Sunday, July 31, 2005

Questions, piffle and spice!

Interview courtesy of Doris @ Gran's on Bran - I knew they'd be good!!

If you were a cartoon character which would you be?

OK, if I was a cartoon character I would be a strange mixture of Ariel from The Little Mermaid, Nala from The Lion King & Wile Coyote! Why? I am always singing like Ariel and I have this "need to know" which she has all the way through the film; she has a passion for seeing other parts of the world! Nala was a rambunctious, mischievous, and adventurous cub in the Lion KIng who became brave and loyal, with a strong sense of justice. I'm not particularly adventourous anymore, but I am loyal and I'll stand shoulder to shoulder with my friends; supporting them in any way I can! And then there's Wile Coyote - I have such good ideas, (a sad combination of brute force & blind ignorance!) which when I have the guts to follow them through, so often blow up in my face & I love fried chicken!!


Right, I am off to try and photoshop them together!!

What is the most unusual present one of your school kids has given you at the end of the school year/Christmas?

I am always incredibly grateful to anyone who buys me a gift @ Christmas or at the end of the school year. I have a job that I absolutley adore & I get paid & then someone buys me a gift! The children always say "if I was going to buy you a present, I'm not going to but if I was going to, what would you like?" No prompting from parents there then eh? So I always say "tell Mummy/Daddy I like red and flowers!" However, over the years I've had lots of awful crystally things, like this!


This is absolutely not the worst present I've ever seen. A colleague of mine had a present from the "unusual parent of an unusual child" one year. It (see below) still lives on the shelf in her office ..... just in case the parent/child comes back and asks to see it!!


The best present I ever had was in my first year in the present school - I cried on the playground as I brough the children in. The parents had got together and bought me vouchers for Ikea which were fab BUT they also gave every child (and their siblings) in the line a rose; so they all trooped past me and gave me a rose as they walked into school - *breathes deeply* it was beautiful!

You've been to lots of places in the world - what is the strangest toilet you have used?

Oh boy! In my third year of university I went on a study visit to Botswana. We travelled through the country with teacher training students from Tlokweng College in Gabaronne; the students were fantastic - so friendly/welcoming. Most of them came from rural areas in Botswana and as part of their teacher training, they went on a journey around Botswana to find out about their own country. As honoured guests, we were invited along with them - a 4 week journey in the back of a cattle truck, through the country from north to south and back again. We slept each night on the floor of a local primary school, on a mattress that we carried with us - not your usual 4* Safari tour. I feel really priveleged to have made this journey with those young people; down into the Kalahari desert, north through the Magadaki Salt pan, the Okovango delta (where we travelled by mokoro - dugout canoes), into Chobe National Park and finally into Zimbabwe and Victoria Falls - the world's biggest wet t-shirt competition!

Public toilets in Botswans were few and far between - I got quite adept at finding bushes in the desert to scoot behind. When there were loos, they were tiny, little concrete buildings perched over a pit ..... it took me 8 weeks to remember that Basadi and not Banana was Setswana for women, so going to the loo was always a lottery! There were huge spiders; Sarah and I always went to the toilet in pairs, so we didn't have to close the door to imagine the horrors behind them - we couldn't see as it was pitch black in there! And then in week 2 of our journey I picked up a stomach bug - probably water that I hadn't purified properly but it knocked the feet out from under me! Oh and then the toilets became even more of a horror - I could no longer "hover" over the black holes in the concrete slabs, instead I lined the abyss with wet wipes and was as quick as I could be!!

Strangest toilet - small concrete hut containing a concrete slab with a hole in it over a pit, with no roof in Bokspits (most southern point of Botswana, on South African border) - there was no road into Bokspits, we had travelled along a dry river bed in the lorries. Sarah and I went to the loo (we became very good friends by the end of the trip!) I can see stars (that I can't recognise being in the southern hemisphere), I'm peeing as quickly as I can; I can hear lions calling in the nearby Gemsbok National Park, something was scratching around by my feet and then this little voice says "wine gum Jo?" Truly and beautifully bizarre!

A few Botswana piccies for you to enjoy

Botswana accomodation
on the back of a lorry to the desert
Welcome to Zimbabwe
the world's biggest wet t-shirt competition

How old were you when you first learned to use chop sticks?

I don't remember learning to use chop sticks, but I do remember the excitement when the Chinese take-away opened up in our village! This was West Wales circa 1979/80, I was 10 or maybe 11 I can't remember exactly. Ok there were Chinese restaurants in Swansea (10 miles away) but nothing in the village. No black, brown or yellow neighbours or friends; the Italian families who ran our local cafe were still considered "exotic". We had one black girl @ our primary school, she had been adopted by a white family in those days before political correctness went mad and left black/Asian children in local authority care unless there is a suitable family of colour to care for them (oh I am opening such a can of worms - worse than the caravan comments - eh Doris!?!)

And then in the October the Chinese takeaway opened - my mum & dad were going out for the night, my grandparents were baby-sitting and I was given money to get dinner from the Chinese! My grandfather was horrified; he had been in the merchant navy for nearly 60 years and had been to pretty much any country in the world with a sea-port. His memories of China (and Chinese food) were of the ports he had visited - Shanghai, Xiamen and Ningbo - were dog and cat were often on the menu in the restaurants and markets around the docks. I had sweet & sour pork with fried rice and chinese vegetables. I can still remember the taste, the delicious crispness of the batter on the pork, I still don't like water chestnuts - & if memory serves me correctly, I used a fork!

