Welcome to family, friends and visitors. Here you will find interesting (hopefully) pictures of my part of the world, news of our household and probably, long ramblings about anything that catches my interest.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

21 Today.

My baby is 21 today so I suppose I can't call him that any more.
This year I've decided not to embarrass him with more cute baby pictures. But I still think he's cute anyway. He's grown up to be a sensible young man who enjoys his life as a student. He's studying a subject he enjoys, not quite sure what his future plans are (apart from successful musician) but he knows how to budget and is an adventurous cook so I don't have any worries about him looking after himself..
He's now in his 2nd year studying music at Keele University (up north) and is the drummer in a band, The Dead Radio Society. They play electric/rock/folk, (I think) and play gigs most weekends.

He's a very outdoors type of person and is here showing me around the vast woodlands that surround the campus.

His other half is the lovely Vicky (also a student and musician) and he has even persuaded her to come along to Sealed Knot musters. Romas and his brother are enthusiastic pike men in Earl Rivers regt and might also enjoy a pint or two.

Earlier in the summer Romas and Vicky joined us for our holiday on Lundy. We had made the correct assumption that both of them would enjoy the chance to roam the island, scramble up & down cliffs and partake of a few pints with a game of scrabble in the evenings without any electronic distractions.

A family tradition that both Romas and Vytas have kept up is the annual Lithuanian Scout Camp where they are now both leaders. I'm not sure how enthusiastic these young girls are about their knot tying lesson, perhaps the middle ages battle re-enactment (where did you get that idea from boys?) or the evening camp fires were more popular.
Living most of his life up north we don't get to see Romas that much but I hear his news via the occasional phone call or email or more often by checking out Facebook. (Thanks to all those people whose pictures I have borrowed.) I had a phone call from him this morning to say that they celebrated his birthday in style last night with a surprise party organised by Vicky and they are a little .... fatigued this morning. It was a good party!
As for me today, I cut down that branch at last. Not very tidily but it is down and the branches cleared up. I also took down the hanging baskets and replaced them with some wind chimes. So now instead of a feast for the eyes it's a feast for the ears as they gently chime in the constant breeze. Another sweep of the leaves on the front patio and then the rain came down stopping any further outdoor work.

Saturday, 30 October 2010


I am finally up to date with my school work. Tomorrow I shall start to try and get ahead. It's not been the best of half-term holidays with both of us having colds and not being able to do that much. But then again how much worse would it have been if it had been a normal working week. At least I have caught up with myself and I've got into a routine with my class. It always takes a while when you move to a new year group and for me it's been a move to full-time teaching as well. And this week I've been able to have a lie-in in the mornings. That goodness that tonight the clocks go .... well whichever way it is that we get up 1 hour later. 5.45 would have seemed like the middle of the night otherwise.I started the day with a little blog browsing only to be startled by a loud bang on the window. Yet another bird had hit the glass and lay sprawled on the ground.
I rushed out to find this Blackbird which was rather stunned.

I gave it the opportunity to fly off but it was still shocked so into my boot box it went with the lid down for an hour to give it a chance to recover in peace.

An hour later I brought it outside again and after sitting in the box for a while it hopped out and took itself off. While I was watching it I'm sure I heard the sound of a woodpecker but I couldn't spot where it was. I've never seen one here before but the nice plumbers mentioned the other day that they thought they could hear a woodpecker.
Now imagine this, a wood elf perched in a mossy tree, bow in hand sheltered form the rain by the golden canopy of leaves above. That was almost me this afternoon though the bow was a bow saw and I don't think wood elves wear welly boots. I had climbed up the big Beech tree on my neighbour's land and was attempting to remove some of the overhanging branches. It was very pretty and mossy and the golden leaves above were sheltering me from the rain. I cut one down then decided to go for a really big branch (about the thickness of a man's waist). Didn't quite get there even though I was expecting it to start cracking at any moment. It wasn't easy perched up in the tree with little twigs poking me in the eye and up my nose. I'll give it another go with the newer saw tomorrow. If I'm lucky it might have broken off on it's own. I had also cut back the biggest of the buddlia bushes. I love those plants for their bright flowers that draw in clouds of butterflies.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Those Boots Were Made For Walking.

