Monday 30 June 2014


Yet another Monday comes round, this and one more to go, plus a Tuesday, and school will be out.
It's lovely and sunny at the moment but it was a cool night.  I was glad to snuggle under the quilt to stay warm.

Yesterday was an OK day.  I baked six little loaves of bread, gave three of them to Beth and demolished half of one myself for tea as it was pretty delicious.  Lunch was nice.  There were home/allotment grown potatoes, broad beans and runner beans (from last year, frozen) and Beth had home made chick pea and apricot curry while Al and I had chicken pie (NOT home made).  All very scrummy and filling.

Earlier in the day I planted those three little tomato plants in the bed and sowed some more carrot seeds, the packet assuring me that it certainly was not too late, so fingers crossed.

Then Beth and I settled to watch 'Frozen' which Beth has never seen and I went to sleep!  When I woke up everything was muffled and it took me a while to realise that one of my hearing aid batteries had died.  It bleeps at me, you see, but I must have been very asleep!

I felt very tired for the rest of the day and went to bed pretty early, thankful that I can!

And now it is today!

Sunday 29 June 2014


I have often mentioned that I sit here and watch the sunrise as shown by the shadows that gradually retreat on the walls of the houses I can see through my smallest window.  You see, I have a south-ish facing garden and the sun rises to the front/side of the house where I can't see it.  This is what I see.

I took it this morning, from the garden, zoomed a bit, but it is the view I get.  To the right of the photo is the road and then countryside and to the left is the rest of the estate.  I love watching the shadows go as the sun takes ownership of the day but not so much when the shadows fight back and the sun vanished again, as has happened this morning.

It has been raining overnight so that saves me a watering job.  I did the growhouse tomatoes last night so they will be OK.  The place is virtually bursting to the seams and it makes me wish I had the room, the skill and the time for a proper greenhouse.  However, I don't, so the growhouse is a great half way solution!

As I have mentioned before, I am growing tomatoes for all three of us this year, me, Beth and Alex, so I am delighted that the outside tomatoes are coming on a real treat.  Six plants should give me plenty of fruit and I'm feeding them now as the first trusses are showing.

The veg bed is looking a bit thin on the ground but the space is for leeks and broccoli when it is the right time for Beth to get them over to me.  The carrots ( seen through the runner beans) aren't doing so well and I think a cat is doing some damage as one of the plastic labels has been dislodged and is in the middle of the bed.  I need to sow some more seed and just hope it isn't too late.  The corn in the background seems to have decided to stay and is now starting to send up new growth so maybe that will be OK.
I have three smaller tomato plants that are refusing to die so I think I might pop them in the bed along one side and just see what happens to them.  After all, you can't have too many tomatoes, can you?

The flowers are OK.  Sometimes I think they are all a bit of a muddle and sometimes I like the random look.  I need to be more organised.  I'm not sure the crocosmia is really in the right place, the bright red is a jarring colour amid the mostly blues, pinks and lilacs and they do grow so very tall.  I know I wanted tall but . . .   I'm starting to think I might have them out in the Autumn and perhaps pop them either in a large pot so that they can go into a shady corner, or round the front where it is out of direct sunlight for more than half of the day.  Oh, I'm hopeless at making decisions.

The green and aromatic bed has a new focus as the grass in the middle sends up its flowers.  That adds height too but it works because the various greens are in harmony.  The red you can see is the tomato food bottle (ooops), not a flower.

Sorry, I know I am going on about the garden a lot and it's not as if it is a particularly interesting or sizeable garden but there's not a lot of interest going on at school right now apart from sorting stuff out and paperwork, endless, overwhelming paperwork!!!  When I started teaching it was totally the other extreme: very little accountability and hardly any paperwork at all.  I'm not sure we even did reports, I don't remember them anyway.  Things had to change and they did but it is now totally to the opposite extreme and equally stupid.

Still - just three weeks to go.  Three weeks minus one day as next Monday (not tomorrow) the Tour de France is coming right past us, actually on that road I mentioned above.  All the roads round here will be closed and no-one will be able to get anywhere.  Well, I could get to school because it's just down the bottom of the road, but hardly anyone else will and it also affects a goodly number of pupils as we have a lot of out of catchment children who come by car.  So school is closed that day!  
Sad, innit?

