Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Comments a-plenty... sort of.

Nice blog you have here

Muchas gracias. Estoy muy grateful. That's the limit to my knowledge of Spanish, apart from the classic phrase llovia a canteros y estabamos mojados hasta los huesos. Also another contribution to the netball report:

The girls also learnt that players wearing the same colour tunic as themselves were on their side.

Fantastic! Keep 'em coming...

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Marking, I decided at 10pm, required tea. A whole pot of it. At 11.10pm, when I finished my marking, I felt remarkably awake (for the first time today) so set off in the Madmobile to indulge in a spot of late-night shopping. Hurrah for Tescos! I got one or two strange looks as I stood in the aisle counting the number of Custard Creams in the packet, and even stranger looks as I proceeded to buy not one, not two, but three different brands of ready-salted crisps. It's all for a couple of lessons tomorrow, but - rest assured, dear reader - I shall not be eating them all myself. It would be a different story if the biscuits on offer were Bourbons, chocolate ginger nuts or cow biscuits, but I don't think that this would be a good way to go, sadly.

The Amazon delivery, by the way, was great: I read the book during lunchtime and listened to the 3 CDs during the rest of today. Another satisfied customer

This netball report's going well:

The girls' team spirit also progressed this term; the brunettes helped the blondes by writing 'AIM FOR THIS ONE' above the opposition's net. Analysis shows a 53% decrease in own goals.

Cheers, Tom!

Another sentence arrives for the netball report:

The girls also found that high quality knickers had to be worn under their skirts otherwise a whole new spectator sport was invented

If only all aspects of the teaching job were so easy. Mind you, reports are due soon, so I may be seeking inspiration from you again...

Today continues apace, with only the arrival of a parcel from Amazon to break the monotony. Actually, I tell a lie. I *did* make it out into the big bad town of Burton to buy some presents, but as they were presents for Fatso and myself I suspect that they don't count as official excitement. Fatso now has a new hamster ball so he can roll round the flat without being held in with sellotape (the new ball is designed - so the box tells me - for space hamsters and gerbils. I thought he'd like to be a space hamster) and I have some more smelly stuff and two cheese n onion pasties. No, I lie. Again. I had two pasties, but now I have none, but very nice they were too. Now I have marking to do, and then some more marking, and maybe a little mre marking to round off the night, when all I want to do is sleep. Maybe Ribena and a couple of Neurofen will help...

Mua ha ha!! Cheers, Ash!

Suggestions arrive for my netball report:

the girls progressed in their throwing and catching abilities and did so without damaging any finger nails

We like, we like! Any more contributions...?

The marking's mounting up, I have a sports report to write for last term's netball and I've lost some of my blogger archives. It's not going well today.

Monday, April 28, 2003

From today's post bag...


If this a food related comment, then actually I prefer my brie smeared on digestive biscuits. If it's to do with my sanity, well - your point has been duly noted!

Also present was this thought, in reference to today's little jaunt:

I went there on the ULALA rally. It was Autumn. It was raining. But not inside :) Tom

It was also raining today, but again they'd got some sort of arrangement where it still wasn't raining inside... often called a roof, I believe!! :-)

Off to serve tea now, then play in strings...

I'm going here today!

Sunday, April 27, 2003

Good weddings tend to revolve around some basic building blocks: a happy couple; food; drink; bad jokes in the speeches; silly dancing... This weekend was no exception. If it weren't for the fact that my parents were in charge of ordering the taxi and we therefore left at 11.30pm, I'd be very ill today. As it happens, I'm a little sleepy round the edges but otherwise feeling fine'n'dandy. I continued my red-bottomed streak (a term coined in Knocked Out By My Nunga-nungas and other classic teenage fiction, which I have to read as part of my job. Honest.) by collecting the phone number of the tallest man at the event... ironically appropriate for a short-arse who looked in grave danger of falling out of her pink dress. On the other hand, maybe the likelihood of me falling out of my dress worked in my favour...?! ;-) The bad joke, by the way, was found at the very start of the best man's speech:

Today has been quite an emotional day for everyone involved - even the cake's in tiers

Laugh? You bet! :-)

In other news, a comment floated in to me via that box there on the right; it reads

hi mrs emus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dear child (it's got to be from a pupil, doesn't it?!) welcome, but please note that I am not a Mrs. At least, I've not noticed a husband knocking around anywhere. Perhaps I'm just looking in the wrong places...

