January 31, 2015

Wednesday 28th January House Like The Arctic!

Morning.. I know I’ve moaned about the cold but I didn’t know what I was talking about until last night! My house was without ANY heating or hot water as plumbers moved the boiler to find a hidden crack in the flue. It was fitted by some cowboy builders a couple of years ago, when we were desperate and times were hard. The fact that it has been like that and we didn’t know is a worry, but now its getting sorted its probably not worth worrying about, so actual worrying lasted all of 60 seconds!

photo 2 (44)

Plumber did try to find a replacement flue but failed and had to put it on order, so hoping it will arrive today. Fortunately we have an immersion heater we can use for hot water but unfortunately we haven’t got the huge bank balance at the moment needed to pay for it! Other downside was the need to wake up bright and early to turn it on in order to give it enough time to heat the water for everyone to have a shower. Then was the need to rush back to bed dressed for the Arctic, so that I could get warm again! I was soooo cold when I got into bed last night that I asked my son to get me out a pair of bed socks. Common sense is not always his forte so when I said I thought they were in the second drawer he said he couldn’t find them so I’d have to make do with these and handed me a pair of TIGHTS, just what you need to put over your PJ’s…bed socks were found in the third drawer but I had to do the finding, not him.

photo 1 (51)

We had a great Fiddler On The Roof rehearsal last night and although my movement was limited my wailing Grandma voice wasn’t..in fact it was all over the place as I wasn’t sure what I was singing! My husband who is playing Tevye was giving the chorus instructions and as one who often enjoys the limelight he jokingly said..”and then a big spotlight will end up on me.” Our quick witted choreographer in her eighties retorted “It would need to be very BIG!”…my husband who is not svelte and slim had the smile briefly wiped from his face!

At school today our story of the week links continued. We had the ropes out in P.E and my student had a phonic clue hunt in the grounds to search for tools to mend the rocket she had made out of boxes, which the children loved.They then played a version of how many elephants can you fit in a mini or a lift with how many children can you squeeze in a box!

photo 3 (27)

I purchased a ‘Wise Words’ owl notebook at school from a visiting Book Club..I’m hoping for inspiration.

photo 2 (46)

Got home to find we had heat, but fridge had disappeared so couldn’t find milk.

Husband- seek out the space formerly known as “the dining room.” Only there shall ye find the juice of multiple cows and other chilled comestibles.

It’s like living with Shakespeare!

January 29, 2015

Tuesday 27th January Brown , Hot and Noisy.

Afternoon…so the internet didn’t work this morning and my already topsy turvy routine went even more haywire! Son still not well, so even though my alarm went off at 6.20 am thinking I was doing the early morning station run, I had a bit of a lie in which at the moment is just as well, as with a bad back, no heating and a messy house my body is needing a very slow arise!

Arrived at work and as we were chatting there was a familiar strange noise. We had heard it before and thought it was someone’s unfortunate stomach or even worse an uncontrollable wind problem! The caretaker who deals with funny noises in the building,(not me talking to myself, I might add!) was sent to investigate the toilets and came out saying it was brown, hot and noisy. Not a pleasant description and even worse when it is the water system he’s talking about..the system is old and the pipes rusty so the water comes out brown, the temperature gauge was overheating so needed a plumber and the pipes were making a rumbling sound so probably need replacing, but that’s not going to happen. The children were told they couldn’t use the sinks in the toilets to wash their hands, until Mr or Mrs (and a Mrs it happened to be! ) Plumber had visited.

The space theme continues in Reception with some earth and moon addition and porridge oats space role play.

photo 4 (16)

One of our regular helpers asked if she could provide anything to help with a class assembly. “Have you got a rocket blaster you can bring in?” was the lighthearted request and she replied “Oh yes and I stick it up my husband quite often!”..yep, must get in my order..I need three of those!

Phonics was ‘ng’ and anyone who knows anything about jolly Phonics will know you need to pretend to be a strongman.


Words with little children can so easily be interpreted the wrong way. When a colleague got a child to sound out the word ‘ring’, a great ‘ng’ word she followed it up with asking ” can you all show me your rings?..quite innocent to some, but not to others! As all the children held up their hands to show off their rings she followed it up by asking..”have you polished it?”..after which, there was a collapse of giggling from the other staff and it’s only Tuesday!

If I haven’t been cold enough I returned home to find we had an evening of no heating..thank goodness I’m going out!

Today I’m going very near..


