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.
In my experience, there are usually three ways in which people deal with anger.
The first group go from zero to sixty very quickly, let everything fly, calm down just as quickly and move on.
The second take their time – after the initial incident the rage builds and spreads over a period of days, reaching its peak long after everyone else have got on with their lives.
The third have the ability to shut off, compartmentalise and just walk away.
I am in the second group. I go from zero to sixty in about four days. It doesn’t happen often, but when something truly upsets me (and we’re not talking just a general level of minor irritation here) then I start what The Bloke refers to as ‘The Festering Process,’ during which I mull everything over to the point where I end up in such a state that even functioning beyond a certain level becomes difficult for a while. Continue reading →
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 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 →
What a thrill it is for me to be here at the lovely Suzie’s blog. I am beyond delighted that I was one of the lucky winners of her birthday competition, and that I get to write a guest post!
I was trying to think of something that would illustrate my blog but also fit in with Suzie’s, and then I had an idea, why not write a poem about Suzie herself? As some of you many know, I am fond of writing a poem or ten! I thought about a limerick, something like…
I sometimes think that my mindset hasn’t changed since I was eighteen. I certainly don’t feel any different than I did back then – my body is slightly larger than it was and I have more responsibilities, but I don’t feel out of place or older in any way…
That is, until I sit on a train and have to listen to a group of twenty year-old boys talk about their weekend.
It’s Mother’s Day here in the UK, so I’m currently travelling up north to go and spend the day with mum and the family. We left it a bit late to book a restaurant, so my sister and I are cooking at her flat, which works out perfectly because she has a four month-old pug puppy, Dougal, who can’t be left on his own for very long. Continue reading →
I love Eurovision. It’s one of the highlights of my year, behind Christmas and the start of the summer holidays, and The Bloke and I make a big deal of getting in the snacky treats and alcohol and generally having a laugh at the nonsense that is spewed out each year.
Tonight we watched the #EurovisionYouDecide, the contest in which the UK votes for their favourite to represent us in the competition. The winners were ‘Joe and Jake,’ former contestants from vocal talent show ‘The Voice,’ who, while they seemed like nice people, the song wasn’t offensive (and nothing could be more offensive that the god-awful sh*t show we put forward last year) and they could sing in tune, they were lacking in what my mother refers to as ‘oomph’ – that power and presence that makes people want to stand up and yell YEEEEAAAAH when the song has finished. It was vanilla ice-cream, without the vanilla. And they were the best of a ‘meh’ bunch.
For me, Eurovision has not been a rewarding experience over the last nineteen years. We’ve tried everything, including the boyband (Blue), the world famous crooner (Englebert Humperdink), we’ve even shoved Bonnie Tyler on stage in a desperate attempt to get back into Europe’s favour. Continue reading →
As a teacher I can quite happily talk in front of large groups of children without feeling fazed at all, but the mere thought of having to speak in front of adults makes me shudder. Quite simply, I genuinely don’t care what the kids think of me, but I’m very intimidated by the judgements of people of my own age.
As a result, my experiences of public presentations are littered with embarrassments. There was the time when I asked a group of parents to ‘feel free to take a sh*t’ instead of ‘seat,’ the time I forgot where the fire escapes were at the beginning of a concert and effectively pointed to a large window during my audience welcome, and let’s not forget the time I was asked to give some flowers to a prominent conductor on behalf of the orchestra I was playing in, only to drop them off the side of the stage on my way up to hand them to him. This meant I had to walk all the way round to the bottom in front of the audience and give them to him from the floor. Continue reading →
It’s been an interesting and enjoyable day mainly for the fact that I have had some opportunity to observe students as they complete their work, which something that I rarely get to do. I’ve been covering an outstanding teacher who is away on jury duty, and the classes have been an absolute dream to work with – silently getting stuck into every task with enthusiasm, asking intelligent questions and reflecting what they have learnt at the end without any prompt. If I’m being honest, it’s one of the best working days I’ve ever had, and if every day could be like this I wouldn’t have quit in the first place!
However, the kiddies still like to keep me on my toes, particularly as I’m walking past them in the corridor, by asking me a whole host of random questions… I thought it might be a fun idea to keep a note of them.
Here’s just a sample…
What’s a cobbler?
How do you spell raisins?
Is Scotland in Jamaica?
Do you like Justin Bieber?
So, if you paid into a pension and the company went bankrupt, would you get your money back? (I was quite impressed with that one)
How much do you get paid?
Are you wearing eyeliner?
Are you going out with Mr…?
Do you like my shoes?
Have you heard of MAC?
Are you teaching us today? (I always have to bite my tongue and stop myself from answering this with ‘No, I just thought I’d come and stand outside your classroom for the fun of it…’)
Why can’t we do cooking today? (We were in a history room).
What did you get for Christmas?
Have you got a hamster?
Who’s David Bowie?
What’s an exhibition? (I’d told students I’d been to the Bowie Exhibition in 2014)
(All by one student) How many years are in a century? So, does that mean we’re in the 21st Century or the 22nd Century? How old am I going to be in the 23rd Century?(My response to the last question was simply ‘dead.’)
What about you guys? Been asked any random questions that have made you smile today?
It’s the first day of September, and there is a change in the air. It’s colder and raining, and my social media feeds have gone from pictures of smiling faces, barbecues and ice-cold drinks to desperate status updates that plead for a little more time before everyone has to get back into their daily routine.
For me, it’s slightly different – my summer isn’t quite yet over and I have a week in Barcelona still to look forward to… but what a summer it has been!!! At this point last year I was anxious, agitated and disappointed with myself at my lack of effort or achievement during the holidays, but at this very moment I can look back on an incredible time and be proud of everything I have done and the memories that will stay with me. I’ve travelled, visited friends, eaten beautiful food, and above all, I’ve laughed until my stomach hurt. Continue reading →