Monday, 31 December 2007

I am still alive - honest!

I hang my head in shame - a shame that has the name laziness. I have not blogged for a whole two months, but there is a reason, honest.

I left school with six O levels - two C's, two D's and two E's. Appalling when you consider the grief that I have given my sixteen year old about qualifications. I have done various bits since. I got my Certificate of School Business Management last year and my diploma with the Institute of Administrative Management. There have been various others along the way, but nothing that ever amounted to anything.

So I have taken my (lack of) education in my hands and I have signed up for a degree with the OU in History - my favourite subject, which is weird as a I hated it at school. So I have all the books etc., and it 'officially' starts in February, but I have made a start on it already. I am doing 'Exploring History - Medieval to Modern' and I am terrified.

As I sit there in the dead of night pouring over these books, I secretly think to myself, what if I can't do it, what if I fail miserably. I have to get 360 points to get a degree with honours. This course is worse 60 and I did a foundation course with them years ago and I have 60 points from that, but I still have 240 points to go - such a daunting task. I know I should take it one step at a time, but what if.......................................I know useless to think like that, I can do anything is I put my mind to it.

So there you go - that's where I've been and that's where I'm going. I will keep you updated on my (very slow) progress.



Tuesday, 2 October 2007


My lovely 16 year old son is trying to get a job. Just something at weekends and evenings to put some money in his pocket whilst he studies for his A Levels and to pay his tutor.

  • He has applied to Tescos - we have a large one near by - not recruiting at present.
  • He has applied to Ikea - we have a new one near by - not interested in him, he's too young.
  • He has applied to the Amazon distribution centre - just near by, heard nothing.
  • He has applied to MacDonalds - surely they must want him - NO!
  • He has applied to Costco - too young.
  • He has applied to PC World - heard nothing.
  • He has applied to Argos - heard nothing.
  • He has applied to Starbucks - nothing.

OK, I know he is only 16, but he has 10 good GCSE's - what more d0 these people want.

How is a school leaver supposed to get a job. Personally, I am all for students staying on at school or going to college or getting an apprenticeship instead of just leaving school at 16 - it's too young to be out in the big wide world.

I know that we are in a different situation as he is still at school so work is not such a big issue yet, but it just seems so hard and my sympathies are with any 16 year old out there trying to make their way in world.

Never mind, I don't really think he wants a job, I mean that would ruin his social life!

Monday, 1 October 2007

Spelling - AGAIN

I really shouldn't post on a gin and tonic - this is getting ridiculous!!!

Blinking Flip

Blinking flip - I shan't swear here - I'm bigger than that, but I mean, bloody hell!

My house is fairly new - in terms of historic England and graded buildings, lets face it, it's 6½ years old - a mere baby. But what it has is death watch beetle. How in the name of hells teeth does a 6½ year old house get death watch beetle.

My house is a dolls house to look at - three storeys high with a front door in the middle. The front door has a porch or sorts. An A frame roof with wood down to a half-height brick wall. A neighbour called and point out that we had all these grubs in a crevice in the wood work and it had all gone soft (no husband jokes please!).

Called the insurance - nor you're not covered for insect damage (what if they were in a joist I ask), called Rent-a-Kill - not interested, called pest control at the council - are you in a council house, no, then go away. Thankfully we have a god of a man who works at school - the site manager. He has been round, measured up (no husband jokes please!) and said he will replace all the wood on the porch, I just need to buy him a drink.

Some times there are people out there who do things for you and then you really see who your friends are - like I say, he's a god as a far as I am concerned.

Husband couldn't do it - feel free to make husband joke!!!

Monday, 24 September 2007


I also apologise for my spelling in the previous post - me a PA, Meh!


I apologise. I have no lame excuses or fantastic whirlwind life that means I could get away with not blogging. I'll be honest with you, I've just been too lazy.

So school has started back (I know ages ago, and we're nearly at half-term....yippee), since my last post I will fill you in on what's been going on.

My eldest got his GCSE results. He was so nervous the night before. He sleep walks when he is worried, so I know he was worried. We live in a three story house and the boys live on the top floor, so when he have one of his nocturnal jaunts we have to make sure he doesn't fall down stairs! In the morning he was up at 5.00am when we couldn't collect them until 11.00. In the car on the way there we said nothing. When we arrived at the school he asked me not to get out. All the other parents that I knew were hovering outside the school waiting for their kids to come out, so there was no way I was staying in the car. I paid for this education with my taxes, I have made you a packed lunch every day for 11 years and driven you backwards and forwards to school. I have paid for countless sets of uniform and school trips. I have attended every parents evening, helped you with homework and revised with you late into every night - and you think I am staying in the car!

He managed 5 B's and 5 C's and this has given him a sharp kick in the pants. Not that B's and C's are not good, I am incredibly proud of him and that he managed to get them, but when his friends came out and they were all comparing notes, he was the only one with out a single A.

