Sunday, 25 March 2007

It looks like I will be climbing that Munro after all - thanks mum for changing your mind.

'brokenness transformed into beauty' - that's the intention. 'What is lost is found again; what is broken is whole again'.
'We are all God’s prodigal children. We have the potential to transform our brokenness into something quite beautiful simply by returning home to the Father. No vociferous mea culpa is necessary. The father sped to his son before he heard one word of contrition'.
"Now, mea culpa, lord! I me repente."

My heart aches, my body screams.

then I did the simplest thing in the world. I leaned down…and kissed him. And the world cracked open. –Agnes de Mille

This was the unkindest cut of all.

The truth is alcoholism is a mental illness. I should know because I am one – one alcoholic. It’s very difficult to control the compulsion to drink, and when you’ve spent most of your twenties and thirties binge drinking, it’s hard to say no. Addictions run in families, my grand father was a drunk and my four cousins in Scotland are smack addicts, or recovering addicts. There is a stigma attached to having any kind of mental health issue and they’re shouldn’t be. But, my parents just don’t want it and neither do I.

What’s madness but nobility of soulAt odds with circumstance? The day’s on fire!I know the purity of pure despair,My shadow pinned against a sweating wall.That place among the rocks—is it a cave,Or winding path? The edge is what I have.–Theodore Roethke, “In a Dark Time”

On Friday night I went out with some bloggers and unfortunately I sat there and turned into the anti-social drunk, with, according to friends a mouth like sewer. This has resulted in my friend, Justin, phoning my elderly parents, in Scotland, and telling them the truth about my unacceptable behaviour. So, now I have been given a fixed term exclusion of one year. My mother has told me that I am not allowed back in the house and that I have to be sober for at least one year. This also means that I am not allowed to go to my sister’s wedding in Yorkshire. They’ve fired me and it’s unlikely they’ll write me a good reference. In fact she said “if you turn up I will have you lifted.” They’re going to see a solicitor this week to get their will changed, they’re writing me out of it.

So, that’s it. I teach the socially excluded and now I have become part of that group.

My condition defines who I am. My mum kept referring to me as a ‘drunk’. I am no longer their daughter, I am just a drunk, who bothers them and hurts them. She told me that I have broken her heart.

I adore my parents and I am going to find not seeing them for a year devastating. So thank you Justin for ruining my Easter holiday. I have to stay in Hackney with all the other dross and scallys.

I will be going to AA and we will see if I can crack this disgusting illness.

I am really disappointed that I can’t go to Scotland - I had already planned what I was going to be doing up there. None of the activities involved drinking. I was going to go swimming in the outdoor pool and walking up a Munro with my dad.

Anyway I must apologise to Newmania. You know your stuff and you are a dedicated Conservative. I wish you and your family well.

I am turning my phone off - I am going to destroy the sim card.
What is necessary, after all, is only this: solitude, vast inner solitude. To walk inside yourself and meet no one for hours—that is what you must be able to attain. To be solitary as you were when you were a child… –Anneli Rufus, Party of One: The Loners’

Friday, 23 March 2007

Coming soon - The prisoners and dirty the nappies

And, this is a true story. I know because I was the unfortunate person who found them, all three of them. It wasn't a pleasant encounter, but it was necessary.

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

A new trick the governor of Tunis taught me.

A photo of Masum Ali and Ibn Batutta, in 1326, Cairo.

Dear Bridget,

I arrived in the frantic city of Cairo last night, splendid place. Thousands of shops here, so you would probably like it my dear. Mind you I couldn’t find Primark, so maybe it wouldn’t appeal to you after all. I don't know, you women folk are fickle creatures.

Tell you what Bridget I had a bit of a bad experience in Tunis. I'll come onto that later...

Some of my fellow travellers said to me; “By heck Ibn lad when was the last time you had a bath?” I felt very embarrassed by this. The truth was Bridget I hadn’t bathed for about two days and what with the heat of the sun I was just stinking. If truth be told I was rancid. So I parked Masum-Ali, my camel, on a double yellow, decided to take the risk. Apparently, there is only one parking attendant in Tunis and he likes the ladies, so you rarely see him. Anyway, I found this bathhouse, it was just behind the central mosque, in one of the little cobbled stoned back alleys.

