Saturday 31 March 2012

Mainly b

Bird and barkBus and book

Thursday 29 March 2012


I was watching breakfast tv on Wednesday, and they were talking about British Safety information films, and they mentioned this one in particular. I was shown this when I was 11 and have never forgotten it, but could not remember what it was called. I am so glad to have found out and seen it again, just to confirm in my own mind, how horrific it actually is. It must be very effective though, as although I had forgotten the play aspect of the film, I remember in vivid detail each of the deaths. (And I have a terrible memory) It is brilliantly done-the way the sinister teachers and then the Mother of the girl, remove the belongings of each child who has died. I also love the way there is a twist at the end, and also the way it brings back memories of playing outside when I was young-there were a little group of us-me and my brother and sister, and the neighbour's kids, and also the odd visiting child from the village. We pretty much were out all day-we had loads of wildish places to play-though thankfully not a farm, but the games we used to play were not that far removed from those in the film. I had a great silver cowboy gun!
I have always had a healthy respect for health and safety-the real kind, not the modern over the top kind-and can always see potential accidents, which, hopefully helps me keep myself and other safe. (Do you put knives point up in the dishwasher? Don't.) You would be surprised at the number of adults that see it as ok to prop a heavy plank against a wall while they turn round to do something else, while the kids are still there. Every time I have quickly moved to lay the plank down, the scene with the gate has been at the back of my mind.
Anyway, if you have a spare 27 minutes, I would recommend watching this film.

It Lives and Which Came First?

I had hoped to answer that question once and for all, but the participants were a bit unruly. The baby is much more predictable.

Wednesday 28 March 2012

Stripe Day

The strikes continue, so I had a day off today, and got lots of work done at home. I am grateful for a day off if nothing else-and hope it will be worth it in the end. I got going with this term's reports, did three loads of washing, jet washed the car, and cleared up. Part of my clearing up was to deal with a growing problem on top of the kitchen cupboards. Gourds. And a small pumpkin. They have been up there since the Autumn, and have been gradually getting more and more mouldy. But as they are up there I kept forgetting about them. When I took them down, I was very impressed with the colours and shapes produced by the decay. I have now put them in a tin in the back room to finish drying off as they are nearly there and are quite lovely I think.
This is a lucky Ebay find-under its slightly grubby clothes, this baby is metal mechanics. Quite frightening really. It has a great movement. I will do a little film to show you at some point!
('Stripe day' is what Ruksana referred to today as-'Linda says we can't change our books tomorrow because it's stripe day'!

Tuesday 27 March 2012

Random and Recent

In the old days of teaching, (and, unbelieveably to me but it's true, I have been teaching for almost twenty years, so feel qualified to say this!) there used to be a thing called 'Recent and Relevant' experience, that those in leadership positions had to gain, to keep in touch with the classroom. It was a good thing I think, and one that should still go on, but doesn't. It has nothing to do with this post, just made me think of it when the title popped into my head.
Here is a selection of recent photos I like. They are mainly school, some linked by colour or mood, and some by subject. But if you are looking, you could work that out for yourself!
This brilliant picture is by R., and is of H. This is an 'S.'-I say an 'S.', as she has a pronounced style of painting people, and this is it! I liked this so much that she went back and painted me one to keep.
This is H.'s work. I watched her in fascination, as she deftly and surely made these marks-which reminded me of Stone Henge-and am glad I took the photo when I did, as Sophie came along and joined her and it became a free for all with lots of giggling!
These are our bean bags. By today everyone had one, as far as possible. They are filled with some kitchen towel, a broad or a runner bean seed, and a little bit-A LITTLE BIT!!! of water, and stapled to the fence. I have seen this done before, so hope it works, but, as I kept telling the kids, 'it is an experiment, which means we don't know if it will work or not'
The alien gets time out. Not sure what he had done.
Exploring the compost and cress tray can be dangerous work.
You need a good lookout at the front.
Last week I cleaned out the grotty palette paints and put in lovely new ones. A messy job which requires soaking and throwing away the last bits of paint. Except I didn't want to throw them away, so I made paint balls. Harry was most excited about this. Not sure what to do with them now, but they are made anyway.
Misty view over Reception.
Sunrise reflected in windows behind building site.
Non-school related, but Cassie winking and licking her lips must be shared!

Monday 26 March 2012

Songs, Sketches and Stitches

"We would be warm, below the storm
In our little hideaway beneath the waves."
What a lovely thought, to be in an octopus's garden, in the shade. My octopus is out of the sea and enjoying the tulips.
When I sewed him together, my main concern was fitting all of his eight chubby legs around his little body. The exciting side-effect of his fat legs is that he stands up. He looks more like one of those enormous alien like squid with giant eyes. A creature I would love to see-though at a safe distance-maybe from my yellow submarine!

