Author: mfcuk2

Welcome! Why mfcuk2? Well, I'm not French but I do have connections! You have stumbled upon an extension of my thoughts that I gain from my everyday life or from social media. Sometimes I just feel the need to express myself and explore themes that just don't fit into 140 characters of a tweet. So here it is. THAT place! Feel free to explore. Feel free to let me know what you think too! You can choose to sit back or to contribute! Your choice!

Where are you really from?

Image taken from

This is going to be a long post. Something I rarely do in this forum. Buckle up…

Here are my considered words prompted by the recent incident at a Buckingham Palace function. I fully appreciate the issues and sensitivities around the ‘where are you really from?’ question. For some, it’s very personal. For some, it’s sometimes tiresome. Out of any particular context, it can also be initially confronting for some.

The ‘Where are you from?’ question used to be asked of me almost on a weekly basis when I first moved to NZ. One day, I was waiting for a bus and I’m approached by someone asking for a spare $2. I politely say no. He shakes my hand and says “Welcome to New Zealand!” The urge to shout “But I’ve lived in NZ for 4 and a half years!” was great, but he obviously couldn’t have or wouldn’t have know that… Assumptions are everything and nothing at the same time!

I can recall another instance when I used to catch the bus to work and I would often have the same driver. That day happened to be hot and sunny. The driver commented on the heat as part of his friendly banter and I politely agreed with him. He then said ‘Of course, you would be used to this heat where you come from.’ Before I even thought about it, my quick-as-a-flash, reflex answer was ‘What, you mean in London?’ My stock reply in these situations is always ‘London’. I replied that way, knowing I would get a funny look or people would squirm and invariably the questioning would abruptly stop.

Over time, I have quickly come to realised what people were really intended to ask me was ‘What is your lineage or whakapapa?’ I know now that this knowledge is really important to know here in Aotearoa New Zealand as it is how Māori establish their genealogy or line of descent of their ancestors. It’s seen as a positive thing and done in a positive way here in NZ.

But, coming back to this latest case, you would thought that given the event that this happened at was at a Buckingham Palace reception representing a UK charity which supports women of African and Caribbean heritage who have faced domestic and sexual abuse, the person involved in this embarrassing incident would have had the correct guidance or advice.

The line of questioning is undoubtedly borne out of ignorance. This person should have known better as she and others in that position have official advisers to let the know the score. It is true that in some cases, people in this position choose to either ignore any advice or not even seek the advice in the first place…

I get why the person questioned in this way decided to publicise this incident on social media. If you’ve been asked that question all of your life, the straw is metaphorically going to break the camel’s back at some point. With that, if it were me in her position, I would want to meet with the lady in question and accept her apology in a public forum. I would use that opportunity to educate.

I hope this long post goes some way to educate. Thankfully most people don’t live their life or think in this way. One day, these types of questions will hopefully cease and never happen again. The day that happens cannot come soon enough… 🙏


What’s in a Word(le)?

I think I can safely speak for the majority of us. I have constantly consider what we have all gone through in the last couple of years and how hard it has been for us all. It’s been a strange shift towards everyone expressing their opinions and thoughts on ‘doing the right thing’ in a time where the world is gripped in a pandemic. I have thought about how I’m going to deal with the last year or so without dwelling on all the negative energy. So, here is the way that I have chosen to put all of that aside.

I’ve been indulging in my new jam for the last 100 days… and that jam is Wordle! It’s great to have something to focus on for five minutes a day. (Or longer if the word is particularly awkward…) It’s great that it is the same word for everyone and that everyone around the world is doing it in unison. It’s great to share the results with friends and followers on social media. The small drawback is my mates living in the UK have to play catchup as our time zones mean that they are half a day behind me! But, most importantly, it’s harmless fun and I love it!

Wordle is one thing that has united the world in a way that no natural disaster, public protestor, peddled of misinformation or unfit for purpose political leader could ever do in the previous few years. But Wordle has also switched a lot of people off. Timelines filmed with black, yellow and green squares have also bought out the naysayers. It has made me consider, do I stop posting my results just to make a couple of people happy that they don’t have to see coloured squares on their feed anymore, or do I continue to post for the next 100 days? My response: I’m definitely in the ‘You do you and I will do me’ frame of mind. It’s a bit of fun, so feel free to mute, unfollow or unfriend me if Wordle really messes with your sensibilities. I’ll enjoy the fun. You can enjoy the silence…

#CommuteSoundtrack: Aug 2017

To quote a line from Pump Up The Volume by M/A/R/R/S, “This is a journey into sound…”

I’m continuing on from last month’s musical journey… Enjoy!

