Monday, December 27, 2004

Back home from the olds, where food was eaten in plate-piling quantities and many books were read. It was nice to be away from school, but it's also nice to come home to my own space. I started moving out from my parents at 18, when I went off to university, and this Christmas - ten years later - I've finally managed it. I spent much of Boxing Day sorting through drawers, cupboards and shelves in an attempt to rationalise my belongings. Several things were thrown out; some were put into boxes for recycling; many more items ended up in my car and are now scattered across the floor of my flat. I managed to come home with more gubbins than I took. I'm sure that's not the way it's supposed to happen.

I have something of a storage crisis going on. I've now got to sort out my junk cupboard to make room for it all. Waah!

Friday, December 24, 2004

Nearly ready to leave for my parents'. The last presents are wrapped, the last load of washing is tumbling in the drier, so that I can pack it damp instead of wringing. It seems to be going according to plan, which means that something's bound to go wrong...

Have a good Christmas break one and all.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Have been downloading like a downloading thing on top speed. Am impressed at my geekery. Perhaps I'll have to relinquish my hold on the titlde as Luddite of the Year. Pish.

I was so pissed off at my ineptitude that I went and bought myself a laptop. Whoops. Firefox is already installed, so a happy afternoon of downloading lies ahead. Whooppee!!

I am a twat of the highest order. If meeting someone in the middle of Birmingham, it's necessary to catch the 7.45am train. Setting your alarm for 6.30pm will mean that you don't wake up until 8.30am and therefore miss your meeting. Fuck wank bollocks. Very unhappy.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

This weekend has been spent relaxing with El Boyo Wondero (that's Spanish, not Welsh, in case you were wondering) in a really rather lovely cottage. There was much eating, drinking, reading, log-fire-gazing, and falling-asleep-on-his-shoulder-at-4pm-and-hoping-that-he-won't-notice-the-dribble -when-I-wake-up-an-hour-later. In fact, 'twas lovely. I got home about lunchtime today, only to get a call requesting my presence in Stoke this evening to take Lesley to hospital. It seems that being 8 months pregnant and moving washing machines are two activities that should not be mixed, unless you want your baby to make an unexpected bid for freedom. Luckily the health experts carried out tests and proclaimed her officially not in labour despite experiencing contractions; what's more, they've given her a 90% chance of not dropping the sprog in the next week. Given that the blob is not due to appear for another month, if not more, a 10% chance of sprogging during Christmas week is causing a slight panic. On the other hand, it would brighten up my holidays. Hmmm...

The Christmas quiz has had you thinking. The taxonimy of certain tunes (LD, par example) has caused a little grief, but as I'm the fat-bottomed Guider I make up the rules. The answers (so that Wendy's brain can stop melting and she can start telling us the gossip, because we all know that something's going on and if she doesn't tell us we'll only make it up, which I guarantee will be far worse than the actual events occurring) are as follows:
1. Good King Wencelas
2. While shepherds watched
3. Away in a manger
4. Silent night
5. O little town of Bethlehem
6. O come all ye faithful
7. The holly and the ivy
8. I saw three ships
9. Hark the herald angels sing
10. The first nowell
11. The sussex carol
12. We three kings
13. In the bleak midwinter
14. The little drummer boy
15. O holy night
16. God rest ye merry gentlemen
17. It came upon a midnight clear
18. Joy to the world
19. Ding dong merrily on high
20. Little donkey
21. Rudolph the red nosed reindeer
22. Winter wonderland
23. Frostie the snowman
24. I saw mummy kissing santa claus
25. Jingle bells
26. We wish you a merry Christmas
27. The twelve days of Christmas
28. O Christmas tree
29. Jingle bell rock
30. Have yourself a merry little Christmas
31. Sleigh Ride
32. White christmas
33. Blue Christmas
34. Mary's boy child
35. The halleluia chorus
36. The chistmas song (chestnuts roasting on an open fire)
37. Fairytale of New York
38. Torches
39. Two little boys
40. Ernie the fastest milkman in the west
41. Merry Christmas everyone
42. Merry Christmas everybody
43. Do they know it's christmas
44. Mistletoe and wine
45. Saviour's dady
46. Mr Blobby
47. Earth song
48. Goodbye
49. Can we fix it?
50. Bohemian rhapsody

Paj got absolutely all of the Christmas number 1s right, which shows that he is truly a god of rawk, or has spent too long consulting Schott's Miscellany. Either way, I was impressed. What's more, it's been two years since no. 25 sounded out from a wee church in Yarm and the evening was filled with nos. 18 and 44: happy wedding anniversary K and Paj!

