Sunday, November 30, 2003

The sun is shining, the weather is crisp, I feel awake and invigorated: today is a day for learning new things. For example, how to put pictures onto this humble tome. I may even have to relinquish luddite status at this rate!

in the Lake District

in Sweden

I took part in a half-marathon yesterday. I had the stamina to keep going nearly all the way: I only stopped once, when my body felt it had had enough; it soon saw the error of its ways. Now I feel a great sense of achievement and am much better prepared to tackle the day/week ahead. Here're the details of my epic journey:
8.00pm Feel sleepy
8.10pm Choose a book
8.15pm Give up reading and start sleeping
2.45am Wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go. Look at clock.
2.46am Read another 5 pages of book. Fall back to sleep
8.20am Wake up. Bounce out of bed.
Feelin' good!

Friday, November 28, 2003

Not drununk, but still squinty-eyed. Teaching tomorrow. Ah. Whoops.

There's a job advertised this week teaching Economics and Business Studies in Nepal. I am sooo tempted!

Thursday, November 27, 2003

I love the internet. Have just had the most amusing messenger conversation, which I reproduce (in part, with spelling partly corrected) for you here because it is so bloody funny (well, it amused me and I need somewhere to record it for posterity!).

To set the scene, I'm talking with my younger brother, who's a bit of a biker/BMXer who's very attached to his broadband connection and online games, and is rarely seen wearing anything but jeans and a hoody. He's telling me about his Saturday night out in Birmingham:

forteh: the bouncer comes out and tells me that i wasnt going to get in
Mad: why?
forteh: think nothing of it cos im in a crowd of 10 pple
Mad: but?
forteh: get to the door and he says look m8 ive already told you your not coming in
Mad: why not? what did he say?
forteh: ask him why
forteh: get this
forteh: im too mainstream
forteh: cos im wearing a shirt, trousers and shoes
Mad: You're not weird enough, sunshine!!!!!!
forteh: im too broadstreet
Mad: ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!
forteh: they dont want broadstreet types in thir bar
forteh: i was too much of a kevin ffs
Mad: Fucking hell!!!!
forteh: those were his words :(
forteh: too much of a kevin lol
forteh: i asked him if the bloke who had just gone in wearing pretty much the same was a kevin aswell?
forteh: he ignored that one
forteh: then we hung around for 10 mins whilst we got the pple out of there that had already gone in
forteh: he kept telling us every 30 second that theres no point hanging around cos we werent getting in
Mad: I bet he was a huge fucker too!
Mad: not someone to argue with!
forteh: we just told him we didnt want to go into his elitist pretentious fucking bar and we were waiting for pple
forteh: only about 6 or 5
Mad: dear me
Mad: did you really use the term "elitist pretentious fucking bar"?!?!?

What's more, this epic saga continued...

forteh: but i did get some praise about me sideburns lol
forteh: unfortunately from a bloke D:
Mad: ha ha!
forteh: he said how do you get your sideburns to grow like that :o
Mad: did you tell him your secret?
forteh: well dont have a shave and they magically appear
Mad: gosh!
Mad: I'd never have guessed that!! :-)
forteh: also cutting your pubes off and dble sided tape works well :o

I shall not be able to look at double sided sticky tape in the same way ever again. Ever. Am still giggling. Oh dear. I've finally flipped!

Marking exam scripts makes my braincell curl up and ooze round the edges. I'm not a good one to make conversation with, right now.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

I've just done late-night check round the House and heard whispering in one of the bedrooms. Knocking quietly, I opened the door.

"Come on girls - it's twenty to midnight. You've got to go to sleep soon or you'll turn into pumpkins."
"OK Miss, sorry. You'd better go too, because you'll turn into a pumpkin as well."
"Oh, don't worry about that - I already *am* a pumpkin!"

