Monthly Archives: June 2009

Drama Queen

Tingirl and her drama class had their end-of-term showcase today.

Tingirl has been enrolled in a Drama School in the Mermaid Theatre in Bray for about 3 years now, and at the end of each term they put on a little show. Today’s consisted of 2 courtroom scenes, written by the students themselves, and Tingirl played the bailiff of the court in the first one, and Counsel for the accused in the second.

It’s a real joy to watch this collection of 12-year olds acting their parts with such gusto, such talent, and with each passing show such confidence. Certainly Tingirl is a revelation. A naturally quiet girl, who’s repsonse to most questions is “fine”, she arrives out of rehearsal every week with a big beam on her face and chats away about what they did all the way home.

And today it was great to watch her, always acting, always in character, and to see the eager way she rushed over to us at the end to see what we thought.

That’s why you continue as parents to find money for things like this, no matter how your disposable income is decimated by extra taxes and reduced pay.

You spend your income on the essentials for living, and Tingirl’s drama class brings her to life.


Life’s Simple, in Theory

So Tinson 1 has finished school.

He sat his final exam, Chemistry, on Tuesday and left his schooldays behind him. He got home, gave us a carefully analytic summary of the exam (“piece of piss”) and invertebrated down in front of the telly, as if already settling into his future role as one of the unemployed.

After a while he admitted that he felt a bit strange, watching TV without a hearing a nagging voice inside his head telling him he should be studying (he usually had a nagging voice outside his head telling him the same thing, and I think Mrs Tin is now as at a loss as he is).

Anyway, when some friends rang to say they were going to play football down in the leisure centre he jumped at the chance. He played the game, went back to someone’s house and then walked home, getting in at about 4 a.m.

During the football apparently he got some sand or dirt into his sock, but instead of stopping and removing it he played on, so now most of the skin has come off the sole of his foot. Therefore he spent his first day as a grown-up lying on his bed with his foot in a bandage.

As his father, it is my job to worry about him when he does silly things, and I have to thank him for giving me so much practice.  But remember, this guy has applied to college to do Theoretical Physics, so now I’m starting to worry, not just for him, but for all of us, for our planet and indeed for the populations of distant worlds in galaxies far, far away.

EinsteinThe Principle of Cause and Effect seems to have passed him merrily by, and the thought of him in a very few short years spilling coffee into a worm hole, getting sand in the Large Hadron Collider or sneezing violently into a bowl of Dark Matter (it comes in bowls, doesn’t it?) should strike fear throughout the entire universe.

Was Einstein that scatty? Actually, looking at his hairstyle (a generous use of the word “style” there) he was possibly worse. The Principle of Cause (using a comb) and Effect (neat hair) seems to have escaped him too.

At least Tinson1 always knows where his hair-gel is.

There are Naked Women in this Post

Because headlines have to give you the gist of a story in very few words, they can sometimes be taken up wrongly.

For example, Nicolas Sarkozy is currently at the funeral of Omar Bongo (nah, me neither – apparently he’s President of Gabon). I know this because my attention was grabbed by a headline on the BBC News Website which read ” Sarkozy jeered at Bongo funeral.”

Christ, I thought, that’s going a bit far, even for Nick. I had visions of him sitting sneering in a corner saying “You call ziss a palace? – we have maisons de chiens bigger zan zis palace. And your vin is merde, it tastes like lion’s peess. And I am much, much taller zan ziss Bongo was.” (Zat, sorry, that last part would be true. Mr Bongo apparently wore built-up heels to make himself look taller. As a shorter Omar Bongogentleman myself who was a teenager during the Platform-sole 70s I could have told him that this doesn’t work, and this -> photograph provides further proof).

But of course when I read the article I realised that it was Sarkozy who was jeered, by sections of the crowd (always a good move when the leader of one of the nuclear-capable states turns up in your tiny country).

While my misunderstanding in this case is not the BBC’s fault, headlines can often be deliberately misleading, as Holemaster recently pointed out. Unscrupulous sub-editors will often use a sexed-up headline to encourage you to read an otherwise fairly dull article.

I frown on such tactics.

I’m Turning Chicken

I have just noticed this packet in my kitchen:


Does any one else find this scary? (The packet, I mean, not the fact that I was in my kitchen). When we were young you could only get chicken breasts or chicken legs. Now apparently chickens’ thighs are substantial enough to be sold on their own.

Foghorn LeghornExpect Chicken Pecs and Chicken Biceps to be on sale soon, as Foghorn Leghorn becomes the standard in size and attitude among farmyard fowl. What happens when they realise that they’re taller than we are doesn’t bear thinking about.

But now that I think about it, I realise that it’s far too late to be worrying about poultry growth.

After all, from the time Chicken Nuggets became big enough to eat, we were already doomed.

Adieu Gone Ron

Ronaldo divesIn a poll on the website of Red Issue, the Manchester United fanzine, 632 fans responded to the €94 million departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid. 321 of them said they were sad to see him go, while 311 said good riddance.

I think that sums him up pretty well. Some of his little flashes of skill were just astonishing, and we’ll definitely miss his goal-scoring, but he really was hard work sometimes.

Standing up for him to fans of other teams was often like standing up for your mother-in-law when she gets drunk at a wedding (er, I have no idea what made me think of that analogy). You do it because of family ties, but you secretly know you’re defending the indefensible.

So it will be something of a relief not to have to make up excuses anymore when he stands pouting, hands on hips, when decisions don’t go his way, when he refuses to chase back and tackle after he loses the ball, and most of all when the slightest contact causes him to go down faster than a tasered granny.

See you so, Ronnie. We’ve had great players leave before, and we’ve always gotten over it.

And yes, the sole purpose of this post is so I could make the tasered granny joke.

Through the Night

Getting up at 4.30 on Wednesday has kinda messed up my week. I went to bed early on Wednesday night, but still felt knackered most of yesterday. Yesterday evening I feel asleep on the couch from 7 to 7.30 while watching the cricket (I know you’d have fallen asleep too, gentle reader, but I like cricket). Then, around nine, I felt really tired, so I went to bed and was asleep before half-past.

I slept like a log. I woke briefly a couple of times, but noticed it was still dark so I smiled & snuggled straight back asleep. Eventually I had a really long dream about the kids having a bath on the night before re-starting school (brief interlude here – part of the dream involved a handsome black man walking beside me and chatting me up, in a non-threatening & quite funny way, as I walked home along a street of big Victorian houses that I so don’t live on, and when I got home to observe said bath I found that my house had one of those big communal baths that football clubs used to have, and the bath contained not just the Tinkids (all much younger), but also Mrs Tin – well, Sarah from the Sarah Connor Chronicles, actually – a girl friend (not girlfriend) from about 20 years ago who was now making a guest appearance in the second of my dreams this week, a guy I used to play soccer with, and my mother, though when they let the water out of the bath she had mysteriously vanished). Anyway, as usual a really long dream is a sign to me that my night’s sleep is over, so I woke feeling really Alert, Bright and Refreshed.

It was two minutes to midnight.

So, since I was really A, B and Re-f , I lay there until half-past two. I wrote part of this post in my head, and also part of another one. I worked out a possibly-better way of doing a really crap job that I’ve been working on in the office for the last two days, and I’m looking forward now to seeing if it works.

And, at half-past two I fell asleep again (dream this time involved being electrocuted, and having my pacemaker on fire inside my chest, while I kept telling GoldenEyes and the rest of the office that I’d be fine once the ambulance man arraived and made a small hole and then flicked it out with a penknife) and was deep, deep asleep when the alarm-clock klaxoned me violently awake.

Now I feel tireder than ever.