7 Aug: The Monday Throwback Edition – Robert Howard (Blow Monkeys) & Kym Mazelle – Wait!

7 Aug: The Monday Throwback Edition – Prefab Sprout – The Sound of Crying

8 Aug: Edie Brickell & New Bohemians – What I Am

8 Aug: The Christians – Forgotten Town

8 Aug: Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Enola Gay

8 Aug: Always On My Mind – Tiki Taane

9 Aug: Legend: Glen Campbell – Wichita Lineman

9 Aug: Tracey Ullman – They Don’t Know

10 Aug: #ThrowbackThursday – Blondie – Atomic

10 Aug: #ThrowbackThursday: Marc Almond & Gene Pitney – Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart

10 Aug: #ThrowbackThursday: Buffalo Gals – Malcolm McLaren

10 Aug: #ThrowbackThursday: Eurythmics – You Have Placed A Chill In My Heart

11 Aug: #FeelgoodFriday Edition – Lily Allen – Smile

11 Aug: The #FeelgoodFriday Edition 2 – Vanessa Paradis – Be My Baby

11 Aug: The #FeelgoodFriday Mashup – DJ Earworm – Summermash ’17

#BlastFromThePast: Soho – Hippychick

#BlastFromThePast: The Cardigans – Erase / Rewind



A Student’s Ability To Tell The Time On An Analogue Clock Is Now Outdated. Discuss. [5 marks]

So, here it is. We are in the 21st Century. It’s time to ‘get with the program’.

I’ve relented and bought in a new digital clock into my classroom. I’ve done this because every now and again I have students that ask me for the time and I always point to the wall at the analogue clock and say “There you go, the time is right there.” I would often get a bewildered look from some of these students, but I thought nothing of it.

Last week, another student ask me the time and I dutifully showed them where to find this out for themselves. I was not prepared for this out loud response: “But Mister, I legit don’t know how to read that clock!”

Now, some of you might not think telling the time on an analogue clock is an important thing to learn as ‘they all have mobile phones and they are all digital anyway.’ Here’s the thing: We are in the digital revolution but there are analogue dials everywhere in the form of car dashboards, pressure gauges, meters, town hall clocks… We are not suddenly going to get rid of them all overnight.

Learning the time on an analogue clock is just one of those things that I call a ‘basic life skill’. Just like learning how to count change out in a retail establishment, even though most people ‘payWave’ their purchases. Or learning how to use a dictionary is important, even though we can now ‘ask Siri’ to spell a word out for us. Or learning your Times tables and fractions as this is a foundation for working out problems involving numbers. Or learning to tie your shoelaces, even though some kids might only wear slip on shoes or Velcro trainers. Or learning how to punctuate and be grammatically correct is also important, even though we actively encourage students to ‘Bring Your Own Device’ and use Google Docs has that ‘funny red wavy line’ that tells you there is an error but most kids just click the ‘Ignore’ option without reading the pop up message. Or learning how to use a pen for the same reasons as my previous point…

So, I’m opening up this conversation and my thoughts to you all to consider and comment on. What do you think? It’s important for me to point out that we don’t have to agree on this, as the world would be boring if we all did. However, I personally believe there is still a place for these things for life!


UPDATE: 01/06/2019

It appears that you CAN teach an old dog new tricks! One of my students pointed something out to me that I had never thought about before. They told me that they work out the time by simply looking at the number where the minute hand is and then multiply that number by five. I instinctively just know the time by sight. Maybe this is the result of rote learning? Who knows…

Coincidentally, a friend sent this link to me on Facebook. I thought I’d share it with you… Enjoy!

Jimmy Kimmel – Can Young People Read a Clock?

B&W: #NoExplanation #NoPeople

No explanation, no people…

This is my take on the FB trend where you’re asked to do a thing and you nominate a person to do a thing. I normally decline these requests but as this was about posting B&W photos for a week. This challenge was gonna be easy for me as I’ve done this for a year already

So, seven days and seven black and white photos have turned into seven photos plus another 24 in ‘full colour’.

Here for you to enjoy!