He has gone back into the sixth form to do his A Levels. He is doing Maths, Physics, Geography and Economics. Unfortunately he got a C at GCSE Maths and they like you to have a B if you are going to do it at A level. So I have hired him a tutor. The tutor gave him one lesson and said he doesn't stand a chance. So his Dad and I said that he needs to choose another subject. No, he wants his A level in Maths. So we paid the tutor for 5 lessons and he came back for an hour every night. At the end of the week he said that he could get a D now, still best to drop it. No, he wants his A level Maths. So he has got himself a weekend job to pay the tutor himself and he is having two lessons a week. He is determined - he told me that someone telling him he couldn't do something has made him determined to show them wrong.

I think that he has learned a valuable lesson already and I am very proud of him.

Monday, 13 August 2007


I have been on holiday. My husband surprised me by whisking me off for two weeks in Florida. So, that's why I haven't been here!

We did not 'do' Disney etc., as we have been to Florida many a time and quite frankly if I see one more person in a mouse costume I am likely to swing for them.

What we did do was, Busch Gardens, Universal Islands of Adventure and Epcot (I know, Disney, but not Mickey Mouse Disney), for the Husband and the boys as they like the rides. I do not so they park me somewhere in the sun with my book and a steady supply of Margaritas and then come and carry me home at the end - everyone is happy!

We also did Cirque Du Soleil - which we have never done before and it was amazing and well worth the money to get in.

We did the Titanic Exhibition - OK, but the same as the one that was in London a year or so ago.

But best of all, we went and saw the Space Shuttle Endeavour launch at Kennedy, which was truly amazing. We arrived two hours before the launch in Titusville and stopped at a local petrol station and asked for the best place to see the launch but avoid the Space Centre itself. They directed us to Merritt Island, which is part of the Space Centre, but free and the opposite side of the river to the launch site. Off we went and found the entrance and drove for what seemed like ages until we came to Manatee Landing. There were quite a few other people there, but all locals, and we struck up some good conversations with some very nice people. The Manatees came right up to the viewing platform and then two dolphins came up the river and were circling the fish and had them leaping out of the water and jumping to catch them - I know it a very Disney saying, but it was magical. Well worth the two hour wait, plenty of entertainment from the locals, the Manatees and the dolphins - just brilliant.

We did a lot of shopping. I have another new Louis Vuitton bag which I love. I also got a new iPod as its all cheaper out there.

All in all absolute bliss. I am recharged and refreshed and ready for anything!

Monday, 16 July 2007


I am feeling bad as I have not blogged as often as I should. Now, don't go saying, oh you're holding down a full time job and running and family etc, etc, it was tardy - accept it.

Life has been full and busy and I haven't had time, so I apologise, on bended knee here and now.

Eldest son finished his GCSE's and is now an official teenage lay about - although I have taught him how to use the hoover and the washing machine, which is progress indeed.

Youngest son has gone on the gifted and talented register for Art and History and is a smart arse indeed.

Husband is back, early I know, complete with Louis Vuitton present and perfume.

All in all I am happy and content.

Teachers finish in four days so peace and quiet at work for six weeks.

Had end of year staff do on Friday and I drank rather too much Gin - was ill until 4.00pm on Saturday afternoon - not good!

Life is full and busy - will try not to be so tardy in future!

Monday, 2 July 2007


I am sad. He has gone again, and this time for three months.

Not that I'll have a moment to myself. Full time job, two sons, three cats and a house to run. Admittedly, when he's not here the house is tidier and I get things done which I can't when he is here. He moans at me and says unhelpful things like, 'sod the house work, there's some sun let's sit on our little patio sun trap and have a G&T, the hoursework will only need doing tomorrow', and who am I to argue.

He emailed me earlier, and I quote:


I'm on the plane and missing you already (surrounded by honeymooners and loving elderly couples!).
Wish you were here,traveling is not the same without you.

I wish I could earn enough to let you travel 1st class.... Maybe in time (when we are old and grey!)

love you more than life itself

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

How could you not love him. He is my life.

Friday, 22 June 2007


I have not been around much I know. We have one GCSE to go and then it is all over.

My husband has been away in San Francisco. He went on Fathers day and I have merely ambled from one day to the next awaiting his return. The week dragged.

Normally I get home from work every day, pour two gin and tonics, go and drag him out of his home office and we sit on our special patio down at the end of the garden in the last of the days sun and we talk. We have always done this, so when he isn't here I miss him dreadfully. It's like missing an arm or something.

I came home tonight. I walked in the door. I have no idea what it was, but I knew. I shouted his name and there he was. He was not due home until tomorrow, he got a flight a day earlier. We had been chatting all day on Messenger and I thought he was on the other side of the world, but he was only a mile away.

My cup runeth over - I love him so much.

Thursday, 7 June 2007


I love my garden. Not to do gardening in - I do it, but sometimes it can feel chore like (unless I am majorly hormonal, and then ripping weeds out is fantastic therapy), but to sit in and read books or drink drinks. My garden is my refuge from housework. If I sit in my garden I can't possibly be pushing a hoover round.

My garden is nothing special. The house we live in is fairly new, in that its 6½ years old and we moved in to it from new. My husband went away on the Monday after we moved in, and I was left to organise turfing the back garden. This is did, and not knowing anything about turf, he was horrified when he came back and pointed out that it had all come out of a field and wasn't lawn turf. Hubby, bless him, has been trying valiantly for the last 6½ years to turn it into a bowling green lawn, but it ain't gonna happen.

