May 31, 2015

Thursday 30th April-Friday 1st May Lightning Strikes

Morning…things are looking up we have a cleaner! She came last night after we had cleaned the house and it didn’t look too bad and she starts tomorrow after everyone has made a is that quick! Tonight’s job is sorting out my costumes and ironing them for tomorrow’s dress run in the theatre …apparently the creased look that I’m a fan of as my back hates ironing, is a no go!

Time Hop has reminded me that it was a year ago our school was hit by lightning and made headline news.

I can remember very clearly sitting in the staff room eating my lunch when suddenly there was an almighty bang and crack, louder than anything I have ever experienced before. For a split second the mind wondered if it was a bomb or an explosion. I was aware of people screaming, crying in the distance, colleagues around me either cowered or jumped up and everyone was shaking with shock in the aftermath. In the immediate silence afterwards, the staff realising that everyone in the room was ok, suddenly jumped up and ran out in different directions. Some ran to the front entrance and office, where they apparently found shaken parents and children who had been on their way into the building at the time of the explosion. I ran down the corridor towards my classroom. I could still hear children crying and was aware that as I ran I had a mug of half drunk tea still in my hand. I deposited it on the side as I rushed down the corridor. As I reached my classroom the children, some very upset and shaking, were in the process of being shepherded out of the classroom by the lunchtime supervisors. In times of crisis people all pull together and the whole school did a huge, massive pull that day. The children were all congregated in the hall, registers taken, parents contacted, upset children comforted, children with ear damage looked after, stories were read and I found myself playing the piano in the hall leading a whole school sing-along! As one colleague said it was how you imagined it felt like in the war.. everyone pulling together, trying to stay calm, distracting and calming both upset children and adults. Whilst we were in the hall others were assessing the damage and dealing with the emergency services. The lightning had hit the school and on its path sliced through the middle of a large tree outside my classroom.

lightning strike.jpg 4

The force had blown out a classroom window next to my role play area, where children had been playing. Some of these were the ones so shaken and upset.

lightning fireman

It threw the clock off the wall.

lightning strike.jpg 2

It had blown the bark off the tree, damaged the roots and thrown pieces of wood far and wide across the school grounds…it’s force was astounding.

lightning 2

lightning strike

It destroyed outside displays and equipment, frazzled our phone system, and computers and whiteboards in the vicinity were destroyed.

lightning debris

The area was deemed unsafe until the tree which was still warm, was taken down, the window mended and a phone system in place.

lightning strike.jpg 3

All the children were collected by their parents and in no time it seemed everything was sorted. The next day the children were able to see the zig zag crack in the tree, where the lightning struck and realise what damage lightning can do. What they perhaps didn’t realise was how very lucky they were, as by rights it was lunchtime and they should have been playing outside underneath that tree. That would have been a very different story.

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lightning strike.jpg 5

It’s Friday, It’s the first of May and time to face a day of Indian dancing and learning about the Hindu God Krishna.


It’s also time to prepare and face up to a weekend ahead of dancing and performing. Finally, it’s time to face up to the fact that after three days of eating a cardboard lunch I made up the calories I lost by drinking wine last night with a friend…sadly, much needed! I’m useless…


May 29, 2015

Monday 27th -Wednesday 29th April The Cardboard Diet

Morning…I had a very busy early morning start taking a wet toilet roll out of the downstairs toilet sink and doing other domestic chores. I’m not sure who put the toilet roll in the sink or why it was there, but there was no alternative for the soggy paper than the bin.

I am sad to say that I went on the scales at the weekend and the shock was such that I have returned to a mid week lunch of three crackers (19 calories each) with Philadelphia cheese, plus tomatoes on the side and raspberries for dessert…what a miserable feeling.

cracker bread

Our half termly topic at school is animals and this week it is one of my favourite stories ‘The Tiger Who Came To Tea’.

tiger who came to tea

The trouble with the story is it talks about food all the time, something I’m trying not to do at the moment. The tiger ate all the cakes, all the buns, all the…well basically he ate just everything. When my son was little, he loved the book. He was a difficult eater and I used to bribe him to eat by telling him the story at the same time as shovelling another mouthful of food in his mouth. It worked and it is a shame that I can’t now find a similar ploy, as aged 22 he is still a fussy eater but no longer interested in me reading him a story.

