Monday, 22 January 2018


Good morning, everyone.  It's significantly warmer today.  I always wake before the heating comes on and there's a big difference between yesterday morning and today.

Yesterday was nasty - heavy wet snow in the morning and lashing rain in the afternoon.  Definitely not a day to have to be out and about and the few people who walked past walking their dogs looked thoroughly miserable.  Today is supposed to be better so fingers crossed.

Today I am off to the newly formed Knitter Knatter club at school.  Longer term readers may remember that I helped out last year too.  It's a club for Y6s to learn how to knit basically and just lasts one term.  I couldn't go last week which was the first week and that was a shame because I gather it was more than a bit hairy!  Today will be interesting!

Then it's home to prepare for tuition.  I've done the planning for today so I will get on with tomorrow's planning.  I do like to keep ahead, if I can, just in case something happens to prevent me from planning.  You really cannot do a one to one hour without any planning!

Time to get going so I'll say goodbye.  Have a great day and I hope the weather is kind to you, wherever you are.

Sunday, 21 January 2018


Good morning, everyone.  It's still chilly, still wet, yesterday was horrible with rain and sleet all day and I gather today is expected to be worse with really heavy rain and maybe snow for a short time.  We're too far south for any of it to lie but I'm glad I don't have to go out in it today.

I did go back to sleep yesterday and didn't wake again until nearly eight o'clock.  That's middle of the day for me!!  It was nice once in a while but it did unsettle my routine which is based on an early rising, of course.  Once in a while is a treat though.

I got all the washing, drying AND ironing done which I'm pleased about.  It's a pain to have washing hanging around and it was damp enough outside without being damp inside too so I was lavish and used the tumble dryer.  There's a time and a place, after all!

And I booked a mini-break for myself after checking the house sitter could help out.  It's nothing lavish, just a Monday to Thursday stay in a Premier Inn north of Cambridge.  There will be two full days there and I though that one day I could visit Anglesea Abbey and the lode mill and the other day I could go in the opposite direction and start off at Burwash Manor (which is a sort of farm centre with lots of independent little shops) and then go on to Wimpole Hall.  I could go into Cambridge, maybe, I'll have to see what the transport links are like and whether there's a convenient Park and Ride.  Do any of my readers know?

Both Wimpole Hall and Anglesea Abbey are National Trust places so I will make sure I have my card with me!

I know people mock Premier Inns but the few times I have stayed in one, I have been extremely comfortable.  The rooms are warm and very clean, the beds are extremely comfortable, there's wi-fi and a big wall mounted telly and enough room to swing a cat.  The breakfasts are brilliant and there's an evening meal in an attached eating place, if wanted (it will be). 
I have booked a double bedroom and it wasn't too expensive either

I am still looking to have a spoil myself week either in the Warner's hotel in Nottinghamshire or at Centre Parcs later on in the year but this will do nicely for now.  I'm getting the official scan results the week before so there's no way I will have any operation (if I need to have an operation and I may not) for the following week or so; it will be a much longer wait than that as it is no way any kind of emergency.

It's just three weeks before I go so I can start the planning that is a huge part of the fun and games!

As for today, I won't be going out if the forecasted weather materialises, I will be staying indoors and pottering around happily.  There's not an awful lot to do so I will get on with my knitting and reading.  What a hard life!

Saturday, 20 January 2018


Good morning, everyone.  It's another cold start and the weekend isn't looking promising, sadly.  Rain today and heavy rain tomorrow although it's expected to warm up a bit as it rains.  I'm thankful that I have very little that I need to do that will take me outside for any length of time and I must remember to have the brolly by the back door for when I need to go to the freezer.

Yesterday morning I worked on my report of the school meeting and fired it off for approval.  It came back as fine, just a few typos.  Why is it that it's so easy to see others' typos but not your own?  Most annoying. 

Anyway, I amended those and crossed that job off the list before getting the house cleaner-ready.  I always feel slightly daft but, as I want the cleaner to clean, not to tidy up after me, it has to be done.  I'm been a reformed character recently so there really wasn't very much to do.  The kitchen is usually the worst offender but since I got a dishwasher with a timer I've been doing a load overnight which means that the kitchen gets a tidy before I go to bed instead of me leaving it all until the morning.  I have to say, it's quite nice to go into a tidy kitchen when I get up!

