20th January

Odd day today – lots of things happened.

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First and foremost I managed to be in the same room as Michael Gove without abusing him!

I had a Princess offer me a cup of coffee!

I saw a world première of a work by Dr John Rutter conducted by the composer!

A musician composed a poem for me!

I ain’t been the same since my sanity fled
So I’ve taken to living in my garden shed,
Where the tv’s banned with the lies it tells,
I’d rather be talking to the Elves,
that live in my garden hiding in holes
Avoiding the idiots who dont have no souls

And to top it all I had a recording played on Radio 4 and it appeared on their website!

radio 4 mob edit 2

Not bad for a Monday!

19th January

Had to go shopping to buy stuff for Sarah’s birthday on Saturday – went to Chatham and it drove me nuts. The shops are so bland and there was noting in any of them to fire my imagination. After I’d been right round the town I decided to give up and go and buy the pyjamas that Sarah had pointed out to me in Primark but when I got there they’d sold out. Just to rub it in though the picture on the top of the stand showed the exact pair I wanted!

Sarah is a nightmare to but for……

She doesn’t smoke,
She doesn’t drink,
She doesn’t wear much makeup,
She doesn’t use “smellies”
She doesn’t wear perfume
She only wears silver studs in her ears because of work
She hardly ever wears jewellery

I bought her clothes for Christmas

I got cards and a couple of other bits but still haven’t got something for Ben to give her.

18th January

Lazy day today to recover from a stressful week.

Sarah suggested that I should get my hair cut but I said I didn’t think I could afford it. However upon checking my account I discovered I had more money in there than I thought so I went off to get my haircut. First though I went to get some cash and decided to get it out of the other account but checked the balance on that account first. To my surprise there was almost double what I was expecting in there so it turns out I’ve been scrimping and saving all month and done a much better job of it than I thought!

Other than the aircut we did eventually go out about 5pm and headed off to the local shopping centre to buy something for Sarah’s birthday on Saturday. Se is impossible to buy for so I made her choose something – a coat which I bought……well actually she had to go and buy it as she got 15% discount off it with her student card! (I did give her the money though!!!!)

17th January

Ofsted Day

Reports from the school yesterday indicated that things weren’t going too well which increased the pressure I was feeling for my interview at 9am. I got there just in time and despite the first question throwing me completely and my mind going blank over the questions regarding the School Improvement plan at the end it seemed to go ok.

Once it was over and a couple of coffees had been consumed I decided to go and have a wander round the school and see it in action. I did messy play in foundation stage, shared with counters, did writing my name on a white board and then had a story on the mat called Who are you stripey horse? – I should do this more often!

Then I had school dinners – there was fish fingers and chips and beetroot cake. I got my plates and utensils and stood and looked round. Then I said in a loud voice where shall I sit. All of the kids on the table infront of me turned round at once and said here! Admittedly I had to get a cloth and wipe the bean juice off the table and then limbo down onto the seat but I squeezed in between two girls and had my dinner while chatting to the children. It was cool!

After lunch I sought out Sarah in nursery and played with the kids doing various activities like playing with coloured rice and painting with these roller bottles of paint I then had another coffee before helping Sarah with snack! Afterwards I went back to the main school to wait to be called into the meeting with Ofsted to deliver the verdict.

It was what we expected really – not as bad as it could have been. Ironic that the school if anything has improved since the last inspection but of course the goalposts have moved. Lots of work ahead but isn’t there always.

Got home about 5pm completely exhausted!

15th January

I got the dreaded phonecall today! Ofsted are coming to the school tomorrow and Friday which of course means that I had to go and see if I could get Friday off at very short notice. Luckily for me the boss seemed ok about it and we ended up having a chat about Ofsted which surprised me. That’s a random chat with both directors in a week – very strange!

In the evening we had to go to Tesco. As we pulled up in the car park I opened the door and the wind just caught it slamming it against the car next to us. Luckily there was no damage to the other car but when we got back to the car I realised that the door trim on my drivers door had come off. It never rains……

14th January

I decided that I needed to clear off a load of stuff off my mobile phone. The amount of free space had dropped below 1Gb and I was sure that the sluggishness I’d been experiencing was due to this. So I decided to move all of the photos and videos onto my external hard drive. The only problem was that my windows 7 PC doesn’t seem to like my external drive and has been known to corrupt things that I save on it. No worries I thought I’ll do it on my Mac…..

I’m sure the Mac used to see the phone without any additional software but curiously it now needs a program called Android File Transfer which doesn’t really seem to work. Firstly it would appear not to see the phone if the screen is locked but also it kept crashing – so I had to give up. Next stop was to use an old XP machine in the corner of the office but for some reason that would see the phone but wouldn’t let you open any of the directories! So I ended up having to transfer everything from the phone onto the server via the Windows 7 PC and then copy them onto my HDD from the Mac.

Still I freed up about 6GB so it was worthwhile – now if I could just wipe off some of Ben’s games I’d be laughing!

