Thursday, 31 May 2012

Thursday later on.

Scene:  end of school.  The children have gone back to their places to pick up all their things for home and then line up by the outside door.  Polite Little Boy is still standing by his chair, exchanging pleasantries with a friend, oblivious to the fact that everyone else (including aforementioned friend) has picked up their collective things and are standing in line.  Fortunately (for him), I am in a good mood.

Me:   Polite Little Boy, you're a bit slow to pick up your things.  Do you think that might be because you are chatting too much to your friend?
P L B:  (looking somewhat misunderstood) I'm not chatting, Mrs Clark.
Me:  I think you are, I saw you.
P L B:  I'm not chatting, I'm HAVING A CONVERSATION!!!
Me:  (speechless, but not for long)



Last day of the half term.  Jubilee Day.  All very good reasons for feeling happy and celebratory. 

It is also non-uniform day.  We are all wearing red, white and blue in exchange for bringing something in for the June Fair.  The children will be hyper from the word go.  I love to watch them showing each other their outfits before they come into class and register will be later than usual as they will take so much longer to settle down!

At lunchtime it will be a right royal picnic (weather permitting), all out of the field together, packed lunches and school dinners, which is a 'pick a picnic' day where the children have a little box and they select from a sort of buffet and put their choices in their box before going out onto the field to eat.  I gather the MDAs intend to decorate the hall early this morning, which will be lovely!  And then later on in the afternoon we're all congregating in front of the music platform (outside) for a singsong, speeches, 'champagne' (really lemonade) and cakes.  They have learnt God Save The Queen and the chorus to Rule Britannia and the juniors will sing Land of Hope and Glory!  One of my colleagues sings like an angel and she will provide the verses to R B.   Very Last Night of the Proms-ish, isn't it?

Yesterday morning, in the ICT suite, they all produced very bright Jubilee pictures, mostly union flags (which is not as easy to reproduce as one would expect) and a few pictures of Her Majesty on horseback, all of which got stuck on sticks so now they have TWO flags to wave in the singsong.  And in the afternoon we made 'crowns', which they just loved.  Which reminds me - I don't have a flag.  We can't have that!!!

All in all, it was a very happy day yesterday and I expect that today will be equally happy, not to mention noisier!

My birthday rose is flowering and I thought it very appropriate to have this as today's photo!

Wednesday, 30 May 2012


Dear children of XXXX Bay,
I am getting tired of the Union Flag.  I would like a different one.  It needs to be red, white and blue but not too much white, please.  I would like you to design a new flag for me.
Her Majesty
Queen Elizabeth II

Not having ever received a letter from her majesty, I have no idea whether she signs her letters like that; I strongly suspect not, but the children liked it!  I think one could describe their efforts as 'varied'.  There were a few I was not convinced about - I doubt the Olympic team would be too thrilled to have hearts, crosses and flowers on their kit, for example, and I doubt the one that looked as if her majesty was sitting on the loo (it was meant to be her throne I was told, indignantly) would go down a bundle with the armed forces but they all had a jolly good go and enjoyed the activity no end.  And they will make a bright, colourful and easy-to-put-up display!

And today is PPA and then more of the same.  It's ICT today, Dazzle, and I think I will, for once, give them a choice of drawing a scene from Jack and the Beanstalk, a royal portrait or a flag.  That should keep them happy and occupied.

Ivy on the fence!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012


As I said yesterday, it was very red, white and blue.  The bay now has home - I mean school - made bunting and appropriately coloured paperchains covering the more mundane displays and it looks very merry and British (and a lot better from a distance!).  They learned the chorus of Rule Britannia and the first verse of God Save the Queen.  They wrote about what they knew about the queen and seemed very knowledeable if a trifle stereotyped.  They learned about how the union flag is put together from three national flags and then coloured a flag properly to stick on a stick (only way to describe it) for Thursday's celebrations.
And they wrote their diaries (have to do SOME 'proper' work this week)

Today is sort of proper work.  A Jack and the Beanstalk dvd, discussing characters and scenes, some nice practical maths based on measures and recording results pictorially and . . .  making hats/crowns for Thursday!  Well, I did say 'sort of'.

I wish I had taken some photos of the decorations but I didn't, so here's another from the garden instead.

Monday, 28 May 2012


And here we are at the start of the last week of the half term which has all gone terrifyingly quickly.  I seem to have been extremely busy with nothing to show, although the amount of work in the children's books tells a different story.  It's a four day week as Friday is report writing day and is Jubilee week so the afternoons will be very red, white and blue!.