I should have read the signs before I ventured in there but I was just too tired to really notice. In retrospect it was glaringly obvious, especially as it had a pink flashing neon light, suspended directly above the main door, advertising its services. Then there was this woman sat outside the entrance, sat on a stool, she looked Eastern European, I think, very short shirt on, long pale skinny legs and wearing a very tight fitting white shirt and smoking Bridget. Yes Bridget, smoking a very strange smelling cigarette. Worst was still to come - I was horrified when I entered the bathhouse I found men in it “wearing no covering. This appeared a shocking thing to me, and I went to the governor and informed him of it. He told me not to leave and ordered the [owners] of the bathhouses to be brought before him. Articles were formally drawn up making them subject to penalties if any person should enter a bath without a waist-wrapper, and the governor behaved to them with the greatest severity, after which I took leave of him." Gibb

Anyway, after that shock the governor of Tunis called me over to his house for a kebab. He apologised profusely, and then he said, “Look Ibn mate, let me make it up to you, follow me …..” He took me out into his backyard and showed me how to do the above trick (see photo above). Masum-Ali bloody loves it and so do I.
His six burqa wearing wives were bloody hilarious; many of them could do hand stands on top of the camel's humps. One of them who was a rather large lady was very talented. She could run, do a back flip and miraculously land sitting astride, in between the camel's humps. The governor took me to one side, (he didn't want his over enthusiastic wives to hear what he was about to tell me) basically, he made a confession to me - with tears in his eyes he said, "I want to start a circus for my wives. You've seen how talented these women are but it's the sultan he won't rubber stamp it. I beg you Ibn, put in a good word for me, with the sultan. He respects you. Please ... no more seedy bathhouses. I promise."

Have you ever stood on top of a camel Bridget? I tell you what lass, it’s like being on top of the world, looking down on creation.

All the Best love Ibn XXXX

Don’t let the fuckers get you down.
I am sending you a telepathic message. It's a challenge actually, one which involves you going on a journey. On one commuter congested Inverkeithing ScotRail service, departure time 0650 hours. Destination Waverley station, Edinburgh, arrives 0710 hours. I know you can do this.

Monday, 19 March 2007

Ní bhíonn an rath, ach mara mbíonn an smacht.

It's war - I will win.

Nearly got kicked in the face today by a six foot tall black boy. He's as broad as he is tall. His clumsiness terrifies me - I'm scared he's going to knock me over. No idea why this kid is still in the school. On Friday he ran into the drama studio and assaulted another kid, just started on him, a totally unprovoked attack. I rushed to get the paperwork done, only to discover today that his only punishment is a senior detention - I see. I was told that he was going to be excluded. What a disappointment it was seeing his ugly face today. He's vile. I am not one to label anyone, but he really is just full of nastiness, totally out of control. I am not strong enough or skilled enough to take a monster like that on.

Was told to "Shut-up, don't talk to me!" By one of our supposedly academically elite year 11 kids - mind you this is mild, comes with the territory. My year 11's hate me. I have no idea what I have done to them. Looking forward to them all leaving. They're incredibly lazy. Can't be bothered going into details. Too much shite ...... constant confrontations.

No learning took place today in any of my lessons, sorry Ibn Batutta. All of the lessons should have been fun and stimulating, in reality they were just me containing groups of really grotesquely behaved teenagers, in the stuffy drama studio. Perhaps they are winning because I am beginning to dislike my subject now. I definitely dislike the majority of my students today. Tuesday will be a better day because I have hand picked a group of 24 kids which I am taking out, as a special treat to the Almeida Theatre - all of my beautiful angels are going to watch a play. I have arranged for them to meet the cast, director and writer afterwards.

Due to the recent stabbings the head will be going round the school tomorrow with metal detectors.

Pissed off. Where's Ibn? Ibn you need to sing me a sweet song, so that I can de-stress.

Sunday, 18 March 2007

Happy Birthday David Allen

I really loved your New Year's eve party.

I gave the snowman a facial, a pedicure, a manicure and plucked his eyes brows.

The Snowman

I met a snowman once, at a function. He wasn’t part of the function, he just happened to be staying at the hotel on business. When everyone had gone I stayed behind had a few more bevies and I bought an expensive Cuban cigar. I thought – fuck it! Let’s be decadent like the toffs. I bought it, but I didn’t have a light. So, I went up to him half cut and said in a really put on thick Salford accent “Excuse sir would you light my rather large Cuban cigar?” Which he did. I sat with him and his business partner for about half hour, we had a bit of laugh. He then passed me his card and insisted that I visit him the following weekend at his country estate in Malvern.