January 28, 2015

Monday 26th January Investigating Polly Pockets

Morning…not the best night’s sleep. Just nodding off when I hear a voice saying loudly “Can I help you?”…being quiet would be good, but husband had pressed Siri on his Ipad…don’t know who she is but she talks when you don’t want her to which is a pain in the backside at gone 11.30 pm at night. I was going to do the early morning station run so up bright and early, although it was dark and I was feeling anything but bright. Unfortunately son had a headache and I’m now thinking that I might also, particularly after my early start. Sadly, there’s no toilet roll in the downstairs toilet, no tea bags in the tea bag pot and I’m lucky I can find water, life’s other essential…I must stop moaning but it’s Monday and I’ve another week of mess and mayhem.

photo 1 (49)

This weeks space book is…

photo 3 (26)

In the Investigation area this week we had an ingenious activity, not invented by ourselves but trialed for the first time in our classrooms. It was Polly Pockets filled with liquid paint and stuck to the table so that the children could investigate making shapes, numbers, letters and other finger patterns..it’s a bit like a make your own cheap version of Etch a Sketch, except Etch a Sketch is more sturdy, not so colourful and less messy! The activity was going so well and passing adults were exploring as well as children, until one child appeared with blue paint all over his face. We had to do some investigating and found he’d investigated in ways we hadn’t contemplated, by making a hole in the pocket. The paint leaked out which he then chose to smear around his face in a random, Red Indian style of facepaint!

photo 2 (43)

I return home to another ready meal and another journey up the M3 with my son and his girlfriend. Whilst they danced I popped into Tesco for toilet rolls, tea bags and water..all life’s essentials.

At the weekend I passed…



January 26, 2015

Sunday 25th January Loose Women

Morning…a great day yesterday spent sitting, eating, drinking and chatting, all things I’m quite good at. We started off at Zizi’s near Victoria Station where I consumed garlic bread with Mozzarella,a chicken pasta dish and a lemon sundae that had humongous calories, which I chose to ignore. More painkillers were required but although my handbag is similar to Mary Poppins in size, I didn’t have a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down. Instead I chose a couple of large glasses of wine which did the trick just as well!

photo 1 (48)

photo 2 (42)

We then moved on to The Windsor Castle pub tucked behind Westminster Abbey. The sofa’s were comfy, the pub relatively quiet, but the hot drinks sub standard. Three teas were sent back as they didn’t taste of tea, (how is this possible?) a coffee was tried and discarded as ‘not nice’ and they didn’t have hot chocolate. The only answer was more alcohol…I stuck to the wine but some substituted a hot chocolate for a Chocolate Stout, which I tasted and it was surprisingly delicious!

photo 3 (25)

I shared my children’s stories, we sent a Get well Video to a friend in hospital, made lots of noise, took lots of photos and had more chat and laughs to pass the time of day away. Apparently I’d make a good Loose Woman…an observation about the lunchtime TV programme not my character! By the end my husband was dropping off in a chair and my back was a bit stiff…a sign that it was time to go. Walking back to the station my friend asks “Do you stiffen up at night?”…not a wise question to ask when my husband is walking alongside and has had a few drinks…she soon regretted asking.

On the way back we saw…



January 25, 2015

Saturday 24th January A Hand Bag Man Bag!

Morning…8 am and bang goes my long lie in! Plumbers arrived at 7.30 am on a Saturday morning, so I’m wide awake to the sound of disco music, loud chatting, clanging and banging. Not sure whether to be impressed that they are hardworking and dedicated or frustrated at their early start madness. They are putting in the plumbing for our new radiators and need to drain every radiator in every room…had to warn teenage sons so that they were awake before plumbers gave them a mid morning surprise! I also thought it wise to ensure floor space was absent of underwear and anything unsavoury!

Today I will attempt to take my body to London to have a catch up with old college friends. I am taking my shooting stick that I have had for years, as bent down to pick up a pen on my bedroom floor and couldn’t get back up without the help of husband.

shooting stick

Shooting stick is sadly very loud as the rubber has come off the ends so my presence is heard before being seen…’clonk, clonk, clonk’…husband not impressed as I’m noisy and conspicuous! The train journey to London was spent with me seeing various names for my place game so today I went to….



And then I went to…




It was a long journey with not a lot to do!