Yesterday was pleasant although I was very tired and slept much of the afternoon away.  This was lucky because I spent most of the evening in front of the PC sorting out hustings questions for the OUSA Officer elections, in the company of two other mods.  By the time we stopped, we were all making silly mistakes from sheer tiredness, but we got loads done so that was good.  One more evening's work should see it done.
The morning was busier.  I popped out to Hobbycraft and ended up buying some more sock/glove yarn.  The knitting is on a go slow at the moment because there's so much else to do but come half term I will be able to make up for lost time.  I also found (elsewhere on the same site) some Morny lavender soaps, very much reduced, so I treated myself.

It appears that today we may get storms.  Not in school time, I sincerely hope.  Some children can be terrified of storms!  However, I have taken the garden cushions into the shed, just in case!  The garden could do with a good soaking, that's for sure!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Sunday morning

Hot again yesterday, wasn't it?  However, it didn't seem too humid which meant we could do all the normal things without breaking out into a sweat at the least movement.  It the morning I went into town and did the necessary on my list, including paying in a cheque and buying some clothes, which made the day a bit out of the ordinary.
Once home, George turned up and gave the garden its regular haircut, after which I pootled off to Morrisons early afternoon where I found, to my disgust, that they had sold out of strawberries.  As I really didn't want to drive over to Tesco or Sainsburies, I bought raspberries and blueberries instead and hoped.  As it turned out the Pimms drink was very nice indeed and I guess any fruit would work really.  Must try it with strawberries at some point though.

I did manage a snooze in the afternoon, with the fan playing over me and after a bath I was ready to face the witches.   As always, we had a jolly good time with lots of giggles.  We got next Sunday's do sorted out as much as we can and now we all know what we're doing.  We have a new witch, S, who has moved into the house at the top and it was good to meet her.

And now I have a bowl of pimms infused fruit.  I suppose a trifle, but DD can't have trifle.  Maybe mush it a bit and fold it into yogurt.  That might work well.  Or in muffins?  Or a smoothie?  If there was more I'd have a go at jamming it but there isn't enough.  Can't waste it, that's for sure.  Any ideas, gentle readers?

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Saturday a bit later

Some photos.
More chive-y stuff

Another aquilegia

View from the front (with the inconvenient bits cropped off!)

Saturday morning

Oh, I was just so tired yesterday evening that I went to bed before eight and straight to sleep, with the result that just before three I was up and doing.  Such a pain because I have friends round this evening and need to be awake.  Fortunately, as it is Saturday, I can have a kip during the day, and will.  Having said that, as I type, I can feel the sleep waves rolling in so will go with the flow and back to bed.  Back later . . .

Friday, 25 May 2012


Another working week nearly over and done and there's a clear blue sky and bright sunshine.  It's the first day that has started sunny this week.  All the other days have been cooler and misty at first.  I guess it is going to be a scorcher today.

It's been a very encouraging week.  At this time of year it's assessment time and what the children have been showing is that they have made some amazing progress this year in so many different ways.  No details, of course, but I am very proud of them all.

This is short - it's a bit late, nearly time to go to school.  I might be back later on.
Chives are very pretty close up.  Not a good photo, it's too blurry and I will have another go later, but it's lovely, isn't it?

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Thursday morning

Up to my eyeballs in stuff but it's nice to take some time out and come in here to blog.  Hasn't the weather been gorgeous recently.  All summery and the children are so happy.  They keep saying 'don't we have to wear our coats, and when I say 'It's up to you' the look of glee makes me laugh.  They're a very smiley class and we do have a lot of chuckles through the day.

So - today is here (what a silly thing to write!!!) and it promises to be another warm and sunny experience.  I have unaided writing, a maths test and then maths with my class (the maths test is not class based).  I do enjoy teaching maths at Y1 level - simple concepts, skills and knowledge but so important to get right and so challenging to find ways around misconceptions.  One of the hardest is money.  They don't handle small coins nowadays.  When my two were little they had their 10p and trundled along to the village shop to spend it on little sweets (often unwrapped, shock horror) adding up their pemnies and two pennies worths until they had spent their 10p.  A particular challenge was working out whether it was actually worth spending a bit more on a roll of sweets or a chewy stick or whether they got more value out of the penny sweets.  There was never any problem with adding small amounts and working out change.  You couldn't get anything past them!  But now - well, they just can't do that and anyway, what can you get for a penny nowadays?  Guess what we're doing today.  Spending small amounts and working out change.  Oh my!!!  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Tuesday evening aka Wednesday morning!