Saturday 28 June 2014


I forgot to say, my new microwave arrived yesterday.  It's the same make as the dead one (because it suits me, it's a Bosch, it's just the right size, right price, etc) so I've just realised I will have a spare - oh, what do you call it? - the glass thing that goes round? - turntable!!!  Not that I've ever had an accident with a turntable before but you never know.  I'm sure I shall sleep sounder at night knowing I have a spare.  Yes, definitely I will!  :-)
Here it is!

Saturday . . .

. . . and the end of a frantically busy week with loads going on and very little spare time for non-essentials (like teaching??? - no, not really, that still had to be done too).  There's still a couple of thing on my 'aaarrrggghhh' list but I think I can see my way through them OK now.

So, yesterday.  The morning was wall to wall meetings.  I really shouldn't have tried to fit in two meetings in one morning but we managed and even had time for a coffee and a relax in between.  They were very good meetings too.  Helpful and informative.

Then in the afternoon I bustled around getting the relevant paperwork for the meetings amended, corrected and sent off to the LEA.  After that I had a good blitz of my mountain of 'stuff' which is now all in filing pockets ready to go into the appropriate file today.  Yes, I'm off into school this afternoon for several hours of work which should make the place look very, very different, I hope.  It's a pain but it will make the place look very, very different and a lot less stressful so it is worth the time.

After that, apart from planning, that's it for the weekend, I reckon!  Phew!

As I was doing the early morning watering I found these in the grow house - it shouldn't be long before some of the others get the idea too and, hey presto, tomatoes galore!  I feel quite excited about it!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Friday 27 June 2014


Was there a storm last night, I wonder?  I ask because I went to bed (and to sleep - yay) very early last night and I never hear anything once my hearing aids are out, but the ground was wet this morning.  I ummed and ahed about my early morning watering before deciding that I would.  I'm glad I did because I saw this little fellow.
Yes - my first runner bean!  Isn't it cute?

And I am really glad I planted some more beans where I killed the original ones because they're growing up strongly (albeit rather nibbled in places) so I should get a crop from them.  They're way behind the rest, of course, but never mind.

Sports Afternoon yesterday went really well.  The sun shone but there was a refreshing breeze, the children were happy, the adults were happy - what more could one ask?  There were a few tumbles, inevitably, but no disasters and no glaring gaps in the organisation thereof!  Phew!  As always, the year sixes were splendid, explaining the activities, scoring them, cheering the children on as well as helping to keep scores up to date and giving out programmes at the gate, etc . . . we couldn't do it without them, that's for sure!  That's another one ticked off the list.

Two meetings this morning.  Darn it!  Too too many as I'm stiff and weary - all afternoon walking around was not that good for my knee and ankle (yes, I am an old crock!!) and I might not be that cheerful, but never mind!  We will get there in the end and there's always ibuprofen or the equivalent.

I am hoping no emergencies come up and that I can sort out and file loads of paperwork and get loads of other paperwork sent off and ticked off.  Fingers crossed.

Thursday 26 June 2014


The days don't get any easier at the moment but working with such fantastic colleagues helps more than I can say.  Yesterday was unrelenting but we all survived.

Thank you to everyone for your responses to my bug photo.    Maybe I will see another one at some point.  At the moment I am battling blackfly and am definitely using bug stuff not weed stuff.

Yesterday some perennials I ordered were delivered.  One was a blue 'poppy', one was a Japanese anemone and the last was an 'everlasting' flower.  All perennials so I will leave them in the pots they arrived in while I decide where to plant them.  I think they will be lovely!

Today - well, it is sports day so things will be very busy and hectic and I will be glad when the afternoon is over.  I think I have planned everything but you never know, do you!

Fingers crossed.

Now to water the garden!

Wednesday 25 June 2014


Atishoo, atishoo, atishoo!  Better get the tablet down me!

I went out the water the garden and that's the result.  With both humidity and pollen count quite high, it's all a bit overwhelming but I am very thankful that it is not like this all summer and that cooler, more comfortable weather will come along.  I'm also thankful for the sun!

Yesterday was - well, yesterday.  I think I am almost ready for Sports Day, the paperwork just needs polishing up a bit and staff meeting shouldn't be too challenging this evening.  So why am I not sleeping?  It's ridiculous.

While watering the garden yesterday I saw this little chap.  Does anyone know what it is?

He was very polite and stood absolutely still on the hose while I took some photos.  I think that if you click on the photo it will enlarge.

Better go, I need to be off soon.  Have a pleasant day, everyone.

Tuesday 24 June 2014


It's gorgeously sunny and fresh this morning and has obviously been raining so no need to water the garden.  Sun by day and rain by night sounds just perfect, doesn't it?

