Ok, I should never again go to the Pier (I love the Pier) before the food hall ..... but you see it's on the migratory route back to the car and I know Bluewater so well my feet just flow along the path!
Anyway the Pier is full of fabulous things at the moment - pink whicker fairy lights to string under a garden umbrella, aluminium elephants to hold the kitchen door open, Chinese silk bedspready things to die for. So all these jewel colours and beautiful textures are just wow! And I'm still searching for chunky beautiful colour and texture when I get to M&S. Which is how Simon and I ended up with Parma, pineapple and melon Caesar salad with garlic pommes parmentier. It was best described as interesting - he's a bright man, he just shut up and ate!!
Saturday, April 30, 2005
Ok, I should never again go to the Pier (I love the Pier) before the food hall ..... but you see it's on the migratory route back to the car and I know Bluewater so well my feet just flow along the path!
Friday, April 29, 2005
Ok - Hen Night minus 15 hours and counting!! [Photos coming soon!]
p.s. Ha ha my friend - trust me "revenge is sweet and a dish best served cold!" I have a long, long, long memory!! And I will get you ..... somehow, especially if you mention food colouring and strippers in the same breath again!!! :0)
Thursday, April 28, 2005
A bit of background first, I spend my whole life on the lookout for spiders. They terrify me. They move too quickly. They bite! I think it's a genetic thing - my mother is terrified of them and so is my brother (but he still used to scare me as as kid - see #76 & #77!) I can't even watch the film Arachnaphobia, just the clips I saw were enough! One of the kids who was in last years' class has a tarantula and he brought the skin in after it shed ....... oh god!! That was horrendous! [Am I babbling? Have I spelt babbling correctly?]
Over the years, I've visited Southern Africa through college and work a number of times and there I watch out for them constantly! As you travel around the country, the spider's webs are so big you can see them in the trees as you drive past. The first time I went there an ex taught me how to use a zippo and hair-spray (pump action of course .... you have to consider the ozone layer) to kill them!! In the Kalahari desert they have huge (dinner plate sized) white spiders - I'd have dropped dead if I had seen one of them!!
This morning it was spiders, spiders everywhere - BIG spiders, ok it was only photos (ms mac's meanderings and kiwi fruit - put me off Oz/NZ for life!) but I dont even like pictures/film of spiders! And then I went into the bathroom and there it was!
Me - (loudly) Simon, there's a spider! In the bathroom!
Simon - no it's just cotton!
Me - (creeping closer, well now that I think it was more of a leaning of my body) no, it's a spider. A big spider!
So he comes upstairs and enters the bathroom.
Simon - god, you're right. That's big! I have no idea where that came from!
Me - me neither, can you get rid of it?
So he grabs some loo roll, picks it up and flushes it. I can hear ms.mac's disgust from here - but he didn't kill it. It was already dead - it's just I can't even touch dead spiders! Yeh I know, I'm a chicken!!
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
You know the kind I mean ....... send this to 5 people who mean a lot to you / send this to 10 empowered women / send this to the 3 people you care most about - bleugh!! If these people are that important to you tell them in your own emails, phone them, speak to them, write about them on your blog (sorry Mark - online diary)!!!
Usually these emails make me think "Schmaltz!" But I quite liked this one ..........
A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don't like you.
Every night, SOMEONE thinks about you before they go to sleep.
You mean the world to someone.
You are unique and special.
When you think the world has turned its back on you, take a look.
Always remember the compliments you received; forget about the rude remarks.
So .... if you are a good friend, send this to eveyone, including the person that sent it to you. If you get it back then you know that the things on this list are true.
Disco is a little of an obsession for me - born in the summer or 1969 (Yes - I love that song to!) I feel I missed out on all the tackiest bits of the 70s but still heard lots of really great music. In fact it almost cost me my current job!
Headteacher [during interview] - And what are your weaknesses?
Me - Tall dark men, 70s disco, red wine and chocolate.
Headteacher - I meant what do you consider to be your teaching weaknesses!
When Simon and I moved in together he broought with him a collection of 70s vinyl ..... I don't know which I was happier to see. I sadly fear this will become a top 100 in it's own right, however for now a top 20 [in no particular order, yet] ......
- Ladies' Night - Kool & the Gang
- Dance to the Music - Sly & the family Stone
- That's the way (I like it) - KC & the Sunshine Band
- Jive Talkin' - The Bee Gees
- D.I.S.C.O. - Ottawan
- Boogie Wonderland - Earth, Wind & Fire
- Tragedy - The Bee Gees
- Can you feel it - The Jacksons
- Celebration - Kool & the Gang
- Le Freak - Chic
- Play that funky Music - Wild Cherry
- Cuba - Gibson Brothers
- Rasputin - Boney M
- A.B.C. - Jackson 5
- Got to get you into my life - Earth Wind & Fire
- Ain't No Stoppin Us Now - Mc Fadden & Whitehead
- Waterloo - Abba, oh god and
- Dancing Queen - Abba
- Y.M.C.A. - Village People
- Carwash - Rose Royce
- September - Earth Wind & Fire
- Born to be alive - Patrick Hernandez
- Lady Marmalade - Patti LaBelle
Ok, so there are 23 already - I did warn you!!
p.s. If you have forgotten what any of these sound like - how could you? No, sorry, hang on - what I meant to say was - there's a handy little site here full of clips - just don't listen to September [Earth Wind & Fire] because to almost quote The Bee Gees - a travesty!
p.p.s There's also, Disco Inferno - The Trammps (as pointed out by ms. mac - thanks! How did I forget that one?) Yes sir I can boogie - Baccara (cheese all the way!) & whilst we're at it, you can't keep me off the dance floor if Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd or My Sharona - The Knack come on (I know not really disco but this is my blog so I don't care!!)
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
I have a tattoo - only small, on my right (as you are looking at my back) shoulder. I had it done whilst I was in college. Two days later, I showed my mother .... a need to get it over with more than anything else, she tried to scratch - yes scratch, with big finger nails - it off and then cried "I looked after you inside my body for 9 months, I ate all the right things, I spent a long time in hospital. I looked after you and now you do this to yourself!" - it was all too much, like a bad country & western song!