Friday, April 25, 2003

Today I commissioned my first painting. How grown-up and posh is that?!

Off to my cousin's wedding this weekend, wearing - of course - the new dress and shoes, and a matching jacket. It'll be nice to see the family again: it's been a while since we last got together - have a good weekend all!


I've got a "morning - ick" feeling. It's going to be a looooong day :-(

Thursday, April 24, 2003

I was on duty until 9pm. I made a girl cry. She sat there with tears rolling down her cheeks, noisily sobbing for air. Her friends looked on in amazement. It all started when I did my hamster impression - one minute she was laughing with the rest of 'em, next thing I knew she was turning a nasty shade of purple and was unable to talk. But the hamster impression's not that funny. Or at least, I didn't think it was. Maybe I was wrong...

A few equations to summarise the day:

Rain + grass = Mad falls over = cancellation of the rounders practice = happy Mad

A-level music exam recital + audience required + bloomin' good viola player = happy Mad

(GCSE coursework x 34) + (teacher x 3) + laughter = painless and quick moderation = happy Mad

It's all going OK so far...

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

WOO HOO!! Guess what I just got...

An E-Egg for your dietary pleasure from Tom!

After all, we get e-mail and e-commerce... why not e-eggs?! Yippee!! :-)

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

I don't think that I have enough control over my words to do justice to the good things that have happened this holiday, so I'll give you the usual Mad summary:
Easter eggs received: 0 (sob)
Friends met with: 9
Calories consumed: oodles and oodles of the little blighters
Pupils spotted at Alton Towers: 3 (mua ha ha!)

Am now happy, refreshed and glowing gently from the sun - just right for a return to work tomorrow!! :-)

Monday, April 21, 2003

So many junk mails have been caught in my spam-net that I will be able to eat spam fritters for the next two weeks: 91 so far today through my main mail account and 16 through hotmail. Anyone would think that these spammers have lots of time on their hands, that it's a public holiday or something. Ah. So it is. Explains a lot, I s'pose.

In other news, I've seen lots of people over the last couple of days, have eaten lots and imbibed lots. What's more, I fully intend to continue this tradition tomorrow. Am off for a sleep now though.

Saturday, April 19, 2003

Another morning, another bout of tiredness and woolly thinking. Having just re-read last night's ramblings, I would like to inform you that it *was* actually quite difficult to type, the one-eye bit is absolutely true, and it took a long time to get the letters to appear on the screen in the order that I wanted. As a result, my brain hurts. Mind you, the brain might be hurting because of the beer. Or the sesame prawn toast. But I'll blame it on the blogging, coz it sounds better. And because sesame prawn toast is above blame - I think there's a word for it, but I can't remember it, which is a tad worrying.

The James Bond of the Animal World has been in the Legion for the past 2 nights...he's a mean snooker player. Obviously not "mean" as in "pinches the opposition to make them cry" but "mean" as in "far better than me". Maybe this makes up for his dearth of spy gadgets, and after all, the lack of any sort of casino in Repton would leave any James Bond searching for some other way of spending his time and money, although I suspect that the 20p pieces absorbed by the snooker table are somewhat less valuable than casino chips.

Oh dear, this is turning into a steam of consciousness type post, which suggests that it's time for me to go, although it's suggesting this in the same way as a club's bouncer might suggest that it was time to leave. I'm off...

Friday, April 18, 2003

Have got to something to post about the James Bond of the British Legion. But am too drunk. Tomorrow...

Today I cooked a rice pudding. I then got very drunk, ate sesame prawn toast and am now blogging with one eye shut so I can still see the screen. Ho de hum. Happy Easter everyone.

