Debbie goes back to school and how to annoy a dog!


Debbie and her niece Jodie How long is it since you set foot in a school for any other reason than being a parent? This week I took a class – of sorts – when my niece who teaches there asked me to help out!

Plus – how to annoy a dog – I'm sorry Holly but it was funny and I couldn't resist!

Also – prove to yourself that you're cleverer than you think you are – what is this word – GITAOLH?

Debbie talks to the class Ooo – it was back to school this week for me! My niece Jodie (Miss Flint to you!) and her class of 8-year-olds have been studying the 'powers of persuasion', so who was the person she called to come help explain how to use them? Yours truly!

I've never done it before, so considering I'd be looking for a TiFFT (Try It For the First Time event) for  June, I thought 'why not'? The kids at a school not far from me in Dorking had all apparently been looking forward to having a visitor in the classroom and I thought I'd make it more interesting by bringing in some of our products for them to look at – including the TSV camera from last weekend which well-impressed some of the boys!

Homemade business card and voucher And some of them well-impressed me! One lad in particular, Dylan, had donned a little tie and made himself a business card – bless! And another team had made a little voucher to go with the task Jodie had set.

The task was to design and advertise a robot. From doing the housework to making your tea, their ideas were many and varied. In small groups they presented their posters, sometimes with quirky little voices and even props – really delightful! Jodie – sorry, Miss Flint! – had explained to them about having some reasons to buy it built in, and to make it attention-grabbing and interesting.

Winning and second-place posters The winner for me, then, was a little group who thought up a fabulous intro to their presentation where one of them asked a question at the start, and the other one nodded her head – real proper 'infomercial' stylee! Lol. And their ending was cool too – similar to what you hear on adverts! Plus there were even props built in to the clever little poster they'd designed.

Runner-up posters It was very entertaining and thoroughly novel – their poster above is on the left – you can see the ticker tape attached to the front like a print-out – cool! Next to it is the runner up, which was a jelly-producing robot – which the kids liked best. Well done to all of them. Here are the other groups' posters too – I think they all loved the whole exercise and I was very impressed with my little niece Jodie too. So proud of her – bless.

School logo This is her first teaching job but she handles her little class very well – their hands shot up when they wanted to speak rather than just shouting out, plus they used clever little techniques like starting everyone clapping when it was time to sit down. No raised voices anywhere! Very impressed with the lovely little school too – unusual name, but very friendly staff and pleasant atmosphere – I'd have been proud to have either of my kids there. Thank you to everyone for having me!

How to annoy a dog
I have to show you this little clip of my eldest pog Holly in the back garden during the recent burst of sunny weather – you may recall last year's blogs with videos of her in 'her' paddling pool – she just loves the way it cools her down. But this year I've discovered another way of keeping her amused – or is it keeping me amused? Lol…



And finally… what does 'GITAOLH’ mean?!
A little mind-teaser for you! Remember the speed reading course blog a few weeks back? Well Alex the course tutor keeps our minds ticking over by sending through occasional emails with points to ponder.

When I was re-reading (speedily, natch!) some of his coursework I came across  this – it's much easier to understand a jumbled word when you see it in context, when you've got the bigger picture. Read this – can you understand it?
                                      'Dviad and Gitaolh fuohgt a mhtgiy bttale in fnrot of the crwod'
 Amazing huh! Ahhh – so THAT'S what it means!

If you can understand it, it really goes to show how utterly amazing the brain can be – if you read it first time easily, leave a comment below with what you think it is! (and don't read anyone else's response before you reply!)

You see, as long as the first and last letters are in place, if a word is taken in the context of a whole sentence, then the brain sees it as a whole, automatically deduces meaning and uncannily unscrambles! So you can even decipher gbobegoodelk!

I was quite pleased with that chunk of information as it helps me trust my brain to start reading faster. As Alex said in his literature – 'now you konw what you hvae to do to bgein radineg mcuh mroe ectviffely and taht is to srtat gopnirug wdros tgoetehr.' Give it a go and see if it helps you read faster!