I know I've already posted one entry today but I suspect I won't be posting one tomorrow so this is me getting ahead.  Most uncharacteristic, I have to say, but maybe not such a bad thing.  Make the most of it - it may never happen ever again.

Today started off cold, misty and damp.  I was on zig-zag line duty at the back gate and my goodness, it was shiveringly cold.  I'd not put on tights nor had I brought my coat, understanding that the weather was going to be really nice and sunny.  Well, at 8:30 it wasn't but by morning play the mist had burnt away, the temperature must have risen by a good 10 plus degrees and it was absolutely gorgeous.  It was even nicer by afternoon play.  So what better day could there be to be on playground duty morning AND afternoon.  Lucky me!

I can't say too much, obviously, but today I was really very pleased with every single child in my class.  Several times.  Such a nice feeling to be able to tell them that they are all little stars and see their smily, happy, confident little faces reflecting my happiness back to me.  What other job could one do that gives such a simple, uncomplicated, wholesome pleasure?  One of those times when I could ask no more of life.

I know I keep on saying this but - my goodness, I am so very fortunate.  May I never, ever take it for granted.

Tuesday morning

Oooops - I totally forgot to make an entry yesterday.  So sorry.  However, I did post enough over the weekend to make up for it!  Apologies to all who came along expecting something to read!

So - there's not much to say really.  Things are ticking over steadily, as usual, without too much excitement or hassle.  No major excitements at school or at home (long may it last).

I've started the reports though!  Yay!!!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

May garden

A picture post with words!

Attractive texture

I'm watching you!!

I do love my perennial wallflowers - they give colour month after month after month . . .

The aquilegias have a much shorter flowering time but, oh, they are so very pretty and delicate - and sometimes there's a second showing later on, so double value!

As I can now say with authority - phlox subulata 'Candystripes'.  Not that I bought this for its name, I bought it because it is pretty and interesting.  I wonder if I can split it - must look that up!  It would look nice round the front too.

Lavender is one of my favourites, although these don't have the scent that the 'ordinary' variety does.  They are more for their looks and they do a good job in that department!

And here it is again.  The bush that thinks it's a tree (aka sambucus nigra Black Beauty)  which just keeps on fighting back year after year.  It's such a survivor, I don't want to get rid of it despite its size and, if I ever have to, I will first take cuttings, buy a huge pot and keep it in that, where it can grow much more to its heart's content.

I ought to know this but can't find the name in my brain.  A cutting from mum last year, it's taken very well!
Edited:  Thanks Annabeth - it's a euphorbia!


And finally . . . 

This is what I wanted . . . (with leaves, of course)

. . . and this is what the plant wanted . . .

There's no doubt who has won that particular argument, is there?  Darn it!!!

Sunday morning

Well, I have sorted out meals (Sunday lunch is all ready apart from cooking the peas), the kitchen is a LOT tidier and definitely more hygenic, thge living room is a bit tidier and I had a good rest.  Not a bad Saturday at all.  It was quite warm too, with some sun and a lovely fragrance in the air.

Unfortunately, it is now dull and has just started raining so I guess we are in for a wet day.  I did intend to plant up my little tomato plants, and I may still do it, rain or no rain.  After all, one can only get wet!

We will see . . .

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Saturday later on

I thought I was having a couple of friends to stay last week but it got put back to this coming week because of me feeling unwell.  As I had bought some turkey mince for dinners (very versatile, turkey mince is), I decided to casserole it all up with vegetables, lentils and chopped tomatoes, with herbs from the garden (yay) and other stuff.  It's now in a slow oven smelling rather good.
I had intended to make meatballs and a sort of doner kebab thing as well as a lasagne mix, but I don't have the energy right now and it has to be cooked.  Never mind, there's a lot that one can do with a tasty savoury mince mixture - cottage pie, lasagne, cannelloni, a pizza topping, pie, on its own over rice or mixed with pasta and topped with grated cheese . . . oh, the list is endless.  Oh, and for school lunches, to be heated up in the microwave too.  So I don't think my friends and I will go hungry in the slightest.  :0)))  And given that it will be in the freezer, once cooked, if by any chance they don't come there will be no waste either.  Excellent.

Later on:
I'm pleased.  Out of two packs of turkey mince and assorted fridge and store cupboard ingredients including tinned stuff I have . . .

One lasagne, big enough for four, so if the three of us don't scoff it all, I can have some for lunch the next day

One savoury crumble (the one at the back) ready to be frozen for our second meal together, another savoury crumble for Sunday lunch tomorrow when DD and DG come round, plus two vegetarian single portion (large portion) savoury crumbles.