It's been another shopping day, the sort I like - a relaxed meander round the shops unfettered by children or heavy bags. first port of call this morning was to donate a large bag of coats to a charity shop. We had a massive collection of coats, my thinking was that there should be enough coats for everyone to (possibly) get soaking wet outside doing some vital countrified activity and still have spare coats for all. Now there are only 2 of us at home there is no reason for such a collection. As it is there are still raincoats, spare raincoats, gardening coats and extra warm coats and a couple of spares for visitors. After lightening my load I then left one of my Ugg boots at the shoe menders for a bit of stretching across the toes, £5 they charge for that small job! By then it was time to meet up with my friend for coffee, cake and chat. As my taste buds are a bit dull with this cold I had some Banofee pie. I used the same reasoning later on when I bought some yoghurt covered ginger to nibble on. I can never resist looking in the charity shops and today the Oxfam shop came up trumps. They are more expensive (£5 for tops) but posher people donate their clothes to them so you can get some good quality things. Today I ended up with a black, 100% cashmere wool cardigan, an M&S top and 2 more dressy chiffony Per Una tops, and paid less than £20. Money for the charity and very smart clothes for me. I didn't stop there but found another top in a different charity shop and double reduced in sale a pair of flowing baggy trousers like a long skirt. These come under the heading 'Dreams' as they are really holiday or very hot weather wear so did not pass my 'Will I wear it for work ?'test but sometimes you need to dream. For the last few times I've been in town I've been keeping my eyes on the sales for a pair of sensible walking boots as my running shoes which I usually walk in are nearly falling to bits. I had already looked in Millets and tried on several boots which didn't fit, (I have very wide feet) but today I thought I'd have another look. And hey presto, not 1 but 2 pairs of boots that fitted and were in sale. I settled on these as being more comfortable and they had been reduced from £80 to £24 which made it even better.
Met Linas in the afternoon at the train station. I took him up to Beats (skate board shop) where he spent some time choosing 2 new decks and doing some IT work for the owner. I kept peering out of the window to check that a traffic warden wasn't about to put a ticket on my car parked illegally outside the shop. Then we had a fruitless look for a tv ,(will try on-line) before returning home. I've just returned from taking Linas back to the train station and am now looking forward to an early night.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Autumn Colour.

Photos from yesterday as the sun hasn't made much of an appearance today. We do have muted autumn colours which glow more when the sun shines through the leaves. Our big beech tree is gaily dropping its leaves all over the garden. Peter keeps telling me that it is dying and will fall on the house but I think the topmost die-back is due to the prevailing winter winds and can be seen on any prominent tree around here.
While up by the scree garden this spirea is tipped with orange.

And this is a general view looking back up the drive towards the ponies' field. I have done some work in the garden today, mainly sweeping and picking up leaves around the scree garden. I put so much work into this part of the garden last spring that this winter I want to be able to enjoy the design element of the different stones and the shapes they create along with the structural shapes of the grasses. To do that it is important to clear all the fallen leaves and any weeds that have crept in over the summer. I couldn't bring myself to have another weeding session on the bank so I was relieved when it started to rain or my conscience might have got the better of me. There is another big beech tree here on my neighbour's land which overhangs so I might just sneak up there with my bow saw and take off some of those branches before all their leaves fall on my garden.
This morning we had 2 nice young men come to replace the big radiator in the sitting room and on the promise of some bacon sandwiches they easily lifted that wobbly mattress up the stairs and round to the hallway by our bedroom. Better still one of them has family in the furniture business and he's going to bring round a bed catalogue with hopefully mate's rates prices. That might be my option if I can't find something on eBay within a reasonable distance.
More! school work done and a trawl around the Internet to find the best deal for a new tv for the kitchen. The lightning last week fried something in our kitchen tv and despite all my attempts at adjustment it looks like one of those special effects high contrast films and is almost unwatchable. So far the best deal and availability has been Tescos so I might pop in there tomorrow.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Strange Goings On At The Post Office.