Today is a washing, drying and ironing day, bedding and all.  I'm looking forward to when the days are longer and the sun warmer so that I can dry my washing outside again.  There's nothing nicer than a sheet that smells of sun and summer breeze and they do iron very well.

I'm doing a Christmas dinner today!  No, I haven't got my days muddled, it's using up stuff.  The meat is part of a large turkey breast bought before Christmas while the stuffing and the cranberry sauce are all leftovers from December.  The veg is just veg, roasted, and the only thing I'm making specially is a few pigs in blankets - can't have a Christmas dinner without pigs in blankets, can we now?

I'm being terribly lazy today and typing this sitting up in bed.  I think I'm going to carry on being idle and read in bed too.  You never know, I might get back to sleep for a little while.  In my world, waking after four o'clock is reasonable, but that doesn't mean that sometimes I wouldn't like it to be later.

Have a lovely day and if you have rain, I hope you can dodge the raindrops and stay dry.  And if you can't, hopefully you will feel like this . . .

I'm singing in the rain
Just singin' in the rain
What a glorious feeling
I'm happy again
I'm laughing at clouds
So dark up above
The sun's in my heart
And I'm ready for love
Let the stormy clouds chase
Everyone from the place
Come on with the rain
I've a smile on my face
I walk down the lane
With a happy refrain
Just singin', singin' in the rain . . .

Friday, 19 January 2018


Welcome to a cold and frosty early morning in Middle-Essexland.  Slipper socks and thick, fleecy dressing gown are both warmly appreciated (in every sense) this morning and it is nice to feel cosy and comfortable, sitting at my PC with a steaming coffee beside me.  Small pleasures add up to big contentment, don't they.

It was another fairly busy day yesterday.  The biggie was the afternoon meeting which saw me wearing my school governor's hat but with a changed responsibility, that of being the Curriculum and Standards Governor.  At our school, well managed, well led and with outstanding teachers, there are very few management concerns about standards, but one still has to ask the challenging questions and to keep an eye on the assessment data, the learning environment, etc.  It's shocking how quickly things can go belly up if management is not on the ball and lets things slide.  Knowing the school pretty well, there were no surprises but it was good to look through the latest data and then to have an escorted environmental walk round the school looking at areas like the reading corner, assessment statements, support and learning displays, etc.  I enjoyed it very much.

After that I did the last tuition sessions for the week - all very successful - before dinner and then crashed out for the evening.  I slept really well too.

Today is far less crammed.  I have to write my report of my visit for the governors and really that's about it.  My nice cleaner comes later on and it's a downstairs only week (one week she does the whole house, the next just downstairs).  However, I daresay I will find things to do and I won't get bored!

Well, the coffee has disappeared and it's time for another one while the dishwasher needs emptying so I will say 'Goodbye' and disappear into the kitchen.  Have a lovely Friday.

Thursday, 18 January 2018


Good morning everyone.  It's still cold, still no snow, still pretty windy so it will feel colder than it really is.  It's winter so no surprises there.  I think it's going to be a day for soup and other comfort food!

Yesterday was quite busy but I managed to get my daily River Cottage dose by combining it with the ironing.  Because I had sheets to iron, it took a bit longer so I had no conscience pangs (would I anyway?) as watching telly in the morning.

I popped to Morrisons and got the few things I needed, then did some paperwork until tuition which was great.  I love it when they show progress.

The governors' meeting went well and didn't take as long as expected so I was back home in time for my dose of Tom Kerridge.  Personally, I didn't think it was quite as good as the previous weeks but that probably because the things he made were not really things I would make as there were some expensive ingredients.  I do, however, want to have a go at the oil free salad dressing at some point.

By default, because I was too lazy to get up and turn off the telly, I watched 'Trust me, I'm a doctor' which I enjoyed more than I thought I would so I must catch up on iPlayer at some point.  Interestingly, it featured some findings that, contrary to current thinking (it said), it might be better to eat carbs in the evening, not in the morning.  I'm afraid that's not something I have ever really considered and I don't intend to either!
There seem to be quite a lot of  get healthy and stay healthy programmes on at the moment.  I suppose it is the New Year/January, resolutions, get yourself sorted out this year thing and won't last beyond the middle of next month, but it's all quite interesting.  I'd like to see more of the same but with a frugal slant but I bet there won't be.