I'm afraid yesterday was pretty stressful all day, mostly because of stuff that I know is going to take for ever and which HAS to be done this week.  I stayed in school late and got about half done and I am just hoping that today I can finish the rest.  That, together with Infant Sports Day on Thursday, is just about sending me crazy right now.  Thank goodness for coordinator time and PPA time today.

Still, the garden is a delight.  Not that it is anything brilliant but it's always full of promise and it's very relaxing.
The crocosmia has started flowering . . .

The freebie begonias are coming up . . .

The raindrops have freshened everything . . .

What more could a girl ask for?

Monday 23 June 2014


Back to school today and I can feel the stress levels rising as I get ready.  Thank goodness the end of the school year is in sight.

Yesterday was a very pleasant day.  I had a good chat to Beth who brought round some of her lovely new potatoes.  She said they've been very good this year.  I think next week it will be rhubarb and broad beans - I do hope so, I love them!  It's a fair exchange because each week I make three loaves for her and when the tomatoes come, we will be sharing them.

I'm in a bit of a rush now so will have to stop but I will be back tomorrow.

Sunday 22 June 2014


It was another good day yesterday.  The sun shone, it was warm but not baking hot and there was movement in the air.  Today looks like being similar - I do hope so.  At the moment it is cool but not chilly, the sun has risen and is travelling across the roofs of the houses I can see from my window and birds are singing their wingtips off!  Oh, and I'm sneezing.  Where's the tablets?

The June Fair was great.  The infants galloped their way through their dance, finishing it to great cheers from all the parents.  Andrea and I were on the gate which was great because a) we could sit down, b) it was half in shade for a while and c) we got to chat to folks as they came in and left later on.   Mind you, I was tired afterwards so I bought in a take away Chinese and enjoyed every mouthful!

After a good night's sleep I woke, poured some of yesterday's real coffee into a mug (no point wasting it and it still tastes good) and bunged it in the mictrowave to heat up.  A slight problem though - between yesterday and today something has happened and there is no heat.  It turns, light comes on, it times and pings fine, but it doesn't heat.  Darn it!!!  It's probably not worth having it looked at/repaired, it would cost almost as much as getting a new one so . . . there goes some of my hard earned savings.

And I'm not complaining really, I am extremely grateful that I can.

Beth's coming over for lunch.  I've made (or half made) some chickpea and butterbean patties and we will have them with onion marmalade and a salad.  It will be good.  And then, at some point, I need to look at the planning and get that printed out.  Also I have to start off Beth's bread at some point.  I guess I'd better start moving then!  Off to Amazon first to look for microwaves!

Saturday 21 June 2014


I'm feeling relaxed and slow-to-get-started this morning.  It's a lovely feeling, helped by a Saturday breakfast of bacon sarnie and proper fresh coffee.  The back door is open and the sun is shining.  Bliss.

Today is June Fair day.  All the infants have been practising a sort of country dance and at two o'clock all present will pile into the central arena to frolic around.  Should be good!  Between times, I am on the 'gate' so will be busy but able to sit down.  That should help the old knee!

The rest of the day will be spent doing nothing whatsoever - well, I might potter in the garden a little bit.  Things are growing apace now which I always find exciting.

Here's a few photos.

These are really lovely this year.

The insects obviously like the pinks.

Extra tomatoes

. . . and more extra tomatoes!

My calming, serene, aromatic bed.  I just love it this year.

I've now totally given up on the dwarf beans.  Even with netting over they have all been demolished.  However, one of the runner bean seeds I planted to replace the two I killed has come up nicely.  I think the other one has also been nibbled but time alone will tell!

Ah, well, I suppose I must up and get sorted out.  George will be here before I know it if I carry on at this rate!  Have a lovely, sunny day, wherever you are!

Friday 20 June 2014


Just a quick one.  The reports are done and will be handed in, the assessment data is done, the phonic screen is done . . .
And it is Friday!

Have a great day.

Thursday 19 June 2014

Apologies . . .

. . . for the nearly two days' silence.  There's just so much to do and I'm gettig so very tired.

Goodness, if you could have seen the original typing of the above, you'd think I had gone totally bonkers.

Anyway - I will be back very soon.

Tuesday 17 June 2014


Good morning.  It's another dull start to the day and still quite chilly too.  What's happened to this 'heatwave until September' people were talking about?  It's not here, anyway.  We did have a bit of sun from time to time yesterday and also a slight scattering of rain now and again but nothing that would give the garden a good drink so I'll be out watering again before school, thanking my lucky stars that it's a very small garden.

