Monday, October 31, 2005

Travelling is ...

... my biggest love; next to my husband, my family and friends of course *phew, rescued that one at the last minute! But in the same breath I have to say that the first morning back in work is my greatest enemy. Bad tempered, over-tired, unenthusiastic and not even a sign of a "womanly hormone" ... honest!

But today I will do my damnedest to not let the "post holiday blues" make me Miss Grumpy and I will endeavour to be full of sweetness and light ~ sugar and spice and all things nice :: that's me! And how am I going to do this you ask? Well, I'm assuming you would ask, seeing as you are here ~ breakfast @ Nell's on the way to work ... fabulous! So, come on friends, Romans, countrymen ... your post holiday blues cures please?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This really should have been a "this is what I did on my holiday" photo-post (is that a real word?) but 2 eejits I know (that'd be me and the other eejit who lives here) left the camera lead and our toothbrushes in France ... and they let me care for young children!!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Unconscious mutterings #143


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

Unbreakable :: that's because I haven't touched it yet :o)
Have mercy :: on my soul!
Do it better :: You want it done better? Well then, do it yourself!
Settle scores :: poker on Tuesday ladies? I feel a win coming?
Comments :: Fizzy and Walker - LMAO!
Craziest thing :: political correctness gone mad ... I can't call my blackboard chalkboard a that name I'm not supposed to call it!?! WTF?!? So what should I call my whiteboard? Huh?
Apple :: apples and pears = stairs, Cockney rhyming slang ... used by some of the kids I teach and parents I meet on a regular basis ~ makes my head hurt!! I need to think too fast! But I do like "he's a right Casa Blanca!"
Halloween :: More likely a celebration of Samhain - an excuse to feast, lead me to it!!
Managable :: hair, I'd love managable hair ... like her or maybe her, glorious thick, shiny hair but instead I've got curls, thick but so many curls!!!
Trick :: The "I've got your nose" trick performed by countless male relatives over the years ... I always checked to see if it was still on my face ~ right up until I was 21 or so!

Friday, October 21, 2005

La la la la la la ~ hey!

It's the last day of school *sings and dances around the spare bedroom* hurrah! No more "get-ups" until October 31st!! Whoop! Off to France tomorrow *sings and dances some more* whoop! Can't think sensibly (too knackered) to post except to say, seeing as you are here, why don't you, "stick in your pin" ...

Free Guestmap from

and, do let me know if you are #5000 ... I'm hoping someone will manage it whilst I'm away!

A Friday joke à la Walker!

The world expert on European wasps and the sounds that they make is taking a stroll down his local high street. As he passes by the record shop, a sign catches his eye. "Just Released - New CD -Wasps of the World & the sounds that they make - available now."

Unable to resist the temptation, the man goes into the shop. "I am the world expert on European wasps and the sounds that they make. I'd very much like to listen to the new CD you have advertised in thewindow."

"Certainly, Sir," says the young man behind the counter. "If you'd like to step into the booth and put on the headphones, I'll put the CD on for you."

The world expert on European wasps goes into the booth and puts on the earphones. Ten minutes later, he comes out of the booth and announces, "I am the world expert on European wasps and the sounds that they make and yet I recognised none of those."

"I'm sorry Sir", says the young assistant. "If you'd care to step into the booth, I can let you have another 10 minutes."

The world expert on European wasps and the sounds that they make steps back into the booth and replaces the headphones. Ten minutes later, he comes out of the booth shaking his head. "I don't understand it", he says, "I am the world expert on European wasps and the sounds that they make, and yet I still can't recognise any of>those!"

"I'm terribly sorry, Sir" says the young man, "perhaps if you'd like to step into the booth again, you could have 5 more minutes."

Sighing, the world expert on European wasps and the sounds that they make steps back into the booth. Five minutes later, he comes out again, clearly agitated. "I am the world expert on European wasps and the sounds that they make and yet I have recognised none of the wasps on this CD."

"I really am terribly sorry", says the young assistant................. "I've just realised I've made a dreafuI mistake, I was playing you the bee side."

