Thursday, December 28, 2006
Following several blog links through (as you do), I stumbled across Library Thing, an on-line cataloging system. I've listed some books I've read during the last year or so down the side. Eclectic mix, isn't it? But then, that's me all over. If you think this combination's weird, don't look on my iPod.
We are away again at the weekend, so if I don't get the chance to, Happy New Year to you!
Sunday, December 24, 2006
The turkey was lovely and moist, the cranberry sauce was tart, the maple roasted parsnips were beautiful (and I don't like parsnips!) and the stuffing was lovely (although very citrussy and no taste of gingerbread - next time I won't put as much clementine zest in).
Was so replete, couldn't blog for 48 hours!
Have now travelled to my parents', complete with a well-developed throat/ear infection - don't know which, but both hurt. Ah well, you can tell it's the holidays!
Merry Christmas everyone, may you all get what you wish for.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Neither am I Susie Homemaker. Life is too damn short to stuff a mushroom.
But this year...
I've come over all Nigella.
I have spent the best part of 2 hours scouring Northwich for cloves (not a sniff - good job I have half a jiffy bag of the little blighters left over from a Tudor history project c.1999 that still have a strong aroma. Thank you Cathy at Schwartz, for your overwhelming generosity - 7 years later and I still haven't found the bottom of the bag), star anise and whole allspice(finally tracked down in the Health food shop), maple syrup (last bottle retreived from the back of a 6 ft high, 4 ft deep shelf by a gangly youth at Sainsbury's), chestnuts (scraped from the bottom of the last basket at Tesco) and semolina (none left at all anywhere). Anyone who knows Northwich will know that 2 hours usually gives you a chance to explore every nook and cranny, so it's a sign of how far the fragrant Nigella has invaded our consciousness this Christmas.
Saying that, I've just made my own cranberry sauce and it took no time at all. No, really... by the time I'd got the packet of mince pies open, they were ready to pour into a bowl!
I also have everything I need for the gingerbread stuffing and a brand new bucket to give the turkey its spicy brine bath tonight, in readiness for our own Christmas dinner tomorrow (we always have one on our own before we set out visiting).
Now if only I could look as gorgeous as Nigella in my dressing gown, I'll have cracked it. I'm not sure blue toweling covered in cat hair quite creates the impression I'm after, but heigh-ho...
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Friday was the Carol Service in church, with the whole school attending - 240 children walking through pouring rain - nice...
Yesterday was the panto and the party - no profesional disco this year, so no need for L and I to have half of the Infants playing Dead Lions to help calm them down, thank goodness!
Today was Christmas dinner, a slightly raucous affair, with an extended playtime. Staff also got their Secret Santa pressies. Mine was BRILL - a note-pad and pen, a packet of instant latte and, best of all, an earthenware mug wide enough to dunk biscuits in (there's nothing worse than a wedged Rich Tea swivelling on the brim of your mug as the bottom disintegrates) with a special shelf underneath it to stash several biscuits safely while I eat the first one. Top banana! Thank you, Secret Santa!
Tomorrow finishes with a candlelit service in the hall, which sounds like a lovely end to the term...
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
I think the changes foxed some of the children, but the parents loved it, which is all that really matters!
Saturday, December 09, 2006
However, I was then told that all 75 of them looked like they were going to a funeral because they weren't smiling, they needed to sing up, Mary was hiding behind her headress and a lot of them they needed to speak up because they couldn't be heard.
I do keep trying to tell people that the performing arts aren't my thing (good at appreciation, no talent whatsoever), but no one seems to be listening...
Thursday, December 07, 2006
My head is permanently aching at the moment and I've developed a twitching eyelid that just won't keep still. I crawl home shattered, collapsing on the sofa and sleeping instead of doing my marking, but then lie awake half the night staring at the ceiling, with songs running through my head.
There are a number of reasons, but the major one is probably the one that causes most Infant teachers to become faintly homicidal when faced with tinsel, a tea-towel and a grubby child-sized toweling dressing gown.
The Christmas Production.
Tomorrow is the dress rehearsal in front of the rest of the school, and we're nowhere near ready. It's not a total disaster - they know the songs, they know their words (well, most of them do, anyway), it's just that they can't remember when to stand up or move around. Joseph keeps turning his back on the audience. The kindly innkeeper has clean forgotten his words and now clutches a "Welcome to Bethlehem" visitors' guide with his words pasted on them. The donkey forgets to go on the stage. The angel choir have learnt their song beautifully (and the little Y1 angels have learnt a dance at very short notice) but they haven't learnt their cue, so there is an undignified scramble to get on the stage and deliver God's message to the shepherds. Herod is trying to set the world record for Fastest Delivery of Two Lines. One Wise Man works on his own timescale, so the camels keep setting off to travel around the hall without him. When the shepherds and the Wise Men arrive at the stable at the same time (I know, I know, but for this production they just DO), the shepherds keep having an argy-bargy as they try to get back on the stage (is there such a thing as an Alpha Shepherd?) Meanwhile, their sheep keep wondering past their masking tape line in front of the stage and getting mixed up with the Wise Men's camels, which wouldn't be a problem if they weren't supposed to be facing each other, singing a song to each other about how they are different.
And then half of my Year 2s told me confidently they didn't need another rehearsal, they were pretty good...
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Back to the drawing board, then...
Do you think this ever happens to Trevor Nunn?
Sunday, November 26, 2006
In the end, I squeezed about 27 speaking parts out of it. Two boys who will either miss the rehearsals or miss the main performances due to holidays are in the percussion band and the remaining girls are in seventh heaven as part of the Angel Choir. However, now I think I should have given the children their words to learn before this week, since the rehearsals start next Friday (dress rehearsals 8th Dec). I know the Head thinks Infant productions shouldn't be over rehearsed, but perhaps I've taken that too literally.
But I have other worries.
My Angel Choir are mutinous since I won't let them wear wings - our parents are lovely but can suffer greatly from "wing envy" and they are likely to try to produce the biggest wings possible if they get have a chance.
I have a Wise Man who would much rather be Herod and had told his Dad he would be Herod. He tells me Dad has made him a wooden knife and a wooden sword to enable him to kill the babies (I kid you not) and having consigned himself to being a mere Wise Man has kindly offered Herod the knife ("I'll need the sword myself, you see. A King needs a sword"). Can't wait to deal with that one when the costume comes in.