Sarah finished her report and submitted it with 2 hours to go – yeh!

13th January

Sarah thinks Jubbly may be suffering from the cat version of IBS and having read up online about it she may have a point. The answer would appear to be to find some food that he can tolerate and to just feed him that – keeping him away from the food that the others eat. However given the fact that it could take a while to find such a food and everytime we give him something different we risk upsetting his stomach again this could be a long slow process.

Sarah is trying to get her project report for her OU course finished as it has to be in tomorrow night so I’ve been keeping out of her way but not so far as I’m occasionally needed to help with things like page numbers and student number in headers. It’s due in tomorrow but hopefully we won’t have the huge 5 minutes to midnight scenario like we usually do!

Uploaded some pictures to Flickr tonight – they were some that I took on holiday in August last year using film – they were all shot using an Agfa Clack – one roll colour, one Black and White. I’d got them developed not long after I got back but sometimes it takes me ages to get round to uploading them. This is often due to the amount of time it takes although sometimes lack of confidence plays a part too.

boat

Scooter

bembridge

12th January

I’m hoping that my grumpiness yesterday was caused by lack of sleep but it’s still there when i wake up this morning – not helped by the fact that Jubbly has had a very incontinent night and there seems to be poo everywhere! So by the time I’ve done the dishwasher and cleaned up the poo I’m as grumpy as ever. At least I get out and go to the dump with our old mattress and a laser printer I was given on Freecycle but didn’t work (or rather it did but needed the fuser (or something like that – either way he didn’t mention it) replacing. On my way out I grab a CD of Yes and some good old Prog blasting out of the speakers cheers me up a bit.

Called in at Aldi on the way back to buy some bacon and sausages and I then set about cooking some brunch for us. Before we can start though we suddenly realise that all 7 cats are in the house – we’ve been telling people we have 61/2 cats but over the past 24 hours Arnold the stray has been coming in of his own accord so I think we have finally won him round. We somehow manage to get all of them in the same place for a team photo in the kitchen before evicting most of them again!

cats

An hour or two in the shed helps too. Sarah is trying to get her university report finished so I go out and try and amuse myself! I play my mandolin for a bit but my fingernails need cutting and I keep catching the strings so I have a bit of a thrash on the guitar before deciding to listen to an LP and get my blog up to date whilst eating malteasers. I come in about 5 to make tea and put the dinner in the oven. I spend the time it’s cooking trying to read a book – As I said before Christmas I’ve long been meaning to read one of Iain M Banks’ Science fiction books so I got one out of the library and so far I’m finding it tough going – not like the books he writes under the Iain Banks name. Still haven’t given up yet!

11th January

Due to falling asleep watching the DVD with Ben I can’t sleep when I do go to bed and it’s almost 3am by the time I get to sleep so I’m tired when I wake up this morning. Not a great start to the day but after I get ready I set off to go and buy some milk and see if I can find the bloody parcel.

When I get to 64 the door is open and two blokes are fixing the hinges. I ask about the parcel but the English one says that he’s just fixing the door and the person that lives there has gone out. I can, however. see enough of the flat to see there isn’t a parcel anywhere obvious. I then try the upstairs flat and again ring the doorbell. After a while I hear the window above open and a face appears. She is wearing some sort of headscalf and has her faced pushed through the tiny gap of the window. It’s quite obvious that English is once again going to be an issue. I wave the DPD delivery note and ask about the parcel – she stares blankly and shakes her head. I think it’s obvious that the parcel was never delivered to number 64! If she won’t open the door to me then she’s not going to have opened it to the courier!

So I go and do the shopping. I get 2 new keys cut for the new lock on the front door. Given that the lock only cost £5 and came with two keys it a bit rough to pay £8 for another 2 keys but I guess that’s the way things go nowadays! I have a mooch in the charity shops and go to Aldi for the milk and cat food before going back to the house.

When I get back Sarah tells me that DPD have responded to the e-mail and are now saying it was delivered to number 175. So off I go to 175 and you can probably guess that it wasn’t there. I go back and Sarah sends off snotty e-mail to DPD and another e-mail to the company that sent the parcel to us. She then has an idea and I use 192.com to search for someone in our street with the name given – I expect to either draw a blank or have to try different spellings but to my surprise it turns out that there is someone of that name at 164 (should have guessed really). So I pop down there and voilà there’s the parcel! We haven’t told DPD we’ve found it yet!

Tubular bells 1

In the evening I was downstairs on my own and found there was a program on BBC 4 of Mike Oldfield performing Tubular Bells in 1974 with a startlingly good line up – Steve Hillage on guitar, Fred Frith on Bass, Pierre Moerlen on percussion  and Mick Taylor on guitar among others. Disappointed that Viv Stanshall only appeared as a recording but it was a really good performance!

Good to see Mr Hillage in his trade mark bobble cap – but we’ll draw a veil over the times when I used to wear one inspired by the former Gong guitarist! Mine wasn’t as cool as his anyway!

Tubular bells 2