Thursday, October 20, 2005

A lovely day

You know I love my husband right BUT I have to say it's a truly lovely day when my best friend (who lives 90 miles away) can pop in for dinner because he's working just around the corner!! That's dinner with Kev 2 nights running ... lovely!

**UPDATE** Saturday night out on the "razz" was an absolute success ... the next time you're in Rochester do try Thai Four Two ~ after "drinkies" in a wide selection of local establishments, we arrived at the restaurant to see it looking very full.

Me ~ Hello, do you have a table for 3, non-smoking.

Mr Thai Four Two ~ Umm, I have a table but you'd better see it before you decide!

Alarm bells begin ringing BUT nevertheless we follow Mr Thai Four Two; through the restaurant, past lots of diners & some empty tables, past the toilets, past the kitchens, we just kept walking* ~ where the hell were we going? and out through the back door! Into a beautiful garden, with decking and Thai stone facades and sculptures, fishponds, carp, rickshaws and dugout canoes. A pergola was built over the decking and there were heaters on each of the legs pointing at ther tables and those giant patio heaters too! Wow!

Mr Thai Four Two ~ is this acceptable?

Acceptable? It was bloody gorgeous! It was like we'd been transported to Bangkok for the night; beautiful surroundings, beautiful food, fabulous company ~ you should go ... tell you what, lets make a date! Us, me and you ~ dinner on the deck, Pad Thai, coconut rice, steamed scallops and beef with oyster sauce, lots of wine and talk ~ what do you think?

*Rochester is a very very old (Norman castle) city BUT very tiny yet very important (on a river crossing and on the Roman road from London to Dover) city (it has a cathedral) .... some of the buildings have been there since Roman times, lots of the buildings are long thin Tudor buildings ~ which are long and thin because (correct me if I'm wrong ... and I know someone will) in Tudor times people were taxed on the width of the front of their house only. So lots of the buildings go a long way back!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Health & diet questions answered by the experts!

Q: I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life; is this true?
A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it... don't waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?

A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak Is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to Your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?

A: No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is also made out of grain. Bottoms up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?

A: Well, if you have a body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?

A: Can't think of a single one, sorry! My philosophy :: no pain ... Good!

Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?

A: YOU'RE NOT LISTENING!!! Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they're permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?

A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?

A: Are you crazy? HELLO ... cocoa beans! Another vegetable!!! It's the best feel-good food around!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?

A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.

Q: Is getting in-shape important for my lifestyle?

A: Hey! 'Round' is a shape!

Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets. And remember :: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely, in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Shiraz in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming "WOO HOO, What a Ride!"

Have a fab Wednesday everyone!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Unconscious mutterings #141


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

On the verge :: of making a cup of tea (that's me right now!)
Tempestuous :: relationship
Coherent :: understandable
Near death :: experience
Illiterate :: such a shame; think of all the fabulous literature / opportunities missed!
Why not? :: "Because Y is a crooked letter and you should know better!" Apparently we drove my Nana nuts with "Why?" and "Why not?" ... we must have said it quite a lot ~ the whole crooked letter thing was her stock answer! Grrr!
Period :: one week a month of frustration, angst and agony.
Long lost :: cousin
Torrid :: affair
Nail :: biting
ending, cliffhanger

Saturday, October 15, 2005

I'm always attracted to ...

... big men! Now come on get your mind out of the gutter ... I didn't mean big down there, sheesh sometimes you lot! I mean the kind of big quiet calm man who doesn't use his size to advantage, the gentle giant, the "gentleman", the kind of man who inspires "wow" in small children because his legs are so long! Do you know what I mean? Men who make you feel like a lady ... as well as making you feel like a woman! Bighearted men.

A guy I trained with was one such man; he must have been 6' 3" or 6' 4"; big hands, HUGE feet ~ hey I know your mind is going back down there!! Chris was only ever my friend - but what a friend he was; a gentle giant of a man, the son of a vet who wanted to work at a "farming educational centre" once he got his B. Ed. degree. He was always smiling or laughing ~ during the deepest, darkest "last but one week before the end of teaching practice" his would be the cheery voice on the bus in the mornings! The guy who remembered to ask how everyone was doing ~ comiserated, congratulated, verbally abused "tutors" if necessary .... just to make you feel better. Taught you the best Welsh swear words for English speaking schools ... and bought the first pint in the "dairies" as you got in on a Friday! Chris graduated with a 2.1 degree - much better than mine; and an excellent final teaching practice result .... as good as mine I am proud to say! He was the deputy-headteacher of a lively village primary school!

