Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

A Bit Taken Aback

Wow. I'm a bit blown away because it seems our fantastic night out at The Vines a few weeks back, was the last show they did before lead singer, Craig Nicholls, suffered another Asperger's related breakdown! He was unable to fly out of Adelaide to make the Perth gig the following night, due to flight induced anxiety, and since then all further appearances have been canceled.

Was it something we said?

Saturday, 29 November 2008

....Are Doomed To Repeat It.....

Boy 1: "Yeah, but like why do we have to learn things like Ancient Rome and stuff? When are we ever going to use that? I mean unless you're going to be a museum curator or a historian or something and like, that's not very likely is it?"

Boy 2 (M)"Yeah Mrs A, we should be learning stuff about TODAY. About the issues that are happening now, that will affect us in the future, why can't we learn about THAT??"

Thusly went part of a conversation between students and teacher in a Geography lesson on Friday afternoon.

This one Geography lesson a week has been the bane of my existence this year. It is the 'worst' Year 10 class; straight after lunch on a Friday; they're not really my class, I simply babysit them once a week for their extremely talented and popular male teacher who has another class at that time and we differ in our expectations of what they should actually do in a single Geography lesson on a Friday afternoon. They think they should do nothing. I disagree.

As you can imagine, a significant portion of the boys in the class (and a significant proportion of the class are boys) see this lesson as an opportunity to have a little fun with the teacher. At the beginning of the year, the bell would go at 1.40pm and by 2.00pm I had maybe 2/3 of the class present. The rest (we shall call them 'The Reprobates'*) would straggle in, sans books, pencils and work ethic and proceed to clatter loudly though the room to the back row, prop their chairs up against the back wall and put their feet up. When quizzed on their lateness they would look me straight in the eye and say, "We were looking for our books in our lockers." The fact that they were all wet through from an obvious water fight in the toilets was neither here nor there.

After a few weeks of detentions where they had to write out the importance of coming to class on time, I had cured most of their lateness but rubbed their 'attitude' up into a veritable static storm of resentment. They crackled as they entered the room.

I further endeared myself to them by beginning to escort them to their next lesson as it became evident that they used the 45 sec walk from one classroom to another to visit the toilet, locker, drinking fountain, squabble, water fight or disappear off into the bowels of the school never to return. The end of last term saw an escalation in the resentment as I gave several detentions for reading manga comics in class and talking during 'silent time' (don't ask, it's a school tradition).

The manga comics incident was one of those headshaking moments. I noticed, as the rest of the class were discussing the current Australian water crisis, a young man in the front row, head down, absorbed in his reading. He wasn't even trying to hide it. When asked to hand over the book he was outraged.
"But it's not mine! He (points) lent it to me."

Later, as others were answering written questions I tackled him on the issue.
"What makes you think that it is in any way acceptable to be sitting in class reading a comic?"
"Well, I didn't have my textbook or my exercise book so I couldn't do any work, so I might as well."

Aaaaaanyway, I digress (now there's a surprise). To some degree it was a difficult class for the kids too as I was not their regular teacher and relied upon him to give me the work for them to complete. He usually did this about 30secs before I walked into the classroom so I was left playing catch-up and could not always answer all their questions, not that The Reprobates had any intention of asking any, well not intelligent ones anyway. Their questions usually had ulterior motives like trying to trick me into saying something that would get me into trouble with the ultra conservative Christian School Board.

In the second to last week of term their teacher was on a course and had not left me any work (horror) so I visited the Library and found an animated film about life in space after the Earth had been destroyed; Titan AE or something. Do you think The Reprobates could manage to let me get it up and running without incident? Of course not. Granted they probably didn't know what the film was and may have assumed an old frump like me was going to force them to watch a documentary on endangered marsupials in the Amazon, but their deliberate group singing over the top of my introduction tried my otherwise sunny countenance and I sent one of them outside.

Once the rest had shut up and were watching the film I went out to see my little friend and discuss his behaviour. He was arrogant and rude in the extreme and rather than engage in a fruitless power struggle I suggested he just go straight to the Focus Room. He was irate!

"You can't send me to the Focus Room! You haven't given me a warning yet! School rules say you have to warn me, move me and THEN send me out! You didn't even warn me or move me!"

"I think you've had enough warning already mate," I reasoned," You've had three terms worth of warnings, you know what is expected of you."

"Ah! But every lesson should be a fresh start. We get our warnings all over again every lesson."

"But you don't give me a fresh start every lesson."

This slowed him for a moment.

"Yes, but you're the teacher, you should lead by example."

"M, I have tried time and time again to give you a fresh start. I speak to you civilly in the yard. I ask how you're going and you cut me dead."

"But there's a line between being a teacher and a friend you know."

"I'm not trying to be your friend. I am trying to be pleasant and civil but you boys, when you come into this class carry every detention you've ever received with you. You walk in the door in attack mode and you never give me a fresh start. Why should I give you one?"

There was a momentary silence.

"Well, I'm sorry about that."

Pardon? Did I hear him correctly? Did he just apologise????

"That's alright M. If you can sit out here quietly for a moment I'll see if I can let you back in the classroom."

He was indeed able to re-enter the classroom and although I am not saying he is a radically changed young man, he has at least given the whole thing some thought. This was evidenced by this week's lesson and the conversation with which I opened the post.

This week I had given up any hope of getting any work out of them. They had the list of revision questions to attempt and I had made it clear that I was available to help if they needed me but I was b******d if I was going to knock myself out on a Friday afternoon on the week before exams. I sat with a group of kids looking at the questions, trying to decide what a 'scattergraph' was, when M and his two friends called to me across the aisle with their question about History.

To begin with, it was difficult to ascertain whether they were simply being malicious, having a 'go' at a subject they know I teach, but I decided to try the 'fresh start' principle and engage in the discussion rather than attempting to steer them back onto Geography questions they had no intention of completing.

Firstly, I felt it necessary to point out that if they wanted a subject which dealt with current issues, things that would affect their future, then Geography is it. After all, the current topic is Environmental Issues!
They kind of acknowledged this but pushed it aside as they continued on with their rant against History.

"I mean, what's the point of learning about Ancient Egypt?"

"I thought most kids liked learning about ancient Egypt?"

"Well, yeah, that was quite interesting BUT other History topics, what use are they?"

"Hmm, you mentioned Ancient Rome. What happened to it? Why did it collapse? It got too big didn't it? And what is happening to our world economy today? It's got so large and interdependent that if one large economy falters it affects us all. We're seeing that now."
(I know this is a pretty loose interpretation but I was going for impact here)

"Yes, yes, yes, but we should be looking to predict things about the future. I mean, why aren't we talking about Mumbai?"

"Well, do you know the History of Mumbai? Of India? Do you know what the attackers are protesting about?

Back and forward we went. He led himself into it. "The reason you are able to 'make predictions' about things," I suggested, " is because you have seen things happen in the past and you have learned from them. That is History!"

