An Evening with Chris Hadfield

With the concert hall packed and the embarrassment of not being able to find the ladies, daughter and mum sat down in the Royal Concert Hall Glasgow to hear Col Chris Hadfield. I’d heard him sing in 2005, when he was the lead singer of Max Q, the most elite band as you have to be an astronaut to be a member.
He was inspiring, and at the end daughter captured the song for which he is now famous.

Thanks for an inspiring night Chris Hadfield, and a great idea for a night out daughter!

Chris Hadfield has lived a life that most people can only dream of. As well as serving as an astronaut and Chief CAPCOM for over 25 shuttle missions for NASA and being an international celebrity, he has also had the remarkable privilege to see Earth in a way that truly alters one’s perspective.

Millions followed Chris’s news-making twitter feed from the International Space Station. There he showcased breathtaking photographs of the planet, while at the same time using his extensive knowledge of geography and geology to teach important lessons on the processes that shaped the continents we call our home.


New Year Resolved

Well what have you set as your target in this New Year?

  • Lose weight (or mass for a Physicist!),
  • Spend less,
  • exercise more?

What about making some different resolutions? Maybe choose something from the list below. You don’t have to make up resolutions on the first of January, what about being different and doing something new at any time of the year?

        1. Set a target to learn something new every day. Maybe keep a note of what you’ve learned.
        2. Read more. What about trying to read something new, different, out of your comfort zone etc.? You’d be surprised at the link between your performance in exams and life and your language skills. Readers tend to have better literacy skills.
        3. Be more grateful. Sometimes it is so easy to get caught up in what we are doing that we forget what others are doing for us. Think of all the people today who have got you through the day, e.g the people who made your clothes, washed you, fed you, drove you to school, served you in the shops, stacked the shelves so food would be there for you. It is so easy to pass through the day without giving a thought to others. If someone has helped you get through the day give them a thank you. You might just make their day!
        4. Set aside time to fulfil your dreams. Now unless you want to be a top sportsperson, like several of my former pupils, it ought to be in moderation. Think what you would like to achieve in life, then ask for advice and help in the best way to achieve it. Then go for it!
        5. Don’t judge others. I’m sure most of you have never read this but I think this is a great way to live your life.

           The Message (MSG) A Simple Guide for Behaviour Matthew: 7 v 1-5 “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbour’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole travelling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbour”.

          Here’s some honesty here. I’ve only just got to grips with this one. I apologize if I’ve judged you. It is none of my business, unless I am marking your exam! I’ve certainly been judged in return and very harshly at times, just as I have harshly judged others. You do indeed get back what you dish out, so dish out some positivity and get some of that back!

        6. Enjoy little things. Are you someone that judges things by how much they cost? If you are then you could be missing out on some wonderful experiences. See if you can have a good day out with friends without spending anything. What about agreeing with friends to make something for a gift instead of buying something and then try to make something that uses your time, skills and would be appreciated by your friend.
        7. Stop Procrastinating. Are you someone who waits for the last moment to do homework? Do you wait until the last minute to do any task? What about trying to do something as soon as you are given the task. Get out there and do what needs doing; it is likely to change your outlook on life.
        8. Be resilient. Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. There are plenty of websites devoted to building resilience but some things on the list include good family and friend relationships, realise you can’t always change things so look beyond the present to what can be achieved in the future, take decisive action when faced with problems rather than running away. Keep a hopeful outlook and take care of yourself. Your friends can come from many areas of society and any age. When I was younger I had a family that I could go to, they weren’t my parents and they weren’t my peers. They were great at giving sensible advice and unprejudiced.
        9. Give back to others and start volunteering. It is when you realise that there are the bulk of the world’s population that are worse off than us that we can be grateful, so go and give back to the world for all it has given you. Try seeing if you can volunteer in a care home, go and offer to do the shopping for a neighbour etc. There are so many people that would love your time and skills. How Rich am I?
        10. Play more. You’re never to old to play, laugh, and make others laugh.
        11. See the beauty outside. If like me you live in the countryside get out more, listen for the birds and try to identify their song, look for hills. Make your own I-spy book of things you’d like to see, deer, badgers, hills, orchids etc. Look out for all the different types of grasses and stop thinking grass is just the green stuff. Until you stop and take note of your surroundings you will miss so much.
        12. And if you can’t manage these, still be good to yourself. Don’t bash yourself for things you can’t do but start looking at what you can achieve and let that cheer you. Lots of people in social media and on TV only show you a part of their life- it isn’t real.

