Monday, March 31, 2003

Highlight of today: chips, with lashings of salad cream.

Rearranging my sitting room has led to the discovery of all sorts of things that I'd forgotten I own. The opening of every box or file meant new wonders being revealed: my PGCE assignments, the girls' evaluation forms from the trip I ran to Sweden, a classic set of photos that I thought were lost forever. There was also, of course, lots of useless tat, which I dealt with using the good ol' fashioned technique of chucking it in the bin. It was quite satisfying to watch it all go.

I just hope that I didn't thow out anything important.

Sunday, March 30, 2003

Today I have been mostly distracted by finding things that I didn't know I had (oh - the joys of moving furniture around) and by the evilness that is called the internet, especially this site here.

Saturday, March 29, 2003

Today I carried out a sneaky manouvere to liberate two sofas from capitivity in Cheltenham. That mission accomplished, I am now struggling to fit everything into my sitting room. Despite the pushing, shoving and occasional rude word involved with the re-arrangement, it's giving Fatso something to watch, so that makes it all worthwhile. Maybe hamster entertainment is my vocation in life.

Friday, March 28, 2003

It makes you laugh, doesn't it?!

Isn't science great?

I've just paid over £140 to get my car cleaned and valeted, which seems a bit steep, but it's good quality work. I dropped the Madmobile off in its usual dirty state at 8.30am, and found it sparkling clean at 12pm. Magic! I'm lead to believe that nice men in boilersuits did some tinkering under the bonnet too, but that's not really relevant. They even managed to remove the mud ground into the carpets by hoards of Guides on numerous camps and canoeing trips.

Luckily the garage people didn't open the boot, which contains a large number of empty packets of Galaxy Minstrels (food of choice for long drives), a couple of old newspapers and a Super-Soaker. I feel that this says something about my character. I'm just not sure what.

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Spam count: 68 accepted, 198 rejected.

Mua ha ha ha!!!

Home, sweet home. Sighs of relief for the following reasons:
1. My car's still where I left it, complete with all wheels.
2. No-one's broken in and nicked my computer/CD collection/viola. Mind, not many would find these items nick-worthy, but it was a slight worry.
3. Fatso is looking remarkably mobile, ergo, not dead.
4. Assorted others, including my own bed and being able to watch the reams of spam being rejected by my mail filters. Woo hoo!!

Monday, March 24, 2003

Holiday thought for today: human bodies really do come in all shapes and sizes. But speedo swimming trunks should be banned.

Sunday, March 23, 2003

Have just finished reading The Map of Love, so 3 books down, 5 to go...

Both Poisonwood Bible and Map are based in countries about which I know very little - respectively The Belgian Congo as was (which is now, of course, Zaire) and Egypt. Both books are set against a background of political turmoil, intervention by the USA and the negative impact caused by this foreign intrusion into domestic politics. It made me realise quite how little I know of the world in which we live - I feel quite ashamed by my lack of knowledge - and on my return to the UK I am going to search out some good books that fill in all the gaps in my understanding of the world.

On a similar subject, I found a passage in Small Gods that made me laugh, seeing as it was echoing sentiments I expressed to Kate only yesterday:

The Ephebians believed that every man should have the vote. Every five years someone was elected to be Tyrant, provided he could prove that he was honest, intelligent, sensible and trustworthy. Immediately after he was elected, of course, it was obvious to everyone that he was a criminal madman and totally out of touch with the view of the ordinary philosopher in the street looking for a towel. And then five years later they elected another one just like him, and really it was amazing how intelligent people kept on making the same mistakes.

So true, so true. Maybe I can get it typed out, laminted and put on the wall in my classroom.

Saturday, March 22, 2003

Holiday - all the usual superlatives and hyperbole apply to the hotel, the pool, the food, the weather.... I shan't go on about it because it gets quite tedious eventually. The big decisions of the day are of the magnitude of "Swim or sleep?" "Lie on front or back?" "Salad or pudding?" I've coped OK so far, but suspect that inaction will be driving me barmy by the end of the week. I've been saved by the books - I've managed to read 2 so far (Small Gods and The Poisonwood Bible - cheers Charl for the recommendation!). I've also listened to oodles of CDs and eaten my way through several squillon calories. Now I've discovered the internet terminals in the hotel's lobby I am feeling much happier: able, at last, to catch up with news that is not related to Iraq.

Finally for now, something that made me laugh (discovered via Mal's site).

