Saturday, 20 November 2010

Forgot to tell you about the moon. A looked up at a perfect crescent moon and said 'Look, a Dreamworks moon.' A beautiful moment. H has just gone off in a flurry to her first event, a charity Duathlon at the gym. She looked great, in her Tristars bright yellow cycling top, she is really chuffed to be a Tristar, and seems to enjoy the training sessions. Possibly because they involve a lot of chatting with other girls, and lengthy showers after the swimming. She read in their club book that after a Triathlon you should eat chocolate, not that she needs any convincing, so R was depatched with a Time Out bar to help her recover from it. It is 5 lengths of the pool and a 500m run, after all...

Friday, 19 November 2010

More wet and wild bike riding, but all a bit subdued now as the dreaded Autumn cold has descended on the Bowens. It is a occupational hazard of spending your days with 6 year olds who snot everywhere and breathe on you. H was ill last week and had a day off work and spent with Nurse Granny, and then this week she was away on her school trip all week. On Tuesday A was way too hot ( I even used a thermometer on her to check - get me!) and she was despatched for two days with Nurse Nightingale in Claygate. So we had two nights with no children in the house. A weird thing. All back now, all sneezing together, lots of congestion but happy to have everyone home again. H didn't seem to be as full of the trip as she was last year, but maybe that was because she went last year so knew the deal.

I am really pleased with how things are going at work at the moment, lots of initiatives taking off, including an enormous mission on my part to encourage outdoor learning, after showing an interest I seem to be the environment and outdoor learning designated person, judging by the paperwork that appears in my pigeon hole. Had a great conversation with another teacher about the siting of a compost bin, the suggestion was for about 200m away from the school building, because of the smell. That is serious compost - they must be thinking manure! Our home compost bin is about 10m max, from our back door, and it doesn't stop me going out in the garden. Seems to me that putting the compost heap miles away and not letting children take the refuse to it is setting it up to fail - unless there is a very keen teacher who wants to take a daily jog across the field with a pail. And what do you do with the remote compost when its ready? Lug it back again? I may set myself up in business as a school composting consultant. If there was any hope of a job in that line, hardly any jobs for teachers, there are rumours that Early years is being scrapped - I assume that means that children won't start school until year 1, so all year R teachers are out of a job, to save money. I DIDN'T VOTE FOR THE NUTTERS IN CHARGE !!!! Sorry, did that come out loud? Whichever way you look at it, every woman and child in this country is in for a raw deal under this government, and a lot of the men too. We had a pension man in to school to tell us what to do, essentially, die at 64 seems the best option to save any trouble. And don't even think of going to uni, kids! Grrrr. I am feeling militant enough to go on a march. I see the TUC are organising one, for March! Nothing like striking while the iron is hot. Still, gives me time to make my banner. March in March will be my motto.

H is still doing this environment saving competition with school, which involves taking daily meter readings of our gas and electric consumption. It is quite interesting, once you get started, to try to beat yesterday's score and spend less. We are all wearing more jumpers and R is charging his mobile at school to use their electricity, which I think is not really in the spirit of the competition, but is saving us a few pence. As our effort for Nutty November ( see Southampton Vineyard church for more info) we are writing down every penny we spend this month, to see where all the money goes, and then next month we can try to alter our habits. Well, we already are, just by writing it down, it makes you stop before doing things. Like buying a newspaper. No point. All doom and gloom and ends up being covered in paint at school and thrown away.

Goodness, the Sudafed is making me sound miserable. I am actually really happy with my work and generally with my family and life, honest. Just fed up with the state of our society where the poor and most needy are most marginalised. Maybe spending more time praying is the answer.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

I heard yesterday that there was a bomb found a week or so ago on a plane, and no one had told me. Also, planes in the news for having bits of engine fall off them. Better to go by P and O ferries, that's what I always say.

Today I nearly got swept into the sea on my way to work, despite being half a mile north of it at all times, it was so windy i thought I might take off and was glad I had chosen my heavier bike to keep me grounded. It was an onshore wind, actually, to be nautically precise, and no chance of getting swept off the shore, but nearly could have made it to Basingstoke if I had been swept off my bike going inland. I was soaked, like something that lives in a sewer that I hate so much I can not say the name, only that it rhymes with cat. It would have been great weather to test out R's theory lesson on launching with an onshore breeze, which he recently had to teach to his fellow students on the sailing course he is doing at the moment. This weekend is the last one, so maybe some wind will liven things up a bit, as so far the conditions under the Itchen bridge have been calm to boring. R is going to be a fully battened dinghy instructor soon, and will take his first aid qualification and cat endorsement certificates in the spring so he can do the cat training for the youth at the sailing club, plus work as a sailing instructor in his spare time/retirement, were he to live that long. Talking of dying, two recent conversations with friends who feel that their jobs are at risk in these Thatcher's child in charge times, both decided that undertaking was the way to go to be sure of work. I suggested that chaplain at a crematorium, and registrar are less physically demanding jobs but also benefit from the winter boom in business. The rest of my family were talking about getting a hamster. I said they could get one when I was dead. I then thought it was funny to think that I might live to be 80 and R might outlive me, if he is not missing at sea, presumed dead before then, and the day after my death he could go out and buy a hamster. An 81 year old man, denied a hamster all his days. He did have several in his childhood and we had one when we got married, but I count them as fluffy *ats and can't bear them. Urgh.

My coach, Joe Beer ( look him up on line - he really knows what he is doing!) says its ok to put on a few pounds for the winter, an insulating layer. I ate two doughnuts and two toasted tea cakes today to follow his instructions to the letter. He suggestst that this is the time of year to book into events next year, so far i have found a 10k at Exbury Gardens if anyone wants to do it with me?

Every week I pass two amusing signs on the way to Sialou's. There is a pub which has a sign up advertising its 'Large Rear'. then, nearby, a takeaway called Chunky Chips. But they have done this thing with the C being big and on two lines, so you don't see the C and read it as Hunky Hips. Which I don't think is a good advert for a takeaway - ie eat here and leave with hunky hips! Chunky hips even worse I suppose.

Swimming was good this week, I had not been for a fortnight. Breaking news - we have given in our notice to quit our gym at the end of January. Yes, our lovely secret hideaway. We realised that with me doing my cycling thing, R doing more running and sailing, and neither of us having time for tennis, we were essentially paying a lot of money for a swimming pool at the moment. I never get time to get to any classes as any exercise time is taken up outside. So whereas a year ago, I would play tennis two or three times a week plus a class and a couple of swims, now it is swim club and maybe once a week with the girls. So, we are going to depart. With H doing her tri club she gets swimming training twice a week through that, so we are going to investigate some lessons for A to get a bit more style in her swimming, as she can get from one end to the other, but not by any stroke an Olympic committee would recognise.