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.

Friday, 31 January 2014


It seems that the next round of very wet weather has begun. Nothing more than a nuisance for us but bad news for people in areas prone to flooding and even worse news for those people in Somerset who are still surrounded by up to 5ft of flood water especially as more spring tides are due which will push the water back up the rivers.
My problems at the moment are still with the pc. The anti-virus has switched itself off and now I can't upload any photos onto the blog. I so need a rebuild and Windows 7 to be installed.
I've had a day in town in the pouring rain. I met a friend for coffee, cheesecake and a good long chat. Then I had a meander through the shops trying to avoid the puddles as the water slowly soaked into the toe of mu Ugg boot. I bought very little but ended up with 4 pairs of earrings bought in the sales. 3 of them came from a shop where they were reduced to £1 each and then the till put in a 3 for 2 discount so I only paid £2. I have lots of fun earrings to wear to work but every now and again I lose one as I like long dangly earrings. That made up for being charged £10 to have one tyre taken off one of the micra's old wheels and swapped onto the spare wheel on the pug which had a not very good tyre. Peter is not impressed and is talking of going down there tomorrow when he goes down to the gym. He says I should only have been charged £5.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

No Snow.

The forecasts weren't quite accurate when they predicted some snow for last night and then for this afternoon. It did look like a snow sky this afternoon but it has held off. The latest update doesn't predict anything now until Saturday morning. I use Metcheck which gives a forecast for every 3 hours for your postcode. This morning I got up early enough to give the chimney 2 coats of paint.I'm getting used to climbing up the ladders and don't have to put both feet on every rung on the way up.
I took my camera up with me to take a few pictures. It's weird how looking from above flattens out all the contours of the garden.  The middle lawn is about 5ft above the front patio and the scree garden is about 10ft above the lawn and that's a really steep hill beyond.
Having left the pug up the hill yesterday I walked up and brought it down to the house to make my journey to work simpler. More Henry VIII this afternoon and yet more visitors who came in just as the children were crashing about going to get their coats before lining up ready for playtime. I teach the Year 1 & 2 children that while I don't mind them chatting as they sort themselves out once they see me standing at the front of the line I expect them to be quiet. Without saying a word (except in the early stages) I stand there and hold up my fingers counting off the seconds. It's up to the children to notice and quieten themselves. On a good day they do this in 4 seconds but the average is 10 -15 seconds. It teaches them to be observant and saves me the stress of telling them to be quiet. All the classrooms have concrete steps to the playground so it is important that they go out calmly, we have enough bumps and crashes in the playground as it is.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014


It rained for most of the morning only stopping just before I set off for work. I didn't do much in the morning, not once I'd done the usual housework but I made up for it later on. I had my usual fun afternoon with the little children. I took my group of readers over to a room that is used for nurture groups where we could sit in a nice cushioned area. For some reason I spent the whole time is a kneeling/sitting position with all my weight on my ankles. It was so hard to get up and what was worse I had to literally hobble back across the playground where parents were already waiting to collect their children. I was back to normal once I got to the main building but the parents must think I'm a right old wreck.
Before I left for work I checked on-line and the latest forecast was for snow/sleet showers tonight. It didn't look like a snow sky but I left the pug up at the top of the hill in case of the dreaded ice. When I got home, after a chat with Jack who had ridden up on his bike, I realised that I had an opportunity to paint the chimney as it had been dry for a while. I put the paint and a brush in a bag with decent handles and very cautiously made my way up the ladder. There would have been a time when I would not have gone up so high but Lundy did a lot to cure my fear of heights. Even so I clung on very tightly and went up slowly counting every rung - 25 in all. It's amazing what you can do when there isn't any other option. It wasn't so bad once I was up there and it didn't take too long to get a coat of paint on. I thought I might have a problem getting back on the ladder but it is securely tied on. Another coat or 2 and the scaffolding can go. The other chimneys could also do with a lick of paint but there is NO WAY I am walking along the ridge tiles to get to them even though I've seen Fred do it when he put the wire cages over the tops of the chimneys.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014


