Sunday, 31 May 2009

Three in one day!

That must be some sort of record, for me, anyway. Don't say you don't get your money's worth with this blog!

I've just come back from DD's, after getting her a large sum of money out of the cash machine. DG decided to come with me and made sure I was thoroughly protected all the way back to the car. He didn't even go round to his door until he had seen me safe into the car. Bless . . .
And tomorrow there will be another kitten at DDs. Yes, there is method in her madness (I think) This kitty is a tonkinese, intended for breeding with Theo, a blue point birman. The results should be very attractive and very sellable . . . well, that's the theory anyway.

This is the life

Glass of red wine (small), comfy garden chair, not too challenging magazine, warm weather with a refreshing breeze AND I found the sunshade parasol thingy.

Shame about tomorrow!


. . . and the last day of freedom for a while. It looks as if it will be another lovely day, weather-wise. The planning is done and sent over to my colleagues so that's off my mind now. There's a loaf in the breadmaker in preparation for DD and DG coming for tea. The house is still reasonably tidy. The garden looks OK . . .

I think I am going to have an easy day today.
Photo: Ava last summer

Saturday, 30 May 2009

An extra comment

I've just come back from my first foray into school for over a week . The year 1 display board is now done, thank goodness. It's been on my conscience all week, as I promised Liz it would be done over half term. It doesn't look too bad either!

Apart from that - still tired, aching ear (just taken more paracetamol) and the weeks planning still to do. Roll on the summer holiday!!

And don't even *think* of asking about those perishing reports, OK???

And finally - nice to finish on a high point - I have my garden chairs back again!!

Another Saturday morning.

The sun is shining, it's warm enough to throw all the windows open, the birds are extremely melodious and the air is fresh and sweet. It's a beautiful morning.

We had a lovely time last night, me and two friends. J did mushrooms in garlic butter, I did lasagna with garlic bread and salad and L brought along a fruit flan. That, with generous portions of wine provided a very appropriate backdrop for a really good natter about all sorts of things; it was all great fun.
So now I have a tidy house (always Good Thing), plenty of leftovers for today and the recipe for the mushroom starter, which was absolutely delicious, definitely one to do again before too long.

I'm very tired. I think I have an outer ear infection (I had one last year and it feels similar)and I lay awake in some discomfort for quite a while during the night until I went downstairs to take some paracetamol (which worked). Of course, the surgery isn't open until Monday now, so let's hope it's not too uncomfortable over the weekend. For now, it's another mug of coffee and a sit down with a book in the hopes that I will drop off and have a little snooze before the main events of the day.

Photo: Don't know what it's called, but it's very pretty at the moment.

Friday, 29 May 2009

What is a friend?

Someone posted this question on one of the forums (fora?) I read and it set me thinking. I would say that I've had my share of friends, some close, some not so close, some who I remember with fondness and pleasure and some that I . . . don't now! What makes some people 'friends' and others just people you know?
Put at its very simplest, to *have* a friend, one must *be* a friend, but what does that actually look like?

I think a friend is just someone you get along with, someone you like - sounds so obvious, doesn't it? Sometimes it's because of shared experiences, sometimes because experiences have been very different. Sometimes it's a shared sense of humour or a similar way of viewing the world, sometimes because your different views and experiences mesh together. It's hard to define that 'buzz', that something that you feel when you're with a friend, that sense of being comfortable and relaxed in each other's company. If you can sit in companionable silence with someone with no pressure to say or do anything, I guess they're a friend! You're at ease in each other's company
I'd put acceptance right up there at the top too. A friend accepts you where you are and for what you are. A friend accepts that you may like and be friendly with people who they do not like but that's OK - they will never put you in the difficult position of having to choose, because they accept you for what you are and know that you accept that they do not share the same view. I guess possessiveness is a real threat to friendship, as is jealousy. If those emotions are part of the relationship, then it's on very shaky ground, I think. A friend is OK about sharing, realising that being friendly with someone else doesn't dilute the friendship in the slightest.
Friends are OK about saying 'sorry' to each other. They will understand that things can hurt and that 'sorry' can make all the difference, wherever the fault may lie, that's it's not necessarily an admission of being in the 'wrong' but an expression of regret for a hurt. A friend will not be afraid to challenge misunderstanding, will understand that there's always at least two sides to a story and will listen 'when you speak your name'.
A friend will make time for you, not just when you or they want something. A friend will think that you are important, you are worthwhile. A friend will share something of him/herself with you, make him/herself vulnerable to you.
It's about giving and taking, sharing and revealing, being equal but not the same.

