Tag Archives: plus ça change

Mill Hill (Public) School, London, My Ol’ Alma Mater, Gets First Female Headmaster, Mrs Frances King.

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.

by Anura Guruge

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From my favorite newspaper, the U.K. “Daily Mail”. Click to access Mrs. King article.

Wow! Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose (the more things change, the more they stay the same) sure does NOT apply here. First female head — of what used to be, even when I entered, kicking and screaming, in 1969, an all boys school. Yes, in my last year, two years later, they did let in some 6 young ladies, strictly as day scholars. But the boarding school was still all male.

We didn’t even really have any female teachers. Yes, there was a female that taught, just “Use of English”, and she did that on an ad hoc basis in that she was the then Headmaster’s wife, Mrs. Hart. She was American to boot. Savor the irony. The only female teacher at an all boys school teaching “Use of English” was a Yank. A very nice one at that — probably because she was American. She was the first person to encourage me to write. I wonder if she is around. It would give her a kick to see what happened to her unruly student.

The new female head is the Mrs Frances King, who from the quick Googling I did (when I heard the news, via an e-mail) is quite famous for leaving Britain in a huff, for Switzerland, because she was was not happy with the prevailing British attitude to private schooling. Not sure why she is coming back. Is she implying that things have changed. I doubt it.

That she was Headmistress at Roedean is kind of funny. In my short time at Mill Hill, before I was summarily expelled, Roedean epitomized the snooty girl’s boarding schools that we loved to make fun of — along the lines of “OK girls, lights out, candles in …”. What can I say. We were teenagers. I will, however, spare you the sound effects.

That her Bachelor’s is in theology from Oxford is also interesting. Theology? Wow.

Of course the school is not the same as what it was 44 years ago. A female head will certainly be different. I wish all of them the best.

We Went To ‘Story Land’ (Glen, N.H.) Today. A Uplifting, Fun Day As Ever. A Very N.H. Treasure.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.storyland

Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE.

Any day at ‘Story Land‘ (providing it is not pelting down with rain), as is the case with the Laconia Multicultural Day, is a good day by definition, though the caveat is a bit redundant since ‘they’ really do try hard to make one’s visit to Glen fulfilling and rewarding. Kids love it. “Story Land” and “Clark’s Trading Post” are my perennial favorite amusement spots in N.H. (albeit I preferring the latter by a tad because I love the bears, like the train and enjoyed the Segways the last time I was there, though I did not thoroughly trust them not to deposit me, unceremoniously, on my face). But, given a choice, with Devanee at a 12-night camp, Teischan, as we expected, plumped for ‘Story Land’. She has been a few times and remembers that she liked the overall experience. We did go to “Santa’s Village” in 2011 — but that was a hike. Really felt like you were driving to the North Pole. Story Land, 65 miles from home, is just right.

Talking of ‘just right’ today was a Goldilocks’ day: the weather was just right as were the crowds. Right smack bang in the middle.

We try to go to Story Land at least every other year but it is possible that we haven’t been as of 2010 — with the 2011 diversion to Santa’s Village.

P1040604A few new things in particular: Splash Battle, the re-done Loopylab & Imagination Theatre. But, the catchy French adage, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose (the more things change, the more they stay the same) really applies in vengeance to Story Land — and that is NOT a bad thing; it is really part of its abiding magic. Deanna used to go to Story Land as a child with her Dad. Given the 17-year age span of my kids, I have been taking kids to Story Land since the 1990s. So we have mental images of Story Land and in reality it maintains a reassuring continuity despite the gallant efforts to reinvigorate. They try and for that they do deserve kudos.
The Pharaoh’s Reign ‘Splash Battle’ is essentially their ever popular Dr. Geyser’s Remarkable Raft Ride on steroids. Now you really do get soaked. But now they have Fully Body dryers. I want one for the house. If it accepted credit cards I would have used multiple times and being who I am invited others to join us in getting dry.

The revamped Loopylab is ball pit with semi-rigid foam balls — without the pit. It is a load of fun. I stood around catching balls coming my way. It was just like fielding practice — the only thing being that you couldn’t move too much because there were kids underfoot. I think they should bring the Sri Lanka cricket team over here to practice their catching with these balls. Might help.

The Hanneford Circus (which has nothing to do with the Hannaford Supermarkets, though I didn’t spot the difference in spelling) had three world-class acts — two done by the same, amazing, and I mean amazing young man — who may be from Argentina (as is the pope). I will do a separate post on the circus. It was beyond impressive.

If you haven’t been to Story Land of late give yourself a treat, get up there this year. You will have a ball and get soaked.

This young man, who did this balancing act today, is beyond amazing. He can juggle and balance. Both at extremely high levels -- and I don't mean just the height. He is world class.

This young man, who did this balancing act today, is beyond amazing. He can juggle and balance. Both at extremely high levels — and I don’t mean just the height. He is world class. From the ‘Hanneford Circus’ Web site at http://hannefordcircus.com/