Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Can you play hopscotch?

In school I am one of the senior lunchtime supervisors i.e. responsible for all the crap that goes on during our 70 minute lunch break. I'm the one who gets to "talk to" all the trouble makers, make a decision if someone needs to go home, deal with the "ooooh" first aid cases etc. So yesterday I was wandering around the playground - you know just checking!

Down in the corner of the playground we have lots of "game markings painted on the floor/wall - hopscotch, chess, targets etc and 3 angelic looking little girls are playing hopscotch! Bless. We give them weighted foam pieces so they don't have to throw stones - it's lovely! I wander towards them to say well done. They look to be about 5 or 6 - foundation stage (kindergarten) age!

This to me is a scene from the quintessential primary school playground and it makes my heart warm!! This is why I am a teacher! :o)

And then when I walk up close to them I realise that as they hop up and down the numbers, on each hop they make they are swearing! So its a little like this -

5 year old Angel #1 - Fucketty, fucketty, fucketty, fuck! *stops picks up foam piece, turns* Fucketty, fucketty, fucketty *sees me* fffffffffffffff!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

A prayer for Tuesday ..... with tongue firmly lodged in cheek!

Every single evening as I'm laying here in bed
this tiny little prayer keeps on running through my head.
God bless my nearest and dearest and other family
Keep them warm and safe from harm for they're so close to me.
And God, there is one more thing I wish that you could do.
Hope you don't mind me asking, Please bless my PC too.
Now I know that it's not normal to bless a mother board
But listen just a second while I explain to you, my Lord
You see that little metal box holds more than odds & ends
Inside those small compartments Rest so many of my FRIENDS
I know so much about them, by the kindness that they give
and this little scrap of metal takes me in to where they live.
By faith, is how I know them, much the same as you
we share in what life brings us and from this our friendship grew
Please, take an extra minute from your duties up above
to bless those in my address book that’s filled with so much love!
Wherever else this prayer may reach to each and every friend
please bless each email Inbox and the person who hits Send.
When you update your heavenly list on your CD-Rom
Remember each who've said this prayer sent up to!

Bedtime last Wednesday

Me - right, bedtime everyone!

22 children - do we have to, 5 more minutes? Please?

So I wander off dragging the 8 girls, to get them to go to bed. I was part way through a story with them about a ghost teacher - not as scary as it sounds honest - more of a "be careful/polite & kind/work hard in school or this will happen to you!"

Girls - can you read the end of the story please?

Me - ok, but teeth and into bed quick! It's already quarter past nine. Ok?

*scrambling around, scrubbing teeth*

I pick up the book, turn to page 48 (from previous night) and 3 of them start snoring. Was it something I said?

Sunday, June 26, 2005

I give up!

lions shirt

From Zinzan Brooke's Rugby Union column

To drop Gavin Henson and put in Jonny Wilkinson, who has been out of the loop for two years and only played his first comeback match about three weeks ago, is basically saying "OK, Wales may have won the Grand Slam but you're not good enough."

Do you have to wear a white jersey to play for this team or what? If Henson doesn't get in the Test team next week he may as well get on the first plane home.

It puts a big question mark against the whole squad ethos and Woodward is going to have to earn that knighthood now."

Are you listening Sir Clive?
Does 21-3 not ring any alarm bells with you?

Unconscious mutterings #125


I say ... and you think ...?

  1. Useless :: creature
  2. Radiant :: new mother
  3. W :: VW Camper
  4. Unpaid :: helper
  5. Geek :: chic
  6. Unfaithful :: bastard
  7. Reboot :: bloody MS Windows
  8. No! :: I won't!
  9. Squad :: firing
  10. Fetish :: shoes

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Back after a technology free week!

Well, we had a fab week - Mandy and Mark were the best people I could have possibly gone with .... just a few quick photos to give you a flavour!

We went to Dover Castle
Dover Castle
Did some pond dipping! The water lilies were fab!!
Pond dippingWater lilies
Stayed at a little country house I know!
Stayed in a house in the country!
Wandered along woodland paths in dappled sunshine.
Woodland path
Caught small creatures (to look at for a little while ....... we released them later honest!)
I am a vole and I live in a hole!
Went to the beach!
St Margaret's Bay
Went rockpooling! [Is that a real verb?]
Admired the scenery.
The cliffs to the northDover's white cliffs in all their glory
Created beach art!
Beach art

I would of course love to show you more pictures, show you banner the children painted which is going to be on display @ exhibitions all around the country, write down their poetry & tell you all the stories, but I can't - children's safety of course. Isn't that sad! Necessary but very sad!

Awake at 3.51 am

I got back from my trip last night, knackered! Got shit faced on 2 brandy & cokes ....... that's what "having a heavy-handed husband" does for you and was asleep on the sofa by 8pm! Bed at 10pm and awake at 3.51 ....... WTF?