If you were a TV reporter what would you be reporting about?

Africa; drought, starvation and AIDS - more people need to now what's going on! Live 8 has been and gone and relief agencies are still having to ask for money for starving kids in Niger - come on guys!!

Now the rules
Leave me a comment saying 'interview me please'.
I will respond by asking you five questions here on my blog (not the same questions you see here!)
You will update your blog/site with the answers to the questions
You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post
When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions

I don't expect anyone to ask me to interview them ........ I won't be upset *smiles broadly* it was just that I knew Doris's questions would be fab!!

Unconscious mutterings #130

sunday mutterings

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

Risks :: and rewards
Abdominal :: pain
Radiant :: glowing
The usual :: suspects
Mix and match :: twin set
Wireless :: Internet
Remedial :: class (so not PC in the UK today - and with English like that you know where I'll end up don't you?)
Mile :: high club
Long lost :: brother
Only one :: *singing* There's only one Jimmy Grimble

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Where I was at!

I think this should have been my first post ever, but I guess it wasn't appropriate right then ... I promise you'll understand what I mean by the time I get to the end ... honest!

For the last 6 days, I have been here -

This is le laquet ........ where I pinched my name from!

He and she live here/there!


But sometimes he looks like this!!

Ready lads I'm going in

Sometimes, Simon has to be taken back there from parties like this! [In the boot!]

How do you get home

Sometimes it snows, but so far this summer has been hot, very hot!!! I love hot weather but 38°C in the shade, for a week solid has left me feeling that I should probably go to Iceland next year! On Thursday night we had the kind of thunder-storm that the Quercy region is famous for! We'll need to put a new roof on the shed - the hailstones broke the existing one - I don't know if the house roof is ok ...... now there's a job for Simon eh?!?

Which is pretty much the point of this post, le laquet is where I feel most @ home - a bungalow in a sleepy little French village, miles from the main road, where time pretty much stands still & EVERYONE is relaxed - Vive l'été mes amis!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Je suis arrivée

HELLO! A little note from France - very hot, good food, left my camera cable behind so I can't send you any piccies ..... back in England to deliver nephews to brother on Friday - so I'll remedy that one, hope you're all ok!!
Jo xx

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Unconscious mutterings #129

sunday mutterings

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

Believing :: Seeing is believing
Invasion :: force
Boys :: will be boys! [It's my mother's mantra this week!]
Island :: Corsica .... I want to go!
Repeatedly :: again & again & again & again!
Normal :: in who's opinion?
Hex :: Hermione (in HP)
Tuxedo :: off to a prom
Virgin :: *singing* Like a Virgin
Cereal :: Kellogg's cornflakes

Friday, July 22, 2005


Well that's me awake - last "get-up" of the school year done! YES!! Always a bitter sweet day - some kids (&/or their parents) who I am SO glad to see the back of, others who I already realise that I will truly miss come September. Display boards stripped bare, reading & library books taken in, excercise books & art work sent home, classroom clear & a list of smeggy school jobs a mile long for the summer holidays - what you thought teachers "dossed" for the whole of the 5 1/2 weeks? ;o)

Tomorrow I get to disappear to France until August 26th - hurrah! Sun, swimming pool and a ride-on lawn mower ..... what more could a girl ask for? Unfortunately I also get French dial-up Internet, so I am going to take Walker's advice and write blog entries in word and paste them over! Ok, off to Tesco to buy flowers for my TAs - you all have a wonderful day in blogland!

Thursday, July 21, 2005


You bloody cowards!!
We're made of sterner stuff!

Unemployment is rife!

Another theft reported


Of course it's stolen; from Fizzy - who saw it @ Rainy Pete's! Go on - comment! I dare you! In fact I double dare you :o)

  1. Who are you?
  2. Are we friends?
  3. When and how did we meet?
  4. Do you have a crush on me?
  5. Would you kiss me?
  6. Give me a nickname and explain why you picked it.
  7. Describe me in one word.
  8. What was your first impression?
  9. Do you still think that way about me now?
  10. What reminds you of me?
  11. If you could give me anything what would it be?
  12. How well do you know me?
  13. When's the last time you saw me?
  14. Ever wanted to tell me something but couldn't?
  15. Are you going to put this on your blog and see what I say about you?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Reasons I love Ruth!

  1. She is genuinely good person, who thinks the best of people for as long as she can, right up until the moment when she has to say "aye, right!"
  2. Her superb geographical knowledge! "Alaska, that's north of New York right?"
  3. She is always there for a friend - day or night, if you need her, she's there!
  4. No matter where she is - and lord knows I mean anywhere - she will dance a Scottish reel to make you smile!! And sings for the same reason!
  5. She is such a good mother, she doesn't loose her temper (often) she puts her children first everytime; she struggled through university to get a better job with little/no support from her tosser ex-husband to make a better life for them! She is "super-mother!" Girls - are you listening!!!
  6. She taught me to play backgammon - ok, so maybe she created a monster!!!!
  7. She laughs @ herself when she cocks-up; harder and for longer than others laugh @ her! And it's a great big, rollocking, Scottish laugh that makes everyone around her smile!
  8. Her ability, for an intelligent woman, to say the dumbest things - during a Reiki session :: Reiki practicioner - did you enjoy that, did you go to a relaxing place? Ruth - no I stayed here on the bed! Me - ROTFLMAO!
  9. You should see her with a class full of kids and you should see the kids faces - they're enthralled! Beautiful!
  10. She talks to everyone - it doesn't matter who, where, what - she is one of life's natural communicators - she just speaks to people and they are all blown away by her naturalness!
  11. "Wee golden moments" - when little things brighten her day and she just has to tell you/everyone around! Like the time that her, Kev and I were sitting in the car at traffic lights. A tape was playing and when the Eagles' Take it Easy played we all changed words & sang (with no prompting or rehearsal!)

