Monthly Archives: July 2011

While I think of it …

Madeleine (aka Pixiemum,  Lurking) was wondering how to post pictures from her iPad. I suspect that you can only do them one at a time, but it is possible if you go to the picture in your photo album, go to the little arrow at the top and then to email, then put in your blogger email address.  Not that I’ve actually done it before.

This is a few of the chickens on Sunday morning when the Sage was later than usual and they were waiting for their breakfast.  Yes, the door needs painting, but it’s a horrid door and I’d rather have a new one instead.


Sent from my iPad

Z is locked out

I arrived home at 10 o’clock, having been out for dinner. I knew that the Sage was going out this evening for a couple of business appointments, but the second of those was at 7, half an hour away, and I didn’t think I needed to take a key with me.

So here I sit in the car. The lights are off next door so I can’t go there for a key, and I shall have to wait. I could phone the Sage, but that seems a bit naggy.

Fortunately, I have my phone and several newly-downloaded levels of iAssociate. So my time will not be entirely wasted.


Sent from my iPhone

Red wine and chocolate cake

The village fete having been rained off on Saturday, we met for our scheduled meeting this evening, at the pub, to decide what to do next, and have decided to rebook it for 15th October.  It’ll mean forking out for the temporary licence and the insurance again of course, but there is money in the kitty.  The festival committee facilitates everything for the village organisations who run stalls and so on, and make money by leasing pitches to companies running bouncy castles, burger and ice cream stalls and to craft stalls.  This money isn’t distributed but used for expenses the next year and we have a few hundred pounds in hand to allow for extras.

Of course, we’ve now got to meet a couple of times between now and then to finalise arrangements.  Which is a bit of a downer, but we think it’s worth it, a lot of clubs and so on rely on this as their main fundraiser for the year.  We couldn’t shift into the village hall on Saturday because the beer festival used that, but that won’t be the case next time, although John the publican can use the VH bar if he wants.  I only ever offered to go on that committee to write up the notes and don’t offer to do much more – this isn’t a good time of year for me, and nor will be October.  I have a basic set of notes and alter them each time, with matters discussed and matters to be discussed in different colours so that they are updated year on year.

Otherwise, I’ve kept my head down today and been out as little as possible.  I’ve found my feet on Google+ and have had conversations there, which was as sociable as I wanted to be.

The title?  Lunch.


You’ll remember that we had our Ofsted last month and that same night, one of our caretakers had a stroke and died a few days later.  Then our Year 11 pupil died suddenly.  We have all found the last few weeks of term quite a strain.  But it got even worse.  On Sunday morning I had a message from a friend (who lives in  the village and is also a teacher at the High School) to say that the son of friends had been killed in a farming accident.  In his latish twenties, he was married with a baby.  His parents divorced and remarried many years ago and both extended families still live here.  His half-sisters go to school here, the eldest at the high school.

Already shocked, this made everyone feel terrible.  And yesterday afternoon, a member of staff (not a teacher) became seriously ill very suddenly and is now in Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridge.

At the same time, it’s the end of the school year and there are various awards being given out, sports days, staff leaving parties and all that sort of thing, for which we have to be upbeat.  And there’s an awful lot of work to do, less than a fortnight for everything to be in place for the academy change.  It is legally set up, but we’re still working our way through all the contracts we need for everything the local authority did.  And there’s the end of year paperwork too.  The person who is ill is the financial manager’s right hand woman so there’s a practical problem as well as anxiety about a dearly loved friend and colleague.

So, nothing at all has happened as far as I or my family are concerned, we are fine.  But I’m shocked, grieving and so sad for the people whose lives are devastated.  Excuse me if I sound as if I’m wanting this to be about me, I really am not.

Today, however, has gone quite well.  Final music lessons (for me and for most of two Year 9 classes) were fun.  Interviews were extremely interesting, they will carry on later in the week and it will be a very hard choice.  Tomorrow, a staff/pupil cricket match after school.  I shall go and cheer on one team or the other, or probably both.

Body paint

I have, I find, reverted to my old self and am unable to phone the friends we want to invite to our party in a fortnight’s time.  The Sage is doing it.  I’m not, as you may have gathered, feeling very cheerful and I don’t really want to talk to people very much.  I’m not great with the phone at the best of times, whereas the Sage loves it, so he doesn’t mind.  I will, of course, be fine long before the party time, so I don’t want to cancel it.

This morning, I woke at about 6.15, lay there for a few minutes feeling too hot and decided to get up.  Downstairs, I found that it was actually not quite half past five.  I’ve got some work to do that I didn’t have time for over the weekend so I should have done that, but in fact I read the Sunday papers instead.  The result is that it’s now 9 o’clock and I am not even dressed and haven’t done any work, so early rising has turned out to be counter-productive.