My next-door neighbours are on holiday & their son and his girlfriend are screaming at each other so loudly I can hear them through the wall - JASON, SHUT THE FUCK UP - I need more sleep!!! I am so going to "dob his cocky-24-yr-old arse" in to his mother on her return ....... that'll teach him!

See how mature I can be :o) See you all later!

Monday, June 20, 2005

See you all on Friday!

Well, I'm off for the week - residential trip away, me, Mandy, Mark and 23 lovely 7 yr olds!! Which would all be fine and dandy BUT and here is the crux of the matter ...... no Internet, no blog, no email & no online backgammon make Jo very "antsy"! You know kinda itchy!! *drumming fingers already* I'm sure it'll be lovely - castles, seaside, painting, fresh air, sunshine - all the things the geeky bit of me doesn't want!!


On a cheerier note - I have a fabulous pedicure to take away with me!! So, in case you're looking - I'll be the blonde teacher at the front with the fabulous toes! Mandy's the one with the pink hair! And Mark's the one - hell if you can't tell who Mark is I'm taking my new "push them right up there darling" bra back to Janet Reger!!

So until I get back, tell me - what exciting things will you be doing this week? &/Or How could I tell which one you are in a crowd?

Have a great week - see you on Friday!
Jo xx
p.s. I just found out (well yesterday p.m. that my sis-in-law is "reading me regular like" (there's Welsh for you!) .... so hiya & welcome to H - please remember to ring my darling husband whilst I'm away so he doesn't get lonely ;o)
Note to self : slag Simon off more on blog; that way H will take pity on him, invite him to stay and Ruth, Su and I can have a girly weekend of chocolate, wine and movies at ours!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Men are funny!

What you got as an appetiser?

This post was inspired by
Deb's latest responses to Friday's Feast

Asked the question What’s one word or phrase that you use a lot? Deb responded "Believe it or not, I curse. A lot when no one’s around but Scott and the cats lol. My kids would never hear me say it but “F*ck me running” is my favorite phrase and one I use most when no one’s around."

I think everyone needs to swear sometimes - often, for me, an expletive is a really necessary steam release & "creative cursing" is downright enjoyable! [I know there are those of you out there who will use all those comments my parents did when I was young about a lack of brains and imagination because I need to swear ...... you weren't in the car when my dad called that lady driving into the swimming pool car park a stupid blind c*nt!] I'm not offended by swear words - they're only words, they can't hurt me - I find feelings/displays of hate, bigotry, racism etc far more offensive!

Anyway ..... down to my story and the reason for the title of this post!

I finished university in July 1997 and came to Kent for an interview; securing a year 1 teaching position in a small semi-rural town nr Rochester I moved here permanently and started work in the September. [At the end of July I had visited for a week - to meet my "class to be" and get to know the staff/GB/parents etc] So, my job started. The school was nice - set in large mature grounds, green fields, built in the 1950s so not ideal but a good sized airy classroom, with big windows and even a little patio and grassed area outside the window!

So September comes around and I start work. I have my class of 30 little darlings and the "deep end" becomes my permanent home. I explained this school was built during the 1950s right? So, the toilets (as was all the rage in the UK then) are in the classroom not down the corridor. Great? Right? [Children don't need to go down the corridor to the toilet!] Wrong! I don't have the benefit of experience from being a parent to know that little children don't flush after they pee/whatever (yet another thing they don't tell you during basic teacher training along with ..... no, that's a post for another day!) September that year was warm (is the term Indian Summer non-PC now?) and by the end of the week the fragrance of the toilets each day was getting me down!

So I do a whole-class spiel about "flushing & washing (your hands)" - we talk about why it's important. I make a poster for the inside of the toilets near the sink "have you flushed & washed?" We have gold stars for "flushing & washing"! I make a gold "flushed & washed" star chart, (so your star is stuck next to your name for the whole world to see) - decorated with cartoon loos (toilets) and taps (faucets)! At the end of the week we give a certificate for the "top flusher & washer" in the class!* The whole nine yards, bells and buzzers on it, everything!

By the end of the week, pretty much everyone is getting it! The children are all "flushing & washing" in fact we are probably going to the toilet more than is really necessary because of the gold stars. We are there - all except for C. Let me tell you a little about C. C was a gorgeous child - dark auburn hair, creamy skin with a sprinkling of freckles over his nose, a wide smile you just HAD to smile back at & dark hazel eyes that looked straight into your soul! But not one original thought to his name bless him! C was actually a year 2 child, but was in year 1 because he just couldn't cope with the curriculum** - he found everything hard maths, literacy, even PE - poor coordination too. And C was not getting "flushing & washing!"

So on day C asks "Miss Collins, can I go to the toilet?" "Yes C" says I "and don't forget to flush and wash!" So off he toddles and ..... doesn't come back! One of the children is sent to find him and comes back to report "C is trying to flush the toilet!" *success* "He can't reach!" *bless* So I go to help C with his "flushing!"

