Conversations I Have Had

In a room, working hard.

Dotty: Have you been watching I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here!?
KatieF: I don’t lower myself …
Dotty: You’re such a snob!
KatieF: I know!  *laughs and puffs boobies out*

In a room, teaching.

Cheeky Kid: Have you been watching I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here!?
KatieF: I don’t lower myself …
Cheeky Kid: *blank gormless look*
*ssshhh* … Listen to the sound of the *whoosh* as it goes over his head.

In a room, teaching.  Again.

KatieF: Just read that phrase for me again … what does it say.
Biker Boy: Carrot cake.
KatieF: Are you sure?
Biker Boy: Yes.
KatieF: Just humour me and read it again.
Biker Boy: Carrot cake.
KatieF: It says currant, not carrot.
Biker Boy: Oh yeh!
*KatieF writes out the word ‘currant’ and the sentence it’s in.  She then asks Biker Boy to write the word ‘currant’ three times.*
Biker Boy: *writing* Current. Current. Current.
KatieF: *goes into long spiel about the difference between ‘current’ (as in electrical) and ‘currant’ (as in bun)*
Biker Boy: So why did you spell it with an ‘e’ then?  *points*
KatieF: Oh. 

In a room, having a meeting with Mrs. Big Boss.

Mrs. BB: Can you make me a PowerPoint by Friday?
KatieF: Of course, for I am a PowerPoint Nerd.
Mrs. BB: Would you like to work from home tomorrow so that you have time to get it done?
KatieF: Oh, it won’t take me all day, for I am brill. 

In the living room, at home.

The Blokey: She offered you a day at home to get it done? And you said ‘No’?
KatieF: *sheepishly* … yes.
The Blokey: You’re an idiot!
KatieF: I realise that now …

please God bless KatieF, the idiot xxx Elsabeth

On Being Me.

As a little girl I was an absolute darling.  I would chatter away incessantly, to anybody, about anything.  I had no fear and no paranoia.

I can possibly pinpoint a vague time in my life when that changed, but we don’t need to go into detail, really.  It would muddy the waters. 

Since that vague time, I’ve suffered with what I assumed was just profound shyness and general dislike of the world around me.  It’s actually Social Anxiety.  Most of the time it’s mild [needing a wee in the pub but not wanting to get up and walk past people, or checking that nobody is in the street before I open my front door to put my rubbish in the bin, or psyching myself up for over an hour before using the telephone], always I live with a knot in my chest and a panicky fluttery feeling in my belly, but occasionally it becomes more intense and manifests itself in a very ugly way. 

And by ugly, I mean bitchy. 

Next weekend we’re off to my MiLs caravan in Kent for a couple of days.  We’ll pop over to Belgium for cigarettes and washing powder again whilst we’re there.  We’ll probably enjoy Fish & Chips for tea and I’ll play with my camera. 

The Blokey took my MiL to Kent yesterday.  When he got home we had a conversation which went something like this …

Are we picking your brother up on Friday and taking him?
Oh, is he still going?
He’s coming down, but he’s working on Friday so he’s coming on Saturday instead.
How’s he getting there then?

And at that point my enjoyment of a weekend away – after a hard term at work – was harshly crumpled into a ball and thrown into a metal bin, where it now lies, dormant and scrunched. 

BiL has a new girlfriend.  We haven’t met this new girlfriend.  By all accounts she’s really nice.   

But I don’t know her.  And I don’t like meeting new people.  I find it difficult and scary.  I spend the whole time thinking about what they might be thinking about me.  She’ll be prettier than me, and funnier, and she won’t be quiet and shy.  MiL will love her.  I’ll get a really bad bellyache, because I always do in stressful situations, and no doubt I’ll be horrid to her, but it won’t be because I don’t like her, it’ll be because I’m scared and frustrated and feeling inadequate. 

It sounds ridiculous when written down, I realise that. 

I want to meet her.  I desperately want to be friends with her.  The fact that BiL wants us all to meet her means that he is serious about where the relationship is going.  If she’s going to be my future SiL, then it’s important to me that we’re friends – it’s important to me that The Blokey and BiL remain close as they get older. 

But why the hell can’t we meet up for lunch in the pub?  Why do we have to spend an evening, a night, and a morning cooped up together in a crappy little caravan [which isn’t that little, but walls are thin and stuff]? 