Just been browsing through Amazon and discovered 3 things in my basket that I don't remember ordering. They all look very cool exciting! The joys of e-commerce whilst drunk!!

I woke this morning and felt like I was swimming uphill through treacle. I rolled over and tried to get back to sleep but my body was convinced that at 8.30am on a Friday morning I should be up, dressed and doing last-minute photocopying for lesson one. I'm on holiday, body - have you not realised that?! Here's hoping that tomorrow's lie-in goes a bit better!!

The task for today was shopping. More specifically, shopping for a smart outfit to wear for a couple of weddings and school's speech day. I hate clothes shopping. With a passion. Clothes are never designed for a Mad-shaped body, and nothing fits and nothing looks good. It doesn't help that I'm so indecisive I over-compensate and end up buying the first item that vaguely fits, even if it looks slightly odd. This explains why my wardrobe contains nothing but jeans and T-shirts, because you can't really go wrong with them and it makes shopping very easy. The problem comes with weddings.

Since being old enough to choose my own clothes, I've been to two weddings For the first, I bought the entire outfit in 75 minutes on the way to the wedding: dress, cardigan, bra, socks, tights, necklace *and* blue suede docs. Quick, painless and - one short stop in a motorway service station later - very fetching. For the second wedding, I was given permission by the bride to wear docs, so I borrowed a rug from a friend, bought a new top, and created another unconventional outfit. Again, relatively simple and not requiring too much in the way of trawling round shops. The two impending weddings are different. They are not weddings of my friends (who can be relied upon to make allowances for my appalling taste in clothes) but of family and family friends. This means smart clothes, which in turn, means shopping, stress and horrible moments of indecision. Bleurgh.

Today, though, I was dragged round the streets of the bustling metropolis of Derby and now - after trying on 4 items - I am the proud owner of a dress. What's more, it's a dress made from a pink fabric. And it fits! This is the second time in my life that I have bought pink clothes, although I have created some with careless washing! I was all prepared to whip out the docs again but was persuaded otherwise, so now I also have shoes that match - I didn't even realise that it was possible for shoes *not* to match. You live and learn. If only all shopping were so easy...

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Am drunkish. Trying to blog and cook sausages at the same time. Don't think it's working - keep gettting stuck in internet and forget sausages which are getting burnt. Whoops.

Dear reader, I have a confession to make...

Today, in cold blood, I uttered not one but many of those teacher phrases - you know the type: "It's your time you're wasting, not mine," "The bell is for me, not for you". What made it worse was the fact that they were part of an entire tirade of teacher-speak, going summat like this:

Me: So, why haven't you done this piece of work?
Him: Well - I had English coursework and it's taken all of my time.
Me: I gave you a week in which to do this exam question. Are you telling me that you haven't been able to find 40 minutes in an entire week?
Him: My English has been on-going because we keep getting drafts given back to us and so I thought it should be a high priority - it's due in today.
Me: And? How long have you had to do this coursework in?
Him: [squirming slightly] I can't remember...
Me: More than a week?
Him: [squirming a bit more] Well, yes... but I've spent all my time working on it
Me: So - you're telling me that you've spent 10 hours of prep time, plus eight free lessons, plus all your free time in afternoons and at the weekend working flat-out on your English?
Him: [looking slightly embarrassed by now] Eurm...
Me: I mark your work so you get feedback on your performance, in preparation for the exams this term. I'd like to remind you that I have an A level in Economics. And I have a degree in Economics. In fact, I also have a post-graduate qualification in this subject. It's you who's going to be sitting the AS exam this summer, not me. I don't need to. This means that YOU are the person who needs to be working now.

Youch. What a bitch.

Woke up crumpled and disturbed from a night of bizarre dreams, and then discoverd that someone had nicked all of my shirts from the House laundry. I washed 'em last night and hung them in the drying room so I could wear one today, but by 9am they'd all disappeared. Quel horreur! I spent 5 minutes wandering round in a surreal "what's going on with the world?" type way, but then one of the cleaners took pity on me and told me that the Ironing Fairy had taken the shirts. I was able to track her down and acquire my favourite stripy number, still warm from the iron and pressed in a far more expert manner than I could have managed. Sighs of relief all round - no topless teaching on Planet Mad today!

