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Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Soap 'n' a Ringo

Tracy, a sometime visitor (not to be confused with Tracey) and commentator on m'blog mentioned in a comment how she would appreciate my invaluable insights into soap.

We're not just talking about any kind of soap here, but Imperial Leather.

It's the stupid bloody label on this type of soap which is exercising Tracy, and I don't blame her.

What is the f*cking point of a label on a bar of soap? 
It will invariably wash off when the soap is used for it's main purpose (more anon) and end up blocking the drain, or being wrapped around the little yellow floating plastic duck in the bath.

It's insane, a complete waste of time and effort in trying to make their product look exclusive and expensive.  Some poor bloody designer has sat down and actually laid out the specifications for the label.
Border: Gold
Background: Black
Lettering: Gold
Additional Details: Gold and Silver crest, Red wavy lines
Main text above crest: Cussons
Minor Text below crest: Imperial Leather.


I KNOW IT'S Imperial Leather.  I bought the bloody stuff.

And while we're on it, why the name.

Imperial Leather (Originally "Imperial Russian Leather")

Why Leather?
Not too good for the complexion

I can sort of understand Imperial, sounds grand, good for persuading Joe Public to part with a few pennies extra, to "buy quality", but Leather?

Do they want us to think it was derived from Saddle Soap?

Is it any good for cleaning Leather?
Was it made from the bits of leather rejected by the shoe industry?

Farewll my love

I used to buy the stuff.  This was before my Beloved took over all the domestic buying decisions, which is why I never see real butter, cream, full fat cheese, bacon or hash browns any more, but when I used to buy the Imperial Leather, it was for a rather esoteric reason.

I didn't buy it because it gave an extra soft and luxuriant lather.
I didn't buy it because I liked the aroma of its delicate innermost oils and unguents.
I bought it because of its shape.

It's the only soap which has rather angular edges, and that's the reason I bought the stuff.

I used it for my ironing.

Now before any reader (if such fabled creatures actually exist) starts thinking that TSB has lost his marbles completely (I know that many think I'm at least partly off the rails) there was a specialist function in use here.

No, I didn't heat the stuff up and try to iron my shirts with it, that's just plain daft.

I used it for my creases. 

In the Army, you learn all sorts of rather weird and wonderful techniques for doing things.  Methods which have been passed down from times immemorial, from Sergeant to recruit, from old soldiers to the young innocents.

Soap is an invaluable aid in attaining razor sharp and lasting creases in trousers, blouses and shirts.(You use it on the inside of the garment, silly)

The sharp angles on the Imperial Leather bar of soap make it possible to get accurate and sharp lines.

Changing of the guard after a bad rainstorm

There is unfortunately a tendency for the garments to foam slightly when on parade in the rain, but those times were (thankfully) rare. 

So please, any Gods of Soap out there, STOP USING LABELS

You know it makes sense.

Ringo strikes again

The guy's just got a special talent.

He was out again today, but I didn't know it until I arrived at Nuova Lazio High School this morning.

I spotted an email from him , and thought (as I always think when I see his name on the header)



It turned out that he was going to be away all day, AND that he had prepared no rolls, no relief cover,

Admittedly, to be fair (and I always try to be fair, regardless of who is involved) he had only one class.

It's what we call an elective class, where the students, for one period a fortnight, choose something extra offered by our teachers.  Something off the normal curriculum.

He was offering Philosophy!

He thought another teacher was going to be covering the class, but the person involved said NO, it definitely wasn't going to be her, and that he'd got it wrong.  Again.

So one of our relievers was going to turn up and discuss Philosophy with a bunch of kids.

I suggested an investigation of the finer points of Stoicism, demonstrated perhaps by her having the whole class standing outside in the pouring, freezing rain, and NOT COMPLAINING.


Pity he couldn't have been there as well.


  1. Interesting. Why would you bring in a reliever for jsut one period?? Now good old Bob W would have been good for Philosophy or that and Religon.

