Monday, December 29, 2003

My packing's nearly done and I'm off out of here to the dim, distant wilderness of Dartmoor. Have a great new year - I shall be at a beach party. Enjoy...

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Oh, forgot to say: Christmas Chris came up trumps again! Whoo hoo!!

Have finished baking; chances of accidental dribbling much reduced. Chances of midnight feasting, however, are far increased. Bah!

Christmas was great, from the candle-lit carol service at the parish church to the Christmas dinner so large that we had to stop and sleep between courses. Much amusement was provided by my brother's hangovers, my parents' cats and my elderly aunt's comments about my seasonal hair and lack of bloke. I'm now back home and baking cakey-buns in preparation for New Year in Devon. Chocolatey smells are wafting gently round and I'm starting to drool. I suspect that dribble in the keyboard is not something recommended in the manufacturer's handbook, so I'm off...

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

And now, the end is nigh, and as I face the final curtain...

There are two items left unticked on my To Do list
The hair dye is developing slowly on my head
The oil and water on the Madmobile have been checked
Fatso has been fed and watered
Assorted presents are packed into boxes ready for the journey to the old folks'
I've still not sent any Christmas Cards *

...I did it < cue dreadful singing > MYYYYY WAAAYYYY! < /singing >

* Have yet again failed miserably in the card department this year; if you're owed one, sorry. Consider this your Christmas greeting.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Paj has already expressed a preference for his favourite literary work; another preference came in via the box o'er there. I think mine is probably this one. Or maybe this one. One that didn't make it over from the original message board is the Rev. Spooner's version which makes me laugh every time; it can fortunately be found here.

On more mundane matters:

So what's happened to fatso? He's not been mentioned in despatches for ages? And who is this Mark you mention? Caz (with a hint of Dr Tom)

Fatso is alive, well and scampering merrily. Unfortunately he's worked out how to escape from his hamster ball, leaving me to crawl round the flat looking under sofas and calling to him. It's just not on. Pah! Oh, and Mark? He's my best mate from university... words do not do him justice, except to say that I'd be half the woman I am today if I hadn't met him (physically speaking, anyway: he always bought lunch).

Right - off to wrap pressies and dye my hair (a festive shade of Christmas Purple, should you really wish to know).

Monday, December 22, 2003

A little something I happened across, related - I might add - to this afternoon's fillum. Be prepared to spend hours here being a literary wotsit.

I still haven't posted any Christmas cards. In fact, I've still got to write most of them. Instead of writing cards, I went to to the uber-bustling metropolis of Nottingham, where I ate noodles with Mark and then watched some film. I suspect it's not going to be a big box-office hit, but it was enjoyable enough. My punishment for such frivolity is an aching muscle in my shoulder, which makes it painful to laugh or wave my arms around; Mark reckons it's a delayed reaction to Friday night's smooching, but I suspect it's more to do with sleeping in a silly position at a funny angle in an odd way strangely (no matter how I write it it sounds dubious. It isn't. Honest).

Tomorrow I MUST buy presents: it's getting a tad late to be faffing around now. Come on Emuss, get a grip...

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Le Weekend:
Guide party, sugary food, drive, M6 toll road, loud 80s music, Cheltenham, pint, JD, JD, JD, laugh, JD, dance, laugh, JD, JD, smooch, sleep, wake, grimace, cup of tea, cup of tea, cup of tea, cup of tea, greasy fry-up, James Bond, cup of tea, cup of tea, drive, oil warning light, hasty stop at garage, drive, Worcester, pantomime, banoffee pie, more banoffee pie, meringueythingy, drive, sleep, wake, drive, jazz classics, Derby, lunch, coffee, home, collapse.

This is what comes from trying to cram too many weekends into one two-day period. It's not big and it's not clever.* Don't try this at home.

* But it is fun

A year ago today K and Pete got married. I was hoping to use my newly-discovered geeky skills to put here my favourite picture(s) from their wedding, or - dare I say - from the shennanigans after the formalities. However, it has not proved an easy task.