As you can imagine, after that little incident I was a little worried about too many piercings - my brother had his tongue and a nipple done and set the metal detectors off on the way into Belfast airport - not good for a serving soldier and she "huffed and puffed" about that too! I had always wanted to have my belly button done when flat enough and then, a friend sent me these tonight! I am maybe changing my mind!!
NO MORE piercings for me!!
Monday, April 25, 2005
...... and believe it, it's worth it when he says "cor blimey!" as you walk through the door! :o)
....... is like strawberries without the black pepper! Well ok - you eat them with cream, I love them with freshly ground black pepper or a "chiffonade of basil" and a splash of balsamic vinegar! [Hey I have to work hard at the Marilyn Monroe hips!]
It's been a difficult weekend - I had so much school work [chunking data] to do that I seem to have missed out on living! My 2 trips out were no more exciting than Tesco and B&Q (the joys/perils of a British weekend - food and DIY!) and then it was straight back to the PC! Somehow I have to improve this work/fun balance - if only to have something to blog about!! Watch this space!
Friday, April 22, 2005
Next Saturday (30th) is my hen night / day / eggs-travaganza (someone had to do it!) - we're off to London, to a wine tasting afternoon, followed by dinner in China Town .... of course I shall be blogging it!! Did you really have to ask?
I am a little concerned about the behaviour of my nearest and dearest friends - I have categorically warned them that I shall not be wearing paraphenalia of any kind, at any time - no silly tiara, no bows / feathers / signs / handcuffs - nothing! Rien! Nada! I know - you think I'm being a misery .... I'm not really, I just am really shy - if I wasn't I'd be on a stage somewhere! So if any of you are "listening" - if you dress me like a twat I will have to go home!! :o)
There is a tree in the playground that is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen, it's not a particulalry attractive tree - I'm not even sure what kind of tree it is ....... Note to self - find out today!! ...... it's simply that the tree is loved by the children so much it has become beautiful.
They stretch their arms around the trunk and hold hands, they use it as "home" when playing "it", they sit under it on hot days - making the most of the shade of it's branches. They pick the bark off and marvel at the shapes, colour and texture of the bark and what they have revealed. On different days for different children the tree has been a hospital, an oasis, the kitchen, the controls of a space shuttle, a desert island, Robin Hood's secret HQ and other places that only a child's imagination can take you. Of course the tree has battle scars - but it wears them with pride!
Thursday, April 21, 2005
1. The children I teach are second to none, they are funny, kind, eager to learn and charming (even when they're picking/scratching/fighting/farting!) They deserve wonderful, happy, charmed existences - and some of them have them, but over the years I have seen too many kids, with too much shit to deal with. Note to parents ok kids in my class(es) - past, present &/or future - you have wonderful children, take care of them!! They deserve so much out of life!
2. I have fantastic colleagues! Believe it (you don't get an or not!) working in a school is incredibly stressful, more so at some times than others, such as -
- report writing time (you write 600+ about every child in a class of 30 and keep your pecker up about it!)
- announcement of new classes (Parent - I would rather my "little darling didn't go into that class! Me - Why? Parent - I've hear the teacher is troll bitch form hell #1! ....... Grrrr! Do you think this is like eeny meeny miny mo? I do think about where I put them!!)
- Christmas productions - I hate Away in a bl**dy manger, I hate tinsel (halos) and straw and I hate grey/brown fur (and the poor bugger you have to dress up as a donkey will wear this as a mental scar for life!
And through this all I have fantastic, supportive colleagues who are there for me; helping, making tea, mounting 25 pieces of writing about the great (Child last week - Miss does that mean it was really good?) fire of London, telling you jokes, mopping up your tears, taking you to the pub for lunch on Friday etc etc etc - Thank you guys, you know who you are!
3. The pay packet is improving slowly!! (It is still crap compared with most people who do a four year degree course to get their qualification & then I bet not many of them take responsibility for 27 children each day or work a 55 hour week!) Rant - moi? I don't know what you mean!! Note to Tony Blair and Ruth Kelly - pay teachers and teaching assistants more - we work damned hard and as L'Oreal says "we're worth it!"
4. Awe and wonder - if you enjoyed your school years then you know what this is! Remember the first time you lit a circuit, got a gold star for a piece of writing you'd worked hard at, saw the roots of a bulb growing, made a PC work, read a sentence and realised you understood what it meant - awe and wonder! I see this on the faces of young children every day - and boy it feels good!! Note to God - grown ups need awe and wonder too!
5. As I say to Steve when he complains about the education system in the UK "Don't ask me Steve, I'm only in teaching because of the holidays!" (I'm certainly not in teaching because of the price I have to pay for holidays as I can only go out of term time!!) Note to holiday companies / ABTA Travel Agents - you gits!! Just because we - teachers &/or parents with children &/or people whose work place has a "stop fortnight" - can only take holidays out of term time, we don't deserve to pay double for flights and holidays!! I might just be your child's teacher one day - be nice to us!!!
Right guys I'm off to school :o)
In science we are doing a unit on Growing Plants and yesterday we went on a plant hunt! And spring has really arrived at school and it's lovely ....... except they threw the grass that had been cut!
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
- BEING ENCLOSED - under ground, under the stairs, head under the duvet, inside a jumper I can't get out of!
- CONFRONTATION - I'd rather walk away, because if I get really angry I'll cry and then I'll be sick. I don't walk away from confrontation with my beloved of course ..... sometimes things just have to be done!
- SPIDERS - actually I might just stop this list here!!
I'll get back to this it's just there's a spider in the corner and it's giving me the shivers!!
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
I'm rich and stuffed full of bread sticks, tortillas, chilli salsa & houmous ..... oh and a couple of Tunnock's teacakes!! I played poker and won - £5.40 - which is not bad when you play with 10 pences!! There are 5 of us who play - 3 Irish, 1 Welsh (me) & an English girl - a bit like a Celtic coven with visitors!
Chris - the English girl - was educated privately and now teaches at a school for "troubled teenagers" ..... translate as necessary! Before I really knew her I thought she must have had a "posh/upmarket/priveleged upbringing" in the "garden of England!" And then, during a poker & wine weekend in Bethune, [I won £27.40 that weekend - whoop] she admitted that she was once asked to leave Athens by the authorities and was so skint she & her husband had to sell 2 pints of blood each to get the money for their flights!! My life right up until this point has been so sheltered!!
