Monday, February 28, 2005

Why is it that - after feeling snotty, manky and generally whingingly-grumpy while preparing tomorrow's GCSE lesson - I'm now feeling really, really, REALLY awake, in that 'lying there with your eyes open and there's no chance that you'll fall asleep before midnight' sort of way? Sometimes I wish I was one of those inflatable teachers I used to have when I was at school: come 3.30pm and they'd be whipping out the plug and packing themselves into a little box in the cupboard. Why is this skill no longer nurtured and valued?! WHY?!?

(I have been avoiding cold and flu medication, as I fear it may push me over the edge)(You may not have noticed this fact)

Sunday, February 27, 2005

A reminder to myself: snogging your boyfriend good-bye when standing outside your flat is a bit of a mistake if there are girls watching from the windows above you. They will watch him walk off down the path and then wave cheekily at you. Bastards!

Thursday, February 24, 2005

There's a blog that I lurk round called The Blackboard Jungle. It's good writing and it makes good reading, especially for a woman who has just finished marking 50 mock GCSE papers. I particularly liked this entry, especially given the kids' propensity to ask *me* daft questions. They're wising up now - they know that I'll just feed them any old crap for an answer, so take my pearls of wisdom with a pinch of salt. They are wise indeed. Sadly, they're not wise enough to score brilliant marks in this week's exams, but it will help to focus their minds when it comes to revision. Hey ho.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Have just watched Jamie's School Dinners - at last, a programme that combines schools and cooking! I think I'm in heaven! (It's far better than marking, anyway!)

It's snowing out there beyond my window, and at last some of it is settling. There's possibly three quarters of an inch covering the ground. Some of the girls form the House are running down the road, giggling with excitement. They're grabbing handfuls of loose snow and - without even bothering to make snowballs - are throwing it at each other.

I wish I were out there, instead of glued to this computer, researching data on the housing market and the national economy. Pah.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Trying to plan my D of E expedition training session while the snow floats down past my window is proving quite hard. I'm about to give it up as a bad idea.

Trying to plan my D of E expedition training session while the snow floats down past my window is proving quite hard. I'm about to give it up as a bad idea.

Monday, February 21, 2005

After lunch, on the way to afternoon lessons, it began to snow. Large flakes swirled down, coating the walls and ground. My eyes gleamed: a credible reason to cancel my netball session! Sadly by the end of sixth lesson the snow had all gone and the sun was shining merrily through the trees. Damn! After lessons, I phoned the other netball teacher to find out what we were doing in the session; fifteen minutes later the sun had gone and snow was whipping across the netball courts. No netball for me or anyone - HURRAH!!

('Tis sad how much I enjoy not doing games)

Thursday, February 17, 2005

late night. bottle of wine. whoops.

I went out. It rained. I walked up some hills. I walked down some hills. I consulted the map and decided that my D of E kiddies would be able to find their way across the moorside. I came home. I ate a packet of shortbread biscuits. The end.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

It's all been a tad frantic since last Friday, if lazing around reading books and watching crap TV can be classified as 'frantic'. Friday was parents' meeting at school, followed by Guides. Both went well; yet again, my Guides had obviously read the script when it came to the disability activities (communicating ideas and opinions without speaking) and I love them all dearly for it. I then jumped in the Boringmobile and zooooomed down to Cheltenham for an evening featuring clubs, choons, pizzas and a very friendly taxi-driver-man. Rock'n'roll!

My dislike of Valentine's Day (not known as VD for nothing!) has been noted before in this tiddly corner of the internetwebthing. Last year, being single, it was nothing to worry about. The arrival of a new bloke put a new slant on the matter. Many moons ago, I discussed the whole sheebang with the boy wonder and we decided then to do nothing: no card, no presents, nothing that we wouldn't do at any other time of year. After all, why should the card companies dictate when we can and can't purchase trinkets for our loved ones? We spent the evening of VD curled up on the sofa, eating home-cooked nice food and watching The Simpsons. It was lovely.

Today I came home from Rob's via Stoke-On-Trent. Lesley dropped her sprog a couple of weeks ago, so now I suppose I should refer to the baby as Thomas, especially given my scarily-responsible position as godmother. Mind you, knowing my way of dealing with responsibility, I'm more likely to be his o-my-god-mother, or even his gawdmother. Either way, I digress. I arrived, made appropriate-sounding comments - he looks like a mole but I didn't think it prudent to tell his mother that - then we sent off for lunch and the supermarket. To give Thomas his credit, he only cried once, and even that stopped when I did my teacher look at him. I'm sure this child will need extensive therapy to get over my 'parenting' techniques. The classic moment of the day, however, came in Tesco. I was pushing the trolley, complete with Thomas strapped into a seat-thingy, leaving Lesley and David to collect the necessary food. Some passing woman looked at the sprog, looked at me and said, "Oh, he's tiny - how old is he?"
"Dunno," I replied.
It was only when I saw her jaw drop and her eyes open wide that I realised I ought to explain my lack of knowledge: "I'm not the mother, I'm just the trolley-pusher!"
Something makes me suspect that I've got a long way to go before I'm let loose with one on my own! :-)

Monday, February 14, 2005

So far this holiday...

