Friday, 30 November 2007

Bleakest Bitterne tonight. The rain was wild and the wind tunnel effect in the subway from the leisure centre to the shops was wild. H and I ran through to Sainsburys, where we chose seriously payday options for tea, as we have been living on cupboard rations and lunch for A today consisted of a yogurt, some raisins and two Viennese whirls ( they were 10p a pack at the Coop last night). Glad no social workers read this. I did give her half a ryvita with cream cheese, and later some breadsticks and rice cakes. Phew, off the 'at risk' list. Anyhow, to gorge on pizza, garlic bread, chocolate milkshake, flake cakes and I had green herb salad and goats cheese with mushrooms, and some soup that was celeriac, pear and walnut flavour. Even I had chocolate milkshake. What a great invention.

H won a competition last night. It is getting so dull, I know, and she can hardly be bothered to open envelopes these days. It is a family pass to go to Beaulieu, sadly just to the motor museum and not for supper with Lord and Lady Montagu. I entered the competition in 'The Hog' ( you know if you know) and am hoping for a £10 waterstones voucher. I did get a phone call from a lady at the Bold 2 in 1 competition promotion department, who said it was ok to take R on my girly night to the Berkeley hotel, and booked us a date, and actually swapped it to a different package where we get champagne and breakfast instead of chocolate and a manicure. R loves champagne, and breakfast, so that is a good swap. Last time we stayed in a posh hotel was our honeymoon, and the menu was so scarily expensive (the first item was caviar) that we ate at Burger King for our first breakfast of married life. Have not been back since.

I seem a little food obsessed, yes? You would be if you had been producing miracle meals for 8 out of rice, burnt fishfingers and cauliflower ( a white meal, that one). I taught yesterday afternoon, and it went well, had lots of fun doing electricity with Y6, did remind them not to try such experiments at home on the mains circuit. Maybe some of them would be a bit more perky in school for learning if they had a quick poke in a plug socket each morning though... AJ looked after A for me, and then as oldest 2 have sports club, she and her 3 stayed for tea, hence the meal for 8!

I have just been marking R's exams for him, but was losing the will to breathe so gave up. I had thought about doing SATs marking, but as well as it not sitting comfortably with my deep seated opposition to the system they represent, I would be bored to tears and could not bring myself to do it with any degree of sincereity. When I was a student I worked 2 summers in London for the exam board, opening parcels of scripts, counting them, checking the centre numbers, candidate numbers etc. It was dull, but reasonably well paid, I made loads of friends from different backgrounds, got to commute and enjoy a beautiful bit of London in 2 fantastically hot summers with train strikes. I walked from Waterloo, it was a half hour walk over the bridge, up Holburn and Southampton Street or something to Russell Square. We sat in the square for our lunch hours, and sometimes went to the British museum. I went to the theatre on standby to see St Joan. I ate out at Wagamummas for the first time. This was back in the days before they built the IMAX cinema which has probably gone now, and there was a hole in the road with a cardboard city of homeless people that you had to walk through to get to the bridge for the station. I can still remember the smell walking down that subway. When work on the parcel opening section was short (and sometime we came in and did overtime all weekend, and did 8-6 days too) we had to do B checking. Adding up the marks. Great for your mental arithmetic. Some people had to do it all the time, including my friend Amy, who I got the job for. Poor girl. I left early in the season to get married, and they bought us a picnic hamper, and wrapped it up and put it in the parcel post thing and made me go and open it. They were such a great bunch of people. The boss commented that getting married was a drastic way out of B checking, but I disagree. In my first year there, when there was hardly any work but we had to stay at our desks, so we did crosswords and wrote poems, there was a lady who sold the buns off a trolley. She always had earphones in, and all she ever said was a number, for the price you had to pay. It was weird, and we experimented, to find out that the price of, say, a doughnut and a coffee, varied by a couple of pence or so each day. I suggested that her earphones were to the stock exchsnge, and by keeping up to date on the price of bun commodities she coud make up to the minut changes to her prices to reflect the costs of commodities and maintain her margins. Buy doughnuts! Buy! Sell currant buns!! Sell! Sell!

See, even my memories are food centred today.

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