    We had our own official mass torture seesion occur today for the Juniors - In driving rain and hypothermic weather up here. The Junior Cross Country Run. This arvo. On what has been the coldest day this year so far. And as our dear former NLHS colleague had planned. Oh the poor wee mites. NO wonder I had a lot of absences from my junior classes today, with many more pending as the wee dears were trying to invent sudden illness and ailments to get them out of their annual torture session. Aren't the PE dept great! Gotta love their staunch - Harden up Pussies attitude. WHne the going gets tough, the tough get going as they say...

    1. VG, I didn't I had a reliever in for 4 spells, and offered her another to make up a full day.
      The Cross Country Run...the one time when I'll happily sign a sick note for any kid that wants one. It isn't really sane to go running in ice cold rain. Sure, i did it in my Army days, but i lnew what I was getting into when I signed up.

      They're just schoolkids for goodness sake.

      The PE dept are a bunch of hyperactive psychopaths. Be careful. Harden up Pussies has so many meanings and conotations that you now face prosecution under the Obscene Publications Act of 1936.

    2. Yeah exactly. I did feel sorry fo rhte poor wee mites. I even told them I as a MOther would not allow my children to do such a run in such extreme weather.

      Today would have been a much better day for it as the sun is shining and the rainhas stopped.
      THose puddles along the stop back though are still quite treacherous, as htey run along there and through Bartons Bush and loop back around onto the roads back to school. Plenty of hazards that is for sure.

      Yeah stuff the PE Department. We hardly ever see them as they hide out in their new Mansion downthe other end of the school, complete with
      their own modern heated kitchen and mess room. Talk about spoilt!

    3. VG: I agree, I wouldn't have allowed my kids to go in that weather. About the only hazard in Barton's Bush is the amount of dog poo ;ying about.

      What the heck is a heated kitchen?
      Do enlighten me.

  2. "A reliever" goodness me, that sounds like the children are being offered something not normally featuring on a formal curriculum!

    1. Ah, but the NZ curriculum is extremely forward thinking. We're often told it's the best in the world. Mostly by the Ministry of Education funnily enough. This is also the Ministry which is advocating a substantial increase in class sizes to improve education???
      Just like most politicians...full of shit.

      Did I ever tell you that Ringo used to work at the Ministry?

    2. That makes sense.

      And apparently... "The Education Index, published with the UN's Human Development Index in 2008, based on data from 2006, lists Finland as 0.993, amongst the highest in the world, tied for first with Denmark, Australia and New Zealand."

      Class sizes in Finland "are rarely more than twenty". When I was teaching in London I had 34!

      (Wikipedia entry on Education in Finland)

    3. It's nice to know we're returning to the "Good Old Days"
      Oh, and they're going to introduce Performance Related pay

    4. No perverse incentive for less ethical teachers to help the wee chaps with their exams and coursework there then...

    5. Interested to see how this one is goign to pan out. Big class size - screw that. 30 is too many already, and I can't deal with giving them the best learning environment and the best quality teaching. Looks like my anticipated return to full-time permanent teaching is no longer going to happen.
      I will just carry on as is - releivng, short term or casual days. No incentive now to put myself through the "Cremator" and burn out again like I did 3 years ago. I'll take teh easy road thatnks of" all care and no responsibility". My health and sanity are wayt oo important to put myself through any of this nonsense. I feel for those of you out there who are not in a position to choose however. I anticiaiapte a lot of unhappy teachers over htis and a lot prepared to walk lak if it ever ver gets implemented. This policyHsi could cost the government the next elcetion in my opinion. THey need to get in touvch with the reality of the chalkface and the challenges of teaching today's learners. SOrry about the typos. My delete key is not working!

    6. VG: I'm not sure. This National Government is pretty much set on "getting value for money", and their new Minister of Education seems much more intelligent than the last incumbent (which isn't that difficult, as the last one made a rock lok bright.

