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MC Education Services.

Welcome to my blog. Here I will post daily content related to my empathy and support for teachers, teachers who have left the profession, parents and education staff, motivation and revision material for children with regards to English, Health and Wellbeing and some of my own creative writing pieces. Contact to get in touch with regards to tutoring, offering a safe space for teachers on zoom or any other enquiries.

change is possible.

“When the going get tough, thr tough reinvent themselves.”

Ru Paul.

Mountain Top, France

  • Context


    G’day. I am currently a teacher registered with the GTCS. I originally trained as an English teacher due to my passion for texts, creative writing, theater and film. I studied English literature at Strathclyde University and was drawn to texts regarding mental health themes.I wanted to be a writer or a journalist or an artist because I’m a bit of a sensitive snowflake. Journalism was not an option as my family of teachers made it seem sensible to go into teaching. 

    Have holidays. A decent salary. A pension (whatever the hell that is!)

    I  know my character defects. I am unorganized at times. My timekeeping is not great. I was a nuisance for the admin department regarding taking registers. 

    However, despite my positive  strengths as a great potential teacher I was not strong enough to manage a classroom of disillusioned students, some of whom made me cry. 

    I realized that there was no support from management. It was a case of

     “what did you do wrong?”

    I did nothing wrong. I taught them the boring Scottish Text called “Sail Maker.” It was a challenge to make this exciting. I did not choose this Scottish text. Anyway a few footballer pupils failed. And complained. And mums complained. Then I was advised to have a “restorative conversation” with the principal teacher and the deputy head, their guidance teacher. Basically I was asked to apologize for doing my job. I declined. My teaching was observed for two days by the deputy head. There was nothing wrong with it. 

    I then changed my career after ghosting this job. I worked with pupils with Additional Support Needs. I am Attention Autism trained, Sex Education trained, health and wellbeing trained. 

    After Covid I worked as a supply teacher. It was horrendous. I had to take a break from it all due to my stress levels. Due to bitter learning assistants and stingy teachers refusing to give me their Twinkle Account” details I ended up eating my sandwhiches in the loo crying. Not very Covid friendly.

    However, it’s hard to get back in to teaching after you take “a mental health break.” It’s not a good look….Apparently.

    I love teaching texts. I care about kids. I have one of my own! And it is a struggle getting him into school. I am sure there are other mothers who agree. 

    So let’s teach the texts and make it fun. Kids with ADHD struggle in class. I’m reluctant to start a Tik Tok.

    “Mine eyes smell like onions.”

    (A quote that makes me chuckle from a Midsomer’s night dream.)

    Why are teachers having to turn to only fans to make ends meet?

    Why are teachers getting their license taken away due to 🍷 which btw is an illness like cancer.

    On that note; I empathise with teachers who pretend to have cancer. To go to that extreme length is a mental health problem not a sacking offence.

    Why can’t children read or write anymore? The end.

  • Why I am wary of Tik Tok. 

    Warning: This article may offend fans of Tik Tok. 

    Tik Tok, tik tok, the clock is ticking and shit tok is a ticking time bomb for us all. 

    I regrettably, like many other parents in the UK, allowed my son to access this app on my phone during the pandemic. Why? I was naive and thought it was providing him with some fun. Silly dances and bottle flipping. It all seemed pretty innocent. 

    I am sorry I bought him a Tik Tok tee shirt in 2020. 

    Then for Christmas one year in the blur of the past three years he wanted a phone of his own. Santa Claus of course delivered this. My son was actually the first to announce to us all about the Queen’s death. He saw it on Tik Tok. 


    I have since had a change of heart regarding the app.

    Parental settings aside, misogynistic innuendos blared, the reappearance of South Park, Family Guy, flippant homophobic language roared such as “you’re gay”, words such as bitch and the F bomb flung into every sentence made me say enough! I refuse to raise a son who does not respect women or the lgbt community. 

    I had the pleasure of working temporarily as a student services advisor at a university. Students were demanding assessments for ADHD and Autism from untrained non medical professionals. I never got this opportunity at Uni. I am certain if I did I would have played this game till the bitter end. I have been convinced I had ADHD for years. But I can at least say that somehow I managed to achieve my degree. If I handed something in late, I got marks taken off.

    I have empathy for kids today. They were innocent victims of a pandemic. I understand that many struggle to attend school and or university because online learning suited them. They became used to it. I think that there has to be some sort of compromise when it comes to this. I struggled to leave the house after the pandemic and it spooked me when it was back to normal as if nothing happened. It was like psychological warfare. I get it. Online learning should be an option for a while- it should have been. But unfortunately it is not in many learning institutes. 

    The amount of helicopter parents calling in trying to add pressure to their kids’ advantage was astonishing. 

    Last Saturday after reading various articles regarding Tik Tok I asked him calmly to remove Tik Tok from his phone. And he listened and he acted accordingly. I was really proud of him. 

    Anyway see the Guardian headline below. 

    ‘House committee advances legislation to ban TikTok over security concerns

    Republican committee chair describes Chinese-owned social app as a ‘spy balloon in your phone’

    So the Chinese government thinks it is ok to infiltrate the western world’s minds while they use their own version of the app? This is concerning, but not as concerning as the effects this app has on kids right here right now. America is taking this seriously. What is the UK government doing about it? The content I witnessed was mostly UK based. 

    Yes it has some information. Yes some may argue that it fun. However Tik Tok Parental humor turns my stomach. I just don’t find it funny. It is so 2020. 

    A live comedian recently told me to my face in front of a crowd of Gen Z robots that I had a sense of humor bypass because he couldn’t answer my question. He slagged off my worse for wear pal so I challenged him on his bullying “banter.” The sober police Gen Z’s stared at me like I was some sort of alien species. 

     I secretly loved it. 

    Last Saturday I tried to create my own tik tok posing as a 13 year old with the dreaded pronouns she/her/hers on my phone to see for myself what I would hypothetically be exposed to. I was unable to create this on my own phone. Was my phone listening to my ranting? I believe it was. 

    According to Sticky Wiki;

    TikTok has been subject to criticism over psychological effects such as addiction, as well as controversies regarding inappropriate content, misinformation, censorship, moderation, and user privacy.

    I may not be the best stereotypical mother in the world but I do not want my son to fall prey to my own past mistakes. Being easily influenced by what I saw on television as ‘glamorous.’ In other words, sexualised behavior,  inability to budget sensibly, obsessions, vulnerability, identity issues, mental health problems and general confusion. Ultimately I want to keep him safe. 

    Death of children is an extreme example of using Tik Tok. The independent wrote in 2022;

    The fatal “blackout challenge” on TikTok has reportedly been linked to the deaths of at least 20 children in the past 18 months.

    The popular challenge on the social media platform encourages people to choke themselves with household items until they become unconscious and film the adrenaline rush once they regain consciousness.

    At least 15 of those children, who died while filming the challenge, were aged 12 or younger, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Businessweek. Five of the victims were aged 13 or 14. 

    So what’s next?

    Today I managed to slink my way into tik tok using my dads phone. I could only stomach about fifteen minutes as I started to feel sick.  I was successful in my secret mission.

    So far as a 13 year old girl I am witnessing tik tok:

    A) being used during class lessons mocking teachers. 

    B) being used to encourage  kids not to bother going to school because it is pointless. 

    C) Sinisterly being convinced to self diagnose myself left right and center with the glamorization of Autism, ADHD and OCD. By children who are not medical professionals. Not only videos made by children, videos being made by grown ass adults promoting their diagnosis and the medications they are taking which magically waves a wand. Because drugs are the answer to all of our problems….OK, I understand it is important to raise awareness of such issues. However leave it to professionals. This undermines those who actually have these difficult conditions. 

    D) Being encouraged to start vaping….Too little too late as I am vaping right now.

    E) How to pose and be sexy wearing leggings. I already wear leggings every day…..And I do zero exercise thank you very much. 

    F) What pants to wear.

    G) To disrespect my parents….

    H) To be depressed. I mean….

    I) To lose weight which encourages eating disorders. 

    J) To have severe phobias of seaweed and peanut butter being stuck to the roof of my mouth. 

    K) To buy Prime energy drinks. 

    L) If I take a shit at 11:59 and the clock turns 12; it’s the same shit different day…(the only clip that actually amused me.) 

    M) To question my gender ID…….I don’t do pronouns in real life. I am 35 and I have the same biological vagina I was born with. Why should I apologize or justify this? Or even question this? Be what you wanna be. You do you. I do me. 

