Thursday, March 29, 2007

Such a busy week

Where has all my blogging time gone? Actually where has all my life time gone? And I don't think it's going to improve because ... I got the job! *dances happy dance* It's only in an acting capacity and I'll have to re-apply for the permanent post in September BUT it'll look good on my CV and give me some different management experience and I'm happy! Have a good Thursday :o)

Monday, March 26, 2007

*twiddling thumbs*

So ... I gave my letter of application in. I guess I just wait now then :o(

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Unconscious mutterings #216


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

Groovy :: The 59th Street Bridge Song
Jealousy ::
Watching :: Looking
Kenny ::
Games :: Olympics
Bread ::
City :: Paris
Stems :: Flowers
Birds :: Nest
Listener ::

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Anyone know how to write a really good letter of application for promotion? I've been asked to apply for the Assistant Head's job! Ooooh! Need letter ready for Monday at 9am :o)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Blog Fodder #14

Ok this week's question comes from the lovely Mar over at maremagnum and as questions go all of you out there just know that it is perfect for me!
Give an example of a meal that makes you happy.
Ah food! We all have our "drug of choice", our memory maker, the thing we turn to whether happy or sad. Some people eat to live ... I on the other hand, live to eat. Not always epicurian delights, I love peasant food too. Whilst I love pan fried foie gras, I wouldn't want to eat it every day (my arteries wouldn't want me to either) and a bowl of homemade minestrone full of fresh vegetables and a little pasta ~ delicious too!
I do remember those special meals in my life ... times when I was very happy and the food added to the atmosphere and times when the act of eating itself filled me with pleasure. I love big flavours ~ garlic, lemon, herbs and spices. I adore the food of the Mediterranean for that reason. Greek dolmades and flat bread with tzatziki whilst sitting on the harbour edge in Skiathos ... the sun was beating down and the warmth was settling into my bones. And then the waiter brought out a platter of freshly grilled sardines with chunks of lemon! Not "posh" food but very happy indeed.
Last year Simon and I spent the May half-term holiday (please feel sorry for him as he has to organise his holidays around my teaching life) in the Basque town of St Jean-de-Luz.Wes pent the days exploring ~ beaches, mountains, coastal walkways and the evenings strolling quietly through the old town of St Jean finding tapas (called pinchos, often spelled pintxos in the Basque region) bars and small restaurants serving simple platters of snacks, fish and seafood. Jamon Serrano, manchego cheese with quince jam, stuffed mussels, deep fried squid, cod fish cakes with spicy tomato sauce, olives and tortilla. Long warm evenings talking, walking, laughing, eating food that truly made me happy.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Blogging lost

I have found it so hard to find time for blogging over the last few weeks ... between school and life there's been no room for anything else and the blogging has got lost in the middle. I checked the little doobery-whatsit on the side of my page that says how many posts I have posted in March and it says 10! 10? Good grief. That's pathetic. I haven't even really had a chance to visit other sites. i.e. You! I've been a pathetic blogger and a really lax commenter*.

I have been busy though ~ I've done a huge amount of work on the school website, had lesson observations, dealt with hospital appointments that have to be re-done because the scanner wasn't calibrated properly, had parents to stay, had Simon's sister an niece over for dinner and suffered the hangover from hell for my sins ... have you seen the pictures of what happens when 8 bottles of wine, a kilo of houmous and lots of olives mix. And the shame of it all is that they're nice people (Simon included) when they're sober! I just know I'm going to get it for that comment! And yes that is kick-boxing that they're doing.

And the weather ... the last week was beautiful, we had gorgeous summery weather, we (me and the children) sat out in the sunshine and chatted, ate our snacks, played, turned slightly pink. It's been glorious and yet now the Met Office is predicting heavy snow for tomorrow!! Talk about all back to front. Right ... kettle's boiled. Tea anyone?

*Except where it comes to Fizzy's c-box which is just too easy to hijack. And bizarrely wont let you write snigger.