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Changed me mind. Couldn't be bothered to unpack (not since it all went so neatly into Kate's littlest suitcase first time round) so looks like I'm heading off out of here after all. Catch you in a week's time!! Enjoy...

A holiday-related reminder from a reader:

ice cream is not a breakfast food.

That's blown all of my plans then. Forget it; I'm not going now. After all, who'd want to go to a place named after a big yellow bird?

Packing all done. Even whittling the CD collection down to a transportable number was achieved with very little pain. Smug grins and self-congratulatory back-slapping all round.

One last minute shopping trip to Burton has solved the Ribena crisis. It's also filled one or two gaps in my collection of sun creams and other holiday-type potions. The packing is progressing steadily (which is teacher-speak for not really progressing at all) and although nothing has actually made it into any sort of bag/suitcase, I have now assembled the books I intend to read during this week, which are, in no particular order:

Feet of Clay - Terry Pratchett
Small Gods - Terry Pratchett
The Map of Love - Ahdaf Soueif
Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow - Peter Hoeg
Miss Wyoming - Douglas Coupland
Possession - A. S. Byatt
Cat's Eye - Margaret Attwood
The Edible Woman - Margaret Attwood
The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver

Some of these are favourite reads, others are brand-spanking new and bought on a whim or a recommendation; either way I'm looking forward to a week spent immersed in other people's words and worlds. The only problem I can envisage is that of persuading the nice people at the airport check-in that I'm within my luggage allowance! :-)

OK, it's crisis time. I've run out of Ribena. Yaaaargh.

Have just realised that I've not arranged a holiday home for Fatso... Anyone able to look after a hamster this week - he's very cute, easy to care for, doesn't bite, unlikely to die? No? Oh dear...

I have a sneaking suspicion that packing is going to turn into a last minute frenzy, with piles of clothes, books and other assorted junk scattered across the flat in a seemingly random way which is nonetheless highly structured and deeply methodical. It's the chaos theory approach to holiday preparation, working on the theory that chaos now means that it's going to be just fine later on. At least, that's what I'm trying to persuade myself.

Am very sleepy. Not just due to Mr Worthington's finest, you understand, but also due to the overall excitment of today: baby piggies and sheepies in Liverpool this morning; a train journey; a haircut (An haircut? I'm not sure, grammatically); a jaunt to the Red Lion and the Legion; and then 2 games of snooker (sadly losing both). How can a mere mortal as myself cope with such frivolity? Have just spent an hour catching up on tonight's news, and am now due a little snooze.

I go on holiday in just over 24 hours time. I haven't packed. I haven't even thought about what to pack. The most important thing is 'Which books to pack?' I've run out of decent stuff here at home and within the next 24 hours I will have to hit Ottakers/Waterstones/anyone else who considers themselves to be purveyors of fine literature in an attempt to sort my holiday entertainment. Suggestions of decent reading material via the box to your right, please.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Have just treated new haircut to a healthy meal of salad, with a side order of - ah, whoops - steak and chips. Now I'm taking it out for a visit to Repton's hostelries. It's turning out to be a mighty fine day.

Blimey. You go away for 24 hours and loads of things happen. Life is far too fast-paced for me.

I'm saddened to miss the seasonal colour-change happening over at pajlog. I am also saddened, in a more profound way, by the worsening situation with Iraq. [I started writing a small rant-ette at this point, but couldn't finish without it evolving into a fully-blown rant, so - you will be glad to know - I deleted it. I also resisted the temptation to whitter on about the changes that could be wrought upon international and domestic politics as a result of this whole sordid affair. This is probably also a good thing] I will, though, point you to here for a thought on the subject.

On the other hand, I am going to get my hair sorted out by a nice lady with some sharp scissors. Hurrah!!

Monday, March 17, 2003

Wooo. I love it when something works well. Especially if it's via code I installed/modified myself. Although I have no idea who sent me this, I thought I'd share it with you all:

In related news, a chinchilla formerly thought to have been responsible for the theft of a bus stop in Derbyshire has been found alive and well in Tesco Mickleover. Police are not treating the animal's presence in the frozen pea section as suspicious; rather they believe it to be the work of rogue Lebanese Post Office workers blown over here by a recent hurricane. The animal has been returned to the local butcher, who insists that 'Mr Fluffy will be safe with me'.