So, last night I was bitchy to The Blokey, and next week I’ll appear standoffish and bitchy to BiLs girlfriend, and I’ll spend this coming week with that panicky worrisome knot in my chest and belly growing bigger and bigger … And I expect that at some point I’ll take my frustration and fear out on The Blokey again, and he’ll feel inadequate again, and then I’ll just feel really bad again, and that will make my frustration worse again, and … the circle continues.

I’m an idiot.  I’m aware of that.  But unless you’ve ever been there, you can’t know. 


Somebody slap me, please.

please God bless my paranoia and anxiousness xxx Elsabeth

Every farewell combines loss and new freedom.

We took my FiL to Silverstone

[… the Home of British Motor Racing!]

yesterday and we left him there.  For always and eternity he’ll be zooming alongside cars around the track, which is fitting for a man who so loved watching his motor racing.  Now he has the wind in his hair and the excruciating engine loudness in his ears forever. 

It was quite nice actually.  It wasn’t the emotional farewell that I thought it might be.  As my MiL says, it was the funeral itself which was the hardest, and since the funeral we’ve all had three months to get used to the idea that he’s gone and he won’t be back.  We even got to drive onto, and stand on, the Start/Finish Straight, something he never got to do himself.  Groovy.

Afterwards the seven of us ate lunch in the sunshine at a local pub.  I laughed when I saw this sign


because I’m a bit of a naive idiot sometimes and I truly believed that the 8 days a week was a genuine mistake.  Don’t you wish your girlfriend was thick like me? </sings>  So anyways, it’s been bugging me ever since my brain admitted that it was supposed to be a joke, because it’s just not funny.  And it’s certainly not clever.  There wasn’t even a green man behind the bar …

Am I missing something?

I know that there are still some really emotional days to come.  December will be a tough month because not only does it bring with it Christmas, but it also would have been the month in which my parents-in-law would have celebrated thirty-five years of marriage. 

Oh, and apparently Christmas is cancelled anyway.


I’m sure she doesn’t mean it, but it upsets me when she says it because a) he wouldn’t have wanted her to think this way, b) she can’t spend such a magical time wallowing in her grief and c) I don’t want to be made to feel that I can’t enjoy my most favourite time of year.  I’m being selfish again.  Still, there’s five months till decisions need to be made so I’m sure that things will be looking brighter by then.

It sounds horrid, but despite the tragic circumstances, some good has come out of it.  My MiL now has the bestest pension ever, she received a huge lump sum payout, and she’s talking about taking us to Australia to visit some members of her family in a couple of years.  It doesn’t mean that she/we wouldn’t give it all back in order for him to return to us, but …

Of course, that only brings its own problems into the equation … flying?  To Australia?  Being in a tin can, held up by nothing, for hours?  I don’t think so …

please God, make me more grateful xxx Elsabeth

“The most effective kind of education is that a child should play amongst lovely things.”

The following is an excerpt from an English lesson I covered yesterday with a small Year 10 class I’ve known since September, before I got hitched.

Girl Who Sleeps Around: Are you pregnant yet Katiefinger?
Katiefinger: No, should I be?
Girl Who Sleeps Around: I thought you were going to have a baby when you got married.
Katiefinger: How long have I been married GWSA?
Girl Who Sleeps Around: *shrugs* … not long?
Katiefinger: Well done.
Girl Who Sleeps Around: Well, I just thought you might have had one.
Girl Who Sleeps Around: Have you had one?
Katiefinger: [feeling bemused] Actually yes.  Yes, I have GWSA.  I’ve had four since I got married. 
Coordinated In Pink TA: She has you know.
Girl Who Sleeps Around: *gasps* Really?
Coordinated In Pink TA: Oh yes, she had them all at the same time … she just popped down to the hospital in her ten minute lunch break, gave birth and was back before you even had time to miss her.
Girl Who Sleeps Around: *looks at katiefinger and grins* Nah! *vehemently shakes head*
Katiefinger & Coordinated In Pink TA: [nodding very seriously] Oh yes.

Our Year 11s left yesterday.  This wasn’t a pathetically sad occasion because they’re lunatics and they did take over the asylum [thanks to those members of staff who let them].  We’ve been left with some arrogant little twits who now think know that they can take over the role of lunatics and create havoc.  This will happen and some members of staff will let it happen much to the despair of those of us who are more professional. 

