Day to day musings of a cat minder/ sitter in North Tyneside and Newcastle upon Tyne . For details of services go to http://www.catminders.biz

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Friday, 27 March 2009

Feckless?

Word of the Day for Friday March 27 2009
feckless / FEK-lis/, adjective
1. Ineffective; having no real worth or purpose.
2. Worthless; irresponsible; generally incompetent and ineffectual .

I subscribe to an online dictionary which as you see above delivers to my inbox a daily word with pronounciation guide and meaning . Usually these are words with which I am eminently familiar and I click on and click off without much thought . Occasionally the word is new and I look with interest but reflect that at my age I am unlikely to remember the meaning much beyond lunch .
Occasionally the word will hold a special poignancy or resonance .
Feckless for example . The name , if I remember rightly , given to one of the three cows in Stella Gibbons' wonderful novel Cold Comfort Farm . Feckless, Pointless and Some Other equally disarming name which might come back to me as I eat my fish and chips later . Or might need to wait till some kind reader reminds me .
Although feckless wasn't actually the word used by Miss Robson our hideous games teacher to fire at me when I couldn't find my place on the netball pitch after she had dished out the bibs with a mysterious GD ( goal defence ?)stamped on it , this was probably the word she was looking for . But although she doubtless ( Doubtless , was this the name of the third cow ? No I think not ) meant that I was pointless , the word she used was hopeless .... or useless , or maybe she said both . Either way , I still remember the feeling of utter humiliation . I think I'd like to have called her a cow . But cows are lovely gentle benign creatures and she was a bully of the first order . I would like to start a new paragraph here but hey ho .... Blogpost is agin me ..... perhaps my post is too long . My good friend Margaret Anne has three sons and her eldest , when just learning to speak , began to formulate ideas . " What are people for ? " he asked , and his mother was momentarily stumped . And probably not for the last time . After her simple description of what people are, he looked hard at her and said "No , but what are they for ?" It remains an excellent question . . My dad occasionally used to call me feckless , or more often "sackless" by which I think he meant largely the same thing . Roughly translated , I've asked you to do a simple task and there you are still sitting reading your novel .....There was a point to this whole post , which occurred to me last weekend and which spurred me to become involved with Human Writes . Of which more anon , when the para function returns ...... meanwhile I shall restore the guest room for the arrival of Auntie Laura tomorrow at the crack of dawn .

The Young Americans

Nat on pic 1 2nd from right in front row .

JR in pic 2


Nat and Craig Worsley ( from Asbro ) in Pic 3 . Mike 4th from left in back row. Pic 4



The Young Americans have been and gone ..... The Young Americans




We took delivery of our own two delightful boys JR and Mike last Monday evening , collecting them at the school and feeling like old hands having acted as host family two years ago and prepared in advance this year by stocking up ahead on food which was our main downfall last time . And , having suggested when the school rang to discuss " matching " issues such as pets and smoking , that they might wish to note that our attic rooms were of limited headroom and therefore guests of smaller stature may be more comfortable , we didn't keep our fingers crossed .
After all last time we stated we could only take a girl and were allocated two strapping lads . But no matter they were lovely lads ..... ( and Craig after all is almost famous now having been recently signed by Take That manager Nigel Martin-Smith Search for boyband member - Showbiz - News - Manchester Evening News...ASBRO: Cutting edge or cynical marketing exercise? Music guardian.co.uk see photo of him with Nat above .



So as we arrived at the school and glanced at the group of young people , I scarcely glanced at the smaller ones and yes, you guessed right , JR and Mike were perhaps two of the tallest guys in the group , and to Nat's absolute delight , certainly the "fittest" so we weren't about to complain .


The Young Americans is a not for profit organisation which brings the performing arts to schools around the world . Young people act as teachers and mentors to young people in schools over two or three days , working solidly to produce a show in which they all perform together for parents at a final performance ( ours was last night ) involving singing and dance . But the experience offers so much more . Pupils seem to increase dramatically in confidence via their involvement and are encouraged to think about life and the deeper emotional issues that affect us all . They speak about and express their emotions . For those of us who act as host families ( known as Homestay ) its also an opportunity for our kids to get closer to the Young Americans , to find out a bit more about their lives and to feel a bit more involved in the whole process . We learned this year about the aspirations of many of the Young Americans , to become performers ( like our Craig ! ) , to teach , and what better way to learn , or as a stepping stone into a wide range of other careers not immediately apparent but where broad horizons , travel and people skills are important .


We finally said goodbye this morning with a few tears ( on our part ) . I can't quite believe I won't hear " Hi Mom " and " Bye Mom " again from 20 year old boys twice my height .....


Good Luck in Japan Mike and Good Luck on Broadway JR .... that's where you're heading .....and as for Craig , and Asbro, well I don't think its the last we've heard of you either and it was great to see you again! Well done you!

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