In which I force myself to complain

tumblr_lbwyf8TfKe1qzkrg9Perhaps the clearest sign that I am utterly burned out as an educator is the fact that tomorrow is the last day of the first round of ISTEP testing and I haven’t even been able to muster up the energy to complain about it.  Today was impressively rough; our principal is out of town, and literally the first words the AP said to me were “Get in here, we’ve got a problem.”

We’d just gotten a call from transportation that they were going to be two hours late picking up some of our kids– kids who had already been waiting at their bus stops for up to half an hour, and some of whom had apparently called the school to tell us that they didn’t have keys to their houses and couldn’t get back in.

This is a fuck-up of astronomical proportions before you get to the part where we’re…

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Remembering the Garden Festival

A Sense of Place

Another guest post with newly discovered photographs today from John Viggars.Garden Festival01This time John takes on a subject that, even thirty years after the fact, can still cause arguments when two or more Liverpudlians are gathered together.

It’s the early 1980s. We’ve had riots, mass unemployment, factories closing down by the day, you’ve seen how it is down at the docks, our democratically elected council is soon to be surcharged and banished from office – and what do we get to fix it all?

Well truth to tell many things are tried. Some work, most don’t. And there’s also the Garden Festival. So let’s hear about it from John – who had a season ticket!

“After my previous writings on here about time spent on the  North and South Liverpool docks I began looking through more of my old transparencies to see what other Liverpool related stuff I had bothered…

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In Leeds: Talking up the North


A Sense of Place

On top of the Industrial Revolution. On top of the Industrial Revolution.

It will be a day of top quality glass rooves, and we’ll be back to that one later.

First though, to Lime Street for the Trans Pennine Express. First though, to Lime Street for the Trans Pennine Express.

At the same time as me, others from around the North are getting on trains too.

As planned, I arrive in Leeds with plenty of time for a walk round town, as you’d expect.

Another top roof, the Corn Exchange. Another top roof, the Corn Exchange.

Sorry to see they're still looking for a tenant for their 'Flagship' space. Sorry to see they’re still looking for a tenant for their ‘Flagship’ space.

Walking around after a sudden shower. Walking around after a sudden shower.

Street food, its a thing isn't it? Street food, its a thing isn’t it?

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How to Get to Seljavallalaug: My Favorite Secret of South Iceland


Tremendous Times

How to Get to Seljavallalaug

I was about ready to give up and walk back to the car.

It was snowing — like a lot — and I was stepping into piles of it that sometimes went all the way up to my knees. I’d stupidly forgotten to grab my water bottle from the car and I wasn’t even sure we were headed in the right direction. It was cold, the skies were grey, but I was sweating from the hike and was certain I’d get sick from a chill. It felt like we’d been trekking for nearly a half hour, and there still wasn’t a sign of any pool.

And just as I was about to suggest to my dude that we seriously consider turning around, it appeared behind a large, jutting rock in the distance: Seljavallalaug.

Up until that point, I’d seen so many pictures of Seljavallalaug, Iceland’s oldest swimming pool that you can still visit and swim…

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‘I was there’ – My time on the Docks, Part 1

A Sense of Place

JV Part One25A guest post from blog reader John Viggars today.

A couple of weeks ago when photographer Tricia Porter graciously let me publish her 1970s ‘South Docks’ collection on here, one of the first comments on Twitter came from regular blog reader John Viggars who immediately said that most magical of all historical story phrases ‘I was there.’ He went on to mention he had some photos of his own from his days sailing in and out of our dying South Docks.

Naturally I asked him if he’d like to do a guest post on here. And here it is. Or rather here’s the first of two. This one mainly about the South Docks, Part 2, about the North, to come soon. With minimal interventions and editing from me. This is the real thing, unadulterated Liverpool history. A long read but a great one. Over to you John.

“Like Ronnie I…

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If You Buy a Harry Potter Engagement Ring You Are Probably Awesome

The Belle Jar

A brief response to Kelly Conaboy’s post on Gawker, “If You Buy a Harry Potter Engagement Ring You Should Not Get Married“:

1. There are some very excellent reasons that people should not get married. They include such things as “the couple is too young to legally marry,” or “the couple believes marriage is an outdated patriarchal institution based on the premise that women are property,” or, especially, “the couple does not wish to get married.” However, nowhere on that list of reasons why two loving, consenting adults should not marry is “because they both like Harry Potter-themed jewellery.” No matter what your opinion of the oeuvre of J.K. Rowling, the fact that two grown-ass people who love each other also love her books does not mean they are somehow too immature to wed.

2. How about just being happy that people who share the same passions and interests…

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