Friday 28 February 2014


Interviews today.  This time it's for the post of SENCo.  No, I'm not standing down from being SENCo, this is our way of managing the inevitable changeover that will occur in the next two, three or four years as both of us currently in the SENCo role are at, or close to, pensionable age.  It's a huge role and requires lots of know-how and stuff that I have picked up over long years.  I became SENCo when the role was first created in the first ever Code of Practice for SEN and rolled with the changes from that point - I wasn'tever required to do the now compulsory National SENCo Training when it first came in because I'd done the job for so long.  I think the senior management shows great wisdom in having an overlap handover.  I guess also we are fortunate to be able to afford it.

So today we interview.  Hopefully, in the next few days I should know who my successor will be and then I can start working with her as well as with S.  Exciting times indeed.

In other news, lunchtime yesterday M came to me and said 'You know you have a supply this afternoon'.  What????   So we rushed to the diary and yes, I was down to go on the second part of some bereavement training.  Mad panic all round, supply turns up, quick handover and out to the car park where I find my car blocked in by two other cars (our car park is ridiculously small!).  So I was late, but never mind, it was good.

The children were tired after Wednesday's outing, but they worked very hard and did some great maths.  I've been blitzing addition and subtraction this week as they seemed to be very slow at 'getting it'.  but I'm much happier about it this week.  It's not that they didn't know how to add and how to subtract: they did.  The problem was that they weren't so hot on reading the symbols with understanding and their counting on/back (especially back) was weak, especially with the 'bigger numbers'.  It's so much better now that today we're starting algebra - you know, as in six plus what equals nine.  Fun!!!

And then after school I get my hair chopped off.  Not all of it, of course.  For a long time I have had very long hair, partly because I can't be bothered to find a decent hairdresser.  However, I have found someone who comes to my house and is very well spoken of by friends, so after school she's coming and my hair will no longer be down to my hips, thank goodness!

Thursday 27 February 2014


. . . and I'm just managing to squash in a post this morning.  I feel like I am chasing my tail this week, probably because I was lazy in holiday week and didn't spend loads time doing work, work, work.  Shame, that.  And now, of course, things have started piling up and up and up again and one of these days it's all going to crash down, probably flattening me underneath.  I wonder if anyone will miss me!  < smile >

Let's be more cheerful.  What a lovely few days we have had, weather-wise.  Sunny, horizon to horizon glorious blue sky, mild, cheering.  Shame about today - freezing cold and chucking with rain.  Can't have it all, I guess.

Yesterday was fantastic.  Such a great day at the museum, the children were marvellous, the parents had all made superb efforts to dress their children up, provide them with 'Victorian' lunches (loads of brown paper in evidence) and not only were the coaches on time, there was also plenty of room!  Woohoo!

And now, school work all ready and prepared, I need to get myself sorted.  Have a great day and stay warm, wherever you are.

Wednesday 26 February 2014


Good morning.
With the sleeping patterns slowly reverting to normal I am back to my 'awake but sleepy' state and intend to have coffee with caffeine this morning (bad me).  We're off on our trip to Braintree Museum this morning and I need to be awake and with it!

That's about it really - I must get my 'Victorian lunch' made and wrapped (in paper).  The things I do for my work!!!

Have a good day.

Tuesday 25 February 2014


It's Tuesday, it's outdoor PE day and so, of course, it is chucking it down with rain.  I don't think we have had more than two outdoor PE lessons since Christmas.  It's a right pain as the ought to be getting their 'games' lessons but also because one has to plan in another lesson which isn;t quite as easy as it sounds.  Fortunately, today I do know what they can do instead.

It's not me that delivers those lessons, of course, as Tuesday is coordinator day and then PPA.  I'm thankful for the time as there's a lot to do before the trip tomorrow.

It was really lovely to see my littlies yesterday morning.  Everyone was in so I guess the bugs that have more than decimated my class have finally taken flight.  They were so excited that they could play on the school field: it's been a quagmire most of winter and they have had to satisfy themselves with the playground and the adventure playground so to have the run of the field was truly thrilling.  Of course, it is raining again now!

