Tag Archives: School

The Best Days Of His Life

19 May

My baby’s all grown up.  Sad faces all round…though I am relieved he survived my cooking.

This was him seven years ago:

alex 1stday stockgram 06082007 (26)


This was him two weeks ago:


That uniform really lasted!

1794774_10203745469216786_5170206785749170175_nSpud is now on study leave for his A Levels and then – idiocy and/or idleness notwithstanding – he’s off to university in the autumn.

The school gave them a good send off: Leavers’ Day started with a Full English Breakfast; followed by a huge dragon bouncy castle with tunnel and slide.  As the Hub said, they filled them up then emptied them again…

Lots of fun activities ensued including a barbecue and the handing out of Most Likely To… certificates (decided by each student’s friends).  Spud was found Most Likely To Run The Grand National, because his nickname is ‘Stallion’.  I daren’t ask for details.  Finally, they let off the traditional balloons in the school colours.10252131_10203745537178485_259882759226844147_n10175955_10201016035723498_8529203522459418278_n

They were given leavers’ hoodies:


I asked why he was the number 14.  So did the Hub.  I admit it: sometimes, parents are stupid.10277565_10203745529338289_7679196353554244942_n

They received Year Books; but they didn’t write in them.  The tradition is for each child to buy a hard notebook and pass it around; teachers and friends write pages and pages of memories, good and bad.  It’s a lovely tradition.  Spud read the clean ones out to us.  I may have sobbed a little.

In the evening, they attended a Leavers’ Ball.  Five of Spud’s friends came here for pre-ball drinks and post-ball sleep.  What a funny world it is: hundreds of screaming teenagers on a bouncy castle in the morning and hundreds of screaming drunk teenagers bouncing on the dance floor in the evening.

They boys passed their school on the way there and back to the ball.  Both times, they spontaneously burst into the first two lines of the school psalm (no one ever remembers the third-plus lines).  ‘How middle class are we?’ asked Spud’s friend; before coming back to sleep on the floor of our council house and be fed a breakfast of homemade pancakes – some burned, some not; it’s the luck of the draw.10151876_10203745559339039_8569076471560965562_n

Spud has had seven happy years at a wonderful school.  He has been given a first class education at their expense.  He has great relationships with friends and teachers and many great memories.

It’s all downhill from here.

Happy future, darling.



Joke 940

19 Oct
School's out for summer! Take 1

School’s out for summer! Take 1 (Photo credit: Graela)

A letter:

Dear Dad,

$chool i$ really great. I am making lot$ of friend$ and $tudying very hard. With all my $tuff, I $imply can`t think of anything I need. $o if you would like, you can ju$t $end me a card, a$ I would love to hear from you.


Your $on

The reply:

Dear Son,

I kNOw that astroNOmy, ecoNOmics, and oceaNOgraphy are eNOugh to keep even an hoNOr student busy. Do NOt forget that the pursuit of kNOwledge is a NOble task, and you can never study eNOugh.




A student called up his Mom one evening from his college and asked her for some money because he was broke.

His Mother said, “Sure, sweetie. I will send you some money. You also left your economics book here when you visited two weeks ago. Do you want me to send that up too?”

“Uhh, oh yeah, okay,” responded the kid.

His Mom wrapped the book along with the checks up in a package and went to the post office to mail the money and the book. When she got back, Dad asked, “Well how much did you give the boy this time?”

“Oh, I wrote two checks, one for $20, and the other for $1,000.”

“That’s $1020!!!” yelled Dad, “Are you crazy???”

“Don’t worry hon,” Mom said.  “I taped the $20 check to the cover of his book, but I put the $1,000 one somewhere between the pages in chapter 15…”


A Brief Explanation Of English Schools

8 May
Cover of "School Daze"

Cover of School Daze

I wrote a post, School Daze, about Spud’s last days at school (until he goes back for two more years in September).  It was understandably a little confusing for non-Brits, as Janie pointed out, so here’s a brief explanation:

Children start school the year they turn five, in Reception, presumably named because it is the first time they are received into school.  I think it is the equivalent of the American kindergarten, but many schools don’t even have gartens, kinder or otherwise, especially in the inner cities.

Next come Years One and Two, ages six to seven, known as the Infants.

Years Three to Six – eight to eleven – are known as the Juniors.

We have infant schools and junior schools and infant and junior schools, which are known as Primary Schools.

