Friday, April 30, 2004

For the first time since I had all my hair cut off, way back in 1997, I've had the problem of hair getting in my eyes. I'm going to have to invest in a hairband. Pah!

The fried egg I have just eaten was delicious. Admitedly it was slow-fried in butter so wasn't exactly the most healthy meal, but it was yummy.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Sage hamsterly advice: here

Why, I thank you. Fatso has been pestering me to add him to the Madmobile's insurance. I shall show him this picture and resist his pleading.

Rob sent me this cheeky little link. I shall be trying some of these out in my classroom during the coming days. Hurrah!

Errrr... why does the only female have to do the cooking? Have the other teachers experienced your cooking? Jon P.S. You don't half waffle some times :-) Can you draw me a single framed cartoon instead of a novel?

And a further admonishment from the man himself

And stop posting whilst I'm writing to you....

Waffle is good, especially Belgian waffle. Besides, it's mainly procrastination to avoid marking: you can't begrudge me that, can you?! Mind you, I'm tempted by the cartoon challenge.... maybe something to work on after I've finished marking my exam papers.

Seeing as you've got one of them there photo phones, lets have a gander at the dulux dog. Love Dave

Sadly the dog is no more: this morning's shower finished it off, although I also caused plenty of damage by sleeping on it. Today I'm back to curls and waves. This is probably a good thing.

Early morning after the night before. Squint in mirror. Wince at reflection. FUCK! Huge grey hair. How can it possibly fight against this much hair dye? Squint closer. Ah. It's cotton thread. Bollocks.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

There I was, innocently mooching round the House, when all of a sudden I was leapt upon by two sixth formers armed with hair straighteners, mousse and wax. I now have hair that smells like a coconut and is the same size and shape as a dulux dog.

It continued to rain throughout D of E, but we cooked on the balcony overlooking the astroturf instead: its roof did a sterling job. The gannets ate all of the food I took with me, everything from cous-cous to instant porridge. I, however, had to do without, as one group had borrowed my trangia. Oh, the torture of watching others stuff their faces when holding an empty plate of one's own! That'll teach me: I'll take my own portion of food next week!

Being the only female on the Duke of Edinburgh's team in school, it falls to me to run the session on expedition cookery. I spent a happy hour in the supermarket yesterday eying up totty weighing up the advantages of fresh pasta over quick-cook stuff; and contemplating the intricacies of one-pan cooking on a meths-fuelled Trangia stove. I bought loads of different food to try out, and in less than two hours I'm going to have eighteen kids attempting to cook for me. I'm quite excited about the prospect.

I just hope the rain holds off.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Ooh please write a novel., I need something to distract me from the dissertation fear (and the thorntons). Charl

Sadly, my chosen employment is slightly incompatible with novel writing. Instead, I offer you these easy-to-follow instructions for dissertation diversion:

1) Scroll to the ARCHIVES section o'er there on the right
2) Choose a month at random and click on the approprate link
3) When the page has loaded, press print

Voila! Hours of work-avoidance guaranteed! (It's also likely to annoy fellow students as you will tie up the print queue for hours so may not be the best thing to do if essay deadlines are approaching!)

In typical English fashion, we ought to start by discussing the weather:

We had glorious sunshine (as we had all weekend as well) this afternoon .. I donned the shades and headed out to site. The wonders of living by the south coast! Caz

That's coz it's nearer the equator, you know!

There are times I wish I lived somewhere a bit greener. Last night, I went for a drive just to get somewhere that was as refreshing as Repton sounds today. It's never quite the same on your own, though. I really need to plan ahead for my weekends and book some mates before they make their own plans. ;-) Simonside looked fantastic in the setting sun. Hope you get to enjoy the rest of it today. :) Adios! Mal. x
Hmm. The weather was like that here too. Now it's chucking down with rain. Newcastle, eh?

And associated with that:

If you ever write a novel, I'm going to buy it and devour it. Your descriptive writing is joyous. Ashley... and come back to my screen for a chat when you've time...