And a pot of each kind of base mixture for whatever else.  I will think about what to do with that - there's more there than it looks.  The turkey mince mix is three very good portions, one of which I am having tonight and the vegetarian mix (the uncovered one) is two plus portions.

How's that for frugal!!!

Help, please

Do any of you lovely, knowledgeable, garden people who read my blog know what this is, please?

Saturday morning

I've been thinking - reports have to be in by June 22nd at the latest.  Just one a day will get them done with no problems.  And I rarely do just one at a time..  So that's the target!

Yesterday evening was lovely.  A group of us from school went into town to see a local operatic society perform Half  Sixpence.  Two of our colleagues had parts in it, Flo and Helen (those are the parts, not my colleagues' names, I hasten to add) so there was added interest there.  It was altogether a most enjoyable evening, although I did get a throat tickle a couple of times and it was hard to control the coughing.  Fortunately, in the interval, I was able to buy a bottle of water and it was better after that.  In circumstances like that I don't resent paying the earth for a small amount of water quite as much as I usually would. 

The very important meeting yesterday went really well.  I've got used to chairing that sort of meeting now so it's not nearly as stressful as it used to be and knowing that the paperwork is all in good order also helps considerably.  The specialist teacher who came to the meeting was really lovely about the school, saying some very complimentary things.  We were talking about it afterwards, A and I, and concluded that yes, actually it is a very lovely school with a great atmosphere and we are just so used to it that we rather take it for granted.

We had some good news this week.  You may remember that last term we put in for the Artsmark award.  I think I posted a link about it at the time.  Well, after something of a delay, we heard that we have been awarded the Gold Artsmark.  We're all well chuffed because we set nothing up specially to get this, it was just based on what is normally happening and always available.  It was nice to get the artsmark award anyway but to get a gold award really was the icing on the cake.

And now it is the weekend.  Time to chill, relax and regain strength and momentum again.  Nine teaching days until half term, yay!!!

Aren't chive flower buds lovely?

Friday, 18 May 2012


Last day of this working week.  SEN day.  Important meeting p.m.  And waking up this morning was almost comfortable.  The cold seems to be on the way out and the voice is creeping back in again.  It never totally went, it was just rusty like an old gate hinge.  Fortunately, I was able to rest it for most of yesterday afternoon so it is getting a chance to recover.

Yesterday, after school it was 'Inflatable Day'.  Not a whole day, thank goodness, just a couple of hours from end of school to about half past five.  We have it once a year.   Huge big inflatables are put up all over the field and, after paying their due and receiving a wrist band, the children can go on any that they fancy (supervised by parents and staff, of course).  Huge fun.  However, it all has to be set up and they do that in the afternoon.  Not a problem - except that the year 1 classrooms look out over the field, so you can whistle for any 'proper' work while all that exciting stuff is going on the other side of the glass.  So it was blinds down and educational videos (yes, they were educational - the likes of Words and Pictures or Fourways Farm) on, hence the voice resting opportunity.
And today they will come into school all e-numbered out after the amount of junk food on sale to keep them fizzing over with hyper-excitement.

And it's just ten school days until half term.  Really must get seriously going with the reports . . .

Thursday, 17 May 2012


Apologies for no entry yesterday but I'm back now.

Wasn't the weather gorgeous?  It was round here anyway, although I had a shock when I saw the frost first thing.  I hadn't realised there was a possibility of frost and had left my baby tomato plants outside, darn it!  Fortunately the frost wasn't really penetrating and the plants were not affected.  It's milder today but, I gather, rain is due.  Of course, it has to be.  It's outside games day!

It was a busy day.  PPA with a lot of copying and downloading, a very croaky voice that led me to cancel my recorder club at lunchtime and a meeting after school that I had forgotten about, but was reminded, thank goodness.  It got me out of staff meeting, which was OK, but meant more wear and tear on the vocal cords (or is it chords?).  Here's hoping today won't be quite so frantic, one way and another.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012


Croak, croak, croak.  Yup, now my voice is going.  School should be fun!  Fortunately, I am out of class this morning and this afternoon is art, so I should be able to manage.  I just wish the aches would go!

The fire painting yesterday was obviously challenging.  It's great when you find a practical activity that so evidently stretches them and it was good to see the care they were taking with their painting - which was the primary focus of the lesson.  A lot of children are quite happy to 'scrub' with their brush and get into all sorts of messes, but the inherent challenge of the task meant that they had to use their brushes very carefully.

The other main event at the moment is that it's the new round of OUSA elections and three of us are busy modding the hustings forum, collating questions and, eventually, selecting those questions that are to be asked of the candidates.  It seems to be gathering momentum after a slow start and makes interesting work.