Mean teacher pointed out that they are now officially halfway through year 1 and the expectations are greater.  I then set them quite a challenging task for their diaries and, bless them, they rose to the occasion magnificently.  In the afternoon we talked about tomorrow's trip and then about the theme for the half term.  At one point someone mentioned about 'getting the cane' so I acted it out with one boy (after emphasising that I was just acting) but I must have done too good a job because he was most reluctant to hold out his hand for a pretend whack and looked positively frightened!!  I think the reward of a housepoint was adequate compensation though, as he looked very pleased afterwards.

Better go and dry my hair now.  I need to be in as early as possible as there's a lot to do and little time to do it.

Monday 24 February 2014


The holiday is now completely over, done, past and finished.  It's been a lovely week but all good things . . . etc.

I like this half term's theme:  It's history based, a but undefined, just about life in the past.  We chose to focus on Victorian life and have a jolly good time looking at olden days things, learning olden days songs and games and so on.  It's the last time we will do this these due to the changes in the curriculum from September so I intend to enjoy it.

I made a souper soup yesterday so I've shared it on TsRs.  Then, in the interest of clearing the freezer a bit, I dug out some tea loaf for dessert and jolly tasty it was too.  Tea loaf is easy and unorogonal, although one can put ones own slant on it with the use of alternative dried fruits, spices, etc.  I think I'm going to try it using some fruit tea instead of 'proper' tea.  That could be tasty.  I'll dig out the basic recipe and post it on TsRs.

Well, better go and do the other blog and then have a bath and get ready.  Back in at the deep end!!

Sunday 23 February 2014


Ooops - woke up at around seven thirty.  Tomorrow is going to be an awful shock and I MUST remember to set the alarm or I shall be in trouble.

We've had rain overnight.  The patio is wet and it's somewhat overcast at present, but never mind, BBC weather tells me that it's likely to be dry and overcast today while Cambridgeshire gets any rain going the rounds.  I can live with that.

Yesterday was OK.  George turned up and the garden now looks a whole lot better.  Things have been dug up, moved around, cut right back and swept tidy.  Good for George!

I looked up recipes galore and made a version of French onion soup which was extremely scrummy and delicious.  Now I am trying to decide whether to make a soup for lunch or to have beans on toast.  I think I will check the state of the vegetables because soup does sound very nice indeed.  I have quite a lot of peppers so maybe a roasted red pepper soup would be a way to go.  I shall ponder on it!

Today I have to get things ready for school which is such a shame.  It's been a restful, gentle week with no great excitements, just what I needed, in fact.  I'm very much looking forward to seeing my children again after a week without them.  It's strange - I always feel like that over the half terms and short end of terms but not in the long summer term.  Perhaps it is because then I have mentally handed them on to their next teacher but don't know the new ones all that well.  Whatever the reason, it will be lovely tomorrow.

Now I'm off to look up some roasted red pepper soup recipes.  Fun!

Saturday 22 February 2014


I need to get my act together.  This last week I have been waking later and later and today it was just after seven o'clock when my eyes opened.  That's shocking and Monday is going to be a bit like hard work first thing in the morning.  It's quite nice to wake in the daylight though.

I had a lovely time with a friend last night.  We had a good chat and ate well.  I've posted the recipe on TsRs - not one of mine but a Delia never fails recipe.  I have some left over for today which is great!

As for today, I really ought to go into school and sort a few things out and perhaps I will.  First, though, George is round for the first time in a month or so.  What with the bad weather and him getting some occasional Saturday work, the garden hasn't benefited from his ministrations for some time.  I have a Little List!

No bread this Saturday - I have plenty in the freezer.  A shame because I feel like making bread but one must be sensible.  I will make some Saturday Soup though, for tomorrow's lunch.

Friday 21 February 2014


Good afternoon, gentle readers!  Sorry this is so late.  I wish I could say it's because I have been usefully occupied but it isn't, not really.  Never mind, it's been a good lazy time!