Me? Write a novel?! I've not got that sort of dedication. Besides, I'd get horribly confused and swing from pretentious words to flippant frippery too quickly; readers don't tend to appreciate that sort of thang, I suspect! If I did write a novel though, you can guarantee that it would be (approximately) correct in terms of SPAG*, as is the writing of many others:

From one grammar god to another, congratulations! - Mal. :)
wheee im a grammar god aswell, must run in the blood lol, are you going to llandudno?

That second comment coming from my brother, who proves quite adequately that his grammar god skills are only temporary. :-) And the answer to the Llandudno question is: mebbe, if I can find out what my boss is doing this weekend.

Onwards and upwards: oh dear. I fear I may be sunk.

And they do home delivery too: that's just unfair! What's a woman to do?! After all, it would be impolite not to...

Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar. Now replaced by QWC (Quality of Written Communication) which doesn't have quite the same ring about it. Hey ho, that's teachers for you!

Monday, April 26, 2004

In the course of this afternoon, the hazy blue shifted to deep grey and ominous rumblings drifted in at the very edge of hearing. At 4.00pm, the end of afternoon lessons, the ground shook under cracking, snapping crashes of thunder. Within three minutes the rain was falling: fat, wet drops that soaked through clothes and caused gasps as water met skin. Now, everywhere smells of rain, kids run squealing down the lane and I look out of my window, for once glad of marking that keeps me indoors.

This morning the streets were full of the smell that comes before a hot, cloudless day. The early morning sun took the ordinary, drab colours and breathed bold life into them. I walked to work reminiscing about camping trips in Italy, where breakfast was alway accompanied by these sights and smells.

Walking back to the House for lunch, the colours have faded into a shimmer of pastels; the sky is a hazy blue that appears almost grey. The smell is now that of freshly-mown grass. In the borders, flowers jostle and dance gently in the breeze. It feels like midsummer.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Been a bit quiet here for the last couple of days.

It has indeed; something to do with a) a silly workload, which is still revolving round the assessment of GCSE coursework, covering for an absent colleague and preparation for an oratorio performance this evening; and b) the realisation that I needed a bit of "me time" that didn't involve computers or being awake. Normal progress should be resumed soon.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Grammar God!
You are a GRAMMAR GOD!

If your mission in life is not already to
preserve the English tongue, it should be.
Congratulations and thank you!

How grammatically sound are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Bwa-ha-ha!! How little do they know?! :-)

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

A hint or tip:

When eating your Belgian chocolates, do not bite the cherry liquor one in half whilst leaning over a pupil's GCSE work. It will dribble and leave a hard-to-explain sticky mess.


This evening's magnificent culinary experiment ended in tears and disaster as my cooker decided to ignore its thermostat and carry on heating up. The result was slightly (ahem) carbonated. Instead I cooked the baby potatoes, swirled them in butter and black pepper, and served them with a whopper omlette stuffed full of mushrooms, bacon and cheese. 'Twas nice, although not quite what I'd intended. Either way, it was better than the minging nuggets and greasy fries on offer in the House. Maybe I need some Belgian chocolates now to round off the feast...

When faced with a large pile of marking* I do the obvious thing: cook. My onion has been sauted, my borlotti beans drained and my tomatoes well and truly pureed. It's a "see what you can find in the cupboard and bung it all in the oven on a medium-low heat and wait for it to cook" type meal, and I'm quite excited about its prospects. To be served with a smattering of baby potatoes and some roasted peppers, if I feel up to it.

Oh, and the GCSE coursework? I'll do it instead of washing up!

* Already! Three days into term! Don't get me started on the pressure placed on teachers by the impending exams!! :-)

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Hrm, naked tea. A new twist on the nice gent bringing your tea in the morning..... You know, tomorrow morning I'm going to wake up and just *know* I'm missing something. ;(

My commiserations. Normally *I* wake up and realise that the something I'm missing is several more hours of sleep. *And* I won't get tea until breaktime at 11am. Woe is me!