* Sorry guys, this was a real babble - I have just got in it's 11.20 and I needed to blog to relax before sleeping.
Monday, April 18, 2005
Picture this it is 1982, I'm in year 2 of comprehensive school, we are in an English class and there's no teacher and Craig Sullivan is holding court in the back row! [His parents owned a video / music / computer shop and he surfed - so in Swansea circa 1982 he was a geek but way cool with it!!] And he leans over and says "so what video recorder have you got VHS or Betamax?" and I'm mortified! I feel myself start to blush and feel the cold sweat break out on my forward and the wave of shame sweeps me and I mumble out of the side of my mouth "we haven't got a video!" I can still remember the shocked looks, the giggles which ended up as full out laughing and eventually the pity in the gazes .... yeh ok, probably not but it felt like it at the time. To this day my mother laughs over the way we begged for that video recorder. [Yes, mental cruelty was/is her forte!]
Anyway back to the point of all this, whilst flicking through the usual blogs today I noticed on someone's profile (I don't usually profile flick but it was more of a meander than a flick today!) that he has stats!
It shows all kinds of information which I could work out about myself BUT do I want to sit here and count how many posts I've ...... posted? Work out the average number I write a week? (This is the killer one) count how many words I've written? Actually why do I want information like this anyway ..... because, if you've got stats - why don't I got them? : o (
Sunday, April 17, 2005
I have shoes - cross another thing off the list - whoop! : o )
Katya's post about "finally getting the rice she wanted at her local Chinese" and comments about the customer always being right reminded me of a meal Simon and I had in a restaurant in Narbonne circa Summer 2003. [I should point out at this point - I love France, French and the French - used to work there, parents live there, want to go back there for good one day!]
The restaurant - le Tahiti - is one of our favourites, well worth visiting, especially if you are looking for good, cheap food every night of the week! They have a fantastic buffet of "eat as much as you would like/can starters and desserts" and you choose a main course to go with them or not as the case may be! They also have kareoke (who said the French can't have fun? It wasn't me!) every night - but if you ask for a table at the edge to people watch along the promenade it's fine!!
Anyway ...... we arrived, ordered the usual - 2 aperitif, a pastis for him, americano for me a carafe of red to share. Perused the menu - I ordered "buffet overload" and Simon went for duck! So we start eating and then Simon's main arrives by which point I am on my 3rd / 4th trip to the buffet and he digs in! "Delicious!!" he says, Simon always likes me to think (it's usually true - but lets not forget my birthday meal 2004!!) that what he's eating is better than what I'm eating! So we people watch, we chat, we slurp red wine until suddenly the woman at the table next to us gasps in horror and points at Simon's plate! And there crawling out from under his lettuce leaf is the biggest, hairiest, 'orneriest caterpillar you have ever seen!
At this point Simon puts his knife and fork down and says to the nearest waitress "Excusez-moi Mademoiselle!" He gestures to his plate and leaves the rest of the conversation to me! I explain, she "oooohs and aaahs and ooh la las!" and whips his plate away!
We're in a French restaurant - was the customer right? YES! Did they do anything about it? NO!
Saturday, April 16, 2005
If you don't own anything by the BNLs...... go out and buy something!! If you do own this album, please join in!!
Well I'd buy you a _____________!"
Simon - that bungalow next to the "Gary Player" golf course, close to the Kruger National Park and some new clubs!
Mum & Dad - A brand new Combi Camp Trailer Tent of you very own!
Andrew & Sharon - a bedroom for each of your sons ..... oh, and another one for you two too! [Say that quickly whilst drunk why don't you!]
Kev - a place to call your own (without him up stairs) in Brighton
Simone & Steve - a place in the sun - probably in the Lot
Ruth & Ian - A castle in Scotland
Jo & Georges - a finca in Asturias
Diane - cats and musical instruments!
Mandy - Banrock Station ...... the company?
Rummy - a Mini Cooper convertible, in any colour you want!
Friday, April 15, 2005
My brother just phoned and has said something that I have to share because it made me laugh so much!! They (brother, sister-in-law and 4 sons) have just moved into a new-to-them house and have been busy doing it up - decorating, laying carpets etc. Andrew's quote of the day is
You probably had to be there / know him - but lordy lordy I'm still chuckling!
Halfway through this morning the school secretary came into the classroom and handed me some paperwork "the IT from the technology college has been in and asked you to fill in this paperwork and get it back to him as soon as possible" she says.
Fuck - I hate paperwork with a vengence; I'm crap at it, I loose it and I'm always right at the last minute for the deadlines on it - which doesn't bother me but I can sense/feel/see the anally retentive obsessive twats around me getting really agitated by this - so I took the paperwork and flicked through it! There's a million and one questions to fill in, plans to draw, I'll have to talk to the head - paperwork!! The paperwork is about interactive whiteboards, we've got two ..... I LURVE MY INTERACTIVE WHITEBOARD!!! But why does the man from NTC want me to fill in this paperwork!
So I dust off "stroppy bitch from hell" and ring his mobile.
Me - Hi, it's Jo; our secretary has just given me the paperwork to fill in.
IT man - Oh hi! Thanks for ringing me, yes, the sooner you get it back to me the better.
Me - But why am I filling it in?
IT man - So we can deliver your new interactive whiteboard!
Me - Wow! [By now I was dancing around the staff room!] We're getting a free whiteboard, I'd be delighted to fill in your paperwork; I'll do it right now!!
I wouldn't kick him out of bed for farting ....... in no particular order!)
Denzel (What do you mean Denzel who? Are you stupid?)
Brad (What do yo........hang on, we played this game once already!!)
Sam Elliot (well, there are lots of Sams but I mean Sam Elliot - the Mask, Road House & Yellow Rose of Texas)
Michael Biehn (stroking my forehead!!)
Eddie Izzard (I don't actually understand this myself, but when he starts talking ......ding dong, that's my bell ringing!!)
............... am I stopping at 5? For the moment!
Oh buggeration I forgot to mention Simon, hang on he farts in bed and it's disgusting and I get out and move to the corner of the room and breathe through my mouth and throw things as he laughs!