I have a friend coming round for a meal tonight so I've been kitchen creating.  I've made a white chocolate mousse which is OK and I'm in the middle of making a favourite from Delia, Chicken Basque.  It's a one pot and involves things like chicken, sun dried tomatoes, red peppers, chorizo, paprika, olives, rice, etc.  I also add some mushroom and some peas because they're nice.  As it's a one pot that's it, nothing more to do.  It's not a posh meal, just a chance to catch up over a plateful and a glass or two.

Now I need to reduce my living room to some sort of order as it's a bit superficially messy at the moment.  Oh, the hardship!

Thursday 20 February 2014


It's amazing how quickly this week is going.  Two more days left and they are filled with stuff.  Mostly self imposed stuff, to be fair, but even so.

I have decided I was to do things with my bedroom.  I can't have the units out and the whole thing redone, that would be silly and wasteful as they are not that old, but I could make better use of what I have got.  For a start, now I have much better storage in the blue room, I could put a fair amount of stuff in there and, in fact, all the cupboards really need a total clear out.  To do that I need to create a mess and as i sleep in there it can't be so much of a mess that I can't clear it each evening.  I must be very dim, it only occurred to me this week that I could sleep in the blue room and then I could do a complete and thorough job in my room.

Once that's all sorted, I want to have a table taken out (it's built in so needs doing properly), the walls stripping and possibly replastering, the ceiling de-artexed and the floor redoing, probably wooden flooring and a rug or two like the blue room, but I will have a good think about that one as I do like carpets. I think I want the walls painted, not papered (using pong-free paint this time - I have learnt my lesson from the blue room redecorating) and, to finish it off, new curtains and new bedding (perhaps, although that would be a luxury).  Oh, and for good reasons that are too complicated to go into now, I want a built-in headboard with integral lights (is that the right term).

And it would be nice if it could be done over the Easter fortnight but, if not, whenever.  I want to got this right.

Oh, and I want new curtains for the blue room - I have an idea of what I want but need to take a trip to Chelford Fabrics in Gamlingay.  Oh, the hardship!

I know that they say about the best laid plans (or, reading back, in this case it is 'wants'), but I can dream!

Wednesday 19 February 2014


And I'm home after a couple of delightful days with my mum and dad.  We didn't do much really.  Beth and Alex came over for lunch yesterday which was lovely.  Most of all we talked and talked and talked!

Now I'm home and it is quiet and solitory and I love that too.  I'm lucky!

Tuesday 18 February 2014

Tuesday eveing

Today I went with Dad to our favourite butcher's shop.  Yes, Beth, I know what I said but . . .

Anyway, half way through my order I asked if he had any chicken bones for stock.  He went out the back and came back in with a huge bag of carcass bits with really quite a bit of meat still on.  No leg bones, etc, just the 'central' bits, but wow - and they were free!!!  Chicken soup, here I come.

I also asked for some brisket and he rolled and tied a whole piece and then cut off what I wanted.  It was interesting to watch.

Now I have to find room in the freezer but I have plenty for Sunday family dinners to come!


. . . and it has been raining again.  As if we hadn't already had enough.  However, at least it has been mild, even with the bedroom windows open.  I am minded of the dire warnings we had about snow, blizzards and more snow around November time and realise that a drop of a few degrees and we would likely have had that.  Certainly there's been enough precipitation.  However, the USA got it all instead.  Neither is what you would call nice weather but I wonder which those who have suffered do badly from flooding would have chosen.  As it is, it looks as if we will actually have absolutely no snow whatsoever this year.

Holidays are nice.  I'm enjoying this one no end.  I hope you're having a pleasant time too.

Monday 17 February 2014


Wasn't yesterday gorgeous?  It was here.  Sunny and so mild I was able to leave the French windows open and air the downstairs of the house.  It was almost mild enough to sit out (well wrapped up in a cardigan and boot style slippers!).

I was so lazy again too.  I idled my time away instead of getting on with chores.  The bread rolls were scrummy so I will work it up to a recipe and post it on TsRs which has been sadly neglected in recent weeks.  I did get a whole load of washing done so there's now a whole load of ironing waiting my attention.  It won't be long before I can put the drying rack outside, if the weather goes on like this.

