Words of warning and welcome:

This is very much my blog, so don't be surprised if this doesn't follow accepted patterns and norms. Obviously it started out as a blog about my cross-dressing but it has developed a great deal since then. It is a place where I can be anonymous and honest, and I appreciate that.

It will deal with many things and new readers would do well to check out the New Readers' Page above this and the tag down there on the right. Although there's nothing too bad in here there will be adult language, so be careful. If you think this needs a greater control, please let me know. Thank you!

Friday, 16 January 2015


I can't believe I didn't watch this in 2012, well, okay, I can. But when my newb used it in her lessons I sort of half-listened and didn't go and check it out. I did check it out this year. Oh. My. God. As in, fucking hell. How did Danny Boyle get away with this? It's brilliant!

It's officially, officially, titled 'Pandemonium', you know, the capital of Hell in Milton's Paradise Lost. The opening coda is from Jerusalem and references Dark Satanic Mills. They peel back the idyll to reveal a street map of London! Workers toil beneath the ground, people die, there is a stoppage for war but then it all kicks off again. Even the flash of colour from the Beatles is subsumed into the dark toiling chaotic mass. Molten metal creates the ring and, when hoisted, rains fire on the working class. The top-hatted industrialists undertake some minor work but mainly show others what to do and call down wealth from the sky as they dismantle and destroy England's green and pleasant land to create this seething shithole of darkness and exploitation. Hell-fire, Boyle includes the Windrush of 1958 when we brought in people from the Empire to plug the gaps (and they disappear into the seething chaos). At the end you have Brunell sauntering about looking proud whilst the workers look like post-apocalyptic survivors. Contrast the faces at the end! And the crowd cheered! The commentators view it as a triumph. People talk about power and prestige and wealth. The government offered Boyle a knighthood for crucifying the myth of the Industrial Revolution as a positive thing for the people of the UK and the world!

I cannot believe I didn't see this!

You might guess it has excited me somewhat.

On a day when all Hell broke loose with one of my newbs... She has anxiety but isn't hacking the job, I've tried the softly softly approach and it hasn't really worked, she's sort of tried to do everything at once without help and is slowly dying. So, with the Head of the school and my immediate superiors, we have intervened, today. Her marking is not up to date, her lessons, though fab, are not pitched quite right, yet (they will be) - and she refuses to use the existing stuff to take the pressure off. Over the last three days there has been frenetic activity to arrange schemes of work, align them, check where all my newb's sets are etc - all without telling her. Not to be mean, but to avoid making her feel like she's doomed - she's a fantastic teacher but she's not accepting help, we have to do something or she'll burn out (before Christmas she had a series of episodes and ended up taking two weeks off work to cope). I need her on my team. I need her healthy and happy.

Today we put everything in place and the newb was told that the Head would take over one of her exam groups and that a senior teacher would help with another aspect of her teaching - essentially joint planning and team-teaching to lighten the load, teach a few workload reducing tricks and hone the talent she displays into a skill.

It is necessary, but it is not fun. Nor easy. My role in this is taking the exam marking and doing it quicker than she will be able and giving her the time back to get through the log-jam of normal marking workload that has been stored up in the meantime. Essentially, we're taking enough so she can clear the deck and start again.

It's not helped by the fact that she went on a last minute six-week holiday over summer rather than prepare (as you do for your first job), attended her graduation against medical advice (thus being too knackered to function on her return, and having to go home again for three days) and took a holiday over Christmas (nowt wrong with that, but for the fact that she had a huge backlog of stuff to do and didn't tell anyone!). In amongst this she moved house (again, nowt wrong with that, but it was another two days off, and no marking done for two weeks whilst she packed up one house and sorted another). Any one of these things, hell, two of them and she'd be fine. But coupled together and refusing to off-load marking or planning when prompted by me (and then hiding it at home) and we have a problem.

Basically, I have done my job. It has been hard and now I'm behind on marking (but I'll catch up with some elbow grease) but I have done my job. That's satisfaction that I'm feeling. I think I like that. Now for a beer.

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