Thursday, December 25, 2008

Bloody Internet or lack there of!

Thankyou for your comments ... I can't respond - grrr! Internet cafe in Cahors here I come on Saturday ;o)

Christmas meme

Ok, I lied/exaggerated ... 176 posts this year - and I scheduled this from home. As far as know they/we are still "sans service/Internet-less" ... it's a bummer it really is! Happy Christmas everyone!!
1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot chocolate
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? He wraps them.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Coloured. Red this year.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? Yes, bought some in Tesco on Thursday night. Let the snogging begin!
5. When do you put your decorations up? Christmas Eve - family tradition.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish? Potch and brussels with chestnuts and pancetta.
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: My first bike. It was hidden in the bathroom because it was too big to go under the tree - I cried with happiness brushing my teeth.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? What truth? What do you mean?
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Never! NO. After breakfast on Christmas Day.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? Mixture of old and new - some homemade by me and my brother. Some a little kitsch.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? I love looking out of the window and seeing it. I don't want to have to walk or drive in it!
12. Can you ice skate? No, I never learned how to ice skate. I can barely roller skate lol.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? A Tiny Tears - I loved her sooooooooo much!
14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Family and then food ;o)
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? I like Black Forest trifle - chocolate muffins, cherries, brandy, custard, whipped cream and shavings of dark chocolate on the top.
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Breakfast - it's a proper sit down meal before the cooking begins. I love the cooking!
17. What tops your tree? A star.
18. Which do you prefer: giving or receiving? Giving! If people are happy with the gift I can cry.
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? I like Little Donkey if we're talking carols. But I also love Santa Baby!
20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? Yuck! I'd rather have a chocolate Brazil nut.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Post 175

So, this is post 175 of 2008 - my posting has fallen by another 40 posts this year ... 295 posts during the bloggy heights of 2005, down to 255 in 2006, down further to 215, last year and finally 175 this year. But ... I hear you ask ... why stop here? Why not continue to blog right up until the 31st of December so bucking the downward spiralling trend Well it's not that I want to stop it's just that this afternoon I am sneaking off a little early from school - ssssh don't tell anyone - the head's given me a note and I am disappearing to SW France pour les vacances and you will know how I have complained over the years about crappy French dial-up ... well this year it's worse. How I hear you shout collectively? NO INTERNET at ALL! Hasn't worked since they returned home from holidays in October! So other than my Nokia E71 - looks like a BlackBerry, costs less than a BlackBerry - mobile phone I will be webless. I am stocking up on the alcohol to help me get through the time!!

So until I get back to civilisation - or make a run for t'Internet cafe in Cahors - take care you lot and have a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Year’s End Meme

Teuchter over in the middle of it all has come up with her very own meme. It's a Year's End Meme so here's the four statements that I have to write about. Right let's get going!

The best things that happened in 2008 …
The worst things that happened in 2008 …
The standout highlights of 2008 …
My ambitions and hopes for 2009 …

The best things that happened in 2008 ... right, well it's not been a bad year, but the very best thing has to be the fantastic week I had in Rosas in May with my parents. We talked and laughed and toured and ate! And then talked some more - it was a real coming together of our relationship ~ we hadn't spent quality time together like that since the previous Summer and times like that always remind me how well I get on with my Mum and Dad. Yes they're my parents but I really like them as people.
I also have to give a memorable mention to a weekend in Wales, when I got to have coffee with Liz - thank you Facebook - AND dinner in Twickenham with an occupational therapist, her Coldstream Guards bandsman husband and two gay men ;o)
The worst things that happened in 2008 ... well it has to be the day of Nana's funeral - she died on Boxing Day 2007. We got a phone call in France just after lunch, my parents left for Wales 2 hours later. Simon and I stayed on for a couple of days and then made our way back to Kent. Because of the time of year things were very slow - the funeral wasn't until January 11th or somewhere around there. It was a horrible day - tears all round but lots of laughter and good memories too! But of course they don't stand out at the time!
The standout highlights of 2008 ... Strangely there's a work one of these! I say strange because it should be leisure/family times that are the "standout highlights" ... I have one of those too! Right, in July we had an OFSTED inspection. It was a horrifically stressful week - we had a phone call on the Monday, they arrived on Wednesday morning and by 4pm on Friday (after a 66 hour working week by that point!) I was a sobbing, snotty mess in the middle of a table in the nursery. Thank goodness it was over! Thank goodness it went well. Thank fuck they're not coming back!!!!
My other standout highlight was my summer, yes the weather was lovely and I thoroughly enjoyed being in France and showing my GBF around the local area BUT it was also wonderful because I got to meet Bev. My Mum's cousin Roy and his wife Margaret came to stay - there's lots of garden Chez le laquet to camp in - along with Margaret and Roy came their grand-daughters and their Mum ... my cousin Bev. I know we're cousins BUT we'd never met before ... but it was wonderful, we clicked straight away - hell, we even look alike!! A new friend. But one who's going to last. Always on the end of a phone - I feel like I've known her forever.
My ambitions and hopes for 2009 ... all the usual suspects I imagine - a continued decline in my weight. An increase in my life-work-balance. And finally continued good health, happiness and love for me and mine AND of course, for you and yours.
Oh and if the lottery fairy wants to look my and get the divine Hugh to deliver the ticket ... well I won't complain ;o)
Yes! It's just an excuse to drool!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Keema gajar with roti

Keema gajar with roti, originally uploaded by Laquet.

Looks like Saturday is really becoming curry night! The recipe is in my flickr account with the photos - kind of. Tweak it I say, tweak away!

Unconscious Mutterings #307

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

Travel :: holiday
Expensive :: not for me, no money
Backspace :: mistake
Traffic noise :: car
Now see here :: stop it!
Vegetables :: soup
Chat :: friends
Your calling :: teaching
Weekly :: regular
Oh! :: Really? Wow!

