Wednesday, August 31, 2005

"This Cat" (as opposed to "That Cat") is sulking. That Cat did a big smelly poo in the litter tray, This Cat refused to use it and so used the hallway, This Cat got shouted at, This Cat is now sulking like a teenager denied her mobile phone.

The girls have only been back a couple of hours and already their pubescent hormones have affected our cats. Waaah! I just hope that Rob remains free from the influence of so much estrogen.

This morning was spent in far more fruitful and meaningful meetings than yesterday, and I feel quite enthused about the impending arrival of the little darlings. I'm off to de-cat-hair myself, and then it's off to make a good impression for the new kiddiwinkles.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

This term started today with a whimper - anything approximating the decibels of a bang would just have been too much for my post-drinking head. Instead, I was forcibly woken by a man bearing tea and have just sat through some most bizarre training. A man talked about declining morals and spirituality for quite some time, in a very general sort of way, with little practical guidance or advice; we then had to go off into small groups to discuss the matters further, without really knowing why we were discussing it. It was very odd, and certainly not what my hungover-braincell could cope with first thing on a Tuesday morning. It was nice to move from that into department meeting to talk about normal things with normal people! This afternoon's excitement is training on the new school database, which is bound to be riveting stuff.

I need to get teaching properly as soon as possible. Either that or a holiday.

Monday, August 29, 2005

There's no point having cats if you can't take the mick out of them. This one's got a nice career as a Guider lined up, if the size of her arse is anything to go by:

A fine layer of cat fur covers our sitting room. It seems that the cats have arrived.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Today I shall be mostly being distracted by cricket.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

This is very amusing. You need the sound on to appreciate it fully. I think they're moving to the top of the "pets to get" list.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

One of the best things about hot Ribena as a drink is that, when you put your mug down and forget to drink it, it's just as nice cold. If only tea were so amenable.

In other news, yet another nice RSPCA lady phoned and THE CATS ARE OURS!!!!!! (We'll pick them up on Monday after our weekend camping)

Rob (being the cautious, sensible one in this relationship) has suggested restraint and control, by waiting to actually get the cats before trying to name them. I, on the other hand, am impetuous and impatient and lots of other things beginning with 'imp' and couldn't resist thinking about suitable pairs of names. The following list is a fair reflection of the warped suggestions spewing from my braincell, and is probably more evidence in the growing list of 'reasons why I shouldn't be allowed to have children'.

Dog and Mouse
Puddy and Tat
Hugh and Jamie (and Fatso could become Queen Delia)
Fearnley and Whittingstall
Eric and Ernie
Gonorrhea and Herpes (as a tribute to King Lear's daughters, of course)
Pox and Clap
Virus and Trojan
Gig and Meg (Gig being the bigger cat)
Firewire and Bluetooth which point we collapsed into uber-geekiness, and I knew it had to end when 'Universal Serial Bus' was suggested, although - as Rob pointed out - they ARE big enough to be buses. All we need now is a phone-call to confirm that they are actually going to be ours, and my overexuberant excitment will know no bounds. Raaah.

Monday, August 22, 2005




Any suggestions on the names front?!

Cat naming...

The only drawback of our cats is that they are called Mandy and Maisy. Neither are cat names, but I suppose that I can live with Maisy. However, I never expected to have a cat called Mandy. Given that the cats are both 10, it's going to be a battle to change their names; I thought it might help if the new names at least rhymed. My initial attempt with Maisy was Lazy... but Mandy became Randy. Not so good, especially for a neutered adult.

We spent much of the weekend trying to think of alternatives that weren't Randy. Emma and Jenny suggested Ghandi, which we like, but does that mean that Maisie has to become Mahatma? Or another peace icon, such as Martin Luther King? It doesn't help that I can't remember which coloured cat is which: I might need to go back to the shelter and get photos of the beasties. I could then open it up to the collective intelligence of the blogworld... you're bound to have much better ideas than I've got!