I knew he was wealthy but I wasn’t expecting him to be as wealthy as he was. I felt really embarrassed. I arrived with my battered Marks and Spencer’s carpet bag. He had a four acre estate and two houses on it, a barn, a fountain, a collection of expensive cars. And I arrived with torn Primark jeans on and cheap bottle of wine.

The first thing he did was he took me upstairs and led me into a bedroom. We’re talking king-sized four poster bed. I thought no way. I am not doing this. He insisted I sit down on the end of the bed, which I did. He said, “Close your eyes” which I did. I said “What are you doing?” I was terrified. He whispered in my ear “I want you to relax. I have something to show you, it’s a surprise.” I started to feel sick at that point. He said “Give me your hands”.
“Why? What do you want my hands for?” Reluctantly I held out my hands. He then placed it, on top of my hands. What a relief I felt when I realised what it was. I opened my eyes – it was a laptop. ‘Why? Why have you given me a laptop?”

He said “look at the photograph”. He pointed to a photograph of a woman, fully clothed, standing outside a shopping centre. She was wearing a short denim mini skirt, knee high suede brown boots, a canary yellow blouse, long brown hair. She had a neat little figure, not bad looking I thought. “Who is this woman?”
“Okay, you’re married obviously. Look I don’t want anything heavy. I just came up for a laugh.”
“No, I am definitely not married, look again”
“It’s your sister?”
“No!” he started laughing.
I continued to study the woman.
“Well it can’t be your bloody mum, because this woman is about your age. Not unless she’s had a lot of surgery. Actually…..” I looked up at him, and as a joke I said “Is this you mate? You’re not one of those freaky cross dressers are you?” Then I started laughing. At this point he had stopped laughing and looked a bit stern.
“It is you mate, isn’t it?”

It was him.
He was a bloody cross dresser. He then asked me what size I was. He said, “You must be about a 12?”
“Yes I am.”
He then proceeded to show me his immense wardrobe. We spent the weekend trying on his clothes, exchanging makeup tips. I even gave him a facial, plucked his eyes brows, waxed his legs, smeared on lots of expensive Harvey Nichols lotions and potions. It was a lot of fun. But there was another side to him (God’s honest truth – ask JH, I told him this story last year). He was a fucking squirrel killer. He had a rifle in his kitchen, which he kept on the welsh dresser. We were sat having lunch, wearing white towelling robes, both with avocado face masks on and he abruptly stood up and went …..

“Fuckers!!!!’ He was distracted and appeared really troubled by something outside, he just stood there staring out of the kitchen window.

“What’s wrong?”

“Wait there!” he said. He looked incredibly angry.

He ran over to the welsh dresser, grabbed the rifle and ran out into the yard. I followed him, only to discover that he was aiming it at a squirrel’s tiny head,
“What the hell are you doing?”
“Shut up, oh bollocks, it’s gone now. I’ll get it later, when you’ve gone!”

It was a lovely break for me. He showed me Malvern, the hills; he even turned his fountain on for me, we strolled around his estate. On the morning I was due to go home, it was snowing, in fact it had been snowing all night. So I said to him, because I felt that he was more like a sister than a lover.
“Why don’t we take all of our clothes off and roll around in the snow. I promise you won’t break a nail, and if you do I am happy to give you a manicure, before I go back to Hackney.” And he agreed, and that is exactly what we did. We had a snow ball fight at eight o'clock in the morning, completely starkers.

TP Fuller has Made Contact

It appears there is going to be a mini revolution at school. Some members of staff are referring to the senior management team as operating an oppressive regime. Well I cannot play any part in this revolution because I don’t agree with it. I am not a brown noser, but I am going to support the head. There are definitely problems at the school. The head is actually under considerable strain. I found out that two years ago there was murder directly outside the school gates. It was one of our kids; he stabbed another one of our kids and killed him. She can be rather gruff at times and she does pressurise us all a bit too much. I think what I’ll do when it all kicks off and the anarchy begins. I’ll just make a barricade outside the drama studio and lock 7H, my favourite class, in the room, take them all on a journey. We’ll travel out of Rostov on a slow moving train with the destination of ______________in the Ukraine. We’ll pass the Carpathian Mountains. I can do this because I have a very expensive interactive white board. This is exactly what I am going to do.

TP Fuller’s Made Contact.

I rarely clear out my pigeon hole. I was brave enough to do it on Friday though, only to discover, right at the back, a hand written envelope, with beautiful italic hand writing. I was curious, I never get letters like this, most of the stuff I get are either circulars or junk mail, but this envelope was different. I opened it and discovered to my surprise that it was in fact from TP Fuller. Bloody Hell! He lives on. It was partly written in Arabic because he’s still got this whole Ibn Batutta fixation going on. I asked my Moroccan friend Mrs Hamdoun to translate it, which she did, lovely woman. Anyway, this is basically the content of the letter.