It’s Tuesday and more cardboard for me although I feel a dieting wobble coming on as it is my son’s girlfriend’s 18th birthday. It is most inconsiderate of her, particularly as I have been so proactive in my weight loss (well, for all of one day!) but I’ve a feeling cake on day two will be a necessity which just goes to show I have no self will.

Only day two of the week and not much hope for my brain or the children I teach. After I did the station run, I sailed past my work on my way home! Sadly, I had to do an about turn at the next roundabout, despite my bed crying out for me to keep going.

It’s Thursday and what a day yesterday was. After school I had an hour and a half of my body pretending to be George and the Dragon and following various dance instructions at a course. A child in my class had bought in a  brilliant dragon for show and tell, so I kept that in mind. Whilst my facial expressions looked scary enough, my body wasn’t quite able to contort to the shapes I was hoping for, but I tried my best, which as teachers is all we ask for.


In the evening we had an hour of rehearsing outside in the freezing cold and dark for Fiddler On The Roof. Setting and practised the final curtain calls in the open air was a new experience and caused by a forgotten rehearsal room key. It was so cold, I was turning blue, so had to go and get a rug out of the car to wrap round me and convincingly looked like I was in Anatevka in Russia. Finally, instead of a 30-40 min journey home we had an hour long journey, thanks to the M3 being shut…I hate that blooming motorway and it’s roadworks at the moment! Today to cheer me up, I have more cardboard to eat…oh joy!


May 28, 2015

Friday 24th – Sunday 26th April Body Image Issues!

Morning…Last night I woke in the middle of the night freezing cold. It was hardly surprising when I found myself only covered with a piece of sheet and had to grapple for a bit of duvet. Thank goodness it is Friday.

Whilst I might be losing it slightly and feel like this more often than not…

i've reached the age...

…I am pleased to note that our musical society choreographer who is in her eighties and is extremely blunt has not. I was showing her a photo on my Iphone and she suddenly took a glance at my stomach and said “you have a tummy”…how very observant of her. I felt like responding “yes, indeed I have. I also have two legs, arms, eyes and ears.” I didn’t because I thought that would have been rude, but then again did she care? My tummy, arms, legs, in fact, my whole body including my brain will be preparing itself tonight for my first ever dance show next weekend and at the rate I’m going it will need a lot of preparation.

It is Saturday and after yesterdays postal delivery I am now the proud owner of a pair of black, dance jazz pants and easy to put on silver shoes.

dance shoes

Unfortunately when you have fat ankles and they only just fit round them, they are not easy to get off! Quick changes could be interesting as trying to undo them took at least 5 minutes and required me to sit in a contorted position on the floor. Upstage dress rehearsal last night and I’m still working on trying to remember the moves my body struggles to do…I have a week for dancing miracles to happen!

At work yesterday my body struggled to sit in a chair and I was on the floor again. The chairs are very low as I was sitting on a school chair suitable for 5 year olds, but whilst my bottom was on its way down it wasn’t expecting to go down so far, so sudden or it be so hard! It wasn’t a pretty sight, getting up wasn’t either and pretending that sitting on the floor and missing the chair completely was perfectly normal behaviour for a teacher, put my acting skills to the test. The children might have been convinced, but the staff looking at me certainly weren’t…they LAUGHED!

red chair

It’s Sunday and what a busy day I had yesterday. Fiddler on the Roof costume rehearsal where apparently I was told I looked Welsh or like a gypsy… no mention of looking Jewish, which is fairly important in Fiddler on the Roof. I think the issue was the red flowery scarf tied round my neck.