There is of course a reason that C can't reach. This school was built in the 1950s, so it didn't have low level toilets like this with a little metal flusher on the side -

nice toilet

Instead it had toilets with a high sistern like this. You know the kind of thing? Handle on a long chain, pipe from the water tank down to the toilet etc.

classroom toilets

So, C has reached up to pull the chain and can't reach high enough, he's only 7 (and small for his age too!) As I walk through the toilet door he has put his foot on the pipe at the back of the toilet to stand on the pipe so he can reach up and pull the chain (this has worked, the handle is in his hand) - just like I've asked him to! So, I say (maybe a little loudly) "No, C!" - so he'll climb down and I'll "flush" so he can just "wash!" - WRONG!

As I call his name, C turns, the movement dislodges the pipe from the rear of the toilet, he falls and all of his weight is now on the handle, which pulls, flushes the toilet and breaks off! The water comes barrelling down the pipe, which is no longer attached to the back of the toilet and splashes all over the floor - soaking C (who's sitting on the floor with the toilet chain in his hand) and me in the process.

My mind goes blank!

The water keeps pouring!

My mind is still blank! SHIT! Think Joanne quick!

I open my mouth and out comes a strangled "Mynyffyrny!"*** I grab a child, send him to get the caretaker (who arrives @ a gallop), pick up a sobbing C, wipe him off, change his clothes and mop the floor once the water has been switched off! C stops crying once he realises he's not in trouble! All sorted, no lasting damage, no-one heard me swear (and if they did, they didn't understand me anyway) - I get to keep my job! Hurrah!!

And then 3 weeks later, a little girl dropped a Lego model she had spent 3/4 of an hour making and shouted "men are funny!" Ooops ..... that would be me then!! Another generation on the slippery slope eh?!?

* I promise you I have got over the "I'm a newly qualified teacher and I will hit you with a 25 pronged attack" phase of my life - honest ;o)
** This made his successes all the sweeter for him and me!
*** pronounced mun-uff-ar-knee - Welsh for "Oh bloody hell!"

Unconscious mutterings #124


I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Domesticated :: pet
  2. Cask :: ale
  3. Wayne :: Wayne's World
  4. Insidious: : creep
  5. Cool! :: as a cucumber
  6. Dishwasher :: heaven
  7. Little house :: on the prarie
  8. Stepford :: Wives
  9. Hung :: out to dry
  10. Falling :: for you

Saturday, June 18, 2005

All the way from NZ

I got a post card, so much nicer than a bill. The postman said he thought NZ looked nice - I think he must have a sheep fetish! [And you thought the Welsh were the odd ones!!]

postcard from Sara in NZ

Thanks Sara
Love - Jo xx
p.s. yours is on the way!

Bloody buggering blogger!

Buggeration! It lost my post! Bloody, bloody, bloody *stomps away screaming*
*stomps back* What's bloody "recover post" for then?

Friday, June 17, 2005

Can't wait a week to weigh!

Ok, I am supposed to wait until Monday to weigh myself - but from next Monday until next Friday I will be away on a residential trip with 22 7-8 yr olds (think of me guys!) SO ...... I snuck on the scales this morning - you never thought I played by the rules did you? Did you?

And *drum rolls*

I lost 5lbs *victory dance ensues* not there yet, but a good start!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Icons @ war!

When you go to bed at night do you forget to shut down your computer? I think you ought to know what actually goes on. At 1am this morning you would not believe what I found my icons doing!! [Click on the title!]


Thursday afternoons - PPA time!! Yeh! PPA time ..... ummm ...... Planning, Preparation, A..... Shit - I have no idea what the A stands for.

Let me ask the Internet!
Assessment! That's why I never remember that bit!

I hate assessing children, especially little children - they get all nervous, agitated, panicky. And they know when they haven't got it all right. Their faces fall, they get wobbly lips and you know that moment when a big fat tear just sits on the edge of an eyelash waiting for the next one to push it over the precipice - that moment kills me everytime!

This is my 10th year of teaching and now I try hard to make assessment fun, but when I first started the job .... I didn't know how to do that. They don't explain how in college (.... they don't tell you about lots of things that it is too early for me to get into now, those things just creep up on you like a nasty joke!) .... experience has made me realise that my "gut reaction" & "lets play a game" assessment is much better than a test any day! The closing comment a headteacher made on an (for once really worthwhile) assessment course has stayed with me to this day.
"A pig farmer doesn't spend all his time weighing little piglets to get them fat and round and ready for market, he feeds them! Don't spend all your time assessing your children - teach them!"


I'm crushed too!

I found this one over at
Salena's and you know me and thievery!

~ My Big Guy Crush : the lovely Mr Hugh Jackman - yum!

the lovely Hugh Jackman

and here he is again - double yum!

the lovely Hugh again

~ My Old Guy Crush : Sean Connery
~ My Comedian Crush : Eddie Izzard

my favourite lesbian transvestite
~ My Childhood TV Movie Star Crush : John Schneider as Bo Duke

just some good ol' boys, never doing no harm
~ My Newscaster Crush : Dermot Murnaghan

he can read the news to me any day

~ My TV Doctor Crush : God! Can't think of a TV Doctor Crush. Can I do a TV ..... coroner/CSI - don't panic it's Gil Grissom & Nick Stokes not Quincy!!

