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Friday, 24 May 2013

Exams are a punishment for the parents

In my view, a brain can only have so much capacity, a bit like my camera’s memory card that blinks up full the second the dog is so hilarious that £250 from You’ve been Framed is just a ten second video away.
Rex? King? I thought
      you meant the dog.
Image courtesy of Gualberto107
This week has been the brain equivalent of force feeding. I have been helping the son revise so much that I don’t think I can claim to be a non-pushy parent. A juggernaut of ambition more like, if the alacrity with which I seized the Latin vocab sheets is anything to go by. If anyone ever needs me to decline dominus or rex, I’m your woman. The son, of course, still thinks rex is the name of next door’s dog and dominus is something to do with Fifty Shades of Grey. While I was there suggesting little notes, rhymes and visual prompts to jog his memory, he was seeing how many yawns he could do in one minute.
What's this brush for? Should
never have learnt about enzymes.
Image courtesy of imagerymajestic
So filled is my poor aching brain with guff about methyl orange, the equation for hydrochloric acid and yeast (unicellular!) that if I don’t get a bit selective about what I remember next, there’s every chance the useful brain cells will get pushed out and I’ll know that litmus paper plus ethanoic acid gives us red but I will have forgotten how to do my bra up. Or perhaps I’ll know the equation for photosynthesis but have to be reminded how to clean my teeth. The son, on the other hand, won’t know what colour the litmus paper will be, but will know the exact shape of every stain on the ceiling. He’ll still be bumbling through a shaky combination of water, sunlight, oxygen and carbon dioxide, but will have an encyclopaedic knowledge of the moves needed to move up a level on FIFA 13.
So what’s the answer? Not help at all? Trolley off to the sitting room to snuggle with the dog oblivious to the son’s wails of ‘I don’t get this!’. Shrug shoulders and let him sink into the depths of despair? I wish I could.
Maybe my mother had the right idea after all. Reverse psychology though I didn’t realise it at the time: ‘Put your books away and come and watch telly.’
I never did.

Happy Bank Holiday weekend to you...if you need a funny book to read, check out The Class Ceiling - school gate snobbery and plenty of pushy alpha mothers!

Friday, 17 May 2013

THE CLASS CEILING - contemporary romance - IS FREE!

Friday 17 May...THE CLASS CEILING is FREE...Downton Abbey in a contemporary school setting

Praise for The Class Ceiling:

'I read this book in one sitting, plied with tea and various whingeing noises from husband, son and dog.'

'This is a cracking debut from Kerry Fisher who manages to distill drama from the everyday lives of ordinary, flawed people.'

'The plot draws you in from the word go with some laugh out loud moments up front, and then keeps you turning the pages all the way to the end - with more than one twist thrown in!'

'Excellent first novel, Funny, entertaining and sometimes sad.'

I am not a woman who diets

 I am not a woman who diets. Clearly, that will lead to the half of you who know me saying, ‘Yep, we can see that’. The other half, who wouldn’t know me if I peered into their newspaper on the bus, will hate me because it makes me sound like someone who scarfs up industrial quantities of treacle tart while everyone else sips San Pellegrino and nibbles on oil-free quinoa.
The truth is, I’m ‘solid’, as my mother likes to say. Solid is good. I’d rather be an heirloom oak dresser to be passed on down the generations, caressed and scribbled upon but able to scrub up well when the need arises. Better that than some finely bred, beautiful but delicate objet d’art, all filigree and fanciness, wiped out in moments by the whisper of a dog’s tail and confined jaggedly to the attic awaiting a repair that never comes. I won’t blow over in a spring gale, get a chest infection at the merest hint of a drizzle or turn blue round the lips if someone leaves the kitchen window open in March (or perhaps I should say, May).
I’m not someone who scans magazine covers, yo-yoing between ‘Dump a dress size’ and ‘Snap up a bikini body’. I don’t really notice what people look like unless they’re wearing something that could have housed potatoes in a former life or is of such sartorial elegance that I would have to be living in the cupboard under the stairs not to admire. Which I suppose makes me an excellent or rubbish friend depending on whether you’ve been sucking back the doughnuts or existing solely on wheatgrass and amaranth.
Something has changed...have
you got new shoes?
Image courtesy of Victor Habbick at
So it has been a revelation to me this week to veer from my usual mantra of ‘no empty calories unless they are in wine, in which case they count as fruit’. For two weekends in a row, I didn’t jump out of bed on a Sunday with anything approaching, well, a jump. This clearly was not down to the flexibility of my knackered old knees but more a result of finding myself increasingly interesting and entertaining in direct proportion to Sauvignon Blanc consumed the night before. The main result was that I simply could not stand to do algebra homework with the son. Is there anything worse than (x+6)(x-1)(x+ series of incomprehensible things+hangover squared) to make you want to lie on the floor with your head on the dog and accept that you are an unfit mother?
Fortuitously, up popped the Fast Metabolism Diet in The Times. Two carb days, two protein days, three days of carbs and proteins plus healthy fats. No alcohol. No caffeine. No dairy. Simple. I won’t bore you with the details but suffice to say, I’ve missed tea more than the booze…nettle tea doesn’t have the same pick me up factor as thick, soupy PG Tips. But the most interesting aspect on the protein only days is that I am put off eating completely.
Breakfast...don't think I'll bother
Image courtesy of Apolonia at
Egg white and spinach omelette? Turkey wrapped in lettuce leaves? For breakfast? I managed the first two weeks but by yesterday, venison and cucumber for breakfast, plus a lovely snack of a tin of tuna just finished me off. My mind simply could not get over the matter that I like porridge for breakfast. Enough is enough. I have newfound respect for people who diet successfully…but could you just send me an email to let me know you’ve lost two stone before we meet? I’ll do an ‘OMG, you look amazing’ which will make all that celery with lime juice and salt worth it…

PS If you are reading on FRIDAY 17 MAY, my e-book THE CLASS CEILING – school gate snobbery and contemporary romance is FREE on Kindle…go get it, it will make you laugh!