"Well, I'm standing on a corner
In Winslow, Arizona
nd such a fine sight to see
It's a guy, my lord, in a flatbed Ford
Slowing down to take a look at me!"

And Ruth is so happy to be there, and we're all singing and she's almost crying and she leans forward between me and Kev, puts an arm around each of us, hugs tight & says (sounding like Billy Connelly in drag!) "Aye, It's a wee golden moment!"
So this is for my dear friend Ruth - who's not feeling well right now - Get better soon darlin'!!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Proud Aunty Jo's photo album!

Look what I got!!!

In response to Walker's marinated strawberries!

One of my favourite and very easiest summer desserts is Eton Mess; so named because it is supposedly traditionally served at Eton College on the 4th June (- why the 4th of June??? ** I'd want to eat it every day!!)

Serves 4, you will need

  • 250ml double or whipping cream
  • 4 meringues
  • 1 punnet of strawberries, hulled
  • 1 punnet of raspberries
  • 2 tbsps icing sugar, sifted
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

Ok, the method

  1. Whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks.
  2. Break up the meringues in a large bowl. Add in the strawberries, raspberries, caster sugar and lemon juice, gently folding together.
  3. Gradually, fold in the whipped cream.
  4. Divide the mixture among 4 dishes, serve and enjoy!
On Saturday evening my M-I-L made a version of Eton mess using only strawberries; however (this is where you realise the linker to Walker's strawberries!), she marinated the strawberries in aged balsamic vinegar before adding them to the cream - delicious!!

*I try to use chewy meringues - such as French meringues à la ancienne
** The 4th June @ Eton is in fact Parent's Day

Sunday, July 17, 2005

I've been a little busy!

The postman knocked twice didn't get a chance to knock yesterday morning - I hurtled up the garden path to snatch the mail out of his hand and then ran back to the house to get a pair of scissors. Simon apparently shrugged apologetically and explained that I'd been waiting for the book to arrive - I don't know; I was already on page 5 by then! I read quickly and I read everywhere; whilst I'm in the bath, on the loo, watching TV [what you can't multi-task?] in the car [as a passenger only I promise! :o) ] etc

Yesterday we went to my mum in law's for a BBQ - I read all the way there and then had to put the book away and "be polite / drink / eat / speak / pretend to enjoy myself!" Actually that's not true I did enjoy myself - the food was fab, the "pink" sparkling wine from Sainsbury's was gorgeous ... I'll be buying some of that! I was with people whose company I genuinely enjoy - Simon's sister Helen took all the photos @ the wedding and had put together a beautiful album for us! * Laura & Geoff (Simon's niece & her partner) had put together all the film they shot @ the wedding and made copies for everyone set to the music we used @ the ceremoney - brilliant!!

We played cards (poker, some very fast snappy thing & cheat - I lost everything!) and then I went to bed intending to finish the book and fell fast asleep immeadiately! Woke @ 7.30 and finished it! Loved it!! Don't panic, I am not going to give plot secrets away to spoil things! I was however surprised @ the character who dies and surprised @ the murderer .... I now don't want to wait another 2 years for the next book!! Oh welly - not like I have much choice really!

* Helen also had a photo made into mouse mats - a photo of our wedding cake ... because we met online etc. My MIL thought they were place mats and that the wedding DVD were coasters for mugs - nearly had an asthma attack laughing at that one!!

I've just re-read this post; it makes no sense at all - sorry guys, the brain is on a bit of a meander to be honest!

Unconscious mutterings #128

sunday mutterings

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

Tolerate :: pain

Release :: me from the hospital
My soul :: *singing* The Devil went down to Georgia
Sax :: ophone
HP :: HP Sauce
Worth :: how much?
Rockstar :: Steven Tyler
Terrify :: spiders
Knock me off my feet :: hurricane Emily
Taunt :: "Ner, ner, nuh, ner, ner - you can't catch me!"

Saturday, July 16, 2005


generated by

He arrived!!

At 5.15 a.m. , Saturday 16th July 2005
Tyler Harrison Collins, 8lb 1oz!
Happy Birthday
lots of love
Aunty Jo xxx

The answer is

Himalaya by Michael Palin

and the

Renault Clio Diesel Haynes Service and Repair manual.
But - what's the question?

Friday, July 15, 2005

The "Coldheart interview" - more probing than Paxman, more giggles than Parkinson, more wuminating than Woss!!

After this post, I too asked to be interviewed ...... so here we go!

1. If you could own an exotic or unusual pet what would it be and why?
I'm a bit of a sucker for wild animals but I'd have to have an elephant - I love elephants; I know they can be dangerous but they appear so protective and calm with their own young. The strength and majesty of them - wow! Last week I was hooked on BBC 1's Elephant Diaries about orphan elephants being released / rehabilitated into Tsavo National Park in Kenya. Many of the young animals had been left orphans because their herd had been slaughtered by poachers - this grief didn't leave them easily and their "keepers" were amazing; treating the babies like their own children, sleeping with them, hand feeding, them playing football - it was a wonderful week of television - well done BBC1!

