Saturday, 24 February 2007

Thanks for the link to the Roman costume page. I have lots of ideas now, though not the $450 needed to buy a full on kit. I have decided that 'battle ready' would be better than not for a sword, were I to purchase one. Especially for using in school. realarmorofgod is the scary site for anyone who is lagging behind in roman costume design class. I think I shall go as Caeser.

Did he invent a salad? I noticed this week that the Queen buys milk from Express dairies and from Dairy Crest. She also eats Robinson's marmalade and eats Cadburys chocolate. Studying where she puts her crest gives a rounded picture of her as an individual, just like you or I, eating and drinking the same things as us. Or not! She should get on the Fair trade bandwagon, and should be drinking Duchy original organic milk to support her son. I noticed the royal stamp of approval on the recycled Robinson's jar from which I spooned some tasty marmalade made by R's mum. Aunty June sent some of her 3 fruit vintage to try, and it is neck and neck. Josh, I have not had any from you yet. I expect this will be rectified and I will add an assessment to my blog in due course.

Hope my comments in the previous paragraph regarding queeny count as free speech, not treason. Don't know how touchy she is about these things. If you next see me hoisted on some gallows outside Buck House you will know the answer.

We have been in the Isle of Wight all week. It really should re-create itself as a time warp zone, and market itself on its old fashioned-ness. That is all I can bear to say at this moment, will save rest till tomorrow.

Wednesday, 14 February 2007

Shirley. The place, not the lady. I visited today, but sadly not with the leisure time to peruse the length of the high street, home to such outlets as Bon Marche and Wilkinsons. Gutted to go to Shirley and miss Wilko. I went there because that is where my dentist is. I say 'my dentist' but it is a new person every time I go, with a Dutch man and a Swedish lady the last two times. This time, he was from Germany, spoke very little English and kept his mask on for the whole time. Hannah got her Barbie sticker so she was happy. I left very unhappy, as I have to go back to have a FILLING. The shame. My two daughters smugly marched down the stairs (dentists are always upstairs - where do people who can't do stairs go?) chanting 'mummy doesn't clean her teeth as well as us'.

I only mentioned it because a month or so ago I was awake most of the night with a severe pain in my tooth, but it had not caused any trouble since. Wish I had kept quiet. He wouldn't have noticed anyway. It was only because he did an x ray that he knew.

Going to Shirley, as a Bitterne fan, is a bit like a Saints fan going to Portsmouth for the dentist. I almost got to Porstmouth later today, as the Portsmouth youth football team were stars of the fashion show we went to at Rob's school. H and A were in the show too, in their best party dresses, twirling and curtseying and obviously loving it! It was all run by some of the students, in aid of a 'faith and football' charity run by a Pompey footballer who is a Christian. Hence the footballers I guess.

I noticed today that on the news Robbie W is having treatment for addiction to prescription drugs. I thought it was probably Lemsip, as I find once you have a cold and get used to having them every 4 hours, I like to carry on for a good week after all the symptons are gone. But then I realised that Lemsip is not on prescription. I have been keeping up to date on celeb news since working at Berrywood, as there is a week old copy of 'heat' magazine in the staff room every Monday. I learnt all about Jade's feelings of being an idiot.

In the spirit of keeping up with national news of importance I have also been watching some of the programmes on our new Freeview box, now I have understood how to work it. Sadly, there is nothing of any importance on any of the channels I have found so far, except perhaps for the shopping channels, which are an important lesson in what not to buy.

Unless you are a Crandon, in which case essential purchases would include wolf fleece jackets to go with the blanket.

Today I also did Bitterne (yoga with Marion) and Woolston ( hair cut with Ruth). It was my day off in lieu for working 27 Monday nights in a row or something, so I spent it wisely. If you see me, you will now be able to comment on my hair knowing that it was a deliberate act, and not a child attacking me with scissors while I slept.

That last sentence would probably give the impression that, as a teacher, I snooze while the children are in my care. That is not at all the case. I was thinking of my own children.

On MY BIRTHDAY (27 feb) I have to go to school dressed as a Roman. My wardrobe does not stretch that far. Can anyone help, please?

Saturday, 10 February 2007

Peartree Pantomime is one of those endurance tests you would only put yourself through for the sake of your children, or a good friend. You needed both criteria to get through this year's. Lou was, once again, one of the stars of the show ( along with the Villain, and Wishy Washy). It was am dram at its best. I mention it, only to have in a public place recorded that Lou told Hattie to 'shoot me if I talk about doing it again next year.' Lou, we loved you, you are the best Aladdin Bitterne could hope for and I will shoot you if you DON'T do it again next year.

Peartree is really a posh suburb of Bitterne or Woolston, two towns that are special to me, and which coincidentally I visited on Friday. A needed new shoes and we went to Mitchell's of Woolston, a Clarks shoe shop like the kind your mum used to take you to. You know: smell of new shoes; boxes of them stacked up around the edge. Ladies in white blouses and black tight skirts who bend down to measure your feet with that thing which is metal and cold on the bottom and a bit tickly on the bit they put round your foot. When you get a bit bigger now they stand you on a super spacy thing that laser measures your feet, but A is still small enough for the old fashioned system.