I quoted from a child's song above - the chorus to that song is lovely:
'I will bring to you
The best things I can offer
I will sing to you
The best things in my mind.'

Friday again . . .

. . . last proper day of the half term break (obviously, tomorrow and Sunday will be improper days). Today will all be taken up with getting the house tidy and cooking for my guests this evening.

I wonder if there's any chance I can persuade Dear Son to return my garden chairs before 6:00 this evening - no, I don't think so either!! But if you're reading this, DS, please . . .

I was very, very brave yesterday and had my hair coloured - well, highlighted. Well, it was brave for me.
I'm not quite sure pink is really my colour, on reflection, though!

Photo: Kitten on the prowl!

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Change of plan

The next bread is going to be French bread dough, so I can make the garlic bread for tomorrow evening! :0)

How can I get to this age . . .

. . . without knowing that 1ml of water weighs 1g?

I've been testing my breadmaker after some dodgy looking results (which still tasted fine, by the way), weighing and measuring the ingredients very carefully. It was while looking up some breadmaker recipes on the Internet a couple of days ago that I picked up that nugget of information and it's proven really helpful when loading the bread pan with the ingredients. But how come I, a reasonably experienced cook, didn't learn that one a very long time ago? Maybe because when I learned weights and measures it was all imperial? Maybe because it's relatively recently that scales measured in both metric and imperial? Who knows? But I don't half feel silly!

As for the breadmaker results:-
Honey and sunflower seed loaf: perfect
Basic white loaf: perfect (and that was one I had problems with earlier)
I'm now doing a spicy fruit loaf and then I will try a wholemeal (which is the one I do most often)

It looks as if the problem was either the yeast or the amount of liquid, those being the two things that have changed (I'm now measuring the water by mass rather than by volume). And thank goodness for freezers and daughters/grandsons who like my bread otherwise I'd be needing to feed the five thousand!

Photo: Mocha snuggling down on my lap a few days ago - bless!

Wednesday, 27 May 2009


Just realised I didn't do my blog yesterday. That's what happens when I don't have school - the old brain goes walkabout.

So what happened yesterday? Well, not a lot really. I went shopping, got home, made a batch of ragu sauce, some for Friday and some for the freezer. I did some clearing up in the kitchen, I went to sleep a few times, sat out in the garden reading rubbish magazines . . . all useful, purposeful activity!

On Friday I have two friends round. One is bringing the started, the other the dessert and I'm doing the main course. Lasagna, garlic bread and salad. I doubt that will clash with anything they bring and should taste yummy! I bought a very useful sized lasagna dish from good old Lakeland and need to christen it. It's just the right size for one slice of lasagna - so very sensible!

But I have concerns about my breakmaker. It's started producing loaves that go flat and uneven on the top so I need to do a few test loaves, measuring everything very, very carefully. I hope it's not going on the blink . . . I love my breadmaker.

Photo: one of the kitties - can't work out which one! Isn't she cute?

Monday, 25 May 2009

Bank holiday monday . . .

. . . and I put my garden table and chair out in optimistic hopes. Sadly, it's all clouded over and I've brought the chair back in again (as it's padded). The table can be wiped if it gets wet. No rain yet, but it looks a bit doubtful. What a shame.

The garden's nearly finished now. I just have to plant a few things at the front and then I want to get the carrots in! I've decided I will grow carrots in containers. I don't need a lot, not just for one person, but if I sow some today, some in a fortnight and some a fortnight after that I shouldn't be overwhelmed. Worth a try anyway and I can get all the pots ready today, with the water retaining granules and the slow release growmore thingies mixed in!