Dinner was good.
I cooked the pork (shoulder) in my slow cooker.  I made a bed of veg with the trinity of flavours, carrot, onion and celery and laid the pork on top (it almost didn't fit).  Over that I poured some cider and added a pork stock cube.  That was it really.  It cooked on low all through the night and the next morning I turned it up to high (which isn't very high at all).  The pork was delicious, full of flavour and also melt in the mouth which is how I like my meat.  I can't cope with 'chewy' meat.  The stock was also very flavoursome - some made a lovely gravy and the rest is now in the freezer, covering three pots of single portion leftover meat.  Given that Dave and Alex both had enough meat for two portions, I had one and there's three good portions still to be had, that was pretty good pickings from a (reduced) £5.00 joint!
I would have popped the vegetables in with the roast potatoes to crisp up but they were cooked in meat and I was catering for a vegetarian.
The Yorkhires also rose a treat and there were three left over so thay are also in the freezer now - so that's three roast dinners as leftovers.  Can't grumble!

While I was preparing the roasties I decided to do extra as I have run out of  roasties in the freezer.  After parboiling, I lay the extras out on some easy-leave to cool, dredged them with flour, open froze them and then bagged them up in the evening.  It's so much easier than preparing them from scratch, especially for just one person.

Today?  When, who knows.  Ironing, for sure.  I love the holidays.

Sunday 16 February 2014


Good morning!  Do you like the new photo at the top?  Earlier on in the week I was leaving the house for school and, as I always do, looked left to enjoy the country view.  It's a westward view so the sun was rising the other side of the horizon and was just high enough to touch the trees in the distance and the grounh on the edge of the horizon.  I dashed back in to find my camera as that sort of light is very transient and can disappear in just seconds.  I have to say, I do like the zoom on my camera.  The photo below is the view without zooming in.

Yesterday, as I anticipated, was a lovely, lazy, lounging about sort of day.  The sun was shining, there was quite a strong wind but nothing dangerous, a few heavy showers but nothing too long and some nice chilled white in the evening.  A very enjoyable way to start the half term break.

I did go out into the garden to try to take some photos of the snowdrops but I was singularly unsuccessful.  I will maybe have another go this morning, on different settings.  I did, however, manage to get a lovely shot of the purple sprouting broccoli which is nearly ready to start picking.

Today I have son, daughter and grandson round for lunch.  There's some pork slow cooking in the slow cooker (as it the way of these things) and I will do with it a fairly traditional Sunday roast - roasties, yorkshires (oh yes, they go with just about anything) and some veg.  I have no idea about dessert - maybe a rice pudding or a chocolate sponge and custard or maybe nothing at all!

After yesterday's successful bread baking in the halogen, todayt i am trying rolls and, to make them more interesting I added smoked paprika to the dough and folded in some grated cheese.  The dough is now rising (in a bowl on the radiator, seeing as it's on) and should be ready for knocking back and proving pretty soon.  I hope they're nice.

Saturday 15 February 2014


The alarm is off.  I woke at stupid o'clock, of course.  I'm down, have made fresh coffee (oh, the aroma) and had something to eat.  I can feel the sleepy waves coming closer and closer and in a while I shall go back up and have more sleep.  I don't care what time I wake up today.  It doesn't matter.

Then I shall potter.  There's reading on the list today.  Reading, making bread, reading, watching dvds, reading, sleeping, making or sorting out Sunday lunch - stuff like that.  No planning!!!!  Oh, did I mention reading?

I gather it was quite a night but I didn't notice.  Hearing aids out = total ignorance of any tornado/hurricane/lashing rain.  From what I can see through the dark the garden looks fine.  All the plant pots are upright and the shed roof seems to be intact.  I'm thankful for a sheltered garden.

Yesterday was rain, rain, rain all day long.  The poor children were stuck in all day but they coped remarkably well.  I thought there would be explosions, especially as it was 'wacky dressing up day' and they came in looking - er - colourful!  They were OK however, all the work got finished and they were rewarded with some extra Golden Time in the afternoon!  Nice.

And now it's half term.  Well, I suppose strictly speaking half term doesn't start until Monday but I don't care - nine days of no alarm and staying in my favourite place (home) all day is bliss.  It's even better because my lovely Lenka worked her usual magic yesterday so I don't even have to feel guilty that I'm not doing housework.  What more could an ageing teacher ask for, eh?

