Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Yesterday morning mid playground

One of the girls in my class came running up to me and grabbed me in a hug - yes I know the government says we're not supposed to hugh/touch children; I didn't, she hugged me ... you try getting them not to - and said ...

R - Oh Mrs L, you smell like custard without being yellow.

Boots Vanilla body spray strikes again!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Unconscious mutterings #247

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

Inaugural :: US Presidents
Pledge :: Do the dusting with Pledge
String :: Ball of string
Trot :: Walk, trot, canter, gallop
Fitness :: Exercise
Cinder :: Ash
Edge :: Blade
31 :: Not any more
Blue :: Ocean
Leather ::

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A note from the schmuck

According to the wonderful Wiki, "Schmuck" from the Slovene word, šmok, meaning "a fool, an innocent, a gullible dolt."

As you possibly know, I write some of the questions over at that's my answer ~ your daily pitstop for questionable fun ... this morning for probably the millionth tenth time I had to email Indigo and ask her to reset my password! WTF? Why is it I can't remember one simple password for one website that I have to log-on to 3 mornings a week? I generally stay logged in - it's just easier that way. And then I realised it's not just a password on the odd website, I am forever having to ask the bank to reset PIN numbers ... you know that 3 tries and you're out system - get's me everytime! I had to ring SKY 4 times before it stuck in my head that the PIN for the card is the last 4 numbers ON the card and I could just look in the machine!
So maybe I'm just a schmuck where it comes to all things tech/password/PIN numbery - no hope really in this day and age is there?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Free Rice

Free Rice, originally uploaded by Laquet.
A sister site to World Poverty.com ~ Free Rice donates rice through the United Nations
What to do ...
Go to Free Rice.
Click on the answer that best defines the word.
If you get it right, you get a harder word. If wrong, you get an easier word.
For each word you get right, they donate 10 grains of rice to the United Nations World Food Program.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Food - fabulous food!

So on Monday off I pootered to Shisho's to make samosas. A start of my journey phone call had me dashing to the supermarket for icing sugar ... I was confused about why we would need icing sugar to make samosas but hey-ho!

It wasn't until I arrived at 9am that I finally realised what a huge job it was going to be - Harpreet and Shisho had been making dough since 8 o'clock. They'd gone through 12 lbs of flour and made three different types of dough, for 3 different projects.
After I filled them, Shisho sealed them and crimped them
Harpreet was rolling out the dough for the samosas, which I then cooked slightly on a roti pan (to stop them sticking together) ... quick fingers to take them off without getting singed. We then cut them into semi circles and covered them to stop them drying out. We cooked over 100 dough circles before we started a production line to fill them. Harpreet glued each semi-circle into a cone, I filled them with a spiced potato and pea* mixture and Shisho, sealed and crimped them. (Click here to see the photos).
It was all going swimmingly well and then my camera died :o( s
o, I cannot in fact prove that we made over 250 samosas, or that we cooked chick pea curry and prepared yogurt with tamarind to serve with the samosas at lunch time. Then in the afternoon we made spiced snacks - similar taste to the long thin spiced bits you get in Bombay Mix but a different shape and sweet little square of pastry that taste like yum-yums. There are notes on the photos over at Flickr and if you're ever in the neighbourhood - pop in, I have the spare skins in my freezer just for an occasion such as that :o)
* Potato, cumin, fried onion, peas, chili, garam masala - yum!

Monday, October 22, 2007


samosa, originally uploaded by Laquet.

I am off to spend the day with my nursery nurse - Shisho - and one of my teaching assistants - Harpreet - and they are going to teach me how to cook samosas and mattar. I am going to try and persuade them that as we have the whole day, there's enough time to learn roti too. And then I just have to refill my masala dabba and I'm good to go - no more takeaway curries in this house. In return I will be showing Shisho how to make homemade pasta sauce. I'll be back later with lots of photos and some recipes to share.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Unconscious mutterings #246

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

Las Vegas :: Viva Las Vegas
Linus :: Peanuts
Struck :: Hit
Movie :: I'd like to see


Anxious :: Scared
Bandit :: Smoky
Picks :: Nose
Lasso :: Cowboy
Dinner :: Curry
Bargain ::

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A whole afternoon's work

A whole afternoon's work, originally uploaded by Laquet.
On a weekend at Cat's house where Simon, Chris and Logan golfed, we had beautiful lamb curry and good family time, Helen and I spent time with the balloon kit! It took use a whole afternoon to make a lop-sided, three petalled flower hat. There's no photo of it on me because my head is just too big.