Photo: A sort of arty view of a log. I love the colour.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Sunday morning . . .

. . . the sun is shining, it's warming up after a chilly night and already there's a load of washing drying in the fresh air while another load is in the machine, which is most satisfying.. I do love early starts - everything is fresh and clean, as if it's been polished by the moon and there's very little noise from the nearby road. A great shame it's not warm enough to sit out yet, but give it a few weeks and I'll be eating my breakfast outside! Bliss . . .

So what's t0 do today? Well, I am very much hoping that Daughter and Grandson will come swimming with me before they come here for tea; that would be ideal, but if they don't, maybe I will go by myself. And, unfortunately, there will be a pile of ironing, although it smells wonderful when the clothes have dried outside. It'll be good to get it done anyway!

The healthy eating started OK yesterday and is carrying on today with home-made baked beans on home-made wholemeal toast for brekky, followed by some fresh fruit. Shame about the copious amounts of fresh coffee, but one can't have everything, can one? Lots of things are negotiable - crisps and alcohol, for instance - but coffee remains an essential. Must go and top up!

Photo: Brighton last year.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Aching but satisfied

The garden is going to look really nice, I think, once the new plants have established. Worth the work!

And I sat out in the warmth this afternoon (no sun at that point) and nodded off. A sure sign that not only is it coming up summer but also it's holiday. I feel so relaxed and unstressed that after the last few weeks it is as if I am a different person - someone who's never even been on nodding terms with stress.

The eating has been healthy today, for the first time in ages and I feel all the better for it. I made a mega chickpea and vegetable curry for dinner and ate nearly the lot. No rice so I felt I could. My F&V for today must be sky high - let's hope the blood pressure is the opposite!
Photo: Streele Farmhouse - lovely, isn't it?

Saturday again and I'm looking forward to filling the gaps in my 'flower' beds with such staples as trailing lobelia and the like, having raided the garden centre yesterday. Once they're all in and established, they should look very nice indeed.

I was a tad miffed yesterday - I had just tidied up the front bed, got rid of a few weeds, etc, came inside to put away the broom and when I went back out again there was soil all over the concrete again. Some menace of a cat had decided that as it was all tidy, it was the ideal time to perform the usual! So out came the broom again, out came the cat deterrent and, peeping out this morning, it seems to have done the trick, albeit temporarily.
I'm not sure how often I have to reapply the stuff - must check the container. I know the creature is only doing What Comes Naturally, but I don't want it to be on my flower bed, thank you!

I heard, via the school grape vine, that one of our former pupils, a very pleasant lad, has become extremely interested in gardening and wants to make that his career. He is interested in 'pocket money' jobs in the area and I think I will contact the family to find out what he is prepared to do. I don't need anything lavish, just general maintenance stuff and it would be great if he would take it on on, say, a fortnightly basis. His sister is still at the school (year 6) and is one the the nicest girls I have met - I had her in year 1 and again in year 4 and she was a real pleasure to teach.

For the rest, it's weekly shopping day and I'm going to be even more lazy and use the mobile car washers that frequent the car park at Sainsbury's. Round our way we're a bit bereft - Somerfields, just over the road from school, closed on Wednesday! How are we going to manage? No popping over to get more milk, a pressie and card for a colleague, a treat for the class, something for the afternoon lesson . . . We will have to be Organised and Plan Ahead.
It will re-open as Morrisons, but not until August. It's in its fourth incarnation now: when I moved into the area it was Keymarket, then Gateway, then Somerfields and now Morrisons!

Well, the sun's up, it looks as if it's going to be another beautiful day and I need to get going!

Photo: View across Streele Farm

Friday, 22 May 2009

Earlier I posted a schedule. Here is is again with comments . . .

My schedule for today - proposed.
more sleep Yes
breakfast Yes
swimming No
shopping Yes - to garden centre
visit daughter and goo over the kitties No (she had a friend over)
more sleep Yes!
bit of housework Yes (just a very little bit)
bit of gardening Yes
more sleep Yes
make and eat dinner Yes
watch rubbish TV Yes
more sleep Probably Yes.
So quite a successful day really!

