Saturday, 26 November 2022

 Education in England The National System - How it Works (1956) W. P. Alexander

'The Local Education Authority are required under statute to appoint governing bodies in secondary schools and bodies of managers in primary schools which, in their turn, are responsible for the day-to-day conduct of the schools. These are the bodies to whom the head teacher of a school can look for guidance and support in his professional task as the person responsible for the conduct of the school.

'Let us therefore state at once the first principle and perhaps the most important principle on which the English system of education rests. We believe in the distribution of power. It is said that the best safeguard for democracy is to ensure that a madman coming to power cannot ruin the people. It will be readily conceded that when Hitler came to power in Germany the fact that he could determine what was taught in the schools of Germany was perhaps the most important factor in creating and consolidating the Nazi regime. Those administering the schools and those teaching in the schools were equally servants of the government. the determination that all education should bend itself to the indoctrination of Nazi philosophy could readily and immediately be followed by effective pursuit of that policy.

'Here in England, let it be said at once, the Minister of Education, while fully responsible to the government, does not have that power. Let it be added that no Minister of Education in England would ever wish to have that power, nor, indeed, would ever exercise any power possessed as Minister for such a purpose. but it is not enough to be confident in the persons who occupy office. It is imperative to secure the future against the potential madman.

'So in England the power of the Minister is limited.'

Pages 2-3, Chapter 1 Outline of English Education

Library sale continues over at Amazon, seller Answer to Life on Page 58. Except this book. I can't face Amazon's flippin' awful listing system again. You can have it from me for a tenner if you get in touch.

Friday, 18 November 2022

Come and See me... Knicker Drawer Note Books


Knicker Drawer Note Books is at the Christmas Craft Fair, Village Hall, Cosgrove MK19 7J. This Saturday and Sunday 19th/20th November 2022, 10.00am - 4.00pm. Love xx

Thursday, 15 September 2022

I read Tracey Crouch and immediately joined Republic

 'Last night, as we sat as a family and watched the news break of her death, tears openly rolled down my cheeks and those of my other half. Our six-year-old took my hand in his and said, “Don’t worry, mummy; the King will look after us now.” He is right.'

Right, Tracey. 

As Charles is looking after us, I'd like him to pay into my bank account. Particularly, monies for my gas boiler service, repair and, while he's at it, he can chuck in a few quid for the gas bill.

Also, I need new curtains. The pair I have, I made myself. Someone was kind enough to donate to me black-out fabric on Freecycle. I cut it up and pinned it to the windows. I'm sure Charles has a few curtains in storage he's not using?

And while I'm on the subject of the Windsor family, your statement would read so very differently if it was, 'Don’t worry, mummy; Prince Andrew will look after us now.'


Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Big Old Bad Bruiser Gets Haircut


Tough decision, to sever someone in their prime... but at least they're less likely to come smashing through the roof, come next storm.

Sunday, 13 February 2022

Alternative Valentines

The people I've loved most, I've usually wanted to push them off a cliff.  

The ones who rouse my murderous id - they're the ones who get properly under a skin, electrically wired down to my fingerend nerve endings, pulsing into the emotional heartbeat to a life. 

They're the voice in the head and the drum beat telling me daybreak is here.

With them I laugh more than anyone else in the world; I listen to them, argue with them, tell them to shut up for a blasted minute while I'll defend their nonsense, their bizarre behaviour and their right to be bonkers, down to my last breath. 

I'll restore them, rebel against them, and turn my red blood into revenge for them.

It's contradictory, love, and on my Valentine's Day, unicorns don't appear. Neither do fairies, lovehearts, cute fluffy things with big eyes, and all the rest of the diamond sparkle spinning in the star-lit skies blah blah blah.

Love. In my world it's blood, guts, viscera. This had to be.

Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Liars, mocking the values we live by

Values? Just boring stuff, like decency, honesty, fair dealing. Not creeping around, lying, deceiving, saying cat when you really mean dog

But I suppose feeling in charge of the language you use makes you feel superior. Maybe we could all join them, yes? We could each be in charge of the interpretation of the words we use. We could say Yes when we mean No. We could say, I love you when we mean I don't love you, and we could say I care when we mean I don't care

If we did that, then we could laugh, too. We could laugh at our superior ability to trick, deceive, mock and belittle.

