Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Journey from hell?

Today I travelled down to my parents for a few days. It's a journey of some 150 miles and today, with a brief diversion into town for an abortive trip to a framing shop, it took five and a half hours. Arghhh!!!

Compensation however, took the form of several Red Kites swirling above the M40 - who needs Bill Oddie and Spring Watch?

Monday, May 29, 2006


I think I've mentioned before that Stella, our younger cat is not very keen on human contact. Lilly has always been a fusspot and a lap cat but Stella is far more reserved. We've always put it down to the treatment she received before she and Lilly were rescued. About 5 or 6 years ago she began to jump up and walk across my lap quickly, but never settled. Since we moved into this house 4 years ago, she has become more relaxed and spends more time downstairs with us in the evenings. Within the last year she has been content to spend extended periods of time on the arm of the sofa or chair where I am sitting and within recent weeks has also been known to lean against my head if I'm lying on the sofa.

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

You can tell it's half term...

... cos I woke up with a migraine today. Yuk.

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

Thanks a bunch...

A has just collapsed in paroxysms of laughter behind me. I have just made out, between the guffaws, the immortal phrase "She's actually got your wonky ears right..."


Vanity, thy name is woman - part 2


"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?

Thought so...

Wait for it...


Ye Gads.

It's the teeth that really get me.

How much do you think a set of porcelain veneers will cost?

Sunday, May 21, 2006


I did it, I did it!

I got round the Race For Life course this morning, and I'm still buzzing :-) I completed it in 39 mins 42.8, which is about 50 seconds slower than last year - no mean feat since this year's training has been minimal (um, none since February), I am somewhat heftier than last year and I ran then walked for alternate songs, whereas I ran all of it last year.

But I don't care! I did it, purely powered by my iPod in all honesty and it was absolutely pouring down too. So if you ever need to cover 5km in less than 40 minutes, this is what I suggest you have to accompany you:
Thin Lizzy: The Boys Are Back In Town
The Libertines: Can't Stand Me Now
Oasis: She's Electric
Shania Twain: Man! I Feel Like A Woman!
The J Geils Band: Centrefold
Survivor: The Eye of The Tiger
The Levellers: One Way
The Boo Radleys: Wake Up Boo!
The B-52's: Love Shack
The Proclaimers: Sunshine on Leith
I know the last one seems not to fit tempo wise, but was just what I needed to carry me over the line in a haze of emotion (why do I blubber doing Race for Life when I never blub at any other race?) . If you fancy chucking some sponsor money this way to help me reach my target, that would be great!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Holiday Plans


A and I have book our summer holiday. We are going to walk along Hadrian's Wall from Wallsend in the North East to Bowness-on-Solway outside Carlisle. We're actually going to add a bit on, so that the day before, we walk from Whitley Bay or Tynemouth to Wallsend, so we will have walked our own little "Coast to Coast" route.

Guess we'd better start upping our walking rate over the next few weekends...

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Since when did it become acceptable to aspire to being a footballer's wife? And since when did the name "Bonnie" end in -ay? And is it educational or exploitative to place a person with Tourette's in the BB house?

Why am I even asking?

And why do I vow that I won't watch it and then get suckered in?

Favourite Words

So what's your favourite word?

After the staff meeting today, two colleagues were laughing hilariously at me, as I used one of my "little sayings". Don't know why, but I seem to cause mirth wherever I go with those two (thanks, you know who you are!!). Anyway, we then overheard someone else say that they had ameliorated a problem and I commented that it wasn't a word I really used. That set us off about words and I've been rolling a few around my head ever since. Here, in no particular order, are some of my favourite words:

discombobulate (and discombobulation), pizzicato, obfuscate, vapid, aspire, gloriana, flocculation, lintel, omnicompetent (I wish!), onomatopoeia, pizzle, campanologist, nesh, fruttivendolo (Italian for greengrocer)

No particular reason for any of them apart from the way they sound. Some of them in particular are words that I would love to use more often, but are really difficult to work into a conversation with adults, let alone 6 and 7 year olds.

