Sunday, April 30, 2006

Houmous for Doris and the Fizz-ter!

Ahmed and Kev came to dinner last night, well they came over yesterday afternoon and we sat and gossiped* and ate (tonnes of olives**) and drunk all afternoon until Simon came home and then we started eating and drinking again ...

When Kev rang and said that they were coming down I made the decision not to cook a "meal" so to speak ... a main course to meet the needs of a vegetarian, a muslim and Simon "I only like peas and carrots" Langthorne was beyond my culinary talents and it made my head hurt to think about it. So a selection of tapas-esque dishes was called for, we had green bean, shallot and bacon (vege version) salad, mozerella with a chilli lemon dressing, roasted peppers, fried courgettes in tomato and garlic, couscous, olive bread *** and some of Ahmed's homemade houmous. So for your delectation I present traditional Palestinian houmous (I'll never buy it from Tesco's again!

You will need

1 can chick peas
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 1/2 lemons
2 heaped tsps tahini (mix the jar really well to get the good gloopy stuff from the bottom)

1 green chilli (one of the fat ones that's only medium hot), roughly chopped, seeds and all
coarse sea salt
olive oil

  1. Drain the chick peas, retaining the liquid and place them in the bowl of a food processor **** blend until a fine pulp.
  2. Add about half of the liquid and blend again until it resembles thick double cream (... I suppose you could pass it through a sieve at this point if you really wanted to but I'd been making the acquaintance of Mr Merlot all afternoon and I was hungry!)
  3. Add the freshly squozen/squeezed juice of half a lemon, a clove of chopped garlic and the tahini (including a little of the tahini oil) and whizz for 30 seconds.
  4. Meanwhile, back at the ranch in a pestle and mortar, pound ***** the remaining garlic, the chilli, some sea salt and the juice and pulp of the lemon. This sour, hot, salty mixture becomes a dressing for the finished houmous!
  5. Add half of the hot lemony mixture to the houmous and whizz again. Serve on a large plate flattened out, leaving a sort of a moat to drizzle extra virgin olive oil into. AT the last minute top the houmous with the "dressing" and serve with hot flat bread such as pitta!

I went to bed full, smelling of garlic and slightly squiffy BUT very happy. As my toast at the start of the evening said "here's to good friends, good times and good food!"

* And they say women can talk ... jeez! The differences is that women can talk and do other things at the same time!
** Ahmed tells me that his dad buys 30 sacks of olives at the start of each season and his mum cures them ... they then last throughout the year! After yesterday, I can't believe the 30 sacks last that long at all!
*** With the addition of a piece of medium rare rump steak for the carnivore!
**** Ahmed's mum apparently makes this buy hand from scratch! Yeh, well, I have a Phillip's Master Chef!

***** Schwarzenegger ~ pah!

It's a Friday, let's feast!

It's really Sunday now, this whole week has been madly busy (no change there then); thankfully eventhough I'm already awake today I don't have to go to work ... just a tonne of school work to muddle through instead. I am feeling very mellow right now though as I spent last night with 3 of my very favourite men and learnt how to make authentic Palestinian houmous ... recipe to follow!

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how polite are you? In terms of the "pleases, thank yous and you're welcomes" in life, I always aim for a 10, I try to think about how I feel when people are not polite. I think it's all about respect ~ I try to treat everyone with respect.

What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud? Last night I watched Bridget Jones :: the Edge of Reason; I had never see it ... the "you fight like a girl" fight scene with Mark (Colin Firth) and Daniel (Hugh Grant) in the fountain ... it was a close run thing between an ashthma attack and wetting my knickers I laughed so much! It's
here if like me you'd not seen it!

Who is your favorite cartoon character?
Ummm, hard question ~ favourite? I'm more of a muppet/fraggle girl myself but I do love the Wiley Coyote ... the stamina of that genius!

**UPDATE** I forget to mention ... after anaesthetic and a cold pack the foreskin is fine! :o) I know you're all breathing a sigh of relief for the little chap! *me, I'm still laughing*

Main Course
Tell about the funniest teacher you ever had.
Mr Thomas, J4a 1980-81 I think *counts backwards rapidly* What a wonderful human being he was and always looking for the fun side of everything!

Complete this sentence: I strongly believe that ______.
Everyone is equal; regardlesss of sex, age, sexual orientation and geographical location ... we all have just as much right as the next man to be here on this planet.

Saturday, April 29, 2006


I have just scooped up the most enormous spider (in a pot) from the wall in the hall and carried it out of the house, and across the road and onto the grass verge opposite in case it thought it might come back! After that much bravery I need to lie down!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A cautionary tale! Look away if you are squeamish!

