Friday, 18 June 2010

It seems that H also has a secret desire to be a football commentator. Suddenly, as if from nowhere, she knows the names of the England team and said 'Oh, John Terry's injured. Oh he still looks a bit pale, oh he's up on his feet again' with more panache that Adrian Chiles could ever muster. At school her class are having a sweepstake on the time of first goal and the score, H has her money on 37 minutes, so she has 5 minutes more to watch and they just nearly scored, luckily for her they didn't. Her score prediction is 2-1 to England. We still don't have flags on the car, despite the girls telling me today 'They give them away with newspapers mum.' Well not my newspaper they don't.

A was incredibly sick and had a full time relationship with the toilet for a couple of hours last night, it was one of the most shocking episodes ever witnessed, she is so good at being sick, she just gets up and gets on with it without even calling for us, bless her. I had an INSET day today, although its not about training at all, its just a whole day for planning, we were doing our overview for next year, which is going to include re enacting the great fire of London with cereal packets in the playground being set alight. It was nice to plan with the LSAs involved for once, as they have a different viewpoint on the whole process and can see if things might come unstuck logistically. So, a sick A could come with me and potter around on the computer and playing with the toys in my class room. I do know that they didn't have cereal in London in 1666, well, not in packets. And we are going to deliberately burn some cakes and set the fire alarms off. We do have to run these plans by the caretaker first, and possibly the fire service.

This week I have had a couple of great bike rides, a 30 miler on my own on Tuesday which took in bits of the Meon Valley not previously covered, with lots of hills, followed by 36 lengths of crawl. Last Sunday morning I did about 25 miles with Claire, a mum from my class and a PE teacher, ex basketball player and triathlete. Well, she kept the pace up! I loved being out with someone fit ( ter than me!) and pushing myself a bit. I also loved being out on my own on Tuesday for the rest and meditation time available when its just you, your bike and a hill.

I just saved over £300 by shopping around for our home and contents insurance rather than renewing. Call me Martin Lewis! I was very alarmed to read what we are insured against, which includes 'malicious people' doing thing to our house. I had to check with R that he is not a street trader, goldsmith or diamond dealer before clicking the Continue button. I guess in those lines of work you have more than your fair share of malicious people turning up and doing malicious things to your house. I don't know what they do, these malicious people, or how the insurance company make up their minds on whether someone is genuinely malicious or just having a bad day.

Other things of note to tell you are that once again, my green fingers are too green and we are suffering a glut of spinach and lettuce, so its green salad every day and you are welcome to come round and maliciously sneak some green leaves from my garden, as long as you don't enter through any door locked with a mortice lock. I get up to £500 for missing plants, so that's a lot of spinach you can sneak off with before I have to pay. Guess how much the amount I can claim for ruined frozen food is if my freezer breaks? £60 000 !!! That is a lot of frozen spinach! Or thawed spinach, or in the case of our freezer, rhubarb and blackberries from dad's garden. If one blackberry is worth what, 5p, that's about 10 million blackberries defrosted on the floor.

The new government, who seem to be hellbent on making all teacher hate them, seems to be shutting websites without any replacement, changing curriculums which have already been sent out, but they seem to have made everyone happy by getting rid of the General Teaching Council. Why tamper around with education right now, leave us be for a year or two and do something else to do with post offices or banks or something. I wrote an email to Mr Gove ( face for radio) inviting him over to chat through education policy but he has not replied.

My internet bargain shopping included, this week, reducing the cost of flights to Austria from £1500 to £460 just by going to a different website. Same planes, same flights, just a different website. We have decided to go it alone with the skiing next year, leaving the safety of Oak Hall lasagne behind and self catering, staying in the apartment near Salzburg that we stayed in two years ago. The girls love the Oak Hall atmosphere, instant friends and English food which only Fairthorne Manor get close to. It will be a different kind of holiday, but I can't bear another week in bunk beds. but Austria! Hey, we really should move to the Alps to save all this travel time...

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Football commentating is one of my favourite arm chair sports, once every 4 years, you understand. I was disturbed, if not aggrieved, to discover that only one of the 30 strong England football world cup squad is older than me. When I told R, he said 'Well you are 37 its a surprise any of them are.' Gee thanks. Anyway, its 1 all in the first Englad game. Half time.

