Almost daily diary!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Harry Potter

Small Sprog attended a Harry Potter screening at the weekend. He was delighted, and to top it all he had to go 'in character'. He likes dressing up.

A pair of specs with a wand and a scar, I thought, and that should do it. But no. Not for my Small Sprog. I made the mistake of taking him to the local dressing up shop and there he browsed the wigs. There is nothing better for dressing up, than a wig it seems, if you are a Small Sprog. He pulled out a long white wig and beard. Dumbledore. I looked at him. He was animated. I couldn't say no.

I left the shop £10 lighter with a full wig, beard and wand with sound effects! Lovely.

Saturday arrived and he prepared himself. Unfortunately the only cloak we had was red, so he was not a dead ringer for Dunmbledore, more like a festive Old Father Time! Still, he was happy with his 'look' and we all tumbled out of the house at the last minute, as usual, and into the car.

He was having trouble with the mass of material, that was his cloak, as well as his flowing wig and beard, which was almost to his knees. when the wind blew him into the car. Then he needed help with his safety belt. 'I know why girls get all stressy about their hair now' he says in his wisdom as he struggles to free himself of his white tresses.

As we proceed along the road in the car, I notice that he is looking in his lap. I hope he is OK and not wishing he had gone as Harry P. He was looking dejected and not his happy self at all.
'Look!' his sister exclaimed as she saw a cat on the other side of the road.
'I can't see a thing' He replies
'What's the matter Small Sprog?' I ask concerned as I realised he couldn't move his head. I am about to stop the car to see if he is ill.
As it happens it was a technical error!
'My beard is stuck in the safety belt'! He moans as we turn the corner.
We laughed. A lot!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Small Sprogs career plans

I picked up a very serious Small Sprog from school one day this week,
'I'm going to write a book!'
'Really, what sort of book?'
'One that lasts all my life'
'A diary?'
'No, I don't know what the story will be, it will just spill-on-to-the-page as I'm writing it!'
'Gosh!' I say. I wish I could do that.
'Well I've been thinking of my future' he went on 'I thought I ought to have a back up plan, just in case'
'A back up plan?' He is only ten years old.
'Yes, in case my guitar doesn't go well'
'In case you don't make it as Guitar Hero?' I ask
'Yes' He says, earnestly.
'Always good to have a back up plan' I tell him

We get into the car.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A letter from my Mother

My Mother has a love of people younger than herself, and that has translated over the years to her taking in students and 'paying guests'. She loves it, works hard, is worn out by it, but never says no to the company's that ring for accommodation.

They live fairly close to the Racecourse and so sometimes get booked for race weeks. She tries to be discerning. She has learnt from experience that some racegoers are more 'trouble' than others, tumbling in drunk in the early hours of the morning and tripping over the deaf old dog for instance.

So it was with trepidation that she took a last minute booking in the week. She already had one language student in the spare room with the en suite, so the race goer would have to share her bathroom. A lovely man though, she told me. But you never know someone 'till you live with them do you?

The first morning he had used all the towels in the bathroom, she told me indignantly on the phone, despite having his own clean and laundered ones in his room, AND had turned up for breakfast over an hour late. She was incensed! Here is a little of her email from last weekend, a reply to one of mine, enquiring if it was going well after the second day;

You must be joking! 10.35 he came for breakfast! and when I went into the bathroom he had not only used my flannel, but had helped himself to my shampoo and my conditioner ! And my problems didn't end there! (though I'm not sure the poor man can be held directly responsible for this, even though he was a race goer)

I wanted to go into town later, he made me late, and then having got all the way up to the Park and Ride at the race course only to find it wasn't functioning because of the races, I then drove into town. I parked in Winchcombe Street and then found I had no change when I got to the meter. Needed £2.80 I had £1.80! Then remembered I always keep £1 in a little round compartment between the front seats in the car. So...back to the car and with my bottom stuck out in the traffic I delved down to get it. The little round mat which lined the hole slipped up and down went my £1 into another small hole at the bottom and got stuck. I tried and tried to get it out but all to no avail. So off I trot into the Charity shop, they had no change but suggested Ladbrokes. So there I was in a queue with all the punters for the races! Bloody races! At least they had plenty of money!  

This morning I looked at my lovely new shower cap and when I had had a wash I then removed it with my towel and flannel, the small guest towel, a spare towel and what remained of my shampoo and conditioner to our bed room. It's all safe now 'til "HE" is gone.I shall be glad when Monday is here.

PS.Dad has just taken his towel and flannel and his Hair Restorer out of the bathroom ( it's not working!) 

I think she should start a Blog. Maybe I'll suggest it?

(OMG Hair Restorer, I couldn't help giggle, I had no idea he used it! * Titter*)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

How it affects the children...

Small Sprog is not so small these days, though he will always be my youngest and closest I guess, in some way. However, despite all his fun and bravado he has deep worries. Just before going to school last Friday he looked worried.
'I don't want to go to Daddys' He states. I am taken aback. He is seeing all his relatives from 'that' side of the family at the weekend and he will have fun.
'Can I stay here and go to Daddys in the morning?' He asks.

I am so tempted, I miss him when he's away, but ...

'Why don't you want to go to Daddys? I ask
'I get nightmares there'
'But you sleep in the room you have had for as long as you can remember, you are safe there'
'But I like it here' He says. I am pleased our new house feels like home, but what should I do?

I give him the biggest hug.