Today is phonic screen day - at least from the start of school until playtime.  I will be able to get most of the class done and will finish them off tomorrow.  I feel quite tense about it and am aching as a result.  Silly of me, but . . .

As a result, I won't see my class all day as it is then coordinator time followed by PPA.  Ho hum!

Well, better get working.  Have a good day, one and all!

Monday 16 June 2014


A fairly quick one as there's loads to do this morning.  It's still cool and dull like most of yesterday, although we did get a little bit of sun from time to time.

I have nearly finished those reports now.  I just have a few more to do and then they need checking over before printing.  They will definitely be ready before the deadline, thank goodness.  It's been a long weekend though and I'm quite tired so I hope there are not too many challenges this week.

I've taken a stroll around the garden and all seems well.  New runner beans are sprouting where the ones I killed grew so I have fingers crossed for them.  There's more dwarf beans coming up, hopefully not too late, and I've covered them with some of the netting I bought for the strawberries and haven't needed (yet) so fingers crossed.  The carrots are coming up, the corn is doing fine and definitely growing now, the twelve (yes, twelve) tomato plants are doing OK and Blightwatch hasn't recorded any significant blight danger yet (good!), the chilli pepper plant has two chillies and several flowers, the two red peppers have flower buds and the mint looks to be trying to take over the garden - not that it can, in pots as it is, but even so!  I picked strawberries yesterday so there won't be any today but there should be in a few days' time.

I do like the grow bag pots.  They not only give the tomato roots more space and there's more depth for the support canes, they have a reservoir for water so I shouldn't come home from school on hot days to find them wilting.  I'm thinking of getting a few more next year, especially as the price has really come down from a couple of years ago.
Taken from Amazon but they are what I have.  I bet I won't get quite so many tomatoes though.

And the crocosmia is sending up buds now.  It should be a colourful array in a few weeks' time.

Sunday 15 June 2014


Good morning.  It's very dull here and quite chilly for the time of year too.  Yesterday turned out very variable - we had some sun, we had some rain (not enough to soak the garden though), we had some humidity and we had some dull and cloudy stuff.  The pollen seems lower now though.  I've been out to do the usual garden watering and didn't sneeze once and, while the eyes are a bit watery, they're not itching and irritating, thank goodness.

It's another working day today.  It's going to be a long week but once it is over it will be so very nice.

I took some time out to write questions.  It is the time when O U S A hold elections for their Central Executive Committee and there are online hustings.  Some of my questions were chosen so I have the chance to ask one further question relating to each answer I was given.  It took quite a while but they're done and sent off now so that's a tick on the list!

And today - making bread, washing and more report writing.  Getting there, slowly but surely.

Have a lovely day, wherever you are.

This is a leek!  One of the leeks was scrawny and not worth the pulling so I left it and left it and then it sent out a bud so I decided to leave it more and see what happened.  It is certainly talking its time and I hope it is worth it in the end.  

Saturday 14 June 2014


. . . and it's going to be a very, very busy day today - all weekend, in fact - because I want to finally break the back of those reports.

Goodness, the pollen is high this morning.  I've just sneezed half a dozen times and I took my daily tablet about an hour ago.  Phew . . .

Back to bloggy stuff.  Yesterday (SEN day) was busy but I got loads and loads out of it and everything went well.  I came home, fell asleep, went upstairs, slept all night and woke at around 3:30 which isn't too bad given how much sleep I'd had.  Now I intend to social network until seven and then get stuck in.  It may even be a PJ day!

That's it really, there's not a lot more to say!  Stay safe, gentle readers and may the day go well for you!

Pretty, isn't it?

Friday 13 June 2014

A little addition

This morning's strawberry pick!


. . . and it looks like another wonderful day coming up.  The skies are clear and there's that lovely, fresh aroma in the air.  Oh, and the BBC weather site says so!

It's been a right old week this week.  Yesterday didn't turn out at all as planned because in the afternoon I was asked to be involved in an interview for a class cover post.  In the morning I had attended a SENCO update meeting which was absolutely brilliant, very helpful, very informative and very reassuring.  As you may or may not know, there's big changes afoot for Special Educational Needs.  These will be the third lot of big changes I have seen in my life as SEN 'person':  I got the SENCO post by default because I was already doing the job before the first Code of Practice came along and I am gradually withdrawing from the post as the third one is published.  I like the regularity of this, not to mention the fact that I sat there thinking 'I won't have to do most of this'.  An interesting feeling, very bitter-sweet.