A tells me his favourite word is phlegmatic, which make me laugh, because he just isn't.

So, I ask again, what's yours?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


What is wrong with me?

A is away for two nights and I arrive home before 6 - an ideal opportunity to make a start on the planning for next half term.

Instead I spend more time on the phone trying to sort out the mystery of the missing £500. The girl I speak to is as lovely as the rest and faithfully promises me that she will get back to me by the end of the week, but nevertheless, I seem to be spending a lot of my time sorting out someone else's cock-up. Then I end up surfing for ideas and info on Van Gogh (the featured artist) get totally engrossed and look up now to find it's gone 10pm and I haven't really done anything of note workwise (unless you count thinking about it).


Spiderling Update: Part 2

I am bereft.

This morning as I left the house at 7.30am, I looked to check on my brood and there was no sign of them.

Niente. Nothing. Nada.

Not even a note, tucked under the flowerpot.

Less than 12 hours since I last checked and there's nothing that shows my babies were ever there.


Monday, May 15, 2006

Spiderling Update

When I came in from work a couple of hours ago, the spiderlings were scattering all across the web. I thought they were flying the nest and although I felt very proud that they were able to scurry so well, I felt a little sad. But I've just checked them and they are clustering back together - they're not leaving home just yet ;-)

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Not for the squeamish

I spotted this outside my front door earlier this afternoon, so nipped out to take a photo close up. (Click on it to get a closer look)

Guessed what it is?

I'll give you a clue...each little "blob" is a millimetre across, maybe less.


Well, maybe this shot that I took after I blew on them gently will help...

I hadn't spotted an egg sack anywhere around the door, but I'm guessing these spiderlings must be newly hatched out, because I spotted them straight away when A and I came back from town. They are so distinctive as well, but I don't know that I've ever seen a yellow and black spider like this.

Aren't they beautiful?

Friday, May 12, 2006

Tempus Fugit

Where is the time going? I'm horrified that it's almost the middle of May already. It's been a bit quiet on the blog front recently, as I've been busy with recording and marking assessments. I've also been wrestling with all sorts of other minor (and not so minor) irritants, such as heels breaking on shoes, resulting in attending a Governing Body meeting in my stockinged feet (I guess the eejit I sat next to thought the Sandie Shaw comment was funny - what's sadder is that a number of staff members older than me didn't get the reference...). I've also spent a bit of time off and on over the last ten days trying to sort out an erroneous direct debit payment, which means £500 of mine is currently floating around in cyberspace, and the intended recipient is baying for the money. Deep joy...

Sunday, May 07, 2006


Well, I don't suppose you'll agree, but I think this is traumatic. Oxford United have been relegated to the Conference. For the first time since 1962, when they joined Division 4 on the demise of Accrington Stanley, they are not in the Football League.

The only up side is that this season, Northwich Victoria were promoted to the Conference, so they'll be playing them. This of course, gives A and I the same problem as when United were in the same league as Macclesfield Town and I would refuse to stand in the home end of the Moss Rose to watch United and he would refuse to stand in the away end! I recruited a colleague of mine at the time who, if he can't watch his beloved Norwich City will watch any match he can get to, so A wouldn't worry about me standing with a group of manic footie fans (He worries too much!) The funny thing was trying to explain to my cousin, a United season ticket holder who had come up to Cheshire for the match, why I was watching it with a bloke he'd never met before, rather than my husband...

Saturday, May 06, 2006


For some reason, this week feels like one of the toughest so far this year ... and it was only four days long.

I'm sitting here staring at the computer trying to marshall my thoughts for next week and it's proving very difficult. My brain has turned to melted cheese, dripped out of my ears and is, as I type, running in rivulets to the floor, never to be retrieved.


And then I found this entry on my friend's blog. At least I know when I'll be able to catch up some sleep! Roll on Whit week...