This is really a test post to see if I can blog directly from my Flickr page. Looks like I can! *sorry for the humiliation this new ability might cause H*

Friday, October 19, 2007

Beyond Busy

This week has been spent at a flat out run ... well not actually at a flat out run but work has been at 90 miles an hour - no let up. We are expecting the OFSTED phone call - after which a team of inspectors will come in and inspect us. Look at the teaching, provison, attainment, progress, policies, behaviour, planning etc etc etc. As a member of the senior leadership team I know that I am going to be expected to answer questions for the inspectors - but at the moment I'm finding the constant need to be thinking about those answers wearing. I understand the reasoning behind it ... I don't want to be scrabbling around at the last minute, there'll be other things to do then*; it's just that I am fed up with it right now.
Teachers in the main part of the school have had Parent's Evening - you know the kind of thing "come in and talk about your child's progress/lack of progress" and eventhough we don't have these sessions in the nursery, I stayed in school to support an NQT on her first round of these fun sessions - this resulted in my eventually getting home at 8.15 last night. Show me a teacher who likes Parent's Evening and I'll show you a lost soul in need of Prozac or a brain transplant. Knackered. And then my body still wants me to wake up at 4.30am because 50 things are running around/through my head.

I'm sure that there are people out there who think that teaching is a nine to five quarter past three job, with weekends off and uber-long summer holidays. I don't have to justify myself to them - I wouldn't give up teaching for the world and I know what it's really like. Anyway, enough of the bitching and moaning about work, I need to do something to redress the work-life-balance problem I am suddenly up to my neck in.

So, this weekend I am going to take some time. For me. For us. Chilling. Yes, this weekend (as long as the weather plays ball), Simon and I will be mainly playing in the garden, putting the whole lot to bed. Cutting back - yes, I agree, it's probably the wrong time of year - mulching**, emptying hanging baskets, de-weeding, pruning the vine and tidying up.

This weekend mainly

Though why Simon is dressed like Old McDonald beats me and have you any idea how bad I would look in dungarees? I shall of course be holding a glass of shiraz rather than a bucket but I promise to dig a bit too :o)

* As soon as we get the phone call, we'll have to start trawling evidence to match the criteria on the prelimenary report that they'll send.
** I have no idea what mulching actually is, I just know that Alan does a lot of it on How to be a gardener.

p.s. Thanks to Mar for the unspoken heads-up about the pretty little picture in the middle! You can make yourself one here if you so wish!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Desktop Free View Meme

Gabrielle saw this on Rosie's blog and I stole it from her! That's right nobody tagged me - theft!

Here's what you need to do:
A. Upon receiving this tag, immediately perform a screen capture of your desktop. It is best that no icons be deleted before the screen capture so as to add to the element of fun. You can do a screen capture by going to your desktop and pressing the Print Scrn key (located on the right side of the F12 key). For Macs, press shift-option-3 then look for the .png file on your desktop. Open a graphics program (like Picture Manager, Paint, or Photoshop) and do a Paste (CTRL + V). If you wish, you can “edit” the image, before saving it.

B. Post the picture in your blog. You can also give a short explanation on the look of your desktop just below it if you want. You can explain why you preferred such look or why is it full of icons. Things like that.

C. Tag five of your friends and ask them to give you a Free View of their desktop as well.

D. Add your name to the list of Free Viewers below with a link pointing directly to your Desktop Free View post to promote it to succeeding participants.

The list of Free Viewers so far is:

iRonnie - I Set No Corner
Thess - Thesserie
Rebecca - Skippy Heart
Knoizki - A Dialogue With K
Beng - Kauderwelch
Tina - My Good Finds
Rachel - Heart of Rachel
Alice - Hello, My Name Is Alice
Julia - Julia's Books Corner!
Darla - Nichtszusagen
Marg - Reading Adventures
Holly - What Were you Expecting?
ames - Thrifty Reader
Dev - Good Reads
Rosie - Nobody asked me...
Gabrielle - Diary of an Adult Runaway
Jo - Chez le laquet!