Lots of nasty cold rain today but it didn't stop me from putting a second coat of paint on the wall in the shelter. Next thing will be sorting out the underside of the roof and I have plans for that. I didn't have a lot of time in the morning to do things because instead of trying to get up as soon as possible after Peter leaves I've been getting a couple of extra hours sleep instead. That's because 5 or 6 hours sleep  a night is just not enough. Really I should focus on getting to sleep earlier but I've never been good at getting to sleep even before all my various twinges and I do like to unwind first with some Sudoku and then read for a while. After all that it takes me at least an hour to fall asleep. To get a full 8 hours sleep I would have to be asleep by 10.00! Still I will try getting to bed a bit earlier.
I had just arrived at school at lunchtime when the headteacher came in saying she had had a phone call. Cue looks of panic from everyone thinking it was the Ofsted phone call but it wasn't that, phew! However a couple of bods from the DOE were coming to have a look around. Most of the class teachers were going to be spending the afternoon meeting parents in the hall which couldn't be cancelled so it was up to the rest of us to ensure our visitors had a good impression of the school. I have to say that I thought my class did really well, they were able to say what they were learning (how to find information), and were able to tell some of the facts they had found out about Henry VIII. Naturally I had spoken to them earlier about being on their very best behaviour.
Once I had stuck the day's work into the children's topic books I paid a quick visit to the supermarket before heading for home. I had to stop at the top of the drive to pick up the recycling box (it was nearly dark but the camera has compensated and it was too wet to mess about with the manual settings). I was a bit annoyed to find the bungy rope which holds the lid on missing from my box. I did have a quick look along the road but it could hardly have blown away. The boxes don't have lids but as the plastic milk bottles in particular tend to blow away down the road  I had found a plastic lid and hooked it on with a bungy. I'll find a big stone instead and that can stay up there on the grass.

Monday, 27 January 2014


An icy wind has been blowing all day with occasional sleety showers. Last night we had some noisy showers of hailstones. It won't take much of a drop in temperature for snow to fall and more importantly black ice to form on the road. Much as I love the beauty of the countryside under snow it does make life difficult.
I spent most of the morning preparing for this week's history lessons on Henry VIII. Then I was outside working on the wall again. I gave it a final going over trying to level out the bumps and grooves before having a sweep up and putting the rest of the artex in bin bags. They charge you if you take bags of old plaster or rubble to the dump so I shall be patient and put smaller amounts into my normal rubbish which they collect. Then I got to do the fun part, painting the wall white. Luckily I had half a tin of masonry paint left over from a previous job as I didn't want to start on the good quality paint we have bought for the chimney. (I have no intentions of climbing up there again in the future to give it another coat of paint.) One more coat and it will look like a tidy, painted concrete block wall instead of a horrible lumpy grubby affair. I have to wait for a good dry day before going up to paint the chimney and then we will be able to call the man to take down the scaffolding. I even managed to do a little moss clearing but it was pretty cold out there in the wind. 

Sunday, 26 January 2014


It was a wild and stormy morning so apart from a sortie outside, well wrapped in waterproofs, to check on the dam and reinstate the dam on the other side of the road, we treated ourselves to a long lie-in listening to the rain lashing against the window. Peter is getting over his cold but now I'm .......... streaming and have been for the last few days. I'm sure you get the picture
We were determined to go for a walk whatever the conditions but the rain did stop and it was just howling winds for the rest of the day. The waves were rushing in at Woolacombe, far too rough for even the hardiest of surfers.
We got there at high tide and the sea was racing up into Barricane Beach.  Although we were sheltered from the worst of the wind down on the beach there was a continuous roar from the waves. I love it when it is so wild. 
It looks as if the beach is returning to its usual contours with all the big rocks that were visible last week being hidden under the sand once more. 
Every now and again the incoming waves would pick up the surface stones making them bounce about in the sea foam.  I was doing my bit to rearrange the beach stones by skimming stones to try and get them to jump across the water. Peter said they were just bouncing off the sand below but I got a couple to jump several times. 
We had time to drink some hot coffee with a slice of home-made fruit loaf before a passing shower sent us back to the car. 
Back home I went up and finished off that last patch of artex. I also had to clean up the side of the doorway there but basically the horrible work is done. I've still got to smooth out the wall a bit and then it can be painted. While I was doing that Peter was attempting to do some running repairs on my pc. It's still suffering from the many random items downloaded by other members of the family in the past. For the moment I've lost Skype which means I haven't had the chance to chat to Vytas. Currently they are sunning themselves on the beach in Bali.