Dear Miss Mackenzie,

I understand your dilemma.
If you stay in Hackney you must do the following:
1) Remove all items of furniture from your room.
2) Replace them with 15 mattresses, which you must staple to the walls.
3) Then run from one wall to the next. Run into the walls. Scream!!!!!!

Please find enclosed a cheque for £750.00 for the total cost of the mattresses.

1) You assume the identity of Ibn Batutta and leave Hackney.
2) Start to plan the journey now.
3) No cheque enclosed for this project, just a map, an ancient map I found in the attic of my Hampshire house. Go Mackenzie! Go!

1) Drink yourself to death.

Yours sincerely
TP Fuller

Sunday, 11 March 2007

The kids in Salford

The kids in Salford were always playing practical jokes on me, because I am incredibly easy person to wind up and I do have the tendency to over react to just about everything. One morning I was sat in my office and could hear one of my students, "Miss, Miss, Miss .... Are you there?"
I said, "Is that you William? Where are you? I can't see you."
He said, "Miss I am above your head". I looked up to see a large pipe, I think it was some sort of air vent thing. "What do you mean you're a above me?"
He replied "I am trapped Miss. I climbed into the air vent and now I am stuck in it. I can't get out".

So I immediately ran out of the office and into the room next door where I knew there was a small opening to it, only to discover half a dozen giggling boys. William was standing on a desk laughing his head off.

Kids are great fun though. I had a really embarrassing experience, when I turned up for one of my lessons, in the main hall to find that the entire class were all hiding. I spent the first part of the lesson running around trying to find them all, every time I had my back turned one of them would switch the lights off, so I couldn't see anything. I just thought I hope to God the head doesn't walk past now or I am fucked. They would even do things like chase after me and try and tickle me. I swear to God that is true. I just didn't know what to do about that. We didn't cover this on my teaching training course - what to do if a group of hysterical kids start chasing you and tickling you. So, I had to come clean and tell my boss. She came to the next lesson and told them that they must stop tickling Ms. Mackenzie, as it is not appropriate behaviour. I was so embarrassed. It's just not normal is it, twenty odd kids chasing after a teacher.

I was terrified when the snake was stolen from the Science department.

One time I was doing dinner duty in the canteen and I just stood there and stared at them all. I thought to myself, 'there's something about these kids and I am not sure what it is'. I was troubled, they were bothering me in so many ways. And, then it hit me, right between the eyes: They all look the fucking same. I subsequently found out that there is a lot of incest in that part of Salford. My God - they are all the same, this is just one big extended family.

When they locked me in the porta-cabin that's when I knew it was time to leave.

I was in Shameless once (for a brief spell).

For the record I hate drugs. I have three cousins in Scotland who are smack addicts. One of them, John, has been in and out of prison most of his life due to his habit. He was never violent but he was a thief and would steal cars, handbags and break into houses. I am glad to say that he has now reformed his ways and is happily married with kids. Barry on the other hand was violent and would beat his elderly father up for money, often stealing the old man’s pension. He has also been to prison several times for violence. I am glad to say that he has now changed his ways and is no longer using. He now has the care and responsibility of a young son to consider, as well as this he has been able to build bridges with all of the people he hurt over the years. I actually really enjoy bumping into him now, when I go back home. As for my other cousin, Mark, he is still using the stuff. So, let’s hope he manages to get the appropriate help he requires. His mother has acquired a debt of over twenty thousand pounds, she is obviously subsidising his habit.

She doesn’t have the strength to let him go.

A very close friend of mine who I lived with during my university days foolishly smoked a joint of Marawana once, at a party. The potency of that stuff is lethal and it can in fact trigger mental health problems, and this is exactly what happened to her. She suddenly became hyper manic and had to be hospitalised. In fact she went completely nuts and spent the next four years in and out of psychiatric wards. Her life at the moment is ruined she was (and sometimes still is) an incredibly talented musician. She has a beautiful voice and I love her. But, I just don’t see her anymore because of her mood swings - she can be incredibly nasty. Perhaps I have failed her as a friend, but it's just too much.

I was thinking about my husband this morning over coffee. I was thinking he probably hasn’t even realised that I am not there any more. He’s probably still sitting in the same position, he was in five years ago, in a Bolton pub. I was thinking, I left him five years ago and according to my sister, who is a lawyer, I can now get what is called an automatic divorce.