I am the "teacher-in-charge" of the lunch halls at lunch time, I use this phrase with a bucket of salt because everyone actually knows that the kids are in charge dont they? Anyway back to my tale of woe ... at 12.50 today I was in my classroom putting up a display when blood curdling screams came from the lunch hall ...

"Help, help, help me!"

I ran for it, were the hoards of Genghis Khan attacking? Was there a tyrannosarus rex in the library?

No ... and this is where you should turn away if you are slightly squeamish ... a little boy in year 1 (that's either 5 or 6 year old for the un-initiated) had been boasting to his friends that he could wee up the wall at the urinals!! What is it with "men" and their willies? However mid exhibition, he had pulled his foreskin back too far and it wouldn't return! WTF???? He came rushing out of the toilet screaming and we had to call an ambulance because after all what could we do to help!?! *shakes head in disbelief*

My next job will be at an all girl's school!

Pancakes anyone?

Yesterday in school I made pancakes with 90 children ... yeh I know I'm deranged but someone has got to do it! But why? I hear you ask ... well today we are going to write a recount of the whole pancake making process ~ one of the things I don't like about school is that these things are never just for fun ... but I digress! So, there was me, at the front, 3 lots of pancake batter, 45 tossed pancakes and all the others had to do was take photos for us to sequence today!

Yeh right!

Guess what I did last night?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Just now ...

... outside the house I heard!


Idiot #1 ~ You twat! Didn't you see me? What do you F***ing well do for a living?

Idiot #2 ~ I teach idiots like you to drive!

I have to go and lay down as now that the fire engine/police car has gone I cannot stop laughing hysterically!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

A quick round up of the week's events!

It's Sunday, where did the week go? Actually, how did my life get so boring that I have nothing to blog about? Or is it that I am so knackered that I have no energy to blog? Ah, we might be getting closer to the truth with that statement :o)

I started work on Wednesday with a staff development day (I went in for a couple of hours on
Tuesday to meet with the architect ... we're having a million pound makeover/rebuild at the school and we needed to talk electrical sockets ~ you're so jealous of my life, aren't you?) Staff Development Days were introduced by the last conservative government as INSET or In-service Training days, so that headteachers could bring all their staff together for training purposes. They should be an important tool for headteachers to help staff maintain and develop their professional skills and knowledge for whole school development planning. We used our SDD to tidy our classrooms / throw out rubbish / get rid of old furniture ... 6 skips* full in fact! So you say, how exciting, if you're throwing away old furniture you must be getting new stuff! Umm, yes! But, wait for it, thanks to an almighty cock-up at the furniture factory ... the new furniture hasn't arrived, so all my resources are in cardboard boxes in the corner! Yeh, fab! Perfect in fact ... talk about "there's been a minor cock-up on the furniture front!"

Wednesday night I came home and collapsed into a dusty little heap in the corner of the sofa and let Simon cook dinner. We've just joined an organic vegetable delivery scheme ... a box of seasonal organic fruit and vegetables arrives on my door-step every Tuesday and thats one less group of things to put on my shopping list! Also, by buying organic and composting my peelings I do my little bit for the environment! Hurrah! I've been wanting to join one of these schemes for quite a while now BUT have had one small rather large obstacle to surmount, namely ~ Simon**!

Before we lived together Simon ate no fruit or vegetables and I have spent the last 6 years trying to encourage him towards the dizzy heights of 5 a day ... we've gone through ~

Simon ~ I eat chips, potatoes are a vegetable.
Me ~ Aaaaggghh! *throws large King Edwards at his stupid head*

Simon ~ *smile proudly* I had 5 satsumas yesterday.
Me ~ *shakes head sadly* 5 different fruits or vegetables a day darling!

Simon ~ what about strawberry yoghurt?
Me ~ *thump, bang, crash ... noise of head hitting brick wall*

Anyway, the box arrived on Tuesday, we got potatoes, onions, broccoli, courgettes (zucchini), celery, swede, lettuce, apples, oranges and pears. Obviously I will have to supplement other fruit and veg from the local supermarket but it was an excellent start or so I thought! Wednesday evening as I lay slumped in the corner of the sofa, cradling my brandy and coke and contemplating the celiling I heard a little voice calling from the kitchen.

Simon ~ Jo ... Jo? There's something wrong with the potatoes.
Me ~ what?
Simon ~ they've got mud on them!

Anyone want to buy a husband? Recently acquired, good condition, regularly serviced, 1 careful owner (let's not mention troll bitch ex-wife), paint work in reasonable condition***! Actually no-one needs to pay for him, I'll take a reasonable swap!