"Have you been here before?"
"Yes, but a long time ago"
"So, what do you want me to do?"
"I don't care. Just cut it all off. I don't care what it looks like; it has a mind of its own and will do whatever it wants anyway"
"Are you sure?"




snip, snip, snip, snip





snip, snip, snip



preen in front of mirror

grin cheekily

"You know, it really suits you short"
"I know. I just don't have time to get it cut very often"
"Well, you must make time: no excuses"


"Miss E, you're looking very shiny and smart"
"No, dear child, it's the same crap clothes as usual - it's just new hair"
"Oh yes. So it is"

So there you are - shiny, smart and shorn.

I was challenged by Claire to take the condom quiz. I got 8/10 (more by luck than judgment!)

And, on a related topic, did you know that boiling condoms makes them stretch much further? You didn't?! You do now!

The hair's in for the chop. I can't stand it any longer. Thank goodness for walk-in appointments!

Exam invigilation has obviously affected my brain cell. Back to normality later.

Being a member of the Biritsh Legion, as I am, entitles me to a copy of Legion - the magazine with the best adverts in the world. What makes it even better are the accompanying catalogues, full of stuff that I never knew I needed:

  • a 60 piece paint brush set
  • a hand-held sewing machine
  • an adjustable folding cane
  • Giant clippers for tough toenails
In fact, this last item caught my eye, so I read on:
This GIANT Easy-Squeeze Toenail Clipper is extra gentle, and it cuts easier - so you don't have to squeeze as hard. Extra long handles lets you reach toes without straining. Cuts even the toughest toenails.

Now, I'm not sure I wuold categorise my toenails as particularly tough, but long handles sounds an attraction: getting rid of bending over is a definite bonus. Sadly, looking at the picture, they resemble a pair of pliers, suggesting that scrunching into a small ball will still be ncessary; perhaps I won't be adding them to my Christmas list after all!

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

It's that time of term where I finally turn into The Blob. Twelve weeks of attending tea and lunch in the House have had a rather adverse effect, and I'm even (shock horror) contemplating going on a diet, in a very vague sort of way. This, however, did not stop a colleague today asking if I'd lost weight.

"Oh, not at all," I replied, "It's just that my hair is getting bigger at a faster rate than my face is getting fatter."

"Oh," she said.

Although Darth Vader has worn off, I ache like an aching thing. Further proof, should more be required, that exercise is A Bad Thing.

Monday, November 24, 2003

I was unable to blog earlier: I started doing a credible Darth Vader impression, brought on by participating in a game of netball. Sadly the rest of the players were all 13, so kept running about everywhere very fast, whilst I was suffering from couch-potato-non-fitness and a distinct lack of sports-bra. Damn them and their young healthy lifestyle. Pah!

Now, however, I am propped back in front of the computer, having been to a Rotary meeting to speak with Claire on GaSCiT (this summer's big camp #1). It went well, and I was complimented on my presentation skills. I did point out that I'm a teacher and therefore have to make presentations several times a day (often to reluctant audiences!) but they seemed impressed nonetheless. At that point my head swelled, and I would have been home far sooner but I was stuck in the door. C'est la vie!

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Today was mostly spent in SAGGA Exec meeting, which involved much talk of babies, a bag of Kettle Chips and a packet of Tang-Fastic Haribo. I now face the prospect of a nice pile of marking: I guess I'm the lucky one! The last few days have disappeared more quickly than I would believe possible and the kids are now back in school, ready to start lessons again tomorrow morning. Ick, ick, icketty-ick.

Sleepy now. Early start tomorrow. Aargh.

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Today I shall be mostly singing in harmony. No, not with myself - I'm not Perdita X Nitt yet. Choons lined up for today include The Beach Boys, The Mammas and The Papas and then some sixties classics, where I can shoop and shawaddy to my heart's content. Just cover your ears if you're in the vicinity.

Oh no! They're launching a two-pronged attack on my comments box! Firstly

Don't tell me: A five-year-old is the right size for the Madmobile; rear leg/headroom not needed. Tom

Which is true, I concede; but then, also this:

So Mad is this Madmobile appreciator the new man in your life ;) Caz (and yes I am here with Tom)

The new man?! Well, he's a tad young at the moment, but I know I'd have no problems with the mother-in-law!