The conversation then ran from 9/11 to North Korea to East Timor to the Middle East. I pointed out to them that if they wanted to talk about these things they had to be in possession of the facts ie history; if only to ensure that they are pleasant and intelligent dinner table companions!!

"So knowing all this stuff is just about social life really?" asked M.

"That, and impressing an employer you are a well educated, well rounded individual."

" I still don't see why we have to learn things that we're not going to use!"

"Well, " I foolishly began," that's a very 15 year old point of view. You really don't have any idea just yet what you will use in life or work in the future. "

M looked at me attentively and was obviously considering this proposition. His mate however couldn't leave it alone.

"Are you saying we're childish???? At least we don't wear bright pink mickey mouse ipods. That's like what an eight year old does!!!!!!!!!!!" The other two looked at him as if he were mad.

I couldn't decide whether I was disappointed that he was still on his previous 'get the teacher agenda' or pleased that the other two weren't. I decided to go for humour.

"Oh! Ow, ow!" I feigned extreme pain," Cuts deep mate! Touche."

This time all three of them were looking at me.
"What the hell is 'touche'?"

*sigh* I guess I've still got a long way to go in the teenage boy/teacher relationship stakes.

*Reprobate: I have just checked the definition of this favoured word and found it to mean, as I intended, an 'unprincipled person'; but more co-incidentally, in Christian Theology(archaic) it apparently means 'predestined for damnation'!!!!!! My, my.

Image Credits

roman coin


tin of paint

Thursday, 27 November 2008

You Just Stand There Looking Cute

I have posted on the awesome Ton Lehrer before and when the erudite Ray at Nitro Vista produced this post, I was catapulted immediately into a Google search for videos of his famous "Hunting Song". Tom's, not Ray's.

Now, You Tube is a wunnerful thang. I have rediscovered many delightful things there which have brought back memories but I have also seen other things for which I wasn't prepared.
(Thanks to Chris at Formerly Fun for the heads up on that little beauty.)

Tom Lehrer's wonderful satire on the deer hunting tradition in the US was a favourite of mine as a child and I remember singing along enthusiastically with my father,
"....and a pure. bred. Guernsey. coooooooooow......."

This was the best version I could find on the tube as there doesn't seem to be one of Tom performing it himself. Have a watch and then take a look at this one.

Now, I could be wrong and maybe I'm being judgemental, but I wonder if this gentleman has missed the point? Maybe not! Maybe his deadpan delivery is comic genius too subtle for my narrow middle class mind?

Having said that, I did laugh. A lot.

What do you think?

Edited to add: OK I've just re watched it and I think maybe he is a genius.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Marking Reports Marking Reports More Marking...

Well now I have officially blown NaBloPoMo. I skipped a day.

To tell the truth it hasn't been going as well as I'd hoped. There seems to be so much else going on and so little time to construct well thought out posts like so many of the bloggers I admire. I guess I will just have to face the fact that I am not a well thought out person anymore, if I ever was.

Yesterday we had the last of the History oral presentations on Vietnam. The marking criteria had pointed out that reading huge slabs of notes off Powerpoint presentation did not constitute an 'oral' so most of them ditched Powerpoint and read huge slabs of notes off cue cards instead. They did not seem to see the problem with this.

"But Miss....they were on CUE cards!!!!!"

One fellow produced a speech suspiciously similar to that of a girl we'd heard the day before. Hello, I thought to my clever self. It sounds like they have downloaded this directly off the same website, but no. He had merely pinched her cue cards out of her locker.

Zero for that then.

At least he was honest when challenged. Well, he could hardly lie. The cue cards were constructed of pale pink paper beautifully mounted onto flowery card.

Right, off to write more perceptive and meaningful report comments which start with

'X is a delightful, enthusiastic pupil.....'

move onto

'however, X would benefit from.....'

and finish with

'I wish X every success for Year 11.'

Last time, my scintillating vocabulary had them all lining up to see me after the holidays.

"Miss, what does flippant mean? You wrote it on my report."
"Penchant.....what did you mean I have a penchant for loud humour...?"

Hell. Look at the time. These things are due at 9am.


Monday, 24 November 2008

reports marking reports marking exams reports marking

reports reports reports reports reports reports reports reports reports reports reports
marking marking marking marking marking marking marking marking marking marking

Himself: Could you do a voice over for me?

It's midnight.

I can't really say no as he sat up until 3.45am with me the other morning doing a slide presentation for church :-(

He's a sweetheart.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

No Woman Is an Island....Although Some Of Us Regularly Experience Shipwrecks.

So don't laugh at my island drawing. It's tricky to get worksheets of this nature and it's sometimes easier just to throw one together.

Now, apart from the obvious lack of style, talent and CAD software, my Year 10s took to this quite well considering they had struggled significantly with the original task.

The questions asked them to summarise a trip around the island keeping a running total of the distance travelled. After a few more factual questions they were presented with the last, somewhat creative exercise.

"If you were planning to build a road on the island, where would you build it"

This sent several of the pupils in the group into a state of near tail spin but it is only my favourite response that we shall examine here.


M: Mrs A Mrs A, I don't know what to do here.

Me: Have you read the instructions?

M: No

Me: (sighs) well, lets read.

"Where would you build a road on the island?"

M: What do you mean by 'build a' road?

Me: On your map. Draw where you think a road would go.

(panic sets in)

M: (quivering hysterically, voice rising to a shriek) But I don't KNOW where the road would go.

Mrs A: Hush, its not that hard. You could put a shortcut in or you could look and see where there are no roads.

M :(finding and indicating an area on the map.)

Mrs A: Well done.

M: but what do I WRITE???????????

Mrs A: Let's draw the road in first and then it's easier to write about whatever you do.

At this point M picked up her pencil and drew this.

One of the other pupils was walking past at this point and upon seeing the road he burst into hysterical laughter and hooted,
"Girl! What kind of a lame road is THAT?????"

Me: (attempting to stifle more hysterical laughter) M, it is customary for a road to start somewhere and go somewhere else.

She did see the funny side in the end but really, I ask you!? We make a lot of assumptions about our pupil's knowledge don't we?

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Where was I?

Ah yes..... I think I fell asleep over that last post. What I was going to say was

....bathroom in the new guest room clean in time for the BA's dad coming to stay.

Well, that didn't quite go to plan. Having fallen asleep at an early hour and slept until 7.30am ( my Sat morning sleep in!!!!) the BA and I flew down to the airport at 8.20am to pick up her dad. Needless to say, very little got done in between 7.30 and 8.20 although I did manage to get the piles of under wear on the kitchen table put away :-). As a result, after greeting him and picking up his hire car, I insisted that the two of them go have coffee or something whilst I dashed home to clean.

Now bear in mind that this bathroom of which I speak is attached to the room which No2 Son inhabited for 2 and a half years. You all saw the state of the room; now imagine if you will the state of the bathroom.

I got back from the airport at around 10.40am and I have just finished the bathroom now at 12.55pm.