2. Who would be your ideal dinner guest past/present?
Oh, now then let's think about this. A dinner guest from the past (I'm not sure if I have taken this question in the right way but ...... there you go!) There are so many I would have loved to have had dinner with - Audrey Hepburn (her films, radiant smile & work with UNICEF), Frank Sinatra (I love his voice, I listen to Frank everyday, I play him in the dinner hall :o) I can't do without music), the Wright brothers (they must have felt incredible and I would like them to know the effect they had on the world, how it has changed and become smaller because of them!) & my Grampa Carey-o (because he died when I was a child, before I had time to appreciate him as an adult and my mum and dad both wax lyrical about what a lovely man he was!)


Right, now a dinner guest from the present - what a choice - Anthony Bourdain (I love his enthusiasm about food, his own and everybody else's), Eddie Izzard (he makes me laugh so much and he's so damn sexy), Aishwarya Rai (she has done so much to raise the profile of Indian women and I'd like to talk to her about her life), Jeni Barnett (because she is big and beautiful and sassy & she loves food and ... when I grow up I want to be just like her, but I just can't be Jewish!) and Hugh Jackman (because he can sing and because he's Hugh Jackman!)





Now - I know I cheated that was 10 people (if you count both Wright brothers) so, if I can only have 2 of them I would have to say Audrey Hepburn and Eddie Izzard!

3. If you could be a flower, what would you be?
I'd be a sunflower, un tournesol en français - in the south of France where my parents live you see fields and fields of them. All turning their bodies to face the sun each day - until their heads droop and you feel sad, but you know they'll be back in their "golden magnificance" * next year!

4. What three items would you like to take with you on a desert island?
I would take mosquito repellent, a book and music. I know not stunningly interesting BUT these are three things I can't live without - I get bitten badly every summer. My mother says "they must like the smell of your skin!" - thanks Mammy. You don't need to know what my father says in response! I have tried lots of different lotions, potions and instruments of torture over the years - from mosquito coils, to strange buzzers you hang around your neck to homeopathic tissue salts to a pen that gives the bite an electric shock to Jungle Formula. And by now I just know, that from dusk to dawn I have to wear long sleeves/trousers, cover myself in repellent and take anti-histamine for the allergic reaction - boring & lame but true!
Books - I read constantly, people take the ketchup bottle away @ the table so I don't pick that up and start reading it, I read on the loo, in the bath, whilst travelling .... if I was stuck on a desert island without a book - I'd murder someone! What book to take? The new Harry Potter arrives tomorrow morning - I'll take that! I feel the same way about music; if music is not playing around me then I sing instead - to myself, along to the radio, in English / Welsh / French, in the bath, on the loo (my mother's fault!), in school - assembly / singing practice, to the children @ register / tidy-up time! I like a huge range of music - it's easier to pinpoint what I don't like instead ....... I'm not going to go into detail as I am already expecting hate mail from caravan and tractor owners because of this and I don't need more stick!

5. If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?
It would be my weight - instantly. I don't want to be incredibly thin and/or beautiful. Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder and the most important kind of beauty in my opinion is the kind inside someone's soul. I just would like to be slim enough to be healthy and to be judged for my personality and not for my outside shell! Slim enough that people don't mention my weight everytime I see them! If I had a friend with badly stained teeth, a squint or a lisp I wouldn't judge them - I'd see my friend instead! Do you understand? Mind you, I should have enough "chutzpah" to tell all the moronic idiots out there who judge me the person by what I look like to BOG OFF!!

There you go - sorry it took me ages (I am such a ruminator ... in a non-Arnie kind of way) thanks for the questions Katya!! Bring it on everyone else!!

Now the rules

  1. Leave me a comment saying 'interview me please'.
  2. I will respond by asking you five questions here on my blog (not the same questions you see here!)
  3. You will update your blog/site with the answers to the questions
  4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post
  5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions

* I don't even think that's a real word, but you know what I mean - don't you?

Thursday, July 14, 2005

1 week on

Today at 12 noon along with millions of people around the UK, Europe and the world my class and I stood in silence for 2 minutes to remember the people affected by last Thursday's atrocities. We talked about our stories - dads who didn't get home until late, an uncle who got stuck in the Blackwall tunnel because of the traffic, one child talking about mum crying because daddy was home and she loved him! We talked about our friendships in class and why we liked our friends. Nobody said "he's my friend because he's a Sikh!" Or "I like him because he believes in the same God as I do."

I lit a candle, we stood in a circle and held hands. We stood together - white and black, Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh and remembered. And then we quietly got ready to go for lunch, and one child asked "Why did they want to kill those people Mrs L?" And I couldn't answer - what could I say? And then another child put an arm around his shoulder and said "come with us, we can play pirates until lunchtime - you're my friend!"

Today I am mostly wearing black

.............. but my aura (spelling? doesn't look right!!) is baby blue!! Remember this - well, Baby #5 is still hanging in there - WHOOP! In fact he's now officially overdue - get a move on sunshine!! My sister-in-law (turn away - gynaecological* detail coming now) had her cervix swept yesterday ....... so watch this space - Chez le laquet is officially AJA (on "Aunty Jo Alert")

I've just waved my mum and dad, and nephew #1, #2 and #3 off @ Dover - they're on their way back (mum and dad that is) with the boys to France for 2 weeks! They (the boys, not my father) get more and more gorgeous everytime I see them and #1 is now nearly as tall as Grandad ....... so that'll provoke fun over the next fortnight!! When I also commented on the fact that his voice had broken he replied with "yeh, yeh, yeh Aunty Jo - go on laugh, get it over with!!" I mean, me - take the mick / extract the urine? Please as if I would ... officially going to rename #1 as Barry, from today :o)

In other news - shit it's hot!! Only 6 more (school) get-ups before the summer holidays!!!! Monday is transition day - I get next year's class for the whole morning - whoop! I am really trying to be excited .... can you tell? Yesterday was bad, really hot, humid, muggy and close; so, screeching, sweaty kids, bad-tempered teachers, narky parents - give me one of these here swimming pools to laze around please!

