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?