    N) Cute animals and conspiracy theories. I quite enjoyed these tbf.

    These examples alone must have a massive impact on the younger generation’s mental stability. 

    The company has been criticized in the past for allowing dangerous challenges to spread. Doctors reported that the 2021 “milk crate challenge”, which encouraged users to stack and climb milk crates, led to dislocated shoulders, ACL tears and even spinal cord injuries. In 2020, a 15-year-old girl died after participating in the “Benadryl challenge”, in which users took a large amount of anti-histamines in an attempt to produce hallucinogenic effects. In 2020, two minors were charged with assault after participating in the “skull breaker” challenge, which caused one victim to have a seizure.

    Interestingly here is a clip from The Man Who Fell to Earth, one of my favorite films where Bowie plays an Alien who lands in the western world and becomes an alcoholic who drinks gin like it’s water and obsesses over television screens;

    This piece of art perfectly captures a vision of the future. Now. When was the last time you and your family watched a full movie, from beginning to end, on one screen, in the house- not the cinema, without anyone on their phones at the same time? 

    David Bowie was right during one of his final interviews with Jeremy Paxman in 1999: 

    David Bowie predicted in 1999 the impact of the Internet in BBC interview

    “We are on the cusp of something exhilarating and terrifying.”

    I am a mum. I am in my mid thirties. And I’ve made it pretty obvious that I  don’t like the social media platform known as Tik Tok. Am I alone? 

    According to the NSPCC:

    Should parents be concerned about TikTok’s security?

    Over the past few years, security researchers have found multiple security vulnerabilities within the app, and since TikTok has access to a lot of personal information, it has become the favourite route for many hackers. One way that hackers take advantage of TikTok is by sending users a text message that allows them to access their accounts. Another is leveraging the fact that TikTok uses an insecure HTTP connection to deliver videos instead of the more secure option, HTTPS. This allows cybercriminals to manipulate users’ feeds and plant unsolicited content that could be misleading or disturbing, especially to young TikTok users.

    Maybe I am too old? Even I, who can at times be incredibly egocentric and an attention monger, have somehow managed to stay away from this utterly filthy, dangerous, brainwashing platform. For once I have done the right thing for me. This is one boundary of mine that I am very firm with. 

    Why do I instinctively despise Tik Tok? 

    It is far too loud for me. It triggers a rage in me. I have tinnitus. The noise, the rapidly changing short unimaginative, mind numbingly dull and unfunny screamingly piercing clips playing over and over again can send me into a red mist of rage.  I had a tik tok for five minutes. I got stage fright and quit. Classic.

    I went to study Digital Media for a few months during my post covid mid life crisis. All the lecturer went on about was the glory of Tik Tok. I was a bad influence in the course. I did a presentation on the death of Caroline Flack. I got criticized for this….I did a half arsed course in radio broadcasting and I was encouraged to play the top Tik Tok tracks…In other words versions of songs I grew up listening to. Nothing ‘original.’ 

    Perhaps we should try reading a book or typing our ideas down. Storyboard them. Have we created a monster? Have we fallen victims to something we assumed was our personal freedom to become our own “brands” of ourselves, without realizing we are mere puppets of a more sinister movement? Has social media turned us into modern slaves to those in power? 

     I absentmindedly, like many other parents in the UK, allowed my son to access this app on my phone during the pandemic. Why? I was naive and thought it was providing him with some fun. Silly dances and bottle flipping. Then for Christmas one year in the blur of the past three years he wanted a phone of his own. Santa Claus of course delivered this for an “easy life…. “

    I have been a sucker for social media since I was 17. I was not savvy enough to create a myspace however I had a Bebo account. Which got me into trouble when I posted pictures from various nights out when I had lied about my whereabouts to certain individuals. This did not stop me. I created a Facebook account and then an instagram account. I will admit that I was one to post only snippets of how “happy” I was. I would also be guilty of regrettable posts where I would overshare my innermost personal demons. 

    As an academically intelligent person I admit that I lack common sense. I did not realize that by putting myself out there that I was creating  my own propaganga and reputation for myself. 

    My personal Facebook and Instagram have been hacked. And I am hacked off in general because I am.

    I dislike the social media platform Tik Tok.

     I always have. And I hope it gets banned to keep our children safe I don’t want to see any more wasted young lives. 

  • I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud.

    By William Wordsworth

    I had the pleasure of studying the Romantic era of literature at the University of Strathclyde back in 2005. It was not until recently I fully appreciated the poetic form of writing. I would twist myself in knots looking for an answer. What does this really mean? Is there some secret in the poem I am missing? I was confused and could not get it into my head that poetry was pure imagery. Pictures. Visions. Like postcards in the written form. If that makes any sense.

    His fellow poet and sibling Dorothy Wordsworth inspired the poem in her diary during one of their regular hikes. (Hot goss: they were strangely close for brother and sister and she lived with him and his newlywed wife- rumour has it she cried for a full day when her brother married……Romantics for you)

    Wordsworth was one of the least scandalous poets of his generation despite his emotionally obsessed sister Dorothy. I had a bone to pick with her back in the day as I was accused of plagiarism when handing in a Christmas assignment based on one of her texts. I’ve recovered from this now.

    This is the perfect timing to discuss this text.

    According to society this should not be a time of year to feel melancholic. Unfortunately mere mortals don’t have the option to pick and chose when we will feel down.


    ****Goes back to sleep. Thinks of daffodils…….

    Despite snow on the horizon, Spring has sort of sprung. As we drive along busy motorways or gaze out our windows into our little gardens we will see beautiful daffodils growing. We witness their little life journeys, from birth to death.

    When feeling lonely, sorrow, drowning in shame, hopelesness, self loathing and guilt a mere glimpse of the daffodils blowing around even in the deepest, darkest areas of Clydebank can take your attention away from the negative self talk of the mind.

    Captured in the moment they come alive and touch our hearts in the simplest way. Has the sighting of daffodils ever moved you emotionally? I was on the way to a temporary job as an invigilator for exams and I passed by them quickly in the car and they looked so free. I wanted to be in their gang and my eyes welled up every morning passing by them until they were no longer there. I felt so trapped and I just wanted to be a daffodil instead of an invigilator. The bright golden yellow shade just warms the coldest of hearts.

    In the busy exam hall, once the excitement, hustle and bustle of students entering and sitting down in their seats silence occured and I was left alone with my thoughts. I would think of the daffodils and would look forward to seeing them again on the way home.

    Due to their limited short life we all appreciate the simply innocent flowers. Boys will pick a bunch for ther mums on Mother’s Day. And they have the power to cheer up those in need. There is also a deep sense of sadness when we know that daffodil season is time limited. Until next year. When we are present and not glued to our phones or social media we can take that moment in.

    In todays world there may be a lack of trustworthy politicians, decent employers, manners, forgiveness, kindness, tomatoes, mortons rolls, empathy, lurpak, human decency, eggs, money in general amidst post covid stress, the government can never take away our daffodils. We can trust daffodils. They are predictable. They have no hidden agenda. They don’t judge. They appear then disappear. Once a year. Enjoy them whilst they are in bloom. Wave hello and say goodbye. Daffodils do not discriminate. They are there for everyone, all inclusive and diverse.

    I have been doing my own personal Arch Angel Michael angel card readings and I get the same one everytime. Spend more time outdoors.

    General context:

    “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” is one of the most famous and best-loved poems written in the English language. It was composed by Romantic poet William Wordsworth around 1804, though he subsequently revised it—the final and most familiar version of the poem was published in 1815. The poem is based on one of Wordsworth’s own walks in the countryside of England’s Lake District. During this walk, he and his sister encountered a long strip of daffodils. In the poem, these daffodils have a long-lasting effect on the speaker, firstly in the immediate impression they make and secondly in the way that the image of them comes back to the speaker’s mind later on. “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” is a quintessentially Romantic poem, bringing together key ideas about imagination, humanity and the natural world.

    Stanza 1:

    I wandered lonely as a cloud

    That floats on high o’er vales and hills,

    When all at once I saw a crowd,

    A host, of golden daffodils;

    Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

    Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

    Here the poet compares himself to a lone cloud floating around the sky above the hills and valleys. The gang of daffodils catch his eye as they move and bounce along in the direction the wind blows. They are near the lake and nestled amongst the trees. Personification is demonstrated by the words dancing and fluttering. This beautiful vision stops him in his tracks.