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

The weather god continues to smile down on us, so this afternoon Jess and I headed out for the local reservior to lie on the bank in the sun eating ice creams. Sometimes life is tough, but today wasn't one of those days. Other momentous things happened too - just simple little things that made life just that bit more sunny and happy - far too many to mention and none important enough to single out but all good.


Whoops - far too slushy. Sorry. Blame it on the sun. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Setting all of my lower sixth sets some mock exam papers seemed a really good idea when it was suggested in department meeting last term. Now - faced with an ever-growing pile of marking - it's turning into a bit of a silly plan. Only a day and a half left until the holidays though: hurrah!!

Monday, April 14, 2003

Reading my previous entry reminds me that many butterflies - against their wishes - end up being chased by random men with nets and jars containing strange liquids guaranteed to cause a quick but certain death for innocent little butterflies. Now, I'm not too keen on the death side of this arrangement, and am not entirely certain I can be classified as either "innocent" or "little", but random men sound fine... just send 'em over!! ;-)

Got up in enough time to serve breakfast in the House, taught some pretty coherent lessons, played my lil' heart out at string orchestra and, "Fantastic blue, lousy pink" was the summary of the night's snooker playing: fair to middling, I reckon. Possibly even good. After all, I have got Thursday night's entertainment sorted out too, care of Repton's premier entertainment venue, The British Legion. Why, I'm just SUCH a social butterfly...

A weekend of highlights and lowlights here on Planet Mad:
Lowlight: teaching lessons on Saturday morning with all that entails, a parents' meeting and supervision of tennis
Highlight: spending a lovely, albeit slightly drunken, Saturday evening with Christmas Chris, a big plate of good, wholesome pub grub and various salacious text messages sent by a friend enjoying a girlie night out in The Big City
Lowlight: being phoned at 10.00am on Sunday to be asked to be in charge of the House for most of the day
Highlight: having a beast of a Sunday lunch at a nice pub by a lake
Lowlight: having to endure a school orchestra rehearsal
Highlight: going out for an Italian meal with about 30 girls from the House plus all the tutors

What does this list tell me?
Firstly, I ate out 3 times in 24 hours, meaning that I truly am deserving of the moniker "Woman who eats out". Perhaps this explains each term's amazing weight gain!
Secondly, I'm dreading the run-up to the school concert in May (to be held in the prestigious venue of St John's, Smith Square, London, no less!) which will see dire conducting inflicted on quite talented musicians, who will respond by not playing well and therefore killing music that should be lovely but isn't. Thank goodness string orchestra exists to redeem such existence.

Anyhoo, off to teach now - yippeeeee!!

Friday, April 11, 2003

Some of us are going to Alton Towers on Easter Tuesday - anyone want to join us? Plenty of space to crash out if you need...

The time of Little Tests approaches fast, and I taught a sixth form lesson today about exam technique. While demonstrating the different types of questions they may face in the exam hall, I stumbled across some examples that they would ALL understand...

Knowledge: - "What do you understand by the term hangover?"

Application: - "Explain why Miss E is prone to suffer from hangovers"

Analysis: - "Analyse the reasons for Miss E's hangover this morning" (causing great smirks from boy sitting in front row who was at the same dinner party last night and then watched me walk into the pub on the way home)

Evaluation: - "To what extent is Miss E's hangover due to the pint of beer she drank in the pub last night?"!!

In other news, I am feeling old: first off, none of my AS-level group can remember going to supermarkets and having checkout staff type prices into the till; second, a GCSE group had to create a whole new age category for me on their questionnaires as I now longer fit neatly into the 16-25 category. Shucks.

Bleugh. Morning. Tired. Semi-hangover. Work. Ick.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Clarification: The 'TM' in the previous post is nothing to do with Tom Martin (Dr). In case you were wondering.