Saturday, 25 January 2014


We took the Micra down to SW Metals and sold it for scrap. (That's the boss' BMW on the left.) Poor little Micra but it has done me well for nearly 6 years so I can't complain. As well as the scrap value I can claim back 5 months road tax and we took off the new tyre that I bought last September. When we checked the spare tyre on the Pug the tread looked brand new but the walls of the tyre are all cracked. I'll have to take both tyres to the tyre place to swap over the hubs as the Pug only has 3 bolts on the hubs unlike every other car I've known which have 4 bolts. At least now I know how to wind down the cage thing which holds the spare wheel under the car.
The forecast was for sun and squalls but the wind has been more like gale strength. It wasn't raining so I could have got on with the scree garden but I now dislike chipping off the artex so much that I was determined to finish the job today. I didn't quite make it as it got too dark to see what I was doing but there is only about 1 sq ft left to do. I kept hoping that I would come to a spot where the artex would come off in great big pieces but it remains stubbornly stuck on and is only coming off inch by inch.
Earlier in the afternoon I was just checking FB, as you do, when I looked up and saw what I first thought were 2 deer in the woodland next door. On closer inspection the darker 'deer' turned out to be just an old gorse bush.

Friday, 24 January 2014


With the whole day at home and light but steady rainfall, (it got heavier later on), there was no option but to get on with chipping off the artex from the shelter wall. I'm sure it is stuck on a lot more firmly than the artex that was on the back wall where I made the mirror. I don't remember it being such hard work to get off when I did that wall back in the summer. The frogs in the little pond were happily croaking away in the pond and some of the birds seemed to be singing spring-time songs.
Last winter this bunch of daffodils on the stream bank were flowering just after Christmas (before the snow). This year everything is green but I'll have to wait a little longer for the flowers.
The lawn down by the stream is also green, bright green from all the moss growing in it. Perhaps the grass will spread now that I've cut down the overhanging branches that were shading that corner.

Thursday, 23 January 2014


It was a bit colder today so the frogs were lying low. As Peter didn't have to get up at the crack of dawn I too got a little extra sleep. There was still time for some moss and leaf picking up at the scree garden.
 There is evidence that the frogs have been busy. The earlier lot of frogspawn has completely disappeared. 
We had an eventful afternoon at school. We always start with a streamed phonics session with the children moving to different classes depending on their reading ability. Just as the session was ending the fire alarm went off, very loudly indeed. I told all the children in my classroom to walk down to the front playground which is our assembly point and then go to their class teachers to line up but some children tried to find their class teacher first. It wasn't a drill so we all had to wait out in the cold for 15 mins while everything was checked. It looks as if a child had set off one of the alarms either accidentally or deliberately. As my class needed to complete their work in the one afternoon we had to skip the short afternoon break to get their writing about the Queen finished. 