      Happy 2018! I’m off for a walk.



Olive Grace Meakin


Driving down to my former home to try to catch a last goodbye to mum. All I can hope is that I get there in time. No, I’m not driving, I drove the first bit to Scotch Corner.

Currently I can’t shed a tear as I’m too numb, but the journey has me thinking. I love education and think it is one of the most important parts of a society, but who educates you to be a mum? It’s ok if you had a great role model, but what happens if you don’t? How do you break that cycle? How do you learn the skills? Who guides you on right or wrong, especially when each child is different?

I’ve not always found my mum one who opens up easily, she’s a very private person but I know she did her best and really wanted the best for her children, and grandchildren. What more can you do? Likewise, I suppose as a daughter I’ve not always been the one you’d choose as a daughter, but you don’t appreciate how hard a job motherhood is until you try it yourself. Not sure I did motherhood as well as my mum, I certainly didn’t show the selfless sacrifice she did for her children..

So as we race to the hospital, mum, I want you to know, “Thank you for loving me, thank you for teaching me about life, and thank you for all the sacrifices you made for me, i hope I didn’t let you down.”

Now I’m shedding tears in buckets.

We got there in time as did the family who drove through the Channel Tunnel and we said our goodbyes.

We’ll all miss you mum, you were wonderfully and fearfully made.

Well that just about wraps it up!

13th July 2017!

Don’t you just love Christmas shopping when you’ve got the time? I am surrounded by wrapping paper and a pile of gifts, I think nearly all of my Christmas shopping is done, just a few last bits to do. It is so much less stressful buying gifts at this time of year than when people aren’t pushing around in the streets, there isn’t horrible Christmas music-makeyousic, and the panic hasn’t set in! It also saves a fortune on postage, which I don’t like paying after my Christmas gifts to Malawi went missing and my insurance cover only included someone sign for the parcel! Never mind if it was the signature was from the person to whom the parcel was addressed! They didn’t even know who signed for it SO WATCH what you pay for!

All I need now is to know I’ve chosen things people will like! Happy Christmas family, and expect to collected those gifts  from the Midlands in the next six weeks!

The New £1 coin

Have you been given one? Mr Physics got three over a week ago in his Sainsbury’s change. I am still waiting for one, and lots of people around here are waiting too. Many still haven’t seen the new £1. I am sure there is a Scientific experiment to be carried out into the way the coin is being distributed. I suspect many in the big cities have already forgotten what the old £1 coin looks like, but here they just haven’t reached us. Is this the banks? Are we not spending enough? I’d assumed that each bank would be given new coins and rapidly the old ones would be taken out of circulation. Have they been passed around in Carlisle? They’re certainly in Kirkintilloch now, and the Co-op in town has had a few, but they’ve been supplied by visitors.

Well, I am not going to go searching for one, and I have seen them, but I will be keeping note of when my first new £1 coin is handed over to me, I hope I don’t miss it! Shall I keep it or spend it?

P.S. when buying my last creme egg from Benmar Garage and trying to claim my car wash vouchers I finally got my first new £1 coin. Now I need to decide what to do with it. Then my 82 year old babysitter gave me coin number 2. They are now in circulation, although I think it’s mainly the tourists that have brought them in. Do tell me when you get one.

The Royal Mint Website gives the following details:

The current £1 coin is being replaced for the first time in over thirty years because of its vulnerability to sophisticated counterfeiters.

My comment to this is how do we know which ones are counterfeit? I think most of the £1 coins that we get are counterfeit. Why do they change them so much?

Approximately one in thirty £1 coins in circulation is a counterfeit.