A quiet drink with Ian, Jeremy and Serenedd turned into a debauched toast-fest, complemented by rude word scrabble:

Happiness is discovering a bag on the table containing not one, not two, but three cadbury's cream eggs. Mmmm....

With reference to this and this, I assume:

Naked Tea! Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells (via Ormskirk)

Oh no, my dear. It normally wore a cup.

If I turn left out of the drive rather than right, I walk to school along a path through playing fields. After four weeks of loving care and attention, without hoardes of footballers and rugby players yomping across it, the grass is thick and bright green. It takes a lot of willpower not to shed my shoes and walk across it barefoot. I'm obviously getting old: the young me wouldn't have hesitated.

Monday, April 19, 2004

8.30am - chapel
9.00am - assembly
9.30am - teaching
1.00pm - lunch
2.00pm - teaching
4.00pm - get back to flat; get changed; mark 2 pieces of GCSE coursework
5.40pm - serve dinner to the girls
6.15pm - string orchestra rehearsal
7.30pm - intend to do more marking but get sidetracked by a colleague's offer of a pint
8.00pm - arrive in the Legion
9.30pm - get back to flat; consider marking; phone a few people instead
10.05pm - check email and get sidetracked by bloggage; seriously contemplate abandoning marking

Start as you mean to go on, I say!

It's a beautiful day out there: sunny; warm; birds singing; flowers blooming. It's probably the nicest day I've seen in... oooh... weeks. Typical, then, that it's the first day of term. Pah!

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Sometimes you find things out on the internetweb mallarky that make you sit up and think, that jolt you from your usual apathy. Two of these sites from today's surfing: Riverbend's tales of life in Baghdad and Kid of Speed's pictures from Chernobyl. Far better than planning lessons.

Saturday, April 17, 2004

ah yes, I miss that man bringing me tea in bed too! w

That'll be Miss H, reflecting on the usefulness of lodgers. The only problem arises when they decide to move on and take the teapot with them, not to mention half of the other kitchen equipment! Pah! ;-)

Did you pay the 6 quid, or somebody else?

I did, I'm afraid. Worth every penny though.

School starting on Sunday is a well silly idea. Have these people not heard of weekends?

Nope, sadly not. By 9pm tomorrow the sproglets should all be here, excited and ready to go. Me: I'll be sitting in a heap in the corner, wibbling.

I'm worried that you may have developed a tea addiction.

There's no "may" about it: it's a certainty. With extra milk if there's an option, unless it's poncy tea, in which case nude is preferable. I didn't drink tea at all ever, whatever the circumstances, until about 4 years ago, when I had someone who would bring me tea in bed when he disappeared off to work. Since then, I can't keep off the stuff. Can't say it's done me much harm, all things considered.

First class? Isn't that a bit posh for a public school teacher?

Nah - a mere six squid supplement and Robert's your mother's brother: wide aisles, big seats, free tea - bdoing!

Things wot I did in London wot pleased me:

* Had a picnic lunch by the Thames in Hammersmith, basking in the sunlight like a whale. If only the weather had been like that in Belgium!
* Mooched through Leicester Square, reminiscing about drinking my way round London with Charl
* Round the Horne Revisited, which was just grand.
* Went to the Science Museum, played with lots of interactive displays, gawped at everything from planes to washing machines, and let my inner brat run riot
* Staring in wonderment at the pictures in the Earth From The Air exhibition at the Natural History museum. If you're in London and you've not been, go. It's as simple as that.
* Lounged in first class on the train back - hurrah for Weekend First!

Friday, April 16, 2004

Am off to London tonight, to go to the theatre with Mark. We're off to see Round The Horne Revisited somewhere near Leicester Square, which fills me with great pleasure as I'm quite fond of Round The Horne, in an understated sort of way. This is my final bid for freedom before school starts again on Sunday; I suppose I'd better take some planning to do on the train. Hey ho!