Wednesday, 22 January 2014


This latest spell of milder weather is making me think of spring. Here's my first official spring flower, a little celandine in with the primulas. (I cans't count the winter flowering heathers because they are ..... winter flowers.) 
I was about to start my gardening when along came Patch, sporting a lot of dried on mud. I wonder what he was up to last night? Before I let him in the clean kitchen I gave him a brush over with  one of the brushes left over from my 'horse' days (only 20 years ago.)
The frogs in the little pond also think it's spring but it's hard to get a clear picture as I have to creep up the steps without them seeing me. Otherwise there are some hasty splashes as they all dive to the bottom of the pond. Peter surprised me by arriving home just as I was about to set off for work. He's been suffering from a nasty cold virus that is going around his work and his arthritis is playing up too. This damp weather and cold house are terrible for his arthritis. Roll on the summer.
I had a lovely afternoon with the reception children. For the last half an hour of the afternoon I take 5 or 6 children for a guided reading session which is such a joy to do. They are just beginning to read and we have a great time talking about the story and they help me read the simple text. They find it so funny when I forget where to start and their enthusiasm is infectious. They are only 4 years old but they know most of the sounds and can blend them to read new words as well as having a small vocabulary of sight words. Full stops go down well as the action for them is a punch to the flat of your hand, We did have a staff meeting after work but it was more of a workshop as we learnt to make different kinds of little folded books for the children to write in. 

Tuesday, 21 January 2014


I went outside last night and could only say Wow! It was incredibly clear and the sky was filled with stars. I had to stay for a while and admire the magnificence up above. 
After a clear start to the night I thought we were in for an extra cold morning but instead the clouds were back and it was relatively mild. Once I had done my morning jobs I got ready to go outside and realised it was raining. But I still went up and hacked off more of the artex from the wall. I wiped the safety glasses with detergent which helped a bit with the steaming up problem. At least I wasn't working blind which is what has been happening up to now. The rain stopped enough for me to do some leaf clearing as well before going off to school. The rain is now back with a vengeance.
It has been such a gloomy day that I didn't take any photos. Instead here are some from Sally and Vytas' latest destinations, Borbudur and Prambanan (Central Java.) Much more interesting than anything I could have come up with.

Monday, 20 January 2014


The day has been a mix of sun and clouds. As I sat at my pc the view outside was looking good but from the kitchen window it looked as if it was going to rain at any moment. As I didn't do any gardening yesterday I was keen to get outside and start. But first there was an hour or so of preparing resources for my Year 2 history lessons. They are researching a different ruler each week so I need to download or bookmark new stuff each week. I take the precaution of emailing it all to myself as well as putting it on to a pen drive because the network at school is so very temperamental. And if it all goes down I've a couple of books as a back up.
I'm making headway with the grand clearing of the scree garden. Providing we don't have any severe weather I should have it all done by half-term (only 4 weeks to go). As I work away I'm serenaded by the birds. My little friend the robin sits close by waiting for worms and flocks of small birds swoop in and then swoop out again. Today I could hear the call of a buzzard high above, an occasional seagull and of course the crows and jackdaws.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Mostly Sunny.

When I went outside this morning it was bright and sunny but the frost remained in the shaded parts of the garden. Our broadband, having reached the heady speed of 0.6Mb on Wednesday and Thursday has dropped down to a sluggish 0.2Mb. This morning the internet kept crashing though I was able to look at my email inbox and FB briefly.
Once we'd had a leisurely breakfast we went down for a walk at Barricane Beach. All the recent storms have changed the look of the beach.
These stones in the middle of the beach are normally covered by the coarse sand made up of shell pieces 0.5 - 1cm. This had all been washed down the beach covering the fine sand towards the water and making the beach much more level.
The tide was coming in but we had time for a walk along the sand watching surfers running out to catch the incoming waves. 
Looking the other way to the south a dark weather front was approaching and we got to the car just as the rain started.
 This jellyfish was washed up on the sand and being me I saw a smiley face in it.

I kept thinking it was going to rain again so I didn't go out and do some gardening which I could have done. Just lazed around doing this and that. Now it's dark and I expect the owl chorus will start up again. Last night, as well as the usual whoo -whooing of the tawny owls I heard the screech of a barn owl though we are more likely to see the barn owls as they glide over the road or sit on the fence posts.