Today is another busy day.  A bit of housework this morning, then the rest of the planning followed by a meeting in school this afternoon before tuition.  The evening is free, however, and I am bang up to date with the washing so there won't be any ironing to do.

I've been looking at holidays for this year.  I'm thinking either Center Parcs (I love Center Parcs) or a stay at a Warner's hotel or holiday village.  Or maybe both and spend a bit of my saved lump sum - after all, why not, especially if I do have the have the old gallbladder out?  I wouldn't mind booking something for April but until I know if I will need an operation or other medical stuff and roughly when that will be, my hands are a bit tied really.  Still, there's always next year and it seems that it is much more positive for people holidaying on their own nowadays than it used to be!

So that's me!  As busy as I want to be today and still very contented.  I shall be even more contented after my second coffee so I'd better go and make it and clear the overnight dishwasher things at the same time.  Have a great day and stay warm and, for my poorly blogging friends, get well soon.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018


Good morning, everyone.  Cold, isn't it?  A day for thick, warm, woolly socks and lots of layers, I reckon.  I'm afraid I came down (too early again) and whacked up the heating straight away.  No definite forecast of snow down here in the SE, just cold winds, but I gather they've had a lot further north with some disruption.

Yesterday was another lovely day.  I got all the planning done, I did a bit of shopping in Sainsbury's and found what I have been looking for for simply ages and that's a small, ovenproof dish with sides high enough to make a lasagne for just two.  I have other small dishes but they are only high enough for a one layer lasagne.  So I was very pleased about that.  I shall christen it with a vegetarian lasagne next Tuesday evening when Beth comes for dinner.

After working on mean, median, mode and range with a couple of my students I now have a little rhyme buzzing around in my head.  I guess most teachers will know it.

Hey diddle diddle, the Median's the middle
You add, then subtract, for the Mean
The Mode is the one that you see the most
And the Range is the difference between.
(sung to the tune of the nursery rhyme of the same title)

Clever, eh, but it's driving me bonkers - I just can't get it out of my head!

Being Tuesday and, as our new arrangements dictate, Beth was round after work for dinner and we had a jolly good chat about this and that over the meal before settling down to do the next stage of her quilting project together.  It was the sandwiching of the top, the batting and the back.  She is making a quilt for her double bed and here's what it looks like so far.

She did it round at mine because -
a) it's really a two person job when it's that big
b)  it's too big for her floor space at home
c)  her cats would enjoy sitting on it and generally getting in the way

We then pinned it all together, all over, with safety pins
The quilting will be light, just around each rectangle or square but before that there's some considerable tacking to be done
It's going to be absolutely lovely when it's done.  Isn't she clever!

Today is easy in the morning and busier in the afternoon.  I'm going to do the ironing while I watch the next two episodes of the River Cottage programmes, I have to sort out the daily one thing in my bedroom, I have to plan the tuition for later (I know what I'm going to do but I need to record those plans properly) and after I've finished the tuition, I have a 15 minute break and then I'm off into school for a governors' meeting which won't be too long, hopefully, as there's some good telly this evening.

So a nice, busy day with no time to get into any mischief.  It should be good.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018


Good morning, everyone.  A really early start for me today, so early that the dishwasher is still on and I can't empty it yet.  I might go back for another little snooze later on.  It's supposed to be turning a lot colder and more wintry today.  Well, we will see.

I got home safely yesterday after missing one turning on the new section of my route but, thankfully, I'd prepared for that and knew if I carried on there was another turning.  It wasn't a particularly nice drive: it was very wet with lots of spray from tyres.  Everyone seemed to be going carefully though, except for an idiot who overtook me as I was doing 30 in a village.  You do get some foolish driving at times.

It's always nice to be home and this time was no exception.  I got some washing in, unloaded the dishwasher and got stuck in to a nice hot cuppa coffee before watching the two 'Return to River Cottage' programmes for the day.  Must check the times for today.  One of yesterday's was the one when he sells his tomato produces at a local farmers' market under the name 'River Cottage Glutton'.  I have to say, his recipes looked absolutely delicious and I wonder if they are online.

Today looks like being more of the same; very little scheduled until late afternoon and then it's tuition x 2 followed by Beth coming round for dinner and a chat.  I need to do a little bit of shopping, washing and ironing (it's sheet changing day) and there's the ever-present planning but it should be a very pleasant day indeed.

I hope yours is as nice.