Whoopee!! :-)

An evening out in the bustling metropolis that is Repton village. Am too drunk to write much, but Tony and I did win all three games of snooker. And I am the proud owner of a big poster that says "1 St Patrick's Day, 364 days to practise". Hurrah!!

Sunday, March 16, 2003

Scary - just like The Stand by Stephen King.

Last night was one of the most nerve-wracking things I've done in a long time. I felt like a contestent on the Faking It TV show; every question was designed - it felt - to expose me as the sham I really am. Conversation with Neil (the other viola player) went as follows [my thought process in brackets]:

N: So, do you play freelance a lot?
Me: Um. Occasionally. [well - this time's my second time, and the first was back in 1996, but that's 'occasionally' right?!]
N: So do you teach music then?
Me: Among other things, yes. [After all, I *have* covered music lessons, so technically not a lie]
N: What else do you teach?
Me: Economics and Business Studies [phew - back onto safer ground]
N: Oh right. So you're a supply teacher
Me: [pants, pants, pants - wouldn't it be safer just to lie?] Yes, I do supply work.

On the other hand, the actual playing was OK (given that the highest level of playing I've been doing recently has been the school's string orchestra!), I didn't mime too much or come in the wrong place too often. The music was lovely too: I'd not heard much of The Magic Flute, I'm not fond of opera and I'm not a fan of Mozart, but the opera's good. I might even go and watch it as a member of the audience!

Now, though, I ache. My shoulders, my neck, my back, my fingers, my upper arms, my wrists... I am a wreck.

Saturday, March 15, 2003

Yargh. My back hurts, my fingers are stiff and my arms ache. It's the pain caused by 3 hours of continuous viola practice - something not experienced on Planet Mad since doing last doing exams at the tender age of 17.

Thought-provoking. I am concerned about this too.

The music for tonight has arrived. It looks hard. There will be no rehearsal, just the performance itself.

Eeek. Eeek. And double eek.

Friday, March 14, 2003

Fatso update; each category marked out of 10, explanatory footnotes below:
Fluffiness - 8 (See note 1)
Fatness - 9 (See note 1)
Cuteness - 10 (See note 2)
Chewing ability - 10 (See note 1)
Willingness to wake up and talk to me in the middle of the day - 10 (See note 3)
Noisiness in the middle of the night - 9 (See note 4)

Note 1 - Nibble and Squeak hamster bars - they contain lots of vitamins and useful things like that, encourage hammy teeth to be strong and are probably mildly addictive
Note 2 - owner bias may just be creeping in here
Note 3 - but only because the lil' beastie expects me to be providing him with food (see note 1 also c/f to the experiments of a certain Mr Pavlov)
Note 4 - don't know what's causing it, but a drop of olive oil on the bearing of his wheel won't, I suspect, go amiss. If only all engineering problems were solved this easily!!

Another lazy day spent bimbling aimlessly: a bit of washing up; a smidgen of reading; a lot of viola practice; and the afternoon spent viewing the latest Disney offering, Treasure Planet, in the company of Mark. Highlight of the day was the discovery of a packet of Cadbury's Caramel Fingers in the boot of the car, and very nice they were too.

PS - was pleasantly surprised by the film, especially as it contains this classic line:

"I'm not a doctor. Well, I've got a doctorate but that's not the same thing - I can't help people, I just sit around being useless."

This moment was even more enjoyable as Mark is in the middle of his PhD (in Geek Studies) write-up and corrections!! Mua-ha-ha!!

Thursday, March 13, 2003

Booking number one received for this Saturday: it's The Magic Flute, in Derby. There's a seat reserved for me. In the orchestra pit. No, it's not some dodgy deal to save money but instead a chance for me to whip out my all-black clothing ensemble...for the second time in my life I will be a professional musician!!!!!

I shall be spending most of Saturday doing some practice. If you are in the area, please cover your ears and run away. If you are in the audience in the evening then you will be able to identify me very easily: I'll be the one playing the wrong notes!!

Things are looking up: have just eaten salsa pizza (a novel combination, but quite palatable), managed to get through to Amy to explain my absense, and am happy to announce that I have finally sorted out the overseas portion of my holiday. This time next week, Ladies and Gentlemen, I will be in the Canary Isles, letting the stresses and strains of this term drift gently away. The only word to use, I think, is WOOHOOOO!!!

Bookings for the remainder of the holiday (until 6th April) are now being taken...

The best laid plans of Mads and men...

Have lost the rail-card which was my last link with youth and am too old to blag a replacement. Am not on a train. Am not going to Dundee.