GrissomN Nick Stokes

~ Or a TV policeman - Don Gilet (who plays Nicky in the brilliant 55 degrees North)


~ My What the HELL!? Crush : Phil Spencer from Location, location, location ..... and Kev says he's not that big in real life!!

not as big in real life
Who are your crushes?

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Bed & Breakfast for Tom

So I ummed and aahed, heeed and hawed and have come up with a couple of places that I have been to and loved!! You'll find they are mostly in Wales ... but with a name like Tom Jones - you'll be fine!!

Preswylfa in Aberdyfi (Aberdovey in English) - Marion & Jim were fantastic, when I stayed here with Kev a few years ago. Over looking the beach/estuary - the view from the bedroom window was to die for! The walk down to the pubs of the village at night was short and steep, the walk back was ..... hard work but by that point we didn't care! Set within the Snowdonia National Park the mountain scenery around was fantastic and there were loads of places nearby to visit - like Portmeirion, Yr Eryri (Snowdon), the Snowdon Railway & Llyn Tegid (Lake Bala in English) to name but a few.

Fairyhill in Reynoldston, Gower - more of a country hotel, but absolutely fabulous and worthwhile for a night or two ..... an amazing place from which to discover the beauty of the Gower. Reynoldston is at the base of Cefn Bryn - an old red sandstone ridge that forms the backbone of Gower, the road over Cefn Bryn twists past sink holes, like Broad Pool and finally passes Arthur's Stone (a Neolithic burial tomb - the legends are of course more romantic) on the summit of Cefn Bryn! None of the superb Gower beaches are far away - including Port Eynon, Oxwich and my personal favourite Llangennith. If Fairyhill is to expensive, I know they do B&B at the King Arthur Hotel, also in Reynoldston - Kev says it's lovely there!

Pendinas in Solva, Pembrokeshire is lovely. Great views, very nice people! Solva is gorgeous, tiny little harbourside town set within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park (the only coastal national park in Wales/UK.) Only a short drive from the city of St David's with it's beautiful cathedral and the beaches of Newgale, Broad Haven and Little Haven - divine!

Rua Reidh Lighthouse, Melvaig, Gairloch, Ross-shire - I don't think I need to say anything else about this one! Also in Gairloch, near the harbour is The Old Inn - fantastic beer selection (the real stuff Tom!)

Also worth a look - The Bell Inn at Skenfrith, Monmouthshire - fab countryside, good fishing, lovely food!

Hope you enjoy the tour! You, your wife and the moustached one et al should come for a visit!!

Monday, June 13, 2005

Day #1

I am starting a sensible eating & excercise plan today - not a diet, I'm refusing to call it that! There's lots of things that should be easy -

  • I am going to cut out sugar in tea and coffee (Would you like sugar in your tea? Most people - no, I'm sweet enough! *simper* Me - Yes please!)
  • No biscuits at morning break! *are you reading this Mandy*
  • I am not going to eat anything after 7pm! I fear this will also include calorie bearing drinks! I really don't have the metabolism for it!
  • I am going to go every Monday and get myself weighed - because I will find the lady there scary - and will do all I can to avoid her Paddington Bear stare!
  • I am going back to my aerobics class that I stopped going to because Ruth no longer went to.

So goal #1 - loose 2 stone before the end of the summer holidays! (I'd like to do it before the start of the summer holidays really!!)

5 things I miss from my childhood

I was tagged by Deb

The Rules : Remove the #1 person from the following list, bump everyone up one place and add your/your blog’s name in the #5 spot. You need to actually link to & visit each of the blogs for the link-whorage aspect of this fiendish meme-age to kick in. Here we go:

  1. Dana @ Southern Gal Goes North
  2. SusiePie
  3. Concrete Angel
  4. Deb @ Sugarfused
  5. Jo @ Chez le laquet!

…and then you choose 4 unsuspecting victims…

  1. Sara & Walker - seeing as it's you two, joint efforts allowed :o)
  2. Maria
  3. Kenny
  4. Tom
and then you fill in this -->

