Teacher Mode, Even When There’s Blood

This. With more snot.

After teaching for nearly ten years and working with thousands of students it is inevitable that I run into them from time to time as I am going about my daily business. Generally, it’s a relatively painless experience- they either say hello and stop for a chat, look past me as if I’m not there and carry on walking, and the odd few will ignore me yet feel the need to shout my name out at me from a distance. The name-shouting is something that has always baffled me – I must give the impression that I regularly need reminding of what my name is – but I generally ignore it until I’m ready to leave, shoot them my nastiest teacher expression and walk away. I don’t teach anymore, therefore I don’t need to pretend to like any of the little cherubs who wish to cause trouble when they see me like I had to before. Continue reading

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Lego Destruction, An Exploding Camembert and a Christmas Dinner Record

I’m serving some ‘food barrel realness’ after consuming more than my entire bodyweight in Toblerone, cheese, crisps, dip, honey roasted peanuts and potatoes over the last few days. I always find it incredulous how quickly the Christmas Eve / Christmas Day period actually goes, especially with the hype and the level of preparation that goes into the weeks (and sometimes, months) leading up to it, and yet it is already over for another year, seemingly in the blink of an eye.

Our Christmas was spent at home with the cat. I had planned our eating and viewing schedule and got most of the food ready in advance, and for the most part, it all went very well.  Continue reading

Santa’s Been on the Wine…

The Christmas Market has returned to Birmingham and The Bloke and I visited some of it when we were shopping for my outfit for the Birmingham Awards event this Saturday. It’s still too early for Christmas in my opinion, but I must admit that I particularly liked this Santa, looking like he had already been on the mulled wine already and was currently enjoying a little buzz from the booze! He’ll be a mess by the time the big day actually arrives…

IKEA: For the Stuff You Never Knew You Needed

There’s a scene in one of my favourite films – 500 Days of Summer – in which the two main characters lovingly pretend at playing house in an IKEA as they enjoy the honeymoon phase of their new relationship. It’s a beautiful sequence, accompanied by cutesy dialogue, and even though I’ve watched it a bajillion times it never fails to make me smile.

So, it was inevitable that this would be the first thing that would pop into my head when The Bloke suggested an impromptu visit yesterday morning. Despite the fact that we have lived together for years, and have been to IKEA on numerous occasions, I somehow imagined a scenario in which we would flirt our way around, being cute in various home set ups and having a lovely time.

Not quite, predominantly because I forgot how much I LOVE going to IKEA. Continue reading

A Wonderful Week and a Wedding

Last week was wonderful.

The Bloke and I watched Matilda on Monday night at the Birmingham Hippodrome. I’d heard endless good things and was intrigued to see how it transferred to the stage, and in many ways it didn’t disappoint. The set was incredible, the songs and choreography were great and some of the actors in particular (Bruce Bogtrotter, Miss Trunchbull and Miss Honey) were fabulous. However, it wasn’t completely my thing – I’m an enormous RENT freak and the shows that I have enjoyed the most have much more of a rock inspired content (Rock of Ages being one of my favourites) and while the child actors were certainly talented, I found it difficult to totally understand their dialogue at times. There was also a technical hitch in the second half which caused the show to be suspended for a little while, so by the time it finished it felt excessively long. It’s certainly something that I’m glad we had the opportunity to watch, but probably not something that I would rush to see again.

Continue reading

A Glorious Day and a Wasted Journey

It was the hottest day of the year on Thursday and the sun finally made an appearance after what seemed like the longest and most depressing winter ever. It was so nice to see a blue sky. Everyone was in the park, the people daft enough to buy convertibles were driving around with the tops down and the music blasting (basically because it’s one of about 5 days a year that they can actually do that here in the UK), and every man in sight was walking around without a top on for exactly the same reasons. Before the evening had even started there was a smell of barbecue in the air as everyone decided to burn some meat outside, just because they could, and I could hear an ice-cream truck on the next road up.

I, however, was affected by utter moron-itis. Continue reading

The Online Power of a Squirrel…

The Bloke is an avid photographer. He particularly likes wildlife, architectural and landscape photography and his pictures are utterly fantastic – we can be in the same place at the same time, photographing the same thing and he always manages to create something beautiful and artistic with seemingly very little effort. I’m so proud of him, and extremely jealous of his skills.

However, there’s one particular thing that he has an affinity for…

Squirrels.

Living in Birmingham, UK, we have an abundance of them and very little else. I’m enormously envious whenever I go on Instagram and see images of incredible wildlife in people’s back yards – I saw a racoon in Central Park a few months ago when we were on our honeymoon and that was honestly the first time I’ve ever seen one in real life… Perhaps I shouldn’t have stood there and yelled “oh my god it’s a raccoon!” at the top of my voice while pointing at the poor thing like a maniac, but it was a bigger deal to me than most. Continue reading

The Wrong Dress

In the early hours of Friday morning, I was in a hotel room getting ready for my wedding. My family were there, the guests had started arriving, the registrar was waiting and I was putting on my wedding dress. Suddenly, my dress had changed to a pink and red flower summery monstrosity and I was frantic – where had my dress gone? I looked in the same cupboards over and over, then went downstairs to ask for help, only to discover that the guests had started to eat their wedding buffet, and were complaining that there wasn’t enough food. My dress was nowhere to be found so I ran back upstairs to look in the same cupboards again, with no luck. I realised I still hadn’t put my make-up on so I decided to wear the wrong dress and started scrabbling around in an effort to find my eyeliner, only for The Bloke to walk into the room looking upset. Except, it wasn’t The Bloke – it was actor Kevin McKidd, who I thought was The Bloke. He informed me that the registrar had grown tired of waiting and had cancelled the wedding and also cancelled our passports, which meant that we couldn’t go on our honeymoon. He handed me a sticker that I had to put on my passport to make it invalid. I was so disappointed… Continue reading

Ignore the Chicken…

I awoke to find that something had happened overnight with my blog. In my sidebar I have a number of widgets – blogs I enjoy, awards I have won, some of my favourite posts etc. However, this morning I discovered that some of these have been resized and replaced with random images from my media library, including a picture of a chicken named Tikka that I met at the weekend (you’ll see what that was about in my post later today).

So, for now, while the lovely engineers at WordPress are working out what on earth is going on, please ignore the chicken and other random pictures that are currently sitting at the side of my blog. Well, don’t completely ignore him (he’s an awesome chicken), but don’t think that I have a habit of promoting random fowl on the blog. That is, unless you read my post about Derek, the Stealth Chicken who appeared in my back garden a few years ago…

The Alternative Wedding Ceremony Playlist

The final stage of the official, legally binding wedding paperwork was the return of the requested readings and music list so the full Order of Ceremony can be created. We were required to give details on all of the music that we were planning to use – as it is a civil ceremony there is no sacred music allowed – and this needs to be checked in advance to avoid any vetos happening on the day. In total, we had to provide a list of tracks totalling about 45 minutes, which will be used while the guests are arriving, when I walk down the aisle, when we sign the register and as we exit. Continue reading