As with many other things here on Planet Mad, the storage of photographs is somewhat haphazard: photo wallets get chucked into a large cupboard, regardless of chronology or logic; relocating a specific picture is done by methodically emptying out the entire cupboard and opening every wallet. I did this twice. There was not even a hint of a Johns' wedding photo. I have since realised that photogaphy took an enforced hiatus when I lost my camera last summer, so instead I will have to leave you with this picture of the bride (taken, I hasten to add, some years earlier):

K drinks port through a Cadbury's chocolate finger

She will not thank me for showing the picture of her the following morning, and so I will (for once) restrain myself. Happy anniversary!

Friday, December 19, 2003

Today's shopping expedition has been a trial throughout, from the queues into the carpark to the inept checkout woman at the end, meandering via ankle-high brats playing tig in Ottakars and countless other shops stocked full of items I didn't want to buy. In terms of seasonal present purchases, I acquired the grand total of bollock-all. I did get some drinks and cakes for Guides (party tonight) and a map of Dartmoor (for New Year), but they hardly qualify for registration on the present-o-meter. Shucks. Looks like I've still got a lot of work to do next week.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Tummy soooo full. Feet soooo heavy. Going to exploooode.... aaaargh....

It seems that I am a medium* or a psychic: the sleep epic did indeed take place.

*although possibly verging on large if seen from the wrong angle due to the amount of meals I've eaten in pubs/restaurants/curry houses in the last 5 days!

Classic tunes murdered this night: The trumpet shall sound; I know that my redeemer liveth; Oh we like sheep (but lamb is best). Those who know things about music say that the tempo and ornamentation were wrong; I just know that my fingers hurt, my back aches and I didn't quite manage to play all the notes, but mimed well enough to avoid detection. I feel an epic sleep session coming on...

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Discovery of the day: pancakes with ginger preserve. Mmmm....

A thousand grovelling alopogies(sic):

You neglected to give us fair warning that there was a birthday approaching. Bad Mad! Glad to hear it was a good one. --paj [off, with Mrs J, to see Eddie Izzard on Saturday night]

My birthday fell in term-time this year, so was not celebrated with the usual debauchery; Eddie was good fun though... enjoy!

Today I shall be mostly cowering in the orchestra as a local Music Society perform their own version of The Messiah. In theory it's Handel's Messiah, but he didn't orchestrate it for old biddies who can no longer get the high notes, so they have to present their own interpretation. How I look forward to it!

I failed in my attempt to spend all of Monday in bed: I just don't have the stamina that I used to. Once upon a time I would have been able to spend three or four days lounging, moving only to get food or drink; nowadays I can't even manage 24 hours. What a failure. On the other hand, I have managed to fill my days with... eurm.... I don't really know what I've been doing.

Instead, I shall offer you the latest in comments (some of which have been languishing for some time, alack!):

First in reference to the bizarre behaviour of my juniors

The Heineken Maneuvre... surely that reaches blockages that other maneuvres cannot reach. Ashley

Quite so. Which leads us nicely to:

"Bdoing" is a lovely word. We need more Bdoings!

I agree. I shall leave my bra off tomorrow, which will bring quite a few more bdoings into the world. On second thoughts, that may not be the best plan: I have to play in a concert and will be told off for bdoinging in the wrong place. Hey ho.

Happy Birthday, Mad. Hope you have a great day. - Mal. :)

Cheer m'dear. 'Twas a good day - I went to see Eddie Izzard, and sat in All Bar One in Brum reading a very amusing book. This segues neatly to the final bit of commentage for this evening, refering to a post I made way back when

Yeah, did the punctuation quiz yesterday evening. Got full marks, akshully (fared less well on the spelling test) - Signor Casey

Blimey Crikey O'Riley. Too much excitement for one evening... I'm off.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Le date chaud was bon, in a "lots of caffeine and giggles" sort of way. Tonight I am playing hostess to various colleagues, in a "lots of booze and guffaws" sort of way. Tomorrow I intend to sleep, in a "can't be arsed to get out of bed" sort of way.

