Monday, 26 October 2009

Today I awoke early and drove to work for 7am and then did a run which took me 1 hour 10 minutes and was glorious, perfect sunshine and I ran along the front at Hamble and then through the woods and along a bit more sea front back to Royal Vic and then through the park. Saw a few dog walkers but no other runners. Caught a refuse collector doing a very apologetic wee up against a tree. He was apologetic to me about being caught with his flies undone, rather than the wee being pathetic, it was quite gushing actually since you ask.

We have the lovely cousin Angus staying and also had ma and pa down for lunch. Angus says that everything is boring which is a sad state of affairs when you are 3. I think he just says it to be funny as everyone laughs. We were talking about TVs in bedrooms for some reason, and he said that he didn't have one but Toby Saunders does. Well, Toby Saunders parents, TAKE IT OUT NOW! Having a TV in your child's room is one of the most damaging things you can do for your child's socialisation, verbal skills and sleep habits. In my humble opinion, clearly.

Last night I did have a pathetic attempt at swimming, it was very hot and I was trying to use my float to make me use my legs for crawl. A man gave me some advice on my stroke, which is much needed, and it turned out that he is the guy who has been faithfully texting me with the tri club plans even though I have never been on one of his cycle rides. Anyway, he inspired me to go along to one of the swim training nights at the club on a Tuesday. Reading my tri magazine and Runners magazine have spurred me on to keep training and maybe one day do an Ironman. I mean, to run a marathon is one thing but to do it after a 100 mile bike ride and a 2 mile swim is something else. Proper triathletes train for 15-20 hours a week. I don't know how that would work for me right now. Had chips from the chip shop for tea. Followed by yummy chocolate cake made entirely by H with a little help from her little cousin.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Today we walked to the tennis club through the woods in the rain. We had to leave at 8.40am, so it was a bit of a school day atmosphere, but girls thrilled by the journey and I was not entirely sure I was on the right path for a few moments to add to the excitement. It was still raining when we left after tennis, fun club and swimming ( no need to use our central heating or shower at home!) and despite travelling as light as we could, tennis bats, umbrellas and wet towels mixed in with winds and horizontal rain did not make the girls mad keen on walking back the same way. So we walked to Sainsburys instead, which was full of people with nothing to do on a rainy Saturday. Like us then. We had a tasty lunch served by our next door neighbour (she works in the cafe, she didn't just nip out with a tray) and a mooch round the cake and card aisles as it is A's birthday IN 4 DAYS... Then a play on the hippos and elephants out the back before getting a very punctual and fast double decker home. We sat on the top at the front, and we don't go on buses since we are at school now, and I miss our trips to the Quays, our Amy days, and longer ago than that - the challenge of a baby and a toddler on a bus was always one I was up for!

The fireworks were on special at Sainsburys, which was a good thing as it needed 3 rockets in a dark place to get Amanda fired up enough to get out of bed when we got back at 4pm. Oh dear God how could you have sent someone so unlike me it could not be possible that we inhabit the same planet or universe, let alone house??? What a lot God teaches us! I had done a walk, an hour in the gym and swum 30 lengths before she had thought about breakfast! Really enjoyed the gym and may sign up for a challenge in December to give me a training goal as the end of March is a long way off.

R is away sailing this weekend, great windy weather so no complaints from him there! He came mid field out of 38 boats ( all the same type) today and has two more races tomorrow. He is camping. I am not.

It is half term, in case you are not in the world of people who care about such things, and we are glad. I had parents evening this week and it finished me off! I was feeling weak and exhausted anyway after the last 7 weeks but the children have done some great work lately and I was able to say encouraging things with integrity. One of R's staff ( in fact his only 100% ICT teacher) has got a new job as Head of ICT at a neighbouring school, which is clearly great for him and reflects well on R, but is a headache as they now have a vacancy and the deadline to hand in notice was yesterday, so only the out of work will be looking for a job for January. Let's hope some of them are out of work for good reasons and they find someone who is a positive gem.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Yesterday was too calm for sailing as planned, although the wind did get up and it would have been just right for me, but by then we had our alternative plan in place. R packed the boat up ready for his next attack on the Olympic dream, and I and the girls had started the march to Hamble along the beach. We took the long way round ( not the completely the long way, via Scotland way) but though lots of woods and muddy bits till we got to the village and the pink ferry awaiting us! We have never been on the pink ferry, and in fact R didn't think he had ever been to Hamble village, despite it being a local beauty spot, world renowned sailing centre etc etc and only a few miles from our home. So, £5 and 5 minutes later we were in Warsash, another famous centre for sailing that I had never been to. We had an ice cream and sat on the front and then got the pink ferry back. The weather was fabulous and we felt like we were on holiday! We just got back before Bonne Bouche shut at 4, so had a piece of cake and a cup of tea ( R did not have cake or ice cream he is very focused on getting that gold!) and then walked the quick way back to my school, where the girls spent ages in the park with the zip wire whilst R walked back and fiddled around with the boat and came and got us in the car. Then we had fishfinger sandwiches and watched Mr Bean on holiday, which R hates, and A found too puzzling to bear, so she went to bed early. H and I have the same sense of humour and love watching people slip on banana skins so enjoyed it, and I did the ironing too. What a lovely lovely day of sunshine and being with my family for whom I am mostly very very grateful.