Have a great day and I hope that you have not had a bad time with the bad weather.

Friday 14 February 2014


The last day before nine days of no alarm (not that I even need it but you know what I mean), getting up early and going back to bed when the tiredness hits (bliss with bells on) and generally slouching about doing not very much at all - how I love PJ days!.

Of course I have my List.  I always have a List.  It's not terribly long at present but it will grow!  At the moment it looks like this:
Tidy bedroom
Sort out freezers
Sort out fridge
Catch up with washing and ironing.
In fact it is exactly the same as the List at the start of every holiday.  I have plenty of black bin bags which is a good start anyway.  I suspect the freezer bit will involve a certain amount of chucking out of unidentifiable packages of stuff that lurk in comparative safely right down at the bottom.  I am also sure that it will involve a certain amount of conversion of raw frozen into cooked and re-frozen.  It's nice to think I will have the time.

Enough dreaming - back to now things.  Yesterday I was off at a morning course with the headteacher.  It was all about the imminent changes in SEN except that the more I listened, the more I realised that we won't actually have to do a terribly huge amount and it will all be on paper.  Our provision won't need to change at all - well, it won't be able to change unless the LEA get their skates on and 'offer' more in the way of provision, funding, resources, expertise, etc.  Will they?  Well, look out for those flying pigs.

That sounds as if I am not grateful for the wonderful specialist support teachers who come in to assess, advise and generally help.  I am, I think they are wonderful and if one is reading (as I think she does occasionally), we really appreciate you!!!

What really puzzled me was how it was all flagged up as huge changes, will make a lot more work, etc.  Certainly there are changes.  Certainly there will be some work.  However, I don't think we are unusual in always seeking to improve our provision within some fairly strict limits, always doing our best to keep up with initiatives, always monitoring planning and delivery of appropriately levelled work, always trying to make best use of adults in the classroom, etc.
I can't for the life of me see why these changes are so radical.  They're not!  Perhaps I will get a shock when the new CoP for SEND comes out in April though.
Oh - and I am so glad that I have kept our SEN policy up to date because an awful lot of that can go into our 'offer' (don't ask why the silly name!!!!).

Mind you, the timing is extraordinarily bad.  You'd have thought 'they' would have avoided imposing two such changes on schools at the very same time.  Schools are (or should be) up to their eyes in organising the huge changes in the national curriculum (and they are huge) and another big change ('they' think it is a big change anyway) at the same time is sheer bad management.  Why am I not surprised???

Thursday 13 February 2014


I am so sorry I missed the morning post.  I did mean to, but I woke extremely early, pootled around a bit, went back to bed, slept, woke comparatively late and remembered I had a supply as I was out on a SEN update thingy so it was all go!!!

Fingers crossed for tomorrow!!!

Wednesday 12 February 2014


. . . and, hopefully, by lunchtime today we can relax as if we haven't had The Phoncall by then it won't happen this week.  That's the perceived wisdom anyway!

I love my Kindle.  I was browsing through the freebies on Amazon and found the complete Forsyte Saga, five 'Katy' books, the 'Little Women set' and the 'Anne books' all free and for gratis!  That will keep me in nostalgic easy reading over half term!

Yesterday was a very busy day.  With my class, meeting, paperwork from meeting, dealing with something, paperwork from dealing with something, loadsa photocopying . . .
It's just as well next week is half term so I can catch up on what I was supposed to be doing yesterday which was lesson planning.  Ah well, at least I am up to date with my marking and work in books, which is amazing.  There will be no panic before parents' evening this year - not that sort of panic anyway.

Today is with my class all day, yay!  Shame about the staff meeting after school but one cannot have everything, can one?

And now I must get ready for school.

Tuesday 11 February 2014


 . . . and here we are yet again at coordinator and PPA day, the day when I have my little ones until playtime.  I got a bit of a surprise when I looked out just now.  I'd had my window on tilt and turn but, because there was no wind, the bedroom didn't feel that cold, certainly not cold enough for a frost.  However, frost there is.  It's nice to see a bit of winter sparkle, especially as it looks as if that's the most sparkle we will get round here this winter!  Ho hum.

