I was nearly at the end of a plod through an academic course, one which I really enjoyed, when I got an unexpected delivery of mail containing three coloured sheets, yellow, orange and green, (traffic lights) on which were printed:
Coping With Exams -Examination Technique; it was helpful.
Preparing For the Exam – Revision Technique; it was useful.
HOW TO FAIL YOUR EXAMS. R e a l l y!!
“BEWARE before you read this guide. Failing may sound easy, but in reality may take far more time and effort than passing with honours”.
“To fail properly you will need to know that you are writing things that are incorrect.” The candidate is advised that it’s no good to find out afterwards that you’ve ‘accidentally’, written down “due to complete lack of knowledge, Grade A stuff”. Appealing afterwards to the exam board stating your true intentions, is not going to work.
The guide also says you should not answer all the questions, you should spend more time on bits of the question than the time allocated for it. It’s a sure way to fail. Altogether, there are eighteen ‘fail’ suggestions, including, “Don’t be succinct“. There is a money back guarantee on the price of the guide if you pass your exams, even after meticulously following all the guidance on how to fail.
P.S. I haven’t the heart to bin it.
The ‘Scrambled egg’, of Royal Navy chiefs, (those that sport gold braid for those of you not in the know) is currently made up of admirals, vice-admirals and rear-admirals, in total, forty-one top banded naval chiefs.
cuts ‘efficiency savings’ the number of naval fighting ships stands at …..FORTY. You would, and rightly so, consider there is one admiral spare .
Well, I’ve got news for you. In the last week, I have received several letters which clearly show my elevated status, I am now addressed as Admiral M. So, here I am chummy, we can join forces!
I Watched the sheep on the farm the other day when the weather was having a tantrum. The sheep decided it was time to give up outdoor life, being in the field exposed to the elements. The flock determinedly exited from the field. They all trotted off down the farm track towards the barns, but at the end of the track found their way barred by a closed farm gate.
After a very, very long wait, standing, heads motionless and everyone of them turned in the same direction, (there was only one way they were going however long it took) someone came along and opened the gate. Sheep generally don’t stampede in what we know as such a thing. But, that batch made the fastest beeline for the gaping barn doors that I have seen. Who needs sheepdogs…..
The sat nave is plugged into my computer not only taking charge, but also making a meal of updating itself. One hour and twelve minutes according to the magic timer, long enough to gulp a re-energising first and second course electrical feed.
So, here I am pondering. A bit of plugging in to an energising surge would do me the world of good too.
This morning I ‘mislaid’ a towel which was placed near the washing machine to remind me to add it to the wash load. When the time came, I just couldn’t find it. The wash load was done minus the towel. I discovered it some time later. It was wrapped round a freezer pack which had been easing a sore point on my back!!
My excuse…..yes I do have one; this was the morning after the night before: this morning in particular, was too early to be awake thinking about anything. I was even too tired to expend energy being grumpy. Why? You might well ask. Twice during the night I was was abruptly disturbed out of my slumbers.
* “Golden slumbers kiss your eyes, smiles awake you when you rise….” Oh, were it true.*(Brahms Lullaby)
Just Checked the satnav update progress. It looks like it’s charging up for an all night session. The progress bar has regressively jumped from forty minutes to fifty minutes…..zzzzzz.
Hubs has been feeding up the local bird life – mostly, Rooks just now – with lots of luscious fat balls. He leaves the fat balls hanging in net bags on the bird feeder. The Rooks spend a bit of time untying and unhooking the net bags containing the fatty feast. Once the fat ball bags have fallen to the ground, the Rooks nip at them. The fat balls are pushed and rolled around on the grass using their beaks and the odd clawed foot or two. It’s like watching a bird version of croquet. For them, it’s not enough to just peck at the goodies through the wide gauge netting, these birds want the food unencumbered. Any missed morsels to be found at the base of the bird feeder, or, in the grass, are picked up by a few smaller birds that sneak in. They know the Rooks will not bother them as the Rooks have the bigger prize. The smaller birds also know that being amongst the Rooks will provide protection for them from any marauding predatory birds.
We’ve had the first few days of bright breezy drying weather for many weeks. As cold as it is, (balmy highs of 4-5 deg C with wind chill) you take advantage of it to get the laundry out on the washing line to dry. As a thank you for hubs tender loving care and forethought in providing delicious fat balls, the Rooks have copiously shat all over my washing. About 90% of it. Of course, they waited for the day I pegged out big stuff like bed covers and sheets!
Well I never! It’s not every day when I go shopping, my purchases on the check out belt generate laundry tips from the check-out operator. He had tried it himself, he said, and it worked. A quick bit of advice on the amount to use as he handed me my change, and “only with clear vinegar mind, definitely not malt vinegar, ( perish the thought) and no detergent”;
“If you do it like I said, your cotton towels will come out of the wash nice and soft”. It’s amazing what you learn at the checkouts, I said, as I was leaving. Giving me a thumbs up sign, he assured me again it really worked.