Saturday, 18 January 2014


In the end I did buy the green Peugeot. Peter was drawn towards the Ka but its lack of service history and the fact that I drive less than 50 miles a week made the Pug a better option. We took it for a test drive down to Chivenor and Peter said it felt fine. The gears are quite tight while I've been used to a much looser gear box but I'll get the hang of it. You have to punch in a code after turning the key so I shall make sure that I put the number on the key ring and write it in a dozen different places so that I don't lose it. You never know, I might even remember it.
While we were in town I went off to do some shopping in the High Street. I looked at fascinators in the Monsoon sale (there are a couple of weddings coming up) but I couldn't make up my mind. I did buy another pair of long dangly earrings in sale. I also bought a pair of cheap slippers in Primark which I have spent the afternoon cannibalising so now my beloved sheepskin house bootees/slippers have new proper soles and should last another year or two. 
I've just been told that the roast lamb dinner is ready so I'm off for a feast. Oh and it's been raining all day.

Friday, 17 January 2014


Another day of brief sunny spells and heavy showers. At one point a child spotted a lovely rainbow over the playing field but we were in the middle of something and it wasn't possible to stop and all have a look. The afternoon seemed to end up being rather frantic. I put that down to trying to teach some children to sew as well as having several other activities going on at the same time. 
Peter collected me after school so we got home in time to enjoy the birds singing in the garden. We are going to look at the Peugeot tomorrow but Peter already thinks the mileage is too high.  

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Car Shopping.

As I was teaching all day I played safe and got a lift in with Peter. It did mean waiting until after 5.30 for a lift home but I had plenty to do in school. I've been asked to work all day again tomorrow so I'll grab a lift in with him. Getting home will be a bit harder to organise because Peter is meeting someone in the afternoon and will probably be heading home around 2.00. He'll just have to come back to collect me which isn't ideal but what choice is there?
 At lunchtime I popped out to the garage around the corner to ask them to email me if anything suitable came in and Alec showed me this little Peugeot. (Yes, that's me gurning away for some reason.) It has done 125,000 miles which is putting Peter off a bit. At around £600 (depending on how much work Alec has to do) he thinks it's over priced but on the plus side it comes with a service history and Alec will guarantee it which is a big plus when it's somebody you trust. The colour is a bit wild but that isn't really important.
There was also this Ka which has a much lower mileage but no proper service history and therefore not the same guarantee but Alec did say we could negotiate on the price a little. We are going to have a look at the Peugeot on Saturday morning and Peter can talk about the technical details but Fred's brother also has a garage and has a little Peugeot which might suit though at the moment we have no other details.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014


Unlike yesterday's frosty morning (picture above), today has been really mild. So mild that I was able to do my gardening without a coat. But before I could go out to do some weeding there was a knock on the door and there was the BT man. "We cancelled you last night after we were told the fault was in the house and we would have to pay £130." I wailed. "Not to worry ."said the repair man, "The socket in the house is BT's responsibility and it has probably been damaged by the lightning  just like the neighbour's." Phew, big sigh of relief as I let him in and out came the biscuits along with the cup of tea he was happy to have. It wasn't much to change the socket and he advised that we monitor the broadband speed for a month and then complain if it is below the 0.25 Mb which is the lower limit we must get. Also, unlike Mr Doom & Gloom's (aka Pete) prediction we would have the line fixed within a week if we lost it altogether.
I went in a little early to work so that I could call by the garage to see if the rattle in the micra's engine was normal old car rattle or just about to fall apart rattle. At first things were looking good as the oil was found to be rather low. After some oil was put in a small oil leak was spotted but then came the bad news. The continuing rattle was coming from the timing chain which not only could break at any time and destroy the engine but the cost of repair far outweighed the value of the car or a replacement. Then to top it all Alec said he had sold a car a few days ago that would have suited me. A small car that had belonged to an elderly gentleman for £600. I've just given Pete the good news and he is going to ask around at his work. The trouble is I don't even know if I want to drive the micra. What if it packs up while I'm on the way to work?