Here's to tomorrow!

Photo: View from Streele Farm

Friday: Report writing day!

Yeah, sure it is!!!

Well, I got something muddled in my last message. It wasn't hair time yesterday, it's next Thursday. I was relieved - I felt so tired, I was bound to go to sleep in the middle of it. Luckily, I checked! Before I got there, I mean!

Yesterday's V I M went smoothly (phew). There was an unexpected attender, invited by someone else who neglected to tell us. It turned out to be a blessing and I was pleased with the way the meeting went. It helped that the paperwork was prepared (thanks for all the help, Liz) and very few amendments and additions were needed.

So now it's half term (OK, report writing day). I went to bed ridiculously early so am now awake and doing, but I can feel the tiredness lingering so will be able to have another couple of hours kip soon and still be in time for the morning.

My schedule for today - proposed.
more sleep
visit daughter and goo over the kitties
more sleep
bit of housework
bit of gardening
more sleep
make and eat dinner
watch rubbish TV
more sleep

Sounds good to me! Where's the report writing, do I hear you say? Maybe tomorrow . . .

Photo: sea view taken from Brighton pier

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Last day of the half term

. . . likely to go out with a bang, not a whimper as there's one of those V I Ms after school. But then I'm having my hair done after that, so I should be relaxed by bed time.

Apart from that it's business as usual: Phonics, literacy, ICT, Games and music. I usually enjoy Thursdays very much.

We had a good staff meeting last night - the library staff were in to discuss their involvement with the school and various excellent suggestions were made. Hopefully, some of them will be implemented at some point.
Photo: Sunrise over Streele Farm, August 2008

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Good news and not so good news

Liver function fine
Kidney function fine
Absolutely no indication of any diabetic problems.

Blood pressure higher than the last time (mind you, after this last week, is anyone surprised?)
Cholesterol unacceptably high.

So that's me on more medication, probably for life. Ho hum!!

Nice photo: morning mist - sorry about the quality!


Two more days to go and no Very Important Meeting today, thank goodness. Just staff meeting which should be OK as we're meeting with the local library staff to discuss planning for next year.
To explain - we are lucky enough to share a common roof with our local branch library and once a fortnight each class goes into the library for some teaching, a look at books and to borrow a few books if they have their card with them.

Which reminds me - it's my class' turn today, YAY!

Equally YAY is the fact that I have the whole day, minus 30 mins this afternoon, with my little dears. I'm looking forward to that very much.

But before then it's the blood pressure check!

Photo: clouds!

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Another day nearly over.

The Very Important Meeting this afternoon went quite well - it was tiring and I was worried beforehand, but it was good, very helpful. Phew - great relief all round.

However, the rest of the day was tough. Can't go into reasons, of course, but it has been distressing all round. Sometimes there are days like this and then they are balanced by absolutely perfect days that shine out for a long time. That's life!

Photo: grasses in the wind

Monday, 18 May 2009

I knew I should have stayed in bed this morning

I now have yet another Very Important Meeting to add to the several Very Important Meetings I have on my plate over the next three weeks (plus accompanying multiple Very Important Paperwork, of course, this being Education). This means half a day more out of my class for the Meeting (on top of the time I already spend away from my little dears who really deserve more teaching stability than they're getting right now), plus more time out to get the Very Important Paperwork started (unfortunately essential for this particular meeting).
Today's Very Important Meeting left me upset and somewhat demoralised. Sometimes things seem so unfair.
Anyone reading this who is thinking of being a SENCO - be afraid, be very afraid!! To coin a phrase - those who the Gods wish to destroy, they first make SENCOs!

And finally - guess what? I am due at my GPs early Wednesday morning to have my blood pressure checked (you may remember it's been consistently too high recently and I'm now on medication for it). I think I can tell you now what the results are going to be .

So let's find a nice relaxing photo to share . . . here we go - early morning at Streele Farm last summer.