I love holidays.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

I didn't make it as far as bed. I was sidetracked by instant messages, plans for the holidays, tidying up, a visit to the chippy and a cocktail/kareoke party. Pah.

Tomorrow I have a hot date (well - possibly more like luke-warm); tonight I should have been getting lots of sleep and letting my liver recover. It seems that I will never learn.

It's been sleepy-tired-delicate-hungover-wobbly sort of day so far. Am off to bed.

Friday, December 12, 2003

"Miss! Miss!" I hear as I enter the juniors' common room. "Sophie was choking, but I saved her - I did the Heineken Manouvre!"

WHOOOOOOOOO!!! Have finished teaching for this term - no more classroom based activities until January. Bdoing! This afternoon will be spent sorting out the House and chivvying along the girls' packing; this evening sees me stuff myself silly at the end-of-term House Supper and then shock my colleagues as I appear in the pub wearing a dress. Tomorrow I sleep!

Thursday, December 11, 2003

This evening I took one of our 13 year old girls from the House off to hospital. As they admitted her, the Sister in charge turned to me and said, "Are you her mother?"

Youch. Thanks a bundle.

Words of solace about my absence drift in:

You've missed the b*gg*er being down more often than not in the past couple of days.

Ah. That at least explains part of the confusion: I'd seized the muse (at which point she slapped me and I had to let go, but that's another story...) and was about to launch forth into a diatribe about the price of kumquats or suchlike, when the pooter refused to let me. Pah.

Also in:

Mad, Hugh isn't impressed with you telling every one that Sarah Norton story, he he he. If only he knew that I was doing the same. Love Aims xx

He might just know now, seeing as I've just let it slip on the interwebnetmalarky. Whoops! :-)

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Having a bit of a bloggage blockage. Inspiration flittered past the window an hour ago, but the damn thing flew off before I could grab it and make it into words. Normal service will be resumed yada yada drone.

Monday, December 08, 2003

On the cusp of being old...

It's a beautiful evening. I walked home across the playing fields, tucked snugly inside my coat. The air was so cold it hurt to breathe in; the grass crunched under foot, glittering in the light of the moon. The sky was a deep, sensuous blue: indigo brushed with whisps of cloud. Stars hung, suspended diamonds. The silhouetted buildings stood black against the sky and against the distant, glimmering street-lights; a hush fell. I realise that I love this village, this job. I have friends near and far, new and old. I feel comfortable in my skin and with my place in the world. I am at peace.

I am grateful for many things.

The weekend was spent procrastinating, in the most stylish way possible of course, in an attempt to avoid writing my Lower Sixth reports. Instead of slaving over a hot desk on Saturday evening, I headed off to Cannock for an 80s party. Shoulder pads, leg warmers and dodgy makeup had a certain appeal, but instead I decided to go as someone in their 80s.... the nasty, itchy, turquoise polyester dress went beautifully with a salmon pink cardigan, red headscarf and brown handbag, stuffed - of course - with Werther's Originals. Pictures of the ensemble should hopefully be available soon (although whether I dare to publish them is another matter!)

I'd intended to return home on Sunday morning, spend some time recovering from the 2am bedtime and then get these damned reports written. Pah! How wrong I was! Instead I went to the cinema and then an advent carol service (I'm dead good at prioritising, me!) so didn't finish reporting until 1am this morning. I was then up at 6.15am to get the final set finished and sorted out. Bleurgh! Now I'm spaced out on too much caffeine, frozen from umpiring netball and gently contemplating having a nap. Excuse me while I wibble.