red scarf

Whilst reflecting on my costumes, why is it I have to wear long, full skirts which accentuate the hips? Perhaps I did not help with the mid afternoon birthday cake snack. The early evening wine at the pub before watching friends sing in a concert locally, were naughty, unnecessary added calories. I suppose I should have said “no” to the late night curry at Cinnamon Bay afterwards and what was I thinking with an even later night drink with my son in the pub where he works?…I’m now exhausted and my hips even bigger! The reason for the pre pub visit was that we were given the wrong start time for the concert. We rushed to arrive at a given time only to find the doors weren’t open until half an hour later, so a visit to the pub it had to be! We went in search of a pub local to the venue and saw in the distance the hopeful, Courage Pub Brewery sign. We walked towards it in anticipation only to find it wasn’t what we thought…

courage body image

Does beer really give the body image a beauty parlour would want? flabby, beer belly, untoned, friend modelled outside the signpost with a tip top ‘body image’ rather than me with my already problematic tummy, ankles, hips and brain. However, if  I was after a beauty makeover, a beauty parlour linked to a Courage brewery isn’t an advertisement that really works.



May 26, 2015

Tuesday 21st April-Thursday 23rd April Give Me Strength!

Morning…bin day so just put the overflowing bin out as hop along husband can’t manage it. Put the still mouldy smelling wash out on the drier and one unusable suede waistcoat in the bin…you might wonder what is the point of drying any of it, but son bought a suitcase of clothes home from college yesterday….they were the dressing up clothes and cowboy boots he took to his college over a year ago for a production and which have only just found there way home! I have asked so many times “are you sure you haven’t taken costumes to college, as we are missing stuff from the roof?” and his reply has always been “no”…it’s no wonder I can’t find anything or trust his answers and emphatic NO’S when they actually mean YESSSS! However, in the process of emptying the suitcase, I have also gained three floaty, white dance dresses that are so small they would fit my leg…if my leg should want or have the ability to dance!

white dance dress

The college will now be in the same position as me…’I’m sure we had some white, dance dresses’…however, they are not exactly going to suspect a 6 foot 2 man of taking them!

It’s Wednesday and on the way back from rehearsal last night my son asked me to do a snapchat video to one of his friends, who we had been at rehearsal with. I have never done snapchat before, don’t really understand it and have only just got used to Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter. I am not great at any of them being on the verge of being an OAP, a slight technophobe and probably not spending enough time to make anyone truly interested in anything I say or do. Anyway, he asked me to say”hello” and talk into his iPhone, just as I hiccupped loudly. Unfortunately it sounded like I was burping! The youngsters all found it highly amusing whilst I found it rather embarrassing. Welcome to my initiation on snapchat. I won’t be doing it again soon.


In phonics today we were looking at the sound ‘v’… on trying to think of words that began with the letter I was a bit surprised, shocked even, when a 4 year old put a hand up and said ‘vodka’.


V for Vodka, W for Whiskey, P for Pimms, B for Bailey’s, A for Alcohol…I can see my new classroom alcohol alphabet frieze taking off with the modern day child and being a best seller!

It’s Thursday and Happy Saint George’s Day to all!


I wished my son’s showed some ability to be strong and heroic. One was asked to put some washing in the machine but his strength must have disappeared before reaching the machine as I have just found the full washing basket on the floor…NEXT to the machine. I asked for the dishes I washed to be put away but they must have been extremely heavy as they are still there. I hope I find the strength to get through the rest of Thursday and Friday!

Friend-Poor little poppets

Husband- Well in MY day….women did all the housework. Dunno what all the fuss is about…. (sits back and waits)

Friend- Me thinks you are in big trouble and it is not like you can run away!

Me-I’d been hoping that a domestic goddess on crutches and with a beard would set a fine example to the little poppets…it looks unlikely so I might be using a crutch as an aid…and not a walking one!