From this point, I decided to up the stakes and post some ‘full colour’ monochromatic shots…

























#CommuteSoundtrack: August 2017

MalHeadphones2To quote a line from Pump Up The Volume by M/A/R/R/S, “This is a journey into sound…”

I’m continuing on from last month’s musical journey  with some more classics and personal musical favourites. These are selected for the pleasure of the music. Plenty of good vibes intended to brighten up any social media timeline… Enjoy!

7 August: The Monday Throwback Edition Robert Howard (Blow Monkeys) & Kym Mazelle – Wait!

7 August: The Monday Throwback Edition Prefab Sprout – The Sound of Crying

8 August: Edie Brickell & New Bohemians – What I Am

8 August: The Christians – Forgotten Town

8 August: Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Enola Gay

8 August: Always On My Mind by Tiki Taane

9 August: RIP to the Legend…  Glen Campbell – Wichita Lineman

9 August: Tracey Ullman – They Don’t Know

10 August: #ThrowbackThursday: Blondie – Atomic

10 August: #ThrowbackThursday: Marc Almond & Gene Pitney – Something`s Gotten Hold Of My Heart

10 August: #ThrowbackThursday: Buffalo Gals – Malcolm McLaren

10 August: #ThrowbackThursday: Eurythmics – You Have Placed A Chill In My Heart

11 August: #FeelgoodFriday Edition: Lily Allen – Smile

11 August: #FeelgoodFriday Edition 2: Vanessa Paradis – Be My Baby

11 August: #FeelgoodFriday Mashup: DJ Earworm – Summermash ’17

11 August: #BlastFromThePast: Soho – Hippychick

11 August: #BlastFromThePast: The Cardigans – Erase / Rewind

11 August: #BlastFromThePast: (With the war of words between USA and North Korea, I’m hoping this isn’t about to happen…) Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Two Tribes

11 August: #BlastFromThePast: Talk Talk – Talk Talk

14 August: The ‘Kiwi Classic’ Edition: OMC – How Bizarre

14 August: #MondayMotivation: Deep Dish feat Everything But The Girl – The Future Of The Future

14 August: #MondayMotivation: Lighthouse Family – Lovin’ Every Minute

15 August: The #TuesdayRushHour Edition: a-ha – Take On Me

15 August: The #TuesdayRushHour Edition: INXS – Need You Tonight

15 August: The #TuesdayRushHour Edition: Finley Quaye feat. William Orbit – Dice

15 August: The #TuesdayRushHour Edition: Hurts – Better Than Love

15 August: The #TuesdayRushHour Edition: Soul II Soul – Back To Life

18 August: The #FeelgoodFriday Edition: The (English) Beat – Can’t Get Used To Losing You

18 August: The #FeelgoodFriday Edition: The Specials – A Message To You Rudy

18 August: The #FeelgoodFriday Edition: The Beloved – Your Love Takes Me Higher

18 August: The #FeelgoodFriday Edition: Daniel Bedingfield- Gotta Get Thru This

21 August: The Monday ‘Back To Work’ Edition: Pet Shop Boys with Dusty Springfield – What Have I Done To Deserve This

21 August: The Monday ‘Back To Work’ Edition: A Flock Of Seagulls – Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You)