I'm not sure I want to join that tribe. To be honest, I want to find more constant values. I want to believe those values I find are shared by others. I don't want to join the smirking faces whose words you can never trust.

Johnson and each one of his tribe, I want to be honest to my response. I want to say to each of you, You're an absolute little shit

You do not represent the values I live by. Your deceit is not my shame. The shame is yours.

Friday, 19 November 2021

Knicker Notes Goes Exploring


A splendid Steampunk Convivial at Gloucester, where a lovely time was had by all. 

I showed great self-restraint and didn't come home with a portrait of myself as a spirit guide in the Netherworlds. (Maybe next time.)

Friday, 21 May 2021

Thursday, 29 April 2021

A Baby ate a Curry and This Happened


My new kitchen wall colour. Not up for negotiation and no compromise.

Thank you Peepah, for everything.

Friday, 23 October 2020

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Best memories


Wednesday, 22 July 2020

The Border Force know where I live

My left knee is bigger than my right knee.

My left knee is bigger than my right knee after I fell off a mountain bike in the French Alps, having run away in June at the first sniff of a lifted-lockdown travel restriction, (I just said it was to join the circus) but definitely in the company of Mr X whom I met (before lockdown) at a comedy club.

I know it sounds unlikely. Tiger pointed out (quite rightly) I had known Mr X for less time than she had known a bag of lentils.

My only reply was that I also carry a Best Before date so I had better get moving.

Maybe my tribe could mark my death date with reminiscences of that time Mother threw back the front door, shouting, I'm going to France. Don't ask me where, but I'll be back in about a month. Please water the lobelia.

Anyway, I have returned home. I have had a jolly good time and the Border Force know where I live.

Also, Knicker Drawers is getting back to business.

Thursday, 4 June 2020

Old tank gets trashed

A day from which all other days can flow; the 6x4x2 tank in the garage, which has been an eyesore, impediment and a hated old lump of metal just asking for a recycling centre, finally gets lifted up by a crane and taken out of my house.

Good riddance you bastard and I hope you get crushed and beaten up before being made into something more useful to society.

Got that off my chest. Can get on with building an artist's studio now.

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Nice Arse, Aunt Fanny and Lovely Jugs

I don't know about all you single people out there, but Grit is not doing so well in these times of LOOK DON'T TOUCH.

I sorely miss all the hugging and handing of my normal days, when connecting with friends through welcome clasps with kisses, hello and goodbye, was happily normal.

And that's before I get onto the subject of missing out on the Pensioner Sex.*

I can't wait for this horrible LOOK DON'T TOUCH phase of lockup to be over.

But the British are supposed to be so repressed about touch and intimacy, aren't we, that maybe we're accustomed to this new lockdown code, LOOK DON'T TOUCH.

Hmm. Right now I wish I could be Dutch. I read how one of their lockdown rights was a Bedroom Buddy. Imagine!

Yet of course we have a silver lining to this traditionally repressed British state. We are absolutely bloody brilliant pioneers in the language of nudge nudge wink wink.

In which spirit, I am delighted to launch my soon to be (unsuccessful) business line for this new phase of LOOK DON'T TOUCH lockdown. Where we single folks can regard a nice arse from a distance, no touching allowed.

My Nice Arse, Aunt Fanny and Lovely Jugs.


Suitably British LOOK DON'T TOUCH naughty words and thoughts with traditional lead print to stamp into your Knicker Drawer Note Book.

Or just hang it from your doorknob. It's up to you. The police aren't watching on this one.

On sale soon at the Knicker Drawer stand in Vintage Number 38, if you're local. And if you aren't, you'll have to make your own.

(Nice bum, by the way. I've been regarding it for quite a while and I just thought I'd mention it.)

*Sure to increase the blog statcounter by a few hundred readers, every one of them to be quickly disappointed.

Sunday, 17 May 2020

Crap memories


Monday, 11 May 2020

Now, you only get to see the ceiling

This diary entry is for those people who stared inside our office 2010 to 2019.