    7. Shackleford Hurtmore: That is obviously a weakness, but we don't have that much spare time to do much, anyway we're professionals *giggle* who would never dream of doing such a thing.*snort*

  3. We really must meet this Ringo person...if only to see why you consider him a right bastard. (Australians reserve the right to swear during normal conversation, it's a historical thing) Any chance of some photos? maybe just a pic of the bloodstained soil where you bury him..

    1. No you really don't want to meet him. Trust me.

      I don't mind the bastard, the phrase I meant of course not the person. I've discovered that here in NZ, "bugger" is used almost as a term of endearment.
      No, no photos. I put one photo of him on the blog a couple of years ago, and a colleague pointed out that while I could argue that all of the stuff I write about Ringo could probably be ruled as a work of fiction, and not actionable, a real photo of him would be enough to send me to court.

      The other picture idea is a great one.

      I'll see what I can do. Anything to make someone happy.

    2. That's my plan if I'm ever unmasked: "What! You thought that blog entry was about yourself? How silly! You aren't a bounder and a cad. You must have self-esteem issues. It's obviously about someone else entirely."

    3. The need for a pic drove me to a school website that would appear to be NL's - fun matching the faces to the stories. I met one of ypur colleagues socially many years ago - he was already an arrogant pratt way back then. Funny how scum always rises to the top ......

    4. Shackleford Hurtmore: Sounds sort of feasable, but I don't think I could use it. Trying to say "You're not a bounder and a cad" to Ringo would stick in my throat.

    5. Tracey: Hmm... I wonder what you made of them. Did you recognise me?
      I'm the distinguished gentleman with a full head of red hair and I'm missing my left ear.

      Oh, I almost forgot, I've got a huge scar down the left side of my face.

      I wonder which one is the arrogant pratt? Intriguing.

      It is surprising how some at the top are such complete wankers. But not all. We've got some good ones at NLHS

  4. Yes, need to see pics of Ringo. I've never thought so much about soap, particularly Imperial leather in all my 50 years. And whatever did happen to that soap on a rope, seemed such a good idea at the time...

    1. I'd never thought much about it either, but Tracy, an anonymous commenter had asked me to do a rant about the bloody labels, so I gave it a go.

      I don't know what happened to soap on a rope either. I did have one a while back, but they seem to have almost vanished now, probably replaced with expensive shower gels.

      The other Tracey has indicated that she has a pretty good idea of what Ringo looks like.

      I did have a picture of him on the blog a while ago.

      Here's the link. Take your pick.

  5. Replies
    1. Thank you so much SH. I sent the link to all of the teachers in the school.

      I now feel fear.

  6. Hi there, Twisted Scottish Bastard

    Thank you for your take on Imperial Leather. I enjoyed reading every word. I'm sorry I haven't commented for a while but I got Internet Overdose. I tend to read voraciously for a few days and then I just have to abandon the computer altogether for a while. Strange, I know. I love your blog. Do you know that yours is the only blog written by a male that I really like. I've tried many a time to get into a man's blog - just to get inside the mind of a guy and to open my mind a bit. Unfortunately I can never get beyond the first post before I hit the close button. Some have really interesting, catchy names like the one that has something to do with Jesus being angry; but once you visit it, there is just really not much to it. Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that I like the way you play with words. I read your blog with Billy Connoly's (sp?) voice in my head.


    1. Hi Tracy, glad you liked it.
      I'm sorry if it didn't quite reach the stratospheric heights of an anti-Ringo rant, but I tried.
      I like your comments, they're quite different form the norm.
      Funnily you should mention "The Big Yin"
      We both come from Glasgow and are about the same age, but I went to a "posh" school (Hillhead High) and he didn't. so I think my voice is just a wee bit "posher" than his.
      Think more Sean Connery, even though Sean came from that Pit of Hell called Edinburgh (Glaswegians and Edinburgers don't really get on)

      Nice to hear from you again. Take care.


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