5 Things I Miss From My Childhood:

  1. The innocence of life, knowing that whatever happened, good or bad, my Mum and Dad would be home that night to share it / sort it out! [Ok, this is a role Simon now fills - but it's different .... isn't it?!?]
  2. My grandfathers, both of them - Dad's dad; his stories, his blustering, his cooking! [My mother will boke over that one, not because she'll think it was too sentimental; just because she hated my grandfather's cooking!] Mum's dad; the laughter, the little hut where he worked
  3. Those long, hot, summers - which seemed longer and hotter than any we have these days ..... are they sure about global warming?
  4. Our house in Swansea - it's still the place I picture when I say the word "home!" The kitchen where everyone sat and talked, the garden where I spent my summers - playing games, pinching crab apples from the trees next door, the old pig sty (pig and pig sh*t free by the time we came along) which was so many things from haven to hideaway.
  5. Our outdoor weekends - from April to October, Mum and Dad would hitch up the trailer tent and we'd be off. We travelled all over south Wales, the marches and into Avon & Somerset - thats about as far as you could get on a weekend. It was idyllic - I got to see/experience so much ...... I'd love to go this weekend but work makes it an impossibility. *stops griping and smiles over the memories*

Righty-oh, everyone understand? Thank god - because I was really confused the first time I read it!! It's over to you then! :o)

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Unconscious mutterings #3


I say ..... and you think .....?

  1. Wally :: Where's Wally?
  2. Phantom :: flan flinger
  3. Slippery :: when wet
  4. Fungus :: the Bogeyman
  5. Slot :: machines
  6. Type :: cast
  7. Discharge :: yourself (from hospital)
  8. "We need to talk” :: shit!
  9. On the spot :: repair
  10. Liquid :: lunch

Saturday, June 11, 2005

killing time on ebay

48 mins 24 secs - I am currently watching an item on ebay for my mother! It's a bit like one of those "you know it's the 21st century, when you're parents are using ebay!" She's after a "previously owned" (I'm sure someone somewhere thinks it's not PC to say second hand anymore) trailer tent!

41 mins 59 secs - Mum and Dad have gone out, Dad has an "English language" AA meeting on Saturday afternoons - he takes the tea and coffee. I've never been to an open AA meeting, but I understand they drink plenty of coffee!! Dad has two American friends who go to the same meeting - they eat huge bars of chocolate (which I think they share around) .... I think I'd quite like that meeting! I had to tell dad that it was the 70th birthday of AA this week - he likes cards and a cake on his AA birthday ..... any excuse for a cake I think!

36 mins 43 secs - have you got the idea yet? I'm sitting here until the bitter end and they get the trailer tent (or I bid to their limit) and you get to be here with me!!

35mins 21 secs - they were bidding on a trailer last week, and someone came to visit during the last ten minutes of the auction ...... must have been nail biting stuff! *snorts aloud*

32 mins 5 secs - it says "you are still the highest bidder!" It'll be a panic if they do get it - I'll have to go and collect it from Deeside and we haven't even got a tow-hitch yet!!

30 mins 23 secs - Tell me guys, what's the most unusual thing you have ever bought or sold on ebay?

28 mins 50 secs - done quite a lot of school work this morning as this auction has carried on, collated last of SATs data, written music, PE and PHSE comments for my reports - all scintillating stuff.

24 mins 52 secs - on a lighter note, I can hear my next-door but 2 neighbour through the window, he's banging the washing line and shouting for their cat to come. So it's bang, bang "Pussy!" Bang, bang "Pussy!" - he needs to be careful he doesn't get more than he bargained/is shouting for!!

22 mins 46 secs - You are the current high bidder!

20 mins 9 secs - Dad has just rung from France (meeting is obviously over then) to say "your Mummy [he says it to nark her!] is wondering have you heard anything about her trailer tent!" I told him I was monitoring it ..... I didn't let him know how closely I was blogging it!! Mum is probably, as I type, slaughtering the car to get back up the RN20 and home before the auction finishes!! Vive la France et les autoroutes Françaises and all that!!

15 mins 36 secs - do I have time to go and pee?

14 mins 30 secs - yes I had time!!

13 mins 29 secs - you're probably thinking "that was a long pee"! I had to use comfort drops on my contacts too ..... just call me speedy!

10 mins 17 secs - We used to have a trailer tent a bit like this one when we were kids. It was wonderful ... holidays every summer, weekends away. Hopefully Simon and I will be able to use it when we go to France this summer. We're due to go camping (and we have quite a big tent) but it would be nice to not sleep on the floor. This kind of trailer tent is so quick and easy to put up! None of the snarling usually associated with our 'tent pitching arguments.'

8 mins 30 secs - into single figures, I'm getting quite nervous! Can you imagine how crap I'd be in/at a bingo hall!!

4 mins 59 secs - god!! Where's my assistant to mop my brow? I bet some bastard bids at 5 secs to go!! They will won't they .... should I up her maximum bid? What do you reckon?

4 mins 5 secs - his wife's out there screaming "Pussy!" now - they maybe should have called the cat Maude or Silky or something more fitting & safer!

1 min 58 secs - are you with me? It's edge of seat/knicker wetting time!!

Auction ended - *sounds fanfare* - I'm going on holiday in a trailer tent this summer!!

There's always one!

Just made me laugh! A great place to hide!

always one

50 questions

Stolen - no bones about it!! I pinched this .... specifically for a quiet moment like today! So to view the original pop over to see the lovely, chinchilla desiring, USA holidaying Katya Coldheart! Hang about - come to think about it .... I believe she stole it from Rainy Pete - I feel so much better now!!