Thursday, April 14, 2005
I have to go and buy string and little circles for my new blinds for the lady making them to finish them off!
Tick that one - done at lunchtime!! What's next?
Did I mention I'm getting married? No? Why, how remiss of me!
People are starting to get all worked up about it - Audrey in the school office warned me that she is collecting all the little bits from her hole punch to give me a hommade confetti shower. People are asking where my wedding list is (wedding list - me?) Somebody told my class we're getting married and they wanted to know my new name and then got stressed because they'd have a different teacher (...... so I had to explain it would still be me but I'd just be called something different!! Yes - really!) Everyone keeps asking me am I getting excited, the answer is no! Scared - yes, stressed - yes, worked up - yes, excited - no! There are too many things still to do!
The living room walls are currently bare - we've stripped it, but now it needs decorating. Which includes painting the ceiling and coving, papering and painting the walls & taking the wood work from nasty brown stain to white gloss - joy of joys!
I have to go and buy string and little circles for my new blinds for the lady making them to finish them off!
We're hoping the weather will be nice enough for people to go outside - otherwise I have to squeeze 60+ people into this tiny house!! So, we have decking and painting in the garden to finish!
I have no shoes .... well, you know me, I have shoes; it's just I don't have shoes to go with my new outfit for the wedding! [Simon has shoes!!] I need to buy shoes!
I need to finish writing my evening invitations. The day invitations were done ages ago, I made them myself - love the whole "Blue Peter" thing and you'll never guess where I used the washing-up liquid bottle!!However, I only made 15 invitations and it took me 8 hours! I didn't even attempt making the evening invites - my fingers were still blistered!!
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Ok, first top 5!! In reverse order like Miss Universe!
5. Topic - what has a hazelnut in every bite? Squirrel shit!!! ..... No, a Topic; I love the nougat [ French pronounciation please!], I love the chocolate & I love the nuts ....... enough said?
4. Toblerone - I don't know why, perhaps it's the honey, perhaps the nougat, perhaps the "solidity" - it takes a bloody long time to eat ...... I just LOVE them!
3. Bounty - eat the chocolate first and then moist coconut!! [Dribbling onto the keyboard!!]
2. Cadbury's Chomp - chewy toffee, thin choc - lovely!
1. Green & Black's Organic Milk Chocolate - makes my knees knock, I'd leave Simon for enough of this chocolate!! Organic ..... why do the chocolate companies ALWAYS spell that wrong?
p.s. If you don't know how to eat it ...... take a page out of Swansea Girl's blog! Though I even like Green & Black's Organic Milk straight from the freezer!!
p.p.s. If I'd written this 25 years ago a "Cabana" would have been #1 - like a bounty but with toffee and cherries - do they still make them? Am I the only person who remembers them?
I really like Ms Mac's "Top Ten section" [ e.g. Top Ten things that make me laugh] it is such a good idea - yes "call me Bill Sykes" (- thank you Swansea Girl) I am nicking it! Ms Mac you should be flattered ...... there's a quote about mimicry or something and flattery but I can't think of right now!!
STOP!! I know, I know - it's theft, I think I might do a series of "Top 5s", just to be different. [Mark thinks I should do "top 4.5s" instead - so complicated it makes my head hurt!!]
There may be times when I have more than 5 things in a particular list - I reserve the right to change the number without ok-ing this with anyone .... because I'm wearing new shoes and feeling "brassy & strumpety!"
Oh this is hard - blogging and working! I might have to stop the working and blog full time instead ...... it's a tempting thought!
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
In school we have been learning about the Great Fire of London - 1666, Thomas Farrynor, Pudding Lane (A baker Miss, in Pudding Lane - that is a good name!), Samuel Pepys (What do you mean he buried the cheese?) et al. The kids loved it - "London was on fire? When? Oh my god! That's so cool!!" I know blood-thirsty little darlings aren't they! So today we looked at pictures of London then and London now!
Somehow we got around to the fact that there are lots of things for tourists to do and see in London today; could they think of anything? All the usual culprits came up with all the usual things to do/see.
There's the London Eye!
And London Zoo!
And the aquarium!
And the London Dungeons - they're scary!
And museums - like the one with all the big dinosaur bones!
[Me - Yes the Natural History Museum, I went there when I was a little girl!
Child - Gosh it's been open a long time Miss!
My classroom assistant - snigger!
Me, using shit hot (after practice) Paddington Bear don't fuck with me stare - Thank you Mrs *****!]
Anyway back to the subject, so a child says "and Big Ben Miss, tourists can go there!" So I ask the class if they think Big Ben is just for tourists and we re-cap last NOvember's history about the Houses of Parliament, Guido (aka Guy) Fawkes, the plot and fireworks and then I sock them with the killer question of the day ....... "Who works in the houses of Parliament?"
Can you imagine the scene ...... these kids run the gamut of emotion and disgusting kid things! We think aloud, scratch heads/bums, pick noses (and munch bogies!!) & stare at the ceiling until I say "here's a clue, his name starts with a t for tomato!"
Child - I know, I know .... Tom!
Me - No!
Child - Is it Terry, my uncle is called Terry
Me - No! His name is Tony something!
10 children at once - Tony Blair!
Me - that's right - well done! And what does Tony Blair do?
Child - He's in a rock band isn't he Miss!
Me - No!
Child - Does he stamp your passport at the airport Miss?
Me - [snigger!] No!
Child - I know Miss, he winds the clock, he looks after BIg Ben!
What could I say at this point? Nothing could get me out of the hole I had dug for myself!! So we went out to play 5 minutes early and came back to maths and not history!
Note to Mr Blair, if May 5th doesn't go as well as you'd like, pop and see my class - they have some interesting careers ideas for you!!
Monday, April 11, 2005
Ok its 18.22, today was my first day back in school - why do I have 81 pieces of marking already? I've got to stop teaching these kids, I think I'm going to do just one subject/lesson a day instead of 3 or 4. So they'll get bored / fidgety - who gives a shit!! The marking is giving me cramp!!