I seem to recall that the Green Stuff was more to do with 'im 'ere!

Pinky writes:

Anything except drink copious quantities of Green Stuff (tm), JD and coke, and beer I assume? :-) (How do you make a vomiting emoticon?)

Nope - am even up for that! Foolhardy or what...!!

Revelation of the day #1: next weekend is Easter - I'd forgotten this.
Revelation of the day #2: I will be able to escape from school for a whole 5.5 days - I'd forgotten this too.

Anyone fancy doing anything exciting next weekend?

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

I love the internet! It tells me things like this:

Your general IQ score is 159.

A person whose IQ score falls in the range of 144-160 is considered to be "gifted".

Mua ha ha!! Little do they know...

Just in from junior pub quiz, where a small boy offered me a Jelly Baby. As I accepted with a smile, he grinned and said, "That's one of the great certainties of life: Miss Emuss will always eat sweets if you offer them!" How well that boy knows me! :-)

Life continues apace here on Planet Mad and the first week is already half-way old. Kids arrive at my classroom and seem to leave 40 minutes later with their brains fuller than when they arrived, the sun continues to shine and last night I turned down not one but two offers of a drink and had an early night instead. I fear that I am in danger of exceeding the EU recommended limit for excitement.

In other news, I appear to have developed hayfever. At least, I hope it's hayfever, otherwise I'm turning into an albino rabbit. Without the ears. Or the teeth. Or the tail, fur or other essential requirements for an albino rabbit other than the pink eyes and the fondness for carrot. Mind, I'd be a pretty useless rabbit as I start crying every time I remain outside for longer than 5 minutes, so there's another exciting career option denied. Isn't that always the way?!

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

I managed to blag my way out of the usual Monday night snooker at the Legion, pleading the excuse that the excitement might kill me. Instead I planned some lessons, thereby ensuring that death from over-excitement was a distant threat. However, I had quite a feckful evening (the opposite of 'feckless', since you ask) and so have spent all today teaching lessons that were planned in advance, which makes a pleasant change! This afternoon sees me "supervising" a tennis session - in reality this requires me to sit in the sun, reading a book and occasionally shouting out encouraging things like, "Good shot!" and, "Well hit!" Tough life, eh?!

Monday, April 07, 2003

Today saw the onset of Post-Dancefloor Ache Syndrome. Actually, it may have set in yesterday, but I was too hungover to notice. Today, however, I winced every time I went to wipe the board, which - given that lessons have resumed - was a bit of a drawback. Apparently I actually fell out of the pub on Saturday night, which may explain one or two things...

Sunday, April 06, 2003

Tomorrow sees the start of another term. I always like to start term in an organised fashion with a tidy desk, no outstanding marking, all lessons prepared thoroughly and worksheets photocopied in advance. Yeah, that's how I like it. It never actually happens like that though; at least, it hasn't in the past and I suspect that this one's going to be no different. This is entirely due to certain people who shall remain nameless (they know who they are) giving me alcohol. It's absolutely all their fault. I am the innocent party in all this, and I would like share my version of events before my good name is besmirched.

Well, I would, if I could remember what my version is. Maybe their versions will be somewhat more accurate than mine, so perhaps you had better hear their stories after all. In my defence, I have a theory that manic bouncing-round dancing (as demonstrated quite admirably in some nightclub somewhere in Cov but I have no idea where it is or how we got there) gets the alcohol into your bloodstream faster.

Alternatively, of course, it could just be that I am a lightweight, which, on reflection, is probably more likely. Ho hum.

Thursday, April 03, 2003

Back from a pleasant evening spent in Brum: couple of pints, couple of bars. "Let the train take the strain" they say, so I did... most convenient. However, on the way home I sat over the aisle from two suits discussing (in a slightly slurring swaying sort of way) their techniques for picking up women. Suit #1 recommended the use of business cards as a way of signalling to potential victims that one is a VERY IMPORTANT professional who is essential enough to have a piece of card stating this. Suit #2 disagreed, recommending instead the use of courses, evening classes and the like. However, he was very careful to clarify this by adding that although Course X is good if one actually wants to learn something, he found there were only 5 women of whom 4 were married and the other was a dog, so it would be better to join the aerobics class.