I've been quite busy today, starting with more school planning even though the Internet was down for some unknown reason. Then I headed into town to post a parcel. It was rather strange at the Post Office. When I walked in the place was almost empty, just one man who had walked in before me. This is so unusual, due to most of the local Post Offices being closed down in the last 10 years the queue generally winds around the Post Office often right out of the front door. As we waited to be served the sight of a curtained off cubicle in front of one of the serving windows prompted me to overcome my British reserve and chat to the man. We speculated on the purpose of this Heath Robinson looking structure with ideas ranging from extremely private posting (mine) to dancing girls (his). I did ask the counter chap about it and apparently it's for biometric scanning of anyone who comes in to renew their driving licence or passport. Big Brother! (Peter did a course on biometrics as part of his degree and the scary things are 1-It's not 100% reliable so you could be arrested? or worse for program error and 2 - all the information will be kept centrally and we know how secure that can be. There have been enough recent cases of information lost or stolen or simply given to the wrong recipients to make me seriously worried.) I didn't have much else to do in town, just a quick visit to the library and to the health food shop (for oat bran). It was quite warm and sunny in town. This is a view down one of the few remaining medieval lanes, the still being used alms houses on the left while on the right is a specialist comic book shop and straight ahead is a coffee shop in the former tea-rooms which used to be the first girls' school in town.
Turning the other way looking up Paternoster Row can be seen the tiny building of the old grammar school, this was built in C14 and was the original boys' school. This thoroughfare is unfortunately the haunt of the local alcoholics. The girls by the bench were drinking those awful alcopops (sweetened flavoured alcoholic drinks) but I hope they don't fall into that category.
Back home the sunshine disappeared but it was still warm so I did some more weeding of the bank. It's looking quite bad once the weeds have been pulled out so I may have to do some major refurbishment next spring. Either reseeding or even buying turf.
(Out of order) I finished gluing craft wire to our scrabble board and now we have a non-slip board with the tiles staying in place even if the board gets jogged while being turned around. Only one drawback in that the board does not fold flat but I can live with that.

After my weeding I took some time out to relax with a cup of tea and a book. I feel so refreshed when I am completely surrounded by nature. I even had my own personal lap warmer in the form of a fat black cat though he does demand a few cuddles in return for gracing me with his presence.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Good News.

A wet and miserable day today not helped by the fact that the Rayburn is slowly fading and is in need of desperate attention. It hasn't quite gone out but the kitchen is not the warm and cosy place it usually is. As we're a belt and braces type of family we still have our electric hotplate, microwave and breadmaker for cooking. But on the good side the recently serviced central heating is working a treat and we can afford to leave it running during the day so the rest of the house is lovely and warm. And the nice man is coming to sort it out on Friday. Normally Peter would do it but it is a nasty job which often results in him banging his hands or wrists which can set off a P-arthritis attack so it is better to pay someone else to do it. Peter is still feeling ill, he thinks it is a chest infection but he won't go to the doctor unless it lingers as these things are usually viral so there is no treatment anyway.
GOOD NEWS, Peter has got a job. Having taken early retirement in July he's been looking around and after an interview against 80 other applicants has got a job at an aerospace firm 10 miles away. It's for a 9 month rolling contract which in this economic climate is pretty good. We knew something would turn up.
I've spent most of the day at the pc doing school work while watching the trees blowing around in the mist outside. It's that kind of sleepy day.

Monday, 25 October 2010


Not here but it was quite frosty this morning when I looked out of the window. So good that I didn't have to get up early. When I checked my facebook page (I do that before looking at my emails because it irritates me to see messages on my email page about the things on my facebook page) I saw that Romas had been experiencing snow, Brrr!
It has been another sunny day so after doing some school work on the pc I wrapped up well and got on with some garden work. If only I had been vigilant with the mowing and weeding of the lawns I wouldn't have to be on my hands and knees sorting out the bank. (Someone did promise to keep up with the mowing but .......) It's gone beyond simple cutting , and I do know that it's not the best time to cut grass when it is frosty, but by the time the daffodils have finished flowering next spring the bank would be in a dreadful state. It doesn't look too good now after the weeds have been dug/pulled up, more like a muddy battlefield but it should recover quickly next year.