The RSPCA lady phoned me this morning, at a time when I should have been awake but wasn't. Through my first-woken blur I heard, "I'm in the area to do another visit - I'll come and see you at the same time. It'll definitely be before lunch." If there's one thing guaranteed to wake you up it's the knowledge that a complete stranger - on whom pet ownership is dependent - is coming to visit your flat. In my frantic running-round-tidying, I identified a nasty smell in the kitchen and tracked it down to the veg box. What happens if I'm banned from keeping pets because I can't even look after vegetables?

They've just been round. I gave them such strong coffee that hopefully they didn't notice the smell of squishy brown broccoli. They seemed quite happy and we talked about using the windows as an exit to the outside world: they were of the impression, as Dr Tom was, that the cats would train us quite quickly to let them back in. That's one less thing to worry about.

Now the lady has to make a report to the centre ("I really can't see any problems at all" I hope) and then they contact us to arrange collection. It's all scarily sudden, but as Rob and I have spent all weekend going "CATS!" at each other, it's probably not before time. All we have to worry about now is procurring cat carriers and the slightly thorny issue of naming, of which more later, once I've drunk some tea and managed to eat breakfast.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Still no dog, but got two cats instead!!! As Rob said, it's better than getting crabs.

Technically we haven't GOT them yet, as we're dependent on an RSPCA home inspection, but the nice lady has put a 'reserved' sticker on them* and they should soon be ours! They're both girls from the same home, and are very purry and furry. They're also MONSTER-sized - the nice RSPCA lady put them both in one carry cage and then got a hernia trying to shift them: they've got a lot to live up to with Fatso as a role model.

*Technically, the sticker is on the cage not the cats, but I suspect that most of you aren't pedantic enough to care

Friday, August 19, 2005

No dog. C'est la vie.

Amy asked about the indoors tent. They are our new patrol tents for Guides - they sleep 5 comfortably and 6 at a push. We put this particular tent up indoors because we needed to know how big it was, it was raining outside and we had a common room just waiting to be filled with tent. Well, the common room wasn't strictly *waiting* to be filled with tent, but it soon was full anyway! The girls in the House helped us to pitch it. This may be because they love us, but was probably because the tent was blocking their view of the TV. Either way, we thought it was big enough and bought another four!

I've just noticed that the reverse side of the poem piece of paper says:

Farming Fun for everyone which you can take home

. I've got NO idea what THAT's about. My Guides are weirder than I thought, and that's saying something.

Underneath the BIIIIG pile of paperwork I've been sorting today, I discovered this little ditty. It was written by my Guides as part of a challenge: "write a poem about one of the leaders"

Her name is Mad
She's never sad
She's very strong
and never goes wrong
She would make us smile
If she fell over a stile
Mad is chatty
But never ratty
That's our leader MAD!

It worries me what a warped impression they have. How wrong can they be....!

I've just spoken to a man about a dog. Maybe I'll get to share my flat with someone else too. Good job that dogs don't take up as much room as Robs.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

At New Year, we played a game that involved writing statements on bit of paper and then giving them to the person in the room who best matched the description on the paper. In my inebriated state (yes, shock horror) I decided that it would be a good idea to keep the bits of paper that were given to me. I thought I'd thrown them out long ago, but in tidying up my bedroom just now I found the following:

The person least likely to get up in the morning
The person most likely to get carpet burns tonight
The person most likely to sit on a fish

It's strange how well people know me. Now, where did I put that kipper...

A-level results are done and dusted for another year. They were mostly pleasing, with some stars; one or two didn't quite make it. On the basis of this morning's revelations, I don't think I'll be sacked just yet. Still, it's GCSE results next week, so I'm not holding my breath.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

There's been some bizarre blooping noise outside for a while, but it was masked neatly by the sound of the radio. Now I've come to listen more closely, I've realised that it's a Bloop Test fitness thingy, being broadcast at high volume across the school fields. I can only attribute it to the conference using the school's facilities at the moment, although if I'd paid to go on a conference and had to do a bloop test I'd be throwing a major hissy fit by now. Sadist conference leaders.