When we arrived at the station I bought some heat pads from Boots and because I had a plastic bag, stick and handbag my husband was encouraged by friends to carry my handbag. It was particularly heavy after he thoughtfully added his Ipad to it! Husband has talked about getting a man bag in the past but when I suggested getting him one for Christmas he was very clear about having some input and taking time to choose. Today as he carried my bag, he made a big point of walking around shouting loudly “Fiona, I’m carrying your handbag here”. Crossing the street he shouted back “It’s alright I’ve got your handbag!”…not sure if he was trying to make sure everyone knew he was a dutiful husband or if he wasn’t fully comfortable carrying a large handbag, so maybe he’s not ready to join the man bag generation!

handbag carrying

It was pointed out that he was lucky it wasn’t pink, purple or sparkly but then a friends husband tried to help give the handbag look a new image which husband seemed to embrace, so maybe after all it is a purchase for the future!

handbag carrying 2

January 25, 2015

Friday 23rd January Crunchy Ring

Morning…have I mentioned my house is chilly recently? My cup of tea is cooling far too quickly, my car needs de frosting, my body need warming up but our fridge not quite so essential. It’s Friday and I’m wondering why Winston the rabbit gets a hot water bottle, warmed precisely to 6 minutes and I just have a woolly extra blanket! I’m sure the outside temperature is almost the same as inside my house.

Our Space theme continued at school and the children were introduced to repeating patterns. A tower of multilink of every colour under the sun is a pattern but not repeating and Red, blue, red, blue, red,blue red….BLACK is NOT a repeating pattern. Practise was required so we moved on to potato cut outs of stars and moons and the children had to make a space repeating print pattern…the crescent moon looked more like a boomerang or hockey stick, the star more like a dancing alien or flower and the full moon a blob, but repeating patterns happened so learning objective successful!

photo 2 (40)

Some children cut out stars for the salt wash pictures they made earlier in the week,so we now have a collection of Space/Sky pictures for a classroom display.

photo 3 (24)

At Playtime the Reception team all had a cup of tea and as it was Friday a box of biscuits was brought from the cupboard, a gift to the team at Christmas. The Biscuits were a lovely chocolate selection and after helping ourselves to random biscuit number one, we realised the description list was on the bottom of the box. Raspberry Rapture caused my colleague to go into a rapture of how delicious and raspberryish it was, (not a word but who cares) orange crunch wasn’t popular with many as a flavoured biscuit, but my announcement that I was going to eat a ‘Crunchy Ring’ caused smutty hilarity..who names these biscuits? One colleague was still laughing when we returned to the classroom and said “Oh I keep thinking of you and your crispy ring”..NOOOO..that sounded worse and she realised it, so more embarrassed laughter! The biscuits still caused much mirth as the day went on and we got to the point where we couldn’t remember if it was a crispy or crunchy ring or hole! I blame it on being Friday and the need for some light relief..Chocolate and laughter, the answer to a long week.

photo 5 (12)

photo 4 (15)

Got home to find more of my kitchen in the hall and lounge, the sink and units have been removed, some pipes have been installed and with my bad back I have to clamber over boxes to get in my house.

photo 1 (47)

photo 2 (41)

I didn’t make my dancing and pizzas were called in…bad back and no kitchen has got a lot to answer for!



January 25, 2015

Thursday 22nd January Cheese Straw Stars

Morning…whose bright idea was it to do an extension in the Winter? Even making a cup of tea is a challenge..the tea bags are in the lounge, the cups under the stairs, the kettle keeps being moved and the water is apparently being switched off in the next few days…hopefully not for long!

The children in my class have cooking on a Thursday and today made Space Cheese Straw Stars…try saying that in a hurry! I tried and failed so gave it to the children as a tongue twister challenge ” Cheese Straw Stars, cheese straw stars…we tried saying it slowly, we tried saying it quickly and worryingly each time, I sounded like I’d had a drink when completely sober! At the end of the day questions kept flowing through my mind…Why does the Food Technology room need to be next to my classroom? Why am I taunted with delicious smells wafting through the doors? Why have I got no self will when it comes to food I like? Why did the children have to make too many Cheese Straw Stars? Why were they so delicious that I had eat THREE? Why am I such a hopeless cause when it comes to dieting? As a teacher I know what I must do ..’I must try harder’!

photo 2 (39)

In the Mark Making Area the children had black paper stuck to the tables. (on top and underneath)They were given chalk so that they could draw stars, sun, moon and planets on them. Their creations had hands, feet and smiley faces, so space to them is obviously very human like or they decided to just draw what they wanted.

photo 3 (22)

After work I had my first Reflexology for a while..it’s usually the feet they work on, but when my reflexologist worked on the area linked to my back it went into spasm so she had to work on my hands for that area instead. I was told to go home and rest but unfortunately my son and his girlfriend needed to go to dancing as I didn’t take them on Monday.

We travelled very close to…..


I got home to find the extension has more light, a window had been installed…the window that they had originally forgotten to leave a gap for!