I heard today that Chris died last Monday ~ just 32 years old, father of two little tots, much loved husband and son; ravaged by fast moving cancer in his colon! I last saw him about 21 months / 2 years ago I think, in the middle of Swansea market - he shouted hello over the cockle stalls and we had a "do you remember the ..... and ..... and you'll never guess what ....." chats! Life really is shit sometimes - I'll miss you Chris! I'm out on the "razz" with 2 good friends tonight .... my first toast will be to Chris!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Autumn days

..... when the grass is jewelled, like the silk inside a chestnut's shell! We've got our Infant's Harvest Festival tomorrow ~ songs and poems for doting grandparents! Collections of food for the local displaced families shelter and "school made" biscuits for the grandparents with cups of tea!

Lovely, 'cept I would rather be ^ up there .... wouldn't you? In other news, my lovely parents are paying for Simon and I to go to France during half term - I know, I know "that old devil called French dial-up again!" But a free holiday - Yahoo!!!

So, what about you - where would you rather be? Have a lovely evening!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

What part of fall are you? 'Cept we call it autumn here!

You Are Apple Cider

Smooth and comforting. But downright nasty when cold.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

How to scare the hell out of your hosts in 5 simple words!

Years ago I went to work at a tourist office in the South West of France for a summer. I arrived at the beginning of May ... the quiet start of the season to brush up on my French before the onslaught, the descent of the hordes - English, Dutch & German tourists, who inhabit the beach resorts and campsites there throughout the long summer months. As a stagiaire (a trainee) I worked for very little money, a bare £140 per month + board and lodgings; as such a poor, penniless individual I was over the moon to get accomodation with friend's of my parents who lived in the same resort.

When I arrived the friends of my parents were actually in Wales, staying with my mum and dad ~ freedom! I had a fabulous time, out every night with the guys from the tourist office, working hard each day - wine tours, accomodation bookings, ferry timetables, entertainments, surfing etc, etc. But lets get back to the "out every night with the guys from the tourist office" ... by guys, I mean the people I worked with - 5 girls, 1 bloke and me! Not great odds BUT in that town it was neither here or there because just around the edge of the lake was the CFM Contaut ~ a training base for the French navy!

For the recruits, this was National Service ~ beginning with 8 weeks training in the South West of France. For us (me and my friends at the TO) this was bliss! The local night clubs and bars were full of men ~ wind surfers, surfers and sailors in abundance. And don't get me started on the lifeguards ~ policemen and firemen drafted in from all over France for a summer of "life saving on the beaches of Aquitaine" ~ like Baywatch en français!

Ah memories, memories ... stop, I'm getting off subject! After about 3 weeks or so of hard work (at the T.O. gutter snipe!) my friends parents returned full of their aventures in West Wales and I started to live, breathe and dream in French - speaking the language in work and at home! At the dinner table on our second night all together, we chatted about the day and my "language lessons" (a new one learnt at every word I uttered) ~ I learnt that when you answer the telephone you shouldn't say "who is calling" but instead "c'est de la part de qui?" ... it's on behalf of who?

As my host passed me the serving dish, he asked me if I wanted any more? I thought my sentence out and proudly uttered the fateful words "non merci, je suis plein!" [No thank you, I'm full!] If I did, my host jumped to his feet and launched into a tirade of questions ~ what? Who? Where? Why? How? My parents? Already? So soon? The shame! And then a calm voice said in English ... "I think you mean you've had enough to eat, don't you?"

Me - yes, je suis plein!

Hostess - NO; in French we say J'ai assez mangé. If we say je suis plein we are announcing we are pregnant!