    Stanza 2:

    Continuous as the stars that shine

    And twinkle on the milky way,

    They stretched in never-ending line

    Along the margin of a bay:

    Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

    Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

    In this stanza the poet uses imagery comparing the sight of the daffodils to stars in a clear night sky. Endless and moving, he imagines their flower heads are freely dancing to the beat of their own tune driven by the breeze. Living in the moment and moving freely while they can. They bring the speaker a sense of joy and pleasure. Daffodils don’t have to deal with human emotional complexities.

    Stanza 3.

    The waves beside them danced; but they

    Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:

    A poet could not but be gay,

    In such a jocund company:

    I gazed—and gazed—but little thought

    What wealth the show to me had brought:

    Here the poet is simply saying that the daffodils bring him more cheer than the sight of the water. He stares at them without realising the positive effects this moment, seeing the daffodils will have on him. A deep sense of peace and calm. More than any material object. (He ended up writing a famous poem about this moment! Was it really his moment or did he pinch it from his sisters diary?) I asked my family if nature brought them joy at all. My partner reminised about seeing bluebells (another of my favourite floral moments.) My dad remains faithful to his haystacks. My son asked me what planet I was on. He decided it was Mars. I said I am analysing high brow poetry. He then said- eyebrow poetry? And this was the end of my questioning.

    Stanza 4.

    For oft, when on my couch I lie

    In vacant or in pensive mood,

    They flash upon that inward eye

    Which is the bliss of solitude;

    And then my heart with pleasure fills,

    And dances with the daffodils.

    The poem here concludes with Wordsworth’s reflection of the impact seeing the daffodils had on him as he chills out absent mindedly on the sofa. His mind often wanders to the vision of the daffodils, a picture stored in his memory. He relishes being alone and not feeling lonely as he reminisces that moment he had with the daffodils and his heart fills with joy once again healing his angst. In his heart he dances with the daffodils and nothing can take this memory away from him. He is not isolated. He is at one with the sea of daffodils. This is a simple poem and the obvious theme is the bond between mankind and nature.

    I personally love this poem as it is not complex. There is no subliminal secret message.

    Jeremy Irons. A fellow fan of the Daffodil.

    Potential tasks: If you are lucky enough to print this poem out highlight the words or phrases that you find powerful or interesting. Share why you like these phrases.

    Highlight the imagery used. Similies, personifcation, metaphors.

    Take a picture of nature and draw or paint or recreate this in some way.

    Reflect on a time being outside had a positive impact on your wellbeing.

    Can you think of a song that would suit this poem?

    Forget about rhyme schemes, ABBA ABCA etc. If you are feeling bold write your own poem about your own powerful moment with nature. What did it make you feel? Use the senses; sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. How were you feeling before the moment? How did you feel in the moment? How has the memory of the moment moved you?

    I now realise that poetry is meant to be enjoyed not so much analysed. I don’t like pushing terms such as EnJamBmEnt, or Rhyme schemes. Its words and pictures to encapsulate a moment and a feeling. Not to be used to pass a GCSE and then forgotten about.

    Mairead Clarkin.

  • Inside Vs Outside the Box Mindsets.

    My heart goes out to all the classroom teachers out there struggling. I know how you feel and you are not alone.

    Mairead Clarkin.
    • Picture it: It is period 5. After lunch. A Monday Afternoon in February. 
    • You were really depending on this period being covered by the supply teacher. 
    • The class has finished reading The Witches. 
    • Your principal teacher reveals the supply teacher who was supposed to cover your class has done an understandable runner during lunch. 
    • She has this period free.
    • This S2 class really pushes your buttons and triggers you for 50 minutes, 4 x weekly.
    • They’ve been to the shop at lunch and are high on sugar….we hope. 
    • Before you know it they bombard into class giggling and squealing really noisily snapchatting and tik tokin with their jackets on. 
    • There are technological problems and you can’t play ‘The Witches’ whilst you secretly mark your massive pile of S4/ S5 folios by Friday’s deadline.
    • The chromebooks are all booked out. 
    • School Admin ring you up- you haven’t done your register at the right time. 
    • You are so overwhelmed that you forget simple details; passwords, logins…
    • You might start crying so you withdraw into a panicked shell of a human being.
    • Your learning assistant is absent.  
    • You look around you at the mess and debris…empty cans, bottles, crisp packets strewn around the place, the sniggering and snide remarks build up and you have a ringing in your ear. 
    • “Thought we were watching ‘The Witches’ they all bemoaned. 
    • That rage builds up inside you. Are you going to take it out on the class or take positive action? I have been guilty of both. 
    • Now what? 
    • This understandably feels like you have been run over by a lorry. Doesn’t it?
    • Let me tell you something. You are either in fight, flight or freeze mode. You need to put yourself first. Your body and brain will try to keep you in a panic. 
    • You can’t leave a class unattended…can you?
    • This is easy to say but not so easy in reality. 

    I have been a variety of characters in this relatable scene. 

    Solution A) 

    • Ignore the noise.
    • Pretend they are invisible but keep an eye out for risks. 
    • Do a paper copy of the register and hand it to the rowdiest pupil in the class who will be overjoyed by the opportunity to spread their wings around the school. 
    • Call the admin team and ask if there are any spare Learning Assistants. Ask if there is any possibility that your class could be covered by another teacher. 
    • If your classroom has a phone call your principal teacher using the extension code. If this does not work ask another rowdy pupil to PT’s room and require assistance. Write in morse code an explanation of the situation on a bit of paper. If this does not work, remind yourself that you tried. And write in your diary that you need to discuss this regular occurrence and admit that you are struggling. If they have any compassion they will be grateful that you were honest and together you will troubleshoot a solution to your problem. 
    • Ask PT for a classroom swap at the very least OR if you are feeling brave ask her to take the class in order for you to prioritize marking over the S2 class. 

    Solution B) 

    • So solution A didn’t come to fruition. Bummer eh? Take a breather. 
    • Accept the unacceptable. You teach that S2 class like you are training for a football match. 
    • This will hopefully at least remind you that you are a great teacher who can inspire, educate and engage this S2 class. 
    • Get them to write a book review on the Witches or record a podcast review in pairs. One being the host one being the guest. The host can prepare the open ended questions. This way they are using their phones in a positive way. If this is too much for some of the 30 kids. 
    • Give them a reading period. 
    • Let them color in.
    • Let them go to the loo. 
    • Let them go to the school library. 
    • Send the misbehaving pupils to the Principal Teacher. As many as you need to. It is their job to deal with this. You are there to teach. 
    • The fifty minutes will be over soon and you have actually pulled an awesome lesson out your ass. 
    • This will provide you with the next lesson plan. 
    • Do not forget to organize a private word with your principal teacher. It may be worthwhile bringing the school union rep to the discussion in order to avoid any manipulation or spin on words.
    • You did your best. Well done. It is all you can do.
    • Regarding the marking. It can wait. You and your health cannot. 
  • 2011: Friends with Benefits. Rom Com Review.

    By Mairead Clarkin.

    In a recent post I mentioned that I have finally opened my mind, body and soul to watching Romantic films again. It started with Ghost and due to the post Ghost melancholic mood I was in, I suddenly I remembered an upbeat romantic comedy I thouroughly enjoyed and found soothing when I finally broke up with boyfriend numbero uno. See the below link from Tolle if you need free therapy on this.

    Friends with Benefits’ 2011 stars the stunning Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake. I don’t have a thing for Justin. He is in my opinion less stunning than Kunis due to personal reasons. The overall movie rating on IMBD is 6.5/10. I am in a positive mood so I will give it an 8/10. This is purely on the basis that one is self aware enough to chose this film to watch as it will serve a specific purpose. To feel less alone that relationships in general can be messy and complicated. Not just romantic relationships. All relationships. There are the ones worth fighting for and the ones to let go for your own existence.

    For context I reflected on my own state of affairs in 2011. I gained my teaching qualification. I began my probationary period. I had a deep sense of heavy weighted sadness. I was for the first time in eight years SINGLE. I spent six glorious weeks in LA with my best friend. I mooched from hotel pool to hotel pool. I read Revolutionary Road….I think? In 2011 Charlie Sheen was fired from 2.5 men. Fidel Castro resigned and Game of Thrones premiered. Lady Gaga’s Born this Way was in the charts along with Nicki Minaj’s Superbass…

    In 2011 I went on a girls holiday with my cousin. It was the very beginning of an emotional unravelling.