May 25, 2015

Monday 20th April Spring Tide At Milford On Sea

Morning…whilst at my parents in Lymington we took a car ride to the cliffs at Milford on Sea. It is usually a very pebbly beach ,but it was a Spring tide and for a short while after we arrived the sand bank was exposed. The last time I can remember seeing it like this I was a youngster enjoying the fact that I could paddle so far out whilst the sea was shallow and safe, plus unusually sandy underfoot. This time no paddling took place we just walked down the cliff pathway to take a better view, exercise a few muscles with the climb back up and take a few photos.


Milford 5

milford with mum and dad

My mum stayed at the top and enjoyed the view of the Isle Of Wight, which was where both my dad and her were mostly brought up. It was rather wndy, so she didn’t stay out of the car for long and my dad then drove us to a different part of Milford on Sea beach where it was flatter and more sheltered but we had a good view of The Needles.

milford 3

Afterwards we drove round to Keyhaven and parked the car. We walked across the bridge and saw the wildlife enjoying low tide.


Keyhaven 1

keyhaven 2

keyhaven 4

We then ventured on to the Hurst Castle beach, but it was so noisy and windy that after ten minutes we returned to the shelter of the car before we were blown away and our ears started to get earache.

Keyhaven 5

Today, it is my first day back to school and whilst my body needs to adjust to waking early, it always takes it that step too far and wakes even earlier than I need..why does it do this? The Fiddler rehearsal yesterday resulted in me wailing, we all resulted in waving our arms in an agitated fashion in the air…its apparently called acting and we seem surprisingly good at it! My hop along husband is off to physio later and I had to smile at my time hop reminder from a year ago…what a difference a year makes!

Ian then and now

Friends thought he looked lost and presumed I’d left him at the railings and done a runner, others thought I was a hard or mean woman for sharing such a photo but I did ask permission first…it will be a reminder of what is needed to get back on track… eventually, probably once Fiddler on the Roof has finished!

May 15, 2015

Sunday 19th April I wasn’t To Know!

Morning…a lovely but brief visit to my parents in Lymington! Within minutes of arriving I had managed to destroy a chair that was already looking decidely delicate, by sitting on it..I wasn’t to know it had recently been glued back together and was as flimsy as a newly made airfix model!

dodgy chair

Within minutes I also managed to destroy a beautiful cake my mum had been given whilst recuperating from being so ill.

decorated cake

I wasn’t to know that by lifting the lid of the cake cover off, it would also remove the beautifully decorated iced top and piped orange flower that someone had taken the time to make!

destroyed cake

I thought I’d be the dutiful daughter and help my dad with preparing his breakfast by heating his porridge in the morning. I wasn’t to know, (although I should have perhaps spotted) that the gas ring I lit, was not the ring I put the saucepan on, so no heating actually took place! It was the thought that counts so thankfully he was still grateful.


I wasn’t to know that disasters come in threes and whilst I might be a walking one, I took comfort in knowing that my three disasters could have been far far worse…..

I woke up, in what my parents call the North Wing of their house, an extension they built a few years back and which has a lovely view of the old oak tree. The shadow the sun cast yesterday morning was lovely.

old oak tree

Spring was definitely in the air, the sun was out and their garden was looking colourful, full of tulips and looking like a garden, unlike my own garden back at home, which is full of rubbish.

photo 1 (101)

As it was a Saturday I went to Lymington market and walked up the street to find that times have changed. Lymington has reached the twenty first century and has street buskers!

lymington market

I walked down the street to find that some things haven’t changed. The market still has the same old stalls, the same old voices echoing down the street shouting “two for a pound of strawberries!” and the same old hill you have to walk up and down.

more lyi=mington market

I then went down to the quay and had the same unnecessary ice cream and a watch of the boats and people at the quayside. However many times I do this I can’t help but love it.


lymington boats

Lymington quay

The election is coming up and my parents were not impressed with the campagn leaflets delivered through their door. We wondered which school the Liberal Democrats were going to help and if they would perhaps teach spelling! Someone to spell check their campaign leaflet would have been advisable.

election paper

I again tried vlogging on my phone for a laugh and wasn’t to know that I needed to remember which way round I should hold my phone…I now have videos both landscape and portrait for the same film…I’m not sure if I am cut out for using technology.


