Saturday, 23 July 2011

Some freaky fish thing is going on. Step 1, H and her friend C attend the fair at Claygate Flower Show and win two goldfish. They live overnight in a big tupperware and make it through the night - one of them dies, which we appreciate. The other one makes it back to Southampton in the tupperware and lives on, tired but ok, until R gets home on Monday with a glass tank from the dump, £2, which he has carried on his bike in a carrier bag, risking untimely death or aterial damage at least if he had made one wrong move on his bike. Tank is dutifully filled with gravel and water and fish is re homed, at which point it gets a new lease of life and dashes about exploring. Friday, the fish gets its new friend, a posh fish from a proper shop, and new proper gravel and a skull and some stones and looks happy. New posh fish looks tired. Saturday night - fair fish two now dead. Posh fish happy. So, in a week, we have acquired and buried two dead goldfish and have ended up with one from a shop that we would never have bought. Damn the things! They have found a loophole in my anti pets policy. I got a book out of the school library about looking after a fish, and it says you need pumps and all sorts. We had a goldfish for years on the sideboard and it never had a pump and lasted for way too long. If you have a spare pump, we will give it a go, but this fish is going to live 1980s style.

Apart from dealing in dead fish, we continue to celebrate H's birthday, which goes on and on. We had the weekend without A in Swanage, then her actual birthday which coincided with the Claygate Flower Show so was spent there, an early start as we were taking up exhibits for the girls, H got a second for her decorated cake, A won a cup as she got a first and a second prize in her age group. For a collage scene in a shoe box with a working light, and for a drum kit made out of yogurt pots. I was ill, still am not great with a cough, but last weekend I was grim, with no voice at all on Friday ( stupidly went to school though) and a temperature. I seem to have a weird virus in my throat that has been there for months, have not swum or run for weeks and my cycling limited to a short commute, I am hoping that the end of term will come and I will magically have energy to go out cycling again.

A weekend before Swanage, dad retired from active scouting and we went to the AGM to see him get his thankyou and well done, and it was a lovely occasion, when you grow up with a scout group like 1st Claygate you get to thinking that everyone lives in a great community with amazing scouts and guides that do exciting things. The Scout and Guide band are playing at Disneyland Paris this year, good luck to them, I shall not be returning to watch. The Claygate flower show obviously is a flagship for Claygate ness every year, and this was no different, apart from the usual impeccable weather, it was raining in the morning to the extent that the thornhill festival was cancelled, but Claygate is in a different league, and floods and tempests would not stop the flower show. I managed to swerve into the WI tent where my mum was selling bric a brac and limply sit for a while on a camp chair, but my illness made the experience far less fun than usual. Well, sitting on a WI chair is probably about the same in fun factor, but I would not normally be doing such, but would be watching dogs or classic cars. On Sunday morning, R was swimming from Hampton Court to Kingston, and so we went to watch. It poured with rain and we were wetter than he was. Plus we couldn't tell who he was as there were over 1200 swimmers and we didn't even know what colour hat he was wearing (yellow). He then spent the rest of the day falling asleep - in the bath, on the sofa, driving, on a different sofa and on the rug. Then in bed. The organisers told the swimmers that after the event they should drink a can of coke to kill any bugs they had swallowed. Yuk. What kind of bugs would be killed by coke? Or what kind of drink would kill bugs? I am going to start using it as a cleaning product to clean surfaces in the kitchen.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Sign in toilets at Paultons Park:

It is likely that these facilities will be cleaned by male and female attendants.

I would have said it was more than likely, but absolutely certain, unless they have asexual aliens doing the cleaning. I know what they meant. But they did not say what they meant.

Everyone is very tetchy and fractious at school, that's just the staff! No, we are holding up well in the face of adversity, in the form of tired children and a full up curriculum, but the children are tired and flagging, tomorrow is meet the new teacher day, always nice as the new class are trying so hard to behave for you! I have a whole bunch just finishing Year R, so will be well trained and hopefully not too wriggly - or squiffly. A uses the word squiffle as a verb, as in 'I squiffled up the tree'. It is a super word and describes her motion upward perfectly. She is a bit of a good squiffler up trees, getting to heights I expect most koalas think twice about.

Apart from holding it together in the classroom, I have been on strike, which was interesting, I don't know if it will change anything but united we stand, and a two year pay freeze amounts to a 10% drop in pay in real terms, apparently, plus the higher pension contributions demanded, and the bit that gets me, they want me to carry on teaching til I am 67. 67! My parents are 68 and I don't think either of them would relish the idea of having just given up a full time teaching job - it kind of shows that people who decide these things don't know how demanding it is, exhausting, being on stage all the time, that is why we need the holidays, to sleep, become human again and catch up on all the planning and paperwork that is thrown at us with constant changes and tweaks and improvements. When I am 67 I might want to work, but I don't think all 67 year old teachers will want to, or be in good health to. I will need a nap after lunch, not a rounders lesson!

Spent some time the other day at Bursledon windmill, which is worth a visit if you are ever near at the weekend. They have been milling flour but the cuts have left them without a miller, and needing volunteers. So, if you fancy learning to mill, now is the time, hear the call! In the meantime, get in quick to buy any of their milled flour. Am off to Bursledon Brickworks next week so will tell you all about that - never been there either, but both these places are very local history for the children at Hamble to study. And interesting for me to go on pre visits to.