    This is something I struggle with as I tend to cling on to the past like one of those sticky muscle men you pop in to party goody bags. Those annoying little cheap figures that leave red footprints on the ceiling.

    Here are two opposing reviews left on IMDB: Let’s start with the less favourable…..


    A movie without benefits (the shade!)


    September 2011

    Don’t waste your time on this one. A weak, predictable plot highly dependent on simulated sex scenes between the two main characters to maintain viewer interest. Of course, if you’re into that kind of thing, you’d probably think this was the movie of the year. If you’re looking for some depth or acting quality, you’ve come to the wrong film.

    (I agree to a certain extent, however it is supposed to be light hearted and cheesy and in fact there is some depth and quality acting in my opinion. He should watched Titanic or Romeo and Juliet…)

    Anyway, if you really want to explore the ‘can men and women be friends’ theme, watch the best in this genre, ‘When Harry Met Sally’. At least you won’t regret the time you spent watching it. (fair point but I still have time for Friends with Benefits. It’s dirtier.)

    Here is a more positive review:


    Cliché, predictable, but so honest and funny!


    November 2011

    This movie was all things cliché and predictable. Even though you know what is coming, the honesty with life’s little quirks and human behavior was incredibly well done.

    Timberlake is an okay actor. I found him to be a fresh breath in this movie. The dialogue and scenario fit his charm quite well.

    I found Mila Kunis to be quite funny, and she pulled off that cute, charming, awkwardly damaged woman, perfectly. She was chic, yet easy to relate too. Down to earth, but an air of success and confidence, hidden in all the girly dreams and fairy-tales.

    If you want something original and never done before, this is the wrong movie to watch. If you wish to appreciate a good spin on an old concept with stellar humor and humanity, it is worth the watch..

    Overall I agree with the latter review.

    A Light Predictable Film with Benefits. Escapisim for the Emotionally Damaged and or Unavailable.

    I only cried twice watching this film. I did not laugh out loud however I did find it amusing.

    Set in 2011 between LA and NYC, the movie opens with Dylan and Jamie running late for a date in different cities. Jamie and her BF are going to see ‘Pretty Woman.’ She thoughtfully prepares him an allergy free sandwich and then he brutally breaks up with her.

    Dylan’s date is to see a John Mayor concert in LA with Emma Stone’s minor character. They both state to their friends who magically appear immediately post break up that they are going to be emotionally shut down like…….GEORGE CLOONEY. What a coincendence!

    “What are we nerds trying to look at boobies?!” Justin Timberlake. 2011.

    The intention behind the opening scene is to play around with the audience, perhaps to highlight the theme of relationship mind games, as we assume they are together from the start. Clever camera angles focusing on one converstation and one character enables this intention.

    Both characters experience stomach churning unwelcome break ups from their other halves before the performance. “It’s not you it’s me. We need to talk” relateable even today. Jamie played by Kunis is labelled emotionally damaged and Dylan played by Timberlake is emotionally unavailable man. Anyone known an emotionally unavailable man?

    Jamie works for GQ and Dylan is in charge of some sort of internet agency. Their cell phones depict 2011 perfectly. Both samsungs. With regards to online dating, retrospectively we see the exciting introduction of swiping left, right, up and down to find the one demonstrated in the film.

    Fun fact; When I was in LA in 2009 John Mayor gave me the glad eye at an oriental restaurant across from the Roosevelte Hotel. My best friend can confirm this.

    The sweet relationships in this film, despite the obvious, are the relateable dysfunctional parental relationships. Jamie and her mum have a friendly relationship rather than your stereotypical Mother and Daughter relationship. On the otherhand we are deeply moved by the bond between Dylan and his dad played by the legendary Richard Jenkins, whom most recently played Jeffrey Dahmer’s father in Dahmer: Monster- The Jeffrey Dahmer story. ylan’s dad suffers Dementia.

    Jenna Elfman plays Dylan’s older sister who looks after their dad in Malibu. We see that Dylan has put work before his family, to escape reality and he is upset to see his Dad’s health declining. In a moving scene (the bit where I cried) his dad sits at the table without trousers on and Dylan does the exact same to make his dad feel less alone as all the judgy onlookers stare at them in disgust.

    Now officially best mates Dylan takes Jamie to LA to visit his family. Dylan’s sister immediately notices the spark between the pair and questions him. He retaliates brutally. Jamie overhears him shit talking her and labels her as broken goods. Similar to the pros and cons list created by Ross Gellar in Friends regaring Rachel. #fatankles……

    I felt personally attacked as I myself have been on both sides of this shady coin. Dylan doesn’t really think this, he just doesn’t want to show vulnerability to his sister as he is STRONG. (sarcasm) This made me cry as we have all overheard something unpleasant about ourselves and it can have detrimental effects on our emotionable stabilty even if we get the wrong end of the stick.

    The audience is over joyed once the pair eventually let go of their stubborn natures and survive this hurdle.

    Time apart gives Dylan space to see sense and realise that he is in love with his best friend. This is in fact an ideal, rare and precious relationship to cherish rather than toss aside. A bonus is their already established sexual connection. Another win. He listens to advice from his dad and plans an outlandish grand gesture in a bid to win Jamie back. He plans a flashmob performance in NYC for Jamie.

    Happy endings. Finally Dylan shows commitment to Jamie and asks her to be his official girlfriend. With the help of Jamie’s mum and an organised Flash Mob dancing to Closing Time by Semisonic (their song) Dylan and Jamie get the opprtunity to explore their new official romantic relationship rather than a FWB one. This led me to consider; is a Friends With Benifits relationship possible? I took a buzzfeed quiz and was surprised by the result.

    The closing credits again depict the swiping of left or right with regards to online dating. Tweaking and tweezing until you find what you are looking for. From this movie I believe that a romantic relationship can develop from a Friends With Benefits model.

    Written by Mairead Clarkin.

  • Breaking Barriers: Mental and or Physical Health V achieving flexible Employment. Episode 5.

    “We are slaves to the Oligarchs. Right here. Right Now.”

    Mairead Clarkin. 25.2.23

    Hello and welcome to career limbo land, also known on StinkDin more “proFeSsIoNaLlY” as a Seminar titled: Breaking Barriers: Mental and Physical Health Vs Long Term Flexible and Sustainable Employment.

    My aim is to achieve my own goals: To remain in Education but be self employed.

    To teach creative writing in Prisons and hopefully discover some wasted talent.

    To research the fairness of the GTCS decisions with regards to removing some teacher’s GTCS. To be a voice for teachers struggling with the workload.

    To create alternative curriculum resources in the areas I specialise in. ASN, English Literature and Health and Wellbeing.

    To help fellow teachers who are struggling with their mental/physical health. To raise awareness of this to school managerial staff.

    To offer holistic inset sessions for education staff.

    To get a counselling qualification.

    To get a TEFL qualification.

    To be a voice for anyone with a mood disorder.

    Ultimately to create a podcast for kids of all ages, particularly those studying for exams, parents, adults and fellow educators bringing former teachers, retired teachers and even student teachers together. Why? To share in a safe annonymous space how they are getting on. Not reflective practice. To talk about their own feelings. As this is vital. Teachers are human beings. And not robots. Yet. Perhaps by 2050 this will be the case. Kids could be taught by Avatars.

    Does this seem to much? I don’t think so considering I am in my early 30s and in the process of reinventing myself and starting again from Scratch.

    To become a writer/broadcaster and hopefully pass my MA Journalism entry qualification after the embarrassment of failing this in September because I was working three jobs and had stopped watching the NEWS for my own mental health. Instead I binge watched Frasier, Friends and The Golden Girls.

    Moving on to the summary of last nights discussions on the global news, world book week and John Lennon. Again!

    We did some deep breathing exercises before the seminar because yesterday was a stressful day. My Art Attack plans, involving digging my beloved hot glue gun out and creating a tree out of disposable vapes, covid masks and litter fell by the wayside.

    I had an appointment with the physio at the local health centre regarding my debilitating physical pain on the right side of my body since barely surviving Meningitis Encephalitis in 2016. ….I’ll probably be 65 by the time I get that appointment unless I become a millionaire and slide into the private health care sector; the slippery gypsy that I am. In the meantime I will remain patiently persistent regarding this NHS referal.

    I ended up spending the day on a quest. A meta quest. For my son and my old hacked FB account due to a scam……..yup.

    Insert see no evil monkey emoji.