Monday again

Strange how every week has to have a Monday, even if it's sometimes called Tuesday (as in bank holiday weeks).
Monday, the start of a new week, maybe a new theme, maybe even a new job! For us at school it's the start of four days to complete the topic, tie up the lose ends, get the display board in the entrance finished and generally wind down a bit, if possible.
For me the week contains some important meetings as well as the usual stuff - may they go well!

I'm glad the sun is shining. Yesterday, when I was feeling grotty, it rained on and off all day, there was a strong wind and it was all very un-May-like. Today looks more promising and it's cheering.

And - just remembered - today is the last playground duty I will have to do before September. YAY!

Photo: Sofia watching her babies

Sunday, 17 May 2009


What a horrible night . . . tummy cramps all night (still not right) and very, very broken sleep. It didn't lead to anything either up or down, it's just so uncomfortable and my muscles ache from tensing against the cramps.
Moan, whinge, complain . . . That's better!

So today is going to be a day of rest again, of necessity, as I'm very, very tired. It's back to bed shortly to see if I can make good on a little sleep.

I hope my gentle readers are feeling a lot more cheerful and have a good day!

Saturday, 16 May 2009

A relaxing day

It ought not to be though, there's such a lot to do, but reading the last couple of posts, I think I need a break so I'm having one.


This morning I used some of my cat and kitten photos to make a cat calendar for Grandson, something he asked for for his birthday. It's not calendar season, of course, so Daughter promised him one for Christmas. I had a brainwave (most unusual) and made him one from May to December. So that was relaxing.

I then wrapped it up and drove round to D's to give it to him. The kittens were up and lively so we had a good play with them and I took some photos of them.

Then it was Tescos - not so nice, but had to be done.

Home now! When I've finished this I'm going to put something on the DVD and fall asleep over it. And then it's study time - after all, it's now week 3 and I haven't finished week 2 yet - ooops!

Photo: Either Jett or Mocha, it's not easy to tell on a photo

Friday, 15 May 2009

Friday evening

I've just been listening to a favourite song that always rests me and calms me down.
It's the one at the bottom - 'I surrender all'.

It's been a good day but we're all so terribly tired at the moment and I'm finding it hard to keep all the threads in my hands. The words of this song help a lot . . .

Thursday, 14 May 2009


I can't keep up!! I have so many SEN meetings at the moment I'm getting extremely muddled about them. Not good, not good at all. Very Bad, in fact!

I think I need a brain transplant!

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Jack and the Beanstalk!

This half term we have been studying plant growth. Of course, the obvious literacy link is Jack and the Beanstalk, and we have milked that for all we are worth, to great effect.

The year 1 children have been learning the songs from a lovely musical play published by those fantastic people from Out Of The Ark, and today they did their first performance in family assembly (the second one is on Friday).

If you're a year 1 teacher, or even a year 2 or FS teacher, I would totally and utterly recommend it to you. Here's the link

Heard on the way back from Family Assembly from a FS child:
'I want to sing those songs next year when I'm in year 1'

You will, dear, indeed you will!!

Instead of a photo, here's an image of the front cover.
Honestly, it's great!!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009


(for want of a better headline!!)

It's been a fair old day, one way and another. Suffice it to say, I would rather have been in my class, role play and all! And then our beloved head (she really is lovely, honest, I love her to bits, she's great) asked me to help with choir after school - not knowing the songs or anything!! Wibble!
Note to self - watch Aladdin and learn the songs!!
(Warbles 'A whole new world . . .)

There was consolation when I got home though - three of them, in fact.

1. (and most important) A book about photography from a lovely lady who saw it in a library sale and thought of me . . . bless you, Krys - love you loads, you are so thoughtful.
2. Lots of card I had ordered over the weekend, different colours, to use with my digi photography to make 'greetings' cards of various kinds.
3. Some books on digital photography, ordered from Amazon, including what looks like an idiot's guide to Elements 6, so just right for me!

Reports??? What reports????

Photo: A rather nice chopped about bowl belonging to my parents - which I hope they will leave to me in their will . . . (if you read this, Mum and Dad, take note - OK??)
And now I have learnt how to use the lasso tool, I could blur the background.

Drama week!