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Mad's jaunt to Belgium, in numbers:
95 Scouts; 28 leaders; 6 hours in a coach each way; 0 degrees celcius every night; hundreds of stars; 2 days in Brussels; countless cups of tea; at least 10 Scouts who found my Irish accent so convincing they couldn't believe I was from near Birmingham; at least 20 who finished the trip with some hint of Irish in their speech; 5 or so patrols who were helped with their washing-up by the Irish Leprechaun Scritchers; lots of chocolate, beer n waffles.
Number of hours sleep per night: not enough.
Number of laughs, giggles and moments of general merriment: too many to count!

I'm looking forward to returning to school for a rest!

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

If you haven't already guessed by the smell, I'm off. Tarra!

I'm becoming nocturnal. This worries me because a) I still haven't packed anything and therefore have to get up early tomorrow to get it all done; and b) I have to go to the land of Beer and Chocolate tomorrow, and I'd hate to sleep through it all. And don't be deceived by the time-stamp on this blog entry: blogger's not worked out BST yet, and it's actually an hour later than it appears to be, if that makes sense.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Washing machines. Pah! I'm just not cut out for domesticity.

Think of the chocolate.

I do, frequently. And I think of the beer too. Mmmmm.... :-) As practice and to build up stamina, I've eaten nothing but chocolate for the last 24 hours. I feel great! (although I suspect that's the sugar rush talking!)

Although jaunts away are nice, I always like coming home. The days after the return, though, are inevitably filled with lounging, laundry, post, email and the frantic buying of food because it's all gone out of date. Slothful - yes; interesting - nope. I ought to be packing right now (off to Belgium tomorrow) but I just can't face it. Pish!

Sunday, April 04, 2004

The conversations you have with your brother when it's late-ish on a Sunday evening

Mad: you've not got an old computer you'd like to give me?! ;-)
Edd: :O
Mad: LOL
Edd: no unfortunately
Mad: pah
Mad: well, should the occasion arise...
Edd: ive only ever had one computer
Edd: just bits of it get upgraded at a time
Mad: is any of it the original computer?
Edd: like a brrom thats had 15 heads and 10 handles
Edd: its still the same brrom to
Edd: tho*
Edd: ffs wtf is brrom?

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the philosophical question for today: wtf is brrom?

Show And Tell - piccies from Mad's lounging week (not that it's worth holding your breath for, but they amused and pleased me so you're going to have them inflicted upon you nonetheless)

Ninja rabbit floats on cream

If you squint closely at this image you will realise that it is none other than Super Chocolate Rabbit in his blue, flying ninja cape. He did, however, make the mistake of landing on top of my hot chocolate and is pictured rapidly sinking into the swirly mass of whipped cream. Luckily the evil marshmallow pirahnas were not in evidence this day. Phew!

Looking across the playing fields to chapel and the church

I've been in Sheffield this weekend visiting Charlotte and Dave and helping with a Scout Night Hike. To say it was damp is an understatement; I've never been more pleased by my waterproof trousers. I drove home through some pretty horrendous rain too, but the sun came out as I arrived back in Repton. This was the view as I got out of the car.


Before heading off to Sheffield I spent a few days relaxing in Cheltenham. The sun shone, the temperatures soared, girls wore skimpy tops: spring lust was in the air. I guess it's just that time of year again.

(Photos of my Classical Tour are now developed but still in need of scanning. One day, mebbe)

I have exciting photos (actually they're not that exciting so don't hold your breath, but they are amusing, in a Mad-sense-of-humour sort of way) but I can't remember how to get them into my webspace. It involves ftp and whizzy things like that but it's not working. This is infuriating, as a) I forget how to do this every single time and b) because I really want to share my picture of the ninja rabbit being swallowed up by a bed of whipped cream. Back to the instruction book, methinks!