Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Back in play, and on my way….

First and foremost, an update, in case you lovely people have been worried (thanks for the good wishes, all) – I’m fine. The three ailments I have have not combined into one awesome mega-meta-uber-illness (which sounds very Transformers, don’t you think?). I just have a tummy bug, the remnants of a chest infection, and a truly ouch neck sprain/twist/crick thing. And as luck would have it, the meds for the neck were making the chest thing worse…and the chest meds were messing with my stomach. Ahahahaha, good times. But I am feeling tonnes better (asked by one of my class today: “What per cent do you feel today?” (they are all about the per cents now – I explained them to them and now they are obsessed) I confidently replied 75%), and am sure I’ll be as perky as ever before the week’s out…consider yourselves warned!

To all the people who asked me for interview questions – they will be on their way soon, I’m just having to get back up to speed at work. Soon, I promise. And if anyone else would like to step up to the interview plate, feel free to leave 5 questions in my comments, or email me them at linaireATgooglemail.com. Pinks did (check my sidebar for her gorgeous and inspiring blog), and here are my answers:

1. What is your favourite holiday and why?

I am a bit of a Christmas nut. I love the whole shebang – the tree, the carols, buying gifts for the people I love, making and having time to spend with the people I love, the Christmas story, the music, the idea that for one day many of the things I love the most about humanity – the hope, the love, the kindness, the goodwill – are at the forefront of things. My family are not ones for traditions (I’m the freaky cog in our little machine), but we do have our Christmas traditions, and the five of us just have the most lovely time together. Plus you get ace Christmas specials of things like Doctor Who and a licence to eat as many turkey-stuffing-and-cranberry-sauce sandwiches as you wish. Need I say more ;-)?

2. What do you admire most in your hero/heroine, or if you don’t have a hero/heroine, what do you admire most in humanity?

This is a great question. I have quite a few heroes, and there are a few universals that they all tend to have – my heroes (whether we’re talking about Julie Andrews or Louisa May Alcott or Bette Davis or Shakespeare or whoever) have all been passionate. Brave. Honest. Kind. Knowing. And at some point you were always aware of a weakness, a chink, something which made them beautifully, brilliantly human. I think our very individuality and capacity for kindness is one of the most inspiring and admirable things about humanity.

3. If you could sing a duet at Wembley Stadium, who would you sing with and who would you want to be there to hear you?

After the weekend’s awesome gig, I’m tempted to say Frank Turner! But no, I’ll have a think….how about ‘You’ve Got A Friend’, with Kelly Clarkson. Or Rufus Wainwright. Or Aimee Mann. Or Brian Wilson. Or Frank Turner. Indecisive, me? The song is the message I pray out to all my friends as I go to bed each night…I just hope I can be there for them if and when they need me, and if I ever got the chance to sing at Wembley, you know the buddies would be coming along for the ride. AAA, yay!

4. What is your favourite outfit? Why?

I love my PJs. Does that really need explaining? I think that’s why I think Hugh Hefner is so cool – he wears pyjamas every single day. What a legend!

5. What is it about children that makes you want to spend so much time with them? Do you think that this quality still exists in adults and if so, is it different in adults? Why?

I love the upfrontness, the honesty, the wonder and the potential of children. These things can all be found in adults also, but adults are a lot better at disguising these things. I think also, there’s an element of my making up for the past…my own childhood, while not hugely tragic, was not good, and I think that I like helping the kids I work with to see what a great place the world can be – and to send them out as fully armed as they can be for any of the BS and dark times that may come their way.

There’s a Ralph Waldo Emerson poem called ‘Definition of a Successful Life’, which I have in my journal, and pinned up on a board in my classroom for all to see. It opens: “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children”. I place a lot of value on the affection of children – they are very good at seeing people for exactly who they are, and care so much less about the things that hang us up as grown ups (Fact: no seven year old has ever called me fat, stupid, ugly, dumb or a slut. I wish I could say the same of teens and grown ups!). Children, particularly the age that I teach, are very good at searching out the things that are important – they, almost to a child, like funny, kind, bright people. So do I. And I think spending so much time with kids has made me reassess what it is I value and what I don’t actually give a flying fart about. My worldview can be very childlike sometimes…and I’m glad of that.

Thanks so much for the questions, Pinks!



  1. Good to hear your feeling better sweet xx

  2. Yes, it does sound very Transformers, yet not Tranformers enough.

  3. Hi Claire - Loved the answers. Christmas was my favorite holiday too until I lived in the US and actually got the experience of Thanksgiving. I think we should all have thanksgiving - its a true interfaith holiday. The only folks who don't appreciate it so much are the first anations Indians. Well...maybe we should just have a harvest holiday!

    My PJs are my favorite outfit too!
    ps - glad you're better - looking forward to your being 100% soon.

  4. How do you write such intelligent and though provoking answers hon? Am stuck on the ol one syllable responses at the moment. Ouf. Long day (insomnia and application forms do not a fully functioning teacher make!) and marking and CSI tonight - hooray for tv and the last week of assessment! Am SO ready for a break. Love ya gorgeous, keep up the inspiring work, am off for a cuppa, Mlle Wilson xx

  5. I loved your answer to #5 as it is so true. We become tainted as we grow older.Children see the world in such a different way.

  6. Very Mark Twain of an answer in #5, but I dig it. Glad you're feeling better.

  7. I'm not one of your heroes?


    I'm crushed ...

  8. Glad you're feeling better. Wishing you more wellness :)

  9. Glad you are on the road to recovery! My favorite holiday is Holloween!

  10. I'm glad you're feeling better.

    Very thoughtful answers too!

  11. My mantra: each day do something foolish, something generous, and something creative.

    I've got the foolish down usually by 8 a.m., and that, I suppose, takes some creativity!

  12. glad to hear you're feeling better! :)

  13. Glad you'r feeling better - I am in my Jammies :-)

  14. ooh. could i get interviewed? fun.

    i loved these answers.

  15. you still getting better? checking in on you hon.

  16. Love when the meds start screwing up other things ... that's why I try never to take them, unless I REALLY need them.


Thank you for your comment - I do read them all but it may take me a little while (a couple of days) to respond during busy times. I love reading what you have to say!

Have a wonderful day!

Hi, I'm Claire...

Hi, I'm Claire...

About Me

I believe in 80s pop, 90s teen movies, and proper thank you notes. I just like smiling...smiling's my favourite.

I write here about London, food, books & travel, and a lot more besides. I'm never happier than when having adventures, cooking for friends, or lost in a good book.

If you'd like to work together, or if you'd just like to say hello, my email is: countrymouseclaire@gmail.com

Please note that on occasion affiliate links may be used in this blog. All items received for review or paid posts will always be disclosed.


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