Several Narrators have the hump at being asked to dress as angels or shepherds because they would rather wear their party clothes - I found myself in a reasonably heated debate with one little cherub who was finally silenced when I told her in no uncertain terms that in our version, the angels would wear white, not pink, whether her mother was ironing that best frock right at this moment (as said cherub claimed) or not.
To top it all, there is a small contingent who can't understand why L, who taught them last year, won't let them have Anna (who would be 3 weeks old by the time of the production) as the Baby Jesus...
Balance that however, with the lullaby they sang so beautifully this week that they had me in tears...
I love my job!
Sunday, November 19, 2006
This year I got precisely... none.
Yikes!! I had NO inspiration! This means I will have to fight my way round the Trafford Centre, Cheshire Oaks or Manchester sometime around December and I will probably still have NO inspiration then, either.
There is a strong case this year for going to PresentAid or Oxfam Unwrapped for the family presents. Sadly, although I think this is an amazing gesture and would be more than happy to receive a gift like this from people, I suspect that some of them would be rather non-plussed... and some might think I was trying to say something in particular if I got them a goat or a bag of fertiliser. Hey ho...
On a much happier note, L had her baby yesterday. Hurrah! Welcome to the world, Anna!
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Friday, November 10, 2006
Of course, the aftermath of the trip involved total brain meltdown on my part. I've spent the whole day (and half the night) beforehand trying to second guess every possible thing that could go wrong (Do we have enough pencils? What if one of my parental helpers can't come and there's no other CRB checked volunteer available? What if one of the two relatively new boys takes it into their head to wander off? etc etc). I think back of the days 10 years ago when a bus full of us rolled up to the zoo and disgorged two classes full of Y3/4 pupils. Everyone went off with their helper and I waved them off with a cheery "See you back here at 2 o'clock!" (Because of course, none of our parents could ever be a child-molester, could they?) Very different from these days where there has to be a member of school staff with the children at all times. We were too blase in the past, but it does make it very tricky when one child needs an extra loo stop...
On top of the post-trip slump, I'm worried about a whole set of family and friends who for various reasons are not well, stressed out or going through a bereavement and then to top it all, a comment this morning after a writing moderation exercise has just made me feel like a failure. I'm trying so hard to keep on top of hearing my readers and identifying maths problems and keeping up with the assessments and marking with any degree of quality and trying to give the kids a new set of targets that I feel like I'm failing my kids in regards to moving their writing on. I've told you before, dear reader, of the highs of teaching. These, then, are the lows (or at least the lows of those teachers like me whose self-esteem can be wobbly). Trying to keep up with everything at the moment is a bit like trying to rollerskate up the Gladiators' Travelator and I haven't even addressed what needs to be done for my curriculum co-ordination role. I really miss L, she could always help me see the funny side and shore up my self-confidence at times like this.
Stephen Fry recently talked about how he self-medicated his bi-polar disorder with cocaine. In this spirit, I am off to self-medicate my Friday Despondancy with a bar of Toblerone and a bottle of White Zinfandel.
If you are in the North West, the Walker is a great resource. It's free and they do lots of INSET sessions that allow you to get more out of specific pictures when you lead your own group round. Get there if you can!
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
"Still on the M6, why?"
"I don't feel great, can you get me something nice on the way home?"
"Might do, but I'm not speaking to you at the moment."
"I'm going backwards! I checked the Fantasy Football League and I've now dropped below 260,000th, while you've broken into the top 40,000. I don't understand why..."
"Oh love I'm so sorry..."
"I think I've found out why you're not doing as well as you think you should be in the Footie."
"Well, you know when you made your first transfers at the beginning of September?"
"And you transfered Andy Johnson in?"
"Well, you didn't."
"Transfer Johnson in."
"No, you didn't. I've just found your team's history. You started with Shevchenko, Bellamy and Ashton, then swapped Ashton for Saha in September. Last week you swapped Shevchenko and Bellamy for Drogba and McCarthy. You've never had Johnson in your squad."
"No, I have, I did, I transfered him in in September..." silence "... oh no, it must have been when I tried to transfer too many players - you have to confirm the transfers... I mustn't have clicked on Confirm... Noooooooooo!"
Phone goes dead.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Largely I think this may be due to my (no longer misplaced) faith in Thierry Henry. A hooted with laughter at the start of the season (since Henry was playing with all the finesse of a three-legged donkey). "That'll teach you to pick players just 'cos you fancy them", he jeered. Now however, he is the second highest point scoring striker with 54 points. Only Everton's Johnson (on A's team) beats him, with 57 points - the rest are miles behind.
Smug? Me? Whatever makes you think that?
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Don't get me wrong, I think the perceived English attitude to foreign languages (say it again, more slowly and louder but still in English, accompanied by a bit of hand-waving) is poor, to say the least. Relatives of A moved to Spain a number of years ago to buy a bar. They have since sold it, but still live out there and as far as I'm aware have made no effort whatsoever to learn the language. This just makes me die inside. I also think that to make it easier for our children to learn a language, leaving it to 11 is leaving it too late.
However I am concerned by the mixed messages given by the Government. I quote from the Standards site:
The centrepiece of the National Languages Strategy - Languages for All Languages for Life - is our commitment to give every child between the ages of 7 and 11 the entitlement to learn a new language. This marks a fundamental shift in our approach to language learning in this country and, by 2010 will transform the shape of language learning in our schools.
But it's not really followed through, is it? This comes from a QCA document published in 2004:
From September 2004, modern foreign languages (MFL) will no longer be a compulsory national curriculum subject, but will become one of the entitlement areas that all schools must offer within their key stage 4 curriculum. The new requirements are intended not to discourage students from studying MFL, but to provide greater flexibility and choice for learners.
And thereby lies the crux - it might not be discouraging students from studying MFL to exam standard, but it sure as hell isn't encouraging them to, either.
Maybe I'm being a cynic - perhaps if we engender a sense that languages are fun in primary, the students will carry it on through KS3 and KS4. But all I can see is that we have to shoe-horn in another subject - one that challenges music for making non-specialist teachers feel vulnerable - while our secondary colleagues work out who to make redundant in ever diminishing departments.
And then cap it all with this bit of gossip I picked up on the course. Over half of the primaries in our authority have made a start on rolling PMFL out in Y3 and some have actually been doing it for a number of years. Pupils are arriving at one high school in the authority with a grounding in Spanish - they can't just recite numbers, colours and body parts, they can have conversations, which is surely the aim of any language? Is the high school happy? Is it buffalo. It's thrown a strop because this part of the intake already knows what would be covered in Year 7 and part of Year 8 and it therefore is "having to teach them another language".
