NB long post - but no self pity and it could be worth reading on for the humiliation factor...
Funny how a lack of sleep can almost totally disable a person. I'm dog tired, but I don't appear to be sleeping. I'm waking three or four times a night, but without the spur of OfSTED, I lack the drive to get out of bed and actually do anything constructive like mark books. Too tired to knit in the wee small hours either. Thank heavens A is away, I'd be driving him demented. The muscles in my arms ache and I can't for the life of me think why, and I'm now so tired that I have taken to lurching sideways like a drunk whilst standing completely still. I think I need some new ankles, since these ones are obviously a bit shot. Do you think it's a permanent reminder of Hadrian's Wall??!!
This term is always an interesting one in Year 2, as well - end of Key Stage Assessments. I've been working with the children on identifying what they think they need to improve. We've also done a lot of reflecting and they're quite amazed by how much their work has changed in the last few months. I always am too, but it's one of the miracles of teaching. I love it. It's better than drugs any day and that's why, even when I know I'm not getting it right, teaching Year 2 is such a blast. The progress is so much easier to see than when they are older.
Some funny things (and horrific ones!) have happened to me this week and I just haven't got around to blogging about them, but here are a couple of high (or should that be low?) lights.
I have decided this term I need to say "No" more, especially as I review all the assessment evidence for the whole year group and try to take on more of this Senior Management role I now have. I made a good, start, I told the Head I wouldn't be running an after school club this half-term. That same day, I was then asked to accompany the Year 5s on their weekend residential in the middle of May. Of course, being shattered, totally unfit and it being bang in the middle of the assessment period, I said yes. I can hear my mother's voice running through my head as I speak... "Don't come running to me if you break your ankle, ...."
Last night, I decided to pop along to a little social knitting group at a craft studio/yarn shop in nearby Knutsford. Now, Knutsford is rather genteel (although this news item might sully that image slightly), but I figured I could squeeze an hour of planning in in Costa Coffee before going and maybe catch a sandwich. I arrived at 6, just as Costa was closing, so that scuppered than plan, but I thought maybe I could slip into the local wine bar and find a space. It's been a long time since I was there, but I was really surprised to find it heaving that early. anyway, it was a nice evening, so although there was no room to do any work on my old steam powered laptop, I ordered a small Peroni and a plate of Nachos to soak it up and went to badger a nice chap into letting me sit at his table. Imagine my surprise when I ate the first Nachos, looked down and saw it had revealed a fingernail sized piece of blu-tac on the plate...
I took the refund rather than the replacement, but then realised that, without food, the Peroni was going to really hit me in about, oh, 15 minutes (I'm such a lightweight!) , so had to scurry along the main street deciding which place could serve me a meal in the shortest time. Pizza Express won, but it has been so long since I've been that I didn't realise it no longer served the Venezia (I love sultanas and pine kernels), so that was a bit of a blow. To top it off, once I arrived at the knit group, I settled down, knitted a nice chunk of sock, then realised I'd missed a row of the pattern out and the whole thing looked like a dog's dinner. I don't supposed anyone else would notice, but I would always know it was there, so that was those rows ripped out when I got home.
On the way up from les parents on Sunday, I was listening to a new CD, of Cyril Tawney performing live in 1981. As I listened to a couple of songs I realised that some of the songs had quite a narrow vocal range and that I might just have a chance of singing them without mangling them. No, don't worry, I have no plans of stepping up at the local folk club's open mic spot, but I do remember fondly days when I lived in Cumbria and nights out with work mates on course were not complete without late night singing in the bar. I was always happy to join in with chorus and refrain of well known staples (Wild Rover, Soldier Soldier, etc) but never would I lead one. After all, I can't sing, I'm under no illusion about that. One of my lasting memories is of a school friend with a nice line in acidic put-downs who commented, "Nic enjoys listening to Otway because he makes her sound good" (God bless the good ship Jeneva and all who sail in her...)
Anyway, I digress. As already mentioned, I would never dare to sing in a public forum sober, but it would be nice to have a song to offer late at night (hah! Like I ever find myself in those situations these days). With this heavy dose of nostalgia in mind, I happily turned the CD off and sang through the song a few times. It was OK, the windscreen didn't crack. I struggled with the lowest note (the final note of the refrain) I think it may have been D, but whatever. I didn't think it was that bad. You can't teach Infants without singing and A has commented that I seem to be able to hold a tune a little better now than in my younger days.
Once I arrived home, the temptation of an empty house with no TV on when I arrived was too good to miss. I always sing along to music in the kitchen, but I just don't sing unaccompanied. I got quite excited thinking about it. I fed the cats, grovelled a bit about going away, unpacked and then decided it was now or never. I breathed deeply and started singing away:
Too soon to be out of me bed,
Too soon to be back at this bus queue caper,
Or fumbling for change for me picture paper,
On a Monday morning.
Wrong end of the week for a smile,
Wrong end of the day for being civil,
There’s many a saint would be a devil
On a Monday morning.
I didn't get past the second verse (out of six). I heard this dreadful caterwauling and turned round to find Lilly had jumped off the sofa from where she had been having a post-prandial nap and was stood behind me yowling her head off. I attempted to continue, but she promptly made for the cat flap, so I decided to call it a day.
Everyone's a critic...
Soundtrack: The Charmer - Seth Lakeman; Drowned Lovers - Kate Rusby; Heather - Wedding Present; Dirty Old Town - Ewan MacColl; Bold Privater - Eliza Carthy; Sweet England - Jim Moray; Planxty Davies - Nic Jones