Sunday, January 27, 2008


Once again the email informing me of my million-pound lottery win has gone astray. It is most irritating. I can only hope that the national lottery are using my unclaimed millions for worthwhile causes.



Thursday, January 24, 2008

shhhhh-taka-tak-a-tak-a-tshhhhhk. Click. BOOM!

At work we've recently had a slew of kids with ASD, ADHD and a variety of other initials join our classes. Not that we didn't have our fair share already. There's now roughly one child with some sort of diagnosis per class, and more like two, really. It brings an extra dimension to teaching when you have to deal with Lego obsessives and impromptu aerobics exhibitions, the blu-tac fiddlers and the shouty shouty boys. Some days they band together and machine gun one another with their ruler guns across the classroom. On others they argue incessantly with one another, me, their classmates, the walls: desperate to have the last word. Mostly the best way to deal with it is to ignore it all, praise the desired behaviours. Some days this is easier than others. Some days this is hell on earth and results in small nervous breakdowns behind toilet doors. Don't get me wrong: I like my job, and I like those kids, but on occasion I wonder how the rest of the class are managing to learn anything, or whether we're just all getting an excellent lesson in ignoring the elephant in the corner.

After the children go home
I sit in staff meetings swinging on my chair, doodling, folding pieces of paper into tiny missiles and launching them around the room into the cups or hair of my colleagues. I exclaim and harrumph, and today I caught myself making sound effects as I prepared to take out a Newly Qualified Teacher's head with my fearsome laser arm.

All that ignoring can't be good for me.

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Saturday, January 19, 2008


sunset scarf 2

I have knitted a scarf!

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Friday, January 18, 2008


I am the number one Google search result for 'ukulele knitting'.

I am faintly proud.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008


I deleted my Facebook account. It all got a bit dull, what with the waiting for pages to load so I could see adverts; and the endless notifications that someone else had received a message from someone I'd never heard of. The only thing left that was interesting about it was looking at other people's photographs, and I have flickr for that already.

This entry is dull.

I am going to have macaroni cheese for tea. And wine. Not whine. The whine is above. To marginally relieve the dullness, here is a joke:

What did the grape say when the elephant sat on it?

Nothing, it just gave a little wine.


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Monday, January 14, 2008

raindrops keep falling on my head

wellies in the sea

What better thing is there to do on a sopping wet Saturday afternoon than to stand in the sea in your wellies? Even if a wave does come along and go over the top of your boots.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008


My new rolling pin has arrived! I have already spent several happy minutes brandishing it, in the style of a 1950's housewife faced with a mouse, only I was in school at the time of its arrival so got to brandish it at children which was surely much more fun.

It has come just in the nick of time to miss all the Christmas baking that we did, where much rolling had to be carried out with the aid of an empty wine bottle. I kept forgetting to keep the wine bottles, and so had to drink new bottles in order to keep myself in rolling things, which was a terrible curse.

Now I must find a place to keep my new equipment until it is needed in the next baking rush. This is going to be a difficulty as the kitchen, which has cupboards that are stupidly small and drawers that are stupidly false-fronted became officially full at the time of the cookie cutter purchase.

I am tempted to make a celebratory cheese straw.

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008


The scarf is growing. It is about as long as a scarf that is a bit too short, and I may well finish it by the weekend. I am going away for the weekend, to a place where knitting would be a Good Thing to do. I want to knit something else: a shrug, another scarf, a bag, my Etsy fortune.* I must find something else to knit, and some wool, no, yarn by the weekend.

I spend long hours perusing free knitting patterns and online yarn-not-wool shops. I stare at patterns, squint at the pictures: could I make that? My eyes slide over the passages filled with jargon I do not fully understand: bind off, shape, yarn over, right side. These details do not concern me. There is so much potential; it reminds me of a time when I would contemplate the un filed steel edges of etching plates and imagine the myriad opportunities for brilliance ahead. Never mind the slow inevitable slide into a mediocrity that generally followed; the potential has always been the best bit.

I am liking the knitting (I haven't yet tried the purling). I confess that I am wondering about knitting an ukulele.

*say it often enough and it might come true.

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Monday, January 07, 2008

you got to pick a pocket or two

A group of girls huddle around me in the playground; and to take our minds off the wind and the puddles underfoot I ask about their Christmases: were they good? What did they get?

They all agree that it was good, and they got good things. They tell me about their upcoming holidays, and then one asks me: what did I get for Christmas? My mind goes immediately blank. Ermmm...what did I get for Christmas? I know I had presents, I know I liked them, what the flipping eck were they? I dredge about in the muddy pool of my memory.

I got an ukulele book, and a book about criminal children, I tell them. Oh, and some cake tins. They look distinctly unimpressed, so I look at them very seriously and tell them that 150 years ago children of their age could be put in prison or transported, for very minor things such as stealing spoons, or bread. I do not mention the death sentences, the cruelty and futility of penal punishments, or the degradation that meant many children were relieved to get into jail so that they'd be fed and clothed for a while.

Edith looks at me suspiciously. 'That doesn't mean you can lock us up', she says.

'Doesn't it?' I smile, 'What a pity. Someone go and get me the bell.'

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

insert knitting pun here

I have taken up knitting. I am hoping that it will help to save me from insanity by giving me something vaguely creative to do with my hands during the times when my brain is frazzled. Which unfortunately is most of the time during term time.

I am knitting a scarf. It is multicoloured and currently about 16 inches long, which is officially too short for my neck. Still, so far I am enjoying the knitting experience and may once again adopt the pastime of making little badges of pretend cocktail stick and bead with a little bit of knittery attached. Like mini knitting needles, see? I had forgotten I used to do that, aged about thirteen. I sold them, you know. For about a week in 1983. I may take this up again too.

This time next year I'll be an Etsy millionaire....

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

days when I ain't spotty

I am feeling a bit sorry for the person who found this blog by searching 'January 2008 reasons to be cheerful'. I know that feeling. I have been there done that.

It would be too obvious to suggest getting an ukulele (though...)

Might I suggest cooking something for yourself from a recipe: perhaps a nice healthy soup, or if that isn't your idea of cheering yourself up (I am strangely cheered by health food, particularly after a week of debauched living such as we have mostly all just had) something with a lot of saturated fat in it. Cheese straws, for instance (more fat than flour!).

Further to the soup/cheese straws I suggest spending at least an hour on the phone to someone nice.

Failing all the above, I find a bloody good cry works wonders, or at least aids restful sleep.

PS I have no idea why I suddenly started posting, either, but suspect that the holiday may be the key. Here's hoping for a better term than the last one. That would indeed be a reason for cheer.

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008