And today is my SEN day.  The morning will be devoted to paperwork and the afternoon sees yet another important meeting.

I had some fantastic news yesterday.  Alex (autistic grandson) has won an award.  I'll have more details soon but there's information about it here.  I gather it is connected with his hard work relating to the Duke of Edinburgh stuff he is doing through his school.  I'm so very proud of him.

Better go!  There's work to do!  Have a good day.

Thursday 12 June 2014


A splash of colour!

I'm afraid it is another ooops from me.  Nothing garden related, thank goodness, but  equally daft in a different way.

I got into school yesterday and started setting up for the day.  Along came A saying 'I have your class from 10:15 - what do you want me to do?'
Total bewilderment from me.
So off I rushed to the notice on the staff board to realise that from 10:15 to the end of the day I had monitoring time for my subject responsibility, PSHE.  This included planning scrutiny (no problem), work scrutiny (equally no problem) and, oh dear, a lesson observation (my year 1 co-worker, who had also completely missed it)  Not so good.  Big problem here.
So co-worker and I had a serious little chat and decided that I could actually observe her any time before the end of term.  Lovely Deputy Head agreed. That got me out of a pickle.
So I spent the rest of the time catching up with SEN paperwork on the understading that I will use SEN time for the observation and write up.  It's good that I have that flexibility, that's for sure.

But I do feel a right prune (again).  It's getting to be a habit, I fear.  Is it old age or over work?

Apart from that it was a good day and having home grown strawberries for dessert every lunch time is bliss!

One of the nicest things in a long time happened yesterday.  One of my littlies had been inspired by our theme of Jack and the Beanstalk and had planted or bought a variety of seeds.  One was a little strawberry plant and yesterday I was presented with the first fruits - a big strawberry, the first ripe one from the plant, carefully wrapped in kitchen towel so it wouldn't bruise.  Rarely has a strawberry tasted more delicious!  Wasn't that lovely?

Today I am out of class yet again.  I am off on a course (nice and local).  A SEN update course.  Should be helpful.  I have my class p.m., thank goodness.

And then just one day until the weekend.  Phew.

Wednesday 11 June 2014


Poor old crocosmia!
No wet ground this morning so I was out early to give the plants a good drink.  Everything's growing well except for the dwarf beans.  I reckon that particular place (a wicker grame with a bag inside) is on the local moggy's calling schedule because three of the remaining four plants have been knocked flat and have broken off.  I think I will give up for this year now, just see if the seeds I planted come up and maybe pootle down to the garden centre and get some cover protection.  If I don't use it this year, I can use it next year.  I'm not annoyed, just resigned really.  On the other hand, the carrots are starting to come up!

It was another lovely day yesterday.  The children are excited that I have produced the class pedestal fan and have it blowing over them as they sit and listen.  It caused a fair sensation at first but they're accustomed to it now and it certainly makes a difference!

Well, the sun is shining, the house is airing and I have made my lunch of fresh strawberries and a ham salad (not together!).  It is now bath time so I'd better stop writing and get going.  Have a lovely day!

Tuesday 10 June 2014


Still feeling a little foolish after realising how my poor plants had been treated but let's move on.  It's something I won't do again, I am sure.

It's too early to tell what the weather will be although the ground is damp and I suspect it has been raining.  I say this every week but hopefully we will get our outdoor PE  squeezed in.  They have to go onto the field today as they will be practising the jumping part of sports day.  Long jump, standing jump, zig zag jump and mini hurdles.  It's all go!

Yesterday turned out to be a lovely day.  After some humidity it all lifted and was gloriously sunny all day.  Afternoon playground duty was an absolute pleasure and the worst we had to deal with was a football that went over the fence onto the wall.

I love watching the infants play football.  Each class has one football so the play tends to be very linked to age.  In Foundation stage they all cluster together like little ducklings.  One kicks the ball and they all go tearing after it in a huddle, then it gets kicked again and off they all go after it once more!  Year one is hardly any more sophisticated although you get the occasional goalie stood on his own (it usually is 'he', the girls have more sense) between two school jumpers, occasionally complaining that he is bored.  Something clicks in after that and year two much more resembles the conventional game as they are all spread out, passing to each other and one can see the occasional tackle.  The goalie (still only one of them) gets a lot more work too and they are sensible enough not to have their goal 'posts'  too close to the fence.  They also get an awful lot more competitive.