May 14, 2015

Friday 17th and Saturday 18th April A Vision You Won’t Forget

Morning…me wheeling my husband in a hospital wheelchair last night was a sight to behold! We crashed into walls and doors and I lost control time and again. My husband ended up stuck in a flower bush and had to use his damaged leg to help him get out when my strength gave way. I nearly knocked over a lady who was in the throws of labour and having a strong contraction in the middle of the corridor.

People commented that I needed learner plates…blooming cheek!


Don’t they realise what a weight he is to be pushing in a useless, heavy, out of control hospital chair with a naff back? I removed the ‘we are closed’ cones from the hospital cafe to wheel him in, deposited him at an empty table and then left him with a machine cup of coffee and a tuna pasta pack I managed to purchase from the shutting, hospital shop, whilst I went to have my own MRI scan on my back…a back, even more destroyed since entering the hospital! Husband has been told not to move for three days and I am supposed to be going to my parents, which will be an interesting combination. On leaving hospital I had to leave husband by the roadside, propped against a pole and railing, which with his Fiddler on the Roof beard, was a vision I won’t forget in a hurry. I’m sure my inability to control my husband in a wheelchair was also a vision not to be forgotten in a hurry! One gentleman seeing me struggle helpfully suggested I pull him along, which meant me walking backwards and not being able to see where I was going…a great idea!

ian in hospital

The kitchen clear out finds all sorts of old photos and one of my two sons when they were cute, no trouble and happy to wear nearly matching yellow jumpers is a vision I won’t forget.

cute boys

Husband is managing to hop occasionally around the house with crutches and is working his arm muscles..the zimmer frame that I am using for an OAP dance number in a few weeks time is coming in useful around the house! I managed to make it to Lymington to see my parents in rush hour traffic. My mum managed a mile walk round the lake yesterday with my dad , which is brilliant after her major cancer operation a few weeks ago….a reflection of the ups and downs of life. It’s a blowy but bright Saturday.

May 11, 2015

Thursday 16th April An Unsuccessful Day

Morning…yesterday was an unsuccessful day…I took my charity clear out stuff to a local charity shop at 4.20pm but it had shut at 4pm. I went to the butchers to buy meat to make meatloaf, a favourite meal of my son’s, but it had also shut at 4pm. I went to the shoe shop to take my favourite black ankle boots to be reheeled, pleased that I had finally remembered, but it was shut all day. I went to Waitrose to buy the meat I had failed to get at the butchers and my phone rings. It is my husband who had gone on his first bike ride of 2015 and had a puncture. He found his pump didn’t work and needed rescuing. In order to get him and his bike in my car I had to clear out all my charity bags. They are now back in my hall where they started….a big fail all round.Here’s hoping today will be more successful.


My day is not improving…Bailey, the cat that is my sleeping partner has not been seen since last night so feeling worried. he is always here every morning or comes to me at least if I whistle but not today.

Bailey 2015

I whistled… whilst I worked and whilst I searched. I sent my husband up to the end of the road searching, we opened loft doors, searched the garden and after a couple of hours I was getting myself in a right old tizzy! It took until lunchtime for my son to shout “here he is!” It would appear that the cat had managed to get up in the loft when we put the show costumes away, but had found a way from one loft into the extension loft in my son’s room, which is why when I opened the loft door and whistled he didn’t appear! What a relief…I can now go for my pub lunch with a friend and enjoy it!