Friday, November 21, 2003

Went to Stoke today to have lunch with a friend. The Madmobile was much admired by her son, and I managed to complete his jigsaw game on the playstation so earned his total respect (to be fair to him, he's not yet five, so is unlikely to realise that there are far better women out there; his day will come)

I drove back through the fog, listening to Heart FM, partly because Friday night is 80s night, but also because I'm teaching promotion and advertising next week and want to be able to use contemporary examples of radio adverts. "Come to X shopping centre," we were told, "and meet Snow White, Jack Frost and Betty Twinkle." BETTY TWINKLE?! Who the hell is that?! She sounds like some sort of ropey porn star. AND they're encouraging kiddiwinkles to go and look at her. The mind boggles.

After recovering from *that* shock, I then went to Guides, where they were doing Christmas Crafts. I hate craft. Words cannot explain how much I loathe making things: fiddly cutting out; blobs of glue that then go manky-grey when the kids stick their fingers in it; glitter. In fact, glitter should be a whole category by itself. Ick. Needless to say, I spent most of the night tidying out the cupboard.

I have now discovered that I have dropped lumps of icing sugar into my computer keyboard, so I'm going to have to take the whole thing apart and clean it. Maybe I should have a beer first...

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Went out this afternoon to be naughty with Mark, as organised under the affluence of incahol last Saturday. We ate lunch in a very swish restaurant (yummy artichoke soup just like me ma used to make, an interesting swordfish bake thing and then the most luscious chocolate pudding thing in the history of puddings), I spilt food down my cleavage, at which point Mark gave up on his crusade to improve my social skills, we tried on hats in John Lewis and House of Fraser and then mooched the streets of Nottingham in a free-from-all-responsibility sort of way. Am now feeling fat and wided-eyed-caffeine-overdosed: it's the price you have to pay for being a social butterfly, I suspect!

A request just in:

Are you going to let your avid (or should that be rabid?) readers know your IM IDs, so that we can contact you on Trillian? Or are we just going to have to guess?

For rabid readers only (just make sure you don't dribble into the keyboard!) I'm mademuss on yahoo, AIM *and* MSN... get in touch! :-)

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

I've acquired a copy of Trillian, which lets me consolidate all of my messenger services into one easy application. I've justified this on grounds of convenience, ease and prudence, although I suspect it just means I have more excuses to avoid marking. Hey ho! Although good, it does keep blooping at me, both going-up bloops and going-down bloops. Haven't worked out what they mean yet, but I'm sure all will become clear inthe future!

It is the age of comments, and here's a selection that drifted (very very quickly - whee!) into my inbox.

Hmm. You may have annoyed google. It now says 'this blank space was brought to you by google'. --kajv2

Whoops! That's confused it! Alternatively, it could have scanned my brain cell and chosen adverts based on its findings.

if you are having any e-mail/broadband probs you can borrow Phil, if he can do it in sweden he can do it anywhere love CMT

That's a very kind offer, and I might just take you up on that if I continue in Luddite mode much longer!

Mad, you should keep your private eye down your bra when not reading it coz then no one can steal it! Amy

Advice I shall be heeding, methinks; if I look somewhat lumpy in the chest area tomorrow then you'll know what it is!

Oooooh. Squirmy fast. Still don't think I can download email yet, but that might just make my life quieter...

Ooooh. Computer mysteries. Headless chicken. Nice man on help desk. Ooooh. And double oooh, I tells yer! Have been made to laugh by this classic error message:

Surprisingly, the modem you're trying to dial doesn't appear to exist. Do you want to continue?

OK. OK. I turned the light on to rescue said mini-doughnuts and there were only 6 left, which is considerably less than a third-of-a-box-full. In between picking them out of the printer and placing the box back on top of the scanner, there are now only three left. Even these three are looking mighty tempting. Hurrah for elasticated waist bands!