AND my email's not working and Amy's phone's not working, so I can't get in touch to sort it out.

Not a happy bunny today.

Today: lessons based mostly around videos or computers; GCSE coursework moderation; nagging of girls to get their rooms tidied and stuff packed.

Tonight: Guides running the Brownie meeting; Guiders' meeting at the pub; big Chinese meal.

Now: Groove Armada's At The River; Fatso gently chewing a way out of his cage; my full tummy.

Tomorrow: no school; booking a holiday (maybe); sitting on a train for hours; Dundee.

Hurrah for holidays!! :-)

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Make me laugh, I said. And you did:

Don't try to spread koalas on toast; they tend to fidget.

And it made my sixth form laugh too (yup - we're in the computer room: it's another tactic in the end-of-term arsenal!)

End of term! For the kids this means watching videos, making posters and getting away with a little work as possible. For teachers this means blind panic about coursework still outstanding, reports to finish, marking to complete and extreme tiredness caused by too many late nights not spent in the pub. Ho de hum - only another 6 lessons to go.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

A mystery solved:

Ooh! Comments Box! I fear that the appropriation of your likeness for Helm's Deeper may have been something to do with that vicious and evil Mr. Casey. - Signed, er... Mr. Casey.

So - that's the man to blame, is it? I will bear that in mind.

The next brain-teaser is "Where should Mad go on holiday?" The "Easter" holiday is drawing ever closer (i.e. it starts tomorrow evening) and I still have no idea where to go and what to do in my weeks of freedom. Answers on a postcard please.

This afternoon was the school's annual CCF competitions. Someone with a sense of humour put me in charge of the first aid base, so I decided to run a small incident to see how the kids dealt with it. Being a typical Mad venture, it had to have some element of fun. That fun, ladies and gentlemen, was Heinz Tomato Ketchup. Oh yes - I spent all afternoon covered in the stuff. I now smell somewhat pungent, but it made them laugh:
"Oh no, Miss, you're bleeding. It does smell a bit tomato-y though."
"Just keep still while I wipe off the ketchup and we'll see how bad the cut really is."

Full marks, however, were awarded to the girl who dealt with my histrionics ("Look at the blood - I'm going to die, I'm going to die!") with this classic: "Do shut up. You're not going to die. It's only tomato sauce."

This bon mot arrived on Planet Mad this morning:

Dearest Mad, I can assure you that your graduation photo had nothing to do with me. Lovely, though it is. --paj

The mystery continues!!

Monday, March 10, 2003

Another thought. This website annoys me intensely with its appalling grammar (spot the teacher who gets annoyed by apostrophes - see here for a guide), but it does offer the following:

There is 1 person with the name Madeleine Emuss. This name is unique like a yeti or some form of Magic Chimp.

This pleases me. I'd like to be a magic chimp. Besides, I don't think the world could cope with 2 Madeleine Emusses. Mind you, the site also told me the following:

There are 0 people with the name Mad Emuss. That name doesn't exist. Are you secret service? Don't hurt me I've seen Enemy of the State.

Well - that's me in trouble then. :-)

Have got that happy, glowy feeling. It happens a lot with this job. And it's not just caused by the consumption of alcohol.

This term it's been my privilege to take the school's Second VII netball team. The 8 girls concerned have been fantastic: enthusiastic, fun, and competitive enough to want to win, but not so sport-fixated that they have a nervous break-down each time they lose. Over this term we've won some matches and lost some... swings and roundabouts, as with most sports teams. They've put up with a lot: the school's hockey teams got through to the national finals at U14, U16 and U18 level, so netball's been a bit of a non-priority this term and they have me as their umpire and chief coach (I got kicked out of the school netball team at the age of 9 and haven't played since, plus I'm the female member of staff most likely to drink 20 pints and eat a curry - the world's most unlikely netball coach!!) Tonight they all came round, drank wine, chatted, made their own pizzas, ate pancakes and were generally great. Am a happy bunny.

Sunday, March 09, 2003

Went to see The Hours with Jess. It was one of the most bizarre films I've seen in a long while - I came out thinking, "Well, that was all very artistic, but what am I supposed to be feeling?" I felt little empathy with any of the characters, was left with no linger of sadness or other such emotion. I haven't felt like that since watching American Beauty. It felt like a film that was trying to have a serious message, but didn't quite manage it. As the closing credits rolled, the audience sat in stunned silence, trying to work out what they'd just seen. Most left the auditorium looking confused. I hate to use the word 'pretentious' to describe drama, whether on stage or on screen, but this may be a contender for that category.

