Archive for the 'Christmas' Category


ho-ho-hoI know – unheard of. But I am truly speechless. The Advent Fair… Well. What can I say. A turnout beyond our wildest dreams (or nightmares in the week before the event). At one point I went to go into the sports hall, turned around and came back out it was so packed.

Meanwhile, in the dining hall, the Winter Pimms was pouring down thirsty throats and washing down the hundreds of cakes brought in for Barbara to sell. Thank you Jo Hall for giving us her secret Pimms recipe (which entailed her pointing out that how to make it was written on the side of the bottle).

It’s now Wednesday and my feet still hurt. It was a long long day but we made much much money (£2100 at the last count but we will give you a proper final figure soon) and people seemed to be having lots of fun. Not least the Elves who took a fancy to the organic beer and less organic hot dogs. Other than that, they were very well behaved and their Elfin Grotto remained standing for the whole day – much to my relief having helped build it the  night before.

Instead of the hot dogs, they should have tried the BFB pies. Yum. I felt like Oliver as I stood in anticipation of getting some more. But they sold out. Thank you Teresa and the crew for the vegie treats but please make more next time. Failing that, give me the recipe.

The staff baby photo competition was practically impossible. Am wondering if in previous years the FBA funds have not gone on caviar for them as I suggested after the quiz, but on cosmetic surgery. They are a gorgeous lot after all. It can’t all be natural.

memories, like icing on a badly made cake can slip away...

memories, like icing on a badly made cake can slip away...

So now that the fake snow has settled and the tinsel is packed away until next year, we are not going to rest on our laurel wreaths but are meeting soon to unpick the whole thing and decide what went best, what didn’t go so good and come up with some ideas for next year – before the whole thing slips from our minds like the icing on a badly constructed Christmas Cake.

Does he look like an elf? Have some respect, son

Does he look like an elf? Have some respect, son

We’ve had lot s of feedback – No, we won’t do the blue drinks again, yes, there will be more for the children to buy next year and, in response to my own son’s analysis of the event, the biggest Elf was not Eric Leenders, Charlie’s dad and international banking expert, retail banking spokesperson for the Bank of England and regular contributor to Panarama, GMTV and the 10 O’clock news…


Les Posters est arrive!


copyright Guy Parker-Rees 2008

Excuse the lack of an accent on the school-girl french above. Don’t know how to put one in when in blog land.

However, yes, the posters with Guy Parker-Rees’ lovely pictures are here and ready for display around our environs.

Front windows would be lovely places to put them up. But if you are feeling coy, print one and put it somewhere else to remind you to come along on the day.


All you have to do is open up the document (PDF) choose a poster and print that page only. Unless you want all four! (Ignore page 5 – that’s for something else entirely and was scanned into the document in error!)


copyright Guy Parker-Rees 2008

Make mine a Pimms, darling


We’ve sent out a letter asking for volunteers for the Advent Fair. To make life easier, if you want to fill it in on line, try clicking advent-fair-volunteers-blog-download

Then you can email it back if you like to here.

Chin, chin

What a bunch of posters


On emptying the contents of his drawer at the end of term, one Balfour student's family was forced to abandon their home due to amount of letters he eventually brought back. An environmental health officer said: 'Gosh.'

With a bit of luck your child just may perhaps have brought home a poster for you to stick in your window about the Advent Fair. Great for colouring in and if you don’t fancy putting it on public display, it will adorn your fridge, noticeboard, fruit bowl (or wherever this stuff gets put) and remind you to come along with your spending money on the 29th.

Also on the little message attached was the promise to have colour ones to download at your end should the fancy take you. These will be on here as soon as possible so please check back before the end of the week (why not visit everyday?!). There are four lovely designs based around Guy Parker-Rees’ six cheeky Advent Fair characters. There’s a monkey, a pig, two animal tree decorations – a mouse and a penguin – plus another penguin with a snow penguin friend.

And me, I’ve got myself a banner for the fence but was too pathetic to struggle to put it up today. If you should see a woman wearing 6ft of wet white vinyl lying on the pavement outside the school tomorrow however having been knocked sideways by a sudden blast of wind, please help pick me up.

It’s a lottery!


According to the Brighton and Hove City Council, our innocent sounding raffle is actually a lottery. You need a license to run one of these. Although it sounds scary official, it is really just a plain old fashioned raffle. In the next day or so, we will be sending out our (fully licensed) raffle tickets for you to buy/sell.

There are truly some wonderful prizes this year. The biggest and top prize comes from the supremely generous Baker Street Bikes. Guess what it is!

Make sure that money and ticket stubbs are back with us via the black post box on the left  hand side of the outer lobby bit of the entrance by end of school pick up on Friday 28th November. Any later than that and we may miss them in the hurly burly of setting up the fair.

So if it’s a lottery, to coin a phrase – it could be you. But only if you enter the raffle!

We will even give you a table

The very beating heart of any fair are the stalls and to keep them raising thumping loads of money for the school, we need people to staff them.

Although tables are not strictly necessary, we like to use them

So we are currently on the prowl for people to volunteer an hour on the day of the Advent fair (2 – 5 Saturday November 29) to stand behind a table, smile and run various things like good old Hoopla, Guess the Weight of the cake and Whack the Rat.

Keep an eye on the notice board and check back here for info, but my cunning plan is that each class will run a stall and that way I can put my feet up and drink all the Pimms on the day.

Ah if only. Your help will mean that I get to serve some burgers and end the day smelling really bad.

Please get in touch if you haven’t already and let us know if you can help.

And if a friend approaches you in the playground and asks you to be on a stall (I’ve been delegating), just say YES. It couldn’t be simpler!

Irrational elf service

With the Christmas Fair now the Advent fair, our quandry is: what to do about Santa?

Clearly, he cant work during November when instead he will be sitting at home with his feet up waiting for the whole busy month of December to begin.

Fearing disappointment and not wanting to see the glum faces of the Balfour Juniors unable to hear his jolly cry of ho! ho! ho! and missing out on a visit to him in his grotto, we have decided to employ some elves instead. They too are at a lose end since their short-term temporary contract in Santa’s toy factory only kicks off on December 1.  It’s either the Advent fair or making shoes, they said.

So, in their own magical elfin home which will be installed for the day in Balfour Juniors on November 29, children can write their letters to Santa, post these in the special post box and leave with a small gift in anticipation of what will be left around their Christmas trees (which will also to be on sale at the Advent fair) on Christmas morning.

Fancy yourself as an Elf? Your dream can come true in 27 days when Elf Yourself once more charms bored office staff with their clever ways. And if that is not enough, why not get in touch with us. I’m sure we might have an opening for you…

Search the web and raise money for charity

Dates for your diary:

Friday 15th May is Quiz day! Well, evening. Get yourself a team together and get on down to the dining hall for 7.30. (Kick off around 8.00)

We need…

Why not…

Sign up to help with the FBA events - we've got the Summer Fair to plan and lots more to do before the end of this school year. Send as an email: or just click on the contact bit up there ^
May 2018
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A word from our ‘sponsors’:

It is truly wonderful the way that local businesses and those run by Balfour parents come up with brilliant ways to support our ventures.

If you would like to help out with prizes, donations and so forth in exchange for a warm fuzzy glow in your heart and your name on our leafelts and so forth, get in touch via the contact bit at the top.

Here are some of our generous supporters:

Baker Street Bikes
Ginger Lilly
Star Signs

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