    I would like to thank my regular mock podcast seminar guest Tom Clarkin, my dad, my best friend and fellow retired teacher for his input. Sadly Robert Pollock could not make the seminar.

    We ended getting in to Politics and Religion. Again!

    First we honoured the one year anniversary of the war in Ukraine. We watched the following clip from a brave MP in Latvia.

    A powerful emotive speech quite rightly displaying his dismay, validated anger and sorrow regarding the devastating situation. Here Here!

    “There is an elephant in this room…Russian Delegation Federation.”

    We then relocated to the corrupt USA political situation. See the New York Post article below;

    “By law, no human should feel sexually threatened at work. When will this message be taken ducking seriously.”

    Mairead Clarkin 25.2.23

    I read a moving blog post by Laura Boylan who as a mother and wife was prey to his sleazy mind games daily. My heart really goes out to her and others out there who have had to face this. I feel bad saying this but I don’t really support the #metoo movement because there is, in my opinion, a spectrum of sexual abuse from my own personal experience. I don’t like trendy bandwagons however from this post and other articles this was not #metoo. This is a serious sexual offence.

    Not just the odd shady wink passing by the corridor.

    Which by the way, should be shut down immediately and holistically. Anyone experiencing this shit at work have the right to speak out if no action takes place at work.

    If you feel uncomfortable or see anything shady in the voice of the Scotrail Man: See it, say it, sort it.

    We then discussed the effects this situation had on his brother Chris who was a CNN broadcaster at the time and had to resign due to his self admitted suicidal thoughts.

    Dad chose to play Born In the USA by Bruce Springsteen..

    “Why is this relevent? lol.”

    Mairead Clarkin. 25.4.23

    I gave it 2 minutes then played MY song. Can’t hold us down.

    This is for my girls all around the world (around the world)
    Who have come across a man that don’t respect your worth (woah)
    Thinkin’ all women should be seen not heard (woah)
    So what do we do, girls? Shout louder
    Lettin’ ’em know we’re gonna stand our ground (stand our ground)
    So lift your hands higher and wave ’em proud (woah)
    Take a deep breath and say it loud (woah)
    Never can, never will, can’t hold us down (woah)

    The lyrics speak for themselves and are still relevant! Am I stuck in the past? Probably a lil. But we have to look at the art from history to make sense on where we are at in society TODAY. IMMEDIATELY. I have not experienced sexual misconduct at work, but have felt left out and rejected listening to adult MiXed GeNDeR teachers bantering about the teachers they fancied. I took part in the game and bared my soul…..I am a bit of a bloke in a female body.

    I was never a chosen piece of meat! Coz I am too expensive? I remember the manic smile whilst desperately waiting for ANYONE to pop me in to their top five desireable ladies…Then the bell rang and we all sloped off to our classrooms. I would ruminate on this. Catholics for ya….

    I was so desperate that I asked one pal in confidence just to make me at least number 5.

    “A little bit of MC in my life….anyone, anywhere…no? Except you….NO put your hand down….”

    I know now that this was merely due to my high intellect and terrifying beauty uniqueness nerve and talent! *clings on to validation and egoic self…yadayadayoo!

    Regardless, this highlights that many teachers are teachers due to the fact that they are in fact still fifteen year old men and women who can’t face the real world and remain in high school mode 4eva. Misogynism and rampant bullying; yadayadayoo! So I said in the end…See y’all I am outta here.

    Bye bye…If you want to talk to me, organise a meeting. I will send my representative.”

    You wanna know who I do have a personal vendetta against? Andrew Tate the misogynistic adult male minor wannabe oligarch infiltrating the minds of our sons today in cyber land………………………Keep an eye on him Mi5. Insert big brother eye emoji.

    We ended the seminar with our final topic. World Book Week.

    We have both chosen a text to discuss.

    Dad has typically chosen a detective novel. Philip Kerr’s ‘March Violets.’

    Berlin Noir territory. Set in 1936 the main character Bernie Gunther, ex cop turned private detective sets out to discover the mystery behind a missing diamond necklace and the disappearance of a couple. He discussed the title in great depth nearly taking us near our free 30 minute zoom sesh. March Violets is the term coined to represent those who joined the Nazi party later on in life for various reasons.

    I swithered to decide what text to discuss. I went from Jacqueline Wilson, to self promotion of my own book titled Alfie and the Robin to Wordsworth’s Daffodils to finally deciding the perfect text for today: 1984 by George Orwell.

    We discussed Orwell’s fascinating view on the future which has sadly become a reality. The main character Winston decides to rebel against Big Brother, the Government, at his own detriment. 1984 is a play on numbers. (see numeracy, history, modern studies, english literature, sociology, Art, Music…) 1948 was when it was written. Post war era…….2050 should be the next novel written, perhaps by myself (MY IDEA) predicting the future of 2023?

    With all the heavy weighted, sad discussions, we ended the seminar listening and dissecting the lyrics of John Lennon’s poignant and relevant song which should be globally listened to at least five times a day as a RULE.

    Skip to 0.48 secs to avoid the boring walk in the woods.

    Mairead Clarkin

    Imagine there’s no heaven
    It’s easy if you try
    No hell below us
    Above us, only sky

    Imagine all the people
    Livin’ for today

    Imagine there’s no countries
    It isn’t hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion, too

    Imagine all the people
    Livin’ life in peace

    You may say I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one
    I hope someday you’ll join us
    And the world will be as one

    Imagine no possessions (like guns etc)
    I wonder if you can
    No need for greed or hunger
    A brotherhood of man
    (Are you hungry? I am.)

    Imagine all the people
    Sharing all the world
    (Tory party fancy sharing your mushrooms and cavier?)

    You may say I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one
    I hope someday you’ll join us
    And the world will live as one

    I mean the lyrics speak for themselves. This is not just a song. This is a plea for peace. And those in control, those in power, those with money, those with wealth and plenty of tomatoes MUST surely, surely, have a wee teenie weenie bit of empathy for those living in poverty. The vulnerable. Those who can’t work. Instead history continues to repeat itself over and over and over again.

    You may say I am a dreamer….A wishful thinker, a creative stinker. But I assure you I am not. And the shaky situation this world, globally, we are living in today has got to change. Change within ourselves, change with perspective. Open minded, willing and as honest as possible please. Because we are all tired.

    2050. A world run by a heirarchy of oligarchs. Amazon. Meta. Apple. Facebook. Politicians. Robots. The population will grow. And then what?

    My best friend loses his apple head phones regularly. He said its because apple made them so small so that people lose them and then what? Buy another pair.

  • Headlines And Deadlines

    Headline whip round. Turnips, Apologies and Religion + Politics.

    Breaking Barriers: Mental and Physical Health and Achieving Flexible Employment. Episode 4. 

    Hello and welcome to Career Limbo Land, Breaking Barriers: Mental and Physical Health and Achieving Flexible Employment. 

    I am the ghostly hostly Mairead Clarkin. Thanks again to my regular guests Robert Pollock and Tom Clarkin. 

    This evening’s plan was slightly compromised as usual. The tone was: SeRiOuS. 

     I considered canceling the seminar as I felt slight emotional pain but we carried on as promised. The intended hot topics were:

    Headlines and Deadlines: Let them eat Turnips, Scottish SNP Kate Forbes public apology and the dangers of bringing Religion and Politics together. 

    However, for my own self compassion, serendipity brought me towards watching a very interesting clip by Dr Gabor Mate, where he explores the notion of mindfulness, the impact of childhood trauma, self compassion and self love. See the link below if interested. 

    Gabor Mate tips for improving self-worth, mindfulness, self-reflection, self-compassion. #selfworth

    I really appreciate his free and accessible resources which are available on youtube and elsewhere, similar to Eckhart Tolle. So thank you both. 

    When I feel pain in my neck, head, lower stomach I am self aware enough to know that it is trauma related. As a parent of one, I constantly question my parenting skills. There is always room for improvement. My son deleted the powerpoint I made for the seminar. My egoic mind was in one word: Furious. However I took a deep breath and let it go. Who cares? He is just a kid like all of us in one way or another. I was not really upset about the powerpoint. I was upset due to personal reasons. We all had a good day to a certain extent. 

    Anyway, let’s get into the less sensitive juicy bits.

    Environment secretary urges Britons to ‘cherish’ turnips amid food shortages

    Thérèse Coffey’s championing of UK ‘specialisms’ causes one Labour MP to retort: ‘Let them eat turnips!’