Tuesday, 14 January 2014


I'm having a few pc problems this evening. Peter has managed to get it from dead as a dodo to up and running with the warning that things might still go wrong. I can't get any photos on this post so I guess it still needs some work. It may well be due to the fact that yesterday I caught my foot in the cables and the box fell over on its side.
Anyway - it was much colder this morning with a proper frost. Before I started on my gardening I cleared the ice from the inside and outside of the car windows and made sure it started alright. It did but I've been noticing some new noises from the engine so I'll book it in to be checked over. This is not the time of year to break down.
Just as I came in from gardening I had a Skype call from Vytas. They are now in Jakarta after their trip to the jungle. The picture wasn't very good but I could see branches behind Vytas and hear some whooping noises. When I asked if that was some sort of howler monkey I could hear he told me it was Katie Perry on the bar's sound system. I did hear the waitress come over with his drink, being Vytas that was tea of course.
I was teaching in the afternoon and had a fairly good session. I had to laugh when, at the end of the day I found that one child had not brought her book bag into school because "the dog had been sick on it." That's a good enough reason. I spent an hour after school sticking work into the children's books so it was dark by the time I left for home. Not only dark but raining heavily. All the way home I was keeping my fingers crossed (metaphorically) that it wouldn't be snowing when I got up into the hills and luckily it wasn't.
When Peter came home not only did he have to deal with my pc but he had yet more phone calls to make to BT. He spent an hour on the phone yesterday getting nowhere and was especially infuriated when they claimed to have no record of any previous faults on the line. Ha! I have photos from November 2011 when they came and dug up the junction box in the lawn. Today he got a text to say that they had tested the line  remotely and there was no fault so any problems must be with our equipment. If he hadn't been able to cancel tomorrow's repair man we would have been billed £130. So according to them there have been no previous faults and the fact that the line worsens and the internet dies when it rains is due to ........ rain inside our house? Never mind all the previous repair men who have found problems with the line and outside boxes which they have been able to make temporary repairs to. It is so frustrating because not only are we paying the same as people who have clear lines and internet speeds far greater than ours but if the line goes completely it will take weeks if not months before it is replaced. 
So if I suddenly go off line it will most probably be due to our wonderful service and line provider.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Heavy Showers.

Today has mostly been grey with sudden showers and a few glimpses of the sun. I've had a busy day. First job was to shift the last of the heavy concrete blocks that had once been our old chimney. I put them in the stream to help secure the water pipe against the occasional raging torrent. Just as I started to do some weeding so did the rain which sent me under the shelter to bash off some more artex. That's going slowly because it is firmly stuck to the wall and I can't see what I'm doing because the safety goggles keep misting up. At least a bit more got done. My current motto is 'Every job done today is one less job for tomorrow.' That's what I keep saying to myself as I work my way around the garden. I've had several sessions outside and done all the housework with only a duvet cover to iron before I can stop for the day. There's even a loaf of fruit bread in the breadmaker to look forward to later.
It's been so good to see what Vytas and Sally are up to in their travels. I just had to share this picture of Vytas with an orang-utang. They have been trekking in the jungle at Bukit Lawang, Northern Sumatra. 

Sunday, 12 January 2014


Finally, I'm back. With all the recent rain our phone line deteriorated to the point where using it sounded like trying to have a conversation with outer space, all hisses and crackles. This problem has been getting steadily worse over the last 20 years but every time we call out BT by the time someone comes the ground has dried out and we have a reasonable phone line once more. The repair men have told us this is a common problem but BT won't replace the line until we lose it all together. Happy though I am to be able to get back on line once more I would almost prefer it to stay down until the BT man comes next Wednesday. (Yes, almost a whole week after we reported the fault.) With the line in such a state the broadband hub has been unable to connect leaving us somewhat isolated. I can get on the Internet at school but the filter blocks both Facebook and Blogger so I have felt cut off from friends and family. It's amazing just how much I rely on those forms of contact. Not to mention being unable to prepare lessons at home.
contd. (Some hours later.)
The internet seems to be limping back to its usual turgid  state. After yesterday's sun it's raining once more so maybe the line will go down again. I do hope so because I am fed up BT refusing to replace the line.
Yesterday Fred came and finished off the rendering around the new chimney stack. When it has dried out it will be my job to go up there and paint it white to match the other chimneys. While Peter went out rowing I got on with more garden work. I had to stop when my fingers and toes got too too cold even with several pairs of socks on my feet and thermal work gloves. That was a shame because it was so nice and sunny.
Today we are back to gloomy grey weather. After some nagging (which I don't like doing), I got Peter to come outside and take charge of clearing up the detritus from the chimney repair; plastic sheeting, bags of sand etc. I could have simply done it all myself but I live in hope that I can encourage/nag Peter into clearing up after himself. He's just one of those people who don't notice mess but I'm not going to be the one always to clear up. . 