We live up a little slip of a road that has just three three houses in it. We garden to make it look nice and then leave it a while and then tidy and then leave a while - we are those sorts of gardeners, but compared to our neighbours, we are Alan Titchmarsh and Charlie Dimmock.

I do our hanging baskets, always have, and I have to do 11 every year, and, although I say it myself, they are pretty fab. Neighbour to the right has a gardener, and does absolutely nothing himself. Neighbour to the left has good intentions and then can't be bothered, you know the sort, buys plants then then leaves them lying around because putting them in the ground would be too much effort.

However, when all is said and done, I like where I live, and I like my neighbours and I really like my garden. However, it needs weeding and that I hate, but like the bathrooms and the dusting a polishing and the hoovering, it has to be done.

Either that or I could pour another G&T and go and sit in the greenhouse with my book!

Sunday, 3 June 2007

GCSE Revision

As you know, I work in a school and I get 27 days a year holiday. I like half-term as the teachers who have been moaning about how stressed they are at having to work for six weeks straight, go away, and the school is quite pleasant with no students in it. You will also know that after a day or two I can't wait for them all to come back.

My eldest son's GCSE's start in earnest on Monday - he has two a day for the next fortnight. I have been revising with him. He finds it really helps him to focus, and if there is something he doesn't quite grasp, I can read the books and then explain it too him. So because we have an impending stress fortnight, I decided to take the week off and help him. I don't want him going into the exam and sitting looking at the paper with a complete blank like I did when I sat my 'O'Levels. He has already sat four of them before half-term - Art, Applied ICT, Philosophy and English Literature. We had a mad session on 'Of Mice and Men' and he was pleased because the next day he wrote an 8½ page essay on the book in the exam.

Stress is not something he handles well. Outwardly he looks calm and collected, but his face flairs up with spots and he sleep walks and has night terrors - not something that's easy to handle when he's 6'4" and he's trying to get away from something. He doesn't have them often, but when he does it's because something is bothering him, so the next two weeks should be fun! That and his hormones make for one delightful 16 year old - and there is not enough room in this house for his hormones and mine.

I just want to know that I did everything I could to help him - although he'll probably fail the lot now and he'll blame me!

Monday, 21 May 2007


I here by declare that I give up, once and for all, in trying to grow my nails.

I have tried everything. I have tried stop'n'grow, I have tried clear nail polish jobbies that are supposed to help them grow - you name it I have tried.

As a last ditch attempt, as I was going out on Friday night with friends, I went and had acrylics done. They were fantastic, my hands felt elegant and glamorous, I was thrilled with them. On Saturday, bit of gardening I thought. Oh, my, god - have you every tried to get soil out from under them. I am a very 'hands on' gardener, I don't do gloves and stuff I prefer to get stuck in. I really should have thought that one through though before went and put my hands into the mud. On Sunday I cooked roast beef and all the trimmings - have you ever tried to get food out from underneath them. Today at work I discovered that you cannot type with them (well you can but not accurately), and lets face it, in my job that's a bit of a handicap. So I committed the mortal sin for all false nail wearers, I sat a picked and peeled and eventually pulled them off and have ruined my real nails, but boy oh boy do I feel better.

No, long nails, not for me!

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Hearing Aids

As I have commented on before, I am deaf. Not completely deaf but enough to make your ears bleed if you watch TV with me and I haven't got my aids in. I have a condition where the little bones in my ears have disintigrated and I have been going progressively deaf since I was 18. Eventually I will completely gone mutt and jeff. I spent a long time in denile and I would not wear hearing aids - vanity. Then four years ago I though stuff this and went to see my consultant.

My hearing aids are fabulos darling. I have digital ones that go over your ear and apparantly cost the good old NHS £7K each - ah, if only they were earings. I have them insured on the house insurance - never can be too careful. If I drop them in a puddle or they fall down the loo (don't ask) then it's my fault and I'd have to replace them. I don't think most people insure them, but I'm not most people.

I have three settings on them - everything, voice only and loop system. Loop system is great; we went to the Tower Of London and had one of thier audio guides. I didn't have to have the headphones as the unit fed straight into my hearing aids - faulous.

I am happy very with them, I wear my hair so they are not obvious and they have become part of me, who I am and I automatically put them in on waking everyday. With the odd exception - especially when it is raining and I have to garden in the rain - alot (I love it). I take out the hearing aids and I am alone with my thoughts, the garden and rain - absolute bliss.

Other people, however, seem to behave very strangely with them.

Today we had someone in for an interview. My colleague and I sat in the interview room with the candidate. The candidate spotted my aids. He moved to side of me - hello I thought, what's going on here, have I pulled. Every question, for the next half hour, he spoke very slowly and directly into my hearing aid. My colleague found this hysterical and spent the entire interview trying not to laugh.

Needless to say he won't be getting the job.

Monday, 14 May 2007


My new bra and I are not getting along very well.

I went to the shop and I selected a choice few, and, not unlike in recruitment, I looked at them, shortlisted and interviewed them. One was selected. This was important, the choice had to be right.

