Monday, 27 February 2017

Monday 27th February - End of Half Term, and Inset Days

Inset Days are non-teaching days, when the school is closed for staff training, or data recording, or report-writing, or whatever the Head decided is a Good Thing To Do. The tend to be scheduled for the first day of term, or either side of half term, or the last day of term.

Us Peri teachers have to be on the alert, as the school doesn't always let us know. The parent of this morning's piano pupil emailed me last week to make sure that I knew (thank you - as I didn't know). Then this afternoon, having eaten my lunch early, packed my bag, put on my coat, I had a sudden thought, and went on the school website. And saw this;

So I took off my coat, made a cup of tea and started to write a blog post. I'm not sorry to be staying in - the weather is dreich and I've things to be getting on with.

One of the things on my list for this half term was to start my vegetable garden. Today I have planted 4 brussel sprout seeds, 4 broad beans, 4 little gem lettuce seeds and 12 radish seeds. The pots of earth are distributed around the house on sunny windowsills where I hope they won't get forgotten. I have made notes in my brand new gardening notebook and packed all the seed packets and my notebook into a plastic wallet. I've been wanting to grow vegetables in an organised and planned and intentional fashion for several years now. So far, so good, but I have to admit it is Very Early Days.

Broad Beans in the cardboard boxes, sprouts in the loo-rolls, lettuces in the pots.

Mothering Sunday presents from two years ago in bloom.

More lettuces, and radishes. Now the waiting begins...

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Saturday 25th February - Persevere - It is worth it

This recent post by is spot on for today's news:

'Whan alle tresors arn tried,' quod she, 'Treuthe is the beste'

‘There I could see winged wonders fly’, by Warwick Goble (1912)

The Chaucerian English isn't that hard to scan through. Nothing like the tedium (sorry) of getting bogged down in Canterbury Tales at school when I was about thirteen. Although, I remember the astonishment of hearing the Prologue read out and discovering I could follow the story "just like that". It was  on a TV series of maybe thirty-five years ago, called "Six Centuries of Verse" - what! I've just googled it and found it as a DVD - made in 1984! That goes STRAIGHT onto my birthday wishlist!

Back to aclerkofoxford - go on, follow the link. Read it, right to the end. I quote

"It's about Chaucer's brilliant, dizzying, disturbing poem The House of Fame, and its vision of what we have recently started calling a 'post-truth' world - in which stories spread and circulate regardless of whether they are true or not."

I could now make a reference to the latest White House Hoo Ha about excluding some news agencies and publications from a press briefing. Or I could cut another slice of cake and drink my tea.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Thursday 23rd February - Laziness is Good

At last, half-term has become a slow, lazy time.

I say that, because it is noon and I am still in my dressing gown - heaven. Normally by this time on a Thursday I have taught 4 piano lessons (starting at 8:30 am which is downright uncivilised), and am bracing myself for a couple of class music lessons - mayhem with ukuleles and chaos with infants would not be an entirely inaccurate description. Although learning does take place, I promise you.

By learning, I refer mainly to the children's learning - reading chord charts, singing rounds, playing classroom percussion at the right moment, NOT playing at the wrong moment. But there is also personal learning, like "I won't be trying THAT again in a hurry", and "oh, that worked - we'll do it again!".

Today hasn't been entirely idle. I am almost totally without that spatial sense (which BB has in abundance) which will tell me that this or that arrangement of furniture will or won't work. I would like to arrange things so that my favourite seat

would fit by the fireplace here instead of the red Poang chair

But, even though BB assured me it wouldn't work, I couldn't properly envisage HOW it wouldn't work. Deep sigh, and he and I shifted almost every piece of furniture in the room. I forgot to take a picture of how it doesn't work, but he is absolutely correct. Another Deep Sigh (and he didn't say "I told you so" for which he is to be highly commended) and we/he put it all back again. Cake and coffee went someway towards restoring energy levels. And we were also able to deal with this, which we discovered under the settee.

The solution may be to replace the Poang with a smallish tub-style chair. We shall go and inspect one at John Lewis and see if it is comfortable. Handily, our John Lewis is combined with a Waitrose, so we can check out the chair when we go food shopping.

Laziness has resumed; although at some point I will have to get dressed in order to go shopping.

The greeny-blue jumper is coming on a treat - I have just started on the second sleeve. The challenge will be to do the sewing-up part and get it finished. I still haven't sewn up the cushion cover I knitted earlier this year.

Storm Doris is creating a bustling wind, knocking over all the bins waiting for the bin lorry. Leaves keep whirling past the window, and any birds foolish enough to fly are following a drunken and dishevelled flight path. We had thought of a trip to London today, but this morning dawned damp and manky. London will keep for another occasion.