Not officially, but in year 1. Today is role play day, based on Jack and the Beanstalk. It's likely to be somewhat on the noisy side and I'm glad I will be out of class doing my SEN work! ;0) Should be good fun though!

Apart from that, things are good but just don't ask about the reports, OK?

Photo: Houghton Hall, taken last year.

Monday, 11 May 2009


Every week seems to have a Monday in it - funny, that! However, not every week has a Monday as a school day, although it does this week.

I've noticed that a plant in the garden is sending up five big flower stems (looks like flower stems anyway). It's not done this before so I'm looking forward to seeing what they are like. Will they be grass-like heads or will they be 'proper' flowers? I have no idea - but they're going to be big, whatever they are!

Photo: The plant and one of the buds!

Sunday, 10 May 2009

I seem to be having . . .

. . . a lot of really lovely days at the moment. Today has been another one. Long may they continue!

Such a contrast with this time last year when I was on the edge of serious depression, utterly disorganised, losing the plot in work and social life and just totally out of the loop in so many ways. A very bad time altogether and one I prefer not to look back on usually. There were lots of reasons - being in the wrong 'job' at the time, family worries, health things, problems with a friendship that went belly up - oh, you know the sort of thing, I'm sure. It was just too much and I ought to have gone to the GP but didn't.
Thankfully, things are much, much better now and, believe me, I count my blessings.

I was sorting out my card-making boxes and found my large hole punches, whereupon I had a brainwave for the thank you cards. At the end of the school year there's always a lot of people to say thank you to - the parent helpers, for a start, the TAs and LSAs, other volunteer helpers, the office staff, the cleaners, the site manager . . . it gets to be flippin' expensive, one way and another. I like the children to make the thank you cards, but it has to be something fairly factory line and very, very easy or it gets to be such a chore and a bore the whole purpose gets lost in the hassle.

So - as I said, brainwave. A few punches of coloured paper, a stiff card folded, a dab or two of glue and lo and behold, what looks like a really nice card that the children can make easily and feel good about. The only change is that the leaves will be made from the oval punch, not the round one.
I have a few other ideas along the same line which might also work, but if not, no worries.

And that, if the camera did its work, is the photo this evening. :-)

Feeling pleased

I have a lovely, peaceful morning all to myself for once. The planning is done and I'm just finishing making the last of the resources for the week (usually we end up making them the night before in a rush) including the headings for a new display. This means I will have time to finish section 2 of my OU course and maybe get along to the park to take some photographs as well. Excellent!

It's gloriously sunny at the moment and, if it warms up, I might have dinner outside and 'christen' my new garden table.

I hope the day stays good . . .

Photo: I took another photo of the dianthus in the front garden (I posed one on here several weeks ago) and then kalaedoscoped it using Paint Shop Pro.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Another lovely day

A super time at Daughter's where, for the first time, Autistic Grandson had some peers at his party - and played with them too. Three 0f them were friends from the flats where he lives and came along because they wanted to, not because mum and dad made them. Mind you, the cakes might have helped too!!
It makes me want to cry, thinking of it. Most of us, me included, take having friends for granted. I count myself very fortunate that I have a number of people I can call friend, who I trust and who trust me, both in 'real' life and in 'virtual' terms too . Having been let down badly in the past, I appreciate them more than I can say. If I was into naming, I would name them here, with the greatest pleasure.
It's always grieved me in a way that Grandson doesn't 'need' friends in this way, although, to be fair, if he doesn't need them then it's not a problem for him.
So to have some friends at his party was a magnificent achievement for him and the fact that he preferred to play with them rather than stay with the older family members was just unbelievably great.

And then I came home and life took over again . Fun, innit, when one is deliberately ignored . . . ? Says more about the ignorer than the ingnoree though, I reckon! :0)

Photo: Not terribly clear, but an up to date photo of one of the kitties. I told Daughter that if I was going to retire this year, I'd buy one from her - but I'm, not, so I won't. They are so cute though!!

Pirate day today.