Do some muttering of your own here.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Mobiley speaking

Oh my god ... the fog, the ice, a broken contact lens even before I arrive in work! Gonna be a good one :o(

Blogged from the car, crawling along the A2


I've been tagged. By Laura in Paris. It's the 6 random things about you meme - which I was convinced I'd done BUT now cannot find! That's random for starters :o)

Anyways, it goes something like this -
1. Link to the person who tagged you. - check, done that!
2. Post the rules on your blog. - check, done as well.
3. Write six random things about yourself. - check, yep ... not hard
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them. - umm, I don't know whether this is fair, it being Christmas and all ... nah I can't do it, well except I can do it to Fizzy because I keep missing her on MSN and at least it saves me poking her on FB!
5. Let each person know they've been tagged and leave a comment on their blog. - check, just posted.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up. - check, well, not check exactly, off to do that now!
So six random things about me - as if I don't give out enough randomness already.
1. I suffer from migraines, they make me throw up as well as the pain. The only thing that gets rid of them is a combo of mint tea followed by dark and sleep.
2. Cats make me sneeze.
3. I have to go through my blog roll and the other blogs I read in order from top to bottom. There is no other option.
4. Simon never actually proposed, but we're married - how did that happen?
As I am typing these I can hear the gritter - going to be a cold one people. Boots and woollies today I fear!! Wonder if I've got any wool socks I can find? And I've left my bloody gloves in work - shit!! I'm babbling about the cold because I'm struggling to think of 2 more random things. I know - who'd a thunk it? Me, struggling to be random! Gritter again - looking out of the window there's a full, full moon - cup of tea I think, I'll be right back. Well maybe a slice of toast too :o)
Bugger - no bread for toast and the corner shop is not open yet ... not that I could go over as I'm still in jammies and dressing gown ... did I mention it's cold? Hood on the dressing gown is up Obiwan Kenobi* style. I know - porridge, with sultanas and *ssh don't tell my mother* a dash of golden syrup ~ yum!
5. The volume on the car radio/tv/stereo has to be on an even number. There is no other option.
6. Scallops are my favourite seafood - thank you Pierce - I like them anyway you can imagine, including raw.
So Fizzy and anyone else who wants it, it's over to you!
* Bonus random fact - my Star Wars name is Lanjoa Evaswa ... first three letters of your surname, followed by first three letters of your first name. First three letters of your mother's maiden name, followed by first three letters of the town where you were born. What's yours? Answers in the comment box or on a postcard to ... never mind!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I'm sitting at my desk in work waiting for my lift to say that it's time to go home ... I don't know how much longer it's going to be BUT I hope it's not to long. Ciara, our acting caretaker is walking around behind me flipping off lights and if I don't let her know that I'm sitting her, pretty soon I could be sitting in darkness!! *shouts* Ok, she knows! I know that most people think that teachers work from 9 til 3.15 and then go home PLUS the whole 39 weeks of holidays every year thing BUT it's gone 5, I've been here since 8 and I figure there's 2 hours of work ahead of me when I get home ... either tonight or as is more likely tomorrow morning at 4.50am

It's a good job I love the job eh?!?
Lift is here :o)

Monday, December 08, 2008

Carrot curry and roti

Carrot curry and roti

1. Carrot curry ... much nicer than it sounded!!, 2. Chapatti aka roti attar, 3. My dough coming together, 4. Leave it to rest, 5. The start of 6 rotis, 6. Carrot curry, now with cooked carrots, 7. Umm, yeh I know it's supposed to be round, 8. Getting toasty, 9. More rolling, 10. Flipped over, 11. 1st roti done, 12. First ever from scratch gauri curry and roti! Simon's serving I did without the samosas, pakora and mango chutney ~ definitely didn't need the chutney thanks to the carrots! Lovely! Aloo gobi next weekend! Go and see the original photos with notes over at Flickr.
Created with
fd's Flickr Toys.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Ugandan stars

The post-man knocked yesterday morning with a parcel that he'd been trying to deliver since Wednesday morning - too big for the letter box AND when I went to the delivery office on Thursday morning untraceable. "We'll deliver it on Saturday they said." And they did - that in itself is enough of a reason for a post ... the Royal Mail do what they say they're going to do. I could end this right here if it wasn't for the fact that the parcel was full of loveliness that I really must share it with you.

Ugandan stamps
Firstly there were the stamps ... this told me that the parcel had come from Lizzie aka Gandalady in Kampala. Pretty stamps too an Ixora Hybridia aka pretty red flower and a crocodylus niloticus aka the Nile crocodile. Anyone collect stamps anymore? You want these? They're purdy! Then there was the actual contents of the parcel ...
Beautiful stars
Yep my stars have arrived, all the way from Uganda ... here they are hanging on my "badly needed varnishing until Simon broke a chunk out of you putting a new door knob on, now badly needs repainting bedroom door." Do you like the knob though? Nice and shiny isn't it? Anyway, I first saw the wall-hangings - that's an alright name for them Lizzie - in this post all about Lizzie's Internet shop Sweetshop and instantly fell in love with them. The site is a portal for Ugandans to sell clothes worldwide "giving a fair wage and job opportunities to Ugandan tailors by helping them access the Western market." And with my stars came a note from Eva, the sister of the lady who made my stars.
A note from Eva

I don't know whether you can read what it says - it was difficult knowing which setting to choose on the camera so here you go ...
thank you for supporting my sister who made the stars, it's a great pleasure becasue she has no job but with your buying the stars she can earn something to continue with life. please introduce the stars to your firends so they can also order so she can get more custom.
God bless you
So that's exactly what I'm doing - introducing you to my stars ... "Stars, everyone. Everyone, stars! Look, pretty beads and shells! Loveliness!"
Close up of the beads
What are you still doing here? Go and buy some!

Unconscious Mutterings #306

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

Love affair :: with food
Bubble :: blow
Pimple :: spot
Knocks :: door
Persistent :: little bugger
Infected :: ill
Yay! :: We did it!
Repaint :: outside
Daily :: paper
Quickly! :: Do it now!
Do some mutterings of your very own over here.

Saturday, December 06, 2008


Spicy Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup

I made Spicy Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup for lunch this week ... thank goodness I did because it was so bloody cold and it really hit the spot! There was a lot of chopping and blitzing on Sunday BUT it was worthwhile. There's not a recipe so to speak - I just use random amounts of vegetables ... but for what it's worth, here you go.