In the morning we did a family show at the big Vineyard, where the kids had taken over the main hall for an all kids together special. R and Hattie did the singing and I and the girls led the signs. Was horrified to see Abi M was in the room, as she in a proper signer, not a fischy one like me. We did 3 Fischy songs and seemed to go down ok!

Friday, 16 October 2009

Have not run since Sunday, but did do an hour of tennis on Monday and Tuesday, and a swim on Monday, plus a cycle to work and back on Wed and Fri in case you are keeping a fitness diary for me. Cycling home from Hamble is literally entirely up hill apart from going down Warburton Hill when nearly home. Today at school it was my class assembly, which went well and had good feedback despite the CD player not working very well and the children going all shy and not singing like they have been! Then it was open afternoon, when parents come in from 2 and look at books and then can take their child and slope off early if they want to. Was left at hometime with 3 who were going to football club! It is a great idea, very informal and sociable. They have worked really hard this week on all the planning for an information page for a book, today was putting it all together and me tearing my hair out! Nearly all done, and a bit of time next week to make front covers etc. They really have worked hard and are getting so much better at reading and writing.

Last night we had our marriage spiral group, and it was thought provoking, about our hopes and fears for the future. I tend to avoid either. I accidentally mentioned to a mum of my class today that I had cancer last year, which sounds odd and ridiculous to me. I don't normally tell new people if not necessary, I guess its not how I define myself - but I was telling her about Wessex Cancer Trust as she is supporting a relative with cancer and so it seemed obvious. It just sounds so odd - like I am saying 'Oh yeah, I had a cold last week'. I still find the whole thing bizarre and like a semi colon in a sentence, that is how it feels in my life - odd, unnecessary mostly but providing a pause. So I think I have always thought that you shouldn't make too many plans, as you may not breathe your next .....

breath. Cor, bet you liked what I did there.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Managed to stagger around Lord Montague's estate this morning. I was not at the front of the runners so estimate it took me at least half a minute to cross the start line, and finished in 1 hour and 15 seconds, so I am taking that as under 1 hour. There was no official timing, as it was a fun run for charity rather than a race. So, a bit disappointed the clock didn't actually say 59 point something, but confident that I did do it 'sub 60' as the first bit of the race is standing on the spot waiting for people ahead to get going. It was 'undulating' and a bit of a dull course with lots of doubling back on yourself - a bit disappointed as the countryside down there is so splendid. Still! Monty probably didn't want us trampling over his azaleas, and after the bad write up I gave his motor museum on this very blog (Dec 07) he probably is still feeling a bit churlish towards me. There were some steep slopes and mud and grass and gravel, hardly any tarmac, so suits me, but a heavy going course. One girl finished in 28 minutes, and as her name was not Paula I think she took a wrong turn. The 10k sorts the runners from the walkers, as it were, and whereas on the 5k I did there were plenty of people who has the physique for darts, it seems that only the fairly fit attempt the 10. Next March I am planning on doing 'Bolt round the Holt' again but doing the 21k instead of the 5k. So, that's doubling what I managed today, and I was struggling the last 500 metres! Had a good middle from about 4k to about 8 I was enjoying it and feeling like I ran well.

Was very irritated as I went to the gym to have a jacuzzi, steam, sauna, shower session ( hereafter known as a Jtriple S) And there was a family with their young boys dangling their feet in the jacuzzi, despite it being for over 14s. Then I was about to head to the steam room when 5 young men went in, and I thought it would be a bit full, as 5 is the most you can really get in there without sitting on each others laps. And I had forgotten my conditioner so my shower was unsatisfactory too. And my hair looks like a birds nest. Still, mustn't grumble!