God forbid they should put those kids into a set and adapt the curriculum to take their Spanish on...
As well as that I need to work out how I can fit 76 children dressed as nativity characters, sheep, stars, etc into a performing space little larger than that taken up by a Mini Cooper...
Oh the joys of Infant teaching...
Monday, October 23, 2006
TOGS the world over are united in mourning the Mid-Herts Maestro. RIP Dr Wally.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Sunday, October 15, 2006
I have been admonished by a reader for not updating my blog. Abject apologies, but time has run away with me (again).
Actually, it doesn't feel like much has happened since my last entry - it's been a round of keeping up with hearing readers (always a challenge) and trying to get ahead of myself in terms of planning for next half term (failed again).
In between it all though, I went to a Virgin Vie party and a joint 40th/wedding party in a barn.
The Virgin Vie party was interesting... K invited me along and I was rather ashamed to find that the 9 women there who were complaining that now they had children they had no social life or time to themselves were far more social and infinitely better groomed than I. With hand on heart I do have to say that I felt like a dog's dinner tied up in a potato sack next to them all. K has a similar outlook to me regarding girlie thigs like make-up (yeah, would be nice, look great with it on but it's just not worth the additional 40 minutes required in the morning) but she is slender and therefore looks good in pretty much anything, including tracksuit and motorbike leathers. Me on the other hand...
Ah well. Got some smashing nail varnish though.
The following night was a party in a barn complete with doors coming off their hinges, naff carpet to trip on and a hog roast. One of my cousins went to Sri Lanka in August to get married (half-way between UK and NZ where her husband comes from, so siblings from both sides could attend) and the party was on her 40th to celebrate the two events. She was wearing her wedding dress (always easy to maneovere strappy sandals and a full train around a farm yard I find) and having a high old time. The band were great, although a little loud and it was good to see a load of my Dad's family again.
During the evening I spotted my one of my cousins dancing on the other side of the barn. Now, he's only 9 years older than me, so I don't think he's that old. After all, in my head I'm still only 17, so that would make him 26, a mere spring chicken. But then I realised something horrific was happening. He was having a whale of a time - Dad-dancing! After pointing it out to A and having a chuckle, I was then mortified to realise that I was dancing in a similar fashion, but not actually moving my feet...
So there you go. Consider the evidence:
1. I obtain deep satisfaction from pulling dandelions up with tap root intact;
2. I have my osteopath on speed-dial;
3. The best way to spend Friday night is with a Chinese take away and Gardeners' World;
4. I dance like somebody's Mum.
I am now offically middle-aged.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
I'm not a great one for New Year's Resolutions in January, partly I suspect because I don't like being the same as everyone else (baaa!! Who am I trying to kid?) Anyway, I tend to leave them for September, for obvious reasons. This year, I decided I was fed up of being frazzled of a Sunday evening and I would do my damnedest to have my planning in to the Head on a Friday morning so as to reclaim my weekends. Last week I got a text from Phil (who we met on our holiday), asking about the usual Sunday night ritual, to which I smugly replied that all my planning was in, thank you very much and I was sitting down getting ready for Jane Eyre.
Oh, pride comes before a fall...
An extra staff-meeting for training, coupled with coming home Thursday night without my memory stick (I could have cried with frustration) has put the kybosh on my good intentions well and truly. So here I am, cursing myself and still wasting time by blogging instead of planning my guided writing...
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Today, a former colleague of mine from the Education Advisory Service came in to lead a follow up staff meeting on Challenging the More Able. There was a lot of focus on ways to promote higher order thinking, based on Bloom's Taxonomy, plus a consideration of other tools and techniques such as Philosophy for Children and De Bono's Thinking Hats. It was a refresher of what we looked at in April (remember the Pigs?) and she lead us through a review by way of a game of Bingo.
Right near the end, I managed a line and had a root around in her bag of prizes, pulling out some shower gel and a pair of "Funky Dice" - leopard print fake fur dice (although they have no spots, so they're cubes really) that are actually car air fresheners. I got really excited for about 5 minutes, until I realised how overpowering the perfume was. I don't have those horrible cardboard pine trees for exactly that reason.
However, never having had a pair of fluffy dice (or similar), and being obsessed with leopard print (Jackie Collins eat your heart out) I duly rigged them up in the car - after all, they are really quite small.
Small, but unfortunately, not discrete in the scent department.
After driving 18 miles with both front windows down, they were still making me feel naseous, so are currently hanging from the back door, putting the cats off their tea.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
A and I haven't seen our friends V & C for far too long, so we arranged to go to see the fabulous Lip Service at the Quays Theatre at The Lowry. We've seen them a couple of times before, and they are hilarious. Yesterday, it was Withering Looks, their quirky look at the lives of the Brontes. Tears streaming and howls of laughter can be generated simply by a look from Maggie. She has one of the most expressive faces in theatre. If you get a chance to see them, do so, even if you have to haul yourself to Buxton Opera House (which is a lovely venue). You won't regret it.
Anyway, we started with the matinee there, then made our way back into Manchester. That was tricky enough, as the metro wasn't running all the way through due to a Peace/Anti-War demo timed to coincide with the start of the Labour Party conference. Seeing the assorted banners of the Socialist Workers, Communists and Stop the War Coalition branches from various London Boroughs managed to rattle A (aka to V, C and myself as Tory Boy) "Don't they have better things to do with their Saturdays?" he fumed, much to our glee. V, C and I are all left of A to a greater or lesser extent, so took great delight in goading him throughout our post-show drinking - much to his chagrin as he sipped his water glumly (I did suggest the train, but that's too green an option for Tory Boy - ever heard Fatima Mansions' Only Losers Take the Bus? I'm sure it was written with him in mind...)
Anyway, as well as the disruption to the metro, all around G-Mex was cordoned off in readiness for the Conference. Concrete road blocks mean it's difficult for vehicles to travel around the G-Mex/St Peter's Square/Peter Street area and therefore it was very easy to continue walking into town from the Briton's Protection - no dodging traffic, only protesters drifting off to the pub...
We hadn't got far from the pub though when we saw a convoy of vehicles approach G-Mex. They had to grind to a halt though, since the drivers didn't have a clue how to get to the Midland Hotel now the front of it was actually fenced off... leaving the Rt Hon. Chancellor of the Exchequer rather exposed as his Landrover Discovery sat impatiently behind the leading car. Oh for a bag of tomatoes (or failing that my camera...)