21 August: The Monday ‘Home Time’ Edition: White Town – Your Woman

21 August: The Monday ‘Home Time’ Edition: Gwen Stefani – Hollaback Girl

21 August: The Monday ‘Home Time’ Edition: Robyn ‘With Every Heartbeat’

21 August: The Monday ‘Home Time’ Edition: Alexis Jordan – Happiness

22 August: Tuesday ‘Classic’ Edition: MGMT – Kids

22 August: Tuesday ‘Classic’ Edition: Hellogoodbye – Here (In Your Arms)

22 August: Tuesday ‘Classic’ Edition: Calvin Harris – Acceptable in the 80’s

22 August: Home Time: Swedish House Mafia – Miami 2 Ibiza ft. Tinie Tempah

22 August: Home Time: Peter Gabriel – Games Without Frontiers

22 August: Home Time: Radiohead – Creep

23 August: Hump Day Special Big Audio Dynamite – E=MC2

23 August: Hump Day Special The (English) Beat: “Save It For Later”

24 August: #ThrowbackThursday: Lorraine – I Feel It

24 August: #ThrowbackThursday: Duffy – Mercy

24 August: #ThrowbackThursday: The Cardigans – My Favourite Game

24 August: #ThrowbackThursday PM Edition: Adamski & Seal – Killer

24 August: #ThrowbackThursday PM Edition: Beats International – Dub Be Good To Me

25 August: #FeelgoodFriday AM Edition: Des’ree – You Gotta Be

25 August: #FeelgoodFriday AM Edition: Sydney Youngblood – Sit And Wait

25 August: #FeelgoodFriday PM Edition: Usher – DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love ft. Pitbull

25 August: #FeelgoodFriday PM Edition: Saint Etienne – Only Love Can Break Your Heart

25 August: #FeelgoodFriday PM Edition: Lady Gaga – Paparazzi

25 August: #FeelgoodFriday PM Edition: The Cure – Close To Me

25 August: #FeelgoodFriday PM Edition: Wheatus – Teenage Dirtbag

28 August: The ‘There’s Nothing Like A Bit Of Goth On A Monday Morning’ Edition: Sisters of Mercy – Dominion

28 August: The ‘Monday Dance Afternoon’ Edition: Kosheen – Catch

28 August: The ‘Monday Dance Afternoon’ Edition: Groove Armada – Superstylin’

28 August: The ‘Monday Dance Afternoon’ Edition: Robert Miles – Children

29 August: Blast From The Past: The Shamen – Progen 91 (Move Any Mountain)

29 August: Blast From The Past: Leftfield/Lydon – Open Up

29 August: Blast From The Past: Praise You – Fatboy Slim

30 August: The ‘Hump Day Blast From The Past’ Edition: Double Trouble ft. Rebel MC – Street Tuff

30 August: The ‘Hump Day Blast From The Past’ PM Edition: Chicane feat. Bryan Adams “Don’t Give Up”

30 August: The ‘Hump Day Blast From The Past’ PM Edition: Electronic – Getting Away With It

31 August: #ThrowbackThursday: S’Express – Theme from S’Express

31 August: #ThrowbackThursday: The KLF – Justified and Ancient (Stand By The JAMs)

31 August: #ThrowbackThursday: Snoop Dogg – Signs Ft. Charlie Wilson & Justin Timberlake

31 August: #ThrowbackThursday: De’lacy – Hideaway

#CommuteSoundtrack: June/July 2017

I’m really enjoying listening to my iPod on my commute to and from work lately. Here’s a selection from the last month or so… It’s a lot more pleasurable than a constant feed of ‘repeat news‘. Enjoy!

30 June: The Friday Edition – The Beloved – Sweet Harmony

30 June: The Friday Edition 2 – Talk Talk – Living In Another World

30 June: The Friday Edition 3 – Prefab Sprout – If You Don’t Love Me

30 June: The Friday Edition 4 – Stock Aitken Waterman – Roadblock

30 June: The Friday Edition 5 – The Associates – Party Fears Two

6 July: The Pop Playlist Edition 1 – Madonna – Justify My Love

6 July: The Pop Playlist Edition 2 – Scritti Politti – Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin)

6 July: The Pop Playlist Edition 3 – The Primitives – Crash

6 July: The Pop Playlist Edition 4 – McAlmont & Butler – Yes

7 July: The Friday AM Edition – Nelly Furtado – Promiscuous ft. Timbaland

7 July: The ‘iPod Random Shuffle’ Edition – The Blow Monkeys – The Day After You

20 July: The Laidback Edition – Groove Armada – At The River

21 July: I’ve become so numb… RIP Chester – Linkin Park – Numb

28 July: The ‘Long Time No Hear’ Edition – Tears For Fears – Mother’s Talk

No More ‘News’


It has taken me the best part of a month to write this post. There have been a few major news items that have dominated the headlines and made this difficult for me to be neutral. No doubt, there will be something I have overlooked. I have probably overthought this but I *think* I’ve now got the wording right… Oh well, here goes!

On the morning of Friday 9th June, I quietly made the decision to stop following all ‘news’ feeds on Facebook. This means I’m saying farewell to ‘reputable’ news outlets like BBC and the Guardian from the UK and the NZ Herald and Newshub here in NZ. (You can forget the other extremist ‘news’ outlets like ‘The Pun’ or ‘Daily Fail’ which I have never followed.) 

My rejection of news sources on Facebook is about ‘having a rest’. I have had enough of the media rhetoric. I don’t want to have to endure the sensationalist ‘clickbait journalism’ anymore. I’m also over the effects of the echo chamber that social media has now become. 