And "piss off" to those bastards at Google, who decided that my blog's adverts should feature a well-known diet. Grrr...

Grease was the most fun I've had since... oh... since a long time. I'm unable to write more, for fear of invoking the laws of libel, but it was goooood.

Noise for this evening: eeeep. And that's all I've got to say on the matter, except to note that my escort home (and not an escort in that sense, you perverted reader, you!) used somewhat complicated logic to justify walking up and down a hill all evening, and finally cracked after the third attempt. Some people have no stamina!

I've just dropped a whole box (well, a half-full box... eurm... third-full box) of mini-doughnuts on my printer. Whoops. Better go and sort it out.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Helpful advice just in from Dr T:

Try sticking it (Private Eye) to a table, then hiding to watch as your colleagues try to walk off with it ;)

Y'know, I might just do that... anything to liven up life in the Common Room!

Am off to watch a production of Grease this evening - it's a joint venture between two of the Houses here, and promises to be very entertaining. What's more, I have to confess that I've never seen Grease before, so I'm looking forward to finding out what it's all about!!

Things that have pleased or amused me today:

* "For sale - a wardrobe and a chester drawers £100" (spotted in the supermarket)

* The latest edition of Private Eye (which will no doubt disappear off with a colleague as soon as I've read it. Damn unfaithful publication!)

* Arrival of my ADSL modem. Broadband goes live tomorrow. Eeeep!

Still singing in inappropriate places. Still grappling with a pile of marking bigger than King Kong's toe. Still chortling out loud at the recent developments over at El Blog de SeƱor Casey - A Tale Featuring A Man, His Hair and Plenty Of Alcohol. And Some Writing, From Time To Time.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Have been afflicted with a terrible curse: I keep singing. Little snippets of tune keep creeping out when I'm least expecting them; snatches of melody suddenly burst forth at inappropriate times. I was fortunate enough to discover that the entire High Street was empty this evening, so I launched into an Ella Fitzgerald classic. The people hiding from the rain in the bus stop were less fortunate - they had to listen to it.

After killing off half the locals through over-exposure to Random Pavarotti Disease, I then drove like a maniac over to Loughborough to sort out a GaSCiT presentation with Claire: it was good to catch up on the news and have a giggle about pictures from the event. Although her laptop stopped working from a spazz attack (and that's a technical computing term, mark my words!) it was a productive evening... it just didn't help reduce my pile of marking!

Sunday, November 16, 2003

The great thing about text messages is that they're less ephemeral than instant messages or conversation, and a person can reconstruct their evening by reading the content of their phone's inbox.

Unless you're me. I thought I had a pretty good idea of what I did last evening (wine, sofa, music, candles...) until I re-read my messages from Mark. In chronological order, they are as follows:

Just seen Seabiscuit. V good! Wine better than bloke - never complains, always available and will never leave you for another drinker.

You would probably do that with a bloke too! You have no shame!

See! You don't need a bloke. Just lots of wine and someone to do the washing up!

Def over qualified. I can cook too!

It's nice to know you want my body even if it is only for cooking cleaning and opening bottles!

Not forgetting the drink consuming categry?! So I would cook and clean and you would empty my wine cellar? Hmmm...

*sly grin and dirty laugh* I can make all sorts of suggestions my dear...

My parents and aunt have done their best. They will be glad to know you appreciate it! U busy next week? Am on holiday.

Naughty on Thurs sounds good. Will text tomorrow.

Oh dear. I have NO idea what my side of the conversation was, or what I've let myself in for. In context, though, "naughty" will probably involve cinema, dinner and a good bitch-fest, followed by drawing moustaches on pictures in the paper and writing alternative headlines and captions. We're so mature!

OK, OK... perhaps it has something to do with the bottle of red. Pah!

But not the bottle of red wine.

OK, perhaps it is something to do with the port.

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Good intentions of sofa-lounging were defeated by simultaneous text messages and internet messanger messages... my fingers are confused and I can no longer type or work my phone. It's nothing to do with the port I'm drinking. Honest.