On Thursday, normality returned to the classroom ... 27 little dollops of humanity came crashing through the door, lunchboxes and PE bags swinging and bashing everything in sight. Lots of changes, new haircuts and school shoes to be admired, a new sister to discuss, Easter eggs to boast about ~ lovely. We talked and laughed and talked and when I went home on Thursday night, Simon walked through the door and my voice was gone, well when I say gone I mean I could croak ... strangely enough he didn't look upset! Unfortunately I then got a phonecall to go and "emergency babysit" ... but at least I got a nice warm cuddle out of that!

Friday passed with a chorus of goodbyes as one of my lovely colleagues left to start her maternity leave, hours of fun sketching shells and starfish and the lovely headteacher agreeing my day off during term time for Kev's wedding and finally it was Saturday ~ hurrah, not a moment too soon! The good news is ... only 5 weeks until the first of the holidays :o)

* You know what a skip is right? No? Go here.
** Hereafter to be known as Simon "Fruit and veg? Is that like tomato and pineapple on a pizza?" Langthorne.
*** Except for slight oxidisation on the roof!

Unconscious mutterings #168

I can mutter unconsciously until the cows come home

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

Rising :: sun
Third :: base
Disruptive :: the child from hell
Surround :: sound
Distant :: cousin
Suction :: cups
Fried :: chicken, specifically KFC ~ delicious! But then other than what you can buy in a supermarket there's not a glut of fried chicken available in the UK for mt to be discerning about.
Nuggets :: Golden Nuggets were one of my favourite breakfast cereals as I was growing up ... and to think they were mined out of the hillside by little bald miners!! I mean, wow!
Clip :: board
San Antonio :: Texas ... I know nothing about San Antonio ... info anyone? Off to Google it! Well there you go, I never realised that the Alamo was in San Antonio! And I thought it was on the coast ... but it looks like I was mixing it up with Galveston.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

More of those Questions of the Day!

Haloscan, schmaloscan! *pouf ... feeling very French this morning* Go on over, visit Indigo, answer some of her questions and take her quiz! Go on, do it now!

What is your favorite breakfast cereal from childhood? What is your favorite now? Currently loving golden syrup Oats So Simple ... delicious! (Yeh I know it's cheaper to buy porridge but this is so easy to make in school and I just can't breakfast before 8.30ish!) But as a kid ... Golden Nuggets, Corn Pops and Frosties ~ feel the sugar rush!

When was the last time ...
When was the last time you slow danced with someone?
Last night across the kitchen to a Russell Watson song, I love to dance! I know it wasn't out in some flash club but it's enough for me!

Do you ...
Do you have anything taped to your computer monitor? What is it? Why is it there?
Nothing, at home, I currently have a virgin monitor. In school I have loads of stuff ~ pictures drawn by children, notes for the day, a plastic daffodil (present on St David's Day) and my panic card that I send to a neighbouring class if things all get a bit too much for me!

Proposals ...
Erica recently was proposed to ..... What was your proposal like? He proposed? When? I don't remember that ... I think I remember a mumble that kind of went "mumble, mumble, we should, mumble, get married, mumble, mumble."

Easter basket ...
What do you hope is in your Easter basket?
Hugh Jackman, oh you mean chocolate and the such like ~ then I'd like a Lindt rabbit and the Kaiser Chiefs CD.

Take him or leave him ...
Donald Trump .... take him or leave him?
Leave him and his comb over hair ... what is he thinking?

Flavor of toothpaste ...
If you could create and market a toothpaste in any flavor besides mint, what new flavor would you choose?
Lemon, citrusy, sharp and clean tasting.

Sandwich cutting ...
Do you cut your sandwiches? Do you always cut them a certain way?
I always cut sandwiches into triangles (I think because I used to work at a hotel where they did afternoon tea, cucumber sandwiches, scones and the such like) ... unless I've used a flute / baguette, for obvious reasons!

Song ...
What song drives you absolutely crazy?
Other than the
Birdy Song? There's the whole Bryan Adams / Robin Hood Prince of Thieves thing, makes me want to scream!

Limo ride ...
If you and a partner, or friend, had a free limosine at your disposal for one night, where would most want to go?
Paris, straight down the Champs d'Elysee to the Arc de Triomphe and then back up to the Place de la Concorde and on to the Louvre! The lights, Paris, champagne ~ aaah!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

*stomps in*

*frowns, kicks the leg of the desk, sighs*

Not going to be here today! Got to go to school!

*stomps out*

Monday, April 17, 2006

A royal response!