    Tomatoes and turnips and brexit…oh my! 

    Tomato-Red Red To-To-Tomato | Tomato Song | Fruit Song | Pinkfong Songs for Children

    My opinion on this matter was that of course we can survive without Tomatoes and fresh Veg. We survived Covid19. Remember the lack of toilet paper? I suggested that in an ideal world the wealthy sector of Britain/Scotland could potentially divvy out their glasshouse grown fresh tomatoes with the nation. It would be great publicity for them. Apparently supermarkets are stashing their veg behind the tills to reduce the amount of panic bulk buying! When did we predict tomatoes would become the next Prime Energy Drink?!

    Tom agreed however pointed out that this will never happen as history has proven time and time again that the rich will not help to feed the poor. Robert said “we always have tinned tomatoes.”  Tom highlighted that we can turn to frozen fruit and veg.  I highlighted that we were luky to have cherry tomatoes in our all day fry up dinner. 

    With a love of turnips more commonly associated with the long-suffering manservant Baldrick in Blackadder, Coffey handed her critics the kind of material they could normally only dream of.

    Tom enjoys a turnip but warns that they turn very quickly indeed. I suggested a name for our band could unfact be “The Turning Turnips.” He championed for turnip soup and turnip mash. Contrary as ever I cried out: 

    I want tomatoes and mushrooms.

    Tom had been on a scavenger hunt for veg. He hit Aldi, Tesco and Asda but the shelves were bare. Which is a sad scene. I predict lots of annoying Tik Tok Mums posting #turniptuesdays air fryer clips and tips. 

    From Vegetables to Scotland we moved on to discuss Kate Forbes’ public apology.

    Kate Forbes

    ‘Greatly burdened and heartsore’: Kate Forbes, the Scottish finance secretary and SNP leadership candidate. Photograph: Andrew Milligan/PA

    Scottish National party (SNP)

    I stated that I was proud of any human being having the courage to apologize. She has the right to choose whatever faith to follow. It is none of my business logically. However I myself was wounded by her comments and instinctively fearful and felt a sense of distrust when our potentially “fresh faced” leader who looks the same age as myself made such backwards comments with regards to equal rights,  during her interview. But I appreciate the apology because that in itself is really brave. Am I being naive? 

    Kate Forbes has apologised for hurt caused and promised to protect the rights of everybody in Scotland, “particularly minorities”, as she endeavours to reset her campaign for the leadership of the Scottish National party after her faith-informed views on equal marriage, transgender rights and sex outside marriage prompted a bruising backlash.

    Her opponent Humza Yousaf is a self proclaimed practicing muslim. Is he receiving such backlash? Should he apologize too?

    Is it ever too late to apologise?

    OneRepublic – Apologize (Lyrics) ft. Timbaland

    We all agreed no. 

    Politicians are human beings however Tom warned wisely that fanatical religious people in power are quite frankly….dangerous. 

    Perhaps this opens the debate: Should pineapples go on pizza? 

    He referred to Putin’s accusations of western culture promoting LGBTQ+ rights is to blame for the wrongs in society….He highlighted his respect for Joe Biden, a practicing Catholic who publicly supports Ethnic Minorities, Women’s Rights, Abortion and LGBTQ+ members of American society. Here Here!!!! 

    We then quickly moved on to Religion in general. I am a self proclaimed lapsed catholic. We all took the “What is my religious typology?” quiz. Despite my upbringing my results did not shock me. I am a Religion Resistor Sister. So was Rob. According to the quiz we: 

    “do believe in some higher power or spiritual force (but not the god in the bible. We believe Religion does more harm than good. We are generally liberal and democratic in our political views.”

    I am a part time Religion Resistor with Pagan curiosity with never ending catholic guilt. Lovely. Tom admitted that……he made a mistake and did not complete his homework. 

    We ended the discussion with songs regarding Religion and Faith. Tom was disruptive and tried to sneak a Celtic song in. As a responsible host I could not allow this….

    Tonight my intention is to delve in to my least favorite topic: Saving Planet Earth, Disposable vapes and ReCyCling…..Depending on what happens today as an Educator I have the right to change the plan at the last minute. 

    Thanks again to my regular guests Tom Clarkin, Robert Pollock and to the Guardian for allowing free access to their articles and of course Gabor Mate. 

    Stay Cool. x

  • Breaking Barriers: Ash Wednesday. RE. Lent. David Bowie. Episode 3.

    My mama said to get things done ya better not mess with major Tom. 

    Jesus Christ….Superstar….He walks like a woman and he wears a bra.

    Annonymous lapsed catholic.

    I was unable to write up the summary of last night’s seminar/mock podcast so here it is this morning. It was February the 22nd. The curriculum areas we covered certain extent were Religious Education. Blessed Be The Fruit. As with all discussional texts literacy and numeracy and music and art were covered also. It was a bit of a free for all. 

    The seminar starts at 9 now. I went to Flabelos after dinner to shake myself thin. In the booth there is a countdown of 10 mins. Numeracy. I listened to the conversations of the late night sunbed mongers. They were discussing sex without emotions, age differences and lots of other juicy gossip. Some Health and Wellbeing covered there.

    It was time for the seminar to begin. 

    I played the Harmonica whilst I waited on the massive list of confirmed attendees. Myself, my dad, my partner and on the sidelines featured comments from my son and my mum. 

    We reflected on the play for the day; I had a bad day. I saw two magpies. I am trying to be less supersticious.

    Thumbs down.

    Dad and Rob had good days. Thumbs up. We discussed unusual aspects of our day. My appointment did not MY way lol. I felt remorseful as I was very rude to the doctor. On the plus side my son had a successful session at the Dentist.

    Despite my grumbling I did achieve a lot and even tidied up my front garden….I hate all the random bushes and I just want to chop them off and replace them with artificial grass. Dad and Rob are environmentally friendly and consider themselves as The Lorax. They speak for the trees. 

    Ash Wednesday, Ashes to Ashes, the meaning of Lent in layman’s terms is a time of preparation for the resurrection on Easter Sunday. Good little christian boys and girls do penance to get their own lives in order to celebrate the ReSurrEction on Easter Sunday…

    Easter Sunday is the first after the full moon equinox. I love the moon and the stars. The moon was just beautiful last night. 

    We listened to Ashes to Ashes by David Bowie. We dissected the lyrics. The music video highlights his fear of religion and his attempt to clean up his own act and he seems to be struggling. He often refers to his mother in his music. 

    My mama said to get things done ya better not mess with major Tom. (Ashes to ashes)

    Pushing through the market square, so many mothers are dying. 

    And I thought of Ma, your face, your race, you’re beautiful I want you to walk…(five years) 

    We brainstormed why he may mention his mum..According to dad his mum was married to a difficult man and her other son, Bowie’s brother, was locked up in the “nut house” with manic depression therefore he is reaching out to his family and doesn’t forget his roots. Another theory could be that his mum wants him to live in reality and stop living in a fantasy world…

    We discussed who Major Tom is..Other than a junkie he is so much more than this…Dad confirmed he was not Major Tom. Major Tom was perhaps a fictional character, a being out of touch with reality and the world, a metaphorical spaceman. One of Bowie’s multiple personalities. We hear hallucinations and other voices in the tune.

    We then deep dived into Bowie a little and discussed that his music and lyrics will be eternally relevant. I asked the group what they thought David Bowie would think of 2023. Tom shared his opinion that he would see it as no different than the struggles he faced in society in the 70’s and 80’s except the rapid technological movement. 

    We reflected on Bullying amongst Friends. Dad experienced a bully named Big Milko but they stood up to him as opposed to big sensitive pants. 

    We shared whom we would choose to have a coffee and cigarette with dead or alive. 

    I chose David Bowie (so basic and predictable) 

    Dad chose Issac Newton. He invented calculus and discovered physics.

    Rob chose John Lennon whilst promoting his Innocent Smoothie. 

    Mum chose Bruce Springsteen. (so basic and predictable)

    For Lent, to support my son and myself in achieving my career goals, I am going to try and improve my health. Rob is not giving up on anything. Dad is going to work on his ability to be more flexible and to shout less. 

    To conclude, we listened to Star Man by David Bowie. Then my free Zoom seminar had only 5 secs left. 






    Ground Control to Major Tom. Take your Beta Blockers and hold on to your hats.

    Lift off!

    This evening’s zoom will begin at 9 and I will share the link asap. I don’t know what the topic will be. But I know it won’t be boring. I’m considering obsessions.