That would have been my second language lesson during that meal time!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Unconscious mutterings #140


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

Quirk :: I have bucketloads ~ how's about only ever eating crisps (chips) if the packet hass been opened from the top ... I have no idea why!?! Who shouted "anally compulsive" then?
Crystal :: Gayle; when I was a young one myself all those years ago I so wanted to have hair like Crystal Gayle. And then I saw a programme where she explained how long it took to wash it and how she had to be very careful whenever she walked through a door ... that it didn't get stuck in it! That soon put me off!

Pet Peeve :: people leaving the glass cupboard door open in the kitchen ~ I'm not naming names you understand ... but I only share the house with one big someone!!
Cuban :: heels and cigars ~ they popped into my mind at the same time!
Breasts :: yep, got 'em! Costs a fortune to clothe them!
Whispers :: Careless
Complicated :: A level Statistics ~ I still get the shivers thinking about those maths classes!
Promise me :: you'll always tell the truth!
Murder :: Kathy Reichs ~ fantastic books!
Filament :: wire

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Meanwhile back at the ranch, Jo is asking WHY?

Simon is currently unemployed; I haven't been able to tell you about this up until now because I was am so bloody angry with him. Not because he is unemployed - but because of the way he found himself in this predicament ... I rang home @ 5pm on the 2nd Tuesday night in July to say "did you remember I'm playing poker tonight? Don't hog the bed, I'll crawl in about midnight!" To be told that with no real* warning he had handed his notice in and would be finishing on Friday!

* We decided that he would look for a new job (because he hated the last one) when we returned from our holiday and then WHEN he had "said new job" ~ he would finish the current one ... mortgage/credit card payments and all that jazz!

Needless to say ... no, I am not going to beat around the bush ~ I was/am devastated! I thought that marriage was about communication, understanding and team work and here was my husband (in my opinion) acting like a selfish single man. Unfortunately I am really rubbish at confrontation; so here I sit nearly 3 months later still not having had the really big screaming shouting yelling crying blow-up that I probably needed in July!

Why is it that the people who can really hurt you most of all are those you love the most? Where does he think the money to pay the mortgage is going to come from on November 1st?
Why am I so crap at confrontation? Why can't I be steely cold like my other sis-in-law? (By other I mean the one married to my brother not Simon's sister who is a truly lovely human being ... except when she's painting garden walls ... and I don't think could be steely cold if she really, really tried!)

I have a couple of people to thank in all of this ... Ruth, Su, Kev, Jo & Simone and my parents (... and my painting teacher/his wife!!) have put up with so many rants, tears, panic attacks, screaming fits, bouts of complete puzzlement ~ thanks guys; above and beyond the call of duty as always!

Right I think I'm at the end of this post and I still have no idea where it is going .......... it's taken me a week to write it already and if I don't publish now I think I'll proabably chicken out and delete it!! It's not that I want Simon to read this ... it just needed writing! For me!

Friday, October 07, 2005

The things kids say #4

"many invertebrates, like Starfish Sea Stars (thanks Ms. Mac.) have have clear or yellowish blood." I found out about it (the blood) here. And I asked Jeeves!!

Yesterday we wrote poetry about colour ~ it was magical; thanks to Fi and Lisa we had some great film of the Haka to watch ... the boys in my class were gripped right there and then. When we went away to write one of them wrote "With my magic paintbrush, I want to paint fierce All Black warriors, terrifying their enemies, playing to win!" Wow!! They then went out to play and taught the whole of the playground how to do it ... I wish I could show you pictures, it was priceless ~ as you can imagine our Australian teacher in year 6 was "over the moon!"

But halfway through, after looking at these photos one little girl (the one who runs into walls) asked ~

E - Do blue starfish have blue blood and orange starfish orange blood?

Me - I have absolutely no idea, but I will do my best to find out for you E!

So, come on guys, for E :: do blue starfish have blue blood, and orange starfish have orange blood?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Tuesday morning

Busy, with not a lot of time for blogging - need to do a read through of my favourites, sooon - or other wise I feel I am missing out! I don't know what you guys are all up to!!! :o(

I came home form poker last night £3.70 up .... what shall I spend my profit on? Decisions, decisions!

In other news, yuk! Autumn has so arrived ~ cold, damp and miserable! Wet play times and radiators full of slightly steaming jumpers! I like summer most of all and am already feeling nostalgic for warm sunshine filled days .... *sighs dreamily*

What about you ~ which is your favourite season?