Yoga with Marion on Friday. We did some lovely things which are alleged to help you get towards a state of bliss. I ached in the morning, if that helps anyone else get there. Thursday night there was nothing at the right time for me to go to a class, so I had to make do with BLC gym, which was busy and full of young men looking keen. They should go to Body combat! That would take the smiles off their faces.

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

I teach Year 3 children on Mondays and Tuesdays this term. It is lots of fun, and today was especially fun as we used the Roamers in maths ( little programmable floor robots that turn through 360 degrees and go forward and back, so you can make a maze and make it go round it), had testing absorbency of paper towel experiment in Science and did 'bang and crash' music - aka composing with untuned percussion. The length of the music lesson is directly linked to the volume of noise produced, ie the louder, the shorter. They sang 'Dem rats' in a round which went well, despite my inability to sing in tune or play any musical instruments.

Aha! My point! The rest of the day was pretty much taken up (apart from Literacy and spelling test) with the children presenting their homework, which was to present a short talk on a job done by someone they knew; so they had interviewed someone, and then had written their notes and many had got photos or props, and some had done a Powerpoint presentation. Move over Matt! These guys are 7 and 8! The quality of their presentations was fantastic, and they maintained the audience's attention. ( NOT that I am saying you don't achieve that, Matt, obv...)

There was a great range of jobs discussed, midwife ( someone's granny - 997 babies delivered over her career), 2 policemen ( 1 with a car, 1 in an aeroplane), a solicitor who works for the police, a manager of a golf club, a dental receptionist, someone who sells Motorola radios to the emergency services, a firefighter, a carpenter, an upholsterer, someone who owns a building company, someone's whole family make roof flashings and run their own company, a hairdresser, a plant hire company owner, a motorhome salesman, insurance for caravans sales person, someone who makes water purification plants for oil rigs, administrators for holiday company and debt collection agency, a pony riding instructor and ski instructor..... and on and on it went.

The great thing for me was that none of them sounded better than being a teacher! Good eh? I was thinking often as they talked that I could not be passionate enough about any of the things they mentioned to want to do it for more than a day. Or a minute in the case of the lead flashing or the water purification plant. I am very blessed to be doing work that I love and find fulfilling. And that is not just teaching, but my church work, and being a mum. That is the unpaid bit, but the best. H played 'Hanglady' in bed with her teddy. Her teddy is a she, so 'Hangman' is obviously not right for two liberated girls to play. Her teddy won, although the drawing of a hanging lady was nearly complete - close call, Teddy. H is the daughter I am very proud of for her use of gender neutral terms like 'firefighter', 'police officer' and her own one, 'snow person'. We do struggle to find an appropriate term for the bin men. Refuse operatives, I guess. I have never seen a female version, although Rachel in Fair Oak says they had a female refuse operative on their round. Fair Oak. Centre of the universe for women who want to push through that glass ceiling and make it in the refuse world.

Sunday, 4 February 2007

Travelcare, the Coop's travel agent, was my 'First choice' ( ha ha!) for booking a holiday. It is, of course, situated within the holy inner sanctuary of Bitterne precinct. Michelle, my 'travel consultant' was very confident at dealing with a hopeless amateur who has never been on a package holiday before. Then they let her loose on me! She recommended, and sold, me a holiday which I am sure you will hear more about on this very site in the future. We are very excited about going somewhere hotter and sunnier than Bitterne for a week later in the year. Can't say more than that, don't want Bitterne -on -sea clogged up with fans wanting my autograph, or Steve Jones to come round and nick the family silver whilst we are away.

Rob and I had a quick trip to the Bitterne gym today, and a longer session at the Quays gym yesterday. That was marvellous, once again I have to say that Bitterne scores nil point compared to Southampton's award winning leisure venue, the Quays. Rob watched the rugby and attempted to explain parts of the game to me. It did make more sense once I knew what they were aiming for (the line - any line) and that they can only throw backwards - I had previously thought they had forgotten which way they were going. He got a bit fed up with my questions, but I did a little better this afternoon when Josh was the male providing commentary, and I managed to slip in a few vocabulary words like 'try' and 'kick'. He taught me 'offload'.

We went to the cinema last night, and watched the Pursuit of Happyness, with Will Smith, who seems to be a very versatile actor, playing a doting and hard working father in this one. It is an American dream film, ie 'if you work hard enough you can do it', and at times it was painful wondering what else could possibly go wrong, but on the whole it was thought provoking, had characters I cared about and was not violent.

I think it is funny that I have just written about a film on this, as many of you know that I watch less films per year than most people watch per week. So, that is probably it for all you film buffs. Sorry David. Rob did like the look of the new Spiderman film, coming out in the summer, if anyone wants to take him.

We got the bus home and at the bus stop got chatting to a man from Thornhill, who is trained as a builder but unable to work and on long term sick due to chronic illness. It was good to talk to him and listen to his story, and I hope our paths cross again. I prayed for him to be healed of the diseases he has, so watch this space. God seems to be busy at the moment, or maybe God is always busy but I don't often listen and watch what is happening.

I love getting the bus because you meet so many people. If you want to meet more 'ordinary' people, get the bus more places, more often. If you only do one bus journey a week it will make a difference to your life. Getting the bus is the easiest thing you can do to be more like Jesus. That is a big statement to make, and you might fight me on that one, but could I recommend you do once a week for a year and then get back to me?

I would be interested to hear if anyone has done any fencing. The sport, that is, rather than DIY.