Jo's "it changes every time but that's one of the best bits of the surprise"
Spicy Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup
1 butternut squash
Fry light Olive-Oil spray
large pinch of dried chilli flakes
1 tsp of la Chinata paprika
onions, carrots, courgettes, celery, leeks or whatever veg you love/have handy
100 grms of red lentils*
3 tsps Marigold Swiss vegetable Bouillon powder
salt and pepper to taste
1. Cut the butternut squash** in half, scrape out the seeds, spray with olive oil spray and sprinkle with chilli flakes, paprika, salt and pepper. Roast in a hot-ish oven for 40 mins until soft.
2. Put the lentils to soak/wash in cold water.
3. Clean, peel and chop the remaining vegetables and sweat*** them off in a large pan with some more of the olive oil spray.
4. Add the lentils and mix them to coat them with the lovely slippery vegetable juiciness.
5. Cover the vegetables with water and add the bouillon powder, turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Then turn down, cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender.
6. When the butternut squash is cool enough to handle, scrape the flesh out of the shell and add it to the soup along with any juices that are in the pan.
7. Then it's in with the hand blender to take the soup to your desired consistency, check the seasoning and dig right in.

* I measured the lentils because I had to count the points - the rest of the veg were free.
** I don't peel it first - I scrape the flesh out of the skin afterwards ... I don't know why - I'm rather strangely unique/special ... and not always in a good way!
*** My mother says there's no need for this but Saint Delia does it in her carrot and artichoke soup which is the basis for a lot of my soups and if Saint Delia says you have to do it ... then you do it!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Thank you Gurminder

We've just had dinner - tarka dal and rice - yum, homemade from scratch following Shisho's recipe but with one exciting new twist ... homemade garam masala brought to work this morning by a colleague. Bay leaves and cloves and black cardamom and pepper corns and cumin and cinnamon bark ... so fresh and zingy and gorgeous the flavour was wonderful - my masala dabba is restocked with fresh spices and we'll be eating well (vegetable curries) AND cheaply (carrots are looking good) during the recession!

p.s. *preens* I've booked the ferry, sent the nephew's Christmas presents and bought my Christmas cards ... [encouragement needed please] better than last week eh?

Monday, December 01, 2008

World Aids Day

A thunk yo Kent!

A good meal
Everyone gets fed
Whilst in Kwa-Zulu Natal as of a Kent County Council International CPD programme I visited a drop-in centre for Aids victims and orphans. Some of the kids we saw were being raised by their grandparents and/or their siblings. Some of them were eating their only meal of the day. I am sure some of them are now dead themselves. Today, December 1st is World Aids Day ... let's not forget. Let's keep fighting for all of them!
Here, taste this!

Sunday, November 30, 2008


So, that's it ... November is done and dusted. I blogged and then I blogged and then I blogged and now I'm taking a couple of days off. At least I think I am UNLESS something fabulous happens ;o) To everyone else who made it - Congratulations and now relax.


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Making the points stretch

I love pasta bolognaise/in meat ragu and one of the awful things about WW-ing is that it just doesn't really fit in with the diet ... I can hear you all saying "of course it does!" But I like juicy, oozy meat and lashings of olive oil and glugs of red wine and parmesan shavings and sides of garlic bread and Ben & Jerry's for dessert and a couple more glasses of merlot to wash it down ... but I digress and I've made myself dribble and spit all over the monitor.

So anyway, when I decided in June that I needed to loose the weight I realised that I needed to change the way a) I made my sauce and b) the way I ate and enjoyed it.
Firstly this would not all be possible without the wonder that is spray light. I've stopped using tomato puree - because of the amount of oil in it and I've discovered that good balsamic vinegar works wonders ~ giving the taste of a good glug of wine. Sooooo, here I present my new recipe ... works for 4 but the guts that I live with usually polishes off the leftovers ;o)
Spicy Ragu
4 "squits" of spray light
1 large onion, sliced
1 large carrot, grated
2 cloves of garlic, minced or crushed - it's up to you.
500 grms of lean minced beef
2 cans of chopped tomatoes
1 tsp of chilli flakes
1 bay leaf
1 tsp of Marigold vegetable stock powder
1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar*
Salt and pepper to taste
a large handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley
1. Ok, cook off the onion and carrot with 2 sprays of fry light ... they're not browning, just cooking slowly. When they've began to soften add the garlic and continue to let the vegetables sweat.
2. In another frying pan, brown off the mince with the other 2 sprays of fry light and when this has browned ... and this is a trick for me - pour the beef into a fine sieve and drain well ... getting rid of even more fat.
3. Add the tomatoes, chilli, stock, bay leaf and balsamic vinegar to the onions and garlic. Bring to the simmer and then add the minced beef and enough water to cover the meat.
4. Turn down the heat and then let the mixture cook gently for as long as you can wait before falling face down into the pan. The longer it cooks, the softer the meat gets - because of course you've drained all the fat out of it!
5. Season to taste with salt and pepper**, chuck in the handful of freshly chopped parsley, mix and serve with the pasta of your choice - gigli in this house, because I like the frill and the name makes me chortle.
*I actually use the vinegar out of a jar of Tesco's Borettane onions ... the ones Saint Delia recommends in her cheats Boeuf Bourguinon. The vinegar is always around because I've wolfed the onions while Simon wasn't looking.
** I normally add another splash of vinegar and crunch/slurp on a few onions at this point - a girl has got to have a treat you know!

Weekends rock


Off to have a nap ... wish I could do this midweek!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Unconscious Mutterings #305

Patricia is early this week ... but hey I can always mutter, it's not just a Sunday thing for me!