(and that's all I have to say about today so far - and, trust me, I've seen a lot of it already)

Saturday, December 06, 2003

This is just beautiful: a visual thesaurus. (found via

Friday, December 05, 2003

Today's Lucky Threes:

  • Three supermarkets - Sainsbury's in both Burton and Derby, then Tesco's
  • Three types of cakes
  • Three free lessons - spent writing reports, doing marking and generally being feckful
  • Three groove-tastic CDs, packed in one handy box - School Reunion: The 80s
  • Three funky dance moves - hastily cut short when I realised that the curtains were open and everyone could see in

I'm now waiting for my sticky toffee pudding to cook. Although this delays my bedtime somewhat, it does give me more opportunity to sing-along-a-the-80s and get in training for tomorrow evening's 80s party. Just be thankful you're not here!

Tom writes:

That's understandable, then. As for gnomes, what about "garden ornaments", or perhaps you could take an example: "Today class, you will meet the man in my life," produces gnome. Tom

I like your style. However, they'd all faint with shock at the news so I'd have to spend the next 10 minutes checking they'd all recovered! Hey ho!

I intended to have an early night.

Instead, I wrote some reports then went to the pub.

Whilst there, I laughed. I laughed until I cried and slapped the table in amusement. My tummy muscles (such as they are) hurt from laughing.

I haven't laughed like that in ages. It feels good.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

I went to university when I was 18. Within 8 weeks of arriving, I was elected as JCR Treasurer. For the next 4 terms, I managed all of the financial dealings of the college's student body: a turnover of around £80,000 each year. I was very focused, generally organised and able to think through problems logically and quickly. I could take on a huge number of commitments and organise myself to be at the right place at the right time.

Now, however, I seem to be incapable of quick thought. I feel woolly-headed and easily overwhelmed, I faff, I deal badly with deadlines. I'd love to go back in time to visit the 18 year old me, to give myself advice. "You only get a fixed amount of feck in a lifetime," I'd say. "Don't use it all up now. You're going to need it in 8 years' time when writing reports."

Don't know what agony is? How old are these kids? Tom

15, but the girl in qustion's a Russian who lives in Greece; tackling language barriers just makes my job more interesting! It does cause problems, though, when trying to find examples of businesses that will be familiar to all of the kids in the class. I also have problems when using a favourite worksheet of mine, entitled Gordon's Gnomes, which recounts the tale of my A-level geography teacher (Fat Old Al) who had a bloke called Gordon making gnomes in his garage, in order to flog them at car boot sales... how does one go about explaining what a gnome is?!

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

It's time for a late night round of the House, and I hear talking coming from a juniors' room.

Me: Why can I hear talking in here? It's eleven o'clock.
Her: Sorry miss - I was just asking a question.
Me: About what at this time of night?!
Her: What's meant by 'agony'?
Me: Deep pain. It's what you'll be in if you don't shut up and go to sleep NOW.
Her: Oh.


It's been a day of contrasts, a veritable rollercoaster of emotions - mundane teaching; an unexpected visit from an old friend; a soul-destroying discussion about a pupil's exam results; IM chats which made me laugh out loud and now the lustful extravagance of nutella. My braincell can't cope: I'm off to bed!

Here's one for the pedants out there. Just check you get your apostrophes in the right places!

'Tis the season to be jolly to write reports. Pish.

Monday, December 01, 2003

Go and play the Caption Competition over at pajLog. Mua-ha-ha!!

The smut continues with this little question from one of my lower sixth form:

They test normal condoms by blowing 25 litres of air into them. How do they test the taste of flavoured ones?

It has been a day for innuendo and smut. Luke's favourite advert was one for penis extensions, Eddie's going to work as a quality inspector in porn films (he liked the idea of self-inspection) and Lyddy decided that the toilets in Virgin trains were the right size for a quickie. And then...
"What would happen if you had a baby, Miss?"
"Well, a star would appear in the east and three men on camels would come to visit."

I'm not sure i can stand the excitment much longer. Off to teach and be sensible (oh yeah!)