Friday, 13 September 2013

The Harrison Theory of Mediocrity

It would appear that the 'Harrison Theory of Mediocrity' is gathering momentum, with my own colleagues starting to pass my advice on to their own friends. I shall soon be running seminars on it at this rate, but that would rather defeat the object of the whole philosophy. For those of you who missed my post on it earlier in the year it goes something like this.

I am going to let you into the secret of a peaceful existence; mediocrity. I have spent much of my adult life perfecting the art of mediocrity and I like to think I am fairly good at it. Let me explain why being mediocre is the key to happiness, taking your working life as an example. I am sure you will agree that if you are bad at your job then you are in line for all manner of grief, although not if your first name is Michael and your surname Gove. Nobody wants to be on the receiving end of complaints from line managers, stern emails from the boss and uncomfortable appraisal meetings, so it doesn't pay to be too shabby.
This reminds me of a story I heard about a colleague of a friend who was having their annual performance management interview. He came out of the meeting fairly pleased with the way it had gone, saying that his manager had complimented him on the improvement in his work. The others in the office were mildly surprised as this individual was renowned for being lazy and incompetent. "So, what exactly did he say then?", one co-worker asked. "He said I used to be f****** sh*t, but now I'm just sh*t", came the reply.
However, if you are too good at what you do then people expect a lot of you and give you more to do. Some of my colleagues are constantly snowed under by requests to run a course, go to a meeting, organise an event. Why? Because they are too good at their job. I do try to give them the benefit of my wisdom but they are too busy answering the 150 emails they have received that morning to listen to me.
So, for now I shall endeavour to tread the line of least resistance and happily continue in my own little world with my delusions of adequacy.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Keeping up with the Grandparents

Letting your child spend too long with their grandparents can have its downsides I have discovered. I have just been told by no.1 son that he expects £2 rather than the customary £1 next time a tooth comes out, as this is what he received from the tooth-fairy at Mamgu (Welsh for Granny) and Granfer's house. He has also just asked me to put his pyjamas to warm on the towel rail so they are ready for when he gets out of the bath! This indulgence has also been instigated by my mum. How come I didn't get that kind of treatment from them when I was a child?!

Sunday, 8 September 2013

10 Strange Facts About Me

1. I am not sure if I am left or right handed. I can't totally use either interchangeably so am not a true ambidexter, but I have different tasks for my right and left hands.

2. I like those crisps which have folded over on themselves the best.

3. I once appeared on Pebble Mill with a group of friends and met Richard Stilgoe in the corridor. I like to think I haven't let fame change me though.

4. I know all the lyrics to every Wham song ever released. When I finally lose my mind you will find me in the care home unable to remember my own name but singing Young Guns and possibly conjugating Spanish verbs.

5. I took 7 driving tests. People have got their own TV series based on a lot less than that.

6. I actually enjoy ironing but no, I don't want to do yours too.

7. When I was at school my nick name was 'Piglet' and somewhere I still have a collection of about 200 pigs. Think that could be one for e-bay unless the V&A wants them?

8. I am a Marmite hater married to a Marmite lover.

9. I have a body piercing but no tattoos.

10. I lose the will to live in winter. Is there not a job which you can just do from March - October so I could hibernate the rest of the year?