This morning, I decided, was the right time to play some bouncy, sing-along music. I perused my CD collection, selected a few choons that I thought suited the mood, and tried to play them. My stereo decided otherwise. The Beach Boys obviously do not fall into the category of "music appropriate to be played on THIS stereo, thank you very much". Nor do The Beatles. Nor do half of my other bouncy, sing-along CDs. I had to resort to Mr Scruff's Heavyweight Rib Ticklers instead. Not that this is a bad thing, you understand, but not quite what I wanted to listen to this morning. I've decided that life's complicated enough, and I can live without a stereo that is going through a stroppy teenage phase. Now all I need to do is choose a new one that fits into the gap on my shelves. Any suggestions?

Sleep is my friend. As are others, I suppose, but at least sleep won't raid the internet for my official graduation photo and use it to adorn their website (c/f here, many thanks to Mr and Mrs Johns and Mr Casey, and maybe others?!)

Saturday, March 08, 2003

Today I have been suffering from a random lurgy, probably caused by some combination of some of the following: being around kids and all their associated germs, a lack of sleep, a diet consiting of chocolate fingers and kettle chips, and general stress caused by reports. This afternoon I was due to take my netball team away for a tournement. Instead, I skived, and slept all afternoon.

Now I feel great.

Friday, March 07, 2003

Actually, I HAVE still reports to write, but I'd managed to forget about them. Pants. There goes my dream of an early night then... :-(

Today I shall mostly be thankful that I'm not writing reports.

All reports finished in draft form: looks like another early morning for me to get them collated and printed. Blimey - roll on the weekend.

Thursday, March 06, 2003

Am just starting the fifth report writing session of the day. Session 1 started at 6.30am today (soon to be yesterday) and I've been at it on and off ever since. If only I had this level of stamina for everything else in my life!! It's amazing what an impending deadline can do to one's ability to function when fuelled only by 2 glasses of wine and half a packet of Cadbury's chocolate fingers. I have hazy recollections of essay deadlines whilst at uni: essay started at 9pm, researched and written through the night, printed out and proof-read at 7.30am and then delivered to the lecturer in question at 9am. I swore then that I would never do it again; now, 5 years later, I'm once again caught in the same cycle of late nights and early mornings, and this time I can't even use an almightly hangover as an excuse!! ;-) Better stop procrastinating and start working. Sigh.

Are you tired? Listless? Depressed? Me too. Writing reports has just about finished me off. Today has been officially designated an "I feel dead" day. Please send me exciting news to cheer me up.

Progress: a bit of faffing and 10 reports written; 16 still to go. Am overdosing on salsa and mosquito kettle chips and drinking too much tea for my body to cope with. Ho de hum.

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Report writing starts again: 2 class sets due in at lunchtime tomorrow. Am going to draft them tonight, then transfer them to the offical database tomorrow. Fuel to keep me going: kettle chips, Lady Grey tea and anything else I find lurking in the back of my food cupboard. If it really gets bad I can always resort to the 24 hour Tesco in Burton.

Am in the middle of what is just another manic Wednesday: breakfast duty, teaching, meeting, teaching, lunch duty, teaching, outdoor skills session, tea duty, junior pub quiz, evening duty, lock up. Luckily it's the last one for a few weeks - I'm on holiday this time next week, hurrah!!

Confrontation of the day (just to prove that life here's not all cushy):
[The scene is set in one of the school's large rooms, where Junior Pub Quiz is taking place. There have been 7 questions in the first round so far - we're about 20 minutes into the session]
[door opens and boy strolls in]
Me: Come here
[boy saunters over]
Me: You're late. Explain.
Boy: Well, I was clearing up from tea.
Me: Yes?
Boy: Someone stole my blazer
Me: And you stink of cigarette smoke because...?
Boy: Well I've just had a fag.
[other 25 pupils in the room look on in open-mouthed amazement]

Why don't kids realise that setting themselves up like that a) gives their teachers no option but to respond with punishment, and b) makes them look a total fuckwit in front of their peers. What's worse is that this school is not geared up to cope with kids like this - his behaviour would have seemed quite normal at my last school, but here it sticks out like a sore thumb - and he won't be treated in a way that will help him to get out of the crime/punishment cycle. It's really frustrating. Off to eat some chocolate fingers in an attempt to calm down.

