Where are the Oompa Loompas? In Latin

After a couple of days of slacking off, I am paying the piper this week already. Running, running, running around, and not even winning any prizes.

Which hardly seems fair.

I have been invigilating exams and sorting out libraries and listening to children read. I have been to the real library to make sure I am not going to pay fines on books I didn’t really enjoy. Always chafes that.

I have picked small boy up from Latin class where apparently he dressed in a toga. I asked him what the experience was like and he said: ‘One side of me was very warm. One side of me was very cold and then the hot and the cold met in the middle of my chest like this (thumps himself dramatically in the chest) and then it went all swirly.’

I wonder if Julius Caesar ever had these problems?

He also learned how to ask the way to the forum in Latin, which is very handy here in Leicester, where we have no forums of any kind. It would have been better perhaps to ask the way to John Lewis, although I doubt the Romans were too familiar with their store. I wonder what the Latin for ‘Never knowingly undersold’ is?

Tallulah has been to Cadbury World on a school trip. I was taking bets on whether she would throw up in the coach on the way home after indulging too freely in the delights of chocolate. Apparently she did not throw up at all, but Maryam made up for it by hurling, and that was on the way there when there had been no chocolate imbibed.


I can imagine the joy experienced by the teachers, and the thrills of anticipation as to what would happen on the way back.

I’m so glad I was too busy to volunteer to help.

When Tallulah was about three, we took her and Tilly to Cadbury World in the run up to Christmas. Tallulah was incredibly excited about the whole experience, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was her favourite film at the time (‘Keep your eyes on the prize, Violet,’ was a mantra for her for about two years, along with: ‘My humps, my humps, my lovely lady lumps – Check it out.’). She was absolutely chomping at the bit and ran into the building like a thing possessed when we arrived.

When it did not look like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory and there was a distinct lack of Oompa Loompas she went absolutely raving bananas and sulked for the entire duration of the visit. We have a photograph of her sitting on Santa’s knee looking as if she is plotting the imminent destruction of Cadbury World and its environs. Santa looks a bit nervous. It is a brilliant photograph.

Today though she decided it was great, despite having taken ‘agin’ it from an early age. It’s amazing what the lure of a carrier bag of free chocolate will do once the initial disappointment has worn off.

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