    No alt text provided for this image

    Written by Mairead Clarkin. Thanks to my dad and partner for being guests on the show.

  • Health and Wellbeing. Anti bullying. Even amongst friends…

    As educators we should have the freedom to prioritise HnW “awareness weeks/days” and differentiate them depending on the needs of the YOUR classroom.” If for example the BBC’s Children in Need Day or Red Nose Day doesn’t rock your boat because there is rampant homophobia for example, happening in the room then focus on THAT. Change the wheels. They can celebrate the BBC at home as long as home has a license to thrill of course….

    Mairead Clarkin.

    See above. Who on this planet micromanages these raising awareness days? They are all interlinked anyway. This week is Lent for the catholics (no comment), Black Lives Matter (absolutely)……But first and foremost from my personal school experience and endless others is always the curse of Bullying.

    Kids can be really cruel. Staff can be really cruel. Boy’s banter can be cruel. Girls in my own experience were the worst. And I was one of them. Not a bully myself, but my so called best friend was a bully. Bullying amongst friends is so complicated and complex.

    Survival mode: safer to have an Alpha Bully Bestie than the opposite: experience the wrath of removing oneself from the Mean Girl Group…..I remember very vividly in Primary One she said to me….“stop trying to be funny, you’re not funny” because I was having a joke with others in the class. I remember the relief, my shoulders relaxing, my ability to be free spirited when she was absent. Then my horror once she returned. I always say to my son, don’t commit to one best friend. And try to avoid diving in to a long term relationship at the age of 15……

    On the flip side, as with all narcissistic relationships I remember the highs! The fun! The chaos…..We were just kids at the end of the day. The sleepovers, the makeovers, the prank calls, the singing and dancing, the plays we created….

    It was a wet play day in class. We did some art. I painted abstract upside down parrots…my speciality at the time.

    And for once…once….I won the competition. Except she scored my name off my creation and wrote her own. And took the glory. I had a melt down in primary 3 due to this. I was angry. Very angry. But I had no clue how to stand up for myself calmly so I broke down sobbing. Sadness is a form of repressed anger. Luckily my big brother was in Primary 7 and was a “class monitor.” He was “monitoring” another class at the time but I was sign posted to him and he resolved the situation like the Terminator! (this is now starting to sound camp and slightly Ru Paul’s Drag Race…)


    This was clearly the beginning of a trigger for me. Trust issues. TO this day I have nightmares that I walk in to a book store (if there are any left) and see my one printed, not pubished, children’s book titled Alfie and the Robin plagiarised and stolen from a plagiarising scam artist. The follow up book is Alfie Feels Ugly; based on a true story when a lame co worker once saw a photo of my cat and gasped;

    “Ugh he is the ugliest cat I have ever seen.”

    Imagine he heard that on speakerphone by accident? Hmmm?? I felt personally attacked. He was my baby at the time hun.

    Written by Mairead Clarkin and illustrated by Susan Laws.

    I no longer am ashamed to admit that I hung out with a crowd of mean girls. I engaged in mean behaviour towards others. I was complicit in horrific mind games of chap door run away.…One time we cruelly left a mate in the changing rooms of Tammy Girl and scarpered off leaving her alone lost in the shopping centre. I did not want to do this. But I was myself in fight or flight. I was not the only one in the group who felt the same as me. We were just following the leaders rules.

    My bEsT frienD made me swap PE kits with her for example as my mum had great fashion sense. I was blackmailed: she would tell on me unless she wore my Marks and Spencers PE ensemble…For what? What did I do wrong? Who knows.

    My bEsT frienD gave me the silent treatment for weeks if I hung out with other people. And I felt anxious. Guilty. A shivering wreck. My best friend had the audacity to argue with my mother in the summer holidays- this was also very embarrassing.

    Who cares now. It’s in the past. I was the one who stayed silent and turn a blind eye because from the age on 6 I was trapped in a narcissistic abusive friendship relationship. I was terrified to tell my own mum because I knew she would hit the roof. Literally. The aftermath of this was my confusion regarding being controlled. Hence why I continued to be naturally drawn to controlling relationships, romantic or otherwise….

    Schools now label children like myself at 6 as a “bully” because we stay quiet. This is not helpful. The stomach churning fear of grassing someone in is terrifying. Picture this: would Sick Boy or Spud from Trainspotting dare grass in Begbie? No. They were like me. Vulnerable and frightened youngsters.

    At least back in my day we had no social media. I have a huge concern for the children of our generation. Every second of every day some poor kid is a victim of cyber bullying via snap chat, tik tok in internet land……And perhaps this needs to be consistently brought forward and given awareness to. Because kids are commiting suicide. Kids are self harming. Kids are getting jailed…Because of bullying.

    Back in my day I could just pull a sickie for a week and read Enid Blyton books, Mizz Magazine, watch Home and Away to de-escalate my emotions of shame, guilt and remorse.

    I mastered the art of creating sick notes for PE and selling my clean pee at the health centre for a cheeky harry diver to buy heat magazine and a diet coke. I was prescribed a heavy duty anti anxiety medication at the age of 15 to deal with all this agro.

    The after effects of witnessing horrible behaviour towards another human being;

    Lying. To family members, friends etc…or withholding the truth.


    Pretending to have TB like Hannah from Neighbours to avoid reality.

    Seeking oblivion and escapism.

    Losing our own sense of self.

    Choosing a self destructive career.

    I couldn’t stand up for myself let alone protect myself from harm.

    Until now.

    I am stronger.

    I have courage.

    I stand up for myself and my family and friends to the best of my abilities.

  • Whole lotta History: Feb 21st.

    “I’m talking about a whole lotta history.”

    Girls Allowed. RIP Sarah another angel destroyed by the UK exploitative media xxx

    Good morning. Happy pancake Tuesday.

    The category for this morning’s blog is…..spin the wheel of curriculum….thank christ it’s not numeracy…It’s history. My safe space. lol.

    February 21, 1965: In New York City, Malcolm X, an African American nationalist and religious leader, is assassinated while addressing his Organization of Afro-American Unity at the Audubon Ballroom in Washington Heights. He was 39. 

    Sound familiar to today’s play for the day? Telling your truth is still considered dangerous. Therefore nothing will change for the future generation. Malcom X: Hero.

    Mairead Clarkin

    Another less impressive US moment….

    Another smokescreen glory photo. Brainwashing. See above!

    “Too early to research this BUT I like this guy already! He had courage!”


    1952: The government of Winston Churchill abolished Identity Cards – “to set the people free”. Are we free today do you think?

    1952: A year after her first divorce, the legendary Elizabeth Taylor was married for the second time. This husband (number two of eight) was Michael Wilding. The marriage lasted for five years.

    1958: The Peace symbol, commissioned by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament was designed and completed by Gerald Holtom. The logo was not copyrighted and later became known in the wider world as a general-purpose peace symbol. The design incorporated the semaphore signals for ‘N’ and ‘D’ standing for ‘nuclear disarmament’.

    1961: The Beatles appeared for the very first time at The Cavern Club, Liverpool. They went on to make a total of 292 other appearances there.

    A powerful resource for all adults, modern studies, literacy, history, english, ism, Catholicism, naricissism, mysogynism, thatcherism, toryism, buddhism, ministers, cabinets, rabbis and bye bye. Listen to the song with your eyes closed. It might seem like he is encouraging you to spend a few days in bed with fake “Covid.” He is not. He is encouraging us to take peaceful protest action against the cruelty of our government.

    Then watch this video with your eyes open. It may seem ironic and disturbing with the protest imagery however; as it does not look like “peace” and ultimately physical peaceful protests where cruelly interrupted by the police…….How does this relate to today in the UK and worldwide? Does keyboard warriorISM actually make a difference? Social media has again replaced social outrage. Now you might think I am just angry? But believe me when I say this….I am just trying to get people to see alternative perspectives on what is going on.

    2008: From the contrast depticed by Nixon and Lennon..mysogysm, autism, fascism, communism, Dirty JournalISM, Putism ,toryism, Nihilsm, ISM ISM ISM……lets go to feminISM. CatholicISM.

    The death of Sunny Lowry, the first British woman to swim the English Channel (1933). She was berated as being a ‘harlot’ as her light two-piece suit, which was considered very daring at the time, bared her knees. (Oh my……has anything changed here with regards to treatment of women? I bet she had lovely knees)

    2013: Rhossili Bay on the Gower peninsula, was listed as the best beach in Britain and third best of all European beaches. It was beaten only by Rabbit Beach in Sicily, and Playa de las Catedrales in Spain.

