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John Burns' Blog

Winter; long johns; escaped jazz band; Ofsted

Published: Saturday, November 27, 2010

Winter
Winter is showing its hand in Kidwelly: the ground is hard and there are even flurries of snow. I keep a wild bird seed feeder hidden in the trees down on the river walk.  It’s hidden because the last one was stolen.  (Why would someone who cares enough about birds to want to feed them pinch a feeder which has been put out to feed other birds?) 
These mornings when I fill it up, the blue tits come to feed while I am still standing within a yard of it.  The other morning as I approached I heard a Great Tit tapping the side of the empty feeder just like me banging on the table with a spoon as I wait impatiently for my tea.

Long johns
Last night saw the switching on of the Christmas lights in Kidwelly.  It was bitterly cold so I dug out my long johns.  They are hardly worn but about 30 years old.  The waist elastic had gone so instead of fitting my 32” waist they are about 48” size.  Potentially embarrassing if I get knocked down by a bus and get rushed to hospital so they’ll have to go.

Escaped jazz band
Each day the Guardian prints a story from the same date in a previous year. Yesterday had a story about a monkey hunt from the November 25th 1926 edition.  Thirteen members of a monkey jazz band had escaped in Notting Hill. Three of them were still at large. Franko, the band leader had been seen getting on a train at Paddington. Bimbo the drummer was spotted at Latimer Road Railway Station, South Kensington.  Mr Murphy the owner of the troupe received a telegram from Rugby informing him that a monkey which arrived by train had been captured after putting up a good fight and doing considerable damage which would have to be paid for.  He was sent back in the guard’s van to Euston where he was held down by three porters while the press took photographs.

Ofsted
Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) has been prominent lately due to the latest plans for re-organising the education system – yet again.
According to Ofsted, 37% of schools were satisfactory and 8% were inadequate which means that 45% of schools were not good enough.  Since when did “satisfactory” mean “not good enough”.
Also, again according to Ofsted, schools will be considered to be failing if the number of pupils making progress is below average. How can all schools be above average? Someone needs to explain to them what average means.
Ofsted inspectors need to go back to school.

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