Tuesday, 22 August 2017


                            Résultat de recherche d'images pour "windlesham house school"
In my short teaching career, I taught at just two schools. Firstly a girl's 'upper' school in Shropshire (13-18), and later a co-ed Prep' school in Sussex (6-13).

I'm not what you'd call a natural career teacher, but I did enjoy my time in the classroom. Naturally I taught Art and Art History, but also stood in for Latin when required.

Moreton Hall in Shropshire was a classic girl's school. Above all it taught young ladies how to behave correctly, whilst at the same time hoping that they'd pass enough exams in order to continue their studies at university level (which they mostly did).

Windlesham House (above) was a very different affair. It is the oldest UK Prep' School (founded in 1837), and was co-ed. Another classic school, it was always considered the No 2 Prep' School in the country after Dragon in Oxford, and was set in more than 60 acres of secluded and stunningly beautiful Sussex downland.

The pupils at Windlesham were a real pleasure to teach and to be around. There was a permanent atmosphere of calm and politeness, the children acted like young, well behaved, adults. The school is where swimmer Duncan Goodhew famously fell from a tree, resulting in his trade-mark baldness (nothing to do with me, honest).

Teaching in boarding schools is a very different matter to teaching elsewhere. There's no 9 to 5 working hours, one is on call almost permanently, including weekends; it's hard graft. Teachers in state schools don't know they're born!

I did enjoy it, but France beckoned, and I was obliged to answer the call.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Pears not Pairs.

I love Pears, but rarely buy them. They are up there amongst my very favourite things to eat.

We have just two youngish trees; a Doyenne de Comice, and a Conference. Above are from the latter.

Conference is an especially good variety because it tells you when it's ripe; it turns yellow, and drops.

The old family joke.

Sprog: Daddy, may I have a pear?

Cro: A pair of what?

Sprog: No, an eating Pear.

Cro: Oh you mean a quarter of a pair of Pears! Yes of course you may.

Well we found it funny, and we still do!

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Mr Moneypenny.

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Putin lookalike Daniel Craig is allegedly to be paid £100 Million (Yes, A HUNDRED MILLION SMACKERS) to play the part of James Bond in a new film. Personally I find that a teeny bit excessive.

I've been in a couple of films myself, and I can assure you that this acting lark ain't all it's cracked-up to be!

Films are not the same as theatre; one doesn't have to learn a whole script, or even stage instructions. Filming is done in tiny bits by tiny bits, and actors usually have just a couple of lines to remember at each take; often not even that!

The director tells them exactly what do do, how to look, what expression to use, where to walk, and when to do it all. A make-up gal will make them look presentable. They are puppets. If the director isn't satisfied with their performance he makes them do it again, and again, until they get it right; even top-notch actors rarely get things right at their first attempt.

Often their diction is atrocious, they whisper to each other, and if it wasn't for highly sensitive recording equipment, you'd hear nothing. Even from a few feet away one is hard-pressed to hear any of the actual script. Try doing that in the theatre.

For all I know Mr Craig might be a very fine actor; one would need to see him on stage to find out.

If he was to be paid £500,000 for his rôle as Bond, I would still find that excessive. But £100 Million is just plain ridiculous; no wonder that poorer paid workers become so bloody angry.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

My late mother.

This is the last of my series of old photos, and a particular favourite of my late mother. 

Not too PC these days, but I like it anyway.

Friday, 18 August 2017

My late Father as a boy, youth, and groom.

I'm continuing my series of old photos with a few of my own father. I'm posting these mainly for family, as there are a few they may not have seen before.

Above is my father with his older brother.

My father as a schoolboy; aged around 16 maybe? 

And here is my father on his wedding day. From left to right; my father, his older brother, my mother, paternal grandfather, paternal grandmother (the dragon), and two unknown (to me) very Victorian looking ladies.

Please forgive my indulgence, I shall not be showing any more..... Well, maybe just one more tomorrow.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

My late Father-in-Law, as a boy.

Lady Magnon has just returned from Blighty with a big pack of old photos that were up in our loft. The ones that I am presently scanning etc are ones that I'm particularly interested in sharing with family members, so please indulge me for a couple of days.

My late father-in-law in classic Sailor Suit, driving his rather chic peddle car.

With his people; he's the small boy on the right with the dreadlocks ringlets. Who could have thought what his life held in store; his older brother (behind him) became a Colonel in the Indian Army.

How times have changed.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Sun-dried Tomatoes.

Encouraged by my near neighbour, Sue, I have thrown caution to the winds and have attempted to sun-dry some (Roma) Tomatoes.

This was simply an experiment, which is why I did so few. If all goes well, I'll do a lot more in about a week's time when we're expecting a longer period of good weather.

I cut them in half, removed the pips and mush, salted them slightly, then put them out to dry in the sunshine.

I didn't have any problem drying them; but the interesting bit will be seeing how they taste.

Here they are after their 3 days drying, and having been packed away in Olive oil with some dried Oregano and coarse-ground pepper (above). The colour is amazing; nothing at all like the commercial ones. 

I have now tasted one. Really delicious, but slightly under-salted. I suppose they should be salted much as one would for eating them fresh.

p.s. Why is it that most recipes on Google for 'Sun-Dried Tomatoes' involve using an OVEN? Surely the whole point of SUN-DRIED means they're dried by the SUN. We live in strange times.

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