Monday, 31 December 2007

Happy New Year!

I hope you've all had a brilliant Xmas, and are looking forward to next term. You'll find all the answers to the comprehensions up on 'How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Comprehension', and I'll be addding more tasks to the blog as we build up to the L.E.H. exam!

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Cat Pictures

Angry Cat Picture

Write your story based on this picture and email it to me! Don't forget to include the 'Messi wiggle'!

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

How To Leave a Comment

Some of you have been visiting the blog and can't remember how to leave comments. Here's a quick reminder how:

At the bottom of each post you will find the word 'Comments' in green. Click on 'Comments'.

You should now be able to see all the comments left for that category and be able to leave yours in the section entitled "Post a Comment".

Tell me how you're getting on with your writing over the Xmas break - and I'll write a response if you've got a problem with any of the tasks

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Merry Xmas

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Have a great holiday! Keep visiting the blog throughout the holidays for homework hints and fun stuff - oh, and don't forget to tell your friends and family about the Year Six Story Structure podcasts. Just click on the green 'podcast!' click to listen!

Sunday, 9 December 2007

The Falcons Year Six Pupil Podcast: Story Structure

This is an historic moment, girls! The brilliant Year Six have created the first ever Falcons School for Girls pupil podcast!
To listen, just click on the green link in 'podcasts!' box at the side of the page.

A podcast is an online radio show. Year Six used an Apple Mac programme, Garageband, to create their own podcast.

This podcast is all about story structure. You can learn more about story structure by clicking here.

You can also here the girls talking about Kinaesthetic learning, and listen to their 'Parts of Speech' clapping rhyme, the funky 'Comma song' and Kung-fu punctuation.

Want to create your own podcast? The exciting news is that both Year 5 and 4 will get the chance to create their own online radio show next term! Creating a podcast is brilliant fun, and it helps develop your auditory (speaking and listening) skills.

Feel free to tell the girls how much you enjoyed the show by clicking on 'comments'

Friday, 7 December 2007

Year 5 Homework - Secret HQ

After Xmas we are going to be looking at spy novels, because this is a brilliant way to learn about using suspense and action (techniques like suspense and action are great for making you think about your prose style)

Novelists often use models to help them 'picture' a location in their imagination (a bit like playing in a doll house!)

To prepare for this work, I would like you to design and build a secret hq.

Build a model of a secret hq. Here are some of the things you could include:

* Banks of computer screens
* A giant map of the world
* Secret doors or compartments
* Torture chamber (yuck!)
* Sharks!
* Henchmen/goons
* Evil pets
* Rockets
* Dwarf servant
* Desk
* Armchair with buttons

How you build the model is up to you! Here are some of the materials you might choose to use:
* Cardboard boxes painted over
* Sticky-back plastic
* Wood
* Paper mashed and glued
* Washing up bottles
* Model Paint

This video will give you some ideas (don't make Tracy Island, though! Just use the same techniques!)

Design the hq on paper before you start to construct it!

Be as imaginative as you can! Bring your model into class on your first day back after the holidays! We are going to base a series of stories in this location, so do a great job! There will be a small prize for the best model!

We'll photograph the models and stick them on the blog for the world to enjoy.

Year 6 girl on....Suspense!

Suspense is a special baldworm skill to really get the reader involved in the story. Suspense is used to build up the main part of the story. When using suspense you should use the following skills to create it:

1. Impact sentences( 3-4 words).
2. Fragments ( 1-2 words)
3. Having the character call out " Come out!"
4. Shown feelings.
5. Having the character reassuring themselves " Everything is going to be alright"
6. Creepy noises
7. Strange movements
8. Shadows and the cold
9. Have the characters heart beat

Snap. I spun around. Nothing. The ghostly wind howled past my face like whip lashes. The full-moon shone in the dark night sky. My stomach twisted into knots as I heard a wolf howl in the distance. I pulled my hood over my head and zipped up my coat up to my frozen chin. Bats fluttered around a lifeless tree. Snap.
" I will be ok. Its nothing ," I thought. I could sense that someone was following me. My heart pounded in its cage like a wild lion.
Snap. My head rolled.
"Maybe I am dreaming?" I thought.
" Come out now whoever you are. I know you are there!" I shouted. No reply. My voice just echoed in the forest. Something was hissing like a smoke bomb. But where?