Well, I had better get going and prepare a few resources.  I was so whacked last night that I was asleep before eight, so didn't do what needed doing then.  Can't leave a supply with no resources, can I?

Monday, 14 May 2012


. . . and the forecast is dire although right now it's rather pleasant outside.  Long may it stay that way.

I finished one glove over the weekend and you know what - I'm really quite chuffed with it.  It fits - er - like a glove and the only problem is that next time I make a pair I will make the fingers just a little shorter.  I might also add just a few stitches to the 'body' of the glove.  But I am well pleased with how it looks and I'll post a photo if I remember to take one.  It helps that it's made with some gorgeous yarn meant to represent Van Gogh's Starry Night' painting: the colours are wonderful.

DG enjoyed yesterday's lunch - reheated take away Chinese!  So did I!  Poor DD couldn't have any as it wasn't vegetarian so I concocted a vegetabley tomatoey mix for her with cheese on the top, hoping she might leave a bit for my lunch today, but she didn't.  So it's tomato soup for me.

And here we are starting another week.  Fourteen more working days and it is half term.  Time races past, doesn't it?  If we're not careful it will be next months yesterday!  Wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff indeed! 

Better go and have tomorrow's bath quickly, before it's too late.  Have a good day.
Posted just because I fancied a picture.  Originally I called it 'whirlpool' but maybe 'down the plughole' might be more appropriate!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Hmm - maybe it wasn't so bad after all.

Next week we have to do some art work on an olympic theme to enter for a competitions.  The five best go to the art coordinator who then chooses one from each class.  I have decided to do the olympic fire so have prepared a little powerpoint as a starting point.  I googled 'Fire' and up came one of my efforts at clever editing when I was first getting used to Photoshop.  Distanced from the original creating thereof, it's not as bad as I thought so I've popped it into the PP.  How nice to be able to use one of my 'creations'.

Sunday morning

Just for once we had a very pleasant day yesterday.  Mostly sunny with a few cloudy spells and not a raindrop in sight and I gather today is likely to be more of the same.  No complaints from me, that's for sure.

I did a dreadful thing yesterday.  I totally forgot that DG was having a family birthday bash at the bowling alley.  I'd had a couple of glasses of rose and ordered a take away Chinese before DD phoned to remind me.  After numerous apologies and mini-panics the take away arrived early (thank goodness - that's today's meal sorted anyway) and DS drove us to the alley so it all panned out OK.  I'm very glad DD reminded me though!

And in other news, I have nearly finished my first ever glove.  Doing the fingers and thumb is quite fiddly and I'm very aware that I need to then make another one!!!  That will have to wait because I must do J's other sock. 
These things that come in pairs, eh!!!!!!!

And now I think I'm back off to bed.  I had rather a difficult night, tossing and turning with a bit of a temperature and having the most ridiculous dreams about stewed apple, roasted rhubarb and some unidentifiable tropical fruit.  I was too tired and not with it enough to think of coming down and taking some meds, silly me!

Saturday, 12 May 2012


So sorry about my non-appearance yesterday.  After such a busy and stressed Thursday, I couldn't get any thoughts together in the morning and by the evening I was so tired I didn't remember to blog.

I'm glad it's the weekend.  Apart from feeling very weary, I seem to have gone down with another cold, most likely acquired from the head who is up to her eyeballs in snuffles and coughs at the moment.  Let's hope it clears quickly - I can't be doing with another three or four months of aches and snot!

Yesterday was OK.  It was SEN day and I spent the morning (and some of the afternoon) getting prepared for next week's Important Meeting.  All done now, more or less, thank goodness, so I just need to get the planning finished and then I can relax.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Thursday later on

It was quite a day, but in a very good way!

The rain cleared up well before morning play.  It came back just after the end of afternoon play.  It stopped by the time the children came out of school.  The children had their first outdoor PE lesson for months.
Can't ask for more than that.

As for the lesson observation, obviously I can't say a lot or give details but sometimes, for no perceptible reason, the planning and lesson delivery just flow seamlessly through.  The children get the objective, the learning outcomes are overwhelmingly positive and it's just all most satisfying all round.  Today was such a day and I could not be happier with the final grading or more embarassed by the glowing feedback. 
As someone used to say, 'Oooooh, I could crush a grape'.  However, as that's far too energetic at the end of a busy day, I am celebrating with some results of the grape crushing of others.  Very nice too!

And tomorrow is SEN day!