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Unconscious mutterings #139


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

Quaint :: country cottages & small villages ~ something the British don't say!?!
Rind :: bacon
Disease :: Outbreak
Queer :: "There's nowt as queer as folk!"
Pork :: scratchings
Soaked :: through
Skeleton :: coast
Mold :: North Wales
Finished :: done and dusted
Buffalo :: wings

Saturday, October 01, 2005

I don't know ...

... do you? Mid PowerPoint for Thursday's lesson ... so, do oranges grown in a tree or on a tree? I'm leaning towards on ~ but in sounds strangely attractive!

Anyone know where I can "buy a life?"

X marks the spot~ What have I done?

[ ] I've run away from home.
[ ] I listen to political music.
[ ] I collect comic books.
[X] I shut others out when I'm sad.

[ ] I open up to others easily.
[X] I am keeping a secret from the world.
[X] I watch the news.
[ ] I own over 5 rap CDs.

[ ] I own an I-Pod.
[ ] I own something from Hot Topic.
[X] I love Disney movies.
[X] I am a sucker for hair/eyes.

[ ] I don't kill bugs.
[X] I curse regularly.
[ ] I paid for that cell phone ringtone.
[ ] I have x's in my screen name.

[X] I've slipped out a "lol" in a real conversation.
[X] I love Spam.
[X] I bake well.
[X] I would wear pajamas to school.

[ ] I own something from Abercrombie.
[X] I have a job.
[ ] I love Martha Stewart.
[X] I am in love with someone.

[ ] I am guilty of tYpInG lIkE tHiS.
[X] I am self conscious.
[X] I like to laugh.
[ ] I smoke a pack a day.

[ ] I loved Go Ask Alice.
[ ] I have cough drops when I'm not sick.
[ ] I can't swallow pills.
[ ] I have many scars.

[X] I've been out of this country.
[ ] I believe in ghosts.
[X] I can't sleep if there is a spider in the room.
[X] I am really ticklish.

[ ] I see/have seen a therapist.
[X] I love chocolate.
[X] I bite my nails.
[X] I am comfortable with being me.

[ ] I play computer games/video games when i'm bored.
[X] Gotten lost in your city.
[X] Saw a shooting star.
[X] Gone out in public in your pajamas.

[X] I have kissed a stranger.
[X] Hugged a stranger.
[X] Been in a fight with the same sex.
[ ] Been arrested.

[X] Laughed and had milk/soda come out of your nose.
[X] Pushed all the buttons on an elevator.
[X] Made out in an elevator.
[X] Swore at your parents.

[X] Kicked a guy where it hurts.
[ ] Been skydiving.
[X] Been bungee jumping.
[X] Broken a bone.

[X] Played spin the bottle.
[X] Gotten stitches.
[ ] Drank a whole gallon of milk in one hour.
[X] Bitten someone.

[ ] Been to Niagara Falls.
[X] Gotten the chicken pox.
[X] Crashed into a friend's car.
[ ] Been to Japan.

[X] Ridden in a taxi.
[ ] Shoplifted.
[ ] Been fired.
[X] Had feelings for someone who didn't have them back.

[X] Stole something from your job.
[X] Gone on a blind date.
[X] Lied to a friend.
[X] Had a crush on a teacher/coach.

[ ] Celebrated Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
[X] Been to Europe.
[X] Slept with a co-worker.
[X] Been married.

[ ] Gotten divorced.
[X] Saw someone dying.
[X] Driven over 400 miles in one day.
[ ] Been to Canada.

[X] Been on a plane.
[X] Seen the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
[ ] Thrown up in a bar.
[X] Eaten sushi.

[ ] Been snowboarding.
[ ] Been skiing.
[X] Been ice skating.
[X] Met someone in person from the Internet.

[ ] Been to a motorcross show.
[X] Gone/Going to college.
[X] Done hard drugs.
[X] Taken painkillers.

[X] Cheated on someone.

[X] Have a tattoo.
[ ] Have piercings other than in your ears.
[X] Were so bored you took this survey.