All articles used in the cleaning of said bathroom are to be burned.

I have to say though, that there was one pristine item in that bathroom before I commenced my attack, and I mean pristine! It was the toilet brush.

Stands to reason really.

Friday, 21 November 2008


I have to tell you about something that happened in maths today but I am so tired that this is all I will manage.

It is a very funny tale but I'll tell you tomorrow!
Meanwhile I have to get the

Thursday, 20 November 2008

NaBloPoMo 9: Movement at the Station

I am struggling with the diary.

A lot of the first few weeks include irate phone calls with the BA's Dad who was back in Australia at the time dealing with the legalities of our divorce. Other entries note her development in minute detail which is probably not overly exciting reading for anyone other than her Grandmother and I. So I will scoot forward a bit to notable events that can be accompanied by pictures. Hope there's something of interest in this for somebody apart from my family and I!! :-)

Tuesday 25th July 1995

Recall Sunday 16th July

She held her head up properly for the first time whilst lying on her stomach. This was a definite first because she hadn't been able to do it the day before. Much excitement and videoing ensued.

Grandad (my dad) bought a stuffed dog which a little girl at the checkout determined should be named 'Bobby'!

Monday 24th July

Today she grabbed the beads strung across her pram with two hands and very deliberately pulled them towards her mouth. Is this 'reaching for a toy' as noted in baby books?
She is also doing a lot of back arching whilst on the floor- putting both feet flat and lifting her bottom right up! On her stomach she makes crawling movements with her feet and wriggles herself forward on her tummy but she hasn't got her hands co-ordinated yet. She has been dribbling prodigiously for some time now. Blows bubbles and says 'ah boo'. She is now 11 weeks old.

August 3rd 1995

We've just had a 5 day 'break' in Leeds. The weather has been STIFLING. 30c+ everyday with minor relief in the evening. UK houses are just not designed for heat. They RETAIN it!
All in all it was a bit of a nightmare trip with the BA being very hard to settle - back to feeding to settle her again. We went to Manchester on Tuesday night to meet A's family and she was quite put out when his nieces wanted to cuddle and play with her. She showed a definite dislike for all the attention, which was a real first. When we got to the restaurant (The Badde Ladde), she was very awkward, awake but tired, wouldn't settle after a feed- had to be walked by Mum for about 20 mins b4 she went off. She slept all the way back to Leeds but woke up as soon as I took her out of her car seat and was really distressed when I wouldn't feed her again. She went to sleep eventually in the carry cot and it was, when she woke up AGAIN that I watched her roll over and take her arm out from under herself!!!!!! 12 weeks old!!!!!!
Since then she has been perfecting the technique and did it immediately I put her on the floor at Sarah's today. She also definitely reached for ger cow and when she took it from me it went straight to her mouth!! She is less able to let go, tends to drop thing accidentally I think.

Friday 28th we had a lovely night at Wilton House where we saw the Bournemouth Sinfonietta playing out in the open. It was great. Mum and I had KFC and a bottle of champagne. The BA lay in her pram and listened to the music while I shuggied her. Later there were fireworks and it had got quite cool so she had the funny little hat on that Mary Ann had sent. She looked so funny as she gravely observed all the fireworks. She didn't flinch once as they banged (although I did have my hands over her ears).

Now we're home I'll have to work on settling her without feeding. She is becoming very demanding and I can't socialise without dashing off to feed, rock or sing her. (this is so funny to read now) I think this is bad. A rod for my own back.

(There's the beads she was reaching for)

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Out of the Mouths of Babes

This morning I woke up after a terrible nightmare in which the pupils had ganged up on me.

I have been feeling very demoralised with student attitudes of late. There is this constant power struggle going on in the classroom and I for one don't even want to play the game.

Some of the bright lads in my History class wage this constant war of oneupmanship; the 'Get One Over On The Teacher' game. This involves; jumping on me if I accidentally trip over a word, loudly pointing out typos or inconsistencies in worksheet questions; challenging me over pedantic definitions (is a pilot a soldier since he kills people and goes to war? is Scotland a country?) etc etc etc

So it was with a dark heart, still brushing the cobwebs of the dream off my shoulders that I fronted my Year 10 Maths class today. Adding inconvenience to my black mood was the fact that we have classroom changes due to Year 11 exams. This means I have to cart all my equipment, calculators, tables folders, whiteboard markers, OHPs etc across the school to another room where I find I have brought the wrong set of folders or forgotten to bring the rulers and pencils. (after all, why would the kids bring them????)

For some reason, I think because only a few made it to school on time today and the classroom was comfortingly empty, we started having a discussion about life, exams, future study options and the like. The conversation got around to hating school and of course hating teachers. Teachers are stupid/mean/unreasonable etc. Names were named.

One particular colleague came in for a bit of a hammering with descriptions of her inflexibility and hardline manner. This is always difficult and I in no way encourage this kind of discussion of the staff but they were most insistent in this case and in the midst of my protests and attempts to change the subject, one of my most problematic pupils announced..

"No, but Mrs A, she's not like you. We know you care about us. With you, even when we've had a big argument or something, you go home over the weekend and calm down and when we see you again it's like a fresh start. You don't hold it against us. But with her, she doesn't forget and next time you see her she's still mad with you...."

Now, if the Lord could have sent me any gift today, any assurance that something I was doing was getting through to them, it could not have been any more perfect than this statement from this pupil.

I managed to steer the topic off my unfortunate colleague and onto the power of prayer and how much of it is needed to wipe the slate clean every weekend and bring me back to these kids, optimistic and accepting. We went on to do some revision on the Virtual Road Trip which some of them remembered and could almost complete independently. All in all it was a most satisfactory and tranquil lesson. The answer to prayer really.

Of course, the year 9s after lunch were revolting and it was back to reality but for a brief moment there it was all worthwhile.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

3 Days 0 Hours 20 Minutes

56th position.
Oh yes!
Burning up the briny now!!!!!!!

My Daughter the Fish

Yuh see that little tiny baby back there? There little tiny, tiny one in my arms?


Today she won the Year 8 freestyle, the Year 9 backstroke, and was the final swimmer in the successful year 9 and year 10 freestyle relay teams. She is a pan-year group swimmer!!!!! She is also a fish! Not bad for a kid who hasn't done any swimming training in over a year!

I am so proud but I don't have a single photo to show for it because I am a working mother and I NEVER get to see her in sports and swimming carnivals!!!!!!!!! >:-(
But I am still soooooo proud.

Unfortunately her smallish school does not enter any participants in the inter school swimming carnival :-( Damn shame really. She could do well.

And to whom does she owe her training?????
Errrrr.......not me.........I am having enough trouble there treading water :-)

2 Days 9 Hours 20 Minutes

90th position!
And he's about to go to another power move...it's 6.50am. I had to wake him up specially.....