So that's covered the theatre trip and Gordon. What about the raw lamb mince? Well, since I'd organised the theatre, V & C organised the meal at the Cedar Tree, a Lebanese restaurant near Afflecks Palace. It looks a hole, but the food is fab! They also allow you to bring your own wine, so sadly V, C & I got progressively more tiddled and I was pretty blotto by 8.30. I am SOOO out of practice!
We had about 9 starters beteen us, then 2 main meals. It's loads of things I love, like grilled chicken, lamb, hummus, tabuleh, broadbeans, halloumi - gorgeous! The raw lamb mince had been marinaded in some spices and did have a nice flavour, but I think my favourite starters were the baby stuffed aubergine and the stuffed vine leaves. Yummy! The desserts are ace as well, but very sweet - lots of honey and nuts. The baklava was the best I've had in the UK. We ordered coffee too, which came as a shock to A, since you could almost slice it with a knife and it was heavily flavoured with cardamom. Sounds disgusting, and the first sip tasted it too, but then, after I'd eaten the sweet, it really worked, honest. It cut through the sweetness and really cleansed your mouth. Since A can't stand cardamom though, he pulled the kind of face that you normally see when a toddler eats brussels sprouts.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Imagine my joy at going out to collect three pints this morning.
I'm off to make like Cleopatra...
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Ah, the folly of youth. If I'd known then, what I know now, blah blah blah...
Anyway, this list. I'm not sure if I've remembered them all, but these are the ones I can recall:
Fly in a hot air balloon (not yet)
Do a parachute jump (tick: 19 years ago next week)
Get a degree (tick: 1991)
Walk along the Great Wall of China (not yet)
Visit Ayers Rock (ditto)
Visit Hong Kong before it's handed back to China (mmm - left that one too late!)
Fly a plane (this one was a bit of a no-brainer really, since I was counting down the days until I joined the air cadets at school!)
Go gliding (yep, see above, although I gave up my place for getting my glider wings since it was the week before my A levels. What's that smell? Oh yes, the whiff of burning martyr...)
Fly a helicopter (well, does a ride in a Sea King after cleaning it count?)
Rollerskate from Land's End to John O'Groats (that is SO not going to happen. One has to ask why?!)
Own a python (gone off this one now - too much specialist care needed...)
Rather eclectic, really. And it's rather sad to see that I've only knocked a few off the list!
The only consolation is that I have done things I'd never thought of at that time, such as walk from one side of the country to the other, record a song at Abbey Road for the B-side of a number 9 hit, walk across a live volcano and see a solar eclipse (even if it was overcast)
So... where's that number for the hot air ballooon company?
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Let's hope the big games tomorrow garner me some points!
And it's goodbye to Raymond Baxter*. I don't really associate him with Tomorrow's World; to me he was, and always will be, the voice of Farnborough Air Show. What a lovely voice he had. I didn't realise until today that he'd been a Spitfire pilot in WWII.
*I can hear A now,on the other side of the Atlantic: "I didn't realise he was still alive..."
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Monday, September 11, 2006
Am I worried that he's flying out on 9/11? Not as worried as I am about him getting behind a wheel for the first time ever abroad. If he manages to keep to 55 mph on the interstate, I will be gobsmacked...
Saturday, September 09, 2006
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Monday, September 04, 2006
Sunday, September 03, 2006
This is Gog Magog Molly, molly dancers from Cambridge.
Molly dancing is a form of traditional dancing from the fens, with a very distinctive style of step and clothing. It's believed it was danced by the ploughboys in the winter, going up to the big house to earn some money. I do have a deep love of folk dancing and would dearly love to be involved in some way. Due to my dreadful co-ordination, A believes I would have to undergo an inspection by Health & Safety before I was allowed to dance waving a wooden stick around. The video gives some idea of the molly dance style:
Sorted! I turned to A and asked him if he'd cope if I was seen in an outfit similar to the colourful ones on display. He then pointed out to me that I could rustle up a suitably garish unco-ordinating outfit and ridiculous hat quite easily out of the clothes I have lurking in the back of my wardrobe. Thanks for that...
This is Dogrose Morris from Yorkshire. They dance in the Cotswold style, which is the style most people think of when they think of Morris dancing (all in white with bells and baldrics). They leap higher than any Morris dancers I've ever seen, but they are a lot younger than most!
When I went back on Monday, they danced a tray dance, which I've never seen before. I can't imagine ever living anywhere else in the world - how can you be downhearted when you can spend a damp Bank holiday watching two blokes beat each other over the head with tea-trays?
This clip is of Chiltern Hundreds Morris, who dance North West Clog Morris. As you can see, it is a different style and has its roots in the industrial mill towns of the North West. The dancers used to process through the streets behind the rush carts. The chapel in Macclesfield Forest still has a rush bearing service every summer, even though there are no mills, but I've never seen dancers there.
These two clips are both of Black Adder Rapper and Step. As the name suggests, they dance percussive (step) and Rapper dances.
The first clip shows a percussive dance:
The second is a Rapper dance. Rapper is a style of dance that originated in the mining communities of Northumberland and Durham. The Rapper itself is a short sword that was probably originally adapted from a pit tool.
Sadly, since these were recorded on my camera, they look better viewed in a smaller window than they are in here.
Saturday, September 02, 2006
I'm so enamoured of Geraldine, she's become my profile pic! I'd like to think a giraffe is emblematic of me because I am tall and graceful with very long limbs, but in reality it's more likely to be because I too find it nigh on impossible to get up when I fall down...
Friday, September 01, 2006
Just noticed blog entry, am going to spend the rest of the autumn/winter and spring on mainland Europe, see u round about mid May!Does that sound a little like wounded pride?
Thursday, August 31, 2006
I've just checked our Fantasy Football teams' scores, which were published for the first time yesterday. A, who is the (self-appointed) expert in the house, has scored 40 points so far, and is currently 253,873rd in the league. My team, chosen mainly, it has to be said, to allow me to spend £9m on the incredibly sexy Thierry Henry (in my dreams!) has scored 80 points and is in the heady position of 96,908th in the league.
Today I got back after a 5 hour journey - oh, the joys of J12-16 on the M6 again! Although this time, I gave up on the motorway after one junction in the queue and explored rural Staffordshire and Market Drayton.