I say ... and you think ... ?
Sleepy :: tired
Thanksgiving :: USA
Fifteen :: Jamie Oliver
Authority :: in charge
Bangs :: knocks
Curled :: tongs
Young man :: youth
Surprised :: shocked
Mistake :: wrong
Handle it :: yourself
Do some mutterings of your very own over here.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Word verification

Has anyone noticed how real the words in the word verification boxes are getting? I was over at my-easy-cooking, drooling over Nina's cured beef and homemade mustard sandwich when I got this.

word verification coincidence

Questions, more questions, yet more questions and even more questions

To tide you over until home-time, here's my questions from my post at that's my answer. So go over there and answer them :o)

There’s a photo of my graduation on the windowsill in front of me. They were taken when I graduated from the University of Wales in 1997. I’m with two of my best friends Kevan and Estelle. I look happy (and relieved) and oh so very young.
Can you see photos anywhere near you? Where were they taken? Who is in them? And what memories to they bring back?
Snip, snip
How often do you have your hair cut? Every six weeks as “they” suggest? Or do you wait longer to be coiffed?
Slurping up the soup
Ok a cooking question … well more of a little selection of cooking questions - a bit like the questions about manners but soupier!
1. Do you make homemade soup?
2. What is your favourite kind to make?
3. Is there a secret ingredient? Or is it a “chuck everything in the pot cover it with water and let it get on” kind of soup?*
4. Do you ever eat “soup out of a can?”
5. What’s your favourite flavour/make?
6. What do you serve with soup?
7. Do you eat soup all yr long or only in the winter?
8. And finally … Is it ever ok to slurp?
* p.s. If you're willing to share the recipe all donations gratefully received.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Some people are like slinkies,
they don't really have a purpose,
but they still bring a smile to your face
when you push them down the stairs!

Yes it's been one of those days on many levels!

Things, things and more things

Fi over at photogra-fi is NaBloPoMo-ing too ... she filled a day by sharing a list of 100 everyday things she loves. What do you mean did I steal the idea? Of course I did, don't you remember who you're reading? ;o)

1) fresh bedlinen 2) toast 3) freshly bathed babies 4) Mini Coopers 5) bubbles 6) wicker baskets 7) handmade quilts 8) candles 9) vanilla 10) black and white photos 11) deep armchairs 12) re-watching Pride and Prejudice on YouTube 13) disco 14) reading in the afternoon in the sunshine 15) Habitat photo frames 16) nephews 17) stickers 18) stars 19) lilacs 20) rainbows 21) puddles 22) clean windows 23) new drinking glasses 24) red ribbons 25) falling snowflakes 26) crunchy pears 27) the ocean 28) diamonds* 29) log fires 30) French market places 31) heirloom tomatoes 32) conkers 33) glitter** 34) natural sponges 35) pine-cones 36) mash 37) fascinations 38) sweet peas 39) the smell of the rain 40) wolf whistles 41) lip balm tins 42) wooden juice reamers 43) chili pepper fairy lights 44) stainless steel door handles 45) the smell when I open my masala dabba 46) the first night under the heavy quilt 47) children singing 48) Ikea catalogues 49) the Community Playthings website 50) new boxes of coloured pencils
Gosh this is quite hard ... are you all paying attention to see if I've said anything twice?
51) real lemonade 52) soapstone elephants 53) foreign postcards 54) sausage sandwiches 55) red shoes 56) Sunday supplements 57) decorative coat hooks 58) Whittards mugs 59) Roman blinds 60) diaries 61) wind chimes 62) The Pillars of the Earth 63) new t-shirts 64) pashminas 65) almond croissants 66) dancing 67) the smell of leather 68) Trebuchet 16, italic in navy 69) lambswool socks 70) KSBs 71) windmills 72) cotton buds 73) pedicures and french polished toes 74) bean bags*** 75) art-deco stained glass 76) wooden spoons 77) O'De Lancome 78) tagines - the pots 79) being the first person to open a new magazine 80) foreign stamps 81) lavender blue shutters 82) mobiles 83) Le Creuset casseroles 84) eye drops 85) filled book shelves 86) nude lipstick 87) handkerchiefs 88) brocade 89) USB drives 90) espresso cups 91) boxes 92) laughing 93) Laguiole pocket knives 94) ice cubes 95) Mozzarella di Bufala 96) napkin rings 97) flirting 98) smutty jokes 99) freshly threaded eyebrows**** 100) alphabetised CD collections*****
* Yes I know - not exactly everyday BUT I wear my 4 every day.
** I'd have to wouldn't I? After all I teach nursery.
*** Though you don't want to see me getting out of them!
**** Well, the next morning when the redness has gone
***** I don't have one, but I wish I had the patience!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Deck the halls

So ... Tuesday already ... unfortunately that means that I am 1 day closer to Christmas and I am no closer to doing anything, let me reiterate, anything about it.

I haven't been to M&S to look at their catalogue/order a turkey*.
I haven't booked a ferry crossing - BTW look at this ...
ferry increase
Ufcking, bloody P&O! They put the ferry price up £30 as soon as school finishes on the 19th of December! It goes up more later in the eve ... why? I believe it's because families could be going on holiday. How tight is that? Now wonder most families are still desperate to use their "two weeks holiday during term-time entitlement" - I don't get that of course!
I haven't bought Simon a Christmas present.
I haven't written a Christmas card.
I haven't bought a Christmas card.
I haven't bought a
bran-tub present.
I haven't filled in my menu choices for the Christmas "do!"
I haven't paid for the do!
I haven't got an outfit for the Christmas do either!!!!
I haven't written my last-minute shopping list of all those things I can't get in France.
I haven't ordered/bought Christmas presents for nephews 1 to 5.
Trust me the list of things I have done is much, much shorter!
*Why my mother can't be happy with a Tesco turkey I don't know? Why I can't get a turkey in Leclerc in Gramat I don't know?

Monday, November 24, 2008

The entertainer

I saw this over at Peregrinations and knowing the 5 second rule is the complete oppostite on the Internet to that which it is on the kitchen floor - I stole it. So I wandered off to Typealyzer to find out what type my blog is.

The analysis indicates that the author of is of the type:

ESFP - The Performers

The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead - they are always in risk of exhausting themselves. The enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions.
This show what parts of the brain that were dominant during writing.