I have resisted the temptation to buy St George flags for my car, despite everyone else in my street doing so. In fact, I was in Fareham, ( another story) buying 3 diet cokes in Pound Land and was behind a lady buying aforementioned car flags. I thought about asking her if she had thought through her purchase, but decided to keep quiet as she looked on the Gosport side of Fareham, if you know what I mean. meaty. I texted R as I was walking through Fareham (in cycling attire) to ask him why it was full of students from his school and ill, poor people. The only town in England with more mobility scooters per head is Worksop. His logical reply was that the Year 11s should have been at home revising, and that only people on benefits have the time to drift around Fareham on a Tuesday at midday, the healthy and rich of Fareham are at work. All 3 of them.

Now, to the football. I would have thought that the USA have a better chance of winning based on having more people to choose from in their bigger country to be in their football team. And that the world cup is unfair on small countries with a smaller pool of population to pick from, like Wales, for example. To make things fairer, I think the number of people on the team should be in direct reverse proporrtion to the population. So Wales get to field a full 11, whereas the USA only get to put 0.1 men on, assuming that is that their population is one thousand times bigger. Do you see where I am going with this and how it would work. The Isle of Wight could start entering their own team, and assuming Wales a benchmark of 11, they would get to put on maybe 40 of 5o in their team. This would work wonders for the world population problem, as big countries would soon catch on to the troubles of deciding which footballer to slice into bits to put in the match, and dramatically reduce their population, one way or another, whether it be by a cull of the elderly and non football playing, or women, or by compulsory sterilisation of all except footballers.

Today was another sailing day, not for me and A, who said ' do you think I am crazy?' when I suggested she sail with R and H to Hill Head. So, she and I played tennis and had a quick swim, and R and H sailed to Hill Head, and A and I drove over and met them for a picnic on the beach. H is hugely confident sailing with R now, last Sunday in windy conditions they won a race at the club. R's first win at Netley, first sailing win for about 20 years, and with H as his crew. I and A both had a quick whizz around, it was windy and fun and R and I had a brief whizz around on our own, my first sail of the year, and I was ok, not getting too tangled up on the tacking and knew what to do.

H was keen to watch the football match, and rather bizzarrely is sat in a small paddling pool, empty, in front of the TV. A couldn't care less about anything on TV at the moment, apart from Total Wipeout.

The girls spent the last couple of days at their cousins' , as they had inset days. It sounded like they had a fantastic time, with a visit to a baby rabbit, a long walk, a charity shop trawl which resulted in 2 pristine summer school dresses for H, lots of playing in the garden and looking at the tadpoles they are growing in a barrel. Meanwhile, R was working hard, hard, hard with the noble art of persuading 16 year olds who have as good as left school that they do want to come in to school and finish their coursework before the deadline. And I was persuading a stupid EXCEL database, I ask you, that it would like to magically produce 28 reports for the children in my class with the right words in the right boxes. I got them all printed out and to the head for her comments before the deadline. Now, I just get them all back with the mistakes she has picked up that I and Sheryl ( jobshare star!) missed cos we've read them too many times.

I haven't told you yet about Switzerland, or my cat. Which first? Cat. On Monday I wrote an email to the Cats Protection league and on Tuesday, we delivered her to a vet's in Shirley who health checked her and passed her on to CPL who have a new family for her. A family who don't go on holiday and spend most of every day out, causing their cat to feel lonely and poo and pee everywhere to prove it. She needs an old lady who doesn't go anywhere, , no children to scratch at, and we need to not have a pet to stress us out. It was a decision which I felt bad about before, like I was the baddy and a failure for not being able to look after a cat, but since she has gone, and H spent one evening crying, I feel sure it was the right thing to do and already our house smells less of cat p***.

Switzerland. Does not smell of anything bad, just mountains and waterfalls and lakes and ice cream. We spent a week with Granny Mary in Wilderswil, we had not been there for 7 years so were overdue a visit, really. It is a great spot, near Interlaken, inbetween two lakes, clue in the name. We visited some amazing waterfalls inside rocks with the awesome sound and sight of glacial water pouring out of rocks above. The sound was really loud and A's great line when I said ' Its noisy isnt it?' was 'I've been in quieter places!' She rushed me around the whole complex of steps and waterfalls quick sharpish, not her scene. We also visited another awesome outdoor waterfall, took a quick trip on the lake, did several walks and runs and a bike ride. We did 28 miles, 14 of them uphill, if you have been to Gridelwald you will know it is a fair bit higher up than the lakes in the valley! The descent back home was good, we were really proud of H for doing the ride, even if daddy did get off and push two bikes some of the way.

The girls and R did a high ropes course, as I had done one before in Austria with H and am still shaking, I let R do this one, and it turned out to be much more varied, with 3 small, lower courses that A could do on her own. H loves being up in the treetops on zip wires, as her ambition is to be a hunter, modelled on Robin Hood. A did really well and had fun on it too. Granny Mary declined.