Will sort out some photos from Towersey soon, especially the new additions, which I haven't told you about yet!
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Where do gulls roost if they are inland?
How far can a gull travel in one day's flight?
Since we are currently about as far away from the sea as one can get in the UK, could a gull get from Oxfordshire to the coast in one day under its own power?
Why do you never find copies of "Ultimate Carp"* magazine in waiting rooms?
Why do I always get hungry at the hospital even though Dad's appointment is less than 90 minutes after my breakfast?
* Please feel free to sustitute the title of any other publication that is not full of skinny C list celebs...
Monday, August 28, 2006
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Today, Northwich Victoria played away at Oxford United. My current footie team, versus my first one. I was hoping to go with A and Dad, but A was too late coming down, so we didn't go. Maybe it was for the best, since the Vics were whopped by The U's. Divided loyalties in this case again! (When United played Macc Town in the FA Cup several years ago when we lived in Macc, A stood in the home end of the Moss Rose whilst I stood with the Oxford supporters in the away end...)
BTW, Dad's now had his first two sessions of radiotherapy. He seems to be bouncing since he's started on the hormone treatment, so I'm really pleased.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Dad has had a month of hormone treatment and starts his radiotherapy tomorrow, so I wanted to be with him and Mum for the first few slots, before term starts. This round of trips to hospital will be without marking though!
And the best thing? Watching them laugh at Lilly and Stella, who have a very low success rate!
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Time to stop for a beer and finish the fine detail filing tomorrow, I think...
Mmm... best laid plans, and all that. We had another bash on Sunday, then yesterday I sorted through drawers stuffed full of photos, my baptism record and health visitor record cards, old pens, enough ink cartridges to open a stationers' and this morning I put the vacuum round, but now....
(cue drum roll...)
It's done!! The office is tidy!! Hurrah!!!
So that's the ecstasy dealt with. Obviously.
Oh, more than you could possibly imagine.
The last two days have been spent with Barry Gibb's voice running through my head, warbling "You're a Bunbury... I'm a Bunbury too..." over and over and over again...
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Time to stop for a beer and finish the fine detail filing tomorrow, I think...
Now A found it very funny at the wedding to discover from some of my colleagues that the school caretaker has been giving them guided tours of my cupboard ever since I tidied it the day after we came home from the Walk (not something that I felt merited a blog entry really, even if I did turn a health hazard into a safe working environment). So he has decided that we need to build on this success and "sort out the Office". He makes it sound so easy. Actually, it will be a little easier because yesterday I gathered most of the papers up that were on the floor and put them into piles so I could actually walk across the room on carpet. But never the less, it is one of those jobs that you know needs to be done, that will give you a lot of satisfaction once you've done it, but doing it will be cack.
I will keep you posted. If you don't hear anything over the next few days, I have been buried under an avalanche of papers, old bills and schoolwork...
Friday, August 18, 2006
I would have loved to have a go at the Croquet, but, knowing my prowess at physical activity (not) A heaved a sigh of relief that I wasn't given the opportunity to swing a croquet mallet around my head. Then a few of us checked out the Bouncy Castle. It was absolutely soaking and I made the discovery that although theoretically there is no upper weight limit on a Bouncy Castle designed for adults, in practise, I exceeded it, since I really couldn't bounce - I left that to the bride and bridesmaid, whilst I just stood there and wobbled. My hat never came off, though!! (I'm the figure in black lurking to the left).
Best wishes to K and R, may they have many happy years together.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
This little herd had appointed themselves guardians of the gate a mile or so outside Heddon on Wednesday morning. A got quite nervous passing through them!
We walked past this herd of cows and their calves as we approached Turret 41a, just after Caw Gap early on Friday morning. We hadn't gone far past them when they began to follow us. A was convinced they meant us harm (townie!) but actually, the couple who were walking behind us had just disturbed them more than we had.
More calves - Cumbrian ones this time, about a mile after Haytongate on the Saturday morning.
The trouble with keeping free range chickens is that they sometimes choose really stupid places to lay eggs - like on the farm track outside your property! We counted three, plus any she might actually be sitting on as we passed this farm at Wall Head, just outside Crosby on-Eden on Saturday.
This is Joe, the Kune Kune at the King's Arms in Bowness-on-Solway. If you ask nicely, the landlord will show him to you!
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Sunday 30th August: Windermere
A little “mini-break” in Windermere, to see A’s sister and her family before we start. They’ve hired a cottage here, not far from the B&B we stay in when we come up for walking. We haven’t seen them since Christmas, they’re doing well. Bowness-on-Windermere is heaving more than I remember in high season, but it turns out that it’s the Windermere Air Show today, so we get an ace display by the Red Arrows!
Monday 31st July: Tynemouth to Wallsend (6 miles)
Just a little stroll of 6 miles, from the coast to the official start. A and I set out, with A’s parents in tow. A was thrilled that it started to rain as we were walking through some of the less savoury parts of North Tyneside, as you can imagine.
R: A and I about to set out!
Oh, and my £12, 1000 mile, no blisters guaranteed socks were so good, I got a blister. Great start!
Tuesday 1st August: Wallsend to Heddon-on-the Wall (14.5 miles)
The first section proper! The vast majority of this was along the banks of the Tyne and therefore on Tarmac, which is a bit unforgiving. Here is the Baltic Gallery and the Sage Theatre in Gateshead, from the Newcastle Quayside:
There were a couple of showers, but nothing too soggy, thankfully. About lunchtime, I realised I’d left my walking poles at my in-laws. I could live to regret this…The section between Newburn and Wylam was lovely though. This is where we turned away from the Tyne and began to climb to Heddon. We finished this section at the pub with another couple, Phil & Cooky, doing the walk with their two border terriers, Cassie and Buster. Walking this distance was fine, but I was a bit stiff this evening. The Compeed I put on my blister is great, it’s not changed at all. Compeed is amazing stuff.
Wednesday 2nd August: Heddon-on-the-Wall to Wall (14.5 miles)
Today we started off by finding the first section of Wall proper, at Heddon (see photo). How exciting! The first 2 miles today were breezy but clear. Unfortunately, the remaining 12.5 miles were in driving rain, with the final 6 miles or so battling against 40 mph winds too. Deep joy. Most of it was following the path of the Military Road, so it was fairly straight but quite up and down. A and I kept bumping into Phil and Cooky today, and by the end, it really was only Cassie and Buster who had any spring left in their step. It’s sounds dramatic, but I now understand how hypothermia victims feel when they decide to lie down in the snow. My brain was convinced that if I curled up in the Vallum (the ditch that is often the only part of the wall left in this section) I would get warm really quickly. Scary stuff.