Friday, December 17, 2004

In preparation for Christmas, I bring you.... a Christmas quiz. Identify the carol/song/No. 1 from the initial letters of its title.

Christmas carols
1. GKW
2. WSW
4. SN
10. TFN
11. TSC
12. WTK
13. ITBM
14. TLDB
15. OHN
18. JTTW

Christmas songs
20. LD
22. WW
23. FTS
25. JB
28. OCT
29. JBR
31. SR
32. WC
33. BC
34. MBC
35. THC
37. FONY
38. T

Christmas Number 1s
39. TLB
41. MCE
42. MCE
44. MAW
45. SD
46. MB
47. ES
48. G
49. CWFI
50. BR

How many can you guess?

Thursday, December 16, 2004

For them as like ALW, or Scottish moosic, or even both, go here and click on the linky-thingy; or be damned for ALL TIME.*

* Or at least mildly inconvenienced

Tipping an entire tray of flaky chocolately truffles onto your computer keyboard does not bode well. Even more reasons to buy a new computer.

After a blissfully long lie-in and a manic but thankfully short-lived battle against the Christmas shoppers, I headed off to Stoke to visit Lesley, who looks like she's having triplets but apparently only has one sprog inside her. I told her son, David, that she couldn't finish her dinner because she ate an entire baby that was filling up her tummy; thankfully he's not the gullible sort and saw straight through my lies.

I bought Green Eggs and Ham for David's birthday, so we spent quite some time reading it together. This is the third Dr Seuss book that I've bought for him - he's now six - and his reading's getting better every time I see him. This time he read almost the entire book aloud without any help: I'm well impressed! His Christmas present is magnetic fridge poetry for young readers - lots of short words in big writing - so he can make stories up on Lesley's kitchen appliances. Why, I'm such an educationally-minded Auntie Mad.

This evening, I intend to do little more than pottering around my flat. Holidays are great.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Christmas cards today came with happy messages and exciting news. Why did they not include addresses to reciprocate?! Pish.

Oi! Keep the noise down! Don't you know that some of us have hangovers to contend with?!

The party moved from its original location to my flat at midnight. People have just left. Am drununk. School tomorrow. Whoops.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

At the end of term, each House writes a newsletter; normally this falls on the shoulders of the Housemaster/mistress, who is also trying to juggle end-of-term reports, House supper, checking up on illicit boozing and other such joyous tasks. This time, I volunteered to compile it: I thought it was about time my DTP skills came in handy. The finished product looks great - McGardeners' World - but I'm having to loiter suspiciously in the computer room while they all print out. This is taking a tad longer than expected because the A3-double-sided version is spannering up the print queue. I have expressed my profuse apologies to the entire room; and then sent it to print on another printer. Mua-ha-ha!

In other news: I played in a concert, and it was good; my GCSE class gave presentations, and they were good too.

This evening we're having a party in the House, where there will be mulled wine, mince pies, Christmas cake and other assorted seasonal goodies. The cakes from this weekend's epic baking session have already been earmarked as an offering to the God of Parties: he'd better bloody appreciate them, or I'm having them back and eating them myself!

Monday, December 13, 2004

Today's whinge: last night I stabbed my right heel with a toe on my left foot. It bled a lot, and now it hurts.

Things not to whinge about:
* Baking, marzipanning and icing four christmas cakes (FOUR! How greedy!) over the weekend.
* Sleeping all weekend like I have sleeping sickness, or at least the ability to pass out before hitting the pillow
* Eating fine food - steak, stuffed mushrooms, Bailey's stew

Things that didn't exactly float my boat but aren't bad enough to whinge about:
* The tail-end of reports: corrections, duplicates, checking for spelling and grammar. Pish.
* Phantom of the Opera. I suppose it's ok if you like ALW and Phantom, but it didn't float my boat. Having enjoyed Moulin Rouge and Chicago, I'd had high hopes. Shcool-boy error, it transpires. Hey ho. At least I got to watch it in the delux screen so I could while away the time by swinging backwards and forwards on my chair.

Friday, December 10, 2004

My hangover descended halfway through period 4. I'm really paying the price now.

I went out for dinner last night to celebrate being old. I've only just got in. Seems I've not become wiser as the years have increased!

Oh, the joys of teaching with a fuzzy head... let's hope the little darlings are quiet!

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

No dyslexing today, just reports. I know where I'd rather be...