  1. What time did you get up this morning? - 5.52 am, if you don't get the loo before Simon hits the shower (prude** locks the door) you can be there hours desperate to pee!!
  2. Diamonds or pearls? - Diamonds!
  3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? - Valiant .... kids animation with superb British cast!
  4. What is your favourite TV show? - Extreme Makeover Home Edition - makes me cry everytime!
  5. What is your middle name? - Elizabeth
  6. What is your favorite cuisine? - Southern Country French - yum!
  7. What foods do you dislike? - Marzipan, tripe, lychees, anything aniseed/licorice-y & kumquats.
  8. What is your favourite crisp/chip flavour? - Walker's Sensations Thai Sweet Chilli - yum!
  9. What is your favourite CD at the moment? - Best of Seal 1991 - 2004
  10. What kind of vehicle do you drive? - Renault Clio 1.9 Diesel
  11. What is your Favourite sandwich? - Roasted vegetable & cheese (hot/melted) with Balsamic vinaigrette on Italian bread *dribbles*
  12. What characteristics do you despise? - dishonesty.
  13. What is your Favourite item of clothing? - shoes, I would love a pair of Jimmy Choo's
  14. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? - South Africa
  15. What colour is your bathroom? - Lilac
  16. What colour pants are you wearing? - Is this American? Does it mean trousers (black) or knickers (black too)? *bangs hand against forehead* So in answer to the original question - black!
  17. Where would you retire to? - Southern France, near here and here and here to do this*** and this and to eat plenty of this.
  18. What is your Favourite time of the day? - Morning
  19. What was your most memorable birthday? - My 27th (will follow up with a post!)
  20. What's the last thing you ate? - god, I can't remember and it was only last night chicken salad with Jersey new potatoes.
  21. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? - Lilac
  22. What is your Favorite flower? - In a vase - ivory roses, in the garden - clematis/marguerites, in the wild - poppies!
  23. What Fabric detergent do you use? - Tesco's own, non-bio
  24. Coke or Pepsi? - Coke, full fat version!
  25. Do you wish on stars? - Yes and I sing about it!
  26. What is your shoe size? - UK 8, European 41. US - ?
  27. Do you have any pets? - No!
  28. Last person you talked to on the phone? - my brother, very monosyllabic conversation HIm - "Joanne?" Me - "Yes!" HIm - "Are you coming down this weekend?" Me - "No, still reporting I'm afraid" HIm - "Good, because we're going out on Saturday!" Me - "How's everyone?" Him - "Ok, that's all I wanted!" Me - "You don't want to chat then? Ok, talk to you soon, bye!" Him - "Bye!" It's hard to imagine we came from the same gene pool!!
  29. What did you want to be when you were little? - A seismologist (sp?) - or any other earthquake/geology kind of job!
  30. What are you meant to be doing now? - it's 6.18 am on Saturday, should be sleeping!
  31. What do you first notice about someone? - Smile and hands (I don't know why!)
  32. What was your favourite toy as a child? - Lego
  33. Summer or winter? - Summer
  34. Hugs or Kisses? - both, together?
  35. Chocolate or vanilla? - ah, well, lets see. Scent - vanilla. Ice-cream - chocolate.
  36. Who is most likely to respond? - all you lot out there in the ether!
  37. Who is least likely to respond? - everyone who doesn't know about this blog!!
  38. Living arrangements? - with my husband Simon in an Edwardian mid-terrace in north Kent.
  39. When was the last time you cried? - couple of nights ago, National Geographic channel - programme about the Afghan Girl!!
  40. What is under your bed? - dustballs and my current book
  41. How many countries have you visited? - 18 [Born in Wales; been to England, Scotland, Ireland (Eire and the North), France, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Andorra, Germany, Austria, Greece, Israel, USA, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and South Africa)
  42. In how many cities have you lived? - 1 (many towns but only 1 city)
  43. Favourite movie of all time?- Breakfast at Tiffany's (which I can't believe I left out of the Movie Meme - must have been a naturally blonde day!)
  44. Mountains or beach? - Beach
  45. The current friend you have known the longest? - Bethan - since first day in comprehensive school, so that would be early September 1980
  46. Full names of your potential kids? - hard one for a teacher (you've usually had "troll child from hell called a certain name so wouldn't touch it with a barge pole!" So I'll never have a Cara, Connor, Darren or Joshua!!) Anyway, Robyn, Darcy or Megan for a girl; Rory or Benedict for a boy!
  47. What is your usual bedtime? - anytime after 9.30pm, I'm better in the mornings!

Ok, (as noted by Katya) there were only 47 questions ...... this is your chance to come up with 3 more!! I'll answer pretty much anything unless they're really gross/embarassing etc.