Today is my virtually non teaching day with coordinator time and PPA.  There's an awful lot to do though so it's never a doddle!  And with that, I'd better get started!

Monday 9 June 2014

I feel an utter prune!

I've realised why the runner beans have died.  And the lupin.  And some of the crocosmia which are next to the lupin.  Nothing to do with bugsies and everything to so with the fact that I sprayed them with weed killer instead of bug spray.

Now I feel extremely stupid.  Ah well, maybe, if I chop the lupin right back to its roots I can stop the rot, so to speak.  And runner beans will grow again.  And I have too many crocosmia anyway!

But I am very cross with myself.


Good morning.  Welcome to what promises to be a lovely, sunny day again.  Yesterday was gorgeous - hot and sunny but not humid and I had the fan on a fair part of the day (including overnight in the bedroom).

I finally got myself motivated enough to plant out the remaining tomatoes into grow bags with growbag pots which were recommended by my dad.  He gave me the mini plants too.  So that's six more plants and, blight and other pesties willing, we will have plenty of tomatoes through the summer and early autumn, given the number of plants in the growhouse.  The corn is out and seems to have survived the night.  Now I just need to pot on the two pepper plants and that's really about done.

Two of the runner beans seem to have died although the others are going strong.  Can you kill by overwatering, I wonder, because it certainly isn't under watering.  Anyway, I have planted more seeds there and they will just have to take their chance, like everything else in my garden!

It's back to school after a lovely weekend and a week of business.  Today is all set up to go and the rest of the week is almost there.  So I had better pop into the kitchen, sort out breakfast and lunch and generally tidy up.  Have a good day and, Diane, I hope all goes well.

Sunday 8 June 2014


After a wet, sunny, heavy humid day and night, this morning is lovely.  The sky is a glorious blue and the air (at the moment) is fresh.  It's also pollen laden - I've sneezed multiple times already!  Yesterday wasn't - I suppose the heavy rain early on settled the pollen.  I forgot to take my morning tablet and didn't suffer much but I won't be forgetting today.  I hate the constant itch of ears, nose and throat and when the eyes join the fun too I want nothing so much as a piece of steel wool to scratch with!

I got a lot done yesterday afternoon.  I pootled into school and spent four hours getting up to date with sorting things out and generally getting thing back into order (something I should have done in the half term break but didn't).  Things are now much more up to date and, although it still doesn't look tidy, it's a lot better than it was!

It's always nice the weekend after Lenka has done her clean.  I find there's very little to do in the way of mundane housework which suits me just fine.

Today I have plenty to do.  Washing, for a start (clothes as well as me!) and so on.  I really do need to get the tomatoes and the peppers into their final growing places.  The tomatoes will go into those growbag pots which seems a great compromise, and I have pots for the two pepper plants.  I've just sown another row of carrots which makes four rows sown over a three week period so that should keep me well supplied.

I can't remember if I mentioned, but a while ago Beth brought over some sweet corn seedlings for me to look after (because her cat, Theo, like to eat the tips) but they didn't thrive for some reason and only four remained.  Her baby corn seedlings were fine, as are the new lot of corn she brought over so goodness knows what happened, but anyway, I have the four survivors and intend to use them and see.  Four isn't many so I was told that each time I go past I need to give them a little shake to encourage pollination (should they live that long!).  I think I can remember that.
Then, in the same bed, there's enough room for some leeks and some broccoli, should Beth be so good as to give me some mini plants.  Runner beans, carrots, parsley, corn, leeks and broccoli - not bad for a little bed!

I know I'm waffling on a lot about the garden at the moment but it's exciting!

Yesterday I asked if anyone knew the flower - on Facebook it was suggested it was a gerbera and I think I vaguely remember that's right.  Anyway, it is very pretty.

Yesterday I pondered about lifting some slabs to create more growing space but the comments weren't positive about this (thank you for the advice, folks, I appreciate that).  Then I remembered that I want a rotary washing line to go in that quarter of the garden.  When I retire I want to be able to hang out my washing most of the time, you see, and I can't as things are now.  Can't have a veg bed and a washing line!  So I might go back to considering high beds - I called them beds on legs but I gather a more correct term is 'manger beds' which makes sense.  More pondering coming up plus a bit of googling!  After all, while I can afford it, planning for the future, etc . . .

Beth and Alex are over for lunch and I intend to cheat.  Morrisons has pizzas at two for three pounds so I will knock up a salad, make some coleslaw and some potato salad and pick some strawberries to have with slices of melon for afters.  Sounds nice and summery, doesn't it?