Cassie requests that you tip toe, as she is fast asleep.Aren't they lovely? PPA this afternoon, and had to go to the shops on the way home, and couldn't resist them!We had an inset day on Friday-which nursery somehow were not included in at all-which gave us a day to really get going with the packing. We have done almost all of one of our big cupboards. There were a few finds of things that have been in there a long time. Some were thrown away, some kept, and some rehomed by me-a metal dentist's tool (too dangerous for play, but perfect to add to my clay tools), a horseshoe, two giant pinecones (from a large box of them) and two lovely blank paper sample books-donated by our lunchtime supervisor ten years ago apparently. I am afraid the children have been deprived, and I have brought them home to use as sketchbooks. They have glossy paper which I thought would be good for drawing with pen. It turns out it is also good for watercolours.Sometimes, I feel like I am playing 'artist'-like I feel as if I am playing 'house' when I put a vase of flowers on the table. A double whammy today then! My bowl of satsumas.My beach finds from Saturday-flint comes in such a variety of shapes and subtle variations of colour.

Saturday 24 March 2012

Sunny Saturday

It was such a lovely day today, that we had an impromptu trip to the seaside. We went to Reculver, via Beltinge which has a beautifully cluttered charity shop. See the little vase on the right? I wish I had bought that but I didn't. It had a very pleasing shape to hold. Ah well, can't buy them all!We walked along a totally deserted beach. Not too much beachcombing today, though a few flints with interesting shapes, a seaglass marble, and a mermaid's purse, all came home with me.
This moss is just so green! As it is growing on a rock that spends half its time under the sea, is it sea moss?
The cliffs are very soft mud and are eroding fast. There are shells in there, and some kind of birds use them to nest-lots of little square holes.
We had delicious fish and chips in Herne Bay and then a two hour nap when we got home-totally worn out!

Friday 23 March 2012

My Spinal Tap Moment

It makes sense to me, considering how many times I have watched it, that I should finally have my own 'Spinal Tap' moment. It involves this rather attractive and rather large, rather larger than I in fact expected, Tiger. He is from freecycle, from a lovely and quite mad (the good kind of mad) lady called Hannah, who had a beautiful Alsation called Cleo. Her message in the freecycle list said '2"old cat/tiger soft toy. Here is the message in full-having met Hannah I can hear her saying it.
I have a cat/tiger soft toy, still got all the stuffing she is old and needs a bit of a wash/scrub up but shes cute. Has a chain round neck so not really suitable for a small child. She is a little hard not a squidgy soft toy.

hope it finds a nice new home. It would be a crime to put in landfill.

will give to first to ask for and collect.


p.s if you say you are coming please turn up, if you change your mind PLEASE let me know so I don't wait in and waste time or save this for you when someone else wants it ''

The crucial mistake Hannah made in her message was to put " not ', which led me to believe that, even if I was not keen, what is the problem when it is only two inches high? Two feet high is a different matter altogether!

Hannah identified her house, as the only one in the street with an eight foot high hedge, (she got that right!) and a wrecked camper van in the drive. I got there, with the aid of the trusty sat nav, and rung the bell. While I waited I was entertained by the beautiful sound of wind chimes, and by curiously looking at the work she had been doing in the garden, then at the snail that was living inside the camper van window. A large sounding dog barked at me while I waited. Hannah opened the door and I was greeted by the cat/tiger toy. I said that the children will love him and she was really pleased. It is twenty five years old and was her daughter's. We then proceeded to have a most interesting conversation covering many topics, while I held the toy in one hand and stroked the lovely dog with the other. Hannah said that she (Cleo) was a good judge of character and that if Hannah was scared of me then Cleo would bark and be fierce. But she wasn't, just gentle, gracious and beautiful.
Our conversation included many things, amongst them, how yahoo, (who run freecycle) are selling whale and dolphin meat, and Hannah is trying to put a stop to this, how she is having a total spring clean and is surprised at what she has been able to freecycle, how all the windows on her estate were replaced with double glazing, and how, since then, the burglaries on the estate have gone up massively, (she suspects the contractors are casing people's houses, and she has not been burgled because of Cleo), how, when men (workmen I think) come round, she puts Cleo in the garden before letting them in, to give the impression that she is much more scary than she is, how she wishes she was not going to be here during the Olympics, due to the traffic disruption, and how cycling is the only way to get around then (she had been on the way to the shops on her bike earlier when I rang, and had told me in great detail what she was going to buy) and how good Cleo is-she runs alongside the bike, and is very good at roads usually-unless distracted.
This is a very long and rambling post, but I really want to remember our conversation as it was fun! I really liked Hannah, and if I see her riding her bike around with Cleo will stop and have a chat.
Anyway, back to the cat/tiger. He is not the cleanest of cat/tigers I have ever seen, so is currently sitting in the garden, before being washed tomorrow. He will not end up in landfill, never fear, though he may undergo a few operations before he is usable.