Unconscious mutterings #215

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

San Francisco :: Tales of the City
Sadness :: Tears
Spirits :: Gin
Harriet :: Harriet Beecher Stowe
State ::
Oklahoma (Where did that come from?)
John :: Goodnight John-boy
Offense :: But in the UK offence
Timeless :: Audrey Hepburn
Account :: Bank
Refuse ::

Saturday, March 17, 2007


Look at the list of books below.
*Bold the ones you’ve read
*Italicize the ones you want to read
*leave blank the ones that you aren’t interested in.

If you are reading this, tag your it!

1.The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2.Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3.To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10.A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11.Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12.Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13.Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16.Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible (All of it)
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolsoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo) In French!
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery) In French!
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100.Ulysses (James Joyce)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Big deep breaths now that it is over

I had a lesson observation yesterday. It's been praying on my mind a little ... I know that in business audit's can happen at any time. They did when I was a civil servant, along with annual reviews. It's just that lesson observations just seem so much more personal and recently the official terms that are used to feedback to teachers have changed. Yes you still get detailed feedback about the content and points of action for the future but right at the bottom of the feedback form marked quite plainly is the sentence "This lesson has been judged as ..." followed by one of the following words ... OUSTANDING, GOOD, SATISFACTORY or ... wait for this, INADEQUATE! And there in the problem lies ... INADEQUATE! Such a bad choice of words. It makes it sound as if a personal judgement is being made about a person and not about teaching in a lesson. These are not words that have been chosen by our headteacher to label us but instead have been chosen by the government's inspectors of schools ~ OFSTED.
So, yesterday's observation was in the afternoon and was not only the headteacher but also an LEA Early Years advisor. They arrived just as I sat down to my talk-time (main teaching time in a nuresery) ... we were learning all about 1 more / 1 less. The kids were really focused. We sang 5 little ducks went swimming one day. We counted keys and asked lots of questions. We talked about what we were going to do when we went off to play later.
Everyone was pleased. The LEA Advisor was happy and reckoned OFSTED would be if they came in tomorrow. And the headteacher said my lesson was good with elements of outstanding particularly in my behaviour management. Phew!
I slept really well last night, nothing to worry about obviously. Now I've just got to wait for OFSTED!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Unconscious mutterings #214

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

Contribution :: Pay
Ryan :: Child in school
Minimal :: Bare
Cleansed :: Skin
Centered :: Text
Arrow :: Follow
Beyond :: "Somewhere beyond the sea!"
Execute :: Marie Antoinette
Intuition :: Feelings
Apology ::

Friday, March 09, 2007

Blog Fodder #13

Ok this week's question comes from Carmi at Written Inc and is very important to Moogie (who's got small children) and the rest of us who have large, loud husbands!
Where do you go to be alone?

Gosh ... there are lots of places. When I am home I go to the park just down the road which is right on the estuary. There's a bench right out on the end of the causeway with views out onto the Thames. It's full of sea-birds, yachts and not much else it's a grea place to sit and think. In the summer it can be full of parents and children making the most of the open spaces and the views. But in the winter there's just me and a couple of twitchers.

When I am in France there's a bench (I see a bench pattern starting) in the garden. It's under a tree and when it's hot there's enough shade to make it restful. I can relax and think and listen to the birdsong, the cicadas or the frogs in the pond up the road. It looks towards the house and it's not too far for my favourite drinks waiter to walk with a long G&T at sundown.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

An update with random thoughts

So, only Mopey showed up for work yesterday as Dopey rang in sick. She really sounded ill on the phone ... Jo says I'm a soft touch and she'd probably been practising that voice. They've only been on the teaching practice since Monday and they've now BOTH had a day off sick! A huge reminder of why you should do something else in life before going to uni to be a teacher. Then you get some life skills and you realise how bloody hard life outside the "ivory tower of academia" truly is. Then they'd realise how fantastic working in education is and they'd make the most of being in MY FABULOUS NURSERY! Rant over :o)

Gardening today ... in school that is. Plants and bulbs to put in. Leaves to clear. Gardening gloves in handbag and mucky clothes ready to go. In truly fab news ... they dug our school allotment yesterday. We're going to grow our own vegetables! The children wanted to know where the veggies were stright away ... lol! Instant potatoes just add a digger!