Now I am not a big underwear buyer - by big, I mean I do not purchase lots, I do purchase big underwear however. If knicker have legs, come up to my armpits and contain industrial strength Lycra, then we are on a winner. I wear my underwear until it's beyond redemption. Let's be honest here, I am 41 a size 18 and it's all heading south, so no amount of Janet Reger is going to make it look attractive; Tesco's own will do my dear.

But this bra, well it's something else. It makes my boobs look almost Jordanesque. Not that I am complaining about suddenly having a chest - I have wanted one for years, but why oh why, does it have to happen now. Why couldn't I have had mammoth boobs when I was in my twenties, when they mattered. Now, quite frankly they are just an inconvenience. No blouses will do up over my chest and the Year 9's, who are hormonal at the best of times have stopped looking me in the eye.

I think I need to get something less 'push up' and more 'strap down'!

Sunday, 13 May 2007


I sat and I pondered what to write. I know, say the current husband, tell them something about you that they don't already know. So, on the basis of a very went Sunday afternoon, I thought I would.

You already know that I am married, have two boys aged 12 and 16, I work in a secondary school and I have a husband who buys me presents such as VAX carpet shampooers. So what don't you know:

  1. I am originally from oop north and now live down sarf.
  2. I am a red-head.
  3. I am deaf.
  4. I have three cats.
  5. I love my garden.
  6. I have a bit of a thing for gin and tonic.
  7. I love crap TV such as Murder She Wrote and Diagnosis Murder - bit of a theme going there.
  8. For all the things I say about him, I adore my husband.
  9. I am on a permanent diet - which normally lasts two or three days and then I give in to my craving for butter.
  10. I am a big migraine sufferer, but I have discovered that they are brought on by lager and chocolate.
  11. I cry a lot - especially at sad things on TV.
  12. I love my job.
  13. I spend far too much money on things I don't need.

I will stop at lucky 13!

Thursday, 10 May 2007


This week at school Year 9 are sitting their Key Stage 3 SATs.

The faffing around that goes on in setting up exams is amazing - had to have been developed by a teacher, and a male one at that.

First of all the tables and chairs have to be set out in the hall. Then someone has to go around with a tape measure and check each and everyone is the correct distance apart. Once this has been done a name label goes on the table - and stays there for the week. Each student sits at the same table for each exam - no variation is allowed.

Then we come to the papers - they have to be locked in a safe. A safe that is bolted to the floor in a room with barred windows and a windowless door with extra security locks. The papers are removed from the safe in sealed bags and escorted down to the hall. The papers cannot be removed from the bag until all the students are seated (in alphabetical order). The bags are opened and the papers removed. They are handed out. Anyone in the exam hall, student, teacher or invigilators, are not permitted to leave the hall until the exam is completed. Once the papers are gathered and placed back in the secure bag, then people can leave.

The papers are then sorted alphabetically and removed daily from the premises by Parcelforce off to the various exam boards for marking.

The whole thing is so secure - and they can come in and check on you without warning.

The students, couldn't care less. As far as parents and students are concerned KS3 SATs are for the school's benefit not theirs. Little do the realise that these results will determine which GSCE band they get put in.

Hey ho - I don't have to sit them so that's all that matters!

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

How Rude

How rude of - I have just realised that it was seven days between the last post and the previous one. Please accept my apologise for my tardiness!


We have this really twee thing at work called Buddies.

At the start of a new year in September we all fill out a form which shows our name, date of birth and like and dislikes etc. This form gets put in an envelope and you pick one out and that person becomes your buddy for the academic year.

Over the academic year you are supposed to remember your Buddy on their birthday, Christmas, Easter etc., if they have a bad day - you know the sort of rubbish I mean. Then you buy them something and leave it in their pigeon hole.

My Buddy - the one I buy for, gets loads of stuff (weekly in fact). Every time I am out and about, I think, Oh, my Buddy will like that, and I buy it and put it in my Buddy Box ready to take into work on any occasion, like 'Oh it's Tuesday'. Thoroughly spoilt is my Buddy - regularly. Last year was the same - I had an NQT (newly qualified teacher to those not in the know), and I spoilt him rotten.

Me - bugger all. My Buddy last year bought me a diet book (how rude) and a pair of rubber gloves with pink fur and pearl bracelets on - which I had to give to the cleaner (not even suitable for the bedroom). This year - nothing......not a sausage from my Buddy.

At the end of the year, in July, when we have the big Buddy Reveal, my Buddy (the one I buy for) will be grateful and happy for what I have purchased for her (I know - she's as shallow as me), but how will my Buddy (the one purchasing for me) feel - probably won't give a rats ass.

I sound bitter, because I am - when will the world learn - I LIKE GETTING GIFTS - shallow person that I am, spend money one me - but not on anything of a VAX nature.

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Pay Awards

It's is that time of year again when the Support Staff receive their "pay awards".

Teachers receive theirs in September. It's quite bizarre the way these things work. A teacher starts on main scale 1 (M1) and progresses annually up the scale to M6 - whether they deserve a pay rise or not, this pay rise is not performance based. Once they get to M6 they apply to go through the 'Threshold' on to the Upper Pay Spine. Once on UPS1 they stay there for two years and then apply to go to UPS 2 and so on until UPS3. The Upper Pay Scale is the only pay increase that is performance based - so they are assessed bi-annually, otherwise it's too much for the little darlings. At that stage they move up to the Leadership Scale, and on that they start going up yearly again. So after 12 years teaching they are expected (if they have been successful in getting through the Upper Pay Scales - and believe me if the Headteacher wants to keep his teaching staff, they will be successful) to be on Leadership grades. Not bad really.