Grandson is having his party - well, more a get together with a pirate theme because he doesn't do parties in the conventional sense of the word. Cake and a bottle of rum - er - cup of tea - in the afternoon. Mum and Dad are coming down for it but, fear not, gentle readers, they're not staying over so I only need to get downstairs sorted out.

It's amazing how much clutter I can generate in just a fortnight though!

And then it's into school because, silly me, I forgot to check the runner beans on Friday and they might need watering.

And then - well, I guess it's rubbish TV and more school work/report writing. Quite a nice day really.

Photo: I'm pretty sure I took this at Anglesea Abbey, several years ago.

Friday, 8 May 2009

It's Grandson's birthday today. I know it's a cliche but where has the time gone? He's no longer a little lad, he's approaching adolescence with all that entails and he is changing so rapidly sometime I feel all I have to do is blink and I'll miss something. Happy Birthday, dear Grandson - have a wonderful day.

Photo: Yesterday's photo, messed about a bit!

Thursday, 7 May 2009

A lovely day

Today was one of those days where it all just flowed. I don't have the easiest class in the world; there's quite a lot of challenge and they stretch my fairly extensive professional ability at times, but I do love them to bits and today was a treasure. Yes, there were issues but they were easily resolved, some children made poor choices of behaviour and needed to be dealt with, but overall the day was good. It helps that my colleague had the class last year and understands when I go into her bay ranting and raving .

Today, I feel encouraged!

Photo: a sort of 'arty-type' photo which needs better cropping!


Good morning, everyone. Yet another Thursday!

I like the last two days of the week. Thursday has time in the ICT suite and Games in the afternoon and Friday has PPA and Golden Time and gymnastics in the afternoon, so it feels easy (as in 'relaxed' and 'unpressured'). A nice way to finish off the week. The sun is shining too, which makes everyone more cheerful.

Note to self - must get on with reports!

Photo: a rather wonky view across Baldock. Must learn how to clone out the telegraph wires!!

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

One of those useful days

It was one of those useful days today when I seemed to get a lot of little things done, none of them all that important, but they added together to total a great weight off my mind. It was my day out of class for my SEN work and it was very, very productive, one way and another. So now I'm sitting here feeling tired but satisfied. Very nice . . .

I also got an email from Daughter. It's Grandson's birthday on Friday and, for some reason, he wants a pirate theme. Dearest, Wonderful Daughter has found a Lego pirate ship and a pirate game in a charity shop for me to give him. Now Grandson, being autistic, really isn't the least bit concerned with street cred, designer label, high tech, brand new stuff. A Lego pirate ship will be just the thing and DD is getting a couple of 'pirate boxes' to store them in. Love you, honey!! Thanks.

Photo: Pretty poached egg flower from guess where!! it needs lightening up a bit - I used the macro function to get a close up and blocked some of the light. I'd perhaps have done better to use the zoom lens instead. You live and learn.

And so . . .

. . . it's back to school once more. I reckon all weeks ought to be four day working weeks, it's very restful and invigorating! In fact, how about working one day on, one day off - seven days in a fortnight. Now that would be good too! :0)

I'm busy scanning some pictures in that really I should have done on Friday but didn't get round to. How would we manage without modern technology? OK, I know I'm getting on some in years, but in my teaching life it's enhanced and altered the way we teach beyond all telling. It's also amazing to think that in a few short years what we see as fantastic today will just be history - old fashioned and clunky. I wonder how far mankind can move with this sort of stuff and this rate of progress before it all explodes (or implodes).

And on that cheerful note - have a good day, everyone!

Photo: Another parental garden plant. I ought to know what it is but I don't. Pretty colours!

Monday, 4 May 2009

Monday evening

What a pleasant break this weekend has been. I've seen Mum and Dad (always a Good Thing), been out to a show, drunk more chilled white than I ought to, seen the cute little kittens again, picked up my Lakeland order, sorted out a problem with colour on Photoshop Elements 6 and got the results of some medical tests that show everything is fine, good, no problems! Phew . . .

And now it's back to school again tomorrow (sigh).

Photo: One of the kittens - no idea which one!