Brain activity
Now the thing is, I've been MBTI assessed in work ... we all have on the senior leadership team ... I think it's helped me deal with other people - and it lets the others know how I function to. But let's be realistic, I could have separated us into the right groups anyway especially our attitudes be they Extravert or Introvert. BUT, I digress - I know, unlike me to do that. So, Typealyser names me as a performer ... an ESFP - Extraversion (E), Sensing (S), Feeling (F), Perception (P). And that's spot on. How did it know that from one post* on my blog? There are times when the Internet amazes me!
* I put a blog in where the current top post is in Italian and it came back with an error message.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Unconscious Mutterings #304

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

Spit it out :: say it damn you
Shadow :: sun
Database :: information
Expression :: cyd-adrodd ... highly expressive recitation of poetry at an Eisteddfod ... click the link, there's not enough room here to explain!
Boss :: headteacher
Baby :: nope
Mystic :: Pizza
Kate :: work-mate
Boobies :: kept covered please
Raid :: for the cockroaches?
Do some mutterings of your very own over here.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Essentially reading

I've been tagged by the delicious AV to complete a meme ... recommending 4 essential reads to you. The rules are as follows, I have to nominate ::

A fiction book
An autobiography
A non-fiction book; and finally
A fourth book of my choice from any genre.
Explain why the books are essential reads in no more than 30 words per book. Righty-o ...

A fiction book ~ Sushi for Beginners ~ I know that some of you out there will think "oh god chick lit!" BUT if Marian Keyes can write about cheating, marriage breakups and depression and still make me laugh out loud then it has to be a book worth reading. Edge of my seat kind of stuff ... and Jack makes me drool ;o)

Shit - that was 55 words ... I'm only allowed 30. Tell you what don't read the last 25!!

An autobiography ~ Life is a Menu ~ It's no secret that I love food and Michel Roux's autobiography breathes food. From his training in Paris to founding his restaurants in London, peppered with gorgeous recipes ... pure unadulterated bliss!

30 words - I managed it!

A non-fiction book ~ One Day For Life ~ is a photo book, images taken by people all over Britain on a single day ... August 14th 1987 AND my 18th birthday. The book raised money for a cancer charity. I adore it.

30 words, if you dont count the numbers! Actually that was DON'T COUNT THE NUMBERS!

A fourth book of my choice from any genre ~ Hotel Pastis ~ boutique hotels in the Luberon, French food, fat bank robbers on bicycles, wine, hot sunshine and sex. What more could you want in a book? Peter Mayle makes me laugh.
So, there you go and if you get to read as far as this ... consider yourself tagged!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Yet more, yes even more questions

I know it's NaBloPoMo and I know I can post more than once a day, but just in case today is crappity-crap and I think bugger it when I get home ... here are the questions I am posting over at that's my answer. Go on answer one/all of them ;o)

Therapy? Or your friends?
Who do you go to if you need/want to “offload”?
What’s “bedtime” for you? Do you stay up late? Or does the sand-man come early?
What’s your favourite pasta sauce?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Eyes glued shut

Fell asleep with my contacts in last night. More a case of eyes glued shut than eyes wide open. It'll be the specs today then!!

Comments please

This meme was pointed in my direction by Lezzles of Peregrinations notoriety. Here's what I have to do ... I provide a list of the last ten commenters on this blog and then answer some questions about them. They should then do the same thing. So my last ten commenters were Leilani, Ms Mac, Absolute Vanilla, Laura, Fizzy, photogra-Fi, Croque-Camille, BSTS, Betty C and Laura Jayne

1. What is your favourite post from number 3’s blog? There are too many to count, AV's photo posts are always worth waiting for ... like this one, or this one OR this one, there's the chronicles of peeping Bo and of course there's always that dappy chicken - don't tell her I called her that.
2. Has number 10 taken any pictures that have moved you? Laura Jayne uses a lot of pictures and film clips on her site to prompt writing - prose and poetry. Some of them are truly moving.
3. Does number 6 reply to comments on their blog? Occaisionally and usually about lampshades or pizzas.
4. Which part of blogland is number 2 from? Bizarre, this will be the same answer that Lezzles used ... La Bella Stella lives in the Village of the Damned in deepest, cleanest Switzerland BUT she also loved living in Melbourne and originally is from Scotland - the word cosmopolitan was made for her!
5. If you could give one piece of advice to number 7 what would it be? Don't stop doing what you're doing because your food posts make me salivate, dribble and sometimes even drool ... and drool is good right?
6. Have you ever tried something from number 9’s blog? I have only just found Betty C's little culinary corner of the Aveyron and am slowly working my way back through her entries ... however like her I am a sucker for foie gras *listen can you hear that piece in the freezer calling my name "Jo, Jo, I'm here"* so it's only a matter of time until something like this happens.
7. Has number 1 blogged something that inspired you? Leilani does something far more than inspire me - she makes me think! For a teacher that's the most important thing of all. She also scared the shit out of me during "Ike" ... and yes I know that wasn't her fault - but hey you're allowed to worry you know ;o)
8. How often do you comment on number 4’s blog? I have never commented on Laura's blog - she stopped by here yesterday to admit a fondness for Michael Buble "hello Laura!" I shall be off to peruse *wink* under her sheets - stop it, it's the name of the blog people!! - later on.
9. Do you wait for number 8 to post excitedly? I don't wait for BSTS to post excitedly but I was very pleased when she started blogging again just recently after an extended Summer hiatus - welcome back you! I also covet her bright yellow adirondack chair.
10. How did number 5’s blog change your life? I could tell you about a cafe on a cold blowy station platform in Doncaster, about 4 cups of hot chocolate and unstoppable conversation, about a T-Rex called Lard and the sweet taste of revenge. But if I told you, I'd have to kill you ;o)
11. Do you know any of the 10 bloggers in person? Yep, I know Fizzy. And if I hadn't been so skint this summer, I'd have made it across France to meet La Bella Stella who would have made it across Switzerland - maybe next year if we don't have to pay out to repair the car just before our holiday.
12. Do any of your 10 bloggers know each other in person? I don't believe so but there's lots of linky, comment and Facebook love going on.
13. Out of the 10, which updates more frequently? Well at the moment photogra-fi and Betty C are NaBloPoMo-ing, so hopefully them.
14. Which of the 10 keep you laughing? Ms Mac, AV and Fizzy - for different reasons at different times. I laughed out loud at Leilani's just for fun Cuando en Espana.... post too. Honourable mentions would also have to go to Lisa (who I can't believe is not one of my last 10 commenters - there's texting for you!) and FatBoyFat - who both regularly crack me up!
15. Which of the 10 has made you cry (good or bad tears)?
Oh err ... that would be telling! I can't admit to being a wuss here!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Strictly up for the dancing