Support staff are employed on banded scales - so if you are employed on Scale 4 that might run from £12K to £17K - so Scale 4 Point 1 is £12K etc. You move up a point each year and also get the cost of living rise as well. Once you reach the top of your scale that's it - you are stuck there forever more just receiving the 2-3% inflationary rise (which, when you are earning £12K per annum is not worth having). The only way to move up is to be re-graded, which means taking on more work - and why would anyone want to do that I ask you.

If anyone out there ever goes for a job in a school, check the grades. If they offer you a salary and it's near the top of a scale, ask for the same money but in the next scale (they tend to overlap) - that way you'll be good for decent pay rises for the next 8 years.

Or become a teacher - they get paid more, work less and get all the school holiday off.

Sunday, 29 April 2007


I occurred to me last night, over a glass or 4 of wine, that I am surrounded by boys.

I never really thought about it before, but there are no girls any more in my family. I am the oddity in my relations - I am special.

I come from a family where my father had a brother, I have two brothers and I have two sons. My husband is the youngest of three brothers, his father has two brothers - other than me (and my own mother, of course) there are no girls. My brothers have sons, my brother-in-laws have sons, and their son's have sons - in fact we are going to the christening of one of them today.

Now, either we are a particularly 'male' family and the testosterone is at its peak - or there is something in the water. I am reading a book set in Tudor times and it occurred to me how I would be praised for producing males - I have the 'heir and a spare'.

Yesterday, when I had this thought, I was watching my two sons and my husband along with my friends two sons and her husband, all digging the foundations to her conservatory - six males, six spades, one large hole - "I am not spending an afternoon in casualty" I thought as a poured glass number five and shouted instructions from my spot in the sun.

Friday, 27 April 2007


I feel like a big fat cheat.

There I am on a windy, wet and dull Friday evening (that'll be summer then) playing Mahjong on the computer. Trying hard and I keep failing. Game number five - I cannot get to the end of a game to remove all the tiles. But heck, telly's rubbish tonight, so here I am.

Eldest son walks in the room to ask Pa (as he calls him) a Physics question (wouldn't ask me - I mean it's physics - not a girly subject (i'm not bitter)).

"Right click on the tile" he says. So I do - the game shows me the corresponding tile. Now I have it in my head - it's impossible NOT TO CHEAT!!!!

I won't try another game now I feel cheated even though it's me cheating - it's gone from a game of skill to a game of skill at right clicking on the mouse - it's really not on I tell you.

Thursday, 26 April 2007

Parents Evening

The world has gone mad.

The school reports have gone out in phases - Year 7 a couple of weeks ago, Year 9 this week and Year 8 in a couple of weeks. Our Headmistress is a bit of a pedant and the reports consist of a page for each subject with targets, current attainment and what they are studying - 185 words in each section, so as you can imagine they are quite hefty.

So as a parent you are faced with reams of information about your child's academic progress. Super. But oh no, our Head then decides to hold a parents evening for each year group the week after the reports have gone out. Then she wonders why very few parents turn up despite her staff having given up another evening of their time.

The parents have more information than they really need, so what more could they possibly have to ask. I don't know about you, but I only go to parents evening if there is a problem (my evenings are too precious). The parents don't need to ask the Teachers anything - they've said it all in the report. The only people who do turn up are the persistent moaners who will do anything to have a go at a teacher for some supposed wrong that has occurred to little Johnny.

Now, I believe that parents should get a one side of A4 paper with each subject. It should show the national curriculum grade that they child should be at for their age, the grade they are currently attaining and the target grade they should get by the next report. Then have the parents evening and answer any questions. Or, do the mega report and then have a parents evening a couple of months later to see how things are progressing.

But then who I am - I just have to type the damn things!

Tuesday, 24 April 2007


I want shares in the Times Educational Supplement.

Did you know, as a matter of interest, that the TES is the largest weekly publication in the world. This week there were 51 - yes 51 - pages of mathematics posts alone.

We need a second in department for maths. We have advertised 5 times and the same bloke (who looks like Hilter) keeps applying - only him. You's think that after 5 rejections he'd get the message - hell no!

For the 'non-education sector employed' of you out there, there are two subjects that are a bugger to recruit - mathematics and ICT.

ICT is a complete arse (excuse my language) because anyone with half a brain and ICT skills has realised that they can earn decent money in the ICT industry - so goes the saying, those who can work, those who can't teach. We managed to recuit there - ha!

It's just so tedious - I mean we have spent 6k (yes, £6,000 tax payer pounds) on advertising and all we get is numpties - it's just a pain.

Ah well, back to the drawing board.

Monday, 23 April 2007

St George

Today, as we know, is St George's Day.

I feel slightly saddened that there was no celebration today, no lessons about St George, no assemblies etc. When I was at school the day meant something and I think it still should. What does it mean to be English - ask any student at our school and I really do not believe that they would be able to tell you. They are taught 'Citizenship', but that's all about being a 'global citizen', whatever that is. Bring back St George and the like and give students 'Englishness' to 'identify' with.

