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Archive for October, 2009

Plenty to be thankful for.

It’s been a hard week.  Actually, it’s been a hard six weeks; the school I work at is in an Ofsted category and we’re being very closely scrutinised by the local authority.  We also have an impending HMI visit, and the pressure’s really on.  I’m getting to work earlier and leaving later than I have ever done before, and it’s plain from colleagues’ responses to various situations that everyone’s feeling stressed: even the most laid-back amongst us have occasionally snapped.  Add to this a broken email system which is making me anxious about communication I’ve missed (I’ve already had a couple of people say ‘have you done…?’ and I’ve known nothing about it) and which shows no sign of being fixed.

But, I have to look on the bright side.  I have absolutely brilliant classes this year.  Not all of them are the world’s brightest sparks, but they are willing to have a go.  They are, for the most part, co-operative and pleasant.  When I’ve had to tell them off about something no grudges have been held, and we’ve had fresh starts in the following lesson.

Also, I work with AMAZING people.  Truly talented teachers, who are passionate about their subject and wholly dedicated to the kids.  I am proud to belong to the department I work with. Some of them are also very dear friends, and people who’ll step up to help out when needed; not only in a work sense either, as has been proved this week.

My home life is great.  The Bloke has accepted that I’m giving an extra few percent at work and has picked up the baton here.  He’s proving to be more than adequate in the kitchen and he’s definitely doing what my Mom asked him to do; he’s looking after me.

Add to that the fact that the weather’s lovely.  It’s cold, and we’ve had some wet days, but outside there’s that gorgeous spicy Autumn smell and when we were out with the dog today the sun was warm.  The light quality is beautiful and you can’t fail to feel a sense of well-being when you stop and take it all in.

On top of all that, I have five more get-ups and then I’m on holiday for a week; we’re off to beautiful Pembrokeshire and I’m excited about it. I’ll take some work with me, but that’s okay because I’ll be able to do it in a gorgeous environment, and when I’ve finished that I have a huge pile of new books to read. What more could I ask for? If I don’t have plenty to be thankful for, I don’t know who has!


Autumn Leaves.

What a joy.  I love Autumn; I love the colours, the chill in the air, soups and hot potatoes and the promise of a half term holiday.  And tonight, I recalled the autumns of my childhood.

Or something like that – I think those are the words. It’s been 30+ years since infant school, and the memory fades.

I wanted to get an Autumnal shot like this but didn’t really fancy getting down on my belly for it – not a pretty sight, my backside up in the air in the woods, I thought I might scare off the wildlife. But tonight I thought ‘to hell with it; I CAN get down on the ground and I stand a fairly good chance of getting back up again; I’m hefty, but I’m fit enough to do that, even if I do feel like an old crock sometimes.’

It’s too easy to take good health for granted, and there are planty of those who don’t have the opportunity.

World Arthritis Day has been celebrated 1996 by ARI (Arthritis Rheumatism International) first. It is being celebrated each year on October 12th.

Now, people with arthritis from around the world join together to make their voices heard on this day. You can join in and raise this voice also!

The aims of World Arthritis Day are:

To raise awareness of arthritis in all its forms among the medical community, people with arthritis and the general public
To influence public policy by making decision-makers aware of the burden of arthritis and the steps which can be taken to ease it
To ensure all people with arthritis and their caregivers are aware of the vast support network available to them.
More info here
Arthritis cant kill you but it can take your life..

For Carey x

It’s all about yew.

Update on last week’s entry.  It’s taken till today for me to go and photograph the yew tree at Sarehole, but here it is:

Easy Like Sunday Morning.

I am a self-confessed lazy sod, and it’s not unusual for me to sleep right through Sunday morning or to spend it slumming around in my pyjamas, having a bath in the afternoon and getting straight into clean nightwear.  However, this week The Bloke (who is one of those weird ‘morning people’) and I had planned to go walking, to pick up a hobby we’ve both enjoyed in the past but have allowed to lapse.  We lay in bed at about half seven this morning planning where we’d go; I had certain criteria to fulfil: three and a half miles, flat, woodland and a yew tree.  We settled on a walk that begins only a mile or two from home; part of the ‘Tolkien Trail’ which starts at Sarehole Mill in Hall Green, near where the author lived as a boy.

The light was beautiful as we started our walk; dappled autumn sunlight, glare diffused by trees and sunflare reflecting off water.  The yew tree was unfortunately inaccessible as the museum there doesn’t open till mid-day, but that gives me a good excuse for going back in the week.  I could see that the tree has masses of berries and it will produce a fabulous image I’m sure.

The walk took us along a wooded path, across the River Cole, then through The Dingles, where there are some fabulous Tolkien-inspired sculptures and up to Trittiford Millpool Park.  There are hundreds of Canadian geese at the pool at the moment but the park was peaceful and somehow looked better than it sometimes does.  The grass has been tidied up, so it is neater, but I put the improvement in ambiance down to the sunshine.

We did a circuit of the pool and returned the way we had come although the return journey takes in the opposite side of The Dingles.   As we left to return home, I told the Bloke to remind me how much I’d enjoyed Sunday morning, and gave him permission to discourage me from being such a slob next week.

Contraband Cup-cakes.

Last night I did the grocery shopping.  I did not purchase baking ingredients.  I did not purchase baking ingredients as I had forbidden all forms of baking in my kitchen this week – I MUST lose some weight.

Today, The Bloke made a cup of tea.  The Bloke made a cup of tea so we wanted cake.  I went to the corner shop but they had only the kind of cardboard, crummy cakes that are supposed to stay fresh for months but never actually taste fresh, so I bought (overpriced) baking ingredients instead.  Within 40 minutes, we had cake.  So much for willpower.

Anyway, I’m going to try the ‘everything in moderation’ approach this week, and see how it goes.  I can have cake that way, can’t I?

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