Monday, June 24, 2013

The simple things

I stole this ... I cannot for the life of me remember where it came from ... a list of simple things in life that make me happy.!

Nieces and nephews
Brown paper packages

Milkshakes - chocolate, malt
Vintage diamonds on velvet
Crocheted flowers
French summers

Sunday, June 23, 2013


A school in Essex has banned parents from its sports day because teachers (via a letter from the headteacher) claim that children get too stressed when performing in front of a large crowd.


Now, don't get me wrong - as a teacher I hate Sports Day ... it's a pain to organise, quite often if (like me) you work at an urban school it involves traipsing to another venue to allow children to run (safely) on grass and you end up either with sun-burn or (as is possible thanks to current, delightful British summer weather) foot-rot BUT it's not all about me* it's about the children!  And isn't that one of the things kids love about Sports Day? 

Mum and Dad (and perhaps nan and grandad, aunts and uncles, brothers and sister etc) get to see me run jump, carry, balance and wriggle?

So I don't win - but I know that one section of the crowd is cheering just for me!!

Isn't this a little OTT even for "political correctness gone mad" Britain??

Friday, June 21, 2013

50 signs you are getting old! Part 1

The (dreadful) Daily Mail - read religiously by the OH has published a list of 50 signs you are getting old.  If I answer yes to more than half of them I might just do some ranting!  Oh wait - that's #50!

So ... let's think about these!

1. Feeling stiff - umm, yes, unfortunately!
2. Groaning when you bend down - no, phew!
3. Saying "It wasn't like that when I was young" - no but I do say "when I started teaching" and "when I was in school"!
4. Saying "In my day" - see above.
5. Losing hair - no, thank god, I have a full head of hair; full, bouncy, wavy hair BUT (and here is my issue) graying hair!  GRAY!  Hate it!  12 yr older husband - gray?  No!  Annoyed by this - heck yes!
6. Not knowing any songs in the top ten - umm, wanders off to Google the UK top ten. I know 4/10.  I don't think that's bad!
7. Getting hairy ears, eyebrows, nose, face etc. - no, phew (again)!
8. Hating noisy pubs - I've always hated noisy pubs ... don't you? I always hated smoky pubs even when I smoked - how much better are they now??  I don't dislike conversation or music or sport broadcasts but let me decide!
9. Talking a lot about joints and ailments - not yet but *reaches down to put on shoes* oooof! Possibly soon! :o(
10. Forgetting people's names - who are you?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Unconscious mutterings #542

I haven't muttered unconsciously for a while, so here goes!

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

Hook :: line and sinker
Ringer :: for love
Hoodwinked :: cheat
Football :: David Beckham
Out of the way :: I'm coming through
Skull :: and crossbones
Enough :: already!
Scholarship :: money
Ruin :: Mother's Ruin - gin!
Lawyer :: solicitor

If you want to mutter unconsciously (or consciously) click here!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Meeting old 'friends'

So ... as you may / may not know - in January I started a new job.

I didn't particularly want a new job, I loved the school and wider community I was working with-in but OFSTED had made a rotten judgement* about the school I was at even though they said the phase that I was leading was GOOD.


Anyway ... my current job came up, I applied and (as I said to Simon) "fuck me I've only gone and got the job!!"

And away I walked.
Thirteen years in one school is a long, long time.
You know everyone!
Children, parents, grandparents and in 2 cases ... babies of previous pupils.

And a great headteacher - who was bullied dreadfully by the LEA ... well, yesterday she became my mate AND I love that.
Haven't seen her since December but I fell into friendship at lunchtime and I know it will last!

Yesterday was a GOOD day!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Our dinner tonight - Chilli Con Carne from scratch!

2 onions,
2 large Portobello mushrooms,
2 fat cloves of garlic crushed,
splodge of vegetable oil
1 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes and 1 can water,
1 tablespoon tomato puree,
500g good minced beef,
2-4 heaped teaspoons dried chilli flakes,
1 tsp cumin seeds,
1 tsp ground cumin,
1 tsp dried thyme,
1 tsp smoked paprika (pimentón),
1/2 bottle full-bodied red wine,
1 cans of red kidney beans,
1 bunch of fresh coriander (stalks & all) chopped,
a generous splash of Worcestershire sauce,
Suzy salt and Percy pepper (having an Ainsley moment)

What to do ...

- Finely chop the onion, slice the Portobello mushrooms and crush the garlic. 
- Gently fry in oil (with sprinkle of salt) for about 15 mins, until soft. Add the mince, turn the heat up to medium, and cook until the meat is browned.
- Then simply stir in the rest of the ingredients, incl. the chopped coriander stalks, reserving the leaves until later.
- Bring to the boil and then  simmer for 1 and a half hours, stirring regularly and adjusting the heat if necessary.
- Check and adjust seasoning with both Suzy salt and Percy pepper!! *
- Add the chopped coriander leaves, stir and serve with white rice and/or bread.

* To be fair ... I also bring out the chilli and red pepper jam at this point - that's another recipe for another day!

Obsessive me!

I have been busy building the school website.  It's become an obsession.  It's the kind of obsession I love.  The stay awake 'til 2am changing / adding pages obsession.  I have turned the KS2 School Council into obsessives too!  They are stopping me in the corridors.  Throwing ideas at me across the lunch-hall.  Coming to my room when they should be in registration.

We've had 3000+ hits!

I don't think it's all me preening!

BUT ... it might be ;o) 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Flaming June

To be honest I find myself let down by supposedly 'flaming June' - it's normally my favourite month.  Long warm evenings with the balcony doors pushed wide open, air redolent with the scent of BBQ, crispy bowls of cooling salad and a long glass of something cold to sip on - ah June!

But no ...

Instead here I am thinking if I put the slow cooker on now we can have a stew and mash tonight and where's my dressing gown??

Friday, June 07, 2013


So glad to see you Friday ... it's been a long week!

Colleagues have moaned about writing reports on a computer ... preferring instead to write them by hand?!? WTF?!? It's 2013!!  I don't write anything by hand if I can help it these days.
The last straw was being shouted at by one of the witches of Eastwick - the temptation to pull my fish back and smash her in the gob was strong ... which is why I now finding myself at home sipping gin!

Happy Friday evening all.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Hello BLOG!
And hello blogosphere :o)

I was kind of thinking I might try to post a little bit.  The odd recipe, some photos, a bit of a blether / gossip.

I think that I stopped posting when the 'colleague from hell' suddenly found my blog ... but. that colleague from hell is no longer a colleague!  We'll see - watch this space