High School follows at eleven, turning twelve, starting in Year Seven, to Year Eleven at sixteen.

It is legal to leave school at sixteen and go out to work or on to College or Sixth Form.  College is not varsity, it is for further studies aged seventeen-eighteen. Colleges – also known as Sixth Form Colleges – are separate institutions which only teach that age group.

Some high schools have sixth forms, but most state schools in Stockport do not have a sixth form.  State schools are public schools, not to be confused with schools known as public schools, which are private schools.

Private schools and grammar schools – which are fee-paying high schools, apart from those grammar schools which are not fee-paying high schools – usually do have a sixth form.

The term, Sixth Form comes from the days when high schools were known as Secondary Schools and had First Year to Fifth Year instead of Year Seven to Year Eleven.

Secondary schools were known at one time as Secondary Moderns or Comprehensive Schools.  Secondary Moderns were not comprehensive in their teaching and Comprehensives were ultra-modern until pupils trashed them.

We now also have Academies, which are privately sponsored state schools, but I don’t want to confuse you so forget about them.  Everyone else does.

Sixth Forms consist of Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth.  Despite there being seven years of secondary schooling (two optional), there is no Seventh form – not even when there was no Year Seven.

The Scots have a different system – and probably the Welsh and Northern Irish, as well.

An important point to remember: the Northern Irish are British as well as Irish, and not just Irish like the Irish.  The English are British and the Welsh are sometimes Welsh and sometimes Welsh and British.  The Scots are a law unto themselves and tend not to worry about British law, preferring Scots law, because we – the English, who are British like the Scots – will never take away their freedom.

I hope this helps.



School Daze

5 May

Spud is now on study leave

Spud starts his GCSEs next week; his first exam is on Thursday.  He plans to stick to his school day at home, from nine to four, having the same breaks, lunch period, and so on.  The advantage is that he gets an extra hour in bed, waking at eight instead of 6:45.  He is serious and determined to do well in his exams.

When he started grammar school five years ago, aged eleven, it was pretty scary for him.  He was one of only four pupils from his primary school to win full bursaries, and the only boy.  The girls were put into a class together but he was on his own.  Many of the children had come up from the prep school and known each other for years, and he felt isolated.  He wasn’t happy in that first week, and the Hub found him crying over his maths homework, because he couldn’t do it.

Being a mother, I was all for panicking, pulling him out, and putting him in the local high school.  The Hub is made of sterner stuff and simply sat with Spud each night, helping him with the homework when he was struggling, and sitting on me to stop my hysteria.

We are all glad he did, because Spud has enjoyed the last five years; loves his school; is popular with pupils and staff; and is looking forward to two years of Sixth Form…especially Leaving Day, when the pupils play pranks to celebrate leaving.  Some of the previous years’ pranks have included:

  • Locking the school gates so parents couldn’t get out for an hour after dropping off their children
  • Letting three chickens loose in the school but labelling them 1, 2 & 4
  • Filling the head’s room to bursting with balloons
  • Painting a helipad on a tiny building’s roof
  • Displaying underwear around the school
  • Putting up TILF posters (work it out)
  • Selling the school on eBay.  The buyer turned up on Leavers’ Day to seal the deal, much to the surprise of the Board of Governors

An education is a wonderful thing.

Joke 312

30 Jan

Jacob put his hand up in class.

“Yes, Jacob, what is it?” asked the teacher.

“I don’t want to worry you, Miss, but my Dad said if I don’t get better marks, someone is going to get a hiding.”

Cheeky Boy!

24 Nov
Jack and Jill (nursery rhyme)

Image via Wikipedia

Spud was in his English class.  Someone had never heard of the word ‘pail’.  The teacher explained it was a bucket as in,

Jack and Jill
went up the hill
to fetch a pail of water.

As she paused, Spud interjected,

Instead they found whiskey,
got a bit frisky
and now they have a daughter.

That’s my boy!

Weekly Photo Challenge: (Boundaries)

5 Feb
Houses of Parliament 1 db

Image via Wikipedia

NEW!  Weekly Photo Challenge: Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog.  To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)”.  This week’s theme is: Boundaries.

I was so tempted to title this blog exactly as instructed, but I wasn’t sure people would get the joke.

I’m no photographer, especially as cameras are pretty technical these days.  The first time I had a mobile phone with a camera, I tried to look through the lens part on the back to take a picture but couldn’t see anything and thought it was broken.