Fizzy has her last day of OFSTED today ... evil and nasty government education inspectors. It's a bit late to say good luck as I know for a fact (text about a run in with the local Irish drunk @ 6.15) that's already gone to work. But please go and congratulate her on surviving! She's got a cbox just waiting for you!

Holiday booked last for Simon's birthday. (Did I mention he's going to be 50!!!!) We're off to
St Jean de Luz during the May end of term holiday! A week of sun ~ lovely! Enough to make me feel good about life let me tell you :o)

p.s. Did I mention 50?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Good morning

It's Wednesday and I suddenly realised I haven't posted since Sunday ... doesn't time fly when you're having fun supervising 2 teacher training students who should have never been allowed on the education degree course.

The 2 students (from now on to be referred to as Mopey and Dopey) are crap! With a capital Cr! That's CRAP! Yesterday Mopey asked me for some paperwork and I said "no problem, do you want it to photocopy now or in the morning?" And she replied "what do you mean?" I heard a strange noise behind me and whipped around to see my nursery nurse sniggering in the corner.

20 minutes later a child said to Dopey, who was sitting with 2 or 3 children at the PC ... "I don't like this program, can you change it over?" And she turned and said "well I don't know how to change it, you'll just have to play that." And then turned her back on the child! WTF!!!! I got-up, went over, changed the program and through gritted teeth suggested that the next time a 3 year old asked her for some help she helped!

Jo (the other teacher) is going to give them "what for" this morning ... she's much better at that than me (who in theory is in charge)! They begin teaching on Thursday ... pray for us :o)

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Three little words

I saw this meme at Mar's, stolen but I will tell her that I have ... the rules are simple.
Answer each question in three words.
No more, no less.

1. Where is your cell phone? On my desk
2. Boyfriend/girlfriend? Just my husband
3. Hair? Wrapped in towel
4. Your mother? Very patient woman
5. Your father? Strange yet humorous
6. Your favorite item(s)? PC, camera, car
7. Your dream last night? Life in France
8. Your favorite drink? Lots of ice
9. Your dream guy/girl? Eddie in heels (because I'm getting boring about Hugh!)
10. The room you are in? Spare bedroom office
11. Your fear? Big mean spiders
12. What do you want to be in 10 years? Still loving life
13. Who did you hang out with last night? My other half
14. What are you not? Showing Fizzy photos!
15. Are you in love? Yes I am
16. One of your wish list items? House in France
17. What time is it? Eight forty nine
18. The last thing you did? Had a bath
19. What are you wearing? PJs and slippers
20. Your favorite book? It's the Eight
21. The last thing you ate? Scampi and chips
22. Your life? Chocka block full
23. Your mood? Over-tired and headachey
24. Your friends? Ruth, Kev, Su
25. What are you thinking about right now? Holiday flight bookings
26. Your car? Sitting outside, red
27. What are you doing at this moment? Drinking my tea
28. Your summer? Hot, French, long
29. Your relationship status? Married no children
30. What is on your TV screen? Lots of dust
31. When is the last time you laughed? Friday at work
32. Last time you cried? See above answer
33. School? Every working day

You ~ Pick a question
Answer 3 words!

Me ~ Stop doing this
Use full sentences!

Unconscious mutterings #213


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

Nude :: naked
Support :: tights
Rachel :: Jacob's wife
Crane :: long legs
Candy bar :: Topic
Material :: Denim
Mind games :: Magazine
Eviction :: Big Brother
Produce :: make
Joke :: "Why did the chicken cross the road?"

Friday, March 02, 2007

Sausages make me laugh

I almost had an asthma attack this afternoon.
I had to send a child away with a flea in his ear, I had to tell him I was crying because he had upset me soo much.
I had to leave the room, blow my nose, wipe off what was left of my mascara.
I don't know whether I can cope with this job.

B ~ Mrs L, J hurt me.

Me ~ J can you come here please? Why do you think B has come to talk to me?

J ~ I don't know.

Me ~ *Paddington Bear stare*

J ~ I hurt her.

Me ~ How did you hurt her?

J ~ *holds up plastic frankfurter* I poked her with my sausage.

This is when I began to laugh/cry/mimble.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Dydd Dewi Sant hapus iawn!

Happy Saint David's Day!