Yesterday was kinda busy (as Mondays usually are).  It started with a very good violin lesson (occasionally they now sound vaguely musical which is good for a whole class of five year olds), diary was super with its focus on full stops and capital letters, maths - not so bad and in the afternoon the first group edited their still life photo which caused huge excitement all round.

Today is the weekly coordinator time and PPA day and there's a great long list of Things To Do which will take me all my time.  A and I also have a list of stuff, interesting stuff to be getting on with influding finalising arrangements for the visit to braintree Museum just after half term.  All jolly good fun!

And now I had better go and get bathed and dressed.  I've just looked out again (wrote the above much earlier), the sparkle has all gone and it's looking dull and gloomy.  Outdoor PE is very much in doubt (yet again) today!

Ah, well . . .

Monday 10 February 2014


Good morning, welcome to a new week.  Yesterday was rather nice with plenty of sun and not too much rain.  I stayed inside most of the day, pottering in the kitchen and creating an almighty mess which I will need to clear out before I go to school.

I'm still chuffed to discover that Handy Andy will bake my small amounts of bread just as well as my oven does.  It's nice to discover something that is frugal all the way round.  I'm not sure I will bother to use it for the rising and proving unless I'm in a bit of a rush (in which case I am unlikely to make bread!) but I will certainly use it for the baking part from now on unless the oven is naturally on for something else.

The planning is all done, the resources are more or less made for today (must take a last look at the maths though) and I am ready.  With all the focus on OFSTED at the moment, I can't help a slightly sick feeling every morning which is not good but perfectly natural (I think).  However, I am aware that I am going on about it far too much so I will shut up now.

I'm looking forward to this afternoon when I teach my class some simple photo editing techniques and let the loose on my laptop (which has Photoshop Elements installed).  I think they will enjoy it.  I certainly will!

And now I am off to get breakfast - some apple crumble granola made yesterday with a good dollop of natural yogurt on the top.  Nice!

Have a good day and fingers crossed it is sunny and not too windy!

Sunday 9 February 2014

Two recipes

Just to let my readers know I have posted about a couple of recipes (or ideas) on Ts Rs:

Halogen bread

Jack's apple crumble granola

Please do take a look if you're interested.

It worked

. . . the bread and Handy Andy, I mean.  OK, so I could have taken longer and let the bread rise and prove in its own time, but sometimes you want it done a bit faster.

I had already found that the wash/defrost setting on my halogen oven was a bit too hot but that about half way between off and that setting was just about right.   I didn't really time it but the rising was definitely faster and the proving too, and the loaf rose evenly in the loaf tin and didn't bulge over the side.
It smells good too!

I'm going to have another go but this time, instead of baking in the oven, I will then take off the cling film cover, whack up the heat in Handy Andy and see how well it bakes that way.

Usually I like to put a loaf into a very hot oven and immediately turn the heat down to about 180.  That won't be possible but - well, I will see.

There's enough room to do two loaves in my loaf tins, side by side, but I will just do one again as an experiment.  Unless it is a total and absolute failure (which it won't be) there will be no waste anyway.

Saturday and Sunday

I seem to have missed yesterday's entry.  Ooops.  Not really sure why but it could be because Friday night was very disturbed with some nasty tummy cramps that resulted in lack of sleep and a lot of tension - as when you tense against the pain.  I've found that the best thing is to stretch out as much as you can whereas instinct wants you to curl up.  Anyway, forget the details, I had a bad night.  The next day (yesterday) Alex was over and he was full of cold and quite subdued so I was happy to snooze as he mooched around and also rested quite a lot.  Last night was much better and I slept soundly all through.

Wasn't it a windy night though - It still is fairly windy but it's dry at the moment.  yesterday was sunny and windy and raining heavily, sometimes all together, and I was glad I didn't have to go out.

Today I am trying something out.  A while a go, Diane (I love her blog) realised that her oven could be used as a proving oven.  I tested the temperature on mine but the lowest I could get was too high.  Diane suggested that I try my halogen oven and that seems to be better so I am having a go this morning.  Just one little loaf, 250g of flour, so if it doesn't work there's none wasted.  We will see.