**SHOCK** He's resigned **NOT REALLY A SHOCK THOUGH!**

My creation
I was appalled on Sunday night to see Cherie Lunghi booted out of SCD ... I mean WTF is that all about? John Sergeant is a lovely chap - very funny, I loved him as the guest host of Have I got News for You ... in fact I think he should on it permanently ... but if this is a competition about dance then he shouldn't still be in at the cost of Cherie. Her rumba was exquisite, she got a 9 on her first week. Bless John BUT he's not dancing. He's stomping around the stage badly. Yes he's improved but he's nowhere near Cherie. NOWHERE!
And then there's the whole John Seargeant and Jo Brand are twins who were sperated at life rumour. I'm not saying it's true but I'm not denying it, are you?
My creation

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Twenty word Tuesday update

Cold morning, work busy, nasty Slovakian reintegration meeting. Lesson observations. Soup for lunch. Worked with consultant this afternoon. Poker now.

**UPDATE** £7.00 profit ~ whoop!!! **UPDATE OVER**

Desert Island Discs

I love Desert Island Discs and can't wait for the day that Kirsty herself rings for me to pop along to BBC Radio 4 to record my own show - you know it's only a matter of time don't you? And when she does I'll be choosing ...

1. Joni Mitchell ~ Big Yellow Taxi ~ makes me think of being young, I remember my Mum singing it when I was a kid. Love the environmental message ~ before her time!
2. Counting Crows ~ Accidentally in Love ~ love it, love them! Pretty much anything by them is guaranteed to get me on the dance floor ... even if it happens to be in my kitchen/shower.
3. Lynyrd Skynyrd ~ Sweet Home Alabama ~ brilliant song, love the riff, love to sing along and play air-guitar to it, love the fact that Kid Rock sampled and quoted it in All Summer Long.
4. Earth, Wind and Fire ~ September ~ I love disco, I loved matching their stage shows, the costumes, their album art work and the songs were some of the best 70s music out there. Ditto to the dance floor comment further up.
5. Fine Young Cannibals ~ Suspicious Minds ~ I loved the FYCs, there was an amazing tone to Roland Gift's voice, it used to give me shivers. I liked most of their tracks but particularly this cover of Elvis Presley's Suspicious Minds. I liked his version too btw ;o)
6. Nina Simone ~ Feeling good ~ Birds flying high you know how I feel, Sun in the sky you know how I feel, Reeds driftin on by you know how I feel Its a new dawn, Its a new day, Its a new life for me, And I'm feeling good! Fabulous - written by Anthony Newley you know?? Him that was married to Joan Collins. Who'd have think it? When it plays as Bridget Fonda arrives in her new appartment in The Assassin and looks out on the ocean for the first time ~ I know just how she feels.
7. Dusty Springfield ~ Son of a Preacher Man ~ Burt Bacharach is quoted as saying "you could hear just three notes and you knew it was Dusty." To be honest this could be any song by her ~ Little by Little, The look of love ... it's just that I too had my "moment" with the son of a preacher man *wink*
8. Take That ~ Shine ~ I love Take That and I can say that with no embarrassment or shame, I'm proud of the fact. AND I love this song - Mark Owen, cheeky-little-chappie that he is giving it his all. I can press the repeat button on the CD changer in the car and sing it again and again and again.
I've got to stop now I'm only allowed 8 songs ... I could go on and on ... Dean Martin, Frank, The Eagles, Kenny Rogers and a whole lot more C & W, Billie Holiday, Bare Naked Ladies, Snow Patrol, Duran Duran etc. etc. etc. But it's just not to be. Anyway back to the D.I.D., so now I have to choose just one record as my favourite, a book to read and a luxury item to take with me.
1 song ~ Feelin' Good
1 book ~ The Eight
1 luxury item ~ my Liz Earle cleanser and cloth

Monday, November 17, 2008


Stolen from Croque-Camille a food+photo=fabulous meme.

The rules are as follows ~
Type your answer to the following questions into Flickr search
Using only the first page of results, pick an image
Copy and paste each of the URLs in the
Mosaic Maker and display your mosaic.
The Questions:
What is your favorite restaurant?
What is your favorite type of cuisine?
What is your favorite comfort food?
What is your favorite childhood food?
What is your favorite dish to prepare for company?
What is your favorite wine?
Who is your favorite chef?
What is your least favorite food?
What is the most adventurous food you’ve eaten?
My answers ... 1) Hollywood Bowl 2) French 3) sausage and mash 4) nana's soup 5) lamb and fig tagine 6) merlot 7) Jamie Oliver* 8) tripe 9) mopane worms
The Mosaic:
Feed me
The credits go to ... 1. Los Angeles and Hollywood, 2. Vieux Nice, 3. Bangers and Mash and peas, 4. Nana's Soup House, Wedgewood, 5. Lamb Tagine with quail eggs, 6. The Eye Of Wine, 7. Torta di Nada, 8. pigs in their own blanket, 9. Meet Mr. Mopane Worm
* Yeh I know, I know BUT he's made cooking much more interesting for the young - and his mozzerella stuffed lemons are gorgeous!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