Recall a dishevelled-looking bloke? He was maybe wearing his pants like men do in their sheds, with a barely buttoned shirt, pre-dribbled, topped by an old cardigan. The glass doors behind him? Faked on a green screen. In reality, one was smashed.

I loved my husband dearly, despite what you might have suspected (or been told), and certainly if you saw inside our office and came to a very definite conclusion - here was a sad man abandoned!

Nope. He was loved! Utterly. The landfill he made of the office was not loved.

Think yourself fortunate. You saw this chaos from your safe side of a plastic screen. There you could sigh and tut and do whatever before slipping back to your normality. I bet you felt sorry for him. Hmm. Misplaced sympathies. I lived with this state, powerless to do anything about it, too respectful of, 'don't touch my stuff'.

'It's my stuff!' covered the hole in the ceiling, piles of ancient papers, collections of magazines and manuscripts from 1974, a cellar full of computer equipment from the 1980s, peeling paint, 100kg of cabling, cassettes, floppy disks, piles of gadgets and a variety of indescribable items whose only redeeming feature was that they didn't have real hair.

And the smell. Let's call a spade a bloody shovel. If you have lived with a teenager who locks their bedroom door, closes the windows and draws the curtains, then you can imagine the smell coming from the office. It was very similar.

Did I mention that time my office colleague absent-mindedly threw a dead bird in the bin? That is not endearing. That is a health hazard.

Anyway, those days are gone! I no longer feel the need to put a bag over my head when I realise someone saw the office.

These days, my office / flat / rooms of elegance / hand-made kitchen is now transformed. And it is fecking amazing.

I threw open the doors and windows, scrubbed the carpet, hired the roofers, painted surfaces, dumped furniture, offered a ton of stuff to happy hands on freecycle, sent 50 metres of books to the charity shop, dismantled shelves, installed a Victorian overmantle above the fireplace previously blocked by a bookcase and seven blankets, enjoyed my repaired glass door and sold anything of value on ebay.

I'm happy to say - if you are one of many previous guests invited via video link to this office - you'll never see this wonderful space. Maybe you can look at the ceiling - the old office is transformed to my new rooms.

Enjoy your happy memories.

Thursday, 7 May 2020

Think of the good things...

There are some positives about lockdown, huh?

Not the awful consequences of this horrendous virus; I can't go there without fear of being quickly overwhelmed into numbed silence.

Nor the daily challenge of frugal living thanks to a diminishing income. Not that either. Anyway, frugality is normal.

Nor the way I get to experiment with the limits of my personal hygiene! Although it has advantages. Three weeks and no shower! (And no running water in my little bolt-hole flat because I can't afford it).

And not being able to go out to find human company of my own interests and dispositions. That is Not Good. That is The Worst Thing Ever about lockdown.

But here is to count the good things!

Clear, clean air. Air that does not get in the way. Precisions of colours and shapes I can observe from my laying down flat-out position by the hedge where no-one can see me.

The garden robin, who is running a mealy worm protection racket. (I have seen The Birds.)

Time, that I cannot avoid, to do things I have long put off. Clean the hob, paint the ceiling, clear out the garage, scour the fridge, put up shelves, hoist out the overmantle etc etc.

Zoom, which I have used, once in terror and with the growing, horrible realisation that people can actually see me in my private space, so next time better tidy up a bit and put on a bra. But I am counting it as good (and not bad) because it is engaging me with the 21st century!

Reading, more consistently, for longer, and not just to page 11.

Making things, and not just a mess, but things with wire and glass and ribbons and hooks and bits you find at the backs of drawers to hold up and wonder, 'Can I use this instead?'

Taking longer to do anything and everything.

If I am going to hold onto one positive outcome from lockdown, it is this. To consciously think and interact and shape my environment in more deliberate ways; slower, with greater thought for ahead, than behind.

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Let the Burning Begin!

In the national spirit of flagellation I'd like to confess my crimes regarding flaunting the lock down rules!

This is entirely in consideration of the fact that soon we open our doors, windows, garden gates to let all the grudges go free.