So I guess I'd better get started as I think coleslaw is better made before and allowed to 'sit' for a while and the new pots need cooking!.

Saturday 7 June 2014

Garden update

Tomorrow's dessert

And these . . .

The redlove apples may come to nothing in the end but at the moment they are most attractive

I'm amazed this passion flower is surviving - it's been in a tiny pot for over a year before I got round to planting it in one of the beds recently!  Bad me.  It's sending up new growth so I guess it has forgiven me.

This shouldn't really be here amongst the herbs but it is attractive . . .

 . . . as are the three types of mint which don't get even one sniff of the herb bed!

Those poor dwarf beans.  A week ago there were four along the top and four along the bottom, all shooting up nicely.  Blooming whatever it was!

Can't remember what this is - any ideas?  I bought it last year and it didn't do all that well but it's doing very well this year.

Pink and pretty

I planted some cerinthe seeds and they're coming up, yay!  A perennial so fingers crossed!

Tomatoes that will have to take their chance in grow bag pots outside, blight warnings notwithstanding.  I do need to get my act together!

It's a small garden, it's not even a particularly good garden in the gardener's sense of the word but it's becoming more productive and will be more so when the corn and the leeks are planted out.  It's fairly problem free and not too difficult to look after.  It suits me anyway!  I doubt that, if I were to have it landscaped again (which I won't), it would be much different except for another bed to the right of the shed and at the time that wasn't really appropriate because I needed that space for the climbing frame when Alex was little.  Perhaps one day I will have some slabs lifted - I suppose I could - I must ponder on that!  What do you think, Beth?


See what is coming with the sun!

Even on Saturdays and Sundays I wake early and I am glad because watching the dawn and the sunrise is one of the delights of my life  Not today though, as it is clouding over and the wind is picking up.  The forecast is not good for this morning and early afternoon although it is supposed to be picking up later.  At least it means no need to water the garden; only the tomatoes in the growhouse which will get their weekly feeding.

The news is, again, not so good about the dwarf beans.  I think the pigeons must have been at the leaves because several little plants that were growing most healthily have disappeared.  Ho hum.  Well, I shall just plant some more, cross my fingers and consider getting a little cover thingy if I plant them again next year.

The strawberries, however, are doing amazingly well and there will definitely be enough for the three of us (me, Beth and Alex) to have a taste each tomorrow for lunch.

Yesterday ended up as a good day.  It turned out that I was way more prepared for that meeting than I believed I was and it went well, then I had a very productive meeting with a colleague after which I went into foundation stage to talk to them all about the reading treasure chest and give out a few rewards which is sure to get others reading more too.  I spent the afternoon working on paperwork and kept almost falling asleep so it was home early to relax and to have an early night.  That means that I will need to go back into school today to get stuff done but never mind, today will be like school anyway because it is a serious 'write my reports' day (as is tomorrow too).

I've just enjoyed my first mug of Saturday caffeine (it's decaf for the rest of the week) so I think I need to top up.  Have a good day!

Friday 6 June 2014


I'm sitting here, early in the morning, with a tidy kitchen and the back door open letting the cool air flood in and freshen the house, feeling ridiculously happy.  Ridiculous because today I have a meeting for which I don't feel totally prepared and therefore ought to be mighty stressed, but I'm not!  This is unusual because most of the time I stress over very small things (don't I, Cider Girl).

Yesterday I was called out of class, another teacher installed for 'at least an hour' ("nothing bad, Joy, don't worry!") and was taken to the head's office.  You can imagine my feelings (what HAD I done????) until I was asked would I chair a meeting for someone who had been caught up elsewhere and wouldn't be able to make it.  Phew, what a relief that was.  It was a pleasant meeting too so, given that I got out of doing playground duty, apart from the first short feeling of dread, I did rather well.  I even got a mug of coffee made for me!

I suppose I am surprised it doesn't happen more often.  As a 'national teaching school' with an 'outstanding' head and deputy who are often called out to help, support, train, lead, etc, elsewhere, the wonder is that things usually work so very smoothly back at the home school.  Sigh of great management, I guess.