Monday, 17 November 2008

Volvo Great Ocean Race: Leg Two

This second leg started on Saturday night around 9.30pm. We were at a party at the time but Himself had made sure to bring his laptop so that he could start on the gun! Seventeen minutes late (he couldn't establish an internet connection through his phone) he started off from Cape Town en route to Cochin in India via Mauritius. At least it generated some party chat.

He is now in 156th position in a field of 67 000 boats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's a pity he doesn't make money from this.

NaBloPoMo 8: Arrival and Outings

Friday May 12th 1995

Just writing quickly to say we're home!!!

The Baby Angel, born Monday 8th May, 8.06pm, 50th Anniversary of VE Day.
Weighing 7lb 8 1/4 oz.

She was a 'water baby' and the 40th baby delivered by the Alpha Midwifery Lead Care Team.
(ed: thank God for the Alpha Team!!!!)

Will write more about the experience later. Tonight: sore, tired, nervous(?), overwhelmed with love and the magnitude of caring for her. Having just established hospital routines we now have to start all over again with new 'home' routines! A challenge.

(ed: note I didn't get home til the Friday! That doesn't happen too much nowadays. They seem to boot you out as soon as possible. I really valued the few days to settle down, rest and recover with expert advice on hand.)

Friday 26th May 1995

Well, just as I arrived in the UK on my birthday last year, so The Bestie has arrived here on hers! She and A got here around 10.45am just as the washing machine and the downstairs toilet packed it in!! Mum and Dad were on their way out to a wedding in France. Mum has been stressing all week over what to wear and the fact that she doesn't want to go, however she seemed in good spirits this morning.

Must go off now for a snooze.

June 5th 1995

The Bestie and A have been and gone. It was nice having them-my intro back into the "real" world. The BA was really good and only had one horrid night/morning, Sunday 4am- Monday 11am. I was exhausted. She also managed to give me a hickey as I tried to settle her on my chest and she latched on....to my neck! I got the giggles and couldn't prise her off so the resultant bite was black! :-D

Went to Leeds with The Bestie and A on Weds 31/5/95. Our first big car trip. She was very good. She was awake for a lot of the trip just looking at me and the teddies over her pram cot. We had been to Stonehenge the day before in the car but she was in her car seat that time. She was VERY good.

Other outings include:
First trip to Alldays (a convenience store) 18/5/95. Learned two things; never go out without a rain cover AND Bassett is not a pram friendly area. No ramps on kerbs and very dangerous road crossings.

Greek BBQ at Middle Sis' (aka Auntie L) place. DELICIOUS food! Had haloumi cheese and retsina. Walked around Shirley (a suburb) with Auntie L and B-I-L(aka Uncle J) who pushed the pram. That was a sight to see!!!! (J is over 6 foot and very lanky).

Shopping to Portswood. She slept in the sling. Very good. Slept all the way through.

Pub lunch at the Bush Inn at Ovington. Did the biggest, messiest nappy yet. Went everywhere. Had to change her in the boot of the car, tights off and all! Even went onto the pram sheet :-(

Today (5th) and last 2 days, she has discovered her hands. Fixes eyes on them over her head and then brings them towards her face, following with her eyes.

(Picture: On the bridge at Ovington with Auntie L and A.)


I am so sick of breaking up fights. Why do they always have to brawl in front of me????

Sunday, 16 November 2008

NaBloPoMo 7: Still Waiting

May 1st 1995

One week overdue. Eugh. I feel like an eggbound duck. I can't get around much as the pressure is uncomfortable. Tomorrow is the cervical sweep. Roll on. I feel "bunged up".

May 6th

Still no baby.

Tuesday; has the cervical sweep. Anne said the cervis was still right up behind the babies head-not thinned out at all! Depression. :-(
Wednesday; Anne visited and we discussed all possibilities including how to make inductionless traumatic.
Thursday: tried acupuncture. I feel it did some good although I don't know what. No immediate results. Had left over curry for lunch and went for a walk with Mum around the Sports Centre. Lots of Braxton-Hicks but nothing else.

Friday: Active Birth. Everyone said "Oh no!. You're not STILL here!!!!" Went up to the ward to see Anne who had another look and said the cervix had definitely thinned out a bit but there was no dilation yet. :-(
So it's Saturday and I'm still waiting.
Other events this week....
Dad's department underwent TQA and received an 'excellent'.

Middle Sis and B-I-L went to Corfu. I visited the home of one of the girls from Active Birth.

We're going to Exbury Gardens tomorrow with
B & B...then into Princess Anne Hospital for prostin pessaries on Sunday night and "the drip" on Monday!!! Oh dear- I am nervous. Still, I should have her by Tuesday. HOORAY!!

Pictures: (above) Enjoying my last day of life being responsible only for myself. Exbury Gradens were particularly beautiful that year, on that day. Check out the reflections here. I remember we heard a cuckoo too that day. My first.

That is me in the middle of the picture below, looking like I have a pillow down my front!! My smile here belies the nerves I was feeling about the coming 24 hours.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Stretching the Umbilical Cord

Today was a calendar day.

The Bestie's mum and dad live in a satellite town about 40 kms north of Adelaide and during the week the Baby Angel decided she would like to go and visit them.

This took me somewhat by surprise and I struggled to think about time frames; hockey matches, 50th birthday parties, sailing and a whole host of other events which are scheduled for this weekend and which would impede my ability to drive her up 'north' for the afternoon (about an hour and a half's drive from start to finish).

"No, Mum," she explained in an exasperated tone, "On the train! On my own!"


She was serious. She rang Bestie's Mum, who was delighted to hear from her and the next thing I knew she had the train timetables up on the internet and was giving me departure and arrival alternatives!!!!! (just quietly, many of my Year 10 Maths pupils would have been hard pressed to get the train timetables up on the web, let alone read them !!!! ) Decisions were made. She would catch the 10.23 from Adelaide station and the Bestie's dad would pick her up at 11.17am.
Now all I had to do was come to terms with it.

And so we set out this morning.

Much to her mortification I had to have a word with the Railway employee and inform him that he had a young person on his train who was travelling on her own for the first time (apart from the three days a week she catches a train to my school but that's only 4 stops so it doesn't count).
"No problem," he quipped,"she should be alright at this time of day."
"Err...what do you mean 'at this time of day'?"
"Well, I wouldn't travel this line at night ma'am. In the business we call the stops between Womma and Everard Park 'indian country'."
"Because of the large ex-Bombay population?" I asked hopefully.
His cynical smirk spoke more of pulling the wagons into a circle.

Mum! Enough already with the photos!!!!!!!!!So she is off into the big wide world. Next thing I know she will be back packing around Europe (do they still do that sort of thing?).
PS: The phone call came at around 11.45am. She has been safely delivered into the bosum of the Bestie's parents and they will bring her back tomorrow when they come down for Sunday lunch....

Friday, 14 November 2008

Commissioned Watercolor Portrait GIVEAWAY!!!!

Commissioned Watercolor Portrait GIVEAWAY!!!!

Wow! Look at this! I didn't even know how this 'create a link' thing worked!!!