He reassures me that he wants to see daddy, it's just the bed times he doesn't like.

I feel I have let him down by sending him. I have always told him he must be honest and if he doesn't like any family arrangements, then we will sort it out differently. And then, there I am, sending him off to school, knowing that his Dad will pick him up and have him for the weekend.

My head tells me I have to send him. It is too last minute to change. His dad has the overnight bag, wants to see him, etc. etc.

Did I let him down? I hope not.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Poorly sick and ill!

I know, I know, I really shouldn't be here! It's Monday and I have a job. A day off to blog? No, well not really. Just a day to recuperate, in the hope that this horrible tiredness and unwell feeling that I've had of late will go if I rest.

So where do you draw the line, between sciving and being genuinely ill? I mean, I am finding it really hard working more or less full time at the moment and I can't say that I haven't just dreamt of taking a sicky! However, I ache, I am tired and not sleeping well, the glands in my neck are swollen and I have a sore throat. My voice is slightly husky. I guess I could make some money out of that though if it continues!

One little voice in my head is telling me that if I'd gone to work today I'd be fine and would have forgotten all about my aches and ailments. The other little voice is saying that if I keep going at the same flat out rate that I seem to have been going of late, I will be more ill and will need more time off.

I have this little fear now about being ill and not being able to look after my children properly. I guess most single parents feel the same. What if I am too ill to pick them up from school, too ill to cook, too weak to...

Then the other little voice tells me not to be so dramatic. Hypochondriac. Just get on with blogging and feeling sorry for yourself.

Yours pathetically

Do you hear the voices? They are calling!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

14 Today

Happy Birthday Tall Girl, I can't believe you are so grown up. 
You have grown into a beautiful woman before my eyes, in just a blink so it seems. 
You are much loved.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Rant alert!

I do try not to rant on here, and I have a self made rule NEVER to mention my job(s). However, sometimes one just has to let rip!

Perhaps I have been lucky in the past, but up to last September (in my old job, which I still do 2 days a week), when I walked into a classroom first thing in the morning, I was nearly always met with a smile and a sigh of relief. 'I'm so glad you're with me today' was usually the refrain from all the teachers that I worked with. It wasn't just me, any help in a busy classroom is nearly always a bonus, nearly always. 

However this year I am with a different teacher. She checks her clock when I walk in in the morning, even though I have usually come from working with another year group and, timetabled with lessons back to back, means there is not a minute to walk between one class and the next. She gives me children to support and then undermines me by taking over half way through. 'Support so and so' she said today, which I duly did. As I leaned over to look at one boys work and ask him to check his capital letters she pushes in front of me and says 'Lets have a look at your work so and so, I think you could just take a minute to check your capital letters'. I just said that, I wanted to say, I can do my job.

She never lets me use my initiative, she never gives me anything to do that she can't watch me do. For goodness sake I'm a grown woman and I have been doing this job for 6 years now. Not that I would be doing it if I didn't need a job that gave me school hours and holidays. I used to hold down a responsible job, where I was my own boss with deadlines to meet and contractors to motivate. I am a capable person.

Yet today I feel constrained and put down. The pay is poor and the job is stressful, no preparation time, no planning time, challenging children 1:1 for hours at a time, often with no work set.

To add insult to injury, as I finish up my lunchtime art and craft group, my line manager walks into the room. I've not seen her since the holidays and was about to use the statutory pleasantry of 'Did you have a good half term?' when she barks at me 'Leave that, X (a child that needs constant 1:1 support), isn't going swimming, you need to have him all afternoon' Then she walks off!

Well thanks for that, I think to myself, hope you're having a good day too! I do not 'leave that'. The room looked like an explosion in a cardboard factory, and it is someone else's work room. How could I leave it in a mess? I do the mental equivalent of a 2 finger salute and carry on clearing up, knowing the lovely (not) teacher I work with can easily manage him for a few more minutes while she does the register.

I enjoy the company of the children I work with, even the badly behaved ones who have problems of their own poor things. It's a shame the adults can't just be a little more pleasant.

 My new job, though stressful too, so far is ok. Yet the more I work in the school system, the more I despair with it.

End of rant. Bring on the weekend.

Monday, November 01, 2010

What did you do last week?

The half term break was a welcome respite from what has been a really busy time. Having a new job, I have realised, takes up more energy and thinking than just trundling through the ins and outs of the normal routine. Added to that we have been dealing with Tall Girls injury, poor thing, fetching and carrying things for her as well as taking her to school and back. I hadn't anticipated the impact on the whole family routine. I am hoping, now that she is managing on only one crutch, that she will be able to catch the school bus this new term, as normal, which will mean Small Sprog doesn't have to sit in the car for an hour before being delivered to school! Fingers crossed.

So the break was welcome for all. We spent a fantastic long weekend in Wales and the weather was kind to us. We also cooked and carved and saw friends. Here is our week, briefly, in pictures...

We went here (Paxtons Tower)

and the beach, which always makes me happy,

and here, The National Botanic Garden of Wales, with the largest single span greenhouse in the world!

Small Sprog and his friend made these

and we all made this, our Christmas Cake full of wishes.

The week has gone so quickly and today all the tension of being back at work has filled my body again. Last week feels like a distant dream. Still, it's only 4 more days to the weekend and only 7 more weeks of school until the Christmas Holidays! I must not wish our lives away! (55 Sleeps 'till Christmas!)