To take part in this new challenge, then, I will trawl the Hub’s catalogue for a photo that matches the theme and blog about it.

See these boys?  They are bound by their circumstances – you’d think: they can’t remember their parents working; they live on benefits on a council estate.  According to the Daily Mail they should be standing on street corners, doing drugs and petty crime and hating the world.

They don’t. 

One is at university; the other on a full scholarship at a private school and heading for university.  They are polite to their parents and help old ladies with their shopping.  Tory Boy has had some sort of job from the age of thirteen: he spent every summer filling in for the holidaying local paper boys and girls, earning a fortune.   He has been a language ambassador, a safe contact for bullied children, deputy head boy, college president.  He wrote and read the eulogy at the funeral of a dear friend.  He helped an MP get elected and this summer he interned in the Houses of Parliament.

Spud is a popular member of his class and even with his teachers.  He has ten-hour days and takes two buses to school and two back.  He was elected to his student council but didn’t stand for re-election because politics is all about ‘talking and talking and nothing gets done.’  He knows his own mind.

Motherly pride aside, my point is that the only boundaries we have are those we allow to grow up around us.  I don’t care what jobs my boys do, so long as they do it to their best of their ability.  Life is what you make it and anyone can rise above their circumstances if they determined enough.  History is littered with people who did just that.  There are no boundaries: only self-imposed limits.

Back To School

2 Sep

I am one sad mother today: Spud has gone back to school.  It’s not that I miss him; what I’m going to miss is the sound of no alarm clock in the mornings.  Not that I get up late in the holidays – I can’t, I’m an early to bed early to rise kinda gal – but I like not waking up an hour before it’s due to go off, terrified that I’ll sleep so heavily I’ll sleep through it and Spud will be late for school and that will ruin his day his week his life and he won’t visit at Christmas and I’ll never see the grandchildren I don’t want.


Here he is, second left.

Incredibly, there was no drama: school mornings have always been a bit iffy with Spud.  His first day back after Christmas 2004 lasted just two hours.  I was called to collect him because he was so white they lost him when they handed out drawing paper, and he spent the week in bed.  When  he finally returned to school he was upset at being put on a table with a bunch of children he either disliked, who misbehaved, or who distracted him from his work.  At the age of nine he took school very seriously.  I had a word with his teacher and she moved him.  One of the advantages of being an obliging volunteer parent in school (that was the week I removed excrement from children’s shoes) was that teachers felt obliged to accommodate me; not that I wouldn’t complain anyway, if my boys were unhappy at school.  Or in their jobs, when they leave uni: you come and tell your Mum, son, and I’ll sort out those nasty customers/managers/villains/MPs.

I remember that school year quite vividly, paticularly Parent’s Evening.  He was given a glowing report, telling us – you don’t mind me boasting? – how mature and responsible he was and that he was in the top sets for everything and that he had a fabulous sense of humour.  One of his teachers had asked his class teacher to be sure to tell us that he was even funny in PE, although his class teacher wasn’t sure how.  We asked him about it afterwards and the only thing he could think of was that ‘I usually trump loudly when I do roly-polies.’


He was such a cutie pie at that age.  He would use the word ‘beep’ to replace swear words  eg, quoting from the original Italian Job: ‘You’re only supposed to blow the beepin’ doors off!’  He wanted to call his Dad ‘bugalugs’ as a term of affection the other night.  The Hub and I argued over this, because he says ‘bugalugs’ counts as swearing because it derives from the word ‘bugger,’ and I say it comes from having insects in your ears in Ye Olden Days, but, because the Hub was convinced it was swearing, we erred on the side of caution and consequently Spud was not allowed to use the word ‘bugalugs’, just in case. 

One day, he wanted to say to his father, ‘Are you all right, beepalugs?’ 

What he actually said was, ‘Are you all right, buggerbeep?’

Sorry, Miss; The Dog Ate My Will To Live

24 Aug

Umm, I was going to slot in a You Tube video of scary music here but it worked so well I’m too freaked out to use it.  Just say Dum-dum-derrrrrr! to yourself instead.

Today is a scary day: it’s school uniform shopping day.  I loathe school uniform shopping day: schlepping around from store to store in pursuit of black and white clothes and a blazer with a bright yellow trim, arguing sotto voce with the Hub about nothing in particular, and certainly nothing school uniform-related.  The only thing that makes the day even a little bearable is that we don’t have to pay for it: Spud receives a generous uniform allowance as part of his bursary so we get to spend spend spend and send send send the receipts to school to claim it back.