Today at the palace, Craziequeen's Monday Memories are all about the the origins of her "blogging habit" and she says

"I leave you with an excerpt from October 14th; I sent my mother the first page of my blog, to illustrate my new venture into IT. She said that “blogging seems essentially narcissistic.”
I wonder - is it narcissistic? Or is it a reflection of the loneliness of the modern technological age? Or is it taking advantage of a wonderful opportunity to put oneself “out there” and meet new people?"

Narcissism :: Excessive love or admiration of oneself, a psychological condition characterised by self-preoccupation, lack of empathy, and unconscious deficits in self-esteem. Or alternatively erotic pleasure derived from contemplation or admiration of one's own body or self, especially as a fixation on or a regression to an infantile stage of development.

Is my blog narcissistic?

Am I self-preoccupied?
Do I lack empathy?
Am I excessively self-admiring?
Am I deriving erotic pleasure from the contemplation of my own body?


Aren't we all a little bit inclined to self-preoccupation? Ok, so my blog is about my life, but I started it for me, my memories in one place, in the way I wrote a diary aged 9. Was I ever accused of narcissism then? Through writing my memories down I have made friends, people whos lives I step into for a small moment of each day as they in turn step into mine. There are those who have become better friends ~ emails, texts, hot chocolate and phone calls. But is this narcissism? Or is it my nature?

I usually blog for one of two reasons ... either, so that I can remember what I’ve done ( as I forget everything … known in the family as JSM ~ Jo’s Senior Monents) or so that I can rant without shouting at the people I love ~ releases steam without the awful arguements, moody silences and the guilty self-recriminations.

And what about cq's mum? How is it she can accuse her child of narcissim when in fact the palace is full of stories, photos and anecdotes which are true outpourings of love, humour and friendship about her life and those that are important to her? You know that saying about people in glasshouses not throwing stones, or is it the one about not casting your pearls beofre the swine ... no CQ, (in my opinion) no narcissism involved!

So, go on ... are you self admiring? Do you take "erotic pleasure in your own body"?
Why is it you blog?

Do you speak European?

A virile, young Italian gentleman named Guido was relaxing at his favorite bar in Rome, when he managed to attract the attention of a spectacular young blonde. Things progressed to the point where he invited her back to his apartment, and after some small talk, they retired to his bedroom where he rattled her senseless.

After a pleasant interlude, he asked with a smile, "So ... you finish?"

She paused for a second, frowned, and replied, "no."

Surprised, the young man reached for her and the rattling resumed. This time she thrashes about wildly and there are screams of passion.

The rooting ends, and again, the young man smiles, and again he asks,"you finish?"

And again, after a short pause, she returns his smile, cuddles closer to him, and softly says, "no."

Stunned, but damned if this woman is going to outlast him, the young man reaches for the woman yet again using the last of his strength, he barely manages it, but they end together, screaming, bucking, clawing, and ripping the bed sheets.

The exhausted man falls onto his back, gasping. Barely able to turn his head, he looks into her eyes, smiles proudly, and asks again, "you finish?"

Barely able to speak, she turns and whispers in his ear,- "No, I Norwegian!"


See, that just made me snigger!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Welcome ...

... to interactive Easter Sunday!

72 bands

Hidden within this picture (click here to enlarge) are the names of 72 bands, pop your names/guesses in the comments section and let's try to get them all! Good luck you lot and I'll start off with ::

  1. Scissor Sisters
  2. Rolling Stones
  3. Gun 'n' Roses ~ Fizzy
  4. Gorillaz ~ Fizzy
  5. Led Zepellin ~ Fizzy
  6. Green Day ~ Fizzy*
  7. Smashing Pumpkins ~ Bennu
  8. 50 cent ~ Bennu
  9. Matchbox 20 ~ Bennu
  10. The Eagles ~ Bennu
  11. The Spice Girls ~ Bennu
  12. The Blues Brothers ~ Bennu
  13. Blur ~ Bennu
  14. N2U ~ Bennu
  15. Phish
  16. Whitesnake
  17. U2 ~ Lisa
  18. The Beach Boys ~ Lisa
  19. Queen ~ Fizzy
  20. The Doors ~ Fizzy
  21. The Pet Shop Boys ~ Fizzy
  22. B52s ~ rashbre
  23. Red Hot Chilli Peppers ~ rashbre
  24. Alice in Chains ~ rashbre
  25. Eels ~ rashbre
  26. Garbage ~ rashbre
  27. The Dead Kennedys ~ rashbre
  28. Nine Inch Nails ~ rashbre
  29. The Postal Service ~ rashbre
  30. Eminem ~ rashbre
  31. The Police ~ rashbre
  32. Kiss ~ rashbre
  33. Seal ~ rashbre
  34. Deep Purple ~ Fizzy
  35. Madonna ~ Fizzy
  36. Bee Gees ~ Fizzy
  37. Boomtown Rats ~ Fizzy
  38. Sex Pistols ~ Doris
  39. The Cars ~ Doris
  40. Lemonheads ~ Doris

* It should be noted ~ with help from the OH and the teenager! Not that I'm calling it cheating you understand They were only helping :o)

Unconscious mutterings #167

I mutter, therefore I am!