Even in the late afternoon the frost in the scree garden looked like icing sugar sprinkled on the aubretia and sedum.

Just half a lb left to my goal weight. I was irritated at first not to have got there this week but maybe it is a good thing. Being at home for a chilly half-term holiday I might have been tempted to have too many extra treats such as thick slices of the spicy fruit bread we are both so fond of. This way I'm still being careful though looking forward to some more beef stew tonight to which I might add some curry powder. I'm not too affected by this cold, just a few more headaches to add to the usual and a bit of a runny nose. Peter has been suffering more with his cold and after a bad night I left him to sleep all day. Let's hope he feels better tomorrow.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

A Quiet Day.

Completely different weather today, no rain or thunderstorms about. Unfortunately living in a valley means that until next spring only the house and bits of the garden benefit from the sunshine.
After a bit of a lie-in, well we've both got colds, I did wrap up and get some work done in the garden. At least I could look at the sun on the hill. The Crocosmia Lucifer has now been cut back along with the other crocosmia species. Leave it any longer and the stems start to go brown and slimy, not nice to deal with. I've also started cutting back the sedum but am leaving the latest flowering variety as the flowers are still a deep red colour. It wasn't until one lone bird started to sing in the tree next to me that I realised how quiet the valley is now. Most of the birds are silent, conserving their energy in this chill damp weather. It was quite cold working outside so I appreciated a nice bowl of beef stew when I came inside. That's all for this quiet Sunday.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Hailstones !

We were woken to the sounds of a severe thunderstorm. Rumble after rumble and the electricity was cut off 6 times before finally being restored. One of the surges managed to get through the expensive surge protector, despite a lifetime guarantee there is a small sticker on the back which says it is not proof against lightening strikes! Our BT hub, phone and some of Peter's switches on his server set up have been burnt out. Luckily we have a spare phone (it was our new wireless phone that was destroyed), and due to our constant complaints about the pathetic broadband speed and phone line we were given a spare hub so Peter was able to restore the phone and internet. He's been out and bought some better surge protection too. The tv in the kitchen is also looking a bit strange so we'll have to have a go at adjusting the contrast before we can watch it. As well as heavy rain we were also bombarded with hailstones, here seen on the conservatory roof.
Looking out at the drive I could see a river flowing down but the central ditch did its job and there wasn't too much raking needed to restore the drive. Linas hadn't been able to get in touch with us in the morning so he postponed his visit until later in the week. Drat, we were counting on him to help us get the mattress up the stairs but it is blocking the way so we'll have to have a go at it ourselves. I decided to go into town anyway though it was a matter of dodging the showers. I got Peter something he has been hankering after for a long time, a hooded dressing gown. I bought myself one last year from Dorothy Perkins, it was so soft, warm and cosy that I ended up buying some for the youngsters. I didn't buy one for Peter as he does has a good dressing gown but it is not hooded or as soft and warm. I've had to wait until the shops got their winter range in but DP's still had the best. This year the colour range was limited to cream or a dark plum so I bought him the same plum one that I've got. He's most grateful for the dressing gown especially as we've both got heavy colds and need a bit of cosseting. I've made us a hearty beef casserole with lots of root vegetables for tomorrow (and a few more days after that).

Friday, 22 October 2010

Disco Day.