1, 2, 3

1, 2, 3

Today over at that's my answer, Laura Jayne asked how many languages can you count up to 3 in? And it got me to thinking - I think I can do it in 12 different languages ... lets see.
Well there's ...
Welsh - un, dau, tri
English - one, two, three
French - un, deux, trois
Spanish - uno, dos, tres
German - eins, zwei, drei
Latin - unus, duo, tres
Those are the ones I've learnt at one time or another in school ... 3 years of Latin and that along with amo, amas, amat is pretty much all I remember. I haven't really felt the need to use it to be honest - I know strange that - except that maybe doing Latin grammar helped me with my cases for German grammar. I struggled with German grammar too by the way - nominative, dative, accusative - whatever!!
Then there are the 1, 2, 3s that I've picked up on my travels through life ... there's ...
Italian - uno, due, tre. I want to go to Italy so badly. Simon's not interested - I know I should divorce him and take the cute one from il Divo. You're right - that's the right choice to make. Mind you, he's Swiss not Italian but what the hell!
Japanese - ichi, ni, san.* A friend of my mother's used to have Japanese language students who boarded with her - Mishiko taught me how to make tempura, how to count to 5, common greetings and how to say "my name is Jo."
Arabic - wahid, ithnan, thalatha. One of my favourite books is The Eight by Katherine Neville, one of the characters in The Eight is Wahid. He explains that his name means "numero uno" and I decided that if Wahid meant number 1 I wanted to know what the other numbers were ... and the rest as they say is history.
Punjabi - ekk, do, tenn. I work at a school where 23 languages (including BSL) are spoken as a first language. 40% of our children are Sikhs, whose families are originally from the Punjab area of northern India. Especially working in the nursery children have spent their time being looked after by grandparents - who speak Punjabi to them not English - so I have a smattering of phrases in Punjabi that I can pull out at the drop of a hat. Good morning Grandma - Sasiriakal Bibi-ji. Yes, Mummy is coming - Han ji, Mummy adja. The numbers to 5 and of course my personal favourites "sit down and cross your legs" & "go and wash your hands!"
Slovak - raz, dva, tri. You know those lads we had to exclude last week? One of them argued with me, why should he learn English when I wasn't trying to learn any Slovak - he had a point. I wasn't making any effort ... I know I didn't need to because we're in a school in England but if it gets him to make an effort in English then *holds up hands* I can say "dobre rano Roman!" and get a smile out of him at the start of the day.
Greek - ena, dio, tria (sp?). I've been on holiday to the Greek Islands a couple of/maybe even 4 times and I always make sure that when I go anywhere on holiday I can say hello, please, thank you, 1/2/3 and "can I have a beer and a ham sandwich please"?**
So for that reason I can also say 1, 2, 3 in ...
Setswana - ngwe, bedi, raro ... added to the end of a word. Usually people in Botswana just say the numbers in English - trust me it's bloody complicated - instead but I tried!!
Zulu - kunye, kubili, kuthathu. How the kids in a classroom in Durban laughed at me when I tried this vocabulary out. They laughed and then they clapped me because I tried and then they laughed again. My other great words in Zulu are shongololo (giant milipede), umbila (sweetcorn) and uquinye-quonyo*** (see-saw).
So, how many is that? 6 from my school years. And another 8 along the way. Not 12, but 14 ways of saying "one, two, three." What about you - can you teach me anymore?
* I always remember this by saying "itchy knee son?" in a south London accent ... I'm so mature.
** Years ago it had to include 20 Marlboro lights please.
*** The q is said like a click, as if the see-saw is going down hit the floor (on the click) and going back up.

Unconscious Mutterings #303

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

Please stop :: moaning
Move over :: half the bed is mine
Sweet as :: syrup
Bet :: Las Vegas
Mad about :: mushrooms, no really I am - I'm craving them like hell!! Oven roasted, with chilli flakes and sea-salt.
It’s over :: no - there's 14 days left of NaBloPoMo
Intend to :: be thinner
Blame :: yourself
Jefferson :: County
Heartless :: wench - I am indeed ;o)
Do some mutterings of your very own over here.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


My dad is still here thanks to treatment @ Broadway Lodge and in a large part thanks to the fellowship he gets at AA. As you can see from the comments on my last but one post an anti-AA commenter is spamming me out. Everyone is entitled to their opinion BUT crap like this is not necessary as my Dad could have/should have died 15 yrs ago but he is hale and hearty today and however he did that is up to him. Let me say that again UP TO HIM!!!!

So "go away and stop spamming my blog you narrow minded little individual," just wish I could meet you in person but HEY that's not going to happen you bible-bashing hide behind your idea of Jesus COWARD, let's say it again COWARD because let's be realistic you wont even let me comment openly on your blog because I have an opinion that is different to yours and I'd want to say "GO AWAY ARSE!!"

Friday, November 14, 2008

A week and a half

It's truly been quite a week - more of a week and a half than a week really. We've had a full moon which always turns our littlies into loons - particularly those with ASD / ADHD / OCD complications ~ and we've got plenty, trust me! 30 of our middle juniors have been away on a residential trip so classes have been mixed together and children have had different teachers.

It's been crazy.
And then today our Slovakian lads who were sent home last Thursday came back ... parents came in for re-integration meetings, interpreters were booked, PSPs (pastoral support plans) were written and it didn't go too badly all told. They both stayed in class as requested and didn't cause any fuss.
And then to top it off at 2.20 this afternoon a Staffordshire bull terrier puppy suddenly appeared in the middle of our playground - WTF?? 2 children were running screaming, I had to scarper after it and grab ... bloody ridiculous! It belongs to the family who live behind the nursery - who were out and hadn't taken their mobile phones with them.
Yep that's me - teacher, social worker, psychiatric nurse, report writer and now dog wrangler can be added to the end of the list. Lead me to my duvet!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Questions, more, yet more and even more questions

I know it's NaBloPoMO but I can't post more than once a day, so here are the questions I am posting over at that's my answer. Go on answer one/all of them ;o)

So, tell us, do you use a map or are you dependant on a sat-nav these days?