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

Ambition :: blind ambition
Meatloaf :: Midnight at the lost and found
Celebrity :: paparazzi
Coach :: Coach and Horses
Slacker :: lazy
Reflection :: glass
Original :: new
Risk :: bet
Saved :: Saved by the Bell ~ loved it!
June :: month

Saturday? Already?

Actually no Jo, it's Sunday! But how did that happen? Where did the week go? Yesterday was only Tuesday! So, my list of "to-do's" for the week .... busted, so many things left on it!

Have lunch with Anne ~ no and she's gone to Devon now! :o(
Finish spring clean of office ~ no, too ashamed to show you a photo of the mess :o(
Planning for next week ~ umm, no ... but I am on holiday! :o(
ICT budget bid ~ helped Kelly with the numeracy, technology and food technology budgets so I know what has to be done but no, I haven't done ICT yet :o(
Go to beach and complete risk assessment for July visit from school ~ umm partly completed, beach visited, sat in the sun, ate lunch in Spanish restaurant, risk assessment paper work incomplete! :o(
Buy Easter eggs for nephews and (lots of ) honorary nieces ~ no, not done, a little late now I feel! :o(

Not a good week really! *promises to try harder*

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Sssh! It's Wednesday and it's wordless!

Limeslade Bay, from Bracelet Bay rocks, Gower

In September 1993, I started a Geography and education degree at the University of Wales ... it was just an excuse to go the beach really :o)

The Worm's Head from Rhosilli, Gower

[Hover over the pictures for more details / click for bigger pictures]

Three Cliffs Bay from the coastal road, Gower

Monday, April 10, 2006


At half past four yesterday afternoon Simon decided to cut the lawns* ~ "good man yourself" I shouted ... my eagerness not to cut the lawns is legendary, especially that first cut of the year when the grass is too long and even if you've had days and days of sun it's still too damp! 25 minutes later he was finished, back and front, both lawns now shuddering after their first haircut of the year ... "they don't look so bad do they?" he said. "Now we just need a little bit of rain to encourage the grass to grow and I'll cut them again next week!"

God I wish he hadn't opened his great big mouth ... thanks to the typhoon of biblical proprtions he called down on our heads last night I'll be ringing the insurance company this morning about our leaking roof. Someone explain to me how after that much rain we still have a hosepipe ban please?

*He'd been watching the golf and fantasising about having a lawn like the one in Atlanta!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Unconscious mutterings #166

me, mutter?  unconsciously?

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

Buck :: Rogers
Harry :: Belafonte
Play :: ball
Monstrosity :: the gherkin

Nightclub :: dance
Missing :: number
Sprout :: mustard & cress
Flavor :: Don't you mean flavour?
Identity :: crisis
Saucy ::

Saturday, April 08, 2006

On a Friday, could we feast? Well we could have, but now it's Saturday bed-time!

Name a trait you share with your parents or your children.
I am so much like both my mother and my father it is scary, this question should be "name a trait you don't share with your parents"! Like my mum ... I leave things to the last minute, thriving on a fast approaching deadline. Just like my dad ... I'd never dream of being sarcastic! It wouldn't even occur to me ;o)

List 3 qualities of a good leader, in your opinion.
Humility, a sense of humour and understanding/acceptance of the differing qualities of individuals!

Who is your favorite television chef?
Nigel Slater, not really a chef more of a food writer BUT he just makes food so bloody sexy and so much fun ... I could have orgasmed over his chip butty. I mean I got very excited over his excitement as he made ... oh never mind!

Main Course
Share a story about a gift you received from someone you love.
Simon and I had such a fantastic wedding day; the company of family and amazing friends, incredible food and cocktails galore truly made it a day to remember ... and then there was the speech that Simon was not going to make.

"That's fine" I said, "we just need to thank everyone for being here, thank Kev for cooking and thanks my parents for shopping*!" "No problem!" he said; but instead he said "thankyou for marrying me" and he gave me diamonds and whispered "forever!" Brought tears to my eyes!

How do you react under pressure?
Like my mum, I react well to pressure. In fact I don't react if everything is relaxed because I'm quite laid-back** about it all! Give me a deadline :o)

* For wine :o)
** Read horizontal

Friday, April 07, 2006

Questions of the Day!