I know people say that St George wasn't even English, but St Patrick, who is celebrated so enthusiastically, wasn't Irish. He was born in Roman Britain and captured by the Irish and taken back to Ireland as a slave. St Andrew was born in Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee - not in Scotland. St David is the only one of the lost who was actually from the country who have adopted him as their saint - so the fact that St George isn't English certainly shouldn't stop us celebrating out patron saints day.

Rant over!

Friday, 20 April 2007


I have been too distressed to write for two whole days.

I returned from work on Wednesday. I had not yet had my present from my husband, so I was quite excited. He is an excellent present buyer (you so know where this is going, don't you).

"Oh, your present is in the lounge.", He says when I get home. He is so excited about giving me my present that I am getting excited as well.

Now let me put this in perspective. Last year I received two tickets to The Producers on Broadway and he whisked me off to New York for the week without the boys. The year before I received a Louis Vuitton handbag, and so on, the presents are alway fab.

I unwrap the box - "Oh!", I say, it's a VAX carpet shampooer, yippee!"

I could not believe what I been given. Oh this is a joke present, my real one is in the box somewhere hidden amoungst the shampooer gadgets - oh no they weren't.

So I assembled the carpet shampooer and went and shampooed carpets with it. "Don't do that love, it's your birthday.", he says.

Through gritted teeth, I say, "You bought me a bloody carpet shampooer, I am going to bloody well shampoo carpets."

I tell people at work the next day and they are horrified. The Head emails him and asks is she can borrow it. He replies, No she is very emotionally attached to her VAX, so attached I slept in the spare room last night and she slept with the VAX.

Enough said.

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

And they are back........

Well they are all back and I have work to do, which is fab.

I am currently reviewing the staff hand book - our Headmistress keeps changing everyones job descriptions as the drop of a hat, so you complete a staff handbook, which gives everyones job descriptions, and no sooner have I issued it, and it's out of date. But hey, I suppose it keeps me busy!

Today was my birthday. The Headmistress remembered, which was nice - she gave me ear-rings, which is quite funny as my ears aren't pierced - but it's the thought that counts. I got chocolates of the Business Director, again quite funny as I am allergic to the stuff. The other staff got me alcohol - which I am not allergic to and I am very grateful for.

I have sorted out the A Level fiasco and son number one is now doing Economics as his fifth one - so that's sorted.

All in all it has been a productive day and I am a year older and feel it!!!

Friday, 13 April 2007


So today was more boring than a boring day in boring town on boring day........did I say today was boring.

I just had cleared all my trays and all my work was done - filing, letters, even nasty niggly stuff. Hey I'm efficient OK, I get stuff done and then I look for other stuff to do and then I sleep, I wish. I even went so far as (for shame) purchasing a copy of the National Enquirer from the local store - hard to find in this country, but I got it! I completed the crossword, but as it's American, most words were made up, which helped, read the gossip, gasped and sighed.

God bless Monday when all the little darlings are back. I promise, on this blog, and all who sail in her, never to moan about a teacher or student ever again.

Give me until next Tuesday and I'll be back to form, I promise.

Thursday, 12 April 2007


Well I hate to say it, but work in jolly boring at present.

I have cleared my trays, done my filing and I have even gone to the extreme of sorting out my drawers and cupboards. I grabbed a black sack and went round emptying bins today. Time for the staff to come back and create chaos and work.

When the Headteacher and Senior Management Team are in they run me ragged, to the point where I have 20 - 30 things on the go at once and my workload seems never ending, so when they go off on holiday it is very nice to get on top of everything.

Come back, all in forgiven.

Monday, 9 April 2007

Holiday Weekend

Over the last four days I have:
  • Decorated the lounge.
  • Planted 650 bulbs in the garden.
  • Stripped all of the garden furniture ready for re-staining.
  • Generally tidied and made good.

I am shattered and I need a break, I am ready to go back to work!

Friday, 6 April 2007


Is it just me or is the weather glorious at the moment. I have spent many a happy hour wandering around the garden centre today choosing plants and 'gadgets' for the garden.

And to think that not long ago I was writing about the snow - that's one thing this country is fab at, you never know what you are going to get weather wise.

Now do I go and do the mountain of ironing (glamorous life that I lead) or shall I grab a book and sit in the sun........I think I may just open a bottle of wine to go with that book, now there's a thought....

Thursday, 5 April 2007

6th Form

Son of 16 is yet again in a foul mood. This time not because of me - hurrah!

He signed up to stay on in the sixth form of the school that he currently attends. He made his choices and sent all the forms off. He received a letter back saying he had his place (pending his GCSE results) and that he had his choices.

He has chosen to do A level Maths, Physics, Geography and Computing. Now Computing was the main one for him as this is the area he wants to work in later in life.

He received a letter from his school yesterday saying that they are pulling the Computing A Level course due to 'staffing issues'.

Now I can see this from many angles - he is very unhappy as this was his main choice. He is cross because they confirmed it all and now he has to choose something else.