Did you realise this author has used all of the skills while making a flow in the story?

By Clare Gibson and KD275

Year 6 - Story Structure revision

L.O. To revise story structure

Homework: Write your own version of a story entitled 'The Rose-Tinted Glasses'

Rose-tinted glasses (British, American & Australian, British)
If someone looks at something through rose-tinted glasses, they see only the pleasant parts of it, e.g. She has always looked at life through rose-tinted glasses.

Don't forget to follow our story structure. Revise it by clicking here

Oh, and keep your eyes peeled for the 'Year Six podcast' - coming to this site very soon!

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Year 6 - Carols

Please read your carol Bible reading to someone at home.

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Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Year Six - Podcast

Finish your script and be ready to start recording the first FSG podcast tomorrow!

Year 5 Non-fiction - Using Connectives in a Playscript

L.O. To include connectives in a discursive playscript

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Connectives are important tools for structuring your essays. You can use them in all your writing (including History, Geography, Science, Music etc.). You must include the following playscript in your discursive playscript:




in conclusion


as we have seen,

Feeling clever? Try to include the following connectives

critics of this plan have argued...

Homework: Write another playscript discussion, using as many of our connectives as you can! The topic is: ‘Children should be seen and not heard’ Should children always be quiet and well behaved? Should they give their opinions?’ Please highlight the connectives

P.S. Don't forget your spelling cards!

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Year 5 - Complete 'Apostrophe Common Errors' Cards

Please complete the 'common error' cards, ready to bring them in on Thursday for the game we're going to play with them! Check you've got 'your' and 'you're' right!

Click here to remind yourself of the original task!

Year Three - Publishing a Final Draft

L.O. To understand that a final draft is the 'finished' story, but that it can always be improved.

We planned and wrote a dinosaur story, and then improved it with a second draft. We are now going to write this story up on A4, ready to publish it in the classroom - but we can still make improvments (such as adding more shown feelings) as we copy out our second draft. Watch this video for further details:

Learn more about shown feelings by clicking here.

Homework: Copy out your dinosaur story, adding more shown feelings as you go. You may illustrate it with pencil crayon drawings, but don't spend too long on this - the most important thing is to make sure your writing is as good as it can possibly be. Due: Friday. We'll celebrate and share our work next Tuesday!

Year Six - Podcast Script

L.O. To revise story structure

We are creating a podcast. This will be hosted on, allowing everyone – from Year Three to your Gran in Germany – to hear your work! Brilliant!

We will record the podcast on Thursday and Friday. Remember to think about where you will include music and sound fx; use humour to grab your listener’s attention!

Here is an example of a podcast script:

SALLY: Welcome to the Year Six Story Structure Podcast, in association with

HIBA: We are going to teach you all about how to structure a story – and they’ll be lots of jokes and fun along the way!

SALLY: We’ll be giving you lots of examples, so you know exactly how to use the writer’s techniques we’ll be talking about!

HIBA: Here is an example of a brilliant opening line: “Don’t you dare move a muscle, or I’ll blow yer brains out!”

(Gun shot sound FX)

SALLY: Brilliant! But which writer’s techniques did she use?

Homework: Write some adverts for the podcast, using rhetorical techniques: rhetorical questions, positive language, ‘experts say’, and making the product - shampoo? chocolate? a car? - sound cool. Write it as a playscript, and don’t forget to think about sound fx. (You may find it useful to listen to Capital or Virgin before you start, so you can get an idea about how adverts use humour to grab the listener’s attention. Your advert should last thirty seconds or so. Write it as a script

We’ll only have time to use three of the adverts, so make yours as brilliant as you can!

Monday, 3 December 2007

Year 6 - Comprehension

Complete 11+ 'room' comp. Use the stopclock below to time yourself - 40 min. Your challenge? Make sure you finish all of the questions in 40 min!

