Monday, 22 September 2008

Interesting Women I Have Read About (in the last month)

I've been doing a lot of reading..
Catherine of Aragon

The Brontes

Marie Antoinette
I'm open for new suggestions!

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Jeepers Creepers...

Well, the flat is no longer 'owned' by Benn or myself. No, we have given ourselves over completely to our new tenant. This includes fretting for a week when she wouldn't eat anything we put in front of her (we solved this by buying one each of each pouch the supermarket sold in a desperate attempt to find out what she liked), chasing local hostile cats out of the garden at odd hours in our pyjamas, being stared at when partaking in private bathroom activities and keeping our fingers crossed that when Madame Bronte is finally allowed outside after her injections, she will refrain from killing members from either the wood pigeon or the robin families that frequent our garden for the bird feeder. I can handle dead mice, but not birds that I feel are as much a part of the garden as the grass.

Now she is sat on the back of the sofa, using me as a back rest whilst I type this... I am of course back into my usual Sunday routine of shirking from my scholastic obligations of the coming week. I am ignoring the fact that I don't have any resources ready for tomorrow, or that I have rough drafts of GCSE coursework to mark; instead, I am typing on my blog, drinking tea and listening to the Puppini Sisters (if you like 40's/50's girl groups like the Andrews Sisters, I can heartily recommend them to you.)

The first two weeks of school have been OK, I seem to have scored the worst behaved boys in years 9, 10 and 11 though. I'm not sure if it's a bit of a backhanded compliment, actually. I'm taking a 'soft' approach with this boys, as each one has anger management issues, although this doesn't mean that I'm not setting boundaries etc. It just means that my discipline strategy is to reward good behaviour and use positive reinforcement. Much like the way I treat the cat, in fact.. I have mixed feelings, as a student is about to take over my worst class, so we'll see how she copes. Obviously I'll be there all the way to help, but it makes me slightly nervous, especially as I've got them nearly to where I want them in terms of behaviour. Oh well.

I'm looking forward to this week, as an INSET means I'll only be teaching one full day, so hopefully I can get a lot done. I'm finding hard to adjust back to the weekend working thing, so I'm trying to do as much in my frees as possible.

I'm also in the process of making a crochet 50's beret, complete with bow. I think it surprises people that I'm in love with the 50's, I certainly don't look like I am. I always admire those girls who really embrace it as, not so much as a lifestyle, but definitely a look. I'm far too low maintainence to even consider lip balm, let alone bright red lipstick, heels and perfect bangs every day! I am loving Mad Men though, I would totally live in the 50's if it wasn't for the various '-isms' and problems that entail it. I think in times of insecurity and uncertainty, it's easy to look back and idealise a certain way of life. We're certainly living in scary, interesting and possibly turbulent times at the moment...

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Nice Things...

Thanks for all the nice comments about Doug. He was buried on Sunday in our new garden in a L'Occitane box and we put a couple of bulbs in with him, so come spring there'll be a few flowers.

Anyway, I promised you a summary of my summer, especially as I'm back in the old routine from tomorrow when the kids are back.

1) We moved. This has provided quite a bit of, er, hilarity. Our flat has a very narrow, stupidly designed hallway. Needless to say, after dealing with a washing machine that the delivery men refused to move (leaving me and my sister to try and do it ourselves) and dealing with a ready-built bookcase, we have damaged the walls. I will be spending a weekend soon repairing them to their former glory. We also have a garden and a bird feeder! Alas, the mere acquisition of this garden appears to have scuppered any chance of nice British weather. Sorry about that.

2) I went to Paris and Haworth! I walked up the Eiffel Tower! I was actually quite surprised that everywhere in Paris I was applicable for concessionary rates (you pay adult fares at 25, so I was six months too young, hurrah!) I also saw actual Van Gogh paintings at the Musee D'Orsay and the cell where Marie Antoinette was held before her execution. I read a biography afterwards and felt incredibly sad when I got to that bit.

Haworth was a more sedate visit and it was lovely. I've been there loads, though, so I'm familiar with a lot of it.

3) We got a cat! This is Bronte:

She's a rescue cat. Can you believe that she's a year old? She was basically used as kitten-making-machine (her last litter wasn't that long ago, by the looks) and was given up after the last lot. Thankfully she is now spayed! We'd been planning on getting a cat for ages and the new flat meant that we could finally do it. We were originally going to get a kitten from someone at work, but it didn't work out. So this mad bundle has been keeping up very occupied! She chose me at the shelter by licking my hand. As soon as she came into the flat she was settled. She's very inquisitive and lively.