“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” Lou Holtz

"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." Confucius

Tuesday, 2 July 2013


When I was working full time I would, at some stage close to the start of my holidays, start a "days to go til I go on hols.." notice on the white board, which invariably some one would cross out and put.."til we get rid of her".  

I was the only one who did this and my boss was less than pleased, telling me it was childish and  disrespectful to the other staff members!!!..management speak for ..she didn't like it, and in fact she finally  banned me from doing it at all. 

It's good to have someone or something to blame..and for this quirk (and indeed many others) I blame boarding school.  Our terms were 12 weeks long and at best we were only allowed  visits from family 4 times a term, consequently as the end of term approached we were really keen to get home and  the countdown helped mark off the days.  It actually was the alphabet but started 27 days out...all the letters of the alphabet + the day you went home.  The day's letter was written on the blackboard and along side it people's names..eg 27 days out was the letter "A" day.  There were always 2 letters up as there were 2 days for going home, the first day was for those being picked up by car, the second for those of us going home by train.

I never really thought about the why of the 2 days and especially why the train people had to stay at school 1 more day but logistically it makes sense.  Parents picking up their kids by car arrived in dribs and drabs, whereas the train people all left in groups, leaving the school fullish one moment, empty the next.  As well as the alphabet, 3 days out we chanted things like.."today's the horse tomorrow's the cart, the next day after we all depart" or "today's the brush, tomorrow's the comb, the next day after we all go home"  !!!!   ah the cuteness and naivety of it all.

Although I was always a train person, spending all day  travelling to get home down south in Lincolnshire, there were consolations as we shared the train with the boys from Sedbergh school.  BOYS.....after being literally cloistered away from most of life for 12 weeks this was an exciting event.  Even more exciting was the fact that the train had to stop at a tiny place called I think Clapham (not the big junction of the same name further south) where a pub would, totally illegally open its door waaaay early and even more totally illegally serve drinks to underage school kids.  Magic!  I can't recall if I actually ever got a drink from there but if I did it would have been  either  cider or a Babycham!  I know in my later years at school the publican failed to open ,so maybe words had been exchanged between him and the police.   Sooo wicked!

Ah.. nostalgia!...I no longer do the alphabet thing but I do countdown and my current countdown is getting very close to single figures..so possibly today is "Q". So for the next 10 days I'm  indulging in  moaning about the cold weather after which I  will no doubt change to groaning about how hot it is.  I hope.

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