath next door’s window. I’d have a great view from here. I felt invisible. (I clearly thought, being ten years old, that my actions were on par with James Bond)….. I slowly, very slowly began to stand up…… I inched towards the window sill…. A few more centimetres and I would peek in through the window……

I froze! Stunned silent! My eyes locked onto the eyes of my neighbour. The mother! She stood in the room about 10 centimetres away from the glass on the inside. She knew! Her face was stern. I swallowed. Caught out!

Clearly the moral to this story is. Don’t peep on your neighbours. Don’t think you’re better at sneaking around than you really are. Prepare for a good telling off by the mum if you do get caught.

Ah – memories!!! (It wasn’t my idea…. Does that count?)