And here's my desktop (click on the pic for a bigger version):

My desktop

God, it's tidy isn't it? Only 5 icons - can't be doing with icons everywhere. Someone once told me it makes the PC run slower and I don't know whether this is true or not but it has stayed with me. I don't even know why I have the Norton 360 icon there because I can access it through the tiny icon next to the clock. MiniReminder is a little bit of Freeware that remembers important dates - birthdays, anniversaries, meetings etc. and gives me a countdown to them - excellent as I am so bloody disorganised, well except for my desktop of course.
I took the photo on my free school trip to KwaZulu-Natal in October 2004. We stayed at the Oyster Box hotel in Umhlanga Rocks - fantastic, if you ever get the chance I totally recommend it! Like totally dude!* I got up very early in the morning, went down to the beach and took a series of about 50 shots of the water, sand and rocks. I particularly like this one though because of the trickles of water through the sand. The rest of them are here if you'd like to see them.
The folders are where I collect photographs - website scroll is for school photos to go on the school website that I maintain. Want to see? I'll send you a link. The frames folder is for photos to print off to put up around the house - I have some swanky new brushed aluminium frames from Ikea on the bedroom wall that I am currently filling. So there you are, that's my desktop. Much tidier than my real desktop! You so dont want to see a photo of that!

I'm am going to tag (because I haven't tagged anyone in such a long time) Fizzy, Lisa and Ms Mac** ... because I just like Gabrielle, am very nosey have a need to know! Let me know if you do it please :o)

* Where did those totallys come from? And don't even get me started on the dude!
** When the op is over and he's recovering, hope it all goes really well!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Unconscious mutterings #245

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

Illicit :: Affair
Go :: Sushi
Jacket :: Suit
Blow :: By blow
Coach :: Graham Henry
Effort :: Grade A for effort
Leadership :: Head teacher
Snore :: Nose
Fearless :: Not me
Network :: Computers

Saturday, October 13, 2007

My week in 101 words or less

Left at 1.15, morning spent sterilising Duplo*. Headed north … 1 hour to drive 6 miles. Dartford Bridge and M1 closed – headed south. Traffic jams. Arrived hotel 8 o'clock. Hotel full, consultant hadn’t booked rooms. Me bed less. Him at pub. Thank you receptionist – new hotel. Large Merlot, risotto, bed. Friday, school visit. Head teacher = Hitler. “Look for a job elsewhere” if don’t make minimum 4 points**. Displays nice, lunch good, kids great. Puppet writing, drawing and IT. Lots of photos. Left for home at 2.30. Services - fizzy pigs. Motorway ok until M25. Jammed. Home late. Knackered. Pizza. Bed.

* Don’t ask why! You truly don’t want to know. Had to be done.
** Yes at least 4 points, 2 sub-levels. Even MLD/SLD/BESD Fi!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Yet more gratuitous eye candy

NCIS the cast ... series 2

Just because I can, for me and Andy and Zoomabooma ... Yeh, that's all I have to say.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Off to Staffordshire. See you on the flip-side!

Monday, October 08, 2007

All work and no play makes Jo a sad, sad sack

So, over the weekend, I worked.

Actually, I forgot on Saturday I took 2 hours off and went to Bluewater with Ruth - I love you Bluewater - and then I came home and worked.

If you know anyone even considering a career in teaching who wants a life, weekends, holidays to themselves tell them, no order them not to do it! You know it's not that I don't love the job - I adore the job BUT there's no work-life balance and a certain someone isn't half giving me stick about it!

Right, better leave it because I have to go and shower ... I am off to work soon :o(

p.s. Don't forget to go on over to That’s my answer!
The official question of the day — it’s your daily pitstop for questionable fun :o)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Unconscious mutterings #244

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

Cluster :: Peanut clusters
Announcement :: Engagement
Respect :: My mum
Incident :: Happening
Accordion :: French
Drunk :: AA
If :: If a picture paints a 1000 words
Dexter :: Inspector Morse
Wedding ::
Gambling ::
Las Vegas

Saturday, October 06, 2007

And now for some gratuitous eye-candy

Can't think why I like NCIS?
Can't think why I like NCIS? Can you?

Friday, October 05, 2007

Open up and say aaagh!