Emails have always seemed to me to be a very informal method of sending mail. The minuscule ‘Hi’ and the nondescript ‘Hello’ definitely do not suit all situations. Very occasionally, ‘Good morning/Good afternoon….Mr/Mrs’ turns up; it’s easy enough to similarly respond, if I know of the writer, though not if it is mail from the business. Business emails are business communications like any that are delivered by postal mail services. They just do not look like it, or, maybe, it’s just they do not look like the business mail I have been used to.
If it’s a formal communication conventions state I should respectfully open with, ‘Dear Sir’, or, ‘Dear Madam’ or, a combined version of both; I have never considered any particular business entity dear to me, nor anyone in it with whom I may have developed a working business relationship. (Oh dear). Looking at terms of endearment, I am no further forward in creating alternative salutations for the purpose.
I might feel less inhibited if I felt free to open with something nicely terse at times. Huffing and puffing, I might just consider dropping terms of endearment and begin, “Sir”, or, “Madam”. It’s the worst I can allow myself to do. Undoubtedly, this is exactly the reason for beginning a written correspondence in a traditionally, accepted, mannerly, style, at all times. The moment your thoughts turn to ‘dear….’ the system structure draws you into its conventional framework. And dropping ‘dear’ to a curt ‘Sir or Madam’ only frames a much more formal, but still a conventionally acceptable mailing. So be it.
The written word speaks volumes.
FOREIGN LEGION – CONSIGNMENTS & LEFT LUGGAGE
Twelfth night is meant to be the time for clearing away greetings cards and festive decorations. In my book, some superstitions are best ignored. As I don’t receive some mail till early January, mostly from abroad, my cards stay up longer and the last to arrive are the last to disappear. Thus, I span the Western and the Eastern festive dates.
My decorations are the cards people send me. Switch on candle glow (LED’s) provide an atmospheric friendly warmth. The little candles (tea lights) have been tucked away. A couple of stocky gold coloured ones have not. They glitter and look quite pretty when daylight turns into twilight, even if they are not lit.
Tomorrow we have a recycling collection. The bulk of the cards – not the late arrivals – have been sorted between those that will be a keepsake, (just a few) or those needing some attention. The others, will provide material for recycling. Our collectors do not want anything with metallic finishes, which includes glitter. Lots of cards have those pretty finishes. The best I can do is to separate re-usable bits of a card from those bits that are not. That was late morning……..
….Even later morning, I seem to have spent hours sorting out a small area of desk. The quarter truth is, some of the space on the desk has been created by shoving some stuff to the right of it, (probably, should be ‘right off it’). I am trying to be tough on myself…about bits of paper (cringe). I know it will be worse before it gets better.
Early afternoon……hubs interrupts my bits of paper throw away flow. “Are you having any lunch?”
A new year and I feel as if I have lost the art of succinct writing, or, neatly saying what I mean. I envy just a teensy weensy bit, the writers who can encapsulate a major thought, or a vital description into a few apt words. To paraphrase an historical giant of the written word, I feel, if I become tired of writing I will be tired of observing and participating in life. That would be just too immense an emasculation of my senses to contemplate.
Perhaps it is the gentle warmth of spontaneous creativity I want. You could say that writing anything, be it a business letter, or business email is being creative. They are hardly communications for which you would usually create poetic prose: but, why shouldn’t they be? An answer to the question is, it rests on the purpose for which they are written and how the communications flow. The writing voice depends whether there is a demand upon you to write as opposed to responding to a natural urge to write.
A couple of ‘newsy’ things this week caught my attention:
We now know why bubbly tastes better in a glass. Research at both The University of Texas and University College London UK, explains why plastic and polystyrene cups just will not do for your Prosecco, Asti-spumante, or, Champagne. I can feel the regal Marques des Champagne curling their toes and gritting their pearly teeth at the thought of …plastic….polystyrene!! According to a study, the bubbles behave differently in plastic and polystyrene cups than they would in glass, The bubbles stick quite strongly to the plastic and polystyrene for longer and as a result grow bigger before they lift off, which, in turn, alters the taste of the drinks. They [the bubbles] are on their best behaviour drunk from a glass. Presumably, the small free flowing bubbles maintain the desired taste of the ‘bubbly’
While we are discussing drinking alcohol; an offence with interesting variations. An electrical engineer was caught over the drinks-driving limit, on his way to a police station to service their…….breath test machine! The driver had been seen by police driving erratically on a very bendy stretch of road. In court he was found guilty, fined and banned from driving for a year. At the trial, the police said the case presented them with a dilemma, because of the unusual circumstances. It was felt there could be a ‘conflict of interest’, given that the man serviced most of the intoximeters in the country. The prosecutor shared their view. A urine sample was therefore taken for testing.
In defending his client, the defence lawyer claimed the police had not followed correct procedures in taking the urine sample.
The Sheriff when pronouncing sentence said, that the matter had been handled correctly and by the book.