Have I mentioned before how Haloscan doesn't like me?
It's not all the time, it's not the same sites; in fact it appears to be totally random (I used to think it was my poor mouse skills!)* ... but seeing as I don't want
Indigo to think I don't like her or her questions anymore ...

Whiter teeth ~ Would you be happier if your teeth were whiter? Have you ever used, do you use, those white strips? Who wouldn't be happier if their teeth were whiter? And I'm a red wine drinker ... mind you my teeth never go grey due to the wine which happens to my sister-in-law! I haven't ever tried those strips but lead me too that
dentist on Extreme Makeover; after you lead me to the winning lottery numbers that is!

Change ~ Do you ever check the payphone, or vending machines, for change in the return slot? No, but then I don't use payphones as I have a mobile. I think I check if I'm paying at the carpark ... I'm going to see if I do next time! As you know, my parents live in France and my dad ALWAYS checks the slot for change on the motorway tolls!

Temperature ~ If the temperature had to be the same on every day of the year, what would you want it to be? Oh somewhere in the mid to high 70s, not to warm, a light breeze, the odd night time/early morning thunder storm to keep the dust down and the reservoirs full.

Frequent what? ~ We're all familiar with frequent flyer programs. Suppose there was a similar program to reward you for something else you do frequently in your life. What would it be? Frequent book buyer's card for use at/in WHSmiths or Waterstones, I'd have enough points on it to visit New Zealand by now!

Whistle ~ Sometimes whistles blow to warn us or get our attention. When would you most like to have a whistle blow to alert you? I'd like a "it's 25 minutes until your alarm is due to go off" whistle; that way every single morning I could have the luxury of snuggling back under the quilt knowing I had another 25 minutes of sleep ahead of me.

Can you ~ Speaking of whistles, can you whistle? No, such a bad whistler it's pathetic! In university a good friend of mine had a theory that women with big boobs couldn't whistle. I was one of the "ticks" against his theory. Listen. *tries to whistle* See!

Slogan ~ You're working on a national advertising campaign to get people to eat more ice cream. What will your campaign slogan be? Eat more ice-cream, it's cold but it tastes good! *wiggles eyebrows* And if there are 2 of you and a tub of Haagen Dazs ... that's a whole other post in itself!

Mud wrestling ~ You've been invited to mud wrestle anyone in the world. Who are you going to wrestle? And who will win? *sighs dreamily* I'm going to mud wrestle Hugh and I'm going to let him overpower me win!

Small town ~ If you were sent on assignment to rate the ten best small towns in America, what particular criterion would be most important to you? I think friendliness or welcome received, which in my humble opinion go hand in hand. It wouldn't have to be small town America ... I'm looking for a welcome everywhere!

Most useless thing ~ What is the most useless thing you have in your wallet? I have a defunct store loyalty card from Tescos which I keep in case I need to scrape an icy car window, very useful I hear you say ~ BUT I have a window scraper in the door pocket!

It's toga party time again! ~ We had so much fun at the last toga party that I'm inviting you another one .... TODAY! The rules state is that you MUST wear a toga, AND that you MUST use the sheets that are on your bed now. What will your toga look like? My toga is lilac and purple stripes and has a checked pattern at them bottom and big covered buttons. Being a minor Imelda, I of course have matching shoes!

* I have altered my security settings, allowed pop-ups etc to no avail *sniff, sniff* Haloscan just don't like me!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

A, B, C and all the way to Z!

Not stolen, inspired ... it's my blog and I'm sticking to that euphenism ... by the purrfect craziequeen (I was convinced she had short hair!) ... another list, this time in alphabetical order!

From A

A is for Accent :: I'm from Swansea, well a small town about 10 minutes outside with a great Male Voice Choir and a mediocre rugby team ... but then, you can't have everything can you? So back to my accent ... understandably then, I have a South Wales/Swansea accent which I think has softened in the nearly 9 years I have been in the South East ~ friends disagree! My English is peppered with Wenglish, mispronounciations (that's according to Simon of course, I think I'm saying them just right), the whole "here/hear/year" debacle and I speak a tad quickly; then there's the whole "dropped h" thing ~ ask Maria she'll know what I'm talking about. So .... there you go, clear as mud really!

B is for Bollywood and Bhangra :: I teach at a very multi-cultural school in Gravesham; it makes the school a wonderful place to teach ... it gives the place a unique flavour. We celebrate constantly, different days/festivals, dance, laugh; we learn new words, eat new foods, make new friends. Fab!

C is for Cheese :: Love it; give me so strong it burns your mouth Cheddar, sharp blue Stilton or St Agur, a runny "custardy" brie, Basque ewe's milk cheese with black cherry jam, creamy buffalo mozzerella, fresh manchego with membrillo, Stinking Bishop, Blue Vinny *licks lips* ~ did I mention I love cheese

D is for Dog or Cat :: Dog, because cats make me sneeze!