Year 5 Comprehension - Italics

L.O. To understand that writer's use italics for (i) emphasis and (ii) thoughts

I love Sherlock Holmes!Click here to learn more about the world's greatest detective.

Complete the Holmes comprehension. Don't forget to click here to revise the questions about an author's use of italics.

You should also click here to revise P-E-Eing all over the page.

Year 4 Creative Writing - The First 15 lines of a Short Story

L.O. To understand that the first 1/2 page of a short story needs an exciting opening, a description of the location, dialogue and a description of one of the characters.

We have been learning about how to organise - structure - our ideas. A short story isn't a book - you've only got one-and-a-half sides of A4, so we are learning the most effective way to organise our ideas (we'll mess with this structure once we know it like the back of our hands). You can learn lots more about story structure by clicking here.

Try not to wait for me to tell you what to learn next - use to learn all about 'skills' and 'story structure'

Write the first 15 lines of an 'Escape' story. Make sure you follow our story structure.

Feeling clever? Remember to show, not tell! (Learn all about this by clicking here.)

Friday, 30 November 2007

Online Stopwatch

Use the online stopwatch you'll find by clicking here to time your writing at home over the long Xmas break.

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Year Five Creative Writing - Longer Description Competition Project

L.O. To revise the planning of a longer description, and to understand the need to include main verbs in passages of description

Last week you started to work on longer descriptions. Revise this work by clicking here. We'll be using your photographs next term to create a fantastic 'longer description' display (and anyone using a digital camera should keep the files, because we'll be uploading some of your photos onto a special 'longer description' blog!) Try to find the most visually interesting location you can find! Oh, and there is a prize for the best set of photographs (hint: try to capture five distinct elements of a single location)

I want you to take five photographs of a location. You can see above five pictures of Trafalgar Square. You'll need to bring them in on the first day back after the Xmas break

Miss Spurling has a blog!

Miss Spurling is online! Click here to visit her new blog, packed with links to useful sites! Don't forget to leave a comment saying what you've enjoyed!

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Year Six Creative Writing - Elegant Prose

L.O. To ensure you use an ‘elegant’ prose style when writing under timed conditions.

Your prose should be like Audrey Hepburn: elegant.

Tick off the following as you include it in your story:
 Impact sentence
 Compound sentence ( a sentence using the joining comma)
 Complex sentence (a sentence using the bracketing comma
 Brackets
 Colon
 Semi-colon
 Dash

Feeling clever? Try to include all of the above in the first fifteen lines of your story! This is not as easy as it sounds!

Homework: To redraft story written under timed conditions. You may choose to type this second draft. Focus on adding additional shown feelings.

Year Five Spellings - Confusing Words

Our spelling this week are 'confusing' words - common apostrophe errors that come up again and again in your stories!

Homework: Make cards for each of the common apostrophe error words, e.g. it's/its on one card, whose/who's on another. Draw a picture to illustrate the difference.

Click here to revise apostrophes (this includes a link to some fun games)

Click here to play a 'confusing words' game

Miss Nicholson's Music blog!

Click here to visit Miss Nicholson's music blog. Please leave her a comment, and tell her what you love about the site.

Don't forget to learn your carol words, too!

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Coming Soon to a Classroom Near You...

Get your Mum to sign you up for the first FSG pupil podcast today, Year Six girls!

Fun Stuff (sent by a Yr 6 girl!)

If you like this, there is something special coming very soon that you'll love... Keep your ears peeled!

Year 5 - Using Connectives

As a special treat, my cat, Mr Evelyn Paw, is setting tonight's homework:

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Connective words are used either in or between paragraphs to help to show the connection or relationship between one sentence and another. Used carefully, they can assist the reader in moving from one point to the next.

Connectives may be used to:

make comparisons or contrasts
add to an idea
express a result
explain or illustrate
arrange ideas in order, time or space.

Homework: Redraft one of the paragraphs in your last essay, but add in some of the connectives we discussed in class (don't forget the spelling test on them tomorrow!)

Year 6 - Poetry Comprehension

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Homework: Complete the Wycombe Abbey poetry comprehension.

Remember to comment on the following:

The Five Senses



Short vowel sounds
Long vowel sounds

Good luck!