Bank Holiday Monday

Back home later this morning. Before I get home, I'm going to take a detour to Daughter's to see her and Grandson, to look at fast growing kitties and take some photographs of them. Then it's off to Tesco for the weekly shop, hoping it's not too busy, then home to do some more work on the garden before Daughter and Grandson come round.

It's been a nice weekend though - quiet and restful AND I got started on the school reports! You'll likely hear a lot about school reports in the next few weeks, one way and another.

Photo: Bluebells, digitally kaleidoscoped . . . quite Victorian looking really and I reckon it will make a very pleasing card.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Kiss Me Kate . . .

. . . was very good after a rather slow start, music, singing and dancing were all excellent and the costumes were fantastic, especially at the end.

So it was a shame that I was so very tired after a full day and a good dinner that I snoozed off several times - an indication of my tiredness, rather than the quality of the show, I hasten to add.

Sorry, Arcadians - will try harder next time.

Photo: taken in my parents' garden.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

There's some lovely flowers in the garden at the moment. Here's one of them - a huge tulip. Very gaudy, flirting with the wind at the moment and playing hard to get.
The second image has been edited (obviously) using Glowing Edges.


I was playing about with camera settings yesterday evening and took some views in the twilight without the flash. Here's one of them . . .

Friday, 1 May 2009

A teacher's delight . . .

Today my class had to write a story. It was loosely based on 'The Enormous Turnip' combined with the props in a story box. As you may or may not know, a story box is simply a box with items inside that must be used to tell/write a story. We'd worked on introductions and beginnings, discussed the main character (a bear known as Little Ted) and how the other props (a packet of seeds, a turnip, a cooking pot and a soup bowl and spoon) could be used to create a story.

So today they wrote the story, more or less unaided,apart from being given a few key spellings and lots and lots of encouragement.

They all managed it, every single child. That's a sure sign of progress. I was thrilled to bits with them all and told them so in no uncertain terms. However, although there were a number of very mature and delightful efforts, there was one story that stood head and shoulders over the others and so, gentle readers, I am about to bore you with extracts from it, with nothing changed at all (so where there's dodgy punctuation, don't blame me, OK!).
Remember, this lad is only just six years old.

Here we go . . .

Once upon a time there was a little bear called Little Ted. He was sociable, sporty, healthy and liked going for long walks. He lived on a houseboat, so that he could see all the lovely sights of the town.
In the end he had to ask the lady if they had turnip seeds in the garden centre. There upstairs right at the back said the lady to Little Ted. Ahha here they are said Little Ted . . .
That night when Little Ted was asleep, his Mum put a little seed in the window box. The seed grew and grew and when Little Ted looked at the seed the next morning, his eyes grew into stars.
At last it was time for Little Teds friends to go home. Bye said Little Ted. Bye sobbed Little Ted friends.

I've taught clever children in my many years of teaching - the children who care, the children who find it's all so easy and then crash when they reach the hill of difficulty, the children who take it all for granted and the oh-so-insecure children who always doubt their high ability and look sideways at others. This little lad is up with the brightest of them - he gobbles up new learning experiences as if they are pizza and chips (or fillet steak and rosti)! I wish I could name him but, obviously, I can't. It's a teacher's delight to have a child like this in her class and I count myself as very, very lucky to have been a part of his education.

But there's another side of the coin. Another child needed loads of 1:1 support. This child worked incredibly hard - harder than the child whose story I have quoted from. This child produced several sentences to give the outline of the story and this child I count as much of a success as the other - almost more so. I count myself as very, very lucky to have been a part of his education too.

They were both brilliant!!

Can you understand why I am delighted this evening?

Photo: Across the parterre at Blickling . . .


End of the week yet again. Thirteen more teaching days till half term and then we're on the slippery slope to the end of the school year; a very scary thought indeed.
I gave the children a task earlier this week. Last term they really struggled with. This time it was easy-peasy. A teacher always needs reassurance that her class is coming on and this certainly reassured me.

Today is PPA (yay), maths, golden time and gymnastics. I like the Friday timetable, it's practical and doesn't require much preparation!

Photo: Also seen on a walk to school. It's sort of interesting but there's no real focal point in it.