Friday, 6 September 2013

A Day In The Life Of ... Ronnie Harrison

My name is Ronnie Harrison apparently and, for a cat, I have a remarkably fine command of the English language. If you don't agree then please keep your opinions to yourself. I'm a cat. I don't engage in pointless argument. It's such a waste of energy and usually involves a loss of dignity, both of which I abhor.
So, last August I was born in Somerset and was happily enjoying life with my mum and siblings when SOMEONE decides it would be a good plan to put cute photos of us on facebook. The next thing I know I'm being stuffed in a box and driven all the way to a place called Norfolk. My new 'owner' (ha ha, that always makes me laugh - as if anyone could OWN a cat) had seen the aforementioned pictures of me and, after a few glasses of something called 'wine', had decided to adopt me as a pet.
Anyway, life here isn't too bad I suppose. There are three two-legged animals in the house; I think they're called humans or maybe slaves, I'm not sure. Two are fairly big and weary looking and the other one is small and quite frankly a bit too noisy at times. I don't do noise. I'm rather finely-tuned you understand, and also it interferes with my sleep. The small one always wants to cuddle me but his lap is too small and not awfully comfortable, and if you can't be comfortable what's the point? The older lady one has a nice squishy lap and a fluffy dressing gown so I tend to go to her most of the time. She is also the one who feeds me so I need to keep in her good books.
I normally start my day around 5 am when I go upstairs, meow a lot, scratch the carpet (works every time) and jump up on the lady's face. I can tell she's really pleased to see me because she always uses the same greeting, "Bugger off, Ronnie".
Once I've been fed I go outside to go to the loo. I'm a martyr to my bowels, I don't mind telling you, but find that a nice bit of grass from time to time helps keeps things regular in that department. The slaves tend to disappear during the day so I spend my time lying under bushes, annoying the hedgehog Rocket and catching flies. Our neighbours are nice too and one of them has even built a lovely little house up in a tree for me to sleep in. Nice touch guys!
Sometime during the day I go back inside and sit on the dining room table for a bit. I get a great view of the bird-table from here and also like to make sure that the rest of the family gets a fair crack at sharing my toxoplasma gondii. It's good to give something back I always think.
Later on, depending on the weather, I might come back in and see the humans and then it's time to think about settling down for a well-earned rest before the whole hectic business starts again the next day. It really is a cat's life.

If you enjoyed this post you might also like or just click on the label 'Ronnie' below for more feline frolicks!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

New Year's Resolutions: 24 Hours In

For those of you who didn't see yesterday's resolutions please see
This is how I am doing so far.

1. I haven't got too wound up on the journey into work though today was touch and go. The 15 miles to the outskirts of Norwich was OK but it then took me at least as long again to get to the centre. This was mainly due to the parents of pupils at a certain private school who feel duty bound to drop their little darlings at the door with no regard for the other motorists they are holding up. Surely Tristan and Olivia can get the damn bus like everyone else?

2. The not swearing is going pretty well so far. I have managed to stop myself most times so can be heard going 'fff....' or 'shhhhh'. At present I probably have enough in the swear box for a fun size bottle of Blue Nun.

3. My Mark Book looks beautiful but that's because it hasn't been written in yet. I have purchased a special little folder to keep it in, along with pens, stickers and a stamp saying 'Mrs Harrison says where the **** is your homework'.

4. I thought I was doing so well. Ok, it's only September 4th but tonight I prepared a lovely little seafood pasta dish and sat with Geof when he came home and ate together, discussing how our days had gone like a proper family. Then, at 6.30 Bryn said to me "Mummy, I haven't had any tea." It's not quite as bad as it sounds. He'd had lunch at a friend's house so a sandwich was enough. Phew!

5. Full marks here. Not threatened to resign yet but then I haven't had direct contact with any children yet!

6. I don't think I'll live long enough to get my pension so I might as well stop worrying about it.

7. I managed to stay up until gone 9 last night but it is only September. I don't fancy my chances once it's dark at 4.00.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

New Year's Resolutions

Many of you will already know or will have worked out that I am a teacher and I so I have always treated September as my New Year rather than the traditional January 1st. As the new term begins I thought I would share a few of my resolutions with you.

1. I will not get wound up by slow drivers on the way into work. 42 miles per hour is a perfectly reasonable speed on a straight open road in perfect weather conditions. Tractors have every right to be on the road during the morning rush hour without pulling over to let people pass and the mobile speed camera van going at 15 miles an hour below the speed limit ALL the way from North Walsham to Norwich is absolutely fine by me.

2. I am not going to swear, at least not much, unless it really is necessary. I think I'll have a 'swear box' and put a pound into my Sancerre fund every time I use a profanity.

3. I am going to keep my Mark Book beautiful. This has been one of my resolutions for the last 17 years and I still haven't achieved it. There will be no crossings out, no gaps, no use of multi-coloured pens. If a new pupil joins my class late in the term they will have to change their surname to something beginning with 'Y' or 'Z' so I can put them on the end without ruining the alphabetical list. For example 'Jack Cooke' would be offered the choice of 'Jack Yooke' or 'Jack Zooke'.

4. I will not get half way through September and start feeding my family ready meals, pizza or Weetabix for tea.

5. I will not even once threaten to resign and go and work in Tesco. However, Waitrose might be a different matter altogether.

6. I will not get depressed about the fact that I probably have another 24 years teaching ahead of me and that my pension is currently something like £26.78 lump sum and £1.54 a month.

7. I won't hit November and start going to bed at 8.30 just so I can survive the next day. Sad lamp and vitamin D instead.

To see how I am getting on visit