Thursday morning

. . . and it's raining AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!   Aaaaarrrggghhhh

 . . . and I have a lesson observation this morning.  EEEEEEEEEEK!

It's going to be quite a day!!!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012


Well, after a most dismal start, yesterday turned out pretty well with warmth and sunshine.  Playtime duties were pleasant, despite not being able to go onto the field and that's now done and dusted for another week.

Yesterday was DG's birthday.  Another year on and so much has changed and continues to change.  As he reminded his mum 'I'm old enough for a Facebook account now'.  Consequently, a message pinged through in the evening asking me to be a 'friend'.  I know DD has hedged him around with all the security on offer and I am intrigued as to what he will make of it.  I suspect that he will find the reality a lot less exciting than the idea!

School was good although it took a while for the children to wake up!  Rather a lot of them had been out for some sort of treat the day before and had a lot to talk about, bless them: even more so when they looked at their beans.  One bean looked as if it was going mouldy and the little owner was downcast until I reminded him of the spares for swapsies, if needs be.  Then he cheered up.  Life is full of downs and ups,isn't it?

Tuesday, 8 May 2012


Back to school.  Long weekends are very nice and perhaps, as a lead in to retirement, at some point I might think about going down to four days of teaching rather than five.  Our senior management seems very receptive to that sort of approach, recognising that a happy teacher is likely to be a better teacher and to give more to the job, I guess.  Something to ponder on anyway.

It's still  raining!  Not hard, but steadily, and everything is dismally dripping down onto the already saturated ground.  It's Tuesday, so my playground duty day: I just hope it's not too nasty by playtime.  I suppose it has to clear up at some point and we do still need the rain, if only to water those gardens affected by the hosepipe ban.  It's not really the purely or mainly ornamental gardens like mine I'm thinking of here.  I know of several families who are financially fairly dependent on produce they grow to eat in their garden or allotment and to have to watch these shrivel up and die or to spend hours they cannot really spare with a watering can must be a real problem.  Life is so fast and furious nowadays, paid employment sucks in so many extra hours, that the gentle, slow activity of filling a watering can and watching the sparkling droplets landing on the soil seems a lifetime away.
No problems that way right now anyway!

Yesterday was pleasant.  I didn't do much really - just a bit of this and a bit of that.  Very lazy really.  Back on the working wagon today!

Monday, 7 May 2012

Mango and lychee water ice. One that worked.

. . . and it's not too calorific either.  It's more of a water ice than a sorbet, not as rich and 'creamy' textured as a sorbet.

Ingredients to serve - well, however many you want it to serve really, as long as it isn't too many.
1 pot of mango in juice (all the mango in cans seems to be in syrup)
1 can lychees (they are in syrup but the syrup is drained off)
some lime or lemon juice
truvia to taste (I didn't use any)
one egg white

Method (ice cream maker version). 
Drain the lychees.  I chucked the syrup but I guess it could be used in a smoothie or something.
Drain the mango, reserving the juice.
Zizz the mango and lychees in a blender.  The lychees don't go totally smooth and I like having the 'bits' but if you wanted it smooth I think you'd have to push the goo through a sieve.
Add the juice and the lime or lemon juice (I used lime) and mix well.  taste and add sweetener if needed
* Pour into the ice cream maker and churn until all icy and 'slushy'.
Whisk the egg white to the firm peak stage and fold into the slush.
Put back in the ice cream maker and churn until properly frozen.
Place in a freezer proof container and place straight in the freezer.  I put it in little plastic pots so all I need to do is life one out when I want some.

Ordinary method.
From *, pour into a freezable container and freeze the mixture until it is slushy, then fork over until all the ice crystals have broken up..  Whisk the egg white and fold in well.  Pour pack into the container and freeze (or into little pots and freeze.

Ooops, oh dear and mmmmmmm . . .

On my eating plan today I have roasted rhubarb.  I've never roasted rhubarb before but all the comments on the BBC Good Food site were very positive so I thought I'd give it a go on the basis that however it turned out it would taste good.
So I cut up the rhubarb (still waiting for some from DD's allotment, hint, hint, cough, cough), tossed it in the sugar in a roasting dish, covered it with foil, put it in the oven with every intention of taking it out fifteen minutes later and . . . er . . . forgot about it (I blame the knitting).  When I remembered it had 'roasted' down to a delicious mush instead of still holding its shape.  Ooooops.

I looked in the fridge and found last week's home made yogurt.  Now, this last week has been something of a food disaster and the lovely, healthy home made yogurt hasn't been touched.  Oh, dear, I thought it would probably be 'over' by now.  However, I tasted and, to my satisfaction, it had reached that point where it's actually very creamy with the initial slight 'tang' gone.  In fact, very tasty indeed!  So I hastily spooned it into a vacu container and vacupacked it.  That'll keep it going.