It was a typical first day back in school - it was loud, blimey it was loud - in a "for the last fortnight I shouted at my mother to serve my junk food in front of the telly & now I'll shout at you!" kind of way! "Oh really? I don't think so!" At one point this afternoon I clapped and waved two hands in the air, wiggling my fingers manically (my calm way to get some quiet ... when I first started teaching I used to raise my voice and say "Quiet please!" they just raised their voices louder and carried on!!) So I say "don't you think it's getting rather loud? Let's try and use our inside voices!" And one child ..... let's use the name little Johnny said "oh god, she's back to that again! I like my outside voice!" You got to admire his bollocks - I never had that much guts aged 6!
Right back to the marking - where's the brandy & coke? - it's PURELY medicinal, for the cramp you understand!!
Do you remember when you were at school and the Easter / summer / Christmas holidays started, you know the long ones (especially if the religion bits of Easter & Christmas were timed right!) that were spread out before you and you knew they would last forever? Do you remember that feeling?
Fantastic - the best! Just like .... well, just like
And you had a brilliant holiday - you stayed up late, you did things you don't normally get a chance to do & caught up with friends you don't normally get a chance to see. And then suddenly the holiday came to an end and those weeks which had been spread before you were gone. And there was that awful night - when you (well I) didn't sleep, because you knew school started again tomorrow! And that morning of feeling sick because you didn't want to go back to school!!
I'm going to let you in on a secret - teachers are still just like that! I have just spent the last 2 1/2 weeks (the religion bits of Easter were timed right!) doing all the things I don't normally get a chance to do!! I watched the crappiest & best bits of daytime telly, I went to the supermarket any time I wanted to, I stayed up late, I went out in the afternoon and saw friends - a wonderful holiday! But I didn't sleep well last night and now I feel sick!! So, in case my mum is listening - I don't want to go to school!!
Sunday, April 10, 2005
You know how it is ... even on really good days, things tick you off, they just niggle away at you until you can't take any more - well I need to rant about them - not all the time, maybe not even weekly, but just occasionally!
It annoys me when after fighting my way through the Sunday morning pre-lunch rush I get to the checkout to find that it is being manned by a surly teenager. She looks me up and down, looks at my shopping, at me again and trills "do you need a hand with your packing?" I am 35 years old - not 60!!! "No, I'll be fine thanks!" [And we're not even at the ticked off bit yet!] She then proceeds to scan my shopping with one hand (whilst the other is supporting her head), she yawns constantly, talks to the girl on the checkout behind about what she can see out of the window and [here it comes!] she opens and flips through my new copy of heat!!
What is going on here? My best friends are not allowed to look at new magazines before I get to see them and here this teenager is saying "I don't 'alf fancy him!" as she drools over Brad Pitt on page 53. I want to shout "that's my heat and my picture of Brad Pitt!" but do I? No of course not, I smile, grit/grind my teeth, snatch the magazine & shove it into a carrier bag, pay and march out - determined never to go to **** @ checkout 2 again!
Sometimes being British has its drawbacks - me, I should be less restrained!! From now on - I will follow Bill's advice!
I am addicted to, in no particular order
singing out loud whilst driving
Banrock Station Sparling Shiraz
Terry Wogan on Radio 2 (I know!!)
Green & Blacks Organic Milk Chocolate
long hot soaks
summer storms, thunder & lightning
poker on Tuesdays with the girls
beaches - in the rain or sunshine
this list will continue ................... any suggestions?
hot and cold food (together, the mix of the two, like hot apple pie & cold ice-cream or affogado)
Saturday, April 09, 2005
I just wanted to sayHelen - thank you very much, the grouting in the kitchen looks great and I don't mind that you are 2mm taller than me ..... and I'm not bothered that you can't understand every 3rd word I say because Simon is bilingual now!!
lots of love (with tongue firmly in cheek!)
I took my car to be MOT’d this morning – the car tax runs out at the end of April and in the UK you have to have a valid MOT certificate (along with proof of ownership and insurance) to tax the car. I’d left it too late as per usual and wasn’t able to go my usual garage, so off I went to the garage 10.30 this morning.
“Good morning Madam, how can I help” says the little man at the counter. Biting my lip in an effort not to snarl “you can stop f*&@ing calling me Madam if you want to live! Do I look like I run a brothel?” I calmly informed him I had an appointment for the car to be MOT’d and was shown to the waiting room. When I had rung to book the car in, they had said it would take an hour, so I had come prepared [book, bottle of water, lipsalve & a Cadbury Chomp in my handbag!] and I settled down to wait. God the waiting room was cold. So cold, my book wasn’t holding my attention.
Tried January’s heat magazine on table – nope, still too cold.
Ate chomp – 2 mins attention!
Had free cup of hot choc from machine – another 2 mins!
What next? And then I see the poster on the wall from the DVLA and I have to add 3 more things to the list of jobs I have to do after the wedding. Not only do I have to change the details on my passport*, all my bank accounts / credit cards, my union membership, my Teaching Council registration details, all the household bills (they're in my name) - I now have to remember to change the name on my driving licence* and the car registration documents.
"That's not so bad!" I hear you cry. Well this is where I have to let you in on the truth. Simon and I met in September 1999, he moved in to my studio flat in March 2000, got a bigger house togther in July 2000 and moved to our current house in July 2001. Until last September my driving licence and car registration documents still showed the address of the bedsit! And (and you thought I was bad!!) Simon's driving licence showed the address of the house he lived in with his ex-wife 14 years ago! And I thought .... why am I changing my name - think of all the work involved. Simon can change his name instead! He won't have to change it in as many places as me and all the kids in school can carry on with my name as it is instead of having to learn a new name!!
And then suddenly I realised that my car was no longer in the MOT testing bay and they had just finished testing another car! I had been at the garage for 2 hours 10 mins - they forgot I was in the waiting room where they told me to sit! But at least the car passed the MOT - wrong, I can pick it up on Tuesday, by then it will have a new brake hose, exhaust and headlight and I'll be £286 poorer ..... which, I could have spent on shoes for the wedding!!
[*There is a light at the end of the tunnel ......... there are at least 10 teachers coming to the reception who can witness my passport form / driving licence!]
Sssh! Don't tell my mum but no snow in Medway!! Katya Coldheart says "snow in Manchester", Extraordinary Woman reports hail in Swansea (the "land of my father!") but nothing here all day .... and trust me I looked for it!!
I think I'll just keep it from my mother though! Not that I'm a coward you understand!!