An interesting aside here - the Military road was built at the time of the Jacobean Rebellion. The message came for it to follow the route of Hadrian's Wall, but it was taken so literally, that in many places, they built it almost on top of it, using the stone as hardcore. Oops.
The highlight of today was the Bothy we stayed in. The landlady is younger than me I think, and an absolute star. She showed us how to turn the heating up to full to dry our things out, gave us a lift down to the pub that night (having booked us a table) and told us to ring her anytime to come and collect us. Lisa Burrows of Kiln Rigg, we salute you!
A enjoying walking in the rain. Not.
Thursday 3rd August: Wall to Steel Rigg (Once Brewed) (13.5 miles)
The Wall stretching away from us, just outside Chollerford
I got out of bed like a little old man today! Nothing hurts whilst I’m actually walking; the stiffness kicks in when I stop! After yesterday’s downpour, today was glorious. Like a fool though, I didn’t put on enough sunscreen and ended up with the worst sunburn I’ve had in 20 years. My lower left leg is as tight as a sausage about to burst under the grill. This section was magnificent walking, but hard going, over crags. By the time we got to Sycamore Gap, after 12 or so miles, I had to crawl on my hands and knees up the steps to get back out!
Sycamore Gap - yes we did walk down to the tree then back up the other side!
Met up with Phil, Cooky and the dogs again today and we all stayed at Saughy Rigg Farm. This farm is really in the middle of nowhere, but it’s brilliant for walkers, as Kath the owner comes out to pick you up from the Wall and drops you off again, and offers a very nice meal!
Friday 4th August: Steel Rigg to Haytongate (15 miles)
Because we didn’t go for a walk to find food last evening, I woke up pretty stiff this morning and took about 20 minutes to be able to walk without a “sailor’s roll”. Today started off with another 6 miles of stunning crags as we walked over the Whin Sill. The photo shows the view of Saughy Rigg from the top, on a zoom lens. I had a low point at Gilsland, after 8.5 miles, when I wasn’t quite sure how I’d do the next 6.5 miles, but I rallied after I’d had lunch. Possibly it was knowing that we were going on when Phil and Cooky were taking 4 days to do the second half of the walk while we were only taking 3 days. They were really good company and we’ll miss them. Weather was dry but a bit overcast. We spent the night in Brampton, having crossed the border into Cumbria. There was a bath in our en-suite tonight – bliss! A complained about the noises my knees made today. There’s no pain, but a most horrible crunching noise when I walk up or down hill. The right one in particular has made noises like this for a while, but even I winced when I heard them today. A’s knees are silent, but painful, and his feet are a bit of a mess…
Saturday 5th August: Haytongate to Carlisle (13 miles)
Back to lower level walking today. A little bit of drizzle, but not too much. There’s no real stone parts of the wall left here; the Romans had obviously had enough by the time they hit Cumbria, since a lot of the wall was covered in turf here. There is a section of wall that was uncovered last century, but since it was made of sandstone, it was eroding quite quickly, so they covered it up again. The Vallum is often in evidence though, so you still feel that you are following the line of the wall. We arrived in Carlisle fairly early in the afternoon, but without the energy to go and explore. We were picked up from the Sands Centre leisure centre, which doesn’t look like it’s changed much at all since I left Cumbria back in 1995! I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for the Sands Centre, it’s where I fell in love with Shakespeare the first time I ever saw it performed live: Simon Russell Beale as Richard III.
Sunday 6th August: Carlisle to Bowness-on Solway (14.5 miles)
The final section today, starting with a nice stretch along the banks of the River Eden, the only river in England that flows north – now there’s a pub quiz question if ever I heard one! A has now discovered what the muscle on the inside of the knee does – it keeps the lower leg facing in the right direction. And his isn’t! Well, really, it’s only his right foot. It’s waggling about on the end of his leg like something not right, and he’s walking a little like a penguin. We got to Burgh-by Sands (6.5 miles) by 11.15am, so too early for the pub, to A’s dismay. It also started to rain here, the kind of rain that the Irish call “soft” that doesn’t pelt you but soaks you pretty quickly. There is a three mile section from Dykesfield to Drumbrugh that follows a dead flat, dead straight road that I found pretty soul destroying – I don’t know why but I would guess it was the rain – the mist was down low on this stretch, which is very open as it goes along the salt marshes. On a clear day, you would be able to see Dumfries and Galloway across the estuary and Skiddaw to the south, but the mist put paid to that! We stopped for a lunch break after 12 miles, at the Highland Laddie pub in Glasson. The mushroom soup is to be recommended (A says the same about the Stilton and Broccoli!) and we timed it so that we were able to see most of the Grand Prix. Well done Jensen! The final stretch was quickly covered and we were at the end in Bowness-on-Solway! And the pub was a Jennings pub!! Sadly, my personal favourite, Cocker Hoop wasn’t available, but you can’t have everything. They did have a beautiful Kune Kune called Joe, though!
So there it is – we finished it. We covered about 91 miles in about 33.5 hours walking time over a week, with the bulk of it (85 miles or so) in 6 days and 31.5 hours walking time). Something to be proud of, I feel. My feet were fine after that first blister, but my ankles took a battering and swelled up the day after we finished. A's knees are jiggered and his feet are a mess of blisters. He spent most of last week creaking around the house in much the same way as I did! So, the Ridgeway next?
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
More details later, once I've sorted the photos out and done the washing...
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Loads has happened since my last post and I'm not quite sure where to start, but here goes.
A couple of days after my last posting, A and I went to see Jasper Fforde at a talk and book signing in Manchester. He really does have a sense of humour that resonates with mine (when it can surface) and A found him funny enough to pick up The Big Over Easy. He's not read any fiction since our holiday to Lefkas 15 months ago, so that's no mean feat.
A couple of days after that, A frightened the life out of me by fainting at bedtime (I wish I could say it was my sexual allure, but sadly, no...) One minute he's having a wazz in the dark, the next there's an almighty crash, then silence. I shot out of bed and turned the main light on, to find he had fallen backwards perfectly and was lying across the en-suite threshold, looking at me as if I was a loon. As far as he was concerned, he was very tired and horizontal, so therefore he was in bed - why on earth would I be asking if he was alright?
