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Bill Hicks takes a weekly look at the hot topics in the TES chatrooms

Oh how we love the Easter holidays here at the TES website. While the paper shrinks, and the magazines take a short break, we see a rush of teachers, students, ex-teachers, teacher-baiters, heads, and TAs, all with plenty to say and plenty of time to say it in.

"Holidays" is maybe not the word. Many of you were at the union conferences, and discussed them in the way that only conference delegates can. Jammers (on the NUT event in Gateshead): "Good conference, wasn't it? Did you make a speech?"

2I269: "I had a card in against a reference back amendment, but it was way down the list. To be honest, given the way the two execs argued against the amendment, I was lucky not to have to step into the breach."

Our old friend pettya was there, too: "I made a speech. I was the Scottish woman who spoke on the main motion on sickness."

2I269: "Dark hair, pale green top - was that you?" Pettya: "NO, I wasn't wearing a green top, I was wearing a navy blue tshirt and tracksuit bottoms."

We might not have pictures, but our multi-channel service does boast many real-time, real-life soap operas. For those who have been following the angry jedijanemk romance, here's an update. Thanks to angry jedi's wireless laptop, and with easytiger acting as anchor, we were treated to a live outside broadcast from Heathrow Airport last Tuesday evening, where the now famous e-couple were to meet, fleetingly, for the first time.

AJ, at 7.12pm: "I'm waiting for Jane! Her flight was delayed a little so she's meeting me in Departures at our gate instead of at Arrivals. She should be landing at 19:15. I'm so excited!!!!! I'm so nervous!!!!!!!!!"

AJ at 7.15pm: "Thirty seconds! Timer bar is flashing. Going now! Wish us luck!"

Ladymary (a wellwisher) at 7.16 pm: "xxxxxxxxjaneajxxxxxxxxx everything crossed for you two to have a terrific time... bless."

And then - silence! And more silence. Friends gathered on the thread, biting their virtual fingernails, until, almost a day later, Hellvixen announced she had received a "communication" from AJ: "All appears to have gone well." This was amply confirmed when AJ himself wafted into the forums on March 31: "Jane, if you're reading, you're everything I hoped you would be and I can't wait to see you again." Lovely.

Happily, AJ and janemk will meet again in Manchester on April 9, at a gathering of TES forum users. It's all your doing, your party, but you have generously agreed that TES web staff might attend. (If this means nothing to you, read "Let's organise a get-together" and "Manchester get-together - name list" in the Personal forum). Maybe see you there.

Bill Hicks is editor of the TES website:

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