Friday, April 08, 2005
OK this is the deal, I read a blog by Santos called 1000 Recipes. Santos is sending books around the globe (read who/what/why here) and people are filling them with recipes of their own .... like a great big global cookbook and I am officially on the list for Book 19 - fab! There are of course rules to follow! Now I just need the recipes ...... any one got any ideas? Now be clean people!!
Oh my god, there seems to be something wrong with Blogger – I can’t post! What will I do all day ……… where will I ramble? What if my rambles get out of my head anyway and just gallop around the house all day? I’ll be stuck here, not able to go outside because it’ll be snowing by then (see previous post My Mother or the BBC?) with my rambles! The reason I have my blog (sorry M – online diary) is so I don’t get stuck inside with my rambles!
Hyperventilating ……… pant, pant, pant! [What do you mean that’s for labour?]
Thursday, April 07, 2005
My mother just phoned from France to tell me it is going to snow here tomorrow! I checked the BBC homepage and the whole South East just looks soggy. Rain, a bit of sun (next Monday when I’m back in school – typical!) & lots of cloud ……… but no snow in sight!
So, who to believe My mother (who doesn’t suffer fools gladly) or the BBC? Right, why am I even thinking about this ……… for those of you not in the know IT WILL SNOW HERE TOMORROW!!
Coljoa Evaswa is my Star Wars name. What's yours?
Take the first 3 letters of your surname - col
Then the first 3 letters of your first name - joa
Then the first 3 of your mother's maiden name - eva
And finally the first 3 letters of the town you were born in - swa
Bet no-one will have pinched that email address!
Did I mention the wedding? What do you mean "ad nauseum"?
Anyway Ruth popped in for an hour and we practiced "wedding make-up" .... it was like being a teenager - and I didn't even know Ruth then! We practiced with eyeshadow and mascara - she says I have fab eyelashes ..... she should see my sister-in-law's close up!
So we're pretty much set for the wedding day - she'll come here first thing in the morning, we'll get pissed, plaster on the slap and I'll hiccup through my vows! A wedding to remember or what!
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
I have been looking at Britblog and I've found a series of Welsh websites and have "borrowed" (yes, welcome to Euphenism City) this idea from An extraordinary woman in a mediocre life who borrowed it from Katya Coldheart who borrowed it from ....never mind!
So here we go, list -
3 things you like or dislike about yourself
I hate that I cry too easily
I hate that If I'm not expecting the picture to be taken I look gormless in it (there are a lot of gormless shots out there!!)
I .............. like ................ that I have good taste in friends!?!
3 parts of your heritage
Grand daughter / great grand daughter of sailors
3 things that scare you
Being underground / enclosed (tunnels, caves and even the upboard under the stairs!)
Letting people down
3 of your everyday essentials
A morning kiss
Honey & hot lemon
3 things you are wearing right now
My engagement ring
My orange fleece
3 of your favorite bands/artists
Hot House Flowers
3 of your favorite songs
Big Yellow Taxi
How about me?
Accidentally in love
3 things you want to do in the next 12 months
Survive the wedding!!
Pay off my Barclaycard
Loose 4 stone
3 things you want in a relationship
2 truths and 1 lie
I met my husband to be on my first ever visit to an Internet chat room
My favourite food is marzipan
I can bite my toe nails
3 physical things in a love interest that appeal to you
Hands - large & clean
Height - tall ..... but not like that bloke I met in Holland
Voice - certain accents are better than others .... keep me away from Geordies!!
3 things you just can't do
Ice / roller skate
Clear up "puke" without heaving (ask them in school!)
3 of your favorite hobbies
Listening to music
Cooking for & eating with my family / friends
3 things you want to do right now
Tesco - food shopping
Clean my teeth
Get a cup of coffee
3 places you want to go on vacation
San Francisco, USA
KwaZulu Natal, SA
3 kids names
3 things you want to do before you die
Canoe around the Okovango Delta
Speak fluent Italian
Wear a pair of size 12 button fly Levis
- I have been on the Internet since 1997
- I'm Welsh
- I was born in Morriston Hospital, Swansea on August 14th
- Which makes me a Leo
- And a rooster
- I have hazel eyes
- I have worn glasses since J2 (aka Year 4 - that was before the UK changed to Year 1 to Year 6 for Primary school etc)
- I don't like my face without glasses
- I am very shy; other people always think I am very confident; I just think I have a good "front" to hide behind
- I can keep secrets - can't I?? You know I can - don't you!
- I am right-handed; but my mum said I was just as comnfortable as a "leftie" until I started school!
- I am a brunette (but somewhere deep inside I am really blonde)
- I love shoes
- I have size 7 feet
- I passed my driving test 2nd time around
- I love cooking and eating with friends and family
- My favourite restaurant is La Garissade ..... I sat at a table 5 foot away from Raymond Blanc last time I was there!
- I love to play backgammon (thank you Ruth for teaching me and making me an addict!)
- I am a primary school teacher
- I listen to Radio 2 on the way to work
- I stopped smoking in April 2000 and now only smoke when I am absolutley plastered and then regret it for weeks
- I am 35 years old but right now I feel older
- I have a tattoo
- I am 5' 5 1/2" tall (DO NOT FORGET THE 1/2)
- I can sing the whole of the theme song from the Muppet Show
- I can name the four islands of Japan in order from north to south
- I can't whistle
- My favourite comedians are Billy Connolly and Eddie Izzard
- Whilst we are on the subject Eddie Izzard - hubba, hubba; ding-dong (that's my bell ringing!)
- Kiwi fruit makes my tongue tingle at the back and side
- When I was 13-ish, I heard my rabbit drop dead
- I have only been seen in work in my current job in a skirt (unless you count "fancy dress days") once
- My favourite colour is lilac
- I'd like to own a campsite in southern France
- My least favourite word to write is Egypt - have a go, you'll see why!
- I have a younger brother
- I live in Kent but would prefer to live in France or New Zealand
- I wanted to be a seismologist but failed my geography "A" level
- I should have become a chef - but my comprehensive school careers advisor said I should do "A" levels - I shouldn't have listened
- I find voices on the phone a real "turn on", I kept Simon's first phone message for 6 months and re-listened over and over again and then changed phone companies and lost it - duh!
