I have been buying Private Eye of late. I literally laughed myself ill with this, from the Dumb Britain section.

Q. What animal is a cross between a horse and a donkey?
A. A honkey.


CELTA course wit

It’s not all past participles and lesson plans on a CELTA course. Occasionally something genuinely witty pops up. This short story forms part of my lesson for Monday, which is about articles. The original exercise has all of them omitted, I’ll spare you that, but here’s the completed story which actually made me laugh out loud.

An elderly couple from the USA were driving through Mexico and were approaching a city named Oaxaca. They saw a sign with the name of the city printed in capital letters: OAXACA. The couple tried to figure out how to pronounce the name – Wacks acka? Oaks-acer? They kept trying as they drove into the city. As they were hungry, they pulled into a place to get something to eat. At the counter, the man said to the waitress: “My wife and I can’t figure out how to pronounce the name of this place. Could you tell us and say it very slowly so that we can understand?” The waitress looked at him and said; “Buurrgggerrrr Kiiiinng.”

And in true CELTA style, the city is pronounced /wəˈhɑːkə/ or transcribed as w’haaka, the joke comes from p139 New Inside Out Upper Int. Macmillan Press ISBN: 978-0-230-00914-1. 🙂

When I Heard the Learned Astronomer

When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide,
and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with
much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

Walt Whitman, 1819 – 1892

Integrative Arts Psychotherapy

I was thinking that I should make use of two of my greatest attributes; a flaring artistic temperament and an empathetic, emotional intelligence in order to equip myself with an MA degree in Integrative Arts Psychotherapy.

The synopsis seems encouraging:
“Students will explore the fundamental interconnection between the artistic process and psychotherapy, in terms of their mutual concern with in-depth communication of emotional experience, and with transformation and change. The course focuses on the three-way process of psychotherapist, client and art object. Students therefore will be schooled in facilitating the richest possible relational and imaginal discourse between therapist and client.”

Sadly this demanding course is only available at the University of East London, formerly the Polytechnic of East London and before that the West Ham Technical Institute. Having spent many years in the East End, I do not relish having to live there once again.

However it, might just be worth it – to see the bright, happy faces of previously disturbed children as we resolve their issues re-enacting such calming works as Apocalypse Now, Blackhawk Down and King Lear. I could make a difference!


At work, the departmental motto has been for many years, born out of bitter experience; “Trust nobody. Assume nothing.” It sounds cruel, unforgiving and entirely cynical. It is. But it stand us IT chaps in good steed, preventing ourselves and our clients more work, time and potential damage when attempting to determine the true nature of and resolve problems. Incomplete information usually leads to erroneous conclusions.

While one could adopt that as a personal motto, for day to day living, it may be a touch sardonic. In a generous concession to my inclusive humanitarianism, I have decided to appropriate this from Jim Hacker’s (un-named PM) in Yes Minister; “In defeat malice, in victory revenge.”