The rest of the day is timetabled for washing, drying, ironing, planning, resource making and a general tidy up - all the stuff I should have done yesterday but didn't feel up to.  Ah, well!

Friday 7 February 2014


Not with my class a.m. (PPA catch up time and a very, very important meeting - which went well).  Children very noisy and -er - well, noisy!
Wet lunch time, children stuck inside.

I expected a right afternoon session but, praise be, I had a challenge for them, to make a poster promoting books to go with our Book Fair with real, worth having, prizes.  A token worth £5.00 to spend at the book fair.
After a noisy start I had them back on the carpet, pointed out that their work is much better quality when they concentrate and sent them back to work in silence for quite a long time (their choice).  Phew, much more peaceful.  And the posters were brilliant.  One or two might possibly be on track to win something and all of them are worth laminating and placing around our book area.  Result!!

And afternoon play was also wet, very wet, but we are gradually working our way through Finding Nemo on wet playtimes so all was sweetness and light.

Can't complain, can I?  Maybe my class management isn't so bad.

Thursday 6 February 2014


When the wind is howling round the chimney pots (or what passes for chimney pots around here) and the rain is hammering against the windows, it's at times like that I am very grateful for the disability of poor hearing!  Once the old aids are out nothing aural keeps me awake.  I doubt even the fire alarm would have much impact which maybe isn't such a Good Thing, but there you go, I take the rough with the smooth.
The forecast for the weekend is dire so I suspect it will be curtains drawn, heating on!

Yesterday was both rough and smooth.  I'd love to go back to the good old days when you did your best in your work and no-one interfered.  Will those times ever come back again, I wonder?  Not in my working life anyway.  It makes me feel very sad.  I really don't want to be driven to retire in this way.  I want to go when I feel I am ready, not because I have failed (or feel I have failed).

The smooth was that we had a grand, albeit noisy, session with still life and digital photography.  We had a really good time, lots of laughs and far too much noise really, but never mind.
I have no idea whether OFSTED would say that progress has been 'outstanding' but it was fun and I bet the children will remember it!  I know I will.

Today is meeting, meeting, teaching.  Groovy!!!

Wednesday 5 February 2014


It looks a bit wild and woolly out there at the moment and it's been a chilly night.  I like to have the bedroom window a little bit open (fresh air, tilt and turn and all that) and usually it's not an issue in terms of room temperature but when there's a wind you really notice it.  I woke very early and it felt very cold so I popped a cover over the duvet which did the trick nicely.  I then went back to sleep and had a weirdest dream about parents coming to pick up their children because the 'air was returning from within the cliffs' (what cliffs?????), meaning a big freeze was coming and the school was closing.  I was just thinking 'well, nobody told ME!' when I woke up, toasty warm and rather Day-After-Tomorrow-ish!!!
Cold cliffs?????
(borrowed from Google Images)
We finished the interviews yesterday and, for once, found it easy to choose as there were some very strong applicants.  We all felt really good about the choices we made, which bodes well for the future.  There's definitely a technique to interviewing which involves making the applicant feel at ease, making it clear that you are listening to them by little nods, smiles, encouraging noises, etc, not to mention remaining focused and able to remember the replies.   I really enjoy it but it's a lot more tiring than you would think and I was worn out by the time I got home.

Now I am back with my class and I am so looking forward to today.  Literacy, maths, other bits and bobs and photography!  Yay!  Shame about the staff meeting after school but one can't have everything, can one, however much one would like to!

And it is past six o'clock so I must think about bathing and dressing and making sure I am ready on time because there's a fair bit to do today!

Tuesday 4 February 2014


Well, after a long silence (it felt like a long time anyway), I seem to be back properly, thank goodness.  it was my wireless thingy playing up and once I had turned it off, left it for 20 minutes or so and turned it back on again, I was back in business.

Yesterday was interesting.  I was out of class, helping to interview for some LSA posts.  I do like interviewing, you get some interesting perspectives on things that perhaps you have taken for granted.  The interviews are carrying on today and I am looking forward to it.

