Time for a Break…

It’s been a mixed week. I’ve found work a little tough, to the point where I had to stop myself from bawling on one of my colleagues the other day. Normally, the working day generally goes without a major issue as I am based at a few good schools, but for some reason there seemed to be something in the air, and it seemed to be that within every class I worked with were a small group of students who were determined to have a confrontation, regardless of how calm and pleasant I tried to remain. Nothing I did was right, and even after all these years I still find it difficult not to take it personally, particularly when the agitated student is someone I normally have a great working relationship with. I think that everyone was at the stage where we were all tired and needed a break from each other, but I still can’t help but be taken aback when a student feels that it is acceptable to challenge something I have said or asked them to do – five minutes with my mother and they would adopt basic manners and never be rude to an adult again. Of course, the response I’m expecting from many is ‘they’re only children,’ but while I’m not a parent myself, I expect that 14, 15 and 16 year olds should know how to say please and thank you as an automatic part of their vocabulary. Continue reading

Cocktails with Shaun the Barman

imageThose of you who regularly follow the blog will know that I’m partial to a cocktail or two, particularly when they are made extremely well.

Shaun is a mixologist who works at the Harvey Nichols Restaurant and Bar in The Mailbox, Birmingham. I’ve known him for a number of years and I’ve watched as his career has developed, learning his craft at a Michelin starred restaurant before joining Harvey Nichols. In January, he helped me surprise The Bloke with a belated New Year meal there (which was delicious), and I got the chance to try his cocktail making skills first hand. They were beautiful, but I was disappointed that I didn’t get the chance to catch up with him as he was working, and it was extremely busy.

On Wednesday I had a day off, so I decided to pay him another visit when I was in the city and try more of his repertoire.

I know, it’s a tough life. Continue reading