A Free Man is, as usual, sucking his way around the blogosphere in his inimitable style and trying to take the portrait out of the mouths of other rightful babies. Now, while I too would like a water colour portrait of my beautiful BA (perhaps in her toddlerhood?) I mainly wish to alert all my lovely readers to this wonderful giveaway over at Grosgrain.

Aren't I altruistic?

Mother Moshing

Er..... Brittany, you asked for it!

Mosh...with lots of space.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

The Vines Part II

When I left you, we were making our way down to the Gov to see 'The Vines' accompanied by two intensely excited 'gals' incapable of speech without shrieking giggles.

On arrival, we were greeted by the ubiquitous concert queue. I remember concert queues. They usually involved blankets and snacks and gangs of your mates sitting around all day before the gates were opened and everyone scrambled for 'poll' position near the front of the stage. Queues were part of the concert experience and many a romance was kindled in a concert queue as you got to know your neighbouring queuers pretty well.

Fortunately, this queue had a more practical application. As we stood in line, security guards proceeded along the queue checking idees and slapping these attractive bracelets onto anyone old enough to drink. We were flattered that it was deemed we needed them :-) What a fantastic idea to save time and embarrassment for the bar staff! All the hard yards had already been done.

Once the sheep had been sorted from the lambs; or perhaps that should be 'the fish' from the 'fry' (as in, 'he drinks like a.....') the doors were opened and we spilled into the venue.

The Gov is a reasonably small venue with the bulk of tables and chairs moved out of a back area to make room for moshing and the like.
There are a couple of bars with some stools and tables nearby and the room opens out onto, what we used to call, a beer garden. Surrounding the stage was a sturdy looking steel mesh fence. Hmmmm. Should I be worried?The girls of course, made a bee line for the front and claimed a spot by the fence. Himself and I were obviously not being encouraged to stay nearby (goodBYE Mum) and so, as the place was far from full at that point, we got ourselves a beer and retired to the beer garden. We could sit out there and still see in through the doors to where the girls stood by the stage. At this point I must fill in a few details, paint a more complete picture as it were, so that you can fully appreciate what happened next.

My attire for a rock gig consists of; a black, boned shirt with lace-up back, a long eastern style coat, blue jeans and pointy black high heeled boots. I clasp my pint in one hand and my newly coloured red hair glints in a high fashion bob under the early evening sun. I look like a groupie.

Himself is all in black too, down to his black cowboy boots. His collar length hair is flying in the breeze; his not inconsiderable girth gives him the appearance of a juggernaut matched by his surly countenance, as if carved from redwood, under its magnificent moustache and beard. He has a pint in one hand and a cigar hanging carelessly from the other. He looks like a biker.

At this point, as we searched the garden for a seat, my eye fell upon the sheepishly grinning face of a callow youth and from there to the pale, shocked face next to him and another next to that.

Year 10. Three of the more streetwise of a pretty streetwise cohort. I grinned, raised my glass and said "Hello boys, it looks like ALL the reprobates are here now!"

They were speechless.

I wish I could have been a neuron-on-the-wall in their brains at that point. I would have LOVED to know what went through their minds. Hahahahahahahah
All I could say to Himself as we made our way to a seat nearby was,
'You are earning me squillions of points in street cred!'

I must say though, it was hard to know whose style was cramped the most by our joint presence;
tough, uncompromising middle aged teacher or rebellious, 16 year old Christian students with attitude! Although I found it quite amusing, I also felt a little exposed and perhaps not as free to 'let my hair down' as I would have liked.

It's funny really because I was driving, so my beer was a lonely one, and of course I was also supervising The BA and her friend so I was never going to climb onto the bar or lapdance the security guard (as if I ever would!) but I still felt as if I couldn't even get up and dance in case the boys saw me.

Eventually, Himself and I went back inside and parked ourselves on stools and a table near the bar while my little friends disappeared over to the extreme other side of the room as fast as they could. The BA and friend were just visible through the gathering crowd and I made myself useful collecting up their bags and jumpers to 'hold' like a good mum. Lo and behold what do I discover but that the couple standing next to us are ALSO here supervising their 13 year old son! Seems it was an 'all age' event. The first band came on.

I laugh now when I think of the innocence of The BA and friend. Part way through the set I took them lemonade and she took the opportunity to shout in my ear "Is this The Vines?"
The look of doubt and confusion on her face brought a smile to my heart. Of course! She's never heard of a support act! She's only 13 and this is her first concert. :-)
I reassured her that it was not and she appeared relieved.

We enjoyed the first band. They're called the Shiny Brights and they have a My Space page. They were energetic, catchy and put on a good 'show'. I'd go and see them again.

The next band had delusions of adequacy. Himself was less polite and pronounced them 'crap'. From the man who designed a T Shirt in the 70s which said 'If it's too loud, you're too old', came the words, "That was just noise." They really were a bunch of self indulgent wankers
(sorry mum) who stood with their backs to the audience playing into the loudspeakers so they could hear how good they were. Boooorrrring.

But, never fear, The Vines were at hand. They exploded onto the stage and hit the ground running. Now these guys know how to put on a show. For the BA's first rock concert it was text book. Craig Nicholls had his shirt off after 2 numbers, tipped a glass of water over his head and swore at the audience. There were crowd surfers, LOTS of crowd surfers. There was moshing and the sensation of being pinned to the fence (in total safety as the crowd was only 6 people deep near the front, at the max). There were poignant numbers and intensely popular commercial faves and if I was clever like A Free Man, I would be able to post some examples and link them to the appropriate words, but I'm not. Finally, there was smashing of guitars and mike stands into drum kits and speakers. Quintessential rock and roll. :-D The Vines had it all.In the end I went down the front and moshed, after all, I had paid my money too. No sign of my students *whew*

At the end of the evening the girls were beside themselves with excitement. They nursed their ringing ears and pronounced over and over again how 'brilliant' it had been. They swore they would never be able to get to sleep. They sighed over the fact that Craig had 'touched' them as he low fived the front row.

The BA was asleep within half an hour of getting home; the exhausted, happy sleep of one whose expectations have been exceeded.

Of course, I was waiting to see what the repurcussions would be at school on Monday. Nothing was said initially and then two relatively unknown Year 9s came up and asked me if I liked beards. Random? I think not. Somebody had been talking :-) Later, another teacher came in chuckling to report that the two boys in question had talked to her about the experience whilst being kept back after class.

Boys: Mrs B, do you know Mrs A very well?

Mrs B: Why yes, we share an office.

Boys: Well, did you know we saw her st THE GOV on Friday night? It was freaky.

Mrs B: Why freaky?

Boys; Well, you know....like....... she was there, and.........we were there....and.....well......it was

Mrs B: kind of like worlds colliding? (she's an English teacher...you can tell :-D)

Boys: well, yeah. AND.....she was DRINKING!!!!!!!!!!!

Mrs B: SO??????????