It will be interesting to find out what happens to the kids who’ve just left us.  Which one will get pregnant?  Who will start dealing in Class A drugs?  Who will end up in prison due to armed robbery?  Oh, it’s a veritable Soap Opera, even after they’ve left and the cameras have stopped rolling …

We went to the cinema on Wednesday and saw 28 Weeks Later.  I’ve seen an awful lot of horror-esque films in the past [what with it being my most favourite of all the available genres] but never has one made me physically cry twice before.  Awww, it was sad and gore-filled and genuinely scary, and is therefore my top-tip film of this week.  Go and see it!  Or not.  You don’t have to. 

please God bless my printer and make it work properly, ta xxx Elsabeth

Don’t cry over anyone who won’t cry over you.

I cried at work yesterday.

I’m an emotional person.  I’ll cry at anything, nearly.  I cried when Ugly Betty cried this evening, sobbed when the Princess kissed the Rebel, wailed when Dragons’ Den finished.  Oh-so, I made that last one up, but I do get tearful quite a bit. 

I’m a tad sensitive. 

However, I also have a toughness about me.  I need to wear a protective layer of steel in the position in which I work … without it I would be in tears four or five times a day.  You can’t work with delinquent/disillusioned teenagers and not expect a torrent of [usually undeserved] abuse on a daily basis.  Believe it or not I actually enjoy that aspect of the job.  Maybe it’s because I’m the beat-up/bullied/annoying sister of three brothers.  My wicked sense of well-timed sarcasm and my incredibly dry sense of humour obviously help in such situations as I can randomly twist anything the kids say and it just befuggles them, and sometimes makes them laugh; especially if they recognise that I’m being sarcastic. 

[“Elizzybef, you do know that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, don’t you?”]

I’ve been driven to tears three times now in the place of my work.  Time Number One was when STSSBSA tried to convince me that I didn’t fit in [that was two years ago now, and I have proved her wrong with very little effort on my part].  Time Number Two was back before Christmas, when a colleague [Miss Perfect] assumed something about me that was wrong, in a very absolute sense. 

And Time Number Three was yesterday.  And it was the first time a student has ever profoundly upset me, in nearly ten years of working in the educational setting.  I should set the scene: a one-to-one session ‘teaching’ Maths, in place of the normal teacher who was on a course, with The Boy Who Had A Naughty Dog, who I usually teach one-to-one for English.  His first grievance was that I’m an English teacher and so shouldn’t be teaching him Maths.  I suppose that really I should really be flattered that he thinks I’m employed as a teacher, rather than a Teaching Assistant.  But anyways, I explained the work and was able to help him with some difficult bits and then when I couldn’t explain one thing to him he went mad.  Absolutely bonkers may be a better description. 

“Prick, prick … you’re a prick … fucking idiot … prick … fucking prick … oh you fucker … idiot, idiot, idiot … fuck off … you’re really shit … fucking shit”, whilst stomping around the classroom trying to open locked cupboards and showing himself up to be a prick and an idiot. 

It seems silly now.  But other people who overheard say that he was being aggressive and making nasty, insulting and very personal comments.  I think I’ve blocked some of it from my mind.  But he walked out a few times for which we’re supposed to punish them, and if they do it enough then punishment should come from their own personal support worker, but she wasn’t interested, told me to send him home. “He won’t go if I tell him”, I said.  And he didn’t which made me secure in my own knowledge of how they play the system.  He called me a few more names whilst stomping around the hall, thought that he could stay, that other members of staff would say “Oh there there, Boy Who Had A Naughty Dog.  We know you’re suffering and we think it’s perfectly fine for you to insult your elders, swear at them, make a total prat of yourself … you settle down and we’ll take you to McDonald’s [and don’t even get me started about that!] for the fifth time this week to show you that all we really want is to be your friend“.

I was angry.  Very angry.  And being very angry made me really sad.  And being really sad made the tears fall, although I was well away from him before they did. 

It’s not that I can’t cope in such situations.  I’ve actually suffered far worse with other students, been in situations where I genuinely felt frightened and threatened, but this was probably a culmination of still being ill, being worried about where my job is headed [there is too much change afoot], being p!ssed off with the way different members of staff are treated by STSSBSA, and recognising that the lunatics are taking over the asylum [not just metaphorically].  What also didn’t help was that I usually have a fantastic relationship with this particular student. 

I hope that I still have a fantastic relationship with this student.  Monday will tell …


And in other news, The Blokey’s parents were burgled yesterday.  This also made me tearful.  And afraid.  Very afraid.

please God bless me in my over-sensitive moments xxx Elsabeth