    2014: Chris Moyles, former BBC Radio 1 host and TV presenter attempted to use a tax avoidance scheme called Working Wheels to avoid a £1M tax bill. He told HM Revenue & Customs that he had spent a year ‘engaged in self-employment as a used car trader’. Moyles claimed to have run up £1m of losses selling £3,731 worth of used cars. He then tried to offset the claimed £1m loss in the 2007-08 financial year against tax he owed on his other income, including an estimated £700,000 salary from the BBC, which is funded by licence fee payers. (I actually quite liked listening to Moyles growing up on Radio 1.)

    To conclude teachers around the world will be playing BBC newsround this morning. I did this..however could we move away from the BBC and mr bloody tumble for a while? Find alternative news on youtube.

    In America today in some states books are miraculously getting taken off the shelves in support of Republican vibes…..Sound familiar?? Hitler’s youth? Russia? Jesus wept. And according to Jeremy Vine yesterday it is illegal to fart in Florida after 6pm in public…..Oh please. It’s my party and I’ll fart wherever or whenever I like!

    It’s now my time to medicate and meditate, school run, make sandwiches and look humane. Hare Krishna hare krishna hare hare krishna…….

    I leave you with my favourite jam.

  • My return to Rom Coms from Extreme Horror.

    One word. Ditto.

    I cried listening to this. Did you?

    “The love you take inside, you take it with you. See ya.”

    Sam’s final words to Molly. 😦

    For a few years I avoided Romantic comedies, romantic christmas movies, romantic movies in general, songs… romance in general really. It’s true what they say. Hurt people, hurt people. Christmas 2022 and I did not even watch Love Actually, It’s a Wonderful Life or The Holiday.

    I have hurt a lot of people unintentionally. Instead I binged on the Shudder channel. I still have a place in my heart for a good horror. Here are my top 5 horror movies, a dark rabbit hole, which I shall review later.

    1. Original Funny Games NOT the American Version. The involvment between the terrifying character and the audience leaves one shooketh. Lest we forget the golf ball symbolism.
    2. Who Invited Them. Shudder.
    3. Dogtooth.
    4. Midsommer.
    5. I Spit on Your Grave.

    My heart is melting slowly.

    In many ways I relate to Sam and his inability to say ‘I love you’ instead of Ditto. Maybe he had been burnt before too.

    Photo by Joshua Mcknight on

    I am Sam, I was concerned I would be Oda Mae……Take the quiz! Who are you in Ghost? Weird fact- Molly from Nationwie helped me online today after being scammed! Just like Sam!

    It was the 23rd anniversary of the films first release in 1990. Set in New York the themes presented in Ghost are love, grief, betrayal of friendship, unconventional friendship, the after life, serendipity, spiritualism, substance abuse, poverty, the criminal underworld, money laundering, MuRdEr and justice for Molly, Oda Mae Brown and of course Sam. Sam as a Ghost fights to ensure Molly the love of his life, stays alive and escapes Carl’s games.


    Banker Sam Wheat and his girlfriend, artist Molly Jensen, renovate and move into a Manhattan loft with the help of Sam’s “friend”and co-worker Carl Bruner. One night, after attending the theater with Molly, Sam is killed when a mugger tries to steal his wallet. Sam is shocked to realize he is a ghost, but when angels appear to take his soul to Heaven, he returns to Molly.

    Weeks later, in an effort to raise her spirits, shady Carl takes Molly for a walk. When the mugger enters their apartment in search of something a few minutes later, Sam scares their cat into attacking him and he flees. Sam follows the mugger, Willie Lopez, back to his apartment, and learns that the mugging was not random, when Willie makes a call to an unknown person promising to return to Sam and Molly’s apartment to continue looking for what he was trying to find before.


    Ghost is a 1990 American romantic fantasy film directed by Jerry Zucker from a screenplay by Bruce Joel Rubin, and starring Patrick SwayzeDemi MooreWhoopi GoldbergTony GoldwynVincent Schiavelli, and Rick Aviles.[5] The plot centers on Sam Wheat (Swayze), a murdered banker, whose ghost sets out to save his girlfriend, Molly Jensen (Moore), from the person who killed him – through the help of the psychic Oda Mae Brown (Goldberg). wikipedia- a more reliable source than tik tok.

    The moving penny symbolises the love between Molly and Sam and also confirms the spiritualist’s abilities. Another symbolic possibility is that Sam’s death was due to his so called mate’s greed and fixation on scamming poor Sam. The 90’s vibe is so nostalgic. The hustle and bustle of the rat race.

    Molly’s dungarees for example and her tomboy hair cut. I am not ashamed to admit I have a crush on both characters. Demi plays the arty chick perfectly. I am not going to mention the phallic imagery during the pottery scene. She couldn’t sleep and decided to get the clay out and stick on the Righteous Brothers vinyl record. The suits worn by Sam and the others when he was heading to the office. The record player. The big massive computers used in the office. Oda Mae Brown, a black psychic is a pivotal character as it breaks the barriers of race too.

    Perhaps the comical relief from this tragically sad text is the other ghost who rules the train line. Sam annoys him at first by invading his territory but through pester power he finally gives in and teaches Sam how to move objects and ghostly pass through barriers.

    Another scene which I love is when Sam types “sam” repeatedly on Carl’s computer completely freaking him out.

    A little bit like when Bobby’s face appears from the fridge in Home and Away and frightens poor hallucinating Ailsa. Bobby assures Ailsa that Alf loves Bobby. This scene haunted me for months. I would literally stay awake all night tossing and turning in cold sweats. I am over this trauma now. I’ve survived worse!

    In 2023 I feel we need to watch Ghost again and remember the power of vulnerabilty, sensitivity and empathy.

    In many ways a childhood film similar to Ghost is “All Dogs go to Heaven.” Charlie the loveable dog refuses to die. It was not his time. He was betrayed and killed by a gangster dog whom he thought was his pal. Like Sam, Charlie was traumatised by his own death and left dog heaven as he had some unfinished business to deal with. He says his final goodbye to the irritating brat Anne Marie and his bestie Itchy. See below this moving scene.

    Love comes in the form of friendship also..

    “We need to talk.”

    There is nothing more stomach twisting than this message.

    In the past I have been ghosted. I have ghosted people. If I sense in the slightest that I am about to get dumped I dive in there first to be the dumper due to my stupid ego.

    Have you ever been dumped via song? I have. To this whopper:

    I am in fact still friends with this person to this day.

    My heart turned in to stone and I am more stubborn than I realise. My previous track record of romantic rejections, heartache, guilt and jealousy hardened me in the romantic aspect of life. I used and upset people because I had repressed hurt from what I considered love. I never wanted to love again because I could not handle the aftermath of emotional instability and the length of time it took me to recover from. I didn’t want to let anyone in. I didn’t realise I was in fact unwell and undiagnosed. I admit I am not the easiest person to deal with in a relationship and take full accountability for my past behaviours and I can now laugh at most of them lol.

    For Valentines day my partner and I went to see Ghost at the Grosvenor cinema. This was an unexpectedly organised by me. I thought to myself- I better start making an effort and stop self sabotaging myself which affects those around me. I had secretely dabbled back in to the Rom Com game earlier in February when I watched Dirty Dancing for the first time in years.

    In many ways I relate to Sam and his inability to say ‘I love you’ instead of Ditto. Maybe he had been burnt before too. To conclude, to this day I still give Ghost 10/10. If a film has the ability to make you laugh and cry in 2023 at the Grosvenor Cinema sniffling away 23 years later then in my opinion it is a classic. Tune in for tomorrows review of Friends With Benefits starring Justin Timberlake and the stunning Mila Kunas.

    Do you think you can have a FWB relationship without emotional attachments? I have tried and failed many times and fallen flat on my face. Why? Because deep down I am a lover not a stoic. And I love love in all aspects. And you know what? I am now cool with that. And kids today need to learn about love, the birds and the bees (to a certain extent) respect and common decency instead of Gender ID. Parents should be warned in advance and give their consent to such lessons. Schools nowadays are just ticking dangerous boxes. My son asked me if he could watch South Park, I said no. It’s misogynistic. I said he could watch Ghost or All Dogs go to Heaven. His eyes told me to go to hell lol. xx