Sheesh. I don't know. One beer. What's a girl to do when the Playground Police are onto her??? :-D

Thank God for wonderful colleagues I say!

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

She Made My Day!!!!

My MUM commented on my last post :-D

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

The Vines

Now I'm going to leave you all hanging on the edge of your seats wondering whether I give birth or not and tell you instead about 'The Vines' gig last Friday night.

Firstly, some background. (Would it be an Arizaphale story without background????)

I have always been a bit of a rock chick. Maybe it was the era I grew up in, maybe something in my bones? It certainly wasn't attributable to my parents, bless them, who managed to have children and take life seriously from a traditionally early age during the 60's.

To give credit where it's due, it was probably my mother who initially inspired in me a love of music. She has a glorious voice and performed, as a young woman, with the Adelaide Philharmonic Choir, in such epics as 'The Messiah'. Our home was always filled with music; piano, recorder, reel to reel tape recordings.....not to mention plain old singing in the car and whenever the mood took us.

Of course, my father also loved music; classical was his preference. Coupled with his love of technology and gadgets, music carved a huge footprint in our household, at my father's hand. We started with a 'Dansette' record player, the kind which stacked the records for you and dropped the next one down as required. I remember him buying a 'Lafayette' amp in the US in 1968 and building Waldorf speakers to go with it. Therein ensued a case of 'mine is bigger than yours' as his friends and colleagues visited to inspect the new 'baby'. To showcase its power he would put on something from his 'World Record Collection' (akin to the Time Life stuff you buy through mail order now) like Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by JS himself. Heh heh heh. Good times.

But the most 'hip' my sixties parents ever got was Simon and Garfunkel. Popular music touched my dad in the form of 'She Loves You Yeah, Yeah, Yeah', but those were the only words he ever learned. I also vaguely remember them singing 'They're coming to take me away ha ha', but I'm not sure that counts as a song. (I've just watched that and I still find it funny. Sad really.)

So where my love of rock comes from is hard to say. It certainly surprised and perplexed my parents although they did indulge and let me buy a cheap electric guitar in my teens. Cool parents really. They dropped me off at such concerts as 'Rick Wakeman', 'Status Quo', 'Deep Purple' and later, 'David Bowie', 'Fleetwood Mac' and 'Alice Cooper'.

All this is leading to the fact that I have been raising my daughter on rock and roll. In the womb she was subject to a variety of influences; U2, EMF, Cold Chisel. Growing up we alternated tapes in the car cassette player so that when a friend archly stated 'You can't always get what you want' my five year old child broke into the Rolling Stones chorus. I have video of her 'dancing' to 'Top of the Pops' (the Sunday retro edition :-] )......

She did go through a dubious Shania Twain and Delta Goodrem phase but I blame her father for that.

Recently (and I blame A Free Man) she fancies herself as something of an 'indie' aficionado but even that had not prepared me for the request, at 13, to go with her friend to see 'The Vines'!
*Sheesh* I remember when they first appeared and she was barely sentient at the time! So the obligatory parental questions followed. When? Where? With whom?

It transpired that The Vines, on the comeback trail, were playing a smallish, music pub venue called The Governor Hindmarsh. (The Gov) Never mind that I have attended several gigs there myself, in the not too distant past at that; this is a PUB! and you, Baby Angel, are thirteen years old. Do the words 'under age' mean anything to you??????

"Well," I said, "the obvious answer is that I take you. After all, I am quite interested in The Vines, not in the least because their lead singer has Aspergers Syndrome."
Himself piped up from the other room
"I wouldn't mind seeing The Vines."
And so it was settled.

Now the frenzy of excitement leading up to this event was marvellous to behold. There were haircuts............
New clothes were bought. T shirts were designed and constructed with the help of Himself. I even agreed to go in after school to buy her a pair of fingerless fishnet gloves to wear.
(I ask you! Only $5.00 though. Whateva.) Eventually they begged us to be able to get ready together at Best Friend's house after school and Himself and I could pick them up from there. It's all about the anticipation you know. Remember?

On the Friday night, Himself and I girded our loins and made our way to pick up the girls. I had already warned them that if they came out wearing terrible 'slurry' make-up they would be sent back to remove it before they got in the car; as a result they were restrained in their preparations.
And now, I will have to leave you in suspense because I am, once more, dropping off!!!!!!

Monday, 10 November 2008

NaBloPoMo 6: Overdue

28th April 1995

T + 4 days. I am now 4 days overdue. Anne the midwife came today and said the head has definitely engaged.

Monday: the due date was really an anti-climax. I moved from "it could happen any time' to "well, now I'm overdue." :-(
Tuesday I felt sure that something was happening as I had low tightening and niggly pains but Anne says that could have been her head dropping. She is still very active; still getting her foot under my rib quite frequently and bouncing around on my intestines :-( I felt ok however and went shopping ( always a good move) .
Wednesday was a downer again. Mainly stayed home and slept. Thursday and Friday ok as the sun came out again. I planted some impatiens for Mum and made the lining for the 'change basket' (eds note: a basket you keep next to the change table containing baby powder, cream etc).

(Picture: the frill I made for the moses basket; my hospital bag on the floor being packed; bedding and presents being sorted)

Friday was Active Birth classes again and then Lil Sis and her fiance arrived. It was like Christmas!
There were many jokes at Aquanatal and Active Birth about me still 'being here'. Several people offered to come visiting as they know I have no immediate circle of friends here. Very nice of them I thought. Getting sick of the phone ringing with people asking "Are you still there...haven't you had it yet????"
Cervical sweep next Tuesday if 'no go' by then. Induction Monday 8th May if still no show. She could be born on the Bestie's Mum's birthday!! (9th May)

(Arranging the bedroom in preparation. Look at those tiny booties. The pink rabbit (Rattle Bunny) on top of the shelves was her bedtime companion up until she was about 9. She has been recently rediscovered, slightly the worse for wear and has taken her rightful place again.)

Sunday, 9 November 2008

NaBloPoMo 5: Monday April 3rd 1995

Boy- it's been a month!
Here are some things which have happened.

I was sick for a week. What a shocker of a cold that was. Spent three days in bed and dragged myself out on Thursday to see 'Hot Shoe Shuffle' in Chichester which was WONDERFUL!!

My boxes arrived from Aus and Dad and I took 3 and a quarter hours to get to the place in London where they were stored. One hour was to get to Marylebone Rd and the rest was getting through London with traffic jams, road works and wrong turns. We made the freight yards with minutes to spare before they closed!!! Whew.

Other developments this month. My brother-in-law's Dad died which was very sad. Poor Middle Sis is really sitting back and reassessing life. (Eds note:She had also been involved in witnessing a road accident in January in which a woman was killed) She had a week in Cyprus and Dad has just gone to Spain.

I have been embroidering furiously. I now have to make the frill for the moses basket and I still have a maternity top on the go which I won't need if I don't get on with it!!! Yesterday, Mam and I started packing my hospital case. (Picture: Me asleep with the cat on my 'embroidery chair'. The unfinished piece is over the back of the chair.)