I drove up to Godalming to meet the girls who had been at Ma and Pa's for the night, we met at Winkworth Arboretum which was just coming into its perfect shades of Autumn, great day to go. Its a pretty spot in a steep valley, very steep, so more hill climbing. After a comforting piece of NT cake we swapped suitcases over and I and the girls had the complete joy of listening to Andy Stanton read 'You're a bad man Mr Gum' on CD. We love Mr Gum books, they are the funniest books written for children since Roald Dahl died. I can recommend them for adults too, along with Billy Bonkers by Giles Andreae, another very funny book to listen to in the car. Andy Stanton is my new hero, along with Justin from CBeebies, who is quite simply the funniest and cleverest man on the telly. I listened to Desert Island Discs today, with Steve Coogan, who comes a close second. Also listened to Gardeners Question Time (lot of time in the car today) and am fascinated by the story of honey fungus. Also caught a few minutes of Elaine Page's show time on Radio 2 - fabulous radio, I love musicals and hearing the 'Music of the Night' from Phantom - well you have to sing along don't you?

The girls were in Claygate cos we went up yesterday for the Claygate Scouts 100 year church service, during which dad was one of the interviewees. The vicar did a great job of putting together a simple and interesting talk which managed to combine Scouting and God seamlessly, but sadly the rest of the service was rather 'fossilized christianity' with very little input from the young people, it seemed to have been conjoured up for the benefit of the old and good of scouting, which is great, but sad not to have the boys ( and girls ) more involved. For example, the readings were done by two leaders, and it would have been a simple thing to have a Scout and a Cub do the readings. The songs were old and long hymns and again it would have been easy to have had a song that the children knew and enjoyed. And to top it all, the boys had to sit at the back! They are the future and they should have been at the front, at the centre and a whole lot more involved, but they didn't ask me to organise it, and maybe they will for the 200th anniversary.

So quid pro quo (I think), in return for us going to a service which did not leave me smiling a la harvest last week, (but dad was great in his bit of it, and the tea after was lovely I had 2 scones with jam and cream), the girls stayed the night so R and I could go to Lou's 30th birthday party. The band which Adam and Chris play in played, and were excellent, but the venue was a bit on the big side for dancing, and I was drinking diet coke as I try to avoid alcohol ( you know, athlete in training and all that) so had a few shuffles when I was dragged up by various lovely friends. I made a big effort on dressing up as Lou requested, having spent the night before in Tescos clothing department being styled by Ang, who has a good eye for putting outfits together and can spot on a hanger something that looks great on, but bad on the hanger. Bought and wore some very high heels and lucky not to have sustained an ankle injury which would have put me out of the race.

On Tuesday I went out in the rain all day on a mega bike ride with my friend Fair Oak Rachel. We met at Denhams Corner which is just past Hedge End (Iknow, some of you are lying down already at the thought of cycling past Hedge End) and we cycled through Upham, round Bishops Waltham to Corhampton, and then Warnford and back down a bit of the Meon Valley cycle path to Droxford and then back to the pub at Dundridge which I last visited with Jo Hayles in January when we did a walk out that way. We were soaked and muddy and it literally rained all day, the hardest bit was the last 3 miles up hill on my own after saying goodbye to Rachel, having come back through Bishops Waltham and Durley. Made it back at 2.50, lightning fast shower and got girls at 3. I think we did about 20-25 miles. Very saddle sore after that, despite my amazing ladies gel saddle.

School is going well, thank you, I seem to have upset enough people now and have reached a critical mass where there are no more to be upset. I am finding the children lots of fun and very keen to learn, and am enjoying doing the various bits of planning and so on, sad I know, but I found a great website for phonics planning yesterday! My team are great, good feeling of positive working together and I am loving having a door and a classroom twice as big as my old one.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Have just sorted through a basket of books and papers which the cat had wee-d on. Took the cat to vet the other day as she has fleas. She had her injections and £63 later we came out again. Did I want her teeth scaled and polished? Not at £123, no! She is not worth that to me dead. In fact, I would give you £123 to take her off my hands. Any offers?

Also, while on my knees in the lounge, sorted through the godly play equipment we have 'borrowed' from the big Vineyard. Seeing as most of it was made by Rob, or by the chap in Sholing with onion breath which I endured to get the stuff made, they aint seeing it again!! My heart breaks that all that work we put into getting the stuff together and making the stories was not being used, so far better that we should have it here in Thornhill and use it rather than it gathering dust for want of passion and understanding. Got plenty of that here, so delighted to sort through a variety of coloured cloths and wooden figures. Not got any decent storage for it, got close earlier this week when Amanda was going to be leaving tomorrow, she said sorry and is redeemed, but we are hoping a flat will come along soon as she needs to move on and take responsibility for messing up her own kitchen from now on. Then we will have a spare room to put godly play stuff in the cupboard of!