That is why the Royal Mint are introducing a new, highly secure coin on 28 March 2017 to reduce the costs of counterfeits to businesses and the taxpayer.

I wonder if the money has got as far as Cornwall and Orkney yet too- you can see from the map above why it is taken some time to fill the massive gap between coins delivered to Liverpool and Glasgow. What is the reason that Sittingbourne got a delivery of the new coins?

Changing dimensions

The new 12-sided £1 coin’s dimensions are different from the current round £1 coin.
Thickness: 2.8mm it is thinner than the round £1 coin.
Weight: 8.75g it is lighter than the round £1 coin.
Diameter: 23.43mm  it is slightly larger than the round £1 coin, the maximum diameter (point to point) is 23.43mm.

The new coin has a number of features that make it much more difficult to counterfeit.

12-sidedits distinctive shape makes it instantly recognisable, even by touch.

Bimetallicit is made of two metals. The outer ring is gold coloured (nickel-brass) and the inner ring is silver coloured (nickel-plated alloy).

Latent image it has an image like a hologram that changes from a ‘£’ symbol to the number ‘1’ when the coin is seen from different angles.

Micro-lettering  it has very small lettering on the lower inside rim on both sides of the coin. One pound on the obverse “heads” side and the year of production on the reverse “tails” side, for example 2016 or 2017.

Milled edges it has grooves on alternate sides.

Hidden high security feature a high security feature is built into the coin to protect it from counterfeiting in the future.

11 facts about the new £1 coin

  1. It has 12 sides, reminiscent of the old threepenny piece.
  2. It is bimetallic – made of two metals.
  3. It has alternating milled and smooth edges.
  4. The Royal Mint consulted with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to assess any impact for the visually impaired in relation to identifying the new £1 coin. User testing showed that the 12 sides of the new £1 coin and the milled edges made it easier to identify.
  5. It has a latent image; a bit like a hologram, the image changes from a ‘£’ symbol to the number ‘1’ when the coin is seen from different angles.
  6. It has micro-lettering on both sides of the coin – this is the first time micro-lettering like this has appeared on a UK coin.
  7. It also has a hidden high security feature, which replicates bank note level security for the first time on a coin, developed by The Royal Mint.
  8. The new pound coin features the fifth effigy of Her Majesty The Queen by Royal Mint Coin Designer Jody Clark.
  9. The new £1 coin will be thinner, lighter and slightly larger than the round pound; it is 2.8mm thick, has a diameter of 23.43mm and weighs 8.75g.
  10. The new pound coin was used for the coin toss at English Premiership League games on 18/19 March.
  11. While the coin enters circulation in 2017, you’ll be able to find new £1 coins dated 2016 and 2017 – as production began last year.


On the Cut

…..and finally the weather was good, the boat was respectable so it was off to the cut. It has been a long time since Mostly Harmless got to blast her engines out on the canal.

Mr Physics was in charge of getting us out of the marina and a turn to port to travel to the stables, one of the horse changing places when there was a rush to get passengers from Edinburgh to Glasgow in just under seven hours.

When you get on the cut it is like the canal water gently washes away all the worries and concerns, and all you can focus on is the comforting quiet hum of a deep engine ticking over without strain and the birds calling a warning in the trees. Suddenly, because you are on a boat, people stop along the towpath and want to wave at you. Funnily, you want to wave back! Now would you wave at someone as they walked passed on the towpath? No neither would I: so why the urgent desire to wave and be recognised when slowly cruising on a boat at walking pace? It is lovely to make people smile. There isn’t enough traffic on the canal so that a boat is still a rarity, although the number of hire boats has increased thanks to the Kelpies and the Falkirk Wheel. Talking of increased traffic, as Mrs Physics was dropped off on the pontoon to take some photos of Mostly Harmless to show she really was moving a Black Prince hire boat came under Townhead Bridge. Capturing the two boats passing on this stretch of the canal is unusual.