- I was a prefect in the sixth form only
- I had a crush on Roger Taylor - the drummer from Duran Duran - everyone else liked John or Simon (K.R. - you know who you are - fancied Nick Rhodes!!)
- My favourite tv show was/is/will always be Blackadder
- ......... followed by Charmed
- ......... followed closely by Will & Grace
- I have only ever broken 1 bone
- My favourite comfort food is sausage & mash with onion gravy (sausages interchangeable with toad in the hole)
- My "last meal on earth" would be pan fried foie gras at the "Chasse de Bonnecoste"
- I love Krispy Kreme doughnuts - custard filled choc coated
- I speak French
- I would like to speak Italian
- I am addicted to JT Blocks at Yahoo!
- I can say Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch - which is easy if you are Welsh! But probably not so easy if you are not!!
- I had a yellow fiesta called Percy
- My parents nearly called me Jade
- I play poker for money on Tuesdays
- I hate marzipan
- And tripe too
- I don't like (saying) the words slacks and mince
- I used to paint maps for a living
- I panic if someone sings the theme from Jaws in the swimming pool
- I have 4 nephews ( - and one more is on the way!)
- I was born on my grandparent's ruby wedding anniversary
- My favourite film ever is "Seven Brides for Seven brothers"
- Some of my other favourites include Calamity Jane, The Shawshank Redemption & Cry Freedom (bigger list on my profile)
- I read constantly - even on the loo (ok too much info, I'll stop now)
- My favourite book is The Eight
- The Eight would be one of my "Desert Island Books" (No idea what I mean? Click here)
- I can think of lots of "irreverent things to write here!"
- I re-read books I have already read, so do my dad and my brother - my mother just doesn't get this!
- I have lived at/in 8 houses/flats in my 35 years and one of those was for 23 years
- I love 70s disco
- I love Hayseed Dixie
- I never wear perfume - it makes me sneeze, even if other people are wearing it!
- I cannot drink Dr Pepper's or Root Beer (scent reminds me of germolene)
- I am terrified of spiders
- I don't even like tomato stalks (my brother used to thrown them at me and pretend they were spiders - git!)
- My alcoholic drink of choice is Brandy with lots of coke and lots of ice
- And if I'm drinking wine - red or cava
- The 2 best cures for a hangover I know are a "full English" or Heinz cream of tomato soup
- I like to cross-stitch
- My favourite take-out / junk food is KFC. My nephew used to call KFC - Ken-fucky Tried Chicken, this still makes me howl with laughter!
- I cry watching Extreme Makeover Home Edition every time it is on (which is currently every day!)
- I am agnostic
- At the last census I listed my religion as Jedi
- But I could easily become pagan!
- My father still calls me tuppence - unless I call really early and then he calls me "Your mother's daughter" as in ....."Good morning your mother's daughter ..... why are you calling a this ungodly hour?"
- I just "don't do domestic cats!"
- I sing out loud when driving ALWAYS
- I wish I could sing better
- I love Philadelphia cream cheese and strawberry jam open sandwiches
- I would love to be able to play the piano
- I have a B. ED. degree in education and geography from the University of Wales
- I can't listen to "Fields of Gold" without crying - Sting or Eva Cassidy
- I am a geneaologist (but I don't think I can spell it!) btw - if anyone knows where my paternal great grandfather William Paddison Collins was born, I will be truly & eternally grateful
- My favourite pizza is from Pizza Hut - spicy pork, onion and sweetcorn (I can feel/hear/see the pizza "purists" shuddering from here!)
- I was on the school synchronized swimming team
- I swam for the school. And I swam for county team - when it was still West Glamorgan - in 1986
- Writing this blog is the first time I have ever written anything I didn't HAVE TO write - that's a major step for me!
- I love reading other people's "100 Things about me"
I might have to add to this later!!!! Who said I had to stop at 100?
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
Is it ok to be whelmed? Is this a natural state of being? If you are chilled are you simply ........... "whelmed"?
It's just I have been so over-whelmed (the birth of my nephew - Shawn / Stepmom / pan fried foie gras / Steel Magnolias / Zulu children singing at Ndongeni Primary School / the last episode of the Waltons / Barenaked Ladies live in concert at Wembley / the Kalahari Desert / Victoria Falls / ice cream at midnight in the "dodgy" red light district of Bordeaux, during a heatwave) and so under-whelmed (my graduation ceremony / Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey / City of Angels / Krispy Kreme - Vanilla cream filled Chocolate coated / the line "fava beans & a nice chianti" / champagne (the morning after heads) / London's China Town)
But I'm not sure if I've ever been just "whelmed!"
Answers on a e-card please ... just kidding folks!
On one of her series of programmes (can't remember which one, think it was Nigella Bites!) the domestic goddess made a easy chicken dish where she got lots of bits and pieces, chucked them and chicken into a bag, bashed it around and with a "hey presto", Fanny's your aunt - gourmet food in 20 mins!
I have to be slightly more scientific as I am not the domestic goddess she is ......... yet! So for me and Simon, I took -
2 corn fed chicken breasts, skin on
3 cloves of garlic, roughly crushed
1 chilli (not the fiery ones, something a little milder!), sliced
a good glug (technical term!!) of olive oil
juice of 1/2 a lemon
salt & pepper
So you get one of those plastic sandwich bags that are resealable and put all of the ingredients inside. And then you squidge the ingredients around inside the bag and leave it for 20-25 mins. [Actually Simon went to play golf so it was more like 40 mins - so no dramas about exact time.]
So, heat up your griddle as hot as you can get it, chicken goes on skin side down until golden brown. Turn it over for 3-4 mins and then into the oven (was on 180 degrees) for a further 16 mins ... depending on thickness of chicken!
I served it with chargrilled red peppers and baked potatoes! Yummy!
Think I'd like to swap lemon for lime next time and maybe put in some fresh coriander/shallots - go Thai .... will let you know!
Monday, April 04, 2005
Shopping - with Ruth, Lisa and Kristina! I arranged to meet Ruth at the bank because I was having car problems and when I got there Lisa and Kristina were outside and Ruth was at her appointment in the bank. Kristina was munching on Wotsits, so when I arrived I got a big orange toothy smile! After a little while it started to "pick with rain" (..... that's Wenglish, see below!) so we went into the bank to wait for "Mum"!