** a lovely prude but a prude none the less!! :o)

*** I have to tell you I pinched this photo from the "Gay Outdoor" Club's site - this cracked me up!!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Joanne, why don't you .....

....... keep your big mouth shut! Summer is over I see!

T.G.I.S. (Thank goodness it's summer!)

In case you didn't know, summer has arrived in the UK. This is always the start/chance for much merriment and laughter (by us Brits ..... we don't often take summer seriously ..... and the rest of the world!) You know the kind of thing ..... do you remember the summer of 2005? Ah yes, it was one week in early June wasn't it?

Summer does amazing things to a school. Don't get me wrong, we always using our outside areas - playtime, PE etc. heck the nursery and foundation stage spend a chunk of time outside everyday rain, shine or snow! But yesterday everyone was outside - year 3 science about shadows, year 4 PE, mother's and toddler's group outside all day. I took the opportunity to take my class to the field before lunch - we sat on the grass under one of the huge oak trees and had storytime. The children lay on the grass or sat against the tree trunk with me, I read 4 chapters of the Owl who was Afraid of the Dark. No-one wanted to leave the spot and go to lunch - blissful!! Think of us today just before lunch - we'll be back there!

Question - what do you like to do on sunny days?

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Throw him a belt he's fallen in!

One of the teachers from the nursery came to see me yesterday morning - they have had no computers on for the last 2 weeks (before half term) as they have had a problem with an extension lead ..... in fact the "safety" man said it was dangerous!! The children have not been able to use the PCs and apparently are banging/slamming the keyboards in frustration everytime they wander past - sound familiar guys?

So, at lunch time yesterday I went to a local DIY store ("Don't forget the VAT receipt Jo!!" said the martinet in the office) to buy a new extension cable to run the machines! [I know, I know - bring in an electrician and put in a proper electricity supply - I agree, but they are about to start construction on a new nursery unit .... so, extension it is!] I wandered around the store for a few minutes, found what I needed and arrived at the checkout.

Me - Can I have a VAT receipt for this please?

Checkout operator - A VAT receipt?

Me - Yes please.

C.O. - You want a VAT receipt? No problem! £9.98 please. Sign here.

Me - Thanks very much (takes bag from C.O.) bye!

You're probably wondering why I'm posting about this .... a number of reasons come to mind is it :-

a) I am so shocked by the politeness &/or service of the checkout operator that I wanted to let you know!

b) My life is so boring I have nothing else to write, or

c) The whole of the conversation/transaction with above mentioned employee took place with him staring right into my cleavage?

Note to checkout operator - it's summer, cleavage will be on show, if you stare so much/look that close/lean over that far ..... you will fall in!!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Back, bad, mean and mad!

Sod this - I officially can't do it! (Dad/Kenny is there a 12 step programme for Bloggers? Do you think there might be a window of opportunity for one?) I can't stay away even if I have to get up at 3am to blog ..... well, maybe not!

  • So, all numeracy and literacy (they don't get called anything easy like maths and English anymore) completed on reports, except for targets for next year!! Science nearly finished!
  • Spoke to County advisor yesterday about a development day for ICT. She's on the case!
  • Bought 12 laptops yesterday (well, you know I love shopping!) for teacher's use. Have 18 tablet PCs on order for children to use. We'll then have about 60 machines which will take us to correct government kids:PCs ratio!
  • Residential trip meeting with parents ready for next Tuesday - PowerPoint presentation done for that ..... I probably don't need to be there!
  • Teach - we did literacy, numeracy and ICT yesterday .... so we're getting there!
  • Oh and fab news - won in poker last night!! [70% profit - I want to make this sound good, we only pay with 10p pieces! I started with a £5 and left with £8.50 :o) ]

Monday, June 06, 2005

A week and a half!

It's that time of year again, where it's all about to hit me in one go!! I'll be knackered and "bitchy/moany" and Simon will threaten D.I.V.O.R.C.E. [yeh, I know, we've only been married 3 weeks!] So this is what I have to do -->
  • SATs collation - Where Education Minister Ruth Kelly makes us assess all the poor little 7 year olds in class - leave them alone woman!! (Actually this is a little unfair - it's been around for a while!) So this week I have to have all the info collated and get it agreed/checked/signed off by the County
  • End of year report writing
  • Residential trip to organise
  • IT staff development day to organise for September
  • IT development plan to write
  • Teach!

It's going to be " a week and a half" ...... you all enjoy the peace and quiet while I'm gone!!

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Unconscious mutterings #2


I say ..... and you think .....?

  1. Exhibit :: your art
  2. Evolution :: Darwin
  3. Loser :: Karen (Will and Grace)
  4. Hypnotic :: trance
  5. Unlikely :: friends
  6. Interrupt :: conversation
  7. Ambivalent :: undecided
  8. Rise and fall :: of Reginald Perrin
  9. Indian :: head massage
  10. Prophecy :: Pawn of Prophecy

True or false!

Come on then - what do you think? True or False?