I had to take a half day yesterday to take Simon to the dentist, for root canal work. This palaver of epic proportions first began last November, yep you heard me, last November when he first complained about toothache.

Me - Well go to the dentist then.

Simon - I can't.

Me - [brought up by my mother Vin, I am at this point showing not a scrap of sympathy*] What do you mean you can't? Why not?

Simon - I'm scared of the dentist.

And so he told me the story of his last dental visit 22 years ago - good grief, so long ago I hadn't even done my "O" levels and I feel like I've had them forever! Yes, 22 years ago when the dentist had removed a tooth and it was so bad** that his body went into shock and he spent a week in bed and ... his mother let him get away with this*** Knowing full well that this was a situation I wasn't going to put up I got him into a dentist that same week, to whom he retold the whole sorry tale.

Dentist - Oh I'm sorry Mr Langthorne, but we can't possibly do the work here if your body reacts like that. You'll need sedation and will have to go to a specialist clinic.

And being the procrastinator's procrastinator that he is, 4 lots of antibiotics and 11 months later that is where we found ourselves yesterday. And 25 minutes later I had to get him home. The sedation had the same effect as 14 rum and blacks on an empty stomach! I am 5' 6" ... he is 6' 2" and I had to manhandle him down the stairs of the clinic into the car and then home and into bed :o( He fell asleep in the car, couldn't work out how to get his feet up the stairs (I had to put my hands under his arse and shove to get him upstairs) and almost fell asleep again whilst leaning on the ironing board (in the spare bedroom) taking his trousers off. Good god!

This morning he looks like a chipmunk and can't remember a thing! I might take the teeth out myself if it happens again, with a lump hammer and a crow bar :o)

* As my father is so fond of pointing out sympathy comes between shit and syphilis in the dictionary ... and neither of those are any good for you either! This might me an AA saying, he's got plenty of them ;o)
** Now, and don't get me wrong but this might be "man bad" or rather "Simon hypochondria Langthorne bad" so we should probably take this with a grain or twelve of salt!
*** I don't think she has any real idea of the rod she has created for my back but I do bring this up with her as often as is humanly possible.

p.s. Simon - I am only teasing, well a little bit, well about the lump hammer :o)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Where am I going?

I was very excited when in the autumn of 2005 when the headteacher sent me to Doncaster to visit a school; I was going to look at quality of display and the creative curriculum. It was fabulous not just because the school was great* but because the evening I arrived there, I got to have a jaw and a hot chocolate with Fizzy. So you can imagine how excited I was to find out that I was off to Doncaster again next week! Yay! A date was set - hot chocolate and chat, same cafe, earlier time! Whoop :o)

And then the boss told me that I am not going to Doncaster at all ... I am off to Newcastle, Staffordshire. Just a small slip then! Only 87 miles out. How did she get that so wrong? Gutted! Sorry Fizzy :o(

Newcastle to Doncaster

* Which it was - beautiful displays!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Funny old day

Yesterday Sunday was a funny old day start to the week. Phone call came from my slightly agitated eldest nephew, to say that the residential home where my Nana lives had phoned because they couldn't get hold of my parents on the phone. **NOTE TO DAD** Turn the telly volume down during the shooting bits of Westerns, somebody might be trying to phone you! It looks like Nana has taken a turn for the worse and they want my parents to come. So after calming Shawn slightly I rang Mum and Dad. They in turn packed, dashed out of the house and after delivering their already cooked Sunday roast to grateful started the long drive north towards Paris. No, there was no need for me to dash for Swansea, my mum would ring me to come down if she needed me :o( She's slightly improved as of yesterday - but I think we all need to remember how old she is!

Later in the afternoon after much thought I decided to ring the boss, to let her know I might need to dash off at absolutely no notice etc. Fine, no problems at all. And then the funny bit of the conversation started. Umm ... conversation about how I wasn't to be worried about conversations that she had had / was having with other members of the Leadership team who weren't pulling their weight / dealing with the stress as well as I am because she didn't need to have one of those conversations with me. Conversations? Me, dealing with stress well? Clear as mud then!

In other news, I'm in charge at school today. Yeh, me! Do they not have any idea what a fuck-up I am? Obviously not as they're leaving me in charge :o) Those of you out there who really know, DON'T TELL THEM!