Last weekend we went to a wedding in Wigan, with the reception venue the JJB Stadium (the bride's a rugby league fan). The groom's father is related to A's mother and sometimes says very funny things entirely unintentionally. This time it was a comment to the Catholic priest who officiated the ceremony: "Very nice service, Father, and not too religious..."Cue much coughing as I try not to laugh out loud.
During the reception, A and I took time out to admire the silverware and A discovered a hideous error, he thinks. Whatever this trophy was (and I'm fairly certain it wasn't the Challenge Cup, because Wigan won it for several consecutive seasons in the 80s and 90s an the plaques don't match), the one for the 1987-88 season proudly declared the winners to be Wigan RLFC and the captain to be E Henley.
Even I know that the king of Rugby League at that time was one of the best ever players the world has seen - Ellory Hanley of Wigan.
For the price of a replacement plaque...
Sunday, July 09, 2006
Now it's about four years since I read it and I'm too lazy to crawl over the tip that is the office to check finer details, but this is how I see it.
The Doctor used the 3-D specs to see the "void stuff", which was a bit like energy from the void that attached itself to anyone or anything that had crossed it. The woman (Mary? I think so anyway) used the Amber Spyglass to see lots of gold coloured particles that were invisible to the naked eye - I can't remember if it was coming from the holes between the worlds or disappearing into them, but the holes needed to be sealed, because everytime someone traveled between world it weakened the whole fabric of the worlds. (sounds familiar?)
The Doctor was the only one who could seal the breach forever, but to do so, he had to do it from Earth and therefore needed to separate himself permanently from Rose (okay, she had other ideas, but you know what I mean!) In HDM, Will was the only one who could seal the holes, but he could only do it from his world and had to leave Lyra behind in hers.
After the breach was sealed, the Doctor and Rose each stood on their side of the wall, trying to feel the connection still. Meanwhile, Will and Lyra try to keep their connection alive (to themselves at least) by sitting on the same bench in their own Oxfords.
Am I imagining all this?
Doesn't detract from either Doctor Who or His Dark Materials though - both were utterly brilliant and I sobbed piteously at the end of both of them...
Saturday, July 08, 2006
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Having ascertained earlier this week that there was indeed a problem with the catflap (magnet clicked, lock didn't actually unlock, therefore flap wouldn't flap), A and I resorted to high end technology to fix it.
Yep, we taped the snicket down with parcel tape.
I then spent an undignified ten minutes with Lil and a tin of tuna, finally posting her through the catflap back into the house to convince her that it worked.
Have you ever tried to post a 6 kilo cat, in fact a reluctant 6 kilo cat, actually a downright hostile 6 kilo cat through a small space?
Wouldn't recommend it.
Dignity is lost by all involved.
And the hot weather slows the healing process down...
Anyway, she and Stella have carried on behaving as if it's still only available to go out. Psychological warfare on their part?
Maybe, but who cares? In the last 12 hours, they have both gone out, then come back in, through the catflap.
Sunday, July 02, 2006
However, in all the fuss of changing jobs last year, I completely missed the publication of The Big Over Easy, his first book in the Nursery Crime series. But I found it last weekend and I finished it yesterday. Cracking (excuse the pun!) Another great read, although Jack Spratt's Reading is not as different from our world as Thursday Next's Swindon. As a Thames Valley girl, I love the fact that he uses Swindon and Reading as locations, showing how dreadful they are, but with great love and respect.
If you have a chance, read one if his books. They are probably unlike anything you have ever read before...
Over the weekend, Stella has successfully got in through the catflap, thereby proving that it still works. Lil, however, has singularly failed, although she did make a half-hearted attempt yesterday. It could be that she has a problem with her jowls and they obscure her magnetic mouse somewhat, but I'm not convinced.
Grand ideas for retraining have failed due to despondency over yesterday's footie and lethargy due to today's extreme weather. Sadly, a thunderstorm wasn't enough to make Lil try to get in since the elderflower provided a more than adequate shelter.
Friday, June 30, 2006
So is it a phobia? Do they not like the cleaning fluid Alex uses when she cleans the tunnel part? Or are we being taken for fools, particularly by Lil? I ask because this morning she came and sat back on the back door step and miowed at me from the other side of the cat flap. She fixed me with her gimlet stare, then looked up pointedly at the door handle, looked again at me and again at the door handle as if to say "Well, get on with it then!"
So I did.
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
His first scan was at 8am this morning, but his second wasn't until 2.15. This one required him to be injected three hours before, so his bones would show up nicely.
"So what did you do then, hang around the coffee bar?" I asked.
"Yes," he replied. "They said I could go into Oxford to stroll around if I wanted, but I had to stay away from pregnant women and children, so I thought it was easier to stay there."
Pregnant women and children? Turns out it wasn't a dye he was being injected with (silly me), and he had to stay way from vulnerable groups as he would be fairly radioactive for some hours before and after the scan...
Apparently, he also had to keep his fluids up during the wait to ensure the marker had circulated sufficiently into his marrow, so this makes the patients pee quite a bit. Everynight, the nurses have to sweep through the patient toilets with a Geiger counter to sure it's safe enough for the cleaners to enter them. Sometimes it's not. Perhaps that's the explosive result of having a vindaloo the night before one of these scans ... radioactive poo!
It reminded me of something that happened to me about 12 years ago, when I was still working at Sellafield (before I had my Damascene conversion to teaching). I was on a placement to the R&D labs and whilst there, I cut my finger on a cable tie inside a glovebox when I was taking samples for analysis. The lab did handle plutonium (although the glovebox I was working in at the time wasn't a plute glovebox) so I needed to report this cut and get monitored. This took the form of a full body sweep by Health Physics and then urine analysis over a period of time.
I assumed this would be once a shift for a period of time, e.g. 2 weeks, to ensure no plute had entered my system (damn near impossible, but neverthless...) I cursed the awkwardness of having to drop a sample bottle off every day.
Oh silly me.
I was presented with large plastic bottle like the ones we diluted batch samples in in the lab (now can't remember if it was 1 or 2 litres, but it was huge!). The protocol was to put my labelled bottle on the shelf in the sample toilets in the change room, and every shift, pee into it whenever I needed to go. It wasn't to go back to Health Physics for analysis until it was full...
It took me over a week to fill it. You can't imagine how nice those loos smelt, with over 50 different people's bottles on the shelves, gradually being filled...