Monday, December 06, 2004

This evening's report writing wasn't exactly fruitful, but I'm off now for an early night so I can tackle reports with renewed fervour tomorrow. At least, that's the plan....

Although I'm at risk of sounding far too posh for words, I had my lady who does come in and do. That's right - I have a cleaner. My bathroom is beautifully spotless, and the kitchen floor is clean for the first time in... oooh... weeks. I'm more excited by this than I ought to be. Time to write some more reports as a way of calming down.

The problem with getting up at 6am is that by 8.45am my stomach's ready for lunch. Lessons haven't even started, and I'm already getting hunger pangs. Waaah! On the other hand, I *do* have a big pile of reports printed out, just waiting to be posted into the right boxes. Phanar!

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Yesterday, Rob and I started making Christmas cakes. To be more accurate, we set the fruit off on its week-long soaking in port, rum, brandy and cherry brandy. Mmmmm....

We then headed off to a party surrounded by catci, sombreros, ponchos, fake moustaches and a Texaco sign. 'Twas good, although I'm fajita'd out. This afternoon holds the excitment of end-of-term reports and marking. Why, I'm just such a lucky girlie!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Beer is my friend, but not as much my friend as Richard is, who gave me a life home from the pub so I didn't have to walk through the freezing fog.

20% of the ribena-berries were called Olivia, and another 20% were called Aleesha.

Bounciness factor: quite high until I did a teacher look, which deflated one or two of them. Pssssssshhhh...

Tears: one, but only because her mother insisted on helping her make her Christmas card. I solved the problem by telling her to stop crying in case she got snot on her card, unless she had glittery snot in which case she should just carry right on. Sometimes I suspect that I'm not as PC as I should be.

Glitter glue stuck to: cards, feathers, furry pom-poms, hands, sleeves, tables and - in one memorable incident, in which I couldn't help but laugh - a neck.

Moments of total and utter silence: one, when they were all mid-yoghurt. It was short, but very nice while it lasted.

Rainbows was followed by frantic flat tidying and then district meeting, which lasted all of 40 minutes. It was good. They approved of my Christmas celebration event and are talking about doing it again next year: from tiny acorns grow mighty oaks andall that sentimental whitter.

Now it's time to get changed out of my attractive blue uniform and second-best school trousers (jeans all covered in dog hair and/or liable to fall down if I bend over too far, therefore not appropriate for ribena-berry-sitting) and head off to the pub. Huzzah!

A frantic phonecall this morning from a Guider in the district means that I've got to abandon my nice, warm chair by the computer - where I've been busy writing reports for once - and go and run Rainbows. I'm not sure quite what I've let myself in for. They are all little, all wear purple tabards, and bounce around like mini-ribena-berries. What's worse is that they all know my name and I don't know ANY of them. Yikes!

Oh yes, baby, you'd better believe it: the good ladies have done it again. 'Tis the season and all that jazz.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Ian came round, I drank two cans of pepsi-max and am now totally hyper. I should be snuggling up in my duvet, but instead I'm wide-stary-eyed and starting to jitter. It's been that sort of an evening all round, in fact.

The Head presented his 5-year development plan at a staff meeting today, and I suspect that my P45 is already nestling in my pigeon-hole as a result of the question I asked about it. It was all about work/life balance - something that is already being addressed in state schools, although with varying degrees of success, I suspect - which has been more of a problem for us this term than previously. I think it's a real issue facing everyone today, even those who don't live at work or do daft jobs like teaching, but I suspect it's earned me a black mark or two. Hey ho.

After all excitement of the development plan, two Guiders turned up for a meeting that I'd arranged but had forgotten about (the same ol' story as usual). It's just a good job that I was at home!

I then wandered into the junior's common room to find them decorating their Christmas tree. "Ooh," I said. "I see you've put a fairy on top of the tree."
"Oh no, Miss, we put the tree up the fairy's bottom."
The mind boggles!

Last, but by no means least:

Not sure this a good incentive to carry on with your school work but pat on the head for your site's diversionary tactic - I got (just!) a distinction on my dissertation. Woo hoo! Now everyone: gizza phd funding!

That'll be Auntie Charl celebrating then: muchos congratulatos m'dear (and that's yer actual Spanish, y'know!)

Off now to make good use of my unexpected energy burst...

It's that time of term when motivation is low, when thoughts are turned to festive non-work things, when I long to curl in a duvet in front of the fire. It's also the time of term when reports have to be written. Sob.

Chuffin' Norah - it's December. Waaah!