The pub lunch was very enjoyable but interrupted by a phone call from my husband to say he couldn’t walk and might need to be taken to A and E. Just as well I hadn’t been drinking. I thought he was on his way to London to see a client, but he had apparently parked his car at the station and popped across the road to buy a paper and a coffee. As he stepped off the pavement he felt a pop in the back of his calf and suddenly his ability to walk disappeared! He had to phone a friend, not to help him with answering a “Who Wants to be a Millionare’ question but to drive him to his car, which was only a five minute walk away. He wasted the parking ticket and drove back home, something he only managed to do as it was his left leg that popped and his car was automatic. Once home I dropped him off at the hospital before I needed to return later in the evening for my own MRI scan on my bad back. What a pair of infirm old cogers we are becoming…I have to keep reminding myself that we were once young and healthy!

old photo

Today is appearing as unsuccessful as yesterday!

May 10, 2015

Wednesday 15th April Castle Bottom walk

Morning… yesterday I went for my first long health walk of 2015 and have blisters on the back of my foot even though I wore my old trainers that I have worn several times before…not happy! Husband left to go to Fiddler On The Roof rehearsal early at 6pm and we left at 7.15pm and beat him…not happy! My house and garden still need sorting out after days of doing it…not happy! The sun is thankfully shining and I have bifold doors to throw open and enjoy, but the view leaves a lot to be desired…not happy!

During my walk to Castle Bottom yesterday I started with taking a few photos and then I don’t know what possessed me but I decided to try and see what my ability to Vlog would be like. Friends keep telling me this is the way forward! It was no problem talking a whole lot of rambling nonsense that probably no one is interested in, into my old iphone, which I did at various points on my walk. I have however decided that my vlogging technique needs a lot of work! I mixed up my words, phrases, couldn’t use my phone technology properly so I had footage of my neck, my finger, the sky and myself staring blankly into camera thinking I’d switched it off when I hadn’t! Then I talked with a slight Northern accent, which my husband says I occasionally do, when I am a complete Southerner…what’s that about? I blame my dramatic tendencies and ablity to unknowingly pick up accents! However my friend , son and husband have watched the short film clips and found them vaguely amusing in a sad sort of way, so I have decided to keep them and see if I can do anything with them. When I say ‘if I can do anything with them’ it will of course be my technical advisor husband, as my technology skills are such that I can’t edit, wouldn’t have a clue about joining one video to another, or adding captions, so until he is less busy and has time to assist I’m stuck. My first vlog will unfortunately have to wait!

Meanwhile, I will tell the story of my walk to Castle Bottom with my photos.



trees again



castle bottom sign



Wondering how long the sunshine and my desire to walk will last…


May 9, 2015

Tuesday 14th April Golden Nuggets

Morning…weather lovely to be sitting outdoors, except my garden is not fit for sitting in at the moment…still full of boxes, wood, cardboard and old furniture, Husband’s car is not fit for taking any passengers at the moment as it is still full of show costumes. My washing machine is rattling loudly and not up to washing numerous costumes and my roof is heaving, so not up to having many more costumes hanging from the rafters as the roof might collapse! Husband disappeared ten minutes ago to make me a cup of tea and is yet to return, so he is not up to that job either! What a happy Tuesday.

Luckily the hob is now fit for purpose and husband is up to cooking an omlette which means we won’t go hungry, but he is getting used to cooking with a rather large hat on his head looking at this photo!

ian cooking

My son and his girlfriend both decide they like Golden Nugget cereal and ask me to buy it for them. They are going shopping at the local Waitrose so I ask if they want to buy Golden Nuggets when they are there. As an afterthought I ask “Do Waitrose sell Golden Nuggets?” Son’s girlfriend who works there responds “Oh yes and they sell chicken dippers, chicken nuggets…lots of different ones” My son and I can’t help but laugh.


One of the Young Set parents found these two nuggets of a video on the Variety Club website of the Young Set performance at the Variety Club Make A Wish Ball last year. It includes some of the  War and Peace numbers they performed in the show.

Such a treat!  if you can afford it you can buy tickets for this years ball