Bracket raps!

Movement and songs can help us remember facts and information.

We created some raps to help us remember the correct use of brackets. Ask your class teacher to show you the Year Five bracket raps. They're in 'movies' in the school 's' drive!

Monday, 26 November 2007

Sister School French blog

One of our sister schools, Portland Place, has created their own language blog. Why not click here and visit - they've got a couple of cool videos!

Year Six - Semi-colon

L.O. To revise the use of the semi-colon

A semicolon is an economical way to join two sentences, and therefore two ideas, so that your reader sees the relationship.

The semicolon is another important tool you can use when you write. There are two ways to use this punctuation mark: as a connector between two sentences and as a 'supercomma'.

Comparisons are often used to emphasize a basic idea; however, they are more often used to explain something complex or unfamiliar by showing how something we don't understand relates to something we do.

Learn why it is important to use an interesting, varied prose style by clicking here.

WARNING: never glue two sentences together with only a comma. Grammarians call this sentence error a comma splice.

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Year Three Creative Writing - Redrafting

L.O. To redraft a story by adding more direct speech

We learnt that a second draft involves improving a story, not just copying out a story 'in neat'. Learn more about redrafting by clicking here.

Homework: Finish redrafting your 'dinosaur' story. Add lots of speech!

Feeling clever? Include lots of 'shown feelings'. Learn more about this idea by clicking here.

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Sunday, 25 November 2007

Year 6 Comprehension - P-E-E

L.O. To revise the importance of using P-E-E when completing a comprehension

Revise P-E-E by clicking here.

Don't forget there is advice about all the comprehension question-types on the 'How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Comprehension' blog.

Homework: Complete the extra bonus comprehension - you lucky girls!

You'll enjoy the quiz you can find here.

Year 5 Comprehension - H.I.V.E./Questions about summarising a text

L.O. To understand that questions asking you to summarise a passage in your own words require one to write a short summary using synonyms

In class, you started to work on a comprehension based on the book 'H.I.V.E.: The Overlord Protocol.' You can visit the H.I.V.E. website by clicking here.

Revise 'questions that ask you to summarise the text' by clicking here to enter my comprehension blog. Don't forget that you can find hints and tips about all of the comprehension question-types on this blog!

Don't forget that we'll be videoing your bracket raps tomorrow! Revise what you've got to do by clicking here.

Year 4 Creative Writing - First 15 lines - Character Descriptions

L.O. To understand the need to 'zoom in' on details when writing a character description

When writing a short, short story it is a brilliant idea to describe one of the characters.

Click here to remind yourself of how to describe a character.

Click here to learn where you can fit a character description into your story. We'll be looking at this in greater detail next week.

Homework task: Look in magazines and newspapers, and find five interesting faces. Stick the pictures into your book, and describe them, writing three/four lines per description.

Recommended Read: Uncle Montague's Tale of Terror!

You'll love this book!Edgar's uncle lives in a house beyond the woods. Edgar is sure that the village children watch him from behind the trees as he passes through, but he is determined not to show his fear.

One day Edgar's uncle enthrals him with a chilling set of tales, and there is evidence of each one having actually happened: a tiny doll, a gilt frame, an old brass telescope... How did Uncle Montague come by such a grim collection of cursed objects?

But there is no time for answers. Edgar has to make it back through those dark woods before dark... or are the answers OUT THERE?

Click here to visit the website! Be warned: it is pretty spooky!

Enjoyed the website? Leave a comment by clicking on 'comment'

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Big News: Visit Miss McGillewie's new Year Three blog!

Miss McGillewie has created a blog - the Falconet - for Year Three. Visit by clicking here, or on the link in the 'essential links!

Yr 5 Creative Writing: Longer Descriptions

L.O. To appreciate the need to plan longer descriptions carefully

One of the titles 11+ examiners love is 'write a long description'

Click here to revise longer descriptions.

Homework Task: Complete your description of a balloon ride.

Feeling clever? Don't forget to include the adverb-starter comma.