I can see it from my angle - I am cross because they have upset him, I am also cross because they have more than enough time to recruit a new ICT teacher - the deadline for starting in September would be to hand your notice in by the end of May - plenty of time, so where's the staffing issue!

I can see it from a school angle - The budget may not stretch to another teacher - well why offer the course then if you couldn't afford the staff. There may be a timetabling issue - same as before, why offer the course.

So I did what any mother would do - I called the school. The secretary to the sixth form answered the phone and I asked her all the questions I had - she had no answers. She sounded harassed - must have had a few calls by the sounds of things. I need to speak to the Head of Sixth form, who, being a teacher, if on holiday.

School is back on the 16th April - my son has to have his choices in by the 17th April. Oh well, the options he has are Sociology, Government and Politics, Economics, English or Applied Design Technology. Exciting choices eh!

So I have to wait.

No one upsets my son - that's my job!

Tuesday, 3 April 2007


Not like me to blog twice in one day, I know - but I have a 16 year old who is not talking to me.

Why? Well, I found a lump in my right breast about 4 weeks ago. I have had one before, so I left it a week or two ( as I had been told to do by the Doctor, in case it was a cyst). The last one was a cyst, which they drained and basically gave me a prescription for antibiotic and said 'go away'.

This one is different, same boob but different location, and well, just different.

So I went to the doctors and had it examined - husband came with me and I kept joking that he was just a perv and wanted to see a female doctor play with my boobs - daft I know, but it hid my fear!

She found 'bloody big lump', as she put it and I now have my appointment for a mammogram and biopsy next week.

Son of 16 overheard me and hubby speaking in the kitchen - he is now not speaking to me - what do you do. I don't want to tell him that there is a problem, because as of now there isn't, but I don't want to scare him as he is about to take his GCSE's!

Gosh life is fun!!!

Forbidden Fruits

Went in late today - really couldn't get out of bed.

I advised hubby dearest to set the alarm for 8.00am as I'd go in for 9.00am. The alarm went off and I accused him of not having moved it to 8.00am from 7.00am, rolled over and promptly fell back to sleep. Trouble was he had re-set the alarm, I just chose not to believe him. Hence I was in late - 9.15am (ooh, big deal I hear you cry - but I am never late, I hate being late, and I hate tardiness in others too!).

We small band of troops, left holding the fort, sat and had our coffee in the staff room, putting the world to rights and discussing the days news, as normal and then went off to our respective offices - I bid them a fond farewell as we are spread through out the school, so I didn't know when I would be seeing them again. I don't know if it is because the school is empty or what, but it's jolly cold in there at the moment, so I kicked on my fan heater (I have a radiator, but I am a person who needs warm, and as such I have a little "additional pep" when I need it). I settled down to work and got, surprisingly, a fair old lot done.

We broke for lunch at 12.00 and got fish and chips - we are being very decedent this week so far - it'll be champagne and caviar by the end of the holidays the way we are going. We seem to be going through the 'forbidden' foods in a school - we plan either Pizza delivery or Burger King tomorrow!!!

Normally we all eat in the school cafeteria. Jamie Oliver has a lot to answer for as school food these days tastes of nothing. They can't use salt in the food and you don't get any tomato sauce or such like. Now I am not one for burger and chips every day and I'm also not one for having salt on everything or in everything - that's not me at all, but if I have to eat healthy, then surely it can taste of something. I am going to purchase salt, pepper, vinegar and tomato sauce sachets and sell them on the black market at school - seasoning is needed. No wonder most kids bring packed lunches - school dinners are foul these days, which is why it is such a sinful pleasure to sit and eat fast food and takeaways in the school holidays.

We all left at 2.30pm, so quite a pleasant day all in all.

Monday, 2 April 2007


It was so quiet at work today - there are four of us in school this week.

There's a calm, almost serene atmosphere to the place that is normally missing and you see things that you don't normally notice on a normal school day. The post arrived early and was collected early, and even the email system seemed to be more efficient - I tell you, students and teachers should be banned from schools!

The sun was shining, the birds were singing - I could go on like this all day and have you believe that it was a brilliant day, but alas no. A work colleague made a error in the accounts system ages ago, which has only just come to light. We are in a new financial year and the system won't let us go back and correct it - solution, roll everything back to the error, correct and re-input everything - bugger!

It's actually quite boring without the students (I reserve the right not to include the teachers).
It's just too quiet for words. I had convinced myself that the Easter break would be bliss without teachers and students, but after only one day, I'm wishing them back, and when they come back I'll wish they weren't there again - contrary I know!

The school holidays are the time when most schools get all their maintenance jobs done - things that cannot be done in term time due to the disruption and the fact that all the contractors would have to have a CRB check done. This holiday all the corridors are being painted to remove all the scuff marks. Maybe we are a particularly lucky school, but we don't appear to suffer with graffiti. The marks on the walls mainly come from shoes and bags being dragged along them. The lift is also being serviced as is the alarm system, so there's plenty to be done.

Lunch was a MacDonald's which felt quite naughty as we are a healthy school (you should see the wine in fridge!!!!).

Only 7 working days until they're back!!!

Friday, 30 March 2007


Well school is now officially over. The students were allowed to leave after assemblies this afternoon. And the staff all scarpered pretty quickly after that......not unusual.