Phew! it's half-term so I've a whole week to - sort the garden, clean the house, get ready for Christmas and put lots of information onto the on-line tracker. Might just manage some rest in that lot. Today was fairly hectic, my own fault for deciding that we could make clay pots, clay cobras and put plaster bandages on cardboard models of elephants. All of the snakes have been done, most of the pots and half of the elephants. All that messy work and it was a non-uniform day, a wear something pink day and bring a contribution for a cancer charity. On top of that the parents' association were running a disco for the year 2s after school so they (the children not the parents) were allowed to wear their disco clothes all day. Luckily the children all have large painting aprons mainly made from their dads' shirts. After school I was tidying up the classroom as well as talking to a 3rd Year teaching student who is on placement in my class and the caretaker kept popping in and sighing deeply when he realised he couldn't clean my classroom yet. He would much rather we all went home straight after school but he has got used to the fact that I generally stay until 5.30. Perhaps he thought I'd be off early as it is the start of the holiday. No such luck. Apart from all the mess I had made I'm moving some children into different working groups and being an obsessive organiser I needed to change the coloured tape on each work folder/book for that shows the group colour. It just makes life easier. A pretty sunset on the way home, pictures taken at Bowden Corner.
It has been a sunny day, unlike yesterday's heavy rain. It was not so cold in the morning (yesterday all my car windows were iced over) but there has been snow in the north of Scotland. Winter approaches.
Arriving home I found a van in our yard that Peter had hired to pick up a mattress from Exeter. I'd bought the mattress (a Sleepmaster all memory foam, like Tempur but not so pricey) from eBay at a fraction of the usual cost. It was the most unwieldy of objects to get out of the van and into the house having nowhere to grip. It's now at the bottom of the stairs trussed up with a new washing line waiting until Linas visits tomorrow to give us a hand to get it up the stairs. It's 6ft x 6ft as we hope to get ourselves a new super king bed, possibly from eBay, by Christmas. Anything to make sleeping more comfortable.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Not Wanted.

This wet rose branch sums up my current mood, a little prickly and wet but hopefully with a sparkle of sun. The reason - today at school instead of teaching I was one of 5 being interviewed for a 2 day a week temporary job starting in January. But I didn't make it past the teaching task stage. We were given 30 mins to chose one item from a selection and plan an inspirational and creative lesson for 15 children and although I thought my lesson went well it wasn't good enough for me to be called for the interview. Never mind, something always come up and who knows how long I'll be working full-time for. I would much prefer to be part-time but at least the money is good. I decided not to stay in school for the afternoon but came home after a quick trip to Tescos. I've been stocking up on basics while I still have my £4 off vouchers. Some of the things I've been buying were clear storage boxes with lids that are the right size for some open shelving in our bedroom. Today I thought I'd buy more and found they were on special offer, 3 for the price of 2, which saved me even more money. I must admit to buying some chocolate and a small desert as a consolation prize. I looked at all the things that I would normally have considered a 'treat' and kept thinking how full of sugar they were so I settled for much less than I once would have.
We've had some heavy showers today but during a dry spell I took a picture of the hanging baskets which still have plenty of colour. This was the first year that I used lots of trailing lobelia but it was worth it as it make the front door look bright and cheerful even though most of the surfinias have finished flowering.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Silly Birds.

My journey into school this morning was punctuated by suicidal birds. First there were the magpies playing 'chicken' with the the car, then a fat and stupid pheasant which waited until I'd screeched to a halt before deciding that it might be a good idea to fly off from the road and finally several small birds which flew across the road at such a low level I can only hope I missed them.
Not such an exciting day at school, maths for the first half of the morning followed by some art, making cardboard and newspaper elephants to be covered with modroc (plaster cloth) and decorated. My afternoon was spent in the staffroom assessing my class' writing levels. They have all made progress so I'm satisfied. I stopped on the way home to take some pictures of the sunset ,
and the evening light on the trees. It's getting quite cold now so we have been putting the heating on in the evenings.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Cooking And Dancing, Indian Style.