Fatso update: looking very fat and cute and has yet again enthralled the visitors to my flat. You wouldn't believe how much a mini-kiev covered in fur can make grown women go gooey. Frightening.

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

Today I wrote another class set of reports (only 4 more sets to go), introduced a colleague to the delights of blogging, received an email from a random reader and cooked lots of pancakes. I love cooking pancakes. It's the only thing I can cook without setting fire to the kitchen (c/f here) or causing an almighty catastrophy. There were 8 of us, with a disproportionately large number of toppings - all yer bog standard ones, plus bananas, raspberries, cheese, jam, marshmallows and copious lashings of nutella. Yet again I feel slightly on the stuffed side. Hurrah!!

Monday, March 03, 2003

Update of life on Planet Mad:
Reports written: 2 sets
Reports still unwritten: 5 sets
Time remaining until the report deadline: 2 days
Chocolate ginger biscuits eaten in past 30 minutes: 12

Feeling a tad sick now. Ho hum.

Am drowning in a sea of reports and marking. The only glimmer of hope on the horizon is the knowledge that by this time tomorrow I will be surfing on a wave of pancakes.

Technology. Pah. How I hate it. The printer has refused to print out my reports. All it's printing is line after line of code. It's probably because of all the nasty things I wrote, although no dialogue box has popped up to confirm my suspicions. Grrrr.

Sunday, March 02, 2003

Report writing is dull, but occasionally satisfying. Today has seen me writing such classic phrases as:

I get the impression he would like to achieve a good grade this summer, but he has not always worked with the dedication necessary to achieve the desired result.

He has shown no urgency or concern about his work this term, and has not made effective use of the class time earmarked for coursework. In the last week he has managed to produce some appropriate work but I am concerned that this will be too little, too late.

His mock exam result was pleasing, but I feel that he has not shown 100% commitment to his work this term and is becoming complacent about his progress. Most lessons have been spent doing coursework, and too often he has been happy to sit back and procrastinate. This means that – whilst he will undoubtedly get a perfectly adequate mark – his coursework result will not reflect his true ability. He needs to ensure that this does not happen with his revision as well.

Oh, I'm such an evil bitch queen. Mua-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!!!!!

Despite the delay, the weekend's been good and has revolved around lots of food and drink, therefore keeping me more than adequately happy. Am now alone again to continue with reports, marking and general mooching through the Sunday papers. I've also got to think through the logistics for Tuesday's pancake party, seeing as I've invited more people than I have plates/glasses/spoons, which was a bit of an oversight on my part. We may all be eating with our fingers at this rate.

By the way - if there's anyone in the Derby area who fancies a pancake or 7 on Tuesday then feel free to drop in: I promise that I'll have found some more cutlery by then!

Saturday, March 01, 2003

Trains. Engineering work. Delay. Grrr.

Sex goddess put on hold.

I was defeated by technology not once but twice today - the video player in my classroom's playing up, much to the entertainment of my classes who are now convinced that I'm a Luddite. Based on today's performance, that seems a fair judgement to make. I'm now going to spend the next 90 minutes writing reports in a manic attempt to hit Monday's deadline without sacrificing too much of my weekend. I'm then pick up the bloke from the station and spend the rest of the weekend being a sex goddess. Except, of course, I'm not sure I can do the's one of those roles that I don't get to fill very often: drinking partner - anytime; comic sidekick - no problem; sensible and responsible one - has been known occasionally; sex goddess - you're joking, right?! Guess I'd better learn very fast.... :-)

Compared to other days this week, it's been quite quiet today. Taught 7 lessons, ate a few chocolate ginger nut biscuits, went to Sainsburys, served tea in the House, did Guides, went to a friend's party, came home for a quick spod and blog and then bed. Maybe not that quiet after all. In addition, today saw The Great Tidy-Up continue, with the kitchen (including contents of fridge) coming under scrutiny. Out went the empty packets that used to contain ginger nuts, out went the empty wine bottles, out went the three bottles of milk that were started at different times but never really finished. In my manifold and great mercy, however, I did spare the random carrot lurking at the back of the fridge - it will appear in Fatso's food bowl before long.

Christmas Chris arrives Saturday afternoon. Am excited yet nervous. Really need to sleep, but suspect I won't be able to. Trauma. Will just have to carry on tidying up instead. Pass the duster...