But before I did that I spooned a bit of the rhubarb into a ramekin dish, covered it with the yogurt and  . . . mmmmmmmmmmm. 

So not a disaster after all!


. . . and I've started knitting a glove.  And before anyone makes comment regarding the previous entry, I have finished one sock and need J to try it on before I start the other, so there!
So, it's gloves.  Bit complicated but I'm getting there and will post a photo when (or if) . . .

It's sunny today!  Real, honest sunshine.  Lovely to see it after so many gloomy mornings.  As it's so pleasant, I may pop out and do a bit of gardening.  I have a whole load of white 'bluebells' (can't remember the proper name, can anyone help) that are crowding the middle bed - they're lovely but jolly invasive and need to go!

Anyone know their proper name?

The sum total of blosson on my little Redlove apple tree.  More than I expected as it's the first year I have had it, so no complaints!  A pretty colour.
I went to a 60th Birthday Bash last night - a jolly good one too.  There were lots of folk from school, some of whom I hadn't seen for ages as they retired/left.  There was a buffet but I was - er - I focused on the salted peanuts!!  There was a cabaret with a rather good singer and backing tracks.  He used to be in the 80s group Wall Street Crash which rang a bell, even in my aged mind!  Thanks for driving, L.  And a big thanks for the invitation and Happy Birthday to you, Marion, have a wonderful day today!

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Sunday afternoon

And here I am, back home after spending a day with Mum and Dad and watching the Arcadians' latest show, 'Honk'.  I'd never heard of it before - it's a version of The Ugly Duckling, suitable for children but with plenty in it for adults too and, I think, one of the best shows I have ever seen them do (and that's saying something).  It was a minor tragedy that, because it's not an old favourite, the ticket sales were low and even on the final night the theatre was about 2/3 full when usually it is a sell out.  Well, those who decided not to go missed an absolute treat, that's all I can say.  Their next show is Godspell - hopefully that will bring in the punters in greater numbers.  But I would say that if you get the chance to see 'Honk' it is a show worth the seeing.  All about being different and OK, incredibly funny in places and also very moving.

I stayed at the parental homestead until ten this morning, expecting to visit Bickerdykes on the way out of Letchworth because I needed to buy a present for a friend who is celebrating her 60th this weekend.  Annoyingly, it wasn't opening until 10:30 so I beetled off towards home and stopped off at a garden centre en route.  Not as exciting place on the inside as it looks as if it should be on the outside, but I did manage to find a rose called 'Birthday' and a very pretty card, so that was good.  I'm sure it will be a most acceptable gift and I hope it will give years of pleasure.

When I arrived home, I found a parcel tucked behind the green box.  it turned out to be a birthday pressy from a very dear friend, Jen.   In it there were two five needle sets of double ended knitting needles in sized I had problems finding locally, a couple of patterns including a glove pattern which I want to try, a delightful card with a lovely message and a 100g ball of a yarn I saw on line, really loved and tried to buy, only to find they were out of stock.  It's by Opal, in the Vincent range and the colours are based on the Starry Night painting:  it's absolutely gorgeous.  Jen, many, many thanks.

It's now so very tempting to start knitting it up but I am in the middle of a pair of socks for a friend's birthday and MUST NOT start anything else until this project is finished.   Must not, must not, must not . . .

Friday, 4 May 2012

Saturday (a bit early)

Sorry about this but I'm likely to be quite busy tomorrow morning and might not have enough bloggy time so here I am now.

It's been a great day.  As I indicated, we had two 'outside agency' meeting today.   They were very positive and helpful times and after each meeting we were left feeling most encouraged and satisfied.  What more could one ask?

This morning I sneaked (or, as our USA friends say, snuck) into family assembly as it was my class last year and it was their violin assembly.  I think I have mentioned before that all our infants are very, very lucky, as every single child has weekly violin lessons from a very talented music teacher who teaches her own system, called Stave House.  We have mini-violins on loan, plus violas and cute little cellos.  I was hoping to hide in a corner and not be noticed as I wasn't really supposed to be there, but there was no-one to play the piano for the hymn so I was pounced on.  At least it gave me a valid excuse to be there and watch!  It was all very, very enjoyable!  There's been considerable interest in Stave House and the work she has done at school from various Important People, such as Michael Gove, would you believe?  Watch this space!  :0)

And now we have a Long Weekend (nice) and a shorter working week next week.  It feels good. 