I had to stay to get 9 (yes 9) exclusion letters done, all for 5 days each on return from school and all pending the decision to make them permanent. Bit of a disastrous end to a brilliant term.

The lads involved were slightly mixed in their reactions, 5 of them were regular offenders and couldn't have cared less, 4 of them were new offenders and absolutely terrified that their parents were going to be told - and so they should be.

All this political correctness and do gooding that goes on, means that some parents shirk their responsibility to discipline their child. By the time they get to secondary school they are beyond hope - they have no respect for teachers, their parents or anyone else, they always believe (and always do) get away with their actions because no-one is prepared to deal with them. The school therefore has only one option - fixed term exclusions. Then the parent has a responsibility, by law, to look after them, and if the parent works, this is a BIG inconvenience. Hopefully, they are inconvenienced to the point that they'll start taking their parental responsibilities a bit more seriously.

So anyway, thanks lads, everyone else left at 1.00pm, I'm still here sorting out the paperwork!

Happy Easter.

Thursday, 29 March 2007

End of Term

Tomorrow's the big day. For the rest of the school it's the end of term. For the support staff who work a 52 week contract, it's two weeks without the students and teachers. For those of us at the top of the support staff food chain, it's financial year end.

As the teaching assistants, administrators and student services staff go off for the break, they forget those of us who work like people in the 'real' world. Those of us who work 37 hours a week and only (I use the word loosely) get 27 days holiday a year. Easter is always a big event for us, because we have either got financial year end looming or we're in the middle of it, or we've just completed it. Either way, we're frazzled......completely.

So this year, financial year end is the last day of term, which means a relaxing two weeks ahead of ordering and resourcing using the new budget.

Now tell me the logic in this. A school academic year runs September to August. A school finanicial year runs April to March - no logic whatsoever.

Still, there'll be plent of pub lunches next week to keep us going and NO TEACHERS!!! Yippee!

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Silly Season

So, two days to go until we break up for Easter.

Silly season. Happens at the end of each term. Teachers' are in a good mood as they are about to have two weeks off. Students' are in a good mood because they are about to have two weeks off. Result, teachers' let down their guard a little and relax the rules slightly because they are in a good mood. This heightens the students' good mood and they start to 'push' the boundaries a bit to see how far they can go.

All good stuff, and results in some spectacular behaviour from both sides of the fence.

Today was no different, relaxed teacher not paying attention whilst on duty as too busy talking about his up and coming jaunt to somewhere hot and far away, result, one student pushed down the stairs and massive bump on the head. Enough, hell no, student picks himself up and dusts himself down, and goes after the perpetrator - fight ensues. You get the picture.

Made great staff room fodder.

Thursday, 22 March 2007


I love the country!

It snowed here today. By the time I had got up and out of the house the snow had started to settle on the car and the garden, but the roads were clear. I dropped number one son off at his secondary school and then took number two son to his secondary school. By the time I arrived at my secondary school, the snow had turned to rain.

I got to my nice cosy office, coffee in hand, and as I am removing my coat, the phone rings. Our phone system here roams. If the main switchboard is busy, the call jumps around the offices until it finds someone prepared to answer it. I answer it. "It's snowing - is the school open". I look out of my window, it's raining, the snow has gone. I replace the hand set and prepare for another fun filled day.

And people blame the schools - blame the parents!

Sunday, 18 March 2007

School Holidays

As we approach Easter and the two week break, the teachers are on usual form. They are so tired and they need a break, they can't wait as this half term (all six weeks of it) has been a long one and class 9* have been on top form in their teacher baiting skills.

So off you go my pretties - you have your two week break. Some of us don't get to finish at 3.00pm every day and then sit around in meetings gossiping, some of us don't get the school holidays off - yes those of us who are termed ' support staff' on a 52 week contract don't have that luxury.

I'm not bitter though. You would not believe how wonderful a secondary school is when there are no teachers in it and no students in it. It's bliss. You can get work done without a teacher begging for rescue as they haven't got their copying done for this lesson, even though they knew back in September when the timetable was published that they would be teaching 7* this period on this day - like they do every week. Disorganised is not a word I commonly use - as I am not disorganised - but teachers, bless them, are not blessed with common sense.

So two weeks of quiet coming up and I can't wait - kind a holiday really!!!

Wednesday, 21 February 2007


We've all been there.

Some have fond memories, some have not so fond memories, but we've all been to school.

Secondary school is the last statutory part of your education and, for some, the most daunting. Exams, SAT's, CAT's, Fischer Family Trust - I mean how much data do these people need to collect on you - at the end of the day, your GCSE's matter (especially if you want to get into 6th form) but the rest - who gives a hoot.

We less able soles, who don't have a PGCE, and work in the bowls of the school, in Admin, have (in the opinion of this writer) more common sense than the teachers. Teachers do have a habit, not all I'll admit, of thinking that they are the be all and end all of the school.

Well I'm sorry to tell them that they are not! Non-teaching tasks revolve around bulings, health and safety, risk assessment, personnel, finance, ICT and the environment - all very important to the life of a school. In this blog, I plan to (attempt) to show what goes on behind the scenes, as well as give you an idea on the day-to-day life of a secondary school.

I hope you enjoy reading.