Golly and gosh I get ever so excited when a new student arrives mid-term. Don’t ask me why because I simply cannot say how such an enthusiasm takes its hold of me.  So you can imagine how I felt when the headmistress told me that little Blessing Tinibo, an orphan who had just arrived from Africa would be placed under my care – pure unadulterated joy.

Obviously it was ever so important that young Blessing settled in nicely here at St Winifred the Clubfoot’s Primary School after him enduring such difficult times of late. After a jolly good think I decided that I’d nominate one of my more outgoing children to look after the new boy and show him about the place.  Although he can be irksome on occasions I took the view that street wise Denis Thuggery would be Blessing’s ideal companion.

And thus it was that Blessing arrived on Monday just gone. I introduced him to all the other kids and then we all sang (well belted out if the truth be told) our song of greetings to him – ‘There’ll always be an England’ was a spot on choice in my book.

After that I took Denis to one side and told him that Blessing would be in his care and that he had to be nice to him. Denis’s first reaction took me aback. He said that in his opinion Blessing had only come to England to steal ‘our’ jobs. I had to point at that at 9 years old it was beyond the realms of possibility that Blessing would be seeking gainful employment. Denis thereafter gave me a quizzical look and said, “What you mean I’m going to be kinda like……sort of… know what I mean… I’ll be his minder? Like in the gangster films?” I confirmed that ‘yes’ there would I suppose be certain similarities.

That’s when Denis said, “Do I get a shooter then….you know to guard him with?”

“No Denis we don’t allow guns on the premises you know that very well.”

“What about a baseball bat?”

“No Denis.”

“A knuckle duster then?”

“No Denis.”

“Fuck me Miss how do you expect me to be a proper minder without any hardware – my Dad always gets tooled up when he’s on a job.”

So I reminded Denis that he was by far and away the toughest kid in the school let alone his year group and that most of the staff were scared of him also. He perked up after that and tapping the side of his nose with his forefinger as well as giving me a wink said that I needn’t worry because no harm would come to Blessing under his watch. See – I have this gift for enthusing even the most reticent children. I don’t know how I do it really.

The pair of them became instant chums – a friendship that I suspect will last a lifetime. They even meet up after school; how wonderful is that? Just last evening I spotted them both at a street corner selling (no doubt on behalf of a charity or such like) or handing out for free – I couldn’t tell from my vantage point – what appeared to be little packets of sherbet. They were plainly having such fun in each other’s company that it fairly warmed the cockles of this school mistress’ heart.

So optimistic of the success of their bonding am I, I knocked out a swift poem.


Denis has more front than Buckingham Palace

Yet is endowed with a heart of gold

He gives his time to his new best friend

And that is a sight to behold


For Blessing’s had bad luck you know

He lost his mum and dad

But Denis will make things brighter

And then Blessing won’t be sad!


There, that was a belter wasn’t it. I’m popping off now to deliver signed and framed copies of this poem to both little rascals.

Must be off – jolly hockey sticks and all that.





      1. I get the idea upper class British people, men anyway, believe they get their ideas through osmosis–it would be wrong to read a book when they could be riding or walking or hunting. And the women, though beautiful, seem more like faded grils…took tour of Eton–much to my English friend’s consternation, he was like “Oh Gawd!”–and tour guide said women didn’t care that they couldn’t go to Eton as it was tradition not to. (Guide was a woman in a Laura Ashley type dress, mother of a former student.) I did see where Guy Fawkes’s brother Morgan carved his initials into a desk…

      2. You capture the British stereotype perfectly. There remains – although not as profound as in Victorian times – a class divide here. Whereas it was once upper or lower class the onset of industry and the rise of socialism did create a middle class of relative normality – thankfully. Notwithstanding in the upper classes chaps and gals play out their respective roles as you describe to a large extent even now.

      3. As u have probably figured out, I really like to study Brits; it’s my hobby, LOL. But a lot of the middle middle class sort of have become American (kids watch a lot of Disney TV, their accents are kind of flat, etc) so I wonder if they will remain much of a bastion? Anyhow, thanx for indulging me! “Have a great day” as we say.

    1. With the Port of Dover just along the coast from here I feel sure many fathers will say that – illegals galore yet oddly the ones I’ve met on my travels are well educated people often with better English than the so called ‘locals’ of our mongrel breed.

  1. I always love Miss Juniper! But Denis needs a trip to the woodshed! 😉 This one was awesome as always! 😀 (Though you lost me on the packets of sherbet…I’m dense sometimes.)

      1. Rachel you’d be lost as a junkie in the UK – I hasten to add I know you’re not a junkie of course – for here sherbet comes as white powder in a packet and you dip sticky licorice (?) sticks into it. I can see the confusion now!

      2. Oh! That’s called Fun Dip here! Sherbet here is fruit flavored ice cream! LOL! Now I can see why you thought I was losing it!
        I guess it’s like how our cookies are your biscuits and our biscuits are your scones And our scones are your…??? I don’t know.

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