  1. I was a virgin until I was 25.
  2. Tequila (in any shape/form - shots or margaritas or a tequila sunrise or .......) makes me frisky/horny!!
  3. I bungy-jumped from the bridge between Zimbabwe and Zambia over Niagara Falls.
  4. I sold pot/grass when I was in college.
  5. At a birthday party I was once so drunk, I stepped out of my skirt whilst dancing (in the garden - it caught on a bramble) and just left it there!
  6. I am allergic to cats (sneeze), feathers (wheeze) and horses (both)!
  7. I was arrested for climbing over the fence into the park at midnight whilst in college - I was high as a kite when the police caught me!!
  8. Whilst on a "road-trip" we killed a goat to eat, the other girls screamed and ran but I watched the whole thing and ate roasted goat.
  9. One of my favourite recipes [loved by all who taste it] is for (stingy) nettle pie!
  10. I've had sex in public over 30 times - in a car, on a boat/train/bus, in the park, on the beach, on the roof etc etc etc

Ok, 10 statements. 70% true ......... over to you!

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Unconscious mutterings #1 (Well #1 for me!! #121 for everyone else!!)


I say ..... and you think .....?

  1. Crowd :: Control
  2. Hamburger :: lettuce, onion, tomato, mayo - delicious!
  3. Choker :: Pearl
  4. Lights :: Camera, action!
  5. Tinsel :: Town
  6. Testament :: Old
  7. Best part of the day :: early
  8. Election :: Broadcast
  9. Clarinet :: Akker Bilk
  10. Dead Sea :: Scrolls

Friday, June 03, 2005

Boring friday

I've done nothing today ... well nothing exciting! *bored, bored, bored*

  • Got up.
  • Showered etc
  • Washed the kitchen floor ...... I'm not enamored by house-work! Could you guess?
  • 2 loads of washing through the machine and on the line.
  • Dishwasher emptied and re-loaded.
  • Spoke to Mum.
  • Went to Tesco ........ hang on, came back from Tesco to find the yellow pipes have moved (mini-whoop!)
  • Now having opened a bottle [of Banrock Station Sparkling Shiraz - just for me :o) ], I need to decide whether we're going to have Tuna & Pasta bake or Tacos for dinner - I don't think I can cope with the excitement!!

What are you having for dinner? Go-on, tempt me!!

update : beef Taco's with crunchy salad, sour cream, strong Welsh cheddar, salsa etc - delicious! Making me hungry again thinking about it!!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Ding, dong the bells are gonna' shine!

Mum and Dad

I can just hear you now ... "Oh god, another photo from that blinking wedding! Blah, blah, blah!" Well yes - it is another photo from the wedding but a photo of my Mum and Dad - because it's their anniversary today! They got married in June 1962, in the days when you had to buy a suit as a going away outfit and bamboo wallpaper was all the rage [- I know it's back, Mum screamed in agony when she saw it!!] They have had their ups and downs and here's to plenty more "ups" in the future!!
So Happy 43rd wedding anniversary Mum and Dad!!
All our love on your special day

Jo & Simon
p.s. did either of you remember a card this year?

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Happy birthday to you!

Today is my best friend's birthday!

My favourite ginger person

Kev and I have been friends for 10 years. We met whilst working in a hotel/pub/restaurant near Carmarthen, West Wales.

hotel where we worked

I had already been working there (bar-maid, waitress, "flirter with travelling salesmen" etc) for a few months when he arrived. I waltzed in one night (as was my want!) and signed in .... posher than it sounds, a small notebook on the kitchen counter where I scribbled Jo In 5.50pm etc .... noticing Kev's name in the book from the previous night! I looked across the kitchen at the chef* and said "what's wrong with this twat he can't even spell his name right?" And proceeded to cross out Kevan and re-write Kevin! Jon the chef ( - from this moment on referred to as the 3rd musketeer or M#3 for short) winced. This was before I came to know the raised eyebrow, poking finger, rapier sharp tongue & acid wit of KevAN! Tippex was hastily found (by the chef .... I wasn't scared!) and order was restored to the signing in book. Soon after I met Kev himself - it was the annual "show" day and if I remember he gave us free drinks - a friendship made in heaven right there!

Over the years our friendship has grown and grown - he is one of the small group of people, that wherever I am in the world I think of everyday! He makes me laugh, he's been there for me when I needed to cry. He slapped me off a bar stool once! (I'll tell you that one at another time!) I've got drunk with him, I've been high with him - I've actually floated through the sky with him! (I need to stop rhyming before I slit my wrists .... crappy poetry has that effect on me!) I trust him with everything I hold dear in life - my hopes, dreams, secrets and aspirations! He's been a refuge! So - just for you Kevan

*actually singing as I type*

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy birthday dear Kev-AN!
Happy Birthday to you!!

I love you very much - Jo xx

* chef - seems to denote the person in charge of a kitchen; bollocks, Kev and I were in charge of that kitchen/friendship etc