* How is it I had no qualms about spelling gynaecological, but had problems with aura??? Beats me too!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The A to Z of me!

Can you tell it's a quiet news day, truth be known - I'm a teacher, it's July ..... I'm tired!! I will return full of vim and vigour after a summer break; but until then - here's my A to Z!!

*raises one eyebrow and says* I know you won't believe this of me BUT I stole this ..... I did!! But I remember where from (which makes a pleasant change I know!) - this was stolen from Kenju - go and take a look @ her answers!!

A is for Age :: it will be the 14th anniversary of my 21st birthday on August 14th!!
B is for Booze :: as if you don't know already - red wine or brandy with lots of coke and ice (not good brandy - don't panic!)
C is for Career :: I used to paint maps, but now I teach!
D is for Dad's name :: Dad / Daddy, real name Donald, Don - lengthened to Donaldo by me etc
E is for Essential Item to bring to a Party :: 3 essentials, a bottle, a smile and a gift for the host(ess)
F is for Favorite Songs at the Moment :: oh, umm, not a new one, listen to a lot of Faith Hill, so "This Kiss!"
G is for Goof-off thing to do :: umm, I'm British do we goof-off? I'm really very boring you know - I play poker with friends and backgammon with online friends. Umm - yawn!
H is for Hometown :: small town beginning with a Pont***********, outside Swansea, South Wales
I is for Instrument you play :: none, I'd love to be able to play the piano!
J is for Jam or Jelly you like :: peach jam - not much of a sweet tooth. Red onion marmalade with cheese!
K is for Kids :: I'd love to but it's not happening!
L is for Living arrangement :: mid terrace Edwardian in Gillingham with Simon.
M is for Mom's name :: Mam, Mammy (Not Mum/Mummy - too English for me!); real name Lavinia - oh boy she loves that one!! Called Vin by her friends - called Vinnie by Sandy - WHY?????
N is for Names of best friends :: Kevan, Ruth, Su aka Tart, Simone & Jo
O is for overnight hospital stays :: yes; 2 nights for an operation in March this year!
P is for Phobias :: spiders!! Oh and being enclosed!
Q is for Quote you like :: there are lots, see here!
R is for Relationship that lasted longest :: this one, it'll be 6 years in September
S is for Siblings :: one brother, 3 1/2 yrs younger!
T is for Texas, ever been? :: No, loved Dallas though! *waits for backlash from 1000s of Texans*
U is for Unique trait :: I don't know, I am going to ask my Mammy and get back to you on this one!!
V is for Vegetables you love :: all of them (that I've tried so far!), I am remarkably unfussy when it comes to food!! Favourite vegetables - asparagus, sweetcorn, parsnips and (mashed) swede!
W is for Worst traits :: mine - I'm impatient, do it NOW! In other people - dishonesty!
X is for Xrays you've had :: yes, only 2 lots!
Y is for Yummy food you make :: warm green bean and bacon salad, couscous, fab Coq au Vin recipe and I now make Kev's Homity Pie and call it my own!!
Z is for Zodiac sign :: Leo, with Aquarius rising (what?)

Monday, July 11, 2005

I probably need to get a social life!

I went on a really good Excel training course today - "Using Excel in the daily mathematics lesson!" I learnt to use macros and make these. It was brilliant, I was so excited I came home and made one straight away and sent a copy to Fizzy (because she's going to be a teacher as soon as someone snaps her up as their "brand new and fab NQT" for 2005/06!!) - I think I should get out more!

My favourite quotes/lines

Some make me chuckle, some make me breathe deeply - others I should live my life by!

"I thought coq au vin was love in a lorry."
Victoria Wood

"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for the rest of his life." Chinese Proverb

Lady Mary Astor to Winston Churchill at a party, "Sir, if I were your wife I'd poison your drink." Churchill - "Madame, if I were your husband I'd drink it!"

"Peace begins with a smile." Mother Teresa

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." Grouch Marx

"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." (attributed) Mahatma Gandhi

"Anything is good if it's made of chocolate." Jo Brand

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

And then, there's the fabulous Mr Izzard "Performing enhancing drugs are banned in the Olympics. Ok, we can swing with that. But performance debilitating drugs should not be banned. Smoke a joint and win the hundred meters, fair play to you. That's pretty damn good. Unless someone's dangling a Mars bar off in the distance. "

Go on - comment, let me know a quote that means something to you!

Walker's weekly #2

Told you that this would proabably happen on a Monday ......

About once a week I stop by @ Thaleia's blog - I don't know how I first got there (via Michele's I think ..... I think I got there via Wilkeworld ..... the home of the manatees!), but I like the colour and the design and she doesn't half make my laugh .... for reason's such as this and this! Go-on over and take a look!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Unconscious mutterings #127

sunday mutterings

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

Do-it-yourself :: DIY stores, Sunday mornings, men with "power-tool envy"!
Pickpocket :: *singing* Got to pick a pocket or two!
Ballet :: dancer
Resumé :: new job

Phenom :: Mandela
Love/Hate :: relationship
Unusual :: calm
Intense :: pleasure & pain
Interruption :: impolite
Not enough :: sleep!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Mama used to say

Following a post (by Walker) when I commented

"Why does everyone's mother say that "it's lucky if a bird poops on you"? I mean, my mother's Welsh ... your's is Greek ... is there a multilingual mother's handbook full of dumb sayings out there that we don't know about?"
....... here is a list of my mother's favourites!!

