Hay Spiel Chequer Lessen …

Stewed-ants, too-daze lessen his a bout de weighs inn witch spiel-chequers cant bee deep-ended own.

BH weakish speller

I dedicate this to all the Y12 and Y13 students whose typed submissions I am marking at the moment.  You deserve something in return for the frequent face-palms and occasional belly-laughs you are giving me …

Hay Spiel-Chequer Lessen.

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PTS 07/042: Mr Sandman, Dream Me A Dream …

BH Paul Berry sandman
A still from Paul Berry’s wonderful short film

PTS Shakespeare read-through – Richard III, Act I sc iv.

Back in early 1997, I discovered that my eldest son was on his way.  The pregnancy was unplanned, and to say the least a shock to a frankly very immature young man who was focussed on nothing but wine, women and song – not necessarily in that order. To be fair to him, books sometimes made an appearance, too.  He was, I like to think, a completely different person to the one who’s writing this evening – I look back on him with some shame (on sleepness nights), listing the apologies I owe people.

Anyway, that night, I dreamed that I was eating scissors – large pairs, practically garden shears – but as I chewed them, they transformed into soft, grey liquorice (which I happen to enjoy, luckily).

Disturbed, I went to my mum, who has the folk wisdom of the ancients in some things, and absolutely no common-sense when it comes to others (oh, the stories I could tell).  She does, though, have an almost medieval belief in dreams.  I told her my dream, but not my news. And she told me that although I was expecting, dreading hard times ahead, I’d find that what I feared would actually be far, far better than expected.

She was right …

So I’m interested, with a lower case ‘i’, in dreams, with a lower case ‘d’. I have many very lucid dreams, and lots of nested dreams, a bit like the film Inception, where through effort I can transfer from one dream to another. They fascinate me, even as they unsettle me.

And if there’s another Shakespeare play in which dreams loom as large, I’ve yet to read it …

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What Would Shakespeare Say?

BH lego WWSS
Photo by me …

I think I might finally have achieved critical mass.  One of my students (thanks, Struckers) pointed out today that I’ve got a Shakespeare quotation for every occasion.  That pleased me quite a bit, in the way that only an unabashed nerd can take pleasure from their weird obsession being recognised by others (even if they are being gently mocked) …

What was this occasion?

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‘Dews of blood’: Hurricane Ophelia, 16 October 2017

BH ophelia 2Working in a school, of course I met several people who seemed genuinely frightened by the eerie sky that only half-illumined our collective journey to work on Monday – some, only some, of them were pupils …

Conditions really were awe-inspiring up here in the frozen North of England.

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Quote of the Week: 16 October

BH brittle gloryLaura Ashe, Richard II: A Brittle Glory (Penguin: London, 2016)

Emboldened by the excellent ‘Penguin Monarchs‘ volume on Edward II, I looked out which other volumes were available: the first that arrived in the post was this one.

Ashe‘s approach seems different to Given-Wilson‘s on Edward. Where he was reassuringly chronological, she deals with Richard’s reign (and I’ve seen this as a criticism of the volume online) thematically. It has, nonetheless, given me some useful insight into a king who I’ve always vaguely felt I owed a debt: I fell asleep watching Jeremy Irons in the title role – in Stratford, of all places – back in 1986/7. To this day, I blame the large lunch I had before the matinee performance …

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To buy, or not to buy …

lego_WS_firestar

Students, people who know me, or indeed regular visitors will know I have a bit of a fetish for Lego

Just to be clear, I don’t play with it, but I do collect some of the minifigures, photograph them – sometimes for classroom posters, or just because I generally like them.  My Schemes of Work for school, like the one on Conan Doyle‘s The Sign of Four, is full of Lego pics.  I buy plenty of minifigures.

Imagine, though, the situation …

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Quote of the Week: 09 October

BH penguin mornarchs edward iiChristopher Given-Wilson, Edward II:  The Terrors of Kingship (Penguin Monarchs series), (Penguin:  London, 2016)

This series of books have been on my radar for a while, but it took a recommendation from an ex-student (thanks, Jay!) to finally push me into buying one.  These are absolutely ideal for A Level students (who NEED the context for their final exams:  hint, hint to both my classes) or people who wanted a potted history without getting too bogged down.

Given-Wilson‘s writing style was pitched just right, I thought – dryly academic without being off-putting, clear without being condescending to those of us who don’t need (or want) words of one syllable.  It’s certainly inspired me to buy some more from the series: naturally, I’m now forced to wait until March 2018 for the Richard III volume, sigh …

This week’s quote of the week, is the final paragraph from the book, which sums up my views on Edward as presented in Marlowe‘s play.

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