Sunday, 27 March 2016

Easter Mystery

Now that my children are 21, 21 and 24 I thought the time for Easter egg hunts had perhaps passed. 
When I picked Carenza up from Uni, she said
“I told my friends about our annual Easter egg hunt and they thought it was sweet.”
Later that afternoon, I bought around two dozen little fair-trade Easter eggs, each wrapped in gold foil.
On Easter morning I hid them round the garden.  There were so many that I ran out of hiding places.
However, due to the clocks going back, it was a scramble to get out to church, so there was no time to hunt the eggs.
Never mind, they were safely wrapped in gold foil.
They would wait.
After church, some friends came back with us for lunch. 
The egg hunt was postponed again.
Finally, about five hours after I had hidden them, Pascoe, Perran and Carenza went out to look for the eggs. 
They found only seven.
We have two theories:  one is that the vicar who lives next door vaulted the fence and stole our chocolate.  If this proves to be true, we shall certainly be converting to Methodism.
The alternative is that the magpie, lured by the winking gold foil, has taken the eggs and that somewhere they are glimmering inside its nest.
Later, we spotted a magpie seeming to have trouble taking off and flying heavily across the field. 

Looks like the vicar’s in the clear.

Sunday, 20 March 2016


To accompany the recent bleak weather, I have had a long period of head cold and at work, assessment. Thursday was to be my first day off for some time. 
The forecast was for soft sunshine.
I had arranged to get my hair cut at last, to have coffee with Graham, a walk with Rosie.
But at 7.30am, before I had even achieved my planned lie-in, the doorbell awakened me from sleep.
A paramedic had brought Nigel home after a cycling accident on his way to work.
He had banged his head and cut his face, and suffered some concussion but, thanks to the helmet, was otherwise unharmed.
I cancelled my hair appointment and coffee with Graham and spent the morning in A & E.  At least I caught up on some marking.
The doctor was reassuring, but I should keep an eye on Nigel for twenty-four hours following a head injury.
I cancelled the walk with Rosie.
Nigel wanted taking into town in order to replace his broken glasses. 
But the “quick trip to get a quote for the insurance” turned into an hour and a quarter of buying new glasses. 
I hadn’t brought my marking with me this time.
I became grumpy.
Later, when it was time for Pilates, I went anyway.
I whinged to the others about my disappointing day. 
“Oh,” said James, “Lots of people seem to have been having bike accidents recently – one of my friends smashed his pelvis.  Another shattered his knee.”

And that was when I realised it was time to make the gear-shift from “resentful” to “grateful that God was watching over us.”

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Bike Helmet

Nigel and I have always been sticklers for bike helmets. 
Because how could we insist that our children wear them if we didn’t ourselves.
Sometimes, my helmet has been joggling around on the top of my up-do, but I still wore it so I could be self-righteous with the offspring.
On Thursday, when a nice paramedic delivered Nigel home, we were very glad he had been wearing one.
He has a memory blank for the actual incident, but his last recollection is of a car trying to overtake him on a mini-roundabout.
He came to with a circle of faces above him.  Always a sign that something has gone badly wrong for you.
From the bits of him that hurt, we think he skidded on the corner and hit his head on the curb.
If he hadn’t been wearing the helmet….

So, in this blog, no jokes or special thoughts.  Just one message – wear the helmet.

Thursday, 17 March 2016


Over the last two weeks, through coincidence, I have been formally assessed twice at work.  The first time it was myself personally, the second, as a member of my department.
The garnish on the whole nut roast (to subtly alter the icing/cake metaphor) is that over the whole two weeks I have been suffering from a nasty head cold.
Probably brought on by the stress of assessment.
It is not just our department which is being assessed and the indications are plain in the staff room.

One sign of a very new teacher is that they spend a disproportionate amount of time around the school guillotine.
For that is where one makes exciting resources –little puzzles and top trumps cards.
Now in my third year of teaching, my relationship with the cutting machine has rather cooled.
But this week it is the old lags who are clustered round the guillotine once more in some sort of nostalgie de coup, preparing fascinating lessons for the assessment.
At this point, it becomes noticeable that while we have three large hi-tech photocopiers, we have only one guillotine.
What with the stress and the jostling, it is only a matter of time before somebody loses all the fingertips on their left hand.  I bet they didn’t put that in the health and safety assessment for all these inspections.

And on the lesson assessment form, there will probably be a criticism for getting blood all over the children’s work sheets. Ho hum.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Mother’s Day with added bacteria

I thought Pascoe had forgotten Mother's Day, but it seems not.  These arrived via WhatsApp.

"I've made you a hand made card out of genetically modified bacteria but unfortunately it's illegal to send it in the post, so I thought I'd send you the pictures instead."

Left - "Happy Mother's Day" in Latin (apparently)
Right - our family

A sea anemone smiling - long story, but highly significant to me.