It's been nice to have some time to myself. I've lounged on the sofa for the last 3 hours, with only red wine and a selection of fine choons to keep me company. It's been remarkably pleasant, but also quite sad in the grand scheme of things. What's worse is knowing that my sixth form are all out enjoying the bustling metropolises (metropola?) of Derby, Nottingham and Manchester, and I refused to join them coz I'm too old, so I've had to resort to solo sitting-room dancing to compilations of 70s disco tunes. It's a good job there's not a webcam link here! I'm now trying to type and text simultaneously, and it's proving a little difficult. Better head back to the sofa...

One of the first things I do when I (finally) get my broadband sorted is update my list of links: there are now so many on my favourites list that I'm getting RSI just looking for them.

Off now to continue nursing my bottle of red wine by candlelight.

Friday, November 14, 2003

I sat drinking tea this afternoon and watched our kids being blown down the lane towards the astroturf to play hockey. Their pinched faces and slumped shoulders spoke of absolute dejection, and it reminded just why I hate sport, at least on winter afternoons. Unless, of course, the sport in question is tea-drinking, snooker or some other indoor recreation. I suspect that I'm not cut out for the games-teacher part of my job. Hey ho.

My alarm clock has a 10-minute snooze feature, and I managed to activtate it not once, not twice, but seven times this morning. 'Twas a mighty shock when I realised quite how late it was! As a result, I've had to spend the day with fluffy hair and a badly ironed shirt.

I think it's time for cous-cous salad, and then some skillful application of hair wax.

Yet again some bastard's been playing about with the clocks, and whilst my brain thinks it's only 11pm, my timepieces tell me otherwise. I hate it when that happens. The irony is that the opposite happens in the mornings, when it's often much earlier than I think it should be. I'm going to write to someone in charge and suggest they ban time.

In other news, my Broadband paperwork arrived today: just waiting for BT to get their act together and for my ISP to send my new modem. Am quivering in anticipation, and there's probably still a week to go...!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

The haunted goldfish-bowl this evening was showing some sort of music award show, and I sat and watched some of it with girls in the House. At some point in the proceedings, I was called upon to demonstrate my bestest dancing moves, as learnt when I was a wee thing at university. After much laughter and wiping away of tears, the questions started. "Miss E," asked one of the girls, "Did you ever find that your friends used to edge away from you, in a slightly embarrassed sort of way?" Grrr... they're just sooo perceptive, and they weren't even born then! (OK,OK, slight exaggeration, but they were barely out of the toddling stage, and certainly not about to enter a funky moves competition!) Am off to play some disco choons and have a little practice...

There I was, drifting gently through life, when suddenly it jumped out. I was totally unprepared, and could do little but yelp in protest then give in. I never saw it coming, had no idea; I'd been warned but didn't really expect it to happen so soon.

Damn deadlines.

I've just had to write 60-ish internal reports about my kiddywinkles; the deadline was 4.25pm this afternoon. Luckily it went without a hitch, but it *did* stop me having the post-lunch nap that I'd been fantasising about all morning. I now have a dent in my finger and a woolly braincell. Pah.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Went to a friend's flat for raclette, although I have no idea how to spell it. It involves melting swiss cheese and draping it artistically over potatoes and a selection of ham and pickles. I'm sure this description hasn't done justice to the culinary delights, but it was both culinary and delightful: you'll have to take my word for it.

Tomorrow I am being observed teaching an AS-level business lesson. This is a damn fine reason why I shouldn't be playing on the computer now, but sometimes good reasons aren't enough...

The first two present requests have come winging their way inward, Amy just nudging ahead. For both of you, I'll see what I can do, although I suspect my bank account may not stretch as far as the car requested...!!

As a village, Repton is not exactly over-endowed in the shop department. It does, however, have an excellent butcher's, which often flaunts its wares on a chalk-board standing on the pavement. On my walk home today, I was distressed to note that there are 43 days left until Christmas. Whilst this could divert into a rant about commercialism, I shall instead confine my comments to a lament about my lack of planning: no cards, no presents, no clue what anyone wants... Present requests via that box o'er there!