There was a dramatic sky as I set off for work this morning. Further into my journey the sky became pinker with the clouds making fantastical shapes. A treat for the eyes before a busy day.
The children and I have had a really good day at school. After initially writing their spellings and a phonics lesson it has all been practical activities with just some maths at the end of the day. First all 29 children made chapatis and 2 kinds of raita (yoghurt with mint & cucumber or coriander). The classroom was filled with the smell of garlic and fresh herbs, the mint came from the children's school gardens and all the children were eager to try out their Indian cooking. But first the chapatis had to be cooked, this was done by my TA and 2 adult helpers while I and the children had a SEAL session in the hall with a specialist teacher, taking part in co-operation games, anger management and relaxation techniques. We could smell the chapatis being cooked but had to wait until the afternoon to taste them. First thing after lunch we went in the hall for some Bollywood dancing. I've never been the most graceful of people but thanks to the web where I found some Teach Yourself Bollywood Dancing videos I had a practice at lunchtime which combined with a lively dance number on my Bollywood cd got us all dancing. The children were really enthusiastic and after I told them that the best pairs of dancers could teach their dances to the rest of the class they were ultra keen. They were even practising at playtime and this included the boys. The children finally got to sample their cooking along with some mango chutney and poppadoms. Comments such as delicious, scrummy and fabulous say it all though not everyone enjoyed the new tastes. I threw in a bit of data handling using a program that gives quick and simple graphs and pie charts for the children to interpret and that was our day.
(SEAL - Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning).

Monday, 18 October 2010

Parent's Evening.

Came home in the dark after seeing nearly all of my 30 sets of parents for Parents' Evening so no chance to take pictures. Instead one more from yesterday's walk looking across Woolacombe bay to Baggy Point with Bideford Bay and Hartland beyond. It was an early start this morning, the clouds were purple black in the morning half-light with just one vivid streak of orange in the eastern sky. As I reached the main road and headed south the sky had started to lighten, the clouds were a softer dove grey and the sky behind was washed with pink and turquoise streaks. In the valley by the side of the road skeins of mist were suspended below the hill top. Finally as the road swung to the south the sky showed a promise of blue. (Guess who's been working on adjectives in class?) I've no idea what the weather has been for the rest of the day as I've been ultra busy in class with sock puppets, PE and literacy followed by Parents' Evening.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Out For A Walk.

After getting most of my school work done this morning we headed out to Morte Point for our weekly walk. Just for a change we took a new route swinging back up to the crest of the hill. It was a bit of steep climb, here Peter is checking his pulse, I actually had a slower heart rate yet he's the one who goes to the gym regularly. My job must be enough to keep me fit.

From the view point which was once the site of a coastguard's look out, we could see down to Rockham bay and Bull Point Lighthouse in one direction,
while on the other side was Woolacombe Bay, and ahead was our beloved Lundy. (To give a sense of scale the white dots in the mown area are sheep.) We tried exploring to find a different way down from our spot but the only paths led back inland towards Morethoe so we had to retrace our steps and then continue on our usual walk. No seals about today and the sea was almost flat. We still enjoyed watching the sea while we had a cup of coffee. There were not so many people about today but we both saw people we knew from years ago. A family group walked past us and Peter recognised the older man as someone he worked with 15 years ago and later we passed a couple and immediately I recognised the man as the headteacher of a school I used to work at over 10 years ago. In neither case did we catch up with the people and say Hi because the moments had passed and it would probably have been awkward to run back after them. That's us reserved Brits for you.

This group of shags were perched on the last rock of Morte Point while behind can be seen the northern point of Lundy with the North Lighthouse just visible.
Back home there was time for a little gardening, weeding the over grown bank, ( there is so much I'll need to do during the half term holiday), before going in for some home-made pumpkin and butternut squash soup. At this point I have to make a revelation. Over 20 years ago, when the boys were babies, I bought a hand held food blender so that I could lovingly puree good wholesome food for them. In those days electrical items didn't always come with a plug attached and I put the blender away until we had a moment to put on a plug. The boys ate food mashed with a fork, learnt to chew and the moment stretched to 20+ years. (I like my soups to be chunky rather than pureed.) Until today when we decided the soup would be better pureed and Peter found and attached a plug. That says - something - about us, procrastination or keeping things till they are needed, good or bad I don't know.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Sleep !

