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!!!