Sunday, November 09, 2003

On Friday evening I received a text message trying to lure me away to Cheltenham with promises of drinks, fireworks and a bloke. At the time I had to refuse, being in charge of a House full of teenage girls for the weekend. However, at Saturday lunch I was unexpectedly relieved from duty, so grabbed an hour of sleep then headed off south.

Conversation soon drifted round to that most uncomfortable of topics: my love life, or lack thereof. I explained my new master plan for relationship success, which involves pulling someone who lives within an hour's drive of home, so I actually get to see them more than once a month. Wendy nodded her approval and asked what the local talent was like, to which Rada replied, "I don't want to piss on your bonfire, but I went without a shag for two and a half years when I lived in Nottingham. It was a bit of a sexual desert." Curses! Another fine plan destroyed! To make up for this disappointment, I drank lots of wine/port/beer/dodgy-vodka-alcopop-type-things, ate lots of food, laughed at three teenage boys who were sneakily eying up our sparklers, staggered home and collapsed in a heap. Rock n roll!

We gathered in the pub this morning to watch the rugby, aided by several cups of tea and coffee and a huuuge fried breakfast. Whilst I know very little about the game, I am full of admiration for the discipline of the players and their attitude towards the referee... it puts footballers to shame.

Still to come: marking, planning, concert, cinema, a few beers. Enjoy yourselves...

Friday, November 07, 2003

This week has been silly busy: I've been all but running the House since Tuesday, and it's been a real emotional drain. I've got a slightly disconnected feeling, and suspect that I no longer make any sense when I speak or have much grip on reality. It's not even 11pm on a Friday evening; across the country, my friends are easing themselves into inebriated oblivion, yet I am fantasising about an early night curled around my duvet, cuddling a mug of cocoa. I'm old before my time. Or at least, that's what it feels like.

Sometimes I look at my job, wonder about my sanity, and contemplate becoming an accountant. Then I realise that accountants probably don't send suggestive text messages after midnight, and I decide that I've probably made the right career choice. If only I didn't have to teach tomorrow... eurm... today...

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Our 13/14 year olds have a 'lights out' time of 10pm. By 10.30pm I was fed up with them turning the lights back on, so I flung open the door, stood menacingly in the doorway and uttered these classic words:

If I see these light on one more time I will take away all of your lightbulbs.

At times, I amuse myself. If only I could remember to think before opening my mouth.

It's gone complicated at work. Ick.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

I note with interest that I can sign up for a Virgin Card. I assume that this will then entitle me to virgins on a regular basis, in the same way that my credit card provides me with credit. Phanar!

Monday, November 03, 2003

School runs this devious arrangement called Winter Timetable, designed to keep us teachers on our toes and to suck any remaining vestiges of life from our pupils. It's all due to the sports department, who have this uncanny belief that sport is only possible in the hours of daylight and, therefore, should be played immediately after lunch rather than waiting until lessons finish at 4pm. This means that - for us non-sports teachers - we have a swathe of afternoon free and then have to teach until nearly 6pm. Believe me - it's a silly system, and I'm suffering as a result. It's a bit of a pity-party here, folks!

A man with a beard, a long ladder and some kinky harness-type contraption arrived this afternoon, fiddled with the junction box and prounced me one step closer to broadband. Woo hoo!!

Sunday, November 02, 2003

If you are a fan of custard, may I recommend Tesco's Finest fresh custard, which is just ideal for a Sunday evening curled up on the sofa. Mmmmmm....

A weekend of cooking, eating, late nights and catching up with friends. Am now sleepy.

Saturday, November 01, 2003

Sadly November continued into early mornings, lessons and squinting through sleepy eyes. The pile of marking is threatening a return and I have to tidy up before my parents arrive tomorrow for lunch. Maybe it's not as hunky-dory as I thought.

November started with a good laugh, curry, beer and black coffee. Long may it continue...