Oh the joy of being able to turn over and go back to sleep when the first sounds of the radio still set for 5.45, permeate my dream world. Another bright but cold day, the bright blue sky finally tempted me out of my warm bed. First job of the day was to turn up my new jeans while listening to the radio. I was taken aback to hear a man from Christie's say he was looking at some 'visuals' meaning photographs - pretentious jargon or poor language? Either way I didn't approve. I needed to do a few things in town so had another gentle stroll around the shops trying to do some more Christmas shopping before the crowds start building up. Saw my first Christmas tree on display, and we've not even had Bonfire Night!
Once home I spent some time out in the garden cutting back the artemesia in the scree garden. Even though I wasn't actually in the sunshine at least I could see it as it lit up parts of the garden. The red garden lillies only open in the sun so they are strategically placed to catch those last rays which make them shine like red candles. After the hustle and bustle of town it was good to only hear the sounds of nature.

Discovered the source of an unpleasant smell downstairs which had me searching all the dark corners, a deceased mole under the table in the living room. mole now removed, windows opened and candle lit to get rid of the smell. Flipping cats!

Friday, 15 October 2010

I'm Back.

Normal service has been resumed now that we have our phone line restored. We have a dreadful land line which gets worse when it rains but BT (British Telecom) won't do anything until it all stops working. Which is what happened yesterday, no phone = no internet, aargh no blogging, facebook or emails. When Peter contacted them, having driven 3 miles because the mobile phone network was out too, (conspiracy?) they told him they no longer have their own engineers but someone would be in touch next Tuesday. Not sure what they meant by 'in touch', carrier pigeon perhaps? Today however the line is mysteriously restored, good thing too as Blogger is filtered on the school network. There was a pretty sunset on the last leg of my journey home tonight.
Yet another traffic queue, Mr Lewis' Holsteins going across the road to be milked. There are a lot of contractors out on the roads taking in the last lot of silage, some sort of chopped up beets I think rather than the usual grass mix. On Wednesday evening I got stuck behind one for most of my journey home and was not best pleased when it also turned down our country lane. I noticed that Peter was driving behind me so I amused myself (and possibly him) on that 15mph journey by conducting the radio vigorously (with both arms) with the occasional slump behind the wheel as we trundled along.

Yesterday I'd been behind one tractor straight out of Barnstaple and had breathed a sigh of relief when he'd turned off at Muddiford only to get caught behind another. It is frustrating but I would never be so stupid as the driver in the above picture. He got fed up and decided to overtake even though there is a blind bend only about 20ft in front of the tractor. He got round but only just as there WAS another car coming down the hill which must have got a very nasty shock. (Yes I was balancing my camera on the steering wheel.)
School has been fairly relaxed today, we had some teachers and youngsters from a school in southern India come and dance and sing for us at morning assembly. They are visiting the junior school next door which is paired with their school. Some of the staff from Bluecoates went over there to visit last year (a bit of a jolly?) For the rest of the day the children have been finishing off their stories, that I now have to level for the on line tracking, and their Taj Mahal pictures which look great. At home were more fun parcels including some Indian classical music, my class has been enjoying our Bollywood cd and 2 pairs of Per Una black jeans, size 12 !! long length. They make me look really skinny. Might still have to go shopping tomorrow because ............ well just because.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

A Cold Day.

It has definitely turned much chillier. I was most grateful for the sheepskin gloves and the little knee blanket that I keep in the car to keep me warm until the heater actually blows warm air. At least I have a heater, in my old Landrover the heater didn't work and if you wished to cool things down you opened the sliding windows and the flaps under the windscreen. Coming home this afternoon it was 4C in the shade. School was the usual busy time though I did have PPA time this afternoon where we allocated all the parts for the Christmas Play. We always do a play involving every child in the school. The Year 2 children have the acting and narrating parts with 2 children sharing the lead role which involves singing solo. This year we are doing The Little Fir Tree which has some lovely songs. Last time we did it I was teaching Year 1 who get to do the dances.
These pictures were taken on Sunday when it was considerably warmer. The roses are having a second flush and there are plenty of autumn flowers still around.

I saw a few dragonflies and a couple of butterflies and there were plenty of midges. My neck and shoulders can testify to that!