Teaching in such a school carries its own pressures and responsibilities.  The expectation is that we are never less that 'good' and frequently 'outstanding' in all areas.  The children are expected to make 'better than average' (whatever that means) progress which means that our teaching has to match that expectation (no, it doesn't, not always!).  To balance that sort of stuff I often feel a huge sense of . . . I'm not sure what the word is,  maybe pride, privilege, something like that . . . that I work in such a lovely place.  It is lovely.  We may be overworked, under sized and over crowded but the setting is delightful, surrounded by trees and in a quiet and pleasant area very close to the countryside, the staff is all very committed and extremely hard working, the leadership is strong but also very empathic, understanding and supportive . .  I could go on but you get the idea.

Small wonder, then, that despite all the irrelevant nonsense that surrounds teaching nowadays, I really don't want to retire, not yet.  Definitely not yet!

As for yesterday - all in all it was a super day!

Thursday 5 June 2014


After a very wet start earlier on, it's now sunny and bright although windy and I suspect showers will be blowing across all day.  Yesterday was a bit better than expected with some bright intervals and we did manage to get our outdoor work done, albeit a little damply.

Staff meeting went OK.  We were a bit thin on staff as some teachers are away with the year sixes for their week away and some were in a moderation meeting and so on, but never mind, the work got done and now I am in a position to start the new PSHE schemes of work paperwork.

Today is another full day with my class (lovely) and they are now settling down after the half term break.  I must be working them hard as they seem very tired by home time.  Last half term I was on morning play duty but this is one of my half terms off so yay!  Unfortunately, several children didn't finish their maths yesterday so guess who will be staying in to finish.  Yes, that's right, mean and nasty teacher that I am!

The strawberries are ripening still and there should be more to pick by the weekend.  Excellent!

That's it really.  Have a good day and, Diane, you make sure you come first today, OK?

Wednesday 4 June 2014


Firstly, apologies for missing yesterday.  Things were quite busy and it just didn't happen.  Back today though!

When I came home yesterday I meandered around the garden and noticed several bits of red among the strawberries so I looked and, lo and behold, there were seven ripe berries.  Enough for a very delicious and simple dessert of strawberries and cream.  That cheered me up no end.

What with the rain yesterday, which drove a coach and horses through my planning yesterday morning, and PPA in the afternoon followed by a management meeting, I came home pretty tired so I needed that pick-me-up.  I still went to bed at nine, sleps solidly through and dozed off again after waking this morning.  Not for long but I had the most vivid dream.

Today is a full day teaching followed by staff meeting which I am leading - it's all about the new PSHE curriculum so wildly exciting (not!)

Unfortunately, it is still raining and the start of the new theme requires outdoor work.  Ho hum!!!  Not a good start at all, is it?

So, just to cheer me up, here's a photo I took of those seven strawberries yesterday evening.

Monday 2 June 2014


Runner bean with the start of a flower!  Yay!

. . . and the fun time is over.  It's back to school this morning for seven weeks.  Even the sun is not shining in sympathy although I do hope it comes out later.

It was a nice lazy day yesterday which is probably why I am chasing my tail this morning.  The sun shone, it was warm, I had Beth and Al round for lunch, we made the bedside chests, life was generally good.  It was a shame I woke with a sore back and a gammy knee but some medication soon sorted it out.

As for today, well, how does violin, literacy, assembly, phonics, maths, spellings, geography and star of the week sound?  Noses to the grindstone again!

Have a lovely day.  Sorry this is short!

Sunday 1 June 2014


Dough rising in Thermione.  I only turned my back for a few minutes!

More sunshine!  Yesterday stayed fine but it didn't stay sunny.  After a while it dulled over and stayed like that more or less all day.  Fingers crossed that the sun stays around a bit longer today.

Mind you, the pollen count must be up.  The back door is open and I'm sitting here sneezing my head off.  A right pain!  Must take the daily tablet.

After a quick dash into Lakeland yesterday to get some poly bags and some bread tin liners, George turned up and polished up the garden very nicely.  Then Next turned up with the bedside chests which Beth and I will be putting together today.  I made bread.  I worked a bit.  I watched telly.  I snoozed.  In other words, on and off it was a very lazy day and today will be similar.  I think I will make more bread, for the freezer, and I will potter around the garden beds, plucking up mini weeds before they get a hold.  Beth and Alex are round for lunch and it will be a simple salad with cold meat for Al and cheg for me and Beth woth strawberries for dessert, courtesy of Morrisons.

A highlight was the first strawberry eaten, just as it came off the plant, no sugar or cream and you know what?  It was gorgeous!  There are several others now starting to ripen so by next weekend I should be enjoying loads.

Well, there are several little things that need doing and won't do by themselves so I'd better get my act together!