Don't go out without clean underwear on in case you have an accident, what will the ambulance man think?
Do you think I was born yesterday?
She's bad in bed under the doctor!
A bird poo-ing on your head is lucky!
Never trust a man with small hands or crepe soled shoes!! (One of my Nana's I think!!)
Don't do what I do, do what I tell you!
If you're too ill to go to school, you're too ill to go out!
Always keep a £5 in your bra in case you need to take a taxi home!!
Do you want a smack?

Granny's fallen off the roof (euphenism for the "time of the month")

You won't find my comments/responses here, because a) my mother reads my blog and b) I've already had complaints about my language!! However, please feel free to add to the list - I'm sure she will!! :o)

Fizzy adds (see comments for others!)
Wait 'til your father gets home!
If girls were expected to wear earrings then they would be born with holes in their ears!

And from Walker
Don't step over your brother its bad luck, now go backwards so it didn't happen.
If you don't eat your veggies you'll never grow.
If a crow is outside your house someone will die. WRONG!!!! it dumps on your shoulder for luck.


I woke @ 3.58am (which those of you in Blogland must realise is not unusual as I post/comment @ daft o'clock most days!) and haven't been back to bed since. I have done "something" to my shoulder and am now floating along on dodgy painkillers!

Couldn't I, by now, have learn't how to look after my body? Simon's been to the corner shop so, I'm waiting for the Ralgex to stop burning and considering whether to ring the out of hours doctor! - No jokes please, it really hurts when I laugh!!

Friday, July 08, 2005

56 questions

Shit ....... where did I nick this from? See, my thievery has become so RAMPANT I can't remember who/why/where!! Anyway - read/don't read, help/don't help yourself, wonder/don't wonder why #17 is missing .... wasn't there when I stole it - see I'm not overly picky!!

1. Nervous Habits : picking at my nails
2. Are you double jointed : yes
3. Can you roll your tongue : yes
4. Can you raise one eyebrow at a time : yes, in fact oh boy yes!
5. Can you blow spit bubbles : yes
6. Can you cross your eyes : yes
7. Tattoos : yes
8. Piercing : yes
9. Do you make your bed daily : yes no

10. Which shoe goes on first : left
11. Speaking of shoes, have you ever thrown one at anyone? : no, not yet
12. On the average, how much money do you carry : about £5
13. What jewelry do you wear 24/7 : engagement & wedding ring, diamond earrings (wedding present from SImon)
14. Favorite piece of clothing : new chocolate brown linen trousers

-- FOOD --
15. Do you twirl your spaghetti or cut it : twirl
16. Have you ever eaten Spam : yes
18. How many cereals in your cabinet : 4 - bran flakes, alpen, porridge and honey nut cornflakes
19. What's your favorite beverage : morning - honey & hot lemon, cold - water, hot - white tea with sugar, long alcoholic - brandy with lots of coke & ice, wine - red (Banrock Station's Sparkling Shiraz)
20. What's your favorite fast food restaurant : In the UK - KFC, in the US - Taco Bell, In France - McD's
21. Do you cook : yes

22. How often do you brush your teeth : twice daily
23. Hair drying method : blow dryer, naturally in the summer
24. Have you ever coloured/highlighted your hair : yes

25. Do you swear : shit! Yes!
26. Do you ever spit : no

27. Animal : wild - elephant/giraffe, domestic - dog
28. Food : pan fried foie gras
29. Month : August
30. Day : Saturday
31. Cartoon : The Clangers / Chorlton and the Wheelies
32. Shoe Brand : duh! I don't know ... I buy from anywhere!
33. Subject in school : then - geography. Now - ICT.
34. Color : lilac
35. Sport : watching - rugby union. Taking part - swimming.
36. TV show : Extreme Makeover Home Edition / CSI
37. Thing to do in the spring : garden
38. Thing to do in the summer : go to the beach
39. Thing to do in the autumn : fireworks

40. Thing to do in the winter : sit in front of a wood fire, reading

41. In the CD player : Permission to Land by the Darkness
42. Person you talk most on the phone with : Mum
43. Reading : re-reading Wild Swans by Jung Chang
44. Do you regularly check yourself out in store windows/mirrors : no! Hate them!
45. What color is your bedroom : blue and yellow, to be decorated soon!
46. Do you use an alarm clock : no
47. Window seat or aisle : aisle please

-- dumb --
48. What's your sleeping position : in the recovery position (on front/left side, left arm under pillow and head)
49. Even in hot weather do you use a blanket : no
50. Do you snore : no yes, if/when I have a cold or anaesthetic
51. Do you sleepwalk : not anymore, regularly as a child (post coming)
52. Do you talk in your sleep : Simon says "put your hands on your head" yes!
53. Do you sleep with stuffed animals : don't say that about him, he's my husband and I love him!
54. How about with the light on : I can but I don't need to.
55. Do you fall asleep with the TV or radio on : gosh, easily
56. Last interesting person you met : yesterday as part of the BBC's People's War project we (school) were an associate centre and lots of older people came in to school to talk about the war / their experiences - very interesting.

Thursday, July 07, 2005


Tears of joy and sadness in 2 days?