And now, just for Diane (and anyone else interested . . .)
The multi technique trees in blossom.

Painted tree skeleton, finger printed blossom and leaves printed using special foam 'brushes'.  And very nice they all look too!


I was right.  PE was cancelled, although it had stopped raining by then.  However, it's all very well for the older juniors who bring their own trainers in for outdoor PE, but there is absolutely no way I could cope with 29 pairs of (probably unnamed) plimmies drying around the classroom after they got dripping wet in the puddles.  Totally impractical, especially considering the size of the bays, which are grossly undersized for their purpose (as stated on an official report).  So it was three cheers for maths instead!  OK, so maybe not three cheers . . .

It was a very ambitious afternoon's work too, yesterday.  The trees in blossom pictures had to be finished, twenty nine runner bean seeds had to be planted in 29 transparent drinking cups (in order to see what would happening) and 29 'packets of seed' for the role play area had to be made.  We got there, thanks to help from a lovely mum.  Thanks very much, Mrs R.  So after play we were able to watch and enjoy the last Mr Rotivator video.

Ages ago, which staying at my parents one weekend, I read in Dad's paper that the schools programmes people had made a set of three programmes for younger children about plants, growing, etc, with a very likeable character called 'Mr Rotavator'  (this was in the days of Mr Motivator fame - remember him?) who loves his plants.  We have been watching them this week and the children have just loved them.  Must transfer my recordings on to a DVD: the video player is getting decidedly dodgy!

I wonder if we will see the sun today . . .

Thursday, 3 May 2012


Another nice day yesterday, and by that I mean a 'not raining' day.  The children got all their playtimes (always a good thing) and the parents didn't get wet at drop off and pick up time. 

Today is Thursday.  Outdoor PE day.  So, of course, it's been raining, continues to rain at the moment and the forecast is for - guess what - yup, rain!  So yet again outdoor PE will be cancelled in favour of maths.  Oh, dear!

Yesterday we (and I include me in this) finger printed blossom on our tree skeletons.  No-one made an almughty mess, everyone was more or less careful with where they placed their blossom and the results were pretty impressive.  This afternoon it is the leaves!  And planting beans!  I have a lovely mum helper so it should all get done, hopefully.  Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012


Well, it did rain a lot yesterday but, by playtime, the rain had virtually ceased so we all piled out to play and splash in th . . . er - I mean avoid the puddles!  By lunchtime the skies were clearing and in the afternoon it was sunny.  No indoor playtimes, thank goodness.  :0)

We got our tree skeletons finished!  Today will be gloriously messy: finger printing the blossom is guaranteed to need painting overall protection.  With any luck they will all get it finished too!

And we're off into the ICT suite to explore a simulation, that being what we are supposed to be doing this term.  Thank goodness there's a pause button they can use while they take their screen shots.

First of all it is PPA though.  Seeing as the maths has been done for two weeks, we will have time to sort out other stuff and maybe even to get across the road to Morrisons to get what we need for bean planting.  Yes, gentle reader, it is that time of year again, when the beans take over the asyl - classroom and life revolves around the length of ones root or whether ones bean has gone mouldy!  Such jolly good fun, it is!
More birthday flower!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012


Diane always seems to get the pinch and punch in before I do so I will come up with 'white rabbits' instead!  May has crashed in with more heavy rain here and flood alerts in many parts of the country: after a gloriously sunny day yesterday, the clouds gathered and the rain started in the evening and it's now raining hard again.  The iGoogle forecast has been changed from 'chance of rain' to simply 'rain'.  Ho hum!!!  Indoor play beckons!

Yesterday afternoon, inspired by the blossom along the main road of the estate, we started our multi technique pictures of trees in blossom.  As a starter we were talking about blossom.
Me:  Trees do have flowers but we don't always notice them (etc, etc, etc, blah, blah, blah) . . .  Who can tell me what 'blossom' is?
Slightly Scatty Little Girl:  It's flowers!
Me: And what happens to the flowers?
SSLG:  The insects come along and po . . . pol . .  polish them.
Me:  Yes they come and pollinate (said with emphasis) them.
(children explain what pollinate means)
Me:  And once the flower has been pollinated, what does it become?
SSLG: (triumphantly)  A BUTTERFLY!!!
Practical little boy:  Naaaah, that's cabbages!
Bewildered teacher: (speechless)

Once I had untangled this somewhat surreal conversation with an internal giggle, we painted the tree skeletons, and very good they were too!
(And you should hear them trying to remember 'photosynthesis'!)

Owly gift tag - they were all similar and very attractive.