Tuesday, 7 January 2014


It stayed dry for most of the day and didn't rain until I was on my way home from work. I'm finding it harder to get up in the mornings than during the holidays, maybe it's because I know my first task is my exercises which I didn't do for the last 12 days. Or perhaps I need fueling by chocolate? It is still fairly mild so I had some time to spend outside before going to work. For a change I didn't work up in the scree garden but instead tidied up all the smashed bricks & concrete which were dumped on the grass when the old chimney was pulled down. Obviously no garden fairy (or man) was going to clear up the mess so I picked up all the smaller pieces and dumped them in a soft part of the parking space, after moving the gravel to one side. Then I had a therapeutic time smashing the rubble with the back of a large axe, sensibly wearing safety glasses. Now the lawn doesn't look as if someone has fly tipped on it.
This term I am teaching history to my Year 2 classes. It's more about developing research skills but we will cover some British monarchs. So no messy 'making' afternoons to clear up. Today they were making web charts to show their knowledge about any real kings or queens and it wasn't a lot. I don't think Queen Victoria would have been amused to hear that she dyed her hair red with wee (Horrible histories!) but she probably did 'wear posh shoes' and I liked 'they used to think they could do what they liked'. Hopefully they will have a few more facts at the end of 6 weeks.

Monday, 6 January 2014


The 12 Days of Christmas are over and during that time I have; relaxed, eaten well, enjoyed the company of friends, stuffed myself with chocolates, spoken with both our boys and generally had a proper break. But now it's time to get on and organised. The chocolates are put away, the jobs list book is open again and I'm back on my diet. I won't weigh myself for a week but my first goal is to lose the Christmas weight. Then another half stone would be good. I'm going to work on toning up so I need to find some more exercises (that don't involve my knees) to add to my routine. I haven't made any big plans as I might be lucky and have my second spinal operation this year. So I need to make sure I get as much garden work done as possible because I won't be able to do anything for a couple of months after the op. And when I'm not outside I hope to continue the de-cluttering and general sorting of our belongings. That's a massive job by itself.
The weather has continued to be stormy, strong winds with frequent showers. I was tempted to jump in the car and go for a nice long walk along the beach but that wouldn't get the gardening done. Instead I continued working on the scree garden. The wind roaring through the trees sounded like waves crashing on the shore and I had the satisfaction of another section of garden cleared. 

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Stormy Again.

Peter was up and off to row before the sun came up this morning. As I'd had a decent night's sleep I got up at almost the same time and was soon getting on with the housework. After a quick breakfast and skim through Fb I wrapped up and went out to do some gardening. This was partly due to general enthusiasm but also because the forecast was for rain later in the day. Indeed it started to rain as Peter returned from his rowing session.
I couldn't let this stormy weather pass without a visit to the beach to watch the waves. It would have been a bit foolish to go down on Friday but today the wind had lessened and we went down to the beach half-way between low and high tide. Wrapped up well we were protected from the rain but I didn't take too many photos as I didn't want the camera to get wet. Today the waves were about 10ft high but we could see that the waves had been pounding the vegetation a good 10ft above the usual high water line.There were a lot of sand and shells right up on the top of the cliff presumably thrown up by extra strong surge waves or blown by the wind.
Back home we dried off and I got on with preparing school work for next week. I can hear the rain coming down heavily now and the news has announced 80 flood warnings in place at the moment.