I don’t like shopping for it but I do like a school uniform; it’s a great leveller.  No-one knows your circumstances (unless they see you arriving in your little Citroen from their Maseratis), and everyone looks smart.   Also, if you are attacked by the students wearing them, it’s easier to identify the culprits if you know which school they are from.  You think I’m joking but I’m not: a girl from a local school hurled abuse at the Hub one day as he was waiting in the car for her to cross the road; he knew her uniform and was able to complain to the school; they tracked her down; and she sent a letter of apology to him.

Think of me out there today, cast adrift on a sea of striped ties and grey socks with only a grumpy Hub and a bored teenager for company.  I could be doing something interesting, like cleaning.


Pointless Headline Of The Day: Pop star due in court on drugs rap.

The Ideas Of March

18 Mar

Read this at parentdish: http://www.parentdish.com/2010/03/17/danish-artist-dresses-her-baby-like-hitler-other-evil-dictators/ and this: http://www.parentdish.com/2010/03/17/moms-fight-to-hang-her-laundry-outside-gets-dirty/.   

I believe in freedom of expression but I am repulsed by pictures of babies dressed as brutal murderers.  I believe in saving the planet and clean clothes but you have to respect a majority vote so long as no-one is getting hurt.

I believe I have nothing to blog about today so I thought you might like some odd news.  If I find any, I’ll let you know.

This is turning out to be a funny month.  I have hardly written anything since Christmas but suddenly I am busy with writing events; as well as those I have told you about, I am going to workshop On The Park  with Year Six children at the school where I help out.  After their SATs, of course, so I have weeks to not sleep at night, worrying about it.

It occurred to me to look for writing jobs i.e. full-time, salaried positions that require me to put pen to paper or finger to keyboard, as well as admin jobs.  And they are out there!  I am not qualified for any of them, sadly, but that’s a minor detail.

I’m feeling a little sad today because I have my last writing class tonight.  I have thoroughly enjoyed it and I have learned a lot.  It was my third creative writing course since finishing with the OU.  I’ll have to find another college but Stockport is rapidly running out.

Any ideas?



Of Boxes & Boxers

17 Mar

Papier-mâché – such fun!  I was helping in school yesterday.  The girls got stuck in but some of the boys found it gross and didn’t like the mulch under their fingernails.  I’m that way about pastry, which is why I never make it. 

Two of the boys didn’t get past the building a mountain out of egg boxes stage, and asked for my help.  I found myself doing a Hub and completely taking over.  My mountain had a waterfall and caves and the fact that it was green and lumpy and the waterfall was made of a Smarties box means that you have no imagination at all.

Let me explain what I mean by ‘doing a Hub’: if you can ever not be bothered to finish a project, any project, just ask the Hub for his help; sit back; relax; watch a movie; bake a pie (using frozen pastry, naturally); raise a family.  He cannot help himself when he sees that you are not putting enough effort in; not dotting the ‘i’s, crossing the ‘t’s, outlining the crayon with a black marker pen; not using a fork to prettify the pie.  It’s how he got so sick in the first place.  Delegate?  Pah!  He spits on your ‘delegate’ (just got all Rowan Atkinson-French in Not The Nine O’Clock News there).  Why should he delegate when he can do it all himself?  He is not a perfectionist – good grief, no!  He denies the accusation strenuously, insisting that he just trys to be a perfectionist.  I bet 90% of all CFS/ME sufferers have the same complaint.

The children had to bring boxes into school to make their models.  I’m guessing that some didn’t bother to ask their parents’ permission: one had obviously retrieved his mother’s Canesten Duo box from the bin;  another was going to be in trouble when his mother discovered he had taken tonight’s ready meal from the freezer.  The worst part was that he left the food inside and took it into school three days before the project started.  There were a lot of complaints about the peculiar smell, especially once the heating was turned up.

Children don’t always embarrass their parents; sometimes it’s the other way around.  Tory Boy has joined http://www.formspring.me/.  Anyone can ask you any question and you can answer them.  He has had lots of political questions (Q: If after the election we have a hung parliament, how would you like to see the situation resolved? A: Too dull for this blog) and some personal (Me: Are you eating properly?  TB: Stop nagging), but this one made me laugh:

Q: Boxers or briefs (or other)?