After roasting a chicken over the weekend, I've had the carcass glooping away in my slow cooker for a couple of days.  Long and slow makes the most wonderful stock that is perfect as a soup or a drink so I'm looking forward to supper tonight.  It makes the house smell rather good too.

Yesyterday was a long, long day and today looks like being the same.  So why am I up and bouncing at well before four o'clock.  I think I might go back to bed soon and see if I can catch a couple more hours of shut-eye.  That would be good, fingers crossed.

Monday 3 February 2014

Sunday (update)

This is what I prepared on Saturday evening for posting on Sunday.  Unfortunately, by Sunday, my internet connection had gone doolally so I couldn't post.  Really annoying and a most isolating feeling.
I could have posted today at school but it was one of those terribly busy days with no time to do anything but a brief message to say I was having problems.

Anyway - imagine you are reading the rest on Sunday morning - OK?

Well, I woz rong!  Yesterday turned out to be gorgeously sunny more or less all day and it was a very pleasant start to the day going into town to pick up my parcel which was a replacement measuring cup for my thermomix.  Diane - if your mc has gone all cracky and funny, it's a fault in the material and if you get in touch with your rep, she (or he) will organise to replace it free of charge.

After picking up the parcel I mooched around a bargain shop whose name escapes me right now and picked up some toiletries cheaper than usual plus some porridge for when we do LBTL.  Then I went next door to Matalan and browsed because I haven't been there for ages.  I bought some undies and then, great find, some high sided, smallish lasagne dishes of a kind I have been looking for for ages.  I bought two, then I can make Sunday lasagnes for me, Beth and Alex, one vegetarian and the other with meat.  The only problem is that I am not sure where to put them but I'll solve that one somehow.

After arriving back home I was called out on an emergency dash to Beth's which turned out not to be an emergency in the end so that was good.  What wasn't so good was that I went the Writtle way to Beth's, only to be greeted by floods outside Writtle Ag and a great big long line of traffic.  It wasn't so deep that I couldn't have got through but I didn't want to risk it as the car is pretty old and occasionally lets in water underneath.  So I waited until I was able to turn but then, on the other route, got stuck behind cyclists.  Oh, well, that's life!!!

While all that was going on, ingredients for a romesco sauce were slowly simmering away in my slow cooker and the results are great so I've posted about it on Teacher's Recipes.  Once properly home I cracked on with my bread dough and I heated some of the soup I made earlier on in the week which is extremely delicious.  I had already posted the recipe on TsRs and here's the link to it.

While I was at Beth's I took some Kitty Pix so I'll be delighting you with them for the next few entries, I think!
I'm glad I'd set the camera on sport or this would have just been a blurred mess!

I particularly love this one!


Sorry, folks, problems with my internet connection.  I'll be back as soon as I can.

Saturday 1 February 2014


. . . and what a wed, cold, dismal Saturday morning it is too.  The most dismal thing is that I have to go into town to pick up a parcel, so no comforting pj day for me today.  What a pain.
Borrowed from Google Images.
I shall make it up with some kitchen stuff.  I need to make some more bread as I took the last one out of the freezer the other day.  Diane - I tested my ovens with the oven thermometer but the lowest I could manage was too high for a proving oven, sadly.  Never mind.  I also want to have a bash at Jack Monroe's Romesco sauce which is a slow cooker recipe, because it sounds good.  If it's as good as it sounds, I shall get out some of the pasta I made the other week (without egg) to have with some of the sauce.

I also have to pop a chicken into brine for tomorrow's roast dinner, to be halogen roasted as that's simply the best way to roast a chicken.  I will then have some leftovers for teas next seek and a carcass to slow boil to make some of that absolutely wonderful soup.

As it's raining so much, George won't be over to do his hour of fantasticness in my garden.  A shame but there's hardly enough work to fill an hour at the moment anyway so I shall count that as money saved and pop it in the savings jar.

Right, well, I'd better shuffle off into the kitchen to sort out breakfast and get the romesco sauce into the slow cooker.  I think I might treat myself to a pot of proper coffee - the kind with real caffeine!  Mmmmmmm.