School today, I rather overdid it with literacy and in a bid to capitalise on the great work of the morning, and while it fresh in the mind, used the afternoom to carry on with the next bit of the task. Oh lordy lord! What a mistake. Everyone was rocking back and forth, and twitching, and that's just the grown ups! The harvest assembly yesterday was delightful, and they raffled off the produce to raise money, so one of my gourds was a raffle prize for some lucky Hamble family. Tee hee. Hope they know what to do with it. My class are really lovely children, very well behaved on the whole and make a good advert for children in general and teaching in particular.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Yesterday, H and I both had a go at 'helming' for a race, with R as our crew. H came a fabulous 14th in her race ( out of 14) and I came 15th in mine ( out of 16 - someone withdrew half way round.) Pretty good results eh? Considering I only started sailing in May, I was quite proud. R wanted H and I to go together, but it has been about 6 weeks since I been out on the water and I need R to say tiller towards you, away from you, etc. I can tack now with some proficiency, although the everyday saying ' that's a bit wide of the mark, or far off the mark' has a whole new meaning now I know how to tack so far off the mark that I have no fear of touching it or any other boat. I was terrified of crashing into someone proficient, or not giving way at the right time, etc, etc, there are many many rules in sailing racing. At one point a guy who was racing too said 'Are you racing?' to us, which adequately shows how badly we did. The wind was weak and changeable and I had to concentrate hard, but I HAVE DONE A RACE! 2012 Weymouth here I come! Whilst waiting for the results with some hard core sailors, I told them not to bother waiting to find out who won cos it was obviously me. No one laughed. Which means they are so insecure that they actually thought I had a chance! Or they don't get my humour, which is more likely. Here is a great sailing joke made up by A:

Which boat is the one that gets up latest every morning?
the Lazer!!!!!!! Geddit?

Other notable things were that R and I watched a DVD last night, this in noteworthy as it only happens about once a year that we sit down at the same time on the same sofa. It was borrowed from Lou, who, along with Hattie, ensures Blockbuster get no business from any one in their friendship group. Mona Lisa Smile or something, Julia Roberts, a bit of a Dead Poets for girls film. Good.

Sunday am I did my last big run before next Sunday's 10k effort at Beaulieu. Sarah and I did a great run from her house around Itchen valley country park. Sadly I will be on my own at Beaulieu as the lovely Vicky who was training with me has injured her ankle to such an extent that she can not run for 6 weeks. Sarah and Chris came to the sailing club on Sunday too, as they are keen to get into it - Chris especially, so who knows - a boat share might be on the horizon.

We went to St Christophers church oin Thornhill for the harvest with the girls in their Rainbow and Brownie kit. Quite a crowd of us as Adam brought the children, and a few other Rainbow mums were there. ( Not that Adam is a Rainbow mum). The church was full, and Geoff did his usual fabulous job of including everyone, and ensuring that we left church with a smile on our faces. Do you know, I can't remember ever leaving a church with a smile before! The story of Zaccheus, linked to sharing, giving and thanking at harvest. The songs were all 1980s throwbacks with an enthusiastic but mainly talentless music group, but the heart was there! Everything about it made me smile, Geoff is an asset to the church of england and I hope he rises to become Archbishop - it would be a wonderful and inclusive church if he was. Every time I go to an Anglican church I think 'I could do that'. Damn them. Not literally of course.

I am supposed to be planning a unit of maths work at the moment, but will go and have a cup of tea and a Whispa Gold instead. That's better. Now, Saturday, we had tennis lessons for the girls followed by our little attempt at church in Thornhill with a godly play story and lunch. Bit of a squueze getting everyone in Dunc and Emma's kitchen but nothing a few weeks at Slimming World won't deal with. Then A had a party at Bitterne Leisure Centre, so I took an hour to browse the delights of the precinct. Well well well. Woolies site has been taken over by a 99p shop which was heaving, I bought 2 birthday presents and a new top and cardigan for school for me, and two women were having a loud argument outside the Sainsburys with food in, which I thought might be leading towards a fight, so headed down towards the bargain bookshop. The Bakers Oven has been taken over by Greggs, so the cafe was shut, and I was looking forward to watching the fight unfold from behind glass.

The pottery has arrived from my pottery party that I had last week, as usual you can tell that I was talking too much and forgot how many layers I had put on, so its a bit mottled. Other people's look great, altogether I gave her £160 of business, and I got 10% of that as free to me, so that's the 2 bowls and the mug that H, A and I did free. Lots of people seem to be saying that they want to book a party, I hope they get on with it before Christmas as I have some more presents to make. Which proved entirely that I go to these parties for a purpose rather than people, on the whole, and my heart sinks when I am invited to a handbag buying party.