A: Boxers. Always. Also, other? What the hell? No, just no.

I liked his answer so much I Liked it on Facebook.  Five minutes later I received an outraged phone call from my son asking me to Unlike it immediately and to refrain from liking his underwear on a public forum.  And in private, come to think of it.  It was just wrong on so many levels he would have to deny I was his parent if we were ever together in public.  That made me laugh even more: as if I’d ever admit that a politician was related to me, let alone be seen with him in public…how embarrassing.

Channelling Bill Withers

9 Feb

I have had a lovely day. I wrote a poem this morning that I was pleased with. In the afternoon I went into my sons’ old school and had a great time with the children, which is not always a given because we live in a deprived area and sometimes it shows. Today they were all well-behaved, polite and friendly. We had great fun with tracing paper and plastic tiles. We had some interesting conversations about football, new schools, religion, accents, particularly Scouse, getting in trouble when it’s not your fault, Darwinism and speaking other languages – not one of them had anything good to say about French, but that could be because the Head was taking them for it. It was lovely, and I didn’t even mind that no-one mentioned the graphite smudges on my face and which I didn’t discover until I got home and the Hub pointed out I was a dirty girl.

Toby and I had a pleasant walk in the freezing sunshine and there was a hot cuppa waiting for me when I got back. A delicious dinner of pasta and then out for parents’ evening. I love parents’ evening. Our boys work hard and do well and most of their teachers over the years have liked them; I always come out smiling. The appointments ranged from 6.15 to 8.15 with twenty minutes between some of them, and the Hub was nervous that we wouldn’t get back in time for the City game; but we did. The trick, of course, is to ignore the timetable completely. The Hub and I have developed the habit of finding a free teacher and asking if they mind squeezing us in; they never do, because they want to get home for the football as well. Sometimes we even see a couple who teach Spud. It amazes me each time to see the parents who take the timetable at face value and wait twenty minutes or more between appointments when other teachers on their list are sitting free; they obviously believe in obeying the rules. They don’t realise the timetable is really just a guide, and a teacher who has put in a full day childminding wants to get home even more than the parents, who have at least had a bite to eat.

We have always managed to avoid the Headmaster’s speech, as well, but he caught us out tonight – on our last teacher. We still managed to get home an hour before our last appointment, however: partly because one teacher didn’t show up and partly because another teacher almost fell into a diabetic coma. I have never been present before when the announcement, ‘Is there a doctor in the room?’ has been made. The atmosphere was electric. People are so easily excited by misfortune, aren’t they? We happened to be standing on the other side of the table that the poor, sick teacher was sitting at, and at first we thought he was sending us funny looks; then he seemed to be in a trance; and then his eyes rolled up in his head. We may be slow but we got it eventually that he was unwell. Fortunately, some of his colleagues were a little quicker off the mark and one of them went to his aid while the other went for the microphone. And guess what? There was a doctor in the house. Hardly surprising, given the calibre of the school; my only surprise was that just one doctor appeared.  There was a terrible traffic jam on the way there, however, so maybe the other doctors were trapped in their cars.

Finally, my lovely day was topped by City winning their match; the menfolk will be in a good mood and it might even last until tomorrow morning. Everyone’s a winner.


8 Jan

Frosty the Snowdog

Sky News is reporting that parts of Britain are as cold as the South Pole.  I know one part of Britain that is decidedly frosty and that’s the area between the house containing Spud’s mother and the school currently containing Spud.  He is not pleased with me: school has been closed all week but re-opened this morning.  Spud was praying for another heavy snowfall in the night and was gutted when it didn’t happen.  He had me check the school website and my text messages every five minutes this morning, in the hope that it would close because of the icy conditions.  It didn’t.

He went off for his first bus at 7:45, pleading to be allowed to stay home.  Then followed a flurry of text messages.  When that didn’t work he phoned me, presumably to let me hear his chattering teeth.  His argument is that it’s not fair because other parents are keeping their children home ‘for safety’, so why does he have to go?  My argument is that 

  1. School is open 
  2. His education is important
  3. We are not quitters in this family
  4. The buses are running
  5. What other (neglectful) parents do for their unfortunate offspring is not my concern
  6. School is open

We are raising a generation of softies, ready to stay home at the first snowflake.  How is he going to be able to brag to his children that he walked seventy-three miles through a snow blizzard at the height of a summer drought to deliver a newspaper to his nearest neighbour, if he can’t get out of bed on a chilly morning?  I think I owe it to my grandchildren to turf him out of doors; don’t you agree?



