• Thug on the street

    As I was driving, I saw a man yanking his dog along the pavement by it metal dog lead.
    He was thuggish looking and the dog was some sort of Staffy cross.
    Dumb dogs but good-natured if treated well.
    Then I watched the thug kick the dog hard in the back.
    I braked the car in shock as the dog yelped in pain.
    Should I stop?
    I slowed for a moment before driving on.
    If I admonished him, he’d probably have gone for me and his dog would’ve more than likely helped him.

  • Little girl’s Haberdasher’s exam

    Haberdasher’s is a very popular girl’s school.
    Super popular!
    Parents clamour to get their precious daughters in.
    I don’t like it, as the posh accents make the chip on my shoulder itch.
    My wife loves it.
    The entrance exam though, put my daughter off.
    My wife had to queue in the road for about twenty minutes just to get into the school grounds, where my daughter was hurried out of the car by a surly ‘guard’ before my wife could even park.
    My daughter was shown no kindness and (considering it was an all-day assessment) was only given a stale cheese sandwich for lunch.
    Not the hot meal all the children had been promised.
    The exam was apparently, pretty difficult but my little girl did her best.
    Then, at the end of the day, she had to wait alone for her mum, who was again stuck outside on the main road behind a repeat queue of cars.
    Regardless of whether they offer her a place or not, Haberdasher’s is now on the bottom of my little girl’s list.
    The lack of concern they showed the girls during the entrance exam could only be indicative of how they’d treat them later.

  • Banner man

    As I was driving through Potters bar, I saw a hooded man, standing on a small traffic island at a busy intersection.
    He was holding up a large cardboard sign for Domino’s pizza while dancing and waving at the passing cars.
    Despite being young and lowly paid, he was making the most of a bad job and having fun with it.
    I was held at the traffic lights for a couple of minutes but didn’t mind a bit. I was thoroughly entertained by the banner man’s sheer energy.
    I wanted to stop and cheer him on but there was nowhere to park the car.
    I hope his bosses saw what a good job he was doing and gave him a bonus.
    He really deserved it.

  • Male model

    I was walking down Savile row when I saw an attractive couple entering one of the fancy tailoring shops.
    The woman was young, blond and leggy but I barely noticed her.
    My attention was drawn to the man.
    He was handsome and obviously very fit but oddly cave man looking.
    I recognised him but couldn’t put a name to him until much later when I saw an article about him in a style magazine.
    His name was: John Gandy. Currently the most famous male model in the world.
    At the time though, the thing I noticed was that he was no taller than me.
    Six foot flat.

  • Stories for my boy

    My nine-year-old son still likes bedtime stories but I’ve been pretty remiss recently. Rather than just being read to though, he likes them to be made up. Although this is slightly daunting, I usually manage to think of something.
    The problem is the timing.
    My son’s bedtime should be before 9pm but, like most children, he willfully resists and has rarely even brushed his teeth by then.
    Should I still tell him a story?


  • Entrance exams for two

    My little girl’s next set of exams were for two schools who shared the results.
    North London Collegiate (NLC) and Channing.
    My wife really likes NLC as it has the best reputation and gets the best academic results.
    I didn’t really like it because it’s really big and smells of elitism.
    In its defense though, all private schools are elitist and, being located in Edgware, it’s very convenient for my parents.
    Channing is smaller and seems nicer to me.
    Unfortunately it’s in Highgate but has no coach service.
    I suppose they think that they’re well covered by the tube and bus service.
    This is true but I’d worry for my little girl coming home on the bus after a late club in Winter.
    The exam was sat in NLC and was apparently ‘quite hard’.

  • Private Doctor: the return

    I met my eldest at the private hospital and we sat down together to hear the results of her tests.
    Her blood tests had come back clear and the scan showed no stones or abnormalities in the gall bladder.
    Slightly baffled but with an unlimited budget, the doctor scheduled more tests: An endoscopy and a barium monitoring?
    More radiation!
    My daughter’s boyfriend had walked her there and (bless him) had waited around for her to get out.
    I bought them a box of doughnuts (after my daughter pleaded) to share and headed back to the station.

  • Entrance exam: St Margaret's

    St Margaret’s is a little private school in Bushey.
    Quite far but with lovely grounds and old buildings.
    I chose it because it’s protective and nurturing but not that academic.
    I also wanted my daughter to apply for it, as I was confident that she could win a place.
    That said, my eleven-year-old daughter still had to sit three exams in English, mathematics and non-verbal reasoning over the course of the whole day.

  • Borrowing Mum’s car

    We have a simple mathematics problem in my household:
    Three children/three schools/one car.
    My Mum uncomplainingly lends me her car whenever I need it but it’s not an ideal situation.

  • London bridge private hospital

    Although looking a bit scruffy in jeans and jumper, I escorted my eldest to the fancy looking, old building, overlooking the Thames.
    The doorman greeted us in full uniformed regalia. He looked like he should be working in a fancy hotel.
    We were a bit early but that turned out to be lucky as we were directed first, to the finance department.
    After getting a slightly turned around, we got to the doctors office about five minutes ahead of schedule.
    We waited for a bit in the hallway until we saw the doctor arrive. He was a bit disheveled and wet haired (probably returning from a squash game).
    He emerged a few minutes later and invited us in.
    He was obviously a clever man and gave the impression of consideration despite being quite pompous.
    He queried the NHS conclusion though and ordered repeat tests.
    Why not, it was all money for him and the private hospital.
    More blood tests and CT scans.
    Then, after explaining to my eldest what he was looking for, he asked us to return for a few days later.
    The blood tests were immediate but my daughter had to return the next morning for the scans.
    When we left, she wasn’t happy.
    I could understand her position; she was exhausted and still in pain.
    Still nothing was going to be instant.
    Not even when it was ‘private’.
    My daughter’s flat mates had walked down to collect her, so I said my goodbyes and caught the train home.


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