I had to spend the entire journey studiously staring out the window so I didn't laugh.

Of course, let it be added that I used the reflection in the window as a way of monitoring their conversation... how could one choose to opt out of such entertainment?!

Mua ha ha!!

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Problems caused by blogging after x pints have now been remedied and all irrelevant http bits removed. Alopogies to one and all.

Marking GCSE coursework is the winner of the Most Tedious Thing I've Done Today award. I've spent much time trying to find alternative activities: I was so bored I even cleaned the mould out of my platypus drinking tube. There is truly no hope...

No more will I have to rack my brains thinking of funny things to write in my blog (tried to write "humourous" but can't remember how to spell it....I blame the beer) Instead I can just use this. Hurrah!!

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Ah, bless. It's good to hear some positive news for once.

Warning: whimsical ramblings...

When I was living with my parents, my bedroom had a floor-to-ceiling pin board next to the door. I’d stick anything of significance to this board - notes, pictures, tickets or just things that were reminders of a particularly good day. Last year I finally succumbed to my mother’s nagging to clear the junk from my room, so I took everything down and put it in a carrier bag, which has sat under a table in my sitting room since that day. The domestic tidy-up here on Planet Mad continues unabated (except when I am distracted by things I’ve not seen for years and feel a nostalgic urge to look over them again) and I decided that today was the right time to tackle The Bag.

First out of The Bag were 3 McDonald’s flags. I’m pretty certain that they were “borrowed” on the day of my last concert with Staffordshire Youth Orchestra, when lots of us went to McDonalds between rehearsal and concert. One of my greatest regrets is that I’ve lost touch with every single one of the people from County, even though we were such good friends. The only person I’m still in touch with was a member of the Wind Orchestra (boo, hiss) and I only really know him through Scouts. Maybe a reunion is called for…?

Next from The Bag came numerous friendship bands, followed by loads of tickets. There are bus tickets from my first real ‘dirty weekend’ in the Lake District and travel passes from trips to the Big Bad City where we would hang around outside the sex shop behind Toys R Us daring each other to go in. Concert tickets abound in The Bag, ranging from the BBC Philharmonic to The Sultans of Ping, via The Cranberries and The Wonder Stuff and lots of tiny local bands that are no longer in existence. I could only have been about 13 years old for some of them – I have no idea how I persuaded my parents to let me go. I’ve even got tickets to college balls from university: good days.

There are a number of notes in The Bag too, scribbled on scraps of paper, on the back of chewing gum wrappers, on bus tickets. One reads

I would like to express my sincere apologies for slobbering over you (so Sarah tells me) and I hope you will, with time, forgive me. Lots of love, Stuart

I have no idea who Stuart is, but apology accepted, anyway.

All of these things are understandably deserving of their place in The Bag. What confuses me, though, is the fact that I had a folding plastic spoon stuck to the board. Why? And what possessed me to pin up a picture of a cookie cut from a magazine? Such are the great, unanswered questions of today. Obviously being on holiday has addled my brain cell. It’s just a good job I resisted the temptation to read my old diaries…

And as for the person who sent me this little thought:

Chips & mayo are better (or is that me being southern?) ... mind you with colslaw is good as well (the choice of the martime section!)

Nah. Salad cream rules.

Life here on Planet Mad continues its normal mundane pattern of holiday slobbery. It's been great to get my life a bit more organised, but in a perverse way I can't wait to return to work - I miss the job, the constant challenges, the contact with lots of people. For example, the highlight of today has been reading The Guide Association's District Commissioner Induction Scheme. Now, maybe I'm setting my sights a little high, but I don't think that activity rates well on the "Exciting or Not?" scale. Maybe I'm wrong. Either way, I suspect that this weekend's activities will be far more enjoyable... just ready for the start of term on Monday!