Thursday 22 March 2012


I couldn't even see if it had a head. Poor old rejected horse.

Tuesday 20 March 2012

Monday 19 March 2012

'appy apps

I am enjoying various photography apps-this one was recommended by Elizabeth-thanks! It is called Camera Bag and has 16 different photo treatments to play with and is very easy to use. I love the variety of apps available-amazing! I wonder when there will be one to do my washing and clean my floor-the really useful stuff. I just leave my phone at home all day, and come home to a clean and well organised house. I would pay extra each month for that! Minutes, texts, downloads and cleaning. This is the mystery plant-alas not fritillaries, but Irises which I have no memory of planting, but which are very lovely so never mind!

Tulips which are orange and smell orangey.

Camelias in different ways. This one is '1974'

'fisheye' 'Lolo'

Sunday 18 March 2012

Postcard from Paradise

I am joining in with Rebecca at Recuerda mi Corazon today, finding postcards from Paradise. This pure blue sky was taken at about ten this morning. It was cold. Lily was on the fence talking to the birds, then Tiger came out to join in too. Lovely. For other postcards, please visit Rebecca here.

Saturday 17 March 2012

What I love about blogging

I love to know that the weather is unseasonably warm in other parts of the world too, and that Spring seems to be arriving a little early, that someone can't see the sunset because there is a mountain in the way, and that another rarely gets mist or fog because they are too high up. I love to know what people have been making, doing and cooking, and sometimes what has made them laugh or cry. I like to see other people's pets, including dogs who know things, and sometimes families, their local wildlife, ranging from bluejays, to black squirrels, to moose or even kangaroos. I love to follow links through beautiful blogs and sites, to see strange and wonderful films that I would never have found by myself, to read travel reports from around the world or from somewhere I have seen myself, but through another's eyes.

I love to share what I have been making or doing, what I have seen or felt, and the fact that people respond to that-and often make me laugh when doing so! I would like to try to respond more to what people say, and am not very good at that, but time moves on so fast and sometimes the moment has gone.

I think there should be a more attractive word for what blogging is, but stuck with it we are, so that is the one I love. (I began to speak like Yoda then!)

Love it!!!!

P.S.-the picture is from the car park this morning when I went to buy my Mum some flowers for Mothers Day tomorrow.

Friday 16 March 2012

Almost a Luddite, but not quite

I am certainly not an 'early adopter', an annoyingly jargonish term. But I do get there in the end. I was pretty late to get a mobile phone, not feeling that I needed one. What was I thinking?! Though I am not a person who has their phone glued to their side, and often don't look at it for a few days, so am annoying to people who are trying to contact me in that way. Recently, I got an iphone. I have thought about it, saved for it and pondered on it for a couple of years, and then the mortgage payback thing came which decided me. My friend Clare explained to me how I could go on the O2 website, and get a phone the next day, so, in half term, on the day I was in bed due to too much wine the night before, I took the plunge and ordered one. I have not used the phone aspect of it much, but really like the internet side of it. It works quickly and well, and means I can check my emails and blog when out, a novelty that will soon wear off I am sure, because waiting until I get home is really not that much of a problem. I like the camera and the hipstamatic app, which these pictures are taken with. It has a non-controllable little circle to look through and the view alters and wavers between shots, so you don't know quite what will appear. I have also joined instamatic, but have not a clue how to navigate it, and don't really want to. I quite like their photo effects too though. I can read my kindle books on there which is great. It is a magical little machine.
The only thing that is not so good, is that it does not seem to want to use my wi-fi at home, so I have used up more of my monthly download allowance than I should. I have tried various things-re-setting the network settings, turning off the 3G, and forgetting my network then re-joining. The wi-fi symbol was displayed for a day, then not again, apart from the occasional flash, yet it says the wi-fi is on. I need to ask my sister who is a computer genius, but if anyone reading this has any ideas I would be grateful! I found this little iridescent glass pebble on the way out of school tonight. I found it in my pocket as I looked around the garden tonight, and put it on this piece of wood. Pretty.

I found the camelia flower on the ground, then put it in this straw like dead plant-the pink, grey-blue and straw colours look good together I think.

No garden is complete without a disco mirror ball.

Green Euphorbia bells.

Camelias again.