Yr 6 - Before the Passage

L.O. To understand the need to ask questions of a text if asked to write a story concerning what precedes the events in a comprehension passage

Homework: Redraft the Black Mask 'preceding a story' you wrote in class. You may type or handwrite the task.

Feeling clever? Make sure you include a colon, and even a semi-colon using the word 'however'

The Subordinate Clause - The 'Messi Wiggle!'

Isn't Lionel Messi, Barcelona FC's Argentine genius, brilliant? He is the best dribbler in the world. A wiggle of his hips - and he's away!

The subordinate clause is like the Messi wiggle - it is the little 'wiggle' that sends the sentence in a different direction, if only for a moment.

Year 5 Spellings - Connectives

Connectives are important tools for structuring your essays. You can use them in all your writing (including History, Geography, Science, Music etc.). These are simple connectives:




my first point is to suggest...,

my second point is....,


in conclusion

These connectives can be used to pull your arguments together:

in such a way,
as we have seen,
an example of this is when...
in the light of this evidence, it could be suggested...
a key point to draw from this is...

Now for the clever-clogs part. Use these connectives to creates contrasts and suggest other points-of-view (counter-arguments):

in contrast,
critics of this plan have argued...
opponents to this viewpoint say...

Don't forget that you are performing your 'bracket rap' next Tuesday.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

I'm Not Here on Friday

Teachers have to learn new things too, so I won't be in school on Friday. you need to reread this tonight so you are prepared for your lesson with Mrs Mannan tomorrow.

Homophones Game witch you will like (sic.)

Homophones are words that sound the same, but have different spellings and meanings, e.g.flower and flour. You need to learn these words as there are no spelling rules to help you remember them.

Which ice cream would you like?
The witch was seen flying on a broomstick.

Click here to play a fab homophone game.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Year Six - Persuasive Writing - Using Connectives

L.O. To understand that connectives bring fluency to an argument

'The world would be a better place if television had never been invented.' Write an essay either for or against this statement.

Persuasion texts argue a case from a particular point of view. They are written to convince the reader or listener.

• Use our rhetorical techniques, e.g. facts and figures, positive language, rheotirical questions
• Try to get the reader interested and on your side – appear reasonable
• Use strong and positive language e.g. it will ruin the environment if… you must try this before any others…
• Make the reader think that everyone else does this, or thinks that it will make them a better and happier person!
• Reread and decide whether you would be persuaded

Make sure that you use a range of connectives e.g. however, therefore, as a result, in fact, consequently , and a a concluding paragraph with a summary of the points.

Read through your 'finished' writing to decide whether you would be persuaded and that you have a good balance of facts and statements to help persuade your readers.

Feeling clever? Try to make the most important points using impact sentences.

Year Five - Discursive Writing - Conclusions

L.O. To understand that a good conclusion 'sums up' the argument, and gives the writer's opinion

Discussion texts give a reasoned and balanced over-view of an issue or controversy. (They are different to arguments of persuasive texts which develop or argue the case from one point of view.) They are written to help a reader understand two of more different ‘views’ or ‘arguments’ about an issue, each of which may need to be described and explanation with evidence and/or examples, and they usually have a conclusion which gives the author’s opinion.

A good conclusion should be a thoughtful end to a piece of writing.Be confident with what you say, give your opinion, and explain it to the reader.

Feeling clever? Use some of the persuasive techniques we use in our persuasive writing to convince the reader.

Year 3 Creative Writing - Writing a Story with Dialogue

L.O. To understand the need to include dialogue in a short story

We created storyboards for a story featuring a dinosaur.

For homework, we are going to write the first draft of our story. Try to write at least a side of A4, but no more than one-and-a-half sides of A4. Your objective is to include talking (direct speech). Don't forget to indent your dialogue!

We'll write a second draft next week!

Feeling clever? Try to 'set the scene' at the beginning of the story. Click here to learn how!

Year Six - Extra Comprehension

With six weeks to go we need to make sure we can pick up every mark on offer in the 11+ comprehensions.

Homework: Complete the 'Count Grassi in a cab' comprehension. Don't forget there are lots of useful tips at the 'How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Comprehension' site.

Year 5 Comprehension - Questions about 'What kind of sentence?'

