Sunday, January 14

The Quest Begins!

Just to let you all know that I have a new hobby, and a new blog all about it. It is called Desperately Seeking Tennant and you can learn more about it by clicking and having a look-see.


Friday, January 12


So the East London College called me last night to arrange my start date.

*sets off fireworks*

I have an induction day on Wednesday next week and then start full time the following Monday after I've moved into my new flat. I can now assure my various banks/credit card agencies etc that I have money coming. I will be doing a job I love. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to spend the rest of the day catching up on a fortnight's sleep. Zzzz....

Wednesday, January 10


The College haven't rung me. They said they'd call me by the end of the day and let me know what's going on. But it's 5.30 now and everybody will have gone home. College staff are ALWAYS home by 5.30, I have extensive experience of working in this sphere. So I called up the woman who's supposed to be becoming my line manager and left a message on her phone along these lines 'Err, Hi, Gemma... again... a bit concerned as I'd like to start soon. Can you get back to me TOMORROW please? Thank you.'


What if they never do and I just get a letter in the post telling me that my references were crap and that I'm crap and that they want nothing further to do with me, ever?

What then?

Great, thanks, another sleepless night. Brilliant. If the bags under my eyes keep growing at this rate I can hire them out to heavily laden supermarket shoppers.


I have become 9 years old again. I burst into tears yesterday at my sister's house because she bought me a bar of chocolate from Thornton's (posh chocolate company, for the benefit of my regular US readers), and again on the phone to my temp work agent because she has found me work for when I move to London. This morning I burst into tears on the phone to the College I'm supposed to be working at because I'm frustrated about my lack of start date. This afternoon I burst into tears on the phone to the man at Egg banking because he was so helpful and understanding. Then I burst into tears again when my Dad offered to pay my road tax.

Everything is amazingly beautiful or gut-churningly worrying, and the only way I can seem to release the stress over these very adult issues is to cry like a child. I am THE WORST daughter with THE BEST parents. My boyfriend is about 100x more responsible than me.

You won't be surprised to hear that I suffer from bipolar disorder. But all this is just taking the piss!

I am going to drink this cup of tea without crying or being on the phone. If I achieve this then it'll be the first time today.

Monday, January 8

*Education Rant*

So Ruth Kelly has sent her dyslexic son to private school because his state school hadn't made sufficient provision for his learning difficulty. Now I'm all for parents being able to choose whether to educate their kids privately or courtesy of the state (yes, even MPs), but what saddens me is that state schools seem to be failing students with learning difficulties, despite stringent screening and sizeable government bursaries to assist with these kids. What worries me the most is that a huge percentage of kids seem to be slipping through the screening net and going through their 11-13 years of education without dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD etc being picked up on. My brother is a prime example of one of these kids, he's clearly dyslexic, and exhibits all the tell-tale tendencies of a kids with learning difficulties, yet he has been 'screened' twice and nobody ever seemed to pick up on the fact that he wrote backwards until he was 7, cannot read analogue clocks, cannot tell his left from his right and frequently struggles to read long paragraphs of text. He had the vocabulary of an 8 year old at 4 but he can't tell the time. Friends with dyslexic kids have all told us that this is definitely dyslexia, yet because of his lack of statement he never received any additional help in his entire school career, and my mother (like Ruth Kelly) decided to take personal responsibility for his education and got him private English lessons once a week. This helped but was not enough, and he left school with a handful of low-grade GCSEs and a general disillusionment with the education system.

I just think it's so sad that there are, literally, thousands of children out there with almost identical problems to my brother. Bright kids that simply need a bit of extra help. And now they're thinking of scrapping SATs at 11 and 14 and replacing them with more flexible, frequent yearly tests. Students that struggle will get 'additional one-to-one tuition' - my one question is "Who will administer this tuition, then? Because teachers certainly won't have enough time? And if it's not teachers then who else is qualified to provide this tuition?"

I'm SO home-schooling my kids for at least the first two years, by the time I have them I'll be terrified to release them into the system. Best to remove them altogether for a bit and let them learn in a way that suits them.

Thursday, January 4


Ok, so a few of you think it's bad that I posted on the internet about my sister getting crabs. In my defence, she doesn't read blogs, or even know what myspace is. Her friends are all old or living in Italy and can't speak any English. She will never see it and half of you have no idea who she is. And it was really, really funny. So there.

Crab we talk it over?

My sister's recent love-life could provide a soap opera with at least a year's worth of plots. Seriously, it's that tempestuous. It'd take forever to recap it all in depth (but believe me, it's worth hearing!), so here is a brief timeline, to fill you in:

June '06: Big Sister arrives back from Italy, gets job in Cambridge
September '06: The Italian decides he will move to England to be with her. Big Sister gets flat sorted for her and The Italian.
October '06: The Italian arrives. Says he will 'learn English then get job'. The Italian attends English course.
November '06: The Italian isn't getting up until 2pm, owes Big Sister money and hasn't found a job yet. He puts it all down to suffering from 'strange rashes' and depression.
December '06: The Italian goes back to Italy with his tail between his legs still owing Big Sister money.
January '06: Big Sister returns to Italy for last ditch attempt at reconciliation BUT The Italian's rash is diagnosed as crabs.
Today: Sister returns from Italy to put end to both relationship and pubic lice.

So, not only did my sister discover that her (sort-of) ex-boyfriend was carrying on with other girls over the summer while she worked like a POW to save up for their flat, he was also having unprotected sex with them and actually contracting bonafide sexual diseases. I don't know what's funnier; the fact that he tried to fob her off and tell her the doctor had told him that he could have contracted the lice by 'picking up a dirty object', or the fact that he, a thirty year old man, sent his father to the chemist to get the topical ointment because he was too embarrassed to do it himself!

More hilarious was my father's face this morning when my mother informed him that the surrogate son he has been mourning for the last few weeks, the golden-boy who he took golfing and out job-hunting, was carrying the bi-product of infidelity around in his tight, Italian-designer boxer shorts the whole time he was in the UK.

Mother consulted me about how to end a text to my sister beginning with 'What a...'. My suggestion of 'cock' was rejected with the milder euphemism 'knob'.

I'd have stuck with cock myself. Not his though, because it's covered in dirty scuttling little crabs.

Do Google searches and that...