Friday, June 29, 2007

Going up north

So, we're off to Derby* for a weekend en famille. Simon and his brother will play golf. I'll proof-read reports,** we'll eat gorgeous Indian food and his mother will snipe enough at him to make me laugh at least. Have a lovely weekend all.

* I know not really "up north" ... but north of the Watford Gap at least!
** I'll bet all you non-teachers out there are really jealous aren't you?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Bless you!

In September I will have been teaching 10 years. That's 10 classes of 30+ At least 300 in my care without the after school IT/French/art clubs, without the lunch times as senior lunch time supervisor, the residential trips, the skipping groups, the sports days, the world book day reading sessions. That has to be thousands of children. But one group will always be more special than all the others in my heart.

Pares, Alexandra, Summer, Kirstie, Daniel, Joshua, Adam, Grant and all the others in my first class. 10 years ago they were 5 year olds on that first school day (for me) in September. This morning I heard that one of them was killed last night! Details too sketchy to quote. Circumstances unexplained and horrifically brutal.

my heart and my thoughts are with you tonight ~you were a wonderful little girl and as almost a young woman you deserved to show us what you could do! I will always remember you!
Miss Collins

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Unconscious mutterings #229

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

Compulsion :: necessary
Spiritual :: thoughts
Spray :: sea
Compatibility :: matched
Pursuit :: chase
Fake :: boobs
Mobile :: phone
Ceremony :: wedding
Ribbons :: Maypole
Mozart :: Austria

Monday, June 18, 2007

Lamb and fig tagine

I kg lamb neck fillet, cubed
2 onions, sliced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp cayenne
½ tsp turmeric
1 cinnamon stick, crumbled
¼ tsp chilli flakes

1 large can of chick peas
1 large tin of Italian tomatoes, drained and chopped
2 potatoes, diced
2 carrots, sliced
4 oz dried figs
2 courgettes, sliced
2 tbsps fresh coriander, chopped
Juice of ½ lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Place the lamb neck fillet, onions, garlic cloves, paprika, ground ginger, cayenne, turmeric, cinnamon, chilli flakes, salt and pepper in a pot and cover with water.

2. Cover with water, bring to the boil and then turn down to a simmer. Cool for ½ hours.

3. Add the chick peas, potatoes, carrots, dried figs and the courgettes and cook for a further 30 mins.

4. Adjust seasoning, sprinkle with fresh coriander and lemon juice just before serving.

Serve with harissa over steamed couscous.

As mentioned ... even better the next day!

So ............

Well, June around here is looking much like May did - not a whole lot of blogging going on. Too much work to do to be honest; report writing, Get Active Week and then a wonderful week in Brighton with two of my favourite men ... well two of them other than my husband I mean! You know what I mean don't you?
After bombing out of leaving school on Friday I managed to reach Seaford by 5.30 - the view from the flat window always entrances me - sky, sea and cliffs and Kev and I happily sat munching olives, flat bread and houmous washed down with the odd swig of wine until Ahmad arrived home at 7pm. Such a lovely relaxing chatty, foodie evening.
On Saturday we headed for Brighton for a little bit of shopping - there's a fantastic food shop (well 2 of them really owned by the same people), called Taj in Brighton selling whole, organic and speciality food. Amazing middle Eastern and Asian deli counter and vegetables that I have no idea what to do with :o) We bought flat breads, olives, heaven fruit - Ahmad didn't know the English name ... like a mixture between a plum (texture) and an apricot (colour) and a little bit peachy (flavour) with four large glossy pips inside. Beautiful but as to what it's called??? I Google'd Middle Eastern Fruit looking for a clue but you don't want to know what pictures that dug up!
Then after a quick coffee we strolled down to the sea front to play a game of Bingo / Mingo ... surely you know the one? You sit and watch the world and it's inhabitants go by and decide if they are lovely enough (it's a fickle personal judgement on your part) to score a BINGO or not ... and therefore mingo! We played for a (shallow) hour or so, all three of us matched BINGO on more than one occasion and I figure that in Brighton if we'd wanted to take it any further the lads would have had more luck than me :o)
Unfortunately yesterday I had to come home.
Unfortunately I managed to clash my weekend with the London to Brighton bike ride.
Unfortunately just getting from Seaford to Newhaven to get back on the main road took an hour.
Fortunately my husband was very happy to see me :o)

Friday, June 15, 2007


Off to sunny Brighton for the weekend! Some photos of French France for you to peruse.

The beach at St Jean-de-Luz

Looking back dack down the 12th towards the mountains

Looking south

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


So, that's that.
Another holiday over, another term started.

France was as beautiful as usual if a little to wet and windy for my liking. The hotel receptionist (as we booked out last Friday) chortled with amazement that the weather in London was warmer and drier than that in St Jean-de-Luz. "How astonishing is that?" he said, in his charming French way ... too bloody astonishing for my liking!

I ate too much delicious French and Basque food, putting on 5 of the 12 1/2 lbs I'd lost before going away - back to the drawing board with that then! It was day after day of deliciousness ~ Piquillos (slightly sweet and spicy peppers, stuffed with salt cod), Piperade omelette, chicken Basquaise, Pata negra and of course pintxos.

No kids in school yesterday - hurrah. But that all starts again today - *muted* hurrah! Have a fabulous Tuesday ;o)