I read with sadness that Mrs Angry, the famous Barnet blogger has flu. Here's a specail blog to cheer her up - she may be a famous Barnet blogger and scourge of MetPro group of companies, and has been a fearless campaigner for decency, honesty and common sense in Barnet. You may think that nothing at all scares Mrs Angry. You would be wrong. There are two (and a half) words that can reduce this otherwise fearless champion of the Barnet underclass (ie everyone who isn't a Tory Councillor) to a gibbering wreck. How do I know this? Because those words will have a similar effect on me. Not just me, but a whole generation of Roman Catholics raised in Mill Hill. The words - "Miss O'Donovan".
If ever two people who attended St Vincents School in the 1940's through to the 1970's meet for a drink, at some point this name will come up. A few years ago, their was an advertising campaign where celebrities recalled their favourite teacher and how they influenced them. Is it any coincidence that two out of the famous five bloggers in Barnet studied at the feet of Miss O'Donovan? I was once discussing Dr Who with an ex classmate, who happened to be a Dr Who nut. I jokingly said that Terry Nation was an ex St Vincents pupil and he based the Daleks on Miss O'Donovan. He went strangely quiet and just said "Oh, I should have realised". Throughout all of my schooling I was naughty and constantly in trouble. Except for one year. I would have been six when I was in Miss O'Donovans class. Nobody was ever naughty in Miss O'Donovans class, because retribution was instant and painful. It was also often deeply psychological. There were many teachers during my schooling who were liberal with the cane. It really didn't bother me. With Miss O'Donovan it was always different, if it had just been being hit on the knuckles with the thin edge of the ruler, I could have taken that. It was the psychological build up which really hurt. It was the fact that you'd be called to the front of the class and all your classmates would look on, thankful that it was you not them. Miss O'Donovan believed in equality. Boys and Girls were equally treated. I had a massive disadvantage over most of my classmates, as I was dyslexic. I'd be called to the front of the class to read out words on the blackboard. I'd get them wrong. I'd get the ruler and a ritual humiliation.
But the good news was, like a blast furnace, once you'd been taught as a child by Miss O'Donovan, nothing could scare you. I am sure that at the time, persecution was part of the Catholic education ethos. Prepare the kids for pain, humiliation and martyrdom. I had often thought it strange that both Mrs Angry and myself learned our craft in the class of Miss O'Donovan. As I read her descriptions of the shenanigans of our council, I realise our education was all part of Gods plan. Little did I know that all those years ago, he was steeling us for a challenge that only someone taught through hardship and persecution could maintain. I have this message to Coleman et all. You really haven't got a clue who or what you are dealing with.
I hope Mrs Angry feels better soon and I hope whereever Miss O'Donovan is now, she has a great Xmas.