Why do it?

I finished!

Hurrah! All done!
*need sleep now*

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


What did I blog about on June 26th that was so interesting?
Ah yes Clive the "idiot!"

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Normal service will resume soonest!

I'm STILL writing / printing / proof-reading / signing reports! BLEUGH
Back soon!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

A great idea Walker! aka Walker's Weekly #1

A while ago midst childhood meme (don't start me on that spelling thing again!) when tagged by Weary Hag and myself, Walker suggested -

WH wanted me to do a link thing but I have not, but I do like the concept. What I will do is ask everyone out there to pick one day of the week and link someone new you don't normally read. This will give you something fresh on your reading list and open a bridge to a whole new blogging world for someone and us to walk through and meet. There are a lot of good bloggers out there writing with no one to read them so lets go say hello!
What a fab idea ...... so here it is, the first official Walker's Weekly!* I'm going to try and do this every Sunday .... but if it slips to a Monday, then it slips to a Monday! I will also include some blogs that I read occaisionally/monthly etc - not all "newbies!"

Anyway back to the subject of the whole thing - I once in a blue moon (actually probably every fortnight or so & yes I know what a blue moon means and I know that the whole blue moon/fortnightly thing is impossible!) stop by @ Shutter Junkie - the photoblog of Jemma Lambert; a student studying a BA in Comtemporary Photographic Arts at Batley College of Art and Design. Fab photos - and I'm not "in to art" (unless you count the whole Blue Peter thing Fizzy!!) If you have 5 minute go and take a look/see - check out her fabulous photos, say hi from me! Ok - your turn!!

* name subject to change on Jo's whim :o) No change there then

Unconscious mutterings #126

sunday mutterings

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

  1. Statistics :: figures
  2. Grin :: and bare it!
  3. Saturn :: Saturn's rings
  4. Fulfilled :: in the kitchen, cooking for friends.
  5. Life plan :: rural France one day!
  6. Cult :: Moonies
  7. Lily :: Tiger Lily
  8. Stalemate :: chess
  9. Celebration :: Kool and the gang
  10. Underwear :: none, commando!

Saturday, July 02, 2005


Can you tell I'm on a healthy eating plan? Can you? Is my "obsession" with food giving it away at the moment? Here's (in no particular order) a couple of favourites for you!
Favourite meal - Foie gras, pan fried; any day / every day!
Favourite restaurant - La Garissade, Labastide Murat, France. Just down the road from Mum and Dad - fab!! Had dinner there one evening and Raymond Blanc was @ the next table; yes that Raymond Blanc!! Wonderful food; lovely people!
Favourite supper - Kellogg's cornflakes, ice cold full-fat milk, sprinkling of sugar! Or a fish-finger sandwich, on white of course!
Favourite tinned soup - Heinz Cream of Tomato, is there any other kind?
Favourite biscuit (that's a cookie to anyone speaking American) - McVities Milk Chocolate digestive, dunked in tea (not coffee!) - I think it's a British thing!! In fact why don't you go & have a nice cup of tea and a sit down?
Favourite family recipe - Nana's soup; beef lentils, carrots, onions, pasnips and potatoes! But I also liked my Grampa's fritters and Cornish pasties (my mother will cringe &/or disown me over these items!) My Grampa was a chef in the Merchant Navy, he worked for BP whilst they were still called Anglo Iranian Oil and was at sea for over 50 years! He had been to pretty much every country in the world with a sea-port and would/did cook anything and expect us to eat it!! My mother still has nightmare's about some of his food!!
Favourite sandwich - roasted vegetables and cheese (hot/melted) with a balsamic dressing on the vegetables on Italian bread - ciabatta, foccacia etc. I like Subway too ..... nearest one to me right now is Dartford (21 miles!!) - bit of a bummer! And "quand je suis en France" I love a "croque monsieur" or two "naturellement, avec des frites!"
Favourite fast food outlet - In the UK it has to be KFC - delicious, Zinger Tower burger, fries and gravy *wipes drool off enter key* - God Bless the Colonel! But in the US it is most definitely Taco Bell. Burritos, tacos, empanadas and now they do one of these - wow!
Dear Mr Taco Bell,
please come and open a restaurant in the UK!
Love & kisses - Jo xx

Favourite take away - The Grange Tandoori, Indian food at its best* - fantastic service, gorgeous food and just around the corner! Simon prefers Chinese - specifically Kung Fu - but give me the Grange's chicken tikka anyday!
Favourite sea food - scallops :: pan fried (my own recipe), steamed (spring onions & soy sauce), Coquille St Jacques &/or raw, thinly sliced with chilli and lime juice - delish!
Favourite "eat as much as you can like buffet" - called buffet a volonté in France, I visited lots of these in the US (they do the best breakfast buffets in the whole wide world .... just my humble opinion - feel free to pull me up on this!) but my favourite is the Buffet a volonté @ le Tahiti, Narbonne Plage, France. Buffet starter, main meal and buffet cheese &/or dessert. Or you can do a Jo and just buffet, buffet, buffet - soupe de poisson, shellfish, charcuterie, salads, pate, cheese, desserts; oh and fruit just in case you are watching your weight!
Favourite comfort food - sausage, mash & onion gravy. Simon's onion gravy is to die for - you should try it!!!! Come on over - email me if you're in the UK - delicious!