We looked at questions that asks you 'Look at the sentence in line 3. What kind of sentence is it?' Revise this work by visiting my comprehension advice blog, by clicking here.

Your homework is to complete the comprehension paper. Think hard about the 'what kind of sentence' questions.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Year 5 Prose - Write a Bracket Rap

VideoJug: How To Use Parentheses And Square Brackets

We are going to be learning about the trickiest comma - the bracketing commma. To understand the bracketing comma we need to be sure we know how to use brackets correctly.

Task: Write 'The bracket rap'. Work in groups of two or three. Last half-term we wrote a tune for 'The comma song'. This time, you are going to write both the words and the tune! We know that using sound and movement can help us learn tricky facts. You are going to write a 'bracket rap' to help you remember how to use this tricky beast.

Remember to use rhyme and rhythm in your bracket rap!

Include the following six 'brackets facts' in your rap:

Brackets are used in written work to enclose an aside or an afterthought, or to add information or ideas which are not essential.

1. Brackets are used when you add something to your writing.
My pal Snozzy (who has red hair) is an Everton supporter.

2. The sentence should be complete, even if the contents of brackets are removed.

There are several ways of beginning to write an essay (all of them equally helpful) and it depends on writers which they prefer.

Remove the brackets and the sentence is still complete: There are several ways of beginning to write an essay and it depends on writers which they prefer.

The suggestion that his secretary, Sally (now his wife), was a criminal genius seriously upset Bob.

The parenthesis now his wife can be removed from the sentences without damaging its meaning.

3. When brackets are used at the end of a sentence, the full stop falls outside the bracket (like this one.

4. The writing inside brackets should be as short as possible, so as not to break the flow of the sentence.

5. You should only use brackets occasionally. If you use them too frequently, they create a choppy effect.

6. Brackets are often used to enclose dates:

James Dean (1931-1955) died tragically in a car crash, at the tender
age of twenty-four.

Oh, and if you've ever wondered why we need punctation, watch this:

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Year 4 Creative Writing - the First Fifteen Lines of a Short Story

In class we studied the first fifteen lines of a short story.

Your homework task is to plan and write the first fifteen lines of a story entitled 'Fire!' Remember to that you've not got to tell the entire story - you are only writing the first 1/2 page!

We are learning to write with a clear structure. Revise story structure by clicking here.

Then click here, here and here to revise the three 'ingredients' we've studied since half-term.

Feeling clever? Try to include lots of 'shown feelings' alongside your direct speech. Click here to revise this key skill.

You can use this structure for almost any story! The great advantage of writing a story like this is that it leaves you free to be as creative as possible!

MASSIVE NEWS: The Falcons Interview blog is here!

Bald Worm's blog has a new kid sister: the Falcons Interview blog. You'll be able to learn everything you need to know to do brilliantly in 11+ interviews. Click on 'Falcons Interview Preparation blog' in the 'Essential links' to start preparing!

Have you visited 'How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Comprehension'?

Don't forget to click on the 'podcast' button in the 'essential links to visit 'How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Comprehension', my guide to success in the 11+ comprehension exams. You'll find two podcasts (radio shows), and lots of brilliant tips on how to answer those tricky questions. What are you waiting for?

Year Six Homework - Comprehension and Interview

The blogs keep on coming at FSG! Click on 'Interview preparation' in the 'Essential links' column to be taken to my new mini-blog, Falcons Interviews. This is where you'll find all the tips you need to become brilliant in 11+ interviews. Of course, we'll be doing lots of interview prep in class, so you'll be ready to go and knock the socks off your interviewers.

The homework tonight comes in three parts:

1. Complete the Wycombe 2006 paper.

2. Visit the interview site.

3. Visit the comprehension blog (at the podcast site), and revise 'questions about the different types of sentence an author uses'.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

I love this picture!

This picture depicts a Victorian penny-dreadful villain - Zenith the Albino. Enjoy this description:

'Zenith's crimson-irised eyes were reflective. He stood there long of leg and broad of shoulder, immaculately dressed, groomed to perfection, cold as an icicle; and dangerous; transcendently dangerous.'