I keep getting very weepy. This morning I woke up and had a cry over everything in my life I had messed up.....like a waitressing job way back when. Can you believe it? I worry that I will pass on all my hang ups to my child. I am so afraid of loss at present. I'm afraid of losing my parents. I'm afraid of losing this baby after she's born. I'm afraid of losing all my friends if I don't go back to Australia but then I'm afraid of losing my family if I do.......

I am so tired at the moment.

Perhaps this is pre-natal depression?

Status report: Belly big. Muscles separated between navel and ribcage. Head descending (according to Anne, my midwife) Baby usually fairly active, all visible from the exterior. Still only one varicose vein and no other nasty varicosities thank goodness. Feet slightly swollen for the first time this weekend. Must get back to the exercises. Missed aquanatal and swimming last week because we were at 'The Marriage of Figaro' and 'Oliver' on Tuesday and Thursday nights. It was lovely being in London. I felt I was back in the real world.

'Oliver!': spectacular sets; conductor on 'speed'. I think they had to get the kids offstage before 10pm. Equity rules perhaps? Anyway Mum and I came out exhausted! :-)

'Marriage of Figaro': Opera is too long for me. Enjoyed the first half very much but in the second half the baby was doing gymnastics!!! Champagne at half time. Lovely!

Have also been attending Active birth classes. Cried like a baby the first time. Mum came to the partner's session the second time and I was fine the third time. Saw 2 x 5 day old babies from girls who had been in the first class. Lovely! Am looking forward to meeting my daughter.
(Making a blanket to be embroidered)

Saturday, 8 November 2008

NaBloPoMo 4: Back to The Journal

26th February 1995 (30 weeks?)

What a long time since I've written! I've had all but no teaching this month. 1 day only but I have been observing a little boy with behavioural issues at Mum's nursery.

I have progressed from mildly pregnant, to definitely pregnant, to heavily pregnant in the last week! The baby is definitely a girl according to ultrasounds on 15th Feb. She is also making movements which I can relate to arms and legs instead of vague bubbly feelings. Occasionally I am sure she rolls right over as sometimes movement will occur all down one side and at other times it will be all down the other side. At the moment it is right behind my NAVEL!! My skin feels so tight it is itchy.

School in Australia seems so far away now. I guess they're all settled in to their 'new routines' without me. :-(

Been very 'cultural' this month. Went to see 'Barber of Seville', an English version (v funny). Will be seeing 'Hot Shoe shuffle' and 'Marriage of Figaro' next month. Hoping to get to 'Priscilla QOTD' with Mum and Dad, Middle Sis and Brother-in-law this wek.

Have made a maternity dress, skirt and leggings(what a disaster they turned out to be) and have a top to make. Have borrowed copious quantities of stuff from B and B, moses basket, baby bath, pram etc etc. At least 3 drawers full of clothes.

Starting to get the bedroom organised to make way for baby furniture and am trying to get into the 'mid-wifery led care' group so that I at least know 'somebody' in the hospital when I go into labour!! (fun, fun, fun)

Have decided to enrol in Active Birth classes.

We Stand On The Brink....

5th November 2008: Adelaide, South Australia

And so it came to pass.

As I watched the excitement, the elation, the relief, the emotion,
I was overtaken by something completely different.


'I have a dream.'

I was 7 years old when I lived in New Haven Connecticut in 1968. I was an Australian kid on sabbatical with her family in the midst of one of the most turbulent times in American history. We arrived in the country in the week that Martin Luther King was assassinated. He was 39 years old.

From my childish perspective I remember only a few vivid things. We were staying in a hotel until we could find a house and because of this, when my father was scheduled to attend a conference in Washington we all went, as a family, on a Greyhound bus. We arrived late afternoon and were taken directly to another hotel at around 5pm. My mother recalls that there was a 4pm curfew (I thought it was 6pm but I was only seven at the time so we'll trust her recollections) and there was no food in the hotel so my father had to negotiate with a shop or something a few doors up the street and wrangle some bread rolls for us, as the military police were patrolling the streets.

I vividly remember the army jeeps and the soldiers with machine guns on their hips. I think it was vaguely exciting and certainly there was a sense of being in the middle of something 'big'. My mother's recollections include the fear inherent in walking the streets as a white woman with two little girls. Everything was within walking distance from the hotel and so we walked to the Smithsonian Institute and other typical tourist spots during the day when my father was at the conference. Mum remembers the black Americans sitting in doorways and on steps, glaring at her as she walked past. Washington was in the grip of the race riots.

I remember the funeral of Martin Luther King on television; I remember his perfect dark face framed by the soft gathered silk of the coffin lining; I remember my mother explaining why he was important and why he was dead; I remember her pointing out a young, sharp faced man in the front rows of the pews and exclaiming 'That's President Kennedy's brother.'

Speaking about it now, she doesn't have a clear memory of the time that she told me these things, things which would shape my thinking for years to come. She explained how painful the funeral must have been for Senator Kennedy as his brother had also been shot dead some five years before. How did my seven year old mind take in so much violence? At seven does the US become 'that place where great men are shot dead'?

Certainly this idea was to be reinforced months later as an assassin's bullet also found Bobby Kennedy. I remember watching it on TV; I remember walking to school and seeing a large chalk heart drawn on the pavement with the words 'Pray for Bobby' scrawled within. Another 'people's champion' fell. What kind of country does that? I don't think anyone told me about Abraham Lincoln at that stage. I think that came later.

So when I see Barack Obama and his family emerge triumphantly onto the walkway as President and First Family-elect, my heart is filled with foreboding. I can't help it; I am a child of the sixties.

God Bless you America for actually doing it. God Bless all of you who got up off your backsides and made a difference. It is time for a change. Is it a coincidence that this year is the 40th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King? Could he ever have imagined that 40 years hence there would be an African American waiting in the White House wings?

All I can pray is that the Security service is on its toes.

EEEEK I Think I Just Blew NaBloPoMo

I have just got back in from The Vines gig and it is past midnight so I have not officially posted today! Will it count because the time difference in USA means it is still the 7th? Will it count if I do multiple posts?

It will bloody well have to!!!

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Obligatory Post For The Day zzzzzzz

I am not doing very well on the 'theme' front at the moment. I started a post last night in response to the US elections, but fell asleep before I finished it. Tonight I am having difficulty typing this as my eyes are closing on me and I'm nodding off over the keyboard :-(


I AM posting so I am still in the NaBloPoMo race!

Speaking of races, Himself has finished the Great Ocean Challenge (first leg)!! He finished in 91st position so he gets his boat name on the leader board on the website. He is well pleased and relieved as the last 48 hours were v high pressure in terms of tactics and watching the wind. All this and working too! He claims he could have finished even higher but he was in a meeting this afternoon when the crucial finishing moves were needed. ha ha :-D Still, he has done really well and I, for one, am proud of him.