PS I was this . close to letting him stay home.  I hate that my baby has to struggle through wind, snow, ice, cold and – worse – public transport, when he could be in the loving arms of his doting mama; but the boy is getting an expensive education for free and he’s going to turn up every day that it’s available unless he is sitting with his head in the toilet and/or both legs encased in plaster.  Snow: it’s character building.

I hope he’s not too cold…. 


Walking The Crab

5 Jan

The dog seemed to be losing his fur

I had a horrible day yesterday.  I inadvertently made a mistake in December that only came to light yesterday.  I won’t bore you with the details but I was a mess of snot and tears for a couple of hours.  Fortunately, my knight on a white charger and his trusty sidekick, Rum & Rummer, came to my rescue and sorted it all.  The Rum Hub refused to let me fall apart and came up with a solution and a box of tissues and the Rummer Tory Boy implemented it.   It was nothing that a good family and a strong cup of Earl Grey couldn’t settle, but it knocked me for six.  Life is like that sometimes, I find; but you have to deal with it and move on. 

Moving on, it’s snowing again.  It’s snowing so bad that Spud only got halfway to school when  he had to turn around and come home again.  He catches two buses and the one that goes up the A6 was cancelled.  There was a huge accident and the road was closed, as was his school, but only after he had already left home this morning.  There were no buses coming back this way so he had to walk home and it took him an hour.  The snow it was snowing and has been since seven last night; it is almost calf deep.  Spud tells me I am a wise woman because his friend was in flimsy shoes and tights whereas I had made Spud wear a pair of trainers and carry his school shoes.  He was also in fur hat, coat, and thick gloves over his uniform.  His friend had only her blazer.  I don’t know about ‘wise’ so much as ‘fussy and over-protective’, but he was glad of it for once.  When he got home I had dry clothes warming on the radiator and hot chocolate and hot, buttered toast ready for him.  There are some advantages to being a stay-at-home Mum. 

I have mentioned before that the dog is not a morning person but that’s before you throw snow into the equation.  He adores snow.  I adore walking in it when it is fresh and deep and dark outside.  For just that reason I walked to the bus stop with Spud this morning at 7:45 and on to buy the paper, then I took Toby out for his constitutional.  There is nowhere that is not white: it is glorious.  At eight in the morning the sky is beginning to lighten but the street lights are still on so there is a warm, orange glow to the world.  I gave the excited dog a good run on the park but I didn’t realise that the snow would cling to him quite so fiercely.  Each leg and his underbelly looked like they had their own little bunch of haemorrhoids and were just as tenacious as the real thing.  Toby stood patiently for half an hour while I tried various removal methods, including squashing, sliding, squeezing, slipping, snipping, rubbing and the hairdryer.  He was shivering so much after that time that I had to simply wrap him in a towel and two blankets and let him melt in his basket.  Once he had dissolved I gave him a good rub and he rewarded me by eating half my toast. 

So here I am, wrapped in four layers and sunglasses from the snow glare shining through the window.  It is still snowing at 11:21 a.m. and the nation has ground to a halt.  We are fortunate in that we went into Stockport yesterday instead of today so our bills are all paid.  There was one period when I was sitting tittylipped alone in the car and I thought I’m not having this so I started to sing.  Nothing cheers me up like incredulous passers-by staring in at the strange woman singing to herself in an old Citroen.  I heartily recommend it as an antidote to self-pity.  Something else you might try is counting your blessings; which brings me to today’s photo: it was taken by the Hub on one his trips to Madagscar or Mauritius or Mozambique (I know it had a coastline and began with an ‘M’, and he’s been to all three of those countries).  These cheerful boys had nothing and no hope of ever getting anything, so they looked around and adopted a crab as a pet for the day.  If you look at how they are dressed, they are comparatively wealthy compared to some of the children the Hub saw over the years – he once saw a naked child licking cellophane from a dustbin in Madagascar.  I have posted this photo to remind me that my family is safe; we have heating; food; running water and electricity; we are rich in everything that matters; and no problem is so great that it cannot be temporarily ameliorated by walking the crab.

Have a happy day!


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