Mrs Physics, carefully guided by Mr Physics brought the boat back home to the marina, just as the wind was picking up. You can’t begin to imagine how hard it is manoeuvring 17 tonnes of 2.1 m wide, 17m long steel when the wind hits you side on. Vector addition really is seen here. Mrs Physics even got compliments about how she carefully reversed on to the pontoon and switched off the engine without crash, bang or screams. Mr Physics will never know what that encouragement meant. So maybe after several years I am getting the knack of this steering. I wish I could do a helmsman course to prove it.

I hope all you students doing exams are working hard, but also getting time to relax. It is vital to recharge your batteries (literally in the case of Mostly Harmless), switch in to the world around you and put life in context.

Well chilled! Now I can start catching up with all the work that needs doing!

Inspiring Words for Young People

Mrs Physics has collated some inspiration quotes for young people. I hope that you find something here to grasp on to when things are going bad or well, and to remember that life can get better. Just know when to ask for help and when to share your success. People have an in-built desire to be needed, so ask if you feel you can’t deal with it; someone is there to help you through.

I was born to achieve

I create my own destiny

Champions are people like me.

I will love and respect myself every day of my life.

It’s not what happens in life, it’s my reaction to what happens.

My positive thoughts lead to positive actions.

All the resources I will ever need are within me.

Problems are opportunities that make me stronger.

Treating people with respect will assure my future.

Leaders are learners.


To laugh -is to risk appearing the fool

To weep -is to risk being called sentimental

To reach out to another -is to risk involvement

To expose feelings -is to risk showing your true self

To place your ideas and your dreams before the crowd -is to risk being called naive

To love -is to risk not being loved in return

To live -is to risk dying

To hope -is to risk despair

To try -is to risk failure

But risks must be taken, because the greatest risk in life is to risk nothing

The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing

He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow or love

Chained by his certitude, he is a slave; he has forfeited his freedom

Only the person who risks is truly free.

Dr Leo Buscaglia

Qualities of a Great Teenager

You have a strong character and will never give in to peer pressure.

You know you are unique. You know that no-one else is exactly like you.

You are totally focussed on your goals and objectives.

You know exactly where you are going in the world.

You have the ability to get back on your feet when life throws you down.

You have respect for every human being irrespective of colour, creed, country or religion.

You know that Knowledge is important to you future and the future of you kids.

You know the difference between right and wrong.

You respect and you give more than you take.

You know your life will be a mirror reflection of how you treat others.

You know that personal sacrifices now will pay for dividends later.

You know that gangs are for followers and not for leaders.

You know that drugs and excessive alcohol could ruin your life.

You know deep down that you have talents, skills and abilities.

You are always a good friend striving to offer unconditional love.

You will be a great parent to your kids.

You know that success is down to determination, hard work and a positive mental attitude.

You know that when you are old you can look back and know your life was worthwhile.

Watch your thoughts they become your words.

Watch your words they become your actions.

Watch your actions they become your habits.

Watch your habits they become your character.

Watch your character it becomes your destiny.

We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.

SUCCESS To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a little better; whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

As we approach exam time, be inspired by these words. Do your best, you should never be embarrassed about doing your best, whatever the result.



End of Term

Well I made it to the end of term, but it was crawling to the end post. Although I must share the comments made by one of the staff, who is getting married during the holidays. I was signing out for two weeks and one day without having to go in to school, (although I am not sure I’ve ever managed to stay away for all of the holidays) when I had a cracking conversation over the signing out sheet. It went something like this

Mrs Physics, “So when is the big day?”

Groom-to-Be, “Tonight”

“Tonight? Surely not”

“Don’t you mean the lottery? Tonight I find out if I’ve won the millions.”

“Well will you still get married if you win the lottery?”

“That’s what the lady asked,” she said “Will you still love me if you win millions?”

To which the Groom-to-Be answered, “Yes, but I’ll miss you!”

That’s just what I needed to start the holidays, but I am still not in a making sense mode.
Its time to chill out, get some exercise and catch up. I hope Groom-To-Be has a great wedding and comes back after the holidays. Personally I’d rather you not win the lottery as you cheer me up on the cold dark mornings, but if you do spend it well!