Tomorrow we are taking The Baby Angel and her friend to see The Vines gig at a local music venue (pub!). Initially the kids wanted to go on their own!!!!! HA!!!!! As IF!!!!!! So they are going to be very embarrassed to be in the company of parents although we will of course keep a discreet distance. There has been frantic preparation. Hair cuts, new clothes and a custom made T shirt no less!!!!!

There's also been some Flaming Sword moments on the homework front but that will have to wait as I am dropppinn...............................................................................................................

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

TOP 100

Yes! This morning at 6.30am Himself 'cracked' 100th position!! Seven virtual boats have now 'arrived' in Capetown but as long as he keeps his speed and course he should pass more boats and finish in the top 100 (sometime soon I hope!). I do have to say this is the ONLY time I have seen my husband willingly get out of bed before 8am. I mean, he has done it to go on interstate trips etc but I have had to wake him and push him. This is extraordinary. As I get up for work, he, instead of moaning about what sort of time it is and how the sparrows haven't even farted etc, leaps to his feet, gets his dressing gown and disappears down the hall to the computer. Extraordinary.

108th Position....So Close and Yet So far....

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Who Is THIS?????

and when did she start wearing make-up??????

Monday, 3 November 2008

As I Retire....

He has passed his previous best and is currently in 135th position! Unfortunately the leader is IN but he is still hopeful of making it into the top 100...fingers crossed.

NaBloPoMo 3: Even though I've posted already today!

29th January 1995

Well, as I lie here writing, the staff of C (my school in Sydney) and every other school in NSW will probably be in a staff meeting planning 1995. I wonder how many classes there'll be and who will get swapped around before the week is out? I wonder if the new demountable whas arrived? I wonder how A is? I wonder why they haven't written?

Last week I had two days at Fairisle School. Next week, nothing much planned except an obstetrician visit and maybe the Isle of Wight with Middle Sis on Thursday.
Saturday, mum and I did aerobics and then went for a walk to Swaythling where we looked at a second hand pram for 40 pounds. Very cheap but we decided we needed to know more about them (prams) first. Got home just after dad who'd been on his first trip through the Channel Tunnel.

Saturday night we went out to dinner with a group of dad's students and others who were on the Keldish with dad. I spent that night dreaming about deep sea diving and submarines. The dinner served to remind me of how much I am missing young people. It's not that I don't enjoy spending time with Mum and Dad, on the contrary I love it, but I do feel the lack of a peer group. Maybe if I get to some antenatal classes I'll meet some people.

I miss everyone in Australian so much. I'd love to phone someone and just catch up on the school gossip but I don't like to run up Mum and Dad's phone bill.

Went swimming with Middle Sis last Tuesday. Hopefully going again this week. Trying to keep fit. I'm eating like a horse however.

I wonder when my boxes will arrive? And the parcel Bestie's posted.

Photo taken by my Middle Sis on the Isle of Wight.

144th But It's A Battle

Maybe I Should become A Bouncer

Good grief. This is the second time in two months I have had to break up a fight using actual physical intervention.

Two lads flew past me in the yard at recess, one flung himself on top of the other and two more heaped on top, fists flying. This was no playful rumble and it took quite a bit of my strength to haul two of them off. I think another student also helped but it all happened so fast.....

Good job I'm fiesty eh? Don't mess with Mrs A, I say!!!!! Of course, if any of them had turned on me I would have been in big trouble as they are all feet taller. Still, I do have my trusty karate training to assist me in warding off blows. Wonder what their parents would think if I dropped one of them with a well aimed backfist to the nose?

Best not I guess.

I think I'm rambling now....

Oh, A Free Man? Remember you asked why you shouldn't go into secondary teaching?

On a positive note (yes, there is one), the lesson on Tom Lehrer and his cold war humour went very well. I should have had more faith, after all, these are kids who enjoy The Chaser's War on Eveything and Saturday Night Live. They particularly liked the comment made in a preamble to one of the songs (I had fogotten about it....bad teacher!) which goes:

"I have a friend who wrote a book recently, a whimsical tale of a necrophiliac who fulfilled his life's ambition by becoming Coroner. (mild laughter)
The rest of you can look it up when you get home."

This was the cause of much mirth and raucous guffawing from about 50% of the class. The rest of them will have to look it up when they get home........

161st .....

....and aiming for the top 100. Of course the winds aren't doing exactly what they'd predicted so it's not all beer and skittles.....

Sunday, 2 November 2008

NaBloPoMo 2:

Saturday 21st January 1995: Southampton, England.
(27 weeks pregnant)

Been a week of revolting weather, rain, hail- high winds.
Went to Winchester with Mum last Saturday and bought lots of lovely sheet music and some more maternity clothes. Still haven't got around to sewing the dress/skirt and leggings I cut out just after Christmas. Spent last two days sleeping and reading. Opened a bank account with Barclays.
Read 'There is No Armour' by Howard Spring- lovely book, very prosey but a beautiful eye for detail and drew a superb picture of Falmouth and Cornwall. Makes me want to own a small shack on a coast SOMEWHERE! Also made me think as this fellow's family dropped off all around him-that it is important to grow up with family and people who love you. Should I be taking my baby back to Australia? But who wants to live in miserable old Soton? (Southampton) The New Forest maybe!! Some seaside village perhaps- but give me Sydney as a city to live in anyday. Still, Summer and Spring here may be a different matter.

Lists of Names

Remy Madeline Arabella
Harriet Adelaide Honor
Eleanor Lucy
(ed note: none of these were chosen!)

I now feel very pregnant. It seems to only have been in the last month or so though. Prior to that I didn't feel very different. Now, not only is my waistline enormous, but I am subject to a constant barrage of movement, wind, indigestion and backache.

Dr's appointment went uneventfully. "Any swelling?" she asked.
"Only in the abdomen," I said.
Holding steady at 60kg. Fat woman.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

It's NaBloPoMo Again

What am I thinking??????

I have been finding it hard enough to post recently without the pressure of NaBloPoMo
(National Blog Posting Month) again. But I had such fun with it last year and found so many new friends that I have been lured to the fray yet again.

But I need a theme.

Last year it was watching the Baby Angel grow up day by day. That was fun and in the process I was able to work out how best to use my scanner! This year I have toyed with two ideas.

The first was to post something daily from my handwritten journal, commenced around the time I arrive in the UK (Dec 1994) and kept faithfully through my pregnancy and the BA's early years.

The second is a tribute to Christmas past with posts and pictures from my Christmases through the years. The BA was cynical about this.
"But Mum, we haven't had 30 Christmases!"
"Well dear, YOU haven't......."

So what do you think?
I'm leaning towards Christmas myself.....

Anyway, this is NaBloPoMo 1 so I've fulfilled my obligations for today :-)

We're just off to the beach with A Free Man and his family. I've threatened them with a sail in Himself's boat after the race is over. I think Dr O'C thought it was a slightly larger boat. She got a bit excited. No ma'am. No champagne on the poop deck in this vessel :-)

236th and Gaining