All was fine, Kristina was happy - munching Wotsits, banging keys and my stereo front box; laughing & smiling - until Ruth came out of her appointment for 1 minute and went back in! Kristina saw her mum! Lisa and I were no longer "the buzzy bee's knees!" And this is the point that you/Kristina/everyone realises that the best person for everything is Mum!
Wenglish = Welsh English, sayings you only ever hear used in English language conversations in Wales/by Welsh people! e.g. Daps (plimsolls), Who's coat is that jacket? (Who does this outer garment belong to?) More will appear over time!!
Sunday, April 03, 2005
Saturday, April 02, 2005
Simon's sister came down this morning to help us in the garden/around the house before the wedding ..... did I metion there was going to be a wedding? We had already had quite a busy morning. Rushed to B&Q for dowels (- the blinds for the living room), went to the fishmonger in Rainham (brilliant if you ever need fish I'll give you the number!), I delivered the material and dowels to Gravesend, we collected the table/chairs from the Garden Company and I was still at the railway station by 11.50ish to collect the lovely Helen (my sister-in-law to be ...... which might change if they don't sort .... hang on I'm getting ahead of myself!)
We all worked really hard all afternoon - unfortunately I didn't myself organised enough for before photos - but the battery is now on charge for "afters". We (the royal we!) cut the grass & strimmed the edges, put new fence panels in, weeded and dug out a flower bed, ate lunch al fresco and put down a membrane to stop weeds and filled said bed with bricks - ready to cover with gravel and cobbles!
At 5 o'clock I left for Tesco safe in the knowledge that Helen was going to paint the water butt and Simon was sweeping the patio. I mooched around the supermarket for an hour so before returning home to find that my beloved and his sibling had been "creative & artistic" whilst I was out! I know have diagonal blue and white stripes painted on the garden wall! The "troublesome twosome" have painted every other breeze block on what was a blue wall white!! Yes I know the blue wall/fence was a bad idea in the first place ..... but Alan Titchmarsh made the colour look so good on Ground Force! But by gosh it didn't half show up the pigeon poop!
Do I really want to be joined in wedlock to this family? Do I? Honestly? [See the rest of the garden pictures here]
Still finishing this one, ?? indicates a question that was just too bloody hard at the time!
Birth date: 14th August
Birth place: Morriston Hospital, Swansea
Current location: Gillingham
Eye colour: Hazel
Hair colour: Brown (but somewhere deep inside I'm honey blonde!!)
Height: 5' 5 1/2"
Righty or lefty: Righty
Zodiac sign: Leo
Your heritage: Welsh parents, Irish / Welsh grandparents
The shoes you wore today: sandals, its sunny, "natural" nubuck leather
Your weaknesses: red wine, 70s disco, tall dark men in uniform and sunshine
Your fears: spiders & caves/being enclosed
Your perfect pizza: Pizza Hut, spicy pork, pineapple, sweet corn and onion
Goal you'd like to achieve: ??
Your most overused phrase: ??
Your first waking thoughts: can I have 15 more minutes?
Your best physical feature: mouth/lips
Your most missed memory: ??
Pepsi or Coke: Coke
McDonald's or Burger King: McDonald's
Single or group dates: single
Adidas or Nike: Nike
Lipton Ice Tea of Nestea: Lipton Ice Tea, peach
Chocolate or Vanilla: ice-cream, chocolate / fragrance, vanilla
Capuccino or coffee: coffee
Smoke: not any more
Cuss: yes, like a professional
Sing: yes, badly but all the time
Take a shower everyday: no, usually I bathe! Showers on holiday as we dont have a proper one at home!
Do you think you've been in love: yes
Want to go to college: been
Liked high school: mostly
Want to get married: yes
Believe in yourself: no
Get motion sickness: no
Think you're attractive: no
Think you're a health freak: NO
Get along with your parent(s): usually
Like thunderstorms: love them
Play an instrument: not any more
Layer six - in the last month ......
Drank alcohol: yes
Done a drug: no
Made out: yes
Gone on a date: no
Gone to the mall: yes
Eaten an entire box of Oreos: no
Eaten sushi: yes
Been on stage: no
Been dumped: no
Gone skating: no
Made homemade cookies: no
Gone skinny dipping: no, it's early April as I start this!!
Dyed your hair: no
Stolen anything: no
Layer seven - ever ......
Played a game that required removal of clothing: yes
If so, was it in mixed company: yes
Been trashed or extremely intoxicate: yes
Been caught "doing something!": no
Been called a tease: no
Changed who you were to fit in: yes, as a teenager
Age you hope to be married: 35
Numbers and names of children: who knows, if I have girls I like Darcy & Mia, boys I like Rory. It's hard when you are a teacher - you often know children called "that" name!
Describe your dream wedding: ??
How do you want to die: I don't know, but I do know that I want it to be at the end of a long, happy life.
Where you want to go to college: Been there done that
What do you want to be when you grow up: ??
What country would you most like to visit: New Zealand
Number of people I would trust with my life: 3
Number of CDs that I own: about 120
Number of piercings: 4 - 2 in each ear
Number of tattoos: 1
Number of times my name has appeared in the newspaper: ??
Number of scars on my body: 1 real one
Number of things in my past that I regret: 3
Today (April 2nd - thank goodness her mother waited!) is my friend Ruth's birthday, so - Happy Birthday ogo!
Lots of love
Friday, April 01, 2005
Yesterday my friend Jo (all the best people are called Joanne Elizabeth something) came to collect me and we went to Bluewater. We shopped a little - green material for a Roman blind for the living room! I took the dreaded first wedding outfit back to Evans. We ate lunch and then we went to the cinema!
I like going to the cinema, I like films, I even like watching trailers! (I probably should get a life!) Yesterday Jo, the girls and I saw a Disney movie called Valiant - fantastic! Well worth watching!! It was so good to watch an animated film (by the creators of Shrek and Shrek 2 no less!) with British characters voiced by British actors - it even had Geordie pigeons!! If you get the chance - see it!
Oh and did I mention that they have a Krispy Kreme shop at Bluewater? I'm a chocolate iced custard filled kinda-girl ....... what about you?