Tahitian vanilla
What does your shower gel smell of?
What's the time Mr Wolf?
It's 6.34am (GMT here) - I'm posting before going to work. But tell us what's the time with you, right ... wait for it ... now?
Well used lilac one, with torn paper
In the crayon box that is life, which crayon would you be?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

One hundred word Wednesday

Slept until 5.20 – result, dropped Simon in Maidstone and hit the hell that is the A2. Invicta FM (radio station of choice) is disappearing during journey – why does that happen? Got to school at 7.30, fed-back to teachers after lesson observations & did playground duty. Lovely morning teaching – 5 new children visited. Did lunch duty. Scoffed a pitta. Met Attendance Officer who wants us to take more Slovakian children - head refuses. Left school at 3.30 to see nurse, I’ve lost 2 ½ kilos, my blood pressure is down ~ hurrah! Gay best friend came to dinner. Bed at 10.45.

How was yours?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Awe and wonder

Through the wonder that is "t'Internet linking and memes" - cheers Ms Mac - I have recently been reading Gandalady ... the blog of Lizzie who's in Uganda because her husband (a doctor) works for Medair is the country director of Medair's Uganda programme. Gandalady has started a business opportunity to help out some local ladies - the money goes back to the ladies like Eva and Irene ... please go and look at her website the Sweetshop - I've ordered, so I'm going to be getting me some lovely Christmas stars in the post very soon.

Christmas stars

Monday, November 10, 2008


I've just finished watching Ross Kemp in Afghanistan - thank you YouTube - I always fell asleep before 10pm on Monday evenings when it was on the first time around. Do you know it made me so damn proud to be British ... really, really proud of the work that the lads out there are doing and the price they are willing to pay for us, all of us. I cried, I laughed, I thought about my brother who served in Iraq - thank god not Afghanistan ... watch with tissues.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Unconscious Mutterings #302

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

Coverage :: mobile phone
Cynical :: old age
Gust :: wind
Improvised :: made up
V :: Virgin's V Festival
Guests :: dinner
Brutal :: harsh
Grant :: Mitchell
Pull :: push
Streaming ::
Do some mutterings of your very own over here.

Saturday, November 08, 2008


We spent this morning trying* to install/re-install Norton's on Simon's laptop ~ he has a virus/pop-ups on there and it needs "something" ... god only knows what ... to a) get rid of the pop-ups and b) protect it for the future.
Part of the problem is that Simon really hasn't got the patience - you can hear his "theatrical sighs" when things take too long from downstairs/another room, he flounces off as soon as something doesn't work and then storms back to hover at my shoulder, grumbling and huffing as I try to help. Then he complains about the wasted time as if it is my fault that the laptop is no longer working, where as if he'd kept the anti-virus protection up to date we wouldn't be having this problem right now. My last suggestion - of popping the laptop along to the local repair shop was answered with "you just might as well throw it out."** Good grief!!! He really needs to a) calm down or b) take a chill pill in plenty of time in situations like this.
I on the other hand need a) advice on how to live with the most impatient man in Christendom or b) a gun. Lead me to SCD please - the sequins will make me feel better.
* No, not suceeding.
** "That's fine mate but we haven't got the money to buy another one and you're not using mine" is what I should have replied to that comment.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Friday round up

So, Friday was better than Thursday probably as we didn't have to send 3 boys home and say "don't come back for a week and then you'll be sent home again if you can't behave." 20 years ago we'd have sent them home permanently but today with the government's attendance figure targets we have to gradually work our way up through the exclusion/expulsion process - first one day, then 3, then 5 (i.e. a week), eventually helping to arrange a "managed move" to another primary school. Today was much better without them though - bring on the managed move I say.

I am looking forward to a calm weekend with NO school work - by choice ;o)

Thursday, November 06, 2008


A shit day where I had to exclude 3 pupils - please excuse me BUT NaBlo what??

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Already struggling

It seems that blogging has become much more of a struggle than it was when I began my blog in 2005, so I decided to look back at my first posts - probably to see why I began. I was off work on sick-leave in March 2005 ... I'd had an op and was at home for 6 weeks when I came across an article on the BBC website about blogging and because of that made my way to and there I was. I think blogging filled a gap, gave me someone to talk to. So I progressed through March into April and the build up to our wedding.

I didn't particularly want to get married. We'd been living together since 2000, I considered us a couple in every way, we pretty much knew that there'd be no children - so what difference would a wedding ring make? But 'Mr Old Fashioned & Traditional' thought we ought ... so - May 2005 it was, which reminds me, one day he really needs to propose properly instead of saying "I suppose we ought to get married." 'Mr Old Fashioned & Traditional' yes, 'Mr Loving and Supportive' yes, BUT 'Mr Loving and Romantic' hell NO! And in the time leading up to May 14th the blog became my shoulder to cry on because the pressures of planning the wedding were hellish. We were both under strain and knackered.
Which all in all I think, in a round-about way, means I'm glad that I'm struggling with blogging because at the start it was my crutch to escape loneliness and stress and hopefully now I'm doing that in other / better ways. BUT, it has brought me many good friends for which I will be forever grateful ... now if I could just manage to get through November!!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Quick ...

I just made it before the water shed ... poker tonight, so no blogging possible - 30p up ... woo hoo! NOT! Bloody need to make up 3 questions for that's my answer on Thursday morning as well as blogging tomorrow - sheesh, the demands the Internet makes on me. Off to bed! Mwahs ;o)

Monday, November 03, 2008

Day 3

God it's always this hard at the beginning, getting back into the swing of blogging on a daily basis. What have I got going on that's interesting enough to bother writing down? If I spend time blogging will that intrude on my daily SCD/ITT addiction? What can I eat - could bleugh weather making me constantly starving - whilst blogging that won't get crumbs in the keyboard? What hand should I type with ... so I can stir my tea with the other? What is this drivle that I am currently typing? And where is Si with the mug of tea? I should go and eat something and then maybe my head will work properly - I'll come back if it does honest! Here have some of the magic of Austin until then!

Austin and Erin for the title too after Cherie's bleugh frock!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Unconscious Mutterings #301

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

In love :: with life
Be my guest :: stay
Number one :: first
Swallowed whole :: un-chewed
50 percent :: half
Made in :: China
Supplement :: extra
Right for :: me
Endless :: ongoing
Ceramic ::
Do some mutterings of your very own over here.