Next week…
Book cover tease Talking of reading, considering how well-received the previous blog about author Elizabeth Chadwick was, watch out soon for news of a fabulous new writer's first offering. Here's a teaser – 'shifting between the world of wig and gown and a fraught home-life, this new book is by a brilliant new author who has insider information on being a top female barrister in London. Her heroine is in for a shock following the news she hears one night from her husband of 20 years. It's for every woman trying to juggle both work and home, and worried they're failing at both'. : – )

I have a feeling it's also going to generate a very unusual TiFFT for me too…

Till next time,


  1. Michelle Roberts June 2, 2011 at 3:20 pm -  Reply

    Debs, Fantastic blog as always!! David and Goliath fought a mighty battle in front of the crowd,surprised myself with this one, normally not very good at these sort of brain things!!
    How great to spend time with your niece and a bunch of children, i think 8 year old chidren are delightful, they seem keen to learn and just great fun to have around,i don’t have chidren of my own but my nephew is 8 this month and i pick him up from school once a week and we have tea together, he really makes my week, we have such a laugh and he loves my cooking he says it’s better than his mother(But we don’t tell her that lol)
    Holly is so like Molly (Potatoe head yorkie) who doesn’t do an awful lot in her lazy life until the paddling pool comes out then she is like a water baby, the other dogs hate the water.
    All for now and wait for this we have sun here in North Wales
    PS Debs you would of made a fab teacher too!!

  2. Gail June 2, 2011 at 3:25 pm -  Reply

    the paddling pool episode with Holly is g8, just can’t get my choc lab (LOUIS) to go near water unless horse’s r there(daft as a brush) the saying is
    DAVID AND GOLIATH FOUGHT A MIGHTY BATTLE IN FRONT OF A CROWD got it 1st time ah gold star to me
    love Gail x

  3. Pearl Emery June 3, 2011 at 10:54 am -  Reply

    Hi DEB, I think it says David and Goliath fought a mighty battle in front of the crowd. So glad you came back to Q V C,you have been missed,thanks for all the blogs they are great. Pearl

  4. Nigel June 4, 2011 at 11:21 pm -  Reply

    Deb’s, Talking of gobbledygook did you see the tweet qouted on BBC Click (4/6/11) :-
    ” 1T’5 73CHN1C4Lly 1mP0s51bL3 t0 g4g Any txt-b453d c0mmyoon1cashuns, r3gardle55 of the L4w ”
    Cheers, Nige

  5. debs flint June 7, 2011 at 12:05 am -  Reply

    Michelle – hope your nephew has fun! I’m looking after Izzy and Lara for the two days, but at least they’ve got playschool and afterschool activities to help give me a break… i mean, wear them out… I mean help them have fun! lol
    ps actually i did consider becoming a teacher – maybe i will one day once i’ve become an author and made my fortune – lolol!

  6. debs flint June 7, 2011 at 12:07 am -  Reply

    Gail – Yes gold star! lol – good luck with louis! If in doubt chuck in a bone! hehe!

  7. debs flint June 7, 2011 at 12:09 am -  Reply

    Thanks Pearl! you are right of course! How lovely of you and Gail to leave me a message! First of many I hope! Glad you enjoy the blogs! I know I should be writing my book but it’s a good distraction doing the weekly blogs! hehe!

  8. debs flint June 7, 2011 at 12:11 am -  Reply

    Nigel – fascinating isn’t it! I love seeing those things! No i didn’t catch it on click – bet LJ did tho!

  9. Caroline Jones June 7, 2011 at 1:48 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debs,
    I took one look at the jumbled message and saw straight away that it said ‘ David and Goliath fought a mighty battle in front of the crowd’ I love things like that so if you get any more let me know lol. I’ve finished both Liz Chadwick books now and thoroughly enjoyed them so will be looking for some more.
    Love n hugs
    Caz xx

  10. debs flint June 16, 2011 at 3:17 pm -  Reply

    Caz – cool! make sure you try ‘ophelia in pieces’ – am loving it! Author interview to follow on here soon!

  11. Caz Jones June 18, 2011 at 4:31 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debs,
    Thanks for the tip – I’ll certainly try it, and will look forward to the author interview too!
    Caz xxx

  12. Alex July 22, 2011 at 1:16 pm -  Reply

    Hi Debs,
    We learn so much when we teach… Well done and thanks for mentioning my work! Cheers, Alex

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