January 25, 2015

Wednesday 21st January Two Socks

Morning…the people around me are snoring, the house around me continues to be icy cold and the toilet, a small room with a warm radiator is suddenly appealing to spend a lot of time in! My name after my success in dressing yesterday is no longer Wise Owl but Two Socks, which unfortunately doesn’t conjure up a picture of smartness and status. The cat wasn’t in a hurry to get moving this morning. I caught him relaxing on the landing trying to look like a furry rug and reminding me of the stance of Puss in Boots without the clothes and hat.

photo 1 (44)

I arrived at work in a tracksuit all ready for a hardly moving version of PE to find I had forgotten about a morning of subject planning, so it switched to a morning of non moving paperwork in a warm office…very convenient. My afternoon involved handwriting and the letter ‘b’, an unfortunate spelling of the word ‘bun’ was my highlight.

Found myself promptly waiting at the station for 15 minutes, as per son’s instruction. He needed to be taken to his five a-side football match which had just started. Picked him up, raced back to the place I’d just left, (my school is on the same site as a Sports Centre), dropped him off and as I go to drive off he runs in front of my thankfully slow moving car..football obviously clouded the Stop, Look and Listen skills he learnt as a child and he was lucky the sight of his pink fluorescent socks didn’t cloud my ability to react quickly.

Arrive home to more chaos and find that no one has thought about food. Pop to my local Waitrose to buy some ready meals, as kitchen a travesty to work in and as I get to to the tills my back starts to shout warnings at me…nothing much you can do mid task. A complimentary cup of tea helps me on my way and I arrive home to find I can’t move again. My evening is spent doing very little, sitting amongst the chaos and drinking tea that didn’t need me to boil a kettle for which I’m grateful.

photo 1 (46)

January 23, 2015

Tuesday 20th January I’m A Superstar because…

Morning…it’s freezing, chilly, shivering, icy cold and I’m struggling to move for that reason and never mind my back. Yesterday I managed to put on both socks without the need of a litter picker or husband or are they both the same thing? It’s called progress! I arrived at work to find the ground frosty but the sunrise inviting.

photo 3 (21)

Today each of the class appeared on TV in that well known programme, ‘Superstars’ The TV wasn’t a high tech Sharp, Samsung or Panasonic but a cardboard painted version with stars beautifully decorated on it, by my student, who is far more creative than me! Each of the class had to put their head inside the box and say “I’m a Superstar because…” and give various reasons why.

photo 2 (38)

When I got home I asked my husband why he thinks he is a superstar and he said “I’m a Superstar because of my reputation and my phenomenal ability to do everything brilliantly!”. Modest as always. I asked my son why he thinks he is a superstar and he said “I’m a Superstar because I always do things when asked, I’m hard working and never eat your chocolates!”…this was following a day of doing very little, an evening of me asking him do things continuously and it followed with him helping himself to  the last of my Christmas gift After Eight mints, of which I’d eaten one.

photo 1 (45)

“I am indeed a Superstar because I put up with the lot of them!”

January 23, 2015

Monday 19th January Never get In a Car With A stranger!

Morning…A slow start to my morning and taking twice as long to do anything thanks to a back and legs that at the moment move at the pace of a snail. Sadly my life is rather dull as I seem to be able to do very little and am worried that I if I do too much I will take a step back on the road to moving freely and without pain.

This weeks book at school is “How To Catch A Star”. For those not familiar with the story it is not a book on how to wed someone famous or a dating self help book. It is a story about a boy who loved stars so much he wants to catch one to be his friend.

how to catch a falling star

Today the children had great fun fishing for stars in water and shaving gel and making a fine old mess in the trays, on their clothes and all over the floor, much to the school cleaners delight! The fact that there was a tray of flour on the table opposite (supposedly for mark making), meant that the children being superb at being creative and noticing, spotted a great opportunity to spread it everywhere which they did…all over the floor, all over the table, all over their clothes and all in the blue water. It was no longer clear blue water but a disgusting gloopy texture that my hands certainly wouldn’t go near. They also did some adding of silver and gold stars with a partner and learnt to say a number sentence and I was pleasantly surprised!

water and sand tray

After school I went to pick up my son from the train station and was early so sat waiting in the car. Unbelievably when my son got in the car he threw his bag on the back seat and said “I can’t believe I’ve just got in the wrong car” I asked him what he meant and he said “Look that car is just like yours and as it was dark it looked the same colour, so I opened the door and threw my bag on the back seat!” It was only after throwing it in the car and about to get in, that the face of a complete stranger turned round. Son gave a quick apology, picked up his bag hurriedly, shut the door and walked away mortified! A lesson to learn at aged 22..never get in a car with a stranger!

car dan got in