It was a short lived experience lasting only a matter of months. We lived on a very similar council estate to the one featured in C4’s Shameless. In fact we even led a very similar lifestyle to the characters featured in Shameless. Both him and his father (apparently) used to hire a white van and turn up at factories, wearing white coats and would say “we’ve come for the delivery”. They’d steal a whole load of stuff and then sell it on. I hated going shopping with him because he would always come out of the shop with something he’d nicked. He was a total kleptomaniac. He obviously was very quick and discreet because I never ever saw him take anything. It was always a painful experience for me, being a teacher I can’t be associated with anything dodgy. I always demanded that he take the stuff back.

I read him the riot act many times. Do it again and I’ll show you the colour of my temper.

He did well out of me. I bought him a brand new car, clothes, shoes, paid the rent and all of the bills, cooked him all of his favourite meals, made him packed lunches, all containing neatly and lovingly folded starched, pressed, gingham napkins, cleaned the house and I even gave him pocket money. I was in a total dream world.

Things started to go wrong when his friends began to move in, which was shortly after our wedding. The first of his friends was on the run from a loan shark, in Darwin. This guy loved guinea pigs and in fact he bred guinea pigs. I came back from my teaching job one day. I worked at one of the toughest schools in Salford. Now the kids there were vicious, Hackney kids are mild in comparison to Salford kids, believe me. Parents would turn up yielding base ball bats, waiting to confront kids that they claimed had bullied their kid. The police van was always a regular feature outside the school gates.

Anyway, when I got home I discovered five cages, all containing guinea pigs, on the dining room floor. I had to literally step over them to get to the kitchen. Then there was the note “Alex has moved in - we’re down the pub”.

We had a small two bedroom house. The smaller bedroom had bunk beds in it, and this is where his mates slept. The second friend that moved in was a university lecturer called James Whitzard – another crusty drunk. I used to call him professor Whitty. He was totally grotesque. He rarely bathed and he had skin condition, which meant that I would frequently find bits of his flaky skin all over the house. He was disgusting. I once went into the bedroom to retrieve all of the dirty plates and cups that they had been hoarding. I found a floor covered in beer cans and used condoms. God knows what they had both being doing in there.

One morning my husband made me breakfast in bed. I knew then what was coming next. Before he said it I just came out with it “How much do you want?” He wanted three hundred and fifty pounds.

When I returned home one evening all of his crusty mates were sitting in the lounge smoking it. There was a brick of it on the coffee table. They’d obviously had the munchies as there were endless fast food cartons all over the floor.

So, I waited. And then I started packing.

One evening when he was out, down the pub. I took my Marks and Spencer’s carpet bag, I grabbed the brick, which he had left on the coffee table. I jumped into a black cab, saw a wheelie bin on the streets and I told the driver to STOP. I threw it in the bin. I then proceeded on my journey to Monton Green where I stayed in a very tasteful B&B for the next year.

Yes, that marriage lasted two months. He gave up work when he married me. He said he wanted to pursue an acting career.

Young men with blue eyes are trouble.

Friday, 9 March 2007

Floating Point Numbers

Just when I had come to terms with the sudden death of TP Fuller – Ibn Battuta turns up, on a premier Tory blog. These characters are mincing with the grey matter inside my head. Not only that but the new Ibn Battuta has become a Conservative Activist, either that or I am going completely nuts.

For the record TP Fuller was a psycho bloke; a squirrel killer (the lowest of the low - SCUM). He drove a crap van and lived in some obscure and incestuous village in Hampshire - a southern version of Royston Vasey. According to his long suffering wife he went on to assume the identity of Ibn Battuta. His family were completely baffled by this, as was I, and I didn’t even know him. Apparently, he got on the back of a camel one day and attempted to ride across Morocco, and this is the place where he died. We’re still unclear about how he died, although we believe it could be something to do with an angry camel.

Conjugate roots property
Suppose P (x) is a polynomial with real coefficients. If z = is a solution of P (x) = 0 then so is z =
Suppose x = i is one root of a polynomial.By the conjugate roots property x = -i is also a root.Then (x - i) and (x + i) are factors.Hence (x - i)(x + i) = x2 + 1 is a quadratic factor with real coefficients.

Saturday, 3 March 2007

Here's another shit poem entitled 'Lucien Modo'.

Lucien Modo

Lucien Lucien Lucien Modo

Why are you so crap at taking photos?