E is for Easter :: Fi, I'm a Lindt bunny kinda girl!

F is for Foibles :: Can't bear the loo roll to hang down the back of the roll instead of the front, can't eat a fried egg unless it's been turned over (don't mind if the yolk is broken) and don't like to use a fountain pen.

G is for Gold or Silver :: Either, but they have to be pure or I get problems. White gold suits my skin tone ~ all my "wedding jewellery" is white gold.

H is for Hometown :: Born in Morriston (that's where the hospital was), lived/brought up (my father would say dragged up) in Pontarddulais ... the BBC has made them a little corner of their own on the web ~ bless!

I is for Ice :: Yes in a long alcoholic mixed drink, not in water/pop (soda)!

J is for Job title :: All change on the first of September, I am going to manage/run/teach in the nursery at school ... 2 teachers, a nursery nurse, 2 teaching assistants and 78 itty-bitty ones each day. Then there's the whole IT manager, MFL coordinator thing and I manage (read "draw the pretty graphs for") all the data/target setting in the school too!

K is for Kids :: Nope, not any here but I see lots everyday!

L is for Living arrangements :: 3 bed, mid terrace, down by the "beach" in quietly leafy Gillingham with Simon. No pets, no kids, no money as the house sucks it all up!

M is for Mr :: Simon, kitchen designer, golf fanatic (and the bloody Masters starts today!), *whispers* 49 in just over a month, 6' 2", a little rounder than he would like in certain areas (I'm not complaing at all), a little jealous at times (get's a verbal "slap" when he gets too much!), giggler, great cook, crap hooverer ... that's him!

N is for Naughty or Nice :: Umm, depends on the who and where ... feeling naughty today ;o)

O is for Over night hospital stays :: Last year's operation and four nights last month ~ enough for my thanks, no more! Yeh, I know I'm not going to be that lucky am I!

P is for Perfume :: I like light citrusy fragrances, anything to heavy and I sneeze ... even if someone else is wearing it!

Q is for Quote :: "Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing." Mother Teresa

R is for Reading material :: Yes please, just finished the Last Templar (7/10), Labyrinth (8/10) was fab; just about to start Blue Shoes and Happiness.

S is for Sesame Street :: I love Sesame Street ... learnt so much from it as a child and Burt & Ernie still make me laugh out loud!

T is for Things that make me go ooooh! :: Hugh Jackman, Green & Black's Organic milk chocolate, new shoes, north western Spain, rugby, ummm .... *wiggles eyebrows* lots of things!

U is for Unusual Skill :: I can arch an eyebrow like a professional eyebrow archer, I can wiggle my ears voluntarily (I'm working on the Bewitched nose thing) and I can lick the tip of my nose ... Ok maybe I shouldn't have admitted that!

V is for Vegetable I refuse to eat :: none, never met a vegetable I don't like. I eat them all from aubergines to zucchini* yams.

W is for Worst habit :: Other than picking my nose, scratching my bum and talking with my mouth full ... I nibble the skin around my nails.

X is for Xenophobe or Xenophile :: Xenophile, introduce foreigners to me! Now!

Y is for Yoghurt maker :: Favourite new toy, from Lakeland Plastics ... lurve it! Strawberry, blueberry and Greek yoghurt smoothies!!

Z is for Zen moment :: A warm bath, a good book, a glass of Shiraz and the knowledge that there are clean, crisp, Egyptian cotton sheets on the bed. *sighs and smiles* Bliss!


* I am such a cheater, they're called courgettes in the UK!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Reportedly speaking ...

After reading the fabulous shoe-wearing Maria's J4 school report last week, I went in search of mine ... bless, Maria's parent's must have been over the moon with her results ... I wish I could say the same for mine *twinkles and smiles sadly* Sorry Mum, Dad!

I thought I'd share a snippet or two with you ... set your cringe-o-meter!

J1a ~ First half (17/12/1976)

English ~ Quite Good, can be careless with spelling and punctuation.
Maths ~ Quite Good, on the whole but she can be lazy!
General remarks ~ Towards the end of this term Joanne has begun to work & is now making satisfactory progress. I look forward to continued effort next term.

J1a ~ Second half (7/1977)

English ~ A-, very good. Joanne has plenty of ability but does not always exert herself more than she has to!
Maths ~ A-, Joanne has made good progress. She has plenty of ability and could do even better. She works hard when she feels like it.
General Remarks ~ Joanne has worked quite hard. She makes good progress without really trying. I hope that next year she will work at full stretch (underlined twice!) as she plenty of ability.