Favourite hangover cure - A great British fry-up anyday. Eggs, bacon (dry cure), sausages (pork for me & Simon, pork & beef for my parents), fried potatoes (not hash-browns, bubble & squeak at a push), tomatoes (tinned not fresh) &/or beans, black pudding (Tesco's for me, but Asda's as a close second; Sainsbury's - bleugh!) and a fried slice! Mugs of tea and 2/3/4 trashy papers/mags to read ........... takes the pain away better than Andrew's anyday!

So ........ what are you eating today?

BTW *drum roll*

*But I have to say that one of the dinner ladies in work makes gorgeous potato parathas for me/us - orgasmic

Friday, July 01, 2005

Friday afternoon

What twat colleague decided that a hot, muggy, Friday afternoon in July should be a creativity afternoon? Twat, twat, twat!

They only waited until I was away last week and made the decision behind my back - yellow bellied chickens! Ah well, best get on with it! I can feel the gin bottle calling my name already! Listen carefully, you'll hear it too ......... "Jo, Jo ..... you know you want me Jo!"

Who do you blog for?

This morning I am mostly asking myself who do I blog for? Me - I think? But in that case would I be absolutely gutted / besides myself if you didn't read / comment - yes, I think, probably - YES! But in that case am I blogging for me? Probably not. So now (and this is not a new thing) I feel guilty about the entries for "nothing particularly happened days!" And there are lots of them!

Yesterday was not one of those days. Yesterday morning when I popped out of class for 5 minutes one of my little darlings hit the teaching assistant (TA) in charge. The little boy involved squirted his water bottle @ another child, so the TA took the bottle away. So he hit her! I (Me) & the headteacher removed the child from the classroom - for the whole day! He must have been "bored rigid" but he had to know that this was not accpetable - I mean, he's 7 years old and he's hitting adults. At 7 I was too scared to hit anyone ..... who'll be next another child? Me? *

The headteacher rang his father ** to discuss the incident - and at the end of the afternoon his father came to see if the TA was ok / discuss his son's behaviour. WRONG - he stood outside the railings (sp?) and shouted "hurry up C, I haven't got all fucking day!" Tell me there's hope!

* It wouldn't be the first time, I have gone home from school black and blue more times than I care to remember!! Once a little boy bit my face and left teeth marks!
** His mother is in Cyprus looking for a house to buy so the family can move out there!

A laugh for a Friday

The genius of Peter Kay

I saw a woman wearing a sweatshirt with 'Guess' on it. I said, thyroid problem?

When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bike. Then I realised that The Lord doesn't work that way, so I stole one and asked him to forgive me.

I've often wanted to drown my troubles, but I can't get my wife to go swimming.

I was doing some decorating, so I got out my step-ladder. I don't get on with my real ladder.

Well I was bullied at school, called all kinds of different names. But one day I turned to my bullies and said - "sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me", and it worked! From there on it was sticks and stones all the way.

My Dad used to say 'always fight fire with fire', which is probably why he got thrown out of the fire brigade.

Sex is like a game of bridge: If you don't have a good partner, you'd >better have a good hand.

I saw six men kicking and punching the mother-in-law. My neighbour said "are you going to help?" I said "No, six should be enough."

If we aren't supposed to eat animals, then why are they made out of meat?

I think animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers.

You know that look women get when they want sex? Me neither.

Peter Kay's questions...

Why does your gynaecologist leave the room when you get undressed?

If a person owns a piece of land do they own it all the way down to the core of the earth ?

Why can't women put on mascara with their mouth closed?

Is it possible to brush your teeth without wiggling your back side?

Why is there a light in the fridge and not in the freezer?

Why does mineral water that 'has trickled through mountains for centuries' have a 'use by' date?

Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a horrible crisp no one would eat?

Is French kissing in France just called kissing?

Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, "I think I'll squeeze these dangly things here and drink whatever comes out?"

What do people in China call their good plates?

Why do people point to their wrist when asking the time, but don't point to their crotch when they ask where's the bathroom?

Why is a person that handles your money called a 'broker'?

If quizzes are quizzical, what are tests?

Why is it that when someone tells you that there are over billion stars in the universe, you believe them, but if they tell you there is wet paint somewhere, you have to touch it to make sure?

Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets mad at you but when you take him on a car ride, he sticks his head out of the window?

Peter Kay's Universal Truths

Triangular sandwiches taste better than square ones.

At the end of every party there is always a girl crying.

One of the most awkward things that can happen in a pub is when your pint-to-toilet cycle gets synchronised with a complete stranger.

You've never quite sure whether it's ok to eat green crisps.

Everyone who grew up in the 80's has entered the digits 55378008 into a calculator.

Reading when you're drunk is horrible.

You're never quite sure whether it's against the law or not to have a fire in your back garden.

Nobody ever dares make cup-a-soup in a bowl.

You never know where to look when eating a banana.

Rummaging in an overgrown garden will always turn up a bouncy ball.

Everyone always remembers the day a dog ran into your school.

The most embarrassing thing you can do as schoolchild is to call your teacher mum or dad.

Every bloke has at some stage while taking a pee, flushed half way through and then raced against the flush.

Its impossible to look cool whilst picking up a Frisbee.

You never ever run out of salt.

There's no panic like the panic you momentarily feel when you've got your hand or head stuck in something.

No one knows the origins of their metal coat hangers.

Despite constant warning, you have never met anybody who has had their arm broken by a swan.

The most painful household incident is wearing socks and stepping on an upturned plug.

People who don't drive slam car doors too hard.

You've turned into your dad the day you put aside a thin piece of wood specifically to stir paint with.

Everyone had an uncle who tried to steal their nose