I'm not doing very well when it comes to glasses at the moment. By glasses, I mean spectacles, rather than beverage-holding vessels, which present me with few problems on the whole. I dropped and stood on my best/most recent pair of glasses a few weeks ago, snapping one of the threads that hold the lens in place. I tried to use the lens as a monocle but couldn't get my face to squint up right. I therefore made an appointment to go to the glasses doctor, which was quite fortuitous as yesterday I fell asleep on my second-best pair of glasses and bent them beyond recognition too. Luckily the spec-lady today sorted them out: pair two were scrunched with pliers until they complied with her bending wishes; I've ordered a new set of frames for pair one. Tomorrow I should be able to see again without squinting - it'll make a pleasant change.

To make up for my lack of sight, I decided to indulge my other senses, particularly those of smell and taste. I've made a blueberry and apple pie (cooking merrily as I write); a blueberry yoghurt thickie (I had to use the left-over fruit filling somehow); and I've got a mango stir-fry planned for dinner tonight. I may end this holiday able to see again and slightly more tanned than I was, but I may not be able to fit into any of my clothes. Still, it's a price I'm prepared to pay.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

After a week of any camp, I feel the need to sleep for a month. This is particularly true of a SAGGA camp that involves both manual work knee-deep in mud and late nights laughing at others trying to Su-Doku through a drunken haze. The cricket went on at 10.20am yesterday (hurrah for wireless internet allowing in-bed cricketing) and I listened, read and slept for the entire day. I'd intended to get up before Rob got home from work but I failed. I felt much better for it.

Camp was good and it was great to catch up with friends. Some of the children have grown scarily quickly, but other things don't seem to have changed; old routines fitted like a glove, albeit a glove with something lumpy at the end of one finger that niggles but is too minor to bother about changing. It's not possible to pick highlights of the week - there was so much I enjoyed - but the photos are on flickr.

Today has been spent tidying up, trying to sort out camping things, laundry, paperwork and school things. There are two weeks left of this holiday: I've got a lot to organise before then.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

I got back from Peak this morning, and have spent much of the rest of the day recovering. As expected, the week involved a lot of cooking (of which, more later) and standing in queues for the toilet. The girls had a fantastic time and are buzzing with excitement about the next camp. We've even talked about taking them abroad, although in 2007 rather than next year. My Guides were great, particularly my two young leaders, and I am proud of every single one of them. I'm sure that there were the usual fallings-out and arguments, but they never got as far as me, so that suits me fine.

Jen and I QM'ed the camp together. Although she has done a lot of camp cooking together, I've not QM'ed properly since I was 17. Despite this, we worked very well together and I realised that I know more about cooking than I thought I did. However, there have also been small learning moments - did you know that 5kg of pasta is about right for 40 people, plus a bit extra for seconds? Or that Guides can be persuaded to eat cous-cous by describing it as 'mini-pasta'?

My favourite moment of the whole camp was the arrival of the food inspector to check our kitchen (an inspection probably brought on by the incidence of food poisoning that kept an entire troop quarantined on their sub-camp for 36 hours). I was outside washing up while Jen was inside supervising girls who were chopping food for lunch. The inspector arrived, took one look at the kitchen and said, "Ah, labelled coloured chopping boards, anti-bacterial spray and soap, blue food gloves, different coloured cloths... you're fine." There wasn't really much he could have argued with!

Tomorrow I head off north for SAGGA camp. I feel bad abandoning Rob again, but he's got a proper job and I'm a lazy slacker. He moved in two weeks ago and I've already been away for 8 days: I'm obviously not much cop as a girlfriend. Hopefully he's finding enough to keep him amused in my absence. Better go and get packing... have fun!