And so now, I’m going to get dressed and then find the right music to put me in a better frame of mind.  Two of the letters I have to write are to give people good news, then a formal one confirming it, and then a letter of condolence.

After the things at the school this afternoon, I am going over to see Weeza’s bump, which is being painted.  Yes, that’s right.

Dynamic cyclists

Zerlina was very pleased to see her Uncle Roro and persuaded him to take her upstairs to play on the rocking horse, then to fetch her glass of water and to read her some books.

Weeza is getting regular updates on progress from Phil, who is cycling through Essex at present. She is able to track his whereabouts on her phone, don’t know how that works, and he texts her every hour or so. Once he gets to Dunwich, after a ride of 200km, about 100 miles, he will then have to cycle here which must be another thirty, and that after a sleepless and energetic night. All seems quite remarkable to me.

It did rain, the beer festival carried on in the village hall, the craft exhibition, teas and cake stall were in the church but the rest was cancelled. Or quite possibly postponed, we will look at the possibility of holding it in September instead. We have a meeting on Wednesday.

I’m really flagging and will be very glad when the month is over and I will be able to relax a bit. If I could sleep more it would be a help – actually, I did sleep better last night, probably because it was cooler, but only for five or six hours overall. But too much has happened, good and bad, in the last month and I could do with just one thing to concentrate on, not a whole range.

This week, however, we will be putting together the catalogue for the next sale. And I shall be busy at school, as it’s the last week of term. There’s a tea and award ceremony, music lessons, a cricket match and two mornings of interviews, and also the final details of academy conversion. Roll on August.


Just hurrying past, darlings, on my way to bed.  I’ve been chatting with Weeza all evening and now, having been awake since 4 am, I’m tired.

I’ve made a lot of cake.  None with fresh cream in, however, so they will not tempt Christopher.  They tempted the Sage and Zerlina though and there were not quite so many by the end of the evening.  Zerlina was very good and happy all day, finished her day with a good bounce on the bed and a ride on the rocking horse and went to bed.  I read her two books and left her with Barry, her bear, her giraffe and Spot the Dog, a soft toy that had belonged to Ro.  We decided he was excited at the prospect of cuddling a child again after all these years.  I’m afraid that I do tend to give personalities to cuddly toy animals.  I don’t think I’m particularly twee in other respects, but they are not entirely inanimate as far as I’m concerned.


I’m concerned.  The weather forecast still talks of heavy rain for Saturday.  We’ve been holding these village festivals in their present manner (that is, including a beer festival) for quite some years and the weather has always been fine.  Even when there has been a pretty dreadful summer, the sun has always shone on festival day.

Tomorrow, Weeza and Zerlina are coming over and staying for two nights.  They have never stayed over before, it will be great.  We intend to pamper them, rather.  Ro and Dora are also coming on the Saturday, although I don’t know if they will change their minds if it rains; they intend at present to stay for supper.  All will be splendid, except for the weather…

Weeza will call at the repair shop tomorrow to pick up my clarinet, which I took in last week for a service.  I’m very much looking forward to playing it again.  It’s been quite difficult the last few times, the pads have been a bit leaky and it’s needed a lot of puff as well as care to keep it in tune (that is, not to squeak).  It would require many hours of practise to play as well as I did ten or so years ago, however.  Not sure if I’ll ever be that dedicated again.


It has always seemed to me that, from sometime in May or June, I lose track of time, as if the year has speeded up and summer is over before I’ve had time to enjoy it.  Thinking about it, I have a theory.

There always is time to savour the spring, you see, and I think that’s because the changes in nature are so visible.  Even in the winter, we are on the lookout for the first aconites and snowdrops, then crocuses, daffodils, tulips, leading on to bluebells.  Similarly, all the hedgerow flowers, from blackthorn to hawthorn and buds breaking on plum, cherry and apple trees – there’s always something new to look forward to and enjoy.  We watch for the first swallow and house martin, listen for the cuckoo, enjoy watching birds forage for nesting materials and then bustle back and forth with beakfuls of food.  We anticipate the first home-grown radishes, asparagus, lettuce, strawberry and tomatoes and every few days is marked by a new event.

Then we get used to it, and there’s not so much to anticipate.  And all the trees are in full leaf and, apart from anxiously watching to beat the birds to the cherries on the trees (normally won by the early risers), the countryside and the garden is just there, the latter needing to be watered and weeded.  And before we know where we are, it’s mid-July and the year is more than half over and I always feel as if it’s slipped past without me noticing.