Saturday, March 18, 2006

What a difference a year makes

Wales have just lost 16-21 to France. Bugger. Last year's Grand Slam triumph is a distant memory...

On a brighter note, A and I have been shopping today, to find him some new jackets. Afterwards, I lost him at the supermarket checkout - easier than it sounds since he is now slimline and therefore no longer stands out in a crowd! Another example of what can change within a year... a much nicer change though.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Today is one of those days...

...that make it all worthwhile.

OK, that sounds nauseatingly like a cliché but just because it's a cliché it doesn't mean it isn't true.

S hasn't always found it easy working with the rest of my Y2s, but this morning he was the only child who could tell me how to work out how many candles I will have blown out on all my birthday cakes after my next birthday - the sum of all the numbers from 1 to 36. No mean feat for a child who in September struggled to recognise numbers bigger than 20. He got such a buzz from telling everyone - hurrah!

Then this afternoon, I had some children producing writing with lots of features Level 3 - hurrah again! Teaching writing is not my strong point and Level 3 is writing above the national expectation for the age group I teach. I can see all the potential bubbling under the surface, but I haven't always felt that I've coaxed it out. Maybe we're turning that corner...

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Garden Visitors

The snow has bought out huge number of garden birds, desperate to find something to eat and avoid having to grub about too much in the cold hard earth. Today I have seen at various times: a blackbird, a robin, a blue tit, 2 great tits, 4 goldfinches and various posses of sparrows, the largest a group of 10. This little fella was snapped from the dining room windowsill - not the best angle, since this feeder is right outside the kitchen window, but he persisted in feeding around the other side, so all I could see was his tail feathers. Earlier this month I saw 6 goldfinches all at once around these feeders. They really are the most beautiful birds and well worth the investment in niger seed and specialist feeders. There was also a magpie lurking in the tree just outside the back fence this morning - grrr. Magpies are not nice, they scared all the small birds away in our old house when they nested in the sycamore.

Lilly has been watching the birds from the dining room windowsill too, but she's been out once today and is refusing to venture through the catflap anymore. In weather like this, her daughter Stella doesn't even go out and spends most of her time on the landing, right above the hot water pipe. I've decided that, if there is such a thing as reincarnation, I'm going to come back as a cat - it seems a most undemanding life and I might just catch up on all the sleep I miss...

Weird Weather

Today we woke up to snow, for the second weekend in a row. It's unusual for snow to lay here (it hits the Peaks and the east side of the county, but is less common here in the Plain) but it is this morning. It's nowhere near as much as last Saturday, where we had over an inch all over and I was the first person in our cul-de-sac to leave any footprints (the milkman's had already been obliterated). Today's snow is only sticking to the grass and the cars, though - most disappointing.

I'm glad A and I went out for a walk yesterday though - the snow is enough of an excuse for him to stay curled up in front of the Grand Prix (deep joy - six months of doing nothing together on a Sunday beckons...). We walked along the Macclesfield Canal, then up the steep face of The Cloud at Bosley. I don't think I've ever got so covered in mud, as the picture shows - up to the knees! The fields we needed to cross to reach the canal were nothing short of a quagmire and the tow path wasn't much better. I did think I was going to leave one of my boots behind somewhere. I was so glad I'd put my longjohns on underneath - sometimes it's hard being nesh, but I was so glad of them yesterday! I also christened my walking pole - very handy in that slippy mud! Just a 7 miler this weekend, but it is our first walk since New Year's Day, so it's a gentle break in.