Then we can stare at the neighbours properly for the first time in weeks. No longer will we be forced to peer at each other from behind net curtains, clutching a pen and logging down their crimes in a Lockdown Grudge Book.*

Huh, I am Grit. I want to get in first before the neighbours grass me up.

Read my charge sheet and gasp.

1. Visiting another household with a birthday card.
Prepare the bundles of wood for the fire. I am guilty. In mitigation, the birthday card was to celebrate an 18th, after the father of the tribe left the family for another woman in the same fortnight his wife faced a diagnosis of breast cancer while her mother was diagnosed with dementia. (I couldn't make this up.) On balance, propping up a home-made birthday card on the drive while dancing and blowing kisses seemed like the smallest thing I could do. I accept, in the eyes of any particularly scrutinising neighbour, it remains possibly the biggest crime of all.

2. Furtively sloping off to Lidl, late at night, to stock up on Vermouth, crisps and chocolate biscuits. (I wish I could say this was only once.) Definitely guilty. No mitigating circumstances. Set light to the wood torches.

3. Driving to another household to drop a black bin liner at the front door. But this is not the actual crime! The other household got out garden chairs so we could sit 6 foot apart in the drive in full view of the neighbours! PS. The black bin liner contained stuff from an office clear out. Non-essential. (Unless you value the turn-out from an office.)

4. Returning to the scene of the crime to pick up CAKE. The Nation Your Honour, this was more than my anticipated reward for a load of old paper from an office clear-out. But what could I do? I was offered CAKE for feck's sake. Let the processional train of witch-burners begin the sorry journey to the pyre.

5. Accepting a visit from Mr M. (who is a proper artist), who had cleared out his workshop and wanted to shove a load of glass our way. I have nothing to offer in mitigation but weakness motivated by my own greed and the overwhelming desire to see if I can melt glass in a barbecue. We talked about, among other things, my home-made bike shed which was an unavoidable participant in the conversation since we had to sit on either side of it.

 My bike shed what I built at the bottom of the garden. 
(Lock down Project Number 8.)
 Mr M was kind enough to say that my bike shed resembles Caribbean architecture circa 1980. 
He also suggested that with a few pots and pans I could try living in it.

The Nation Your Honour, here are my ugly truths laid bare. I accept my fate. As the Chief Burners pop to Lidl to buy a box of matches, I would like to add, if we are to be released to judge each other remorselessly without let or hindrance, then, in my opinion, as a motivating factor to flaunt lockdown, adultery is morally worse than effecting an 18th birthday surprise.

*Of course I can sell you a book for your Lock down Grudges!

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Anything is possible

Here's an illustration of a chicken. Just as a memo to myself that there is no subject out of bounds, especially in a note book, and I will rise to any challenge.

Monday, 4 May 2020

Kitchen Journal

Sometimes I make a note book and I just want to keep on going, playing with it, dressing it up, shoving things between the pages, seeing how much it can hold and building it up to see when it bursts.

Then I remember. It's not my book.

What I really hope I've stitched into that book is the spirit of play.

I want you all to have that spirit with your notebooks. Just throw your cautions to the winds and enjoy yourself with crayons. It will do you good, believe me.

Drink a cup of tea and splatter your pages with the tea bag. Crush your pages together while they hold sprays of fresh flowers or leaves you collected from the walk. Add post-it notes and scribble and doodle and torn bits of magazines - see how the colours and shapes change your book.

Don't come to me and say, 'Wah! It's too nice to write in.' PAH. You can make it a lot nicer. You can make it Yours. Go on, claim it for your own.

Consider the notebooks a piece of collaborative art. I make the frame and you do the pictures. I offer you the format for your poem and you find the words. I give up the baking tray and you pour in the cake mix. You get the idea. Just give it a go. You can only make your note book more beautiful, because you're making it expressive of You and what could be more beautiful than that?

Sunday, 3 May 2020

Night walk

Walking at night has become a pleasure. I enjoy the exaggeration of shapes and colours; the views stretching out along points of light, brought to sudden halts by impenetrable dark layers. The night walk is affirming of the stronger in me: I am self-reliant, curious of what lies over there; a person of privacies and transparencies.

I'll stitch a book for that.