It’s been over a month now and I have to say Facebook is a different, more pleasant experience for me. I’m relieved to not have to troll through endless versions of the same story fed to me by the ‘distorted algorithm’. I’m now viewing far more posts from real people. Life through the lens of FB is good again. 

I get the impression that people don’t want to see the news stories that I repost as I don’t get any ‘likes’ for them. I also don’t want to repost them as this contributes to the information overload. By not reading the news in my FB feed, I’ve found out my likeminded friends actually have a voice and I’m even enjoying reading the opinions of my not so likeminded friends. 

But to come back to why I’ve typically had enough of reading the news for now, take a look at the following example of what has become of the ‘neutral’ press: 

It’s not for me to tell you how to think. I leave you to draw your own conclusions on this. For me, the above article by Five Filters speaks for itself. For me, this is the straw that has broken the camel’s back. For me, it highlights just how wrong the media outlets have been with recent events in the US and UK. It also leaves me to ponder on where do I now go to read unbiased news stories easily and for free? 

At some point in the future, the news outlets may make a return to my FB feed. Maybe this enforced ban is here to stay. I’m inclined to think that at least for now, I’m better off without the white noise… 

“Slactivism Of The Lowest Order”

I’m going to keep this post as short and as simple as I can.

Whilst I know the intentions of all the ‘Please share for the awareness of…’ memes that occupy social media space are of good intentions, I have to agree with the sentiment of the above screenshot.

This is just my opinion. I’m going to use the following analogy to illustrate it. Facebook statuses of this nature are like wallpaper. One ‘pattern’ or message is repeated and ends up blending into the same pattern (or another one) and the good intention the message is conveying just gets lost.

Please read the message in this screenshot. It was written by a friend of mine who lost someone dear to him not so long ago. The message could easily apply to any number of other illnesses or diseases or states of mind. If you can, where you can, you should donate your money or time or unwanted goods to charity if you want to help out.

I’m happy to be put straight on this matter. Please let me know if you disagree with what I say here.

Thanks for reading.

My week on @PeopleofNZ 

If you know me well, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of the concept of Twitter. I like how I’ve made professional connections and that I can use the networking capabilities I’ve experienced for professional development.  I like how interactions can grow organically and how personal connections can be made without ever meeting who you connect with. But lately I’ve had a bit of a love/hate relationship with how social media in general, has recently taken over the ability for everyone to freely express their own opinions without undue criticism or unpleasant ‘trolling’.

For me personally, Twitter used to be informative and a bit of fun and a place of discovery and connection. It’s now an echo chamber of opinions and misinformation that I don’t seem to be enjoying anymore.

So, many months ago, I decided to sign up for curating the ‘People of NZ’ Twitter account. I thought it would be a great way to get a snapshot of the different people that occupy this online space. I have a bit of time on my daily commute to and from work, so what better way to while away the journey…

Now, I’ve kept my sign-up to this as a secret from mostly everyone I know… My week at the helm of this social media experience has just finished. I made this small announcement beforehand:

I was quite nervous of being the custodian of the account for the week. I didn’t want to stuff up the experience for the regular followers of @PeopleofNZ.

My aim for the week was to be honest and fun and light hearted. I did have a loose idea what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it, but I didn’t want to meticulously plan the week out either. A reassuring tweet from the administrator and words of support put me at ease…

On the morning of Monday 7th May, I started ny tenure off with this tweet:
Then this:

I’ve really enjoyed being part of this. Some of the conversation threads have been really easy to engage with…

What podcasts I’m listening to…

Some of the pictures I take every day…

Activities at school…

Pet pictures…

Robust debates…

Learning more Maori language in Aotearoa…

Random stuff…

Chocolate preferences…



Music and going to gigs…

And the odd serious topic…

Oh, and #PicOfTheDay…

The weather…  (Dylan Reeve replied to my tweet!)

I think people have enjoyed my thoughts…

This process has made me realise I need to have a rethink of exactly what I want out of Twitter…

The ‘People of NZ’ have a love for fun, humour and integrity. They also have a social conscience and a sense of caring.

My ‘week of tweets’ has been fun and not a burden at all… I’d recommend it to anyone that can spare the time. So, that was that. Time to say this:

Thanks for giving me the opportunity NZ… Until next time!

UPDATE: 26/01/20

I’ve nearly finished my second stint at curating this Twitter feed.

I’m proud to have been the kaitiaki of this account. Most of what I said above is still valid. It’s been fun. I’ll probably document my progress in a separate post… Or maybe not?