Good: sleeping in, social life, clubbing, making scrummy food, getting enough sleep, Bristol zoo (with its Red Titi Monkeys), not having to go to school.

Bad: having to use dial-up.

Overall: holidays are good. Have fun...

Thursday, February 10, 2005

All I can say right now is, "I hate marking." Unfortunately I seem to have a year's supply of it here. Anyone fancy doing some...? No, I thought not. I don't fancy it either. Thank goodness it's the holiday next week.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Chair fishing... as requested by Rach.

Scouts/Guides in patrols, stood at one side of the room, behind a 'river bank' made of chalk/rope/convenient crack in the flooring. Opposite each patrol is a chair - the elusive, shy, little chair-fish. The patrols can use whatever they have on them to 'catch' the chair-fish, but if they fall in the river then the fish swims further away.

The best solution is to take all the laces from their shoes, join them with an easily untied knot (otherwise they're a real swine to undo afterwards) and then attach one shoe to the end as a weight. The 'rope' of shoelaces can then be swung out to wrap around the chair-fish. Just don't stand in the way - we sometimes get shoes flying everywhere!

This can easily take 20 minutes by the time they've discussed how to get the chair, got the laces etc. and actually thrown the line a few times. My Guides love it, but they tend to use their jumpers instead of shoelaces and end up in a right state!

Now I'd better go and do some work - or perhaps I should hunt for more drugs first....

I've had nagging low-level painful earache all weekend. I slept on a hot-water bottle last night while drugged up to the eyes on neurofen; it's still getting worse. A brief visit to the doctor this morning suggests that it's nothing to do with my ear at all, and is probably related to an inflamed wisdom tooth. How come the human body is so strange?! That's like saying, "Oh yes, you've got a swollen ankle: must be because you've hurt your knee." Barmy!

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Guides was great this evening. We've been doing the You and Me Together challenge, which is all about disabilities - it started as a last-minute programme filler and has evolved into a full-on let's-do-this-and-get-the-badge-and-certificate. We played a favourite game (chair fishing a la Ed Wright, no less) but two Guides in each patrol had one arm 'disabled' in a sling, while another in each patrol was blindfolded. After fishing for chairs, we sat in a circle and talked about what it had been like having no arm or no sight. It was as if they had read the script in advance: they came up with all sorts of good answers and sensible suggestions about how to change the game and how to include everyone in it. This is *after* they'd carred out an hour of patrol activities, completely planned and organised independently. I'm starting to feel guilty for not being a more hands-on leader, but they seem more than happy planning and running their own meetings, so who am I to argue?! At least it gave me 45 minutes free to start tackling the district's census forms!

Thursday, February 03, 2005

When I inherited the D of E at school, I was handed a big ring-binder and told, "This is all about quality review. You'll need to do this." That was in September. Now, being February, I've finally got round to it. The ring-binder contained not one, not two but THREE questionnaires, all stretching to five or six pages long. Much of it was coporate-wanky-bollocks-poncing-about questions: the only way to tackle this was over a bottle or two of wine. This seemed as good a reason as any to cook food, so today the leader of the Gold group had my lasagne inflicted upon him (good job he has a sound constitution!) while I whittered on about D of E. The general concensus of the evening is that the quality questionnaires are rubbish, that the lasagne and wine were nice, and that we like the status quo. Maybe we're all conservatives at heart.*

Now the world is nicely swimmy. I was going to do some marking, but marking when tiddly results in comments like, "I love you, you're my favourite student, this is a great piece of work," or, "SHITE!" Instead, I decided to phone my blokey, who's out with the Other Woman #2 - I'm a table football widow. If I can't mark, and I can't wibble on at Rob, then all I can do is blog. As you have probably already realised, this is probably a bad thing. All I can say in my defence is that James Joyce got a lot of credit for writing in a stream of consciousness. Shame I'm not in his league. Wibble.

* conservatives with a small cee; none of that tory shite around here, thank you very much!

An unexpected release from my netball commitments means that I've been able to spend this afternoon marking, tidying up and cooking. I have a colleague coming over for dinner to talk about Duke of Edinburgh, which is as much excuse as I need to get the pans out. I've making lasagne again (hurrah for tried and tested recipes!). I hardly cook during term time, unless I'm with Rob: it all feels very strange being by myself in the kitchen. Even without his help, I've managed to cut my thumb on Big Sharp Knife #2, and peel my thumbnail when I should have been sorting out butternut squash. Mind you, the wafty smell of garlic is making up for that - I feel hungry already! It's also been hard to resist the temptation to drink the remainder of the bottle of wine that was opened to add flavour to the lasagne... gah, I have such little willpower!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

I've been on a whistle-stop tour of the Bustling Metropolis's supermarkets this evening. Sainsburella provided the nice food I needed for a working-dinner-meeting I'm cooking for on Thursday evening; a visit to the all-new-glistening-fresh Asda to buy ingredients for tomorrow's D of E cooking session; and then Tesco for some wood-based cat litter for Fatso (bless him, normal sawdust gets stuck in his fur and turns him a little dreadlocked, hence the cat litter; it seems to work). Coupled with the excitement of spelling rules at dyslexing, it's no wonder I'm tired! G'night...