Can you see a pattern starting to form?
It goes on in much the same vein ... very able, blah, blah, needs to work harder, blah, blah, if she gave 100% blah, blah until I arrive in J4 aged 10.

And there the report changes completely ... in what should have been my best year in junior school my parent's must have "died" ... whilst missing out on the "and gone to heaven bit!"

English :: Reading attainment ~ (A crossed out) B+, interested and able.
Oral ~ reading aloud and speech ~ A-, fluent, expressive but rather hurried.
Grammatical skills ~ B+, aware of the skills but seldom uses them.
Spelling ~ B+, careless.
Formal comprehension and factual writing ~ B+, capable but seldom completes.
Original story telling ~ B+, capable but seldom completes.

What was wrong with this woman? Could she not make on purely positive comment? If I was interested and able in reading why did I only get a B+? Was I rather hurried when I spoke aloud because I was scared shitless of her?

And then there was the wonderful, funny and most importantly kind Mr Thomas who taught me maths ~

Maths :: Mental arithmetic and concepts ~ B+, improving all the time.
Mathematical problem solving ~ B+, has produced very good work.

The final teacher's comments continued the "hatchet job" ~ Joanne is an able child but she cannot bear criticism or correction; tending to dramatise all situations ... Fundamentally she lacks the self confidence and cooperation necessary for developing her attitudes towards her contemporaries and adults. With more self reliance, persistance, concentration, conscientiousness and enthusiasm about her written work she could reach her potential.

It took me a long time to get over Miss Case and my final year of primary school, I went to a local comprehensive school in September and loved it; I joined the top stream of classes and "flew" eventhough, to begin with I was still haunted by the "when we were in J4" that came from the children who had gone to the same school as me! Ah well, what's 10 months out of my life seeing as I now love education soooooooo much? Huh? Not much in the grand scheme of things really ~ is it?

So, how about you guys, how were your reports? Pleasing or could you too have "done more and reached your full potential"?

Monday, April 03, 2006

Holiday time!

Nothing to do, but drink copious amounts of coffee with friends, relax and eat Easter eggs!! Except, my coupon's out of date already ... just my luck! Better go and hoover then!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Unconscious mutterings #165

Are you muttering?  Well who's making all that noise?

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

Desire :: U2
Sleep :: I need more, because I stayed awake last night watching TV and reading!
Lost :: Lost in translation ~ didn't like it, made me wish he'd stuck to comedy!
2006 :: 2007, 2008, 2009 ....
Pump :: what my friend Ruth's kids say instead of fart .... because fart is rude in their house. When we were little my mother insisted we said fluff, but my Aunty Marg always said bottom burp ~ still makes me roll my eyes!
Space :: Space 1999 ~ kitsch beyond TV series I watched & loved on Saturday mornings as a kid!
Stuck :: Stuck in the middle with you! I love Gerry Rafferty!
Reference :: book
Birth :: birthday, Happy Birthday Ryan ... 15 today or tomorrow? It's a time zone thing!
Hand :: handbag

Saturday, April 01, 2006

OK, it's so late this week let's just call it Saturday's Supper and be done with it!

Name 3 things that you think are strange.
Strange? Peculiar or kinky? Down right oddball or just a little off the wall?

Ok, 3 strange things ... over the top piercing ~ what's with that? Ok, my ears are done, if I had a
stomach like Heidi I'd have my belly button done ... BUT ... what's with this??? Then there's eating tripe, why would you? And finally ... actually nothing else "pops" into my mind when I think of strangeness. That's very telling isn't it?

What was the last ceremony you attended?
Wedding ceremony, last May, mine; which reminds me, I need a "paper" present for Simon? Any ideas?

What is one lesson you have learned in the past year?
Living together (even if it's for a long time ~ nearly six years in our case) is not the same as being married. Having a "ring on my finger" gave someone (not me) the idea that he could make decisions for both of uswithout discussing things. Well, I don't think he'll do anything that monumental again!

Main Course
Tell us about one of your childhood memories.
Being told that I couldn't go into the book corner in school because it was time for me to sit down and listen to the teacher. I was 5, it was my first day of school and I was a month late starting because I'd had bronchitus. All the other children laughed at me when I had to sit on the "naughty chair." It's one of the reasons I'm a teacher, I don't want any child to ever feel like that again.

If you could extend any of the four seasons to be twice as long as normal, which season would you want to lengthen? Summer, give me a long, long hot summer. Give me pedicured toes in summer sandals and a warm breeze; evening BBQs in the garden, walks on the beach and thunderstorms. Give me nights scented with jasmine, nightingales and skinny dipping in the pool at midnight. I love summertime!