It only occured to me some time later that, should I have been internally contaminated with plutonium, my (very radioactive) pee would have had a phenominally long half-life...
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Friday, June 16, 2006
So anyway, K and I set off for Victoria Park with glee. Grande Skinny Latte here we come!
It's located in a refurbished sports pavilion just behind the crown green bowls rinks, which has had the front walls replaced with plate glass. Now in cities, I guess they protect this with roller shutters, but this being Widnes, there is a metal cage on runners around all the glass. Obviously, it can only be slid back so far. If you sit at one end, the view will, I can only imagine, be similar to the one seen by the tigers in Chester Zoo when they gaze out at the visitors.
So much for outside. Surely the inside will be reassuringly familiar?
Well, yes, it is familiar - if you frequent the cafe in Widnes Library. Where are the chessboard tables? The chocolate coloured upholstery? The mind-blowing choice of beverages on the board above the tills? (You know, the one that floors K and always makes her say..."cup of tea, please...") The recommendations from your barista? Where, oh where are the lemon zest & poppy seed muffins?
Not in Widnes, that's for sure. I've just learned the difference between a Starbucks store and a Starbucks franchise. The coffee is Starbucks', as are the wrapped biscuits and the serviettes. The Eccles cakes, melting moments and rock buns are pure council catering, as are the slightly tacky homemade laminated table menus offering "Panini's" (Argh! It's Italian! It's already a plural, you don't need and "s", let alone an "s" with an apostrophe!)
The bare concrete floor is a nice touch too. I hope someone soon tells them that they'll drive away less customers if they lift the chairs when placing them back under the table. K and I weren't entirely sure if the decor was post-ironic construction chic, or it just wasn't finished. The view from the window (not the caged end) will probably be lovely too, when the landscaping is finished. Today, we had a nice view of a digger, security fencing (more cages!), Portaloos and builder's bum. Nice.
Coffee was good though.
Saturday, June 10, 2006
One day this week, I came in to find the remains of what was probably a blue tit at the foot of the stairs. A little heart, a colon, some wheat grains and a piece of skin with feathers attached (sorry, is this too graphic for you?).
It wasn't the visual (visceral?) remains of a massacre in my hallway that upset me even though it was the first thing I saw as I opened the door. No. It was the fact that, at 7.40pm, I was the second human to come home...
"I thought you'd like to do your CSI thing on it", was the feeble excuse A offered. He'd actually gone upstairs to get changed, so must have stepped over it twice.
By Wednesday I had completed 38.15% of my reports (hurrah!) although I haven't looked at them since... How sad am I that I've got a little spreadsheet running tracking my progress?!! It does help me deal with breaking a big job into something manageable.
It's not been easy, though. Every time I sit down at the computer to work, Lilly keeps coming to sit on the desk, usually with her weight across my mouse hand. This is what I have to put up with as she prowls back and forth before settling down:
World Cup fever continues to creep into the lives of those who surround me (although the interesting thing about working in Widnes is that the kids like football but are far more interested in Rugby League, even if the Vikings have dropped out of Super League.) I do want England to do well, but I'm not convinced about flags on cars - and what did David Cameron look like? I have this theory that the number of flags on the car is in inverse proportion to how good the driver is.
This week I was cut up by an old Rover with 4 flags. Say no more.
Sunday, June 04, 2006
However, there are compensations. When I should have been hightailing it up back to get on with the work, I was bird-watching in Mum and Dad's back garden. I saw a pair of birds that I'm pretty certain are Linnets (look v. similar to a sparrow) and then the Red Kites put on their acrobatic display:
It doesn't get much better than this...
Friday, June 02, 2006
Mum and I arrived at the hospital (me armed with my file of marking, of course) to find Dad fully dressed with his bag packed on the bed. I'm so pleased, because the other chaps who were due to go home yesterday didn't because they couldn't empty their bladders sufficiently and I thought Dad would be the same. However, as he proudly boasted to my Aunt and Uncle earlier this afternoon (to Mum's horror), "I'm going better now than I've been in ages - in fact, I could write my name in the snow!"
Do you know, I was really pleased it was sunny...
Thursday, June 01, 2006
I did smile when Dad was in pre-op yesterday, talking to the anaethetist. He was explaining how he would sedate Dad, then give a spinal anaesthetic to deaden all feeling. Dad (who has diabetes, a pacemaker medicated with beta-blockers and wicked water-retention) obviously looked a bit squeamish, since he asked Dad what the matter was.
"I was hoping I'd be having a general"
"Well sir, you do have rather a lot wrong with you, so we'd rather not..."
All the sitting around before his op and the visiting have been great for helping me clear a lot of marking - funny how the homework piles up when you start turning your mind to administering KS1 SATs! All the chaps in Dad's ward smile when they see me toddle up with my purple sparkly file full of paper. Glad to know I'm of some use...
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Compensation however, took the form of several Red Kites swirling above the M40 - who needs Bill Oddie and Spring Watch?
Monday, May 29, 2006
But this evening...
This evening, she jumped up onto the sofa where I was stretched out, climbed onto my lap and then lay for a full 5 minutes along the length of my legs, purring loudly and letting me stroke her head.
It's taken 9 years to get to this point and I wanted to freeze time, to keep that moment for ever... I know it's stupid and "it's only a cat" (as a number of people I know would say), but it was truly a momentous occasion and ranked with the big declarations of love in my life (even if, as I suspect, it was just her desperation to get me to feed her...)
Friday, May 26, 2006
Dosed myself up, got through the day (although lunch time was a bit flaky), remembered to give all the homework out, and managed to avoid the traffic on the bridge (thanks for the warning K!)
I'd like to say I'm looking for a relaxing week, but it is report time, after all...
Monday, May 22, 2006
"When Will I Ever Learn?"
A child in my class is reknown for drawing beautiful pictures of other children. They have a cartoon like quality, but usually capture the essence of the subject. When a member of staff retired at Christmas, this child's portrait was framed and presented to her, it was so lovely.
Today was wet play all day (oh, my favourite!) and during dinner, I saw that she was stuck for something to do. "Why don't you draw a picture of someone?" I suggested. "Who?" she replied. I had a brainwave - "Me!" I replied. After all, I don't have a photo on my profile, it would be great.
Wanna see it?
Wait for it...
It's the teeth that really get me.
How much do you think a set of porcelain veneers will cost?