Sunday, 31 May 2009

Day 243 of 365: Sunny Sunday!

What better way to spend it than a Birthday BBQ?! Our compliments to the chef!

(And as a reward, Tony, you make it into 'the blog.')

Tony & Emma's youngest turned one today, so Matt and I, along with Em & Daz, joined everyone to celebrate with burgers, brats, and kebabs while the kids all perfected their flips on the new trampoline.

Matt and I might have had a go as well, but since we're grown-ups now, we're too mature...

Or ARE we??

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Day 242 of 365: The Temperature's Rising...

No, is. 72 degrees today and not a cloud in the sky. That may not seem that warm to many of you, but to England, days like this come few and far between. Plus, not many homes have a need for air-conditioning as there aren't many sweltering days that require it on a regular basis.

Clearly, with Myst's heavy fur coat, his solution is to sleep belly-side-up on the gliding foot-stool.

All he needs now is a fruity, cold drink with a fancy umbrella.

And yes, I tried to censor his dignity...although he doesn't have a problem being open.

Friday, 29 May 2009

Day 241 of 365: Just a Little Walk in the Park

When I saw the sun wasn't about to go away any time soon today, I decided to high-tail it to Himley Hall & Park for a little walk around. It has been closed the past couple of days for some unknown reason and each time I drive by the main gates, I want to go in. So, today I did just that.

There's a small, yet gorgeous lake where people have sailboats and there are ducks all around. People were all comfortably lounging on blankets while kids played fetch with their dogs and dads did airplanes with their toddlers. It was really relaxing.

Himley Hall itself is a stately home that dates back to the 18th century and the grounds surrounding are beautiful.

I took a little gander back into the woods a bit and discovered this...

Not on the grandest of scales in terms of waterfalls, but it had a soothing little trickle. Plus, I discovered a family of ducks with some I stalked them for a while until my camera battery died.

Sadly, the weekend is already upon us and that can only mean one thing. Just two more days of peace and quiet before I'm back in a classroom of well-rested 10-year-olds.

Better enjoy it now!

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Day 240 of 365: Perform a U-Turn When Possible

Today I threw caution to the wind and decided to go for a drive to Kinver. Matt took me to Kinver Edge on my first trip to England in 2006 and I fell in love with the little town. It's so quaint and definitely a place we wouldn't mind living.

Since Kinver is less than 10 miles away, I felt confident in my navigation skills to find my way there. What I didn't count on was gorgeous scenery and a fantastic playlist on the radio to distract me from my turnoff. By the time I realised I had gone too far, I saw signs welcoming me to Bridgnorth -- a further 12 miles from Kinver!

Mileage may not seem so much to those in the US, but it is here when it's nothing but winding, narrow, country roads.

I didn't drive into the town centre, but took the first opportunity to turn around and head back home. After all, I didn't want Matt to worry when he returned home from work since the last he knew, I was popping to the store for bread and soda.

I stopped at a dinky petrol station on the way back to try and capture the beauty of the countryside, but I fear my camera is on its last leg. All my photos seems to have a blur about them anymore. Also, I'm still trying to figure out the range of the hilly/mountain persuasion in the background. I don't think I was that close to Wales. Ludlow maybe? Oh well.

Anyway, here's to hoping the sun continues to grace Britain for the remainder of the week and weekend.

*holds breath*

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Day 239 of 365: Addiction

Italian dressing...and veg.

Must. Get. Professional. Help.

On the positive side, it beats my ice-cream phase last week.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Day 238 of 365: Lorry Ride

This is the more picturesque of my photo choices this evening. Matt got a call last night to drive to Bradford, near Leeds, for a delivery today and he invited me to join him (since I'm on break all week and need to be entertained.) We also had to stop near Nottingham on the way back and despite my best efforts...there were no sightings of any men in tights through Sherwood Forest.

On a funnier note, hubby took a chance to point this out to me when we were leaving Bradford...

I think I actually used to CALL people Dilbags at one point...circa 1994 (or now even still...but who's keeping track?). Just funny to see what people name things.

Overall it was a pretty pleasant day. The weather held up and the drive was nice. Also, did you know these things DON'T have seat belts?! I kept trying to reach for mine and put it on every time I'd get back in the cab.

I'm so happy I got to spend the day with hubby and also really glad to have gotten more of an appreciation of how challenging it can be to drive a 7.5 tonne vehicle. People in cars should really be mindful next time you see one signaling to get out or when you think it's no big deal to cut one off on the motorway.

I certainly won't be picking fights any time soon.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Day 237 of 365: Vroom! Vroom!

Meg's got wheeeeeelz! (Yes, I know how to spell...lay off.)

I'm purchasing Emma's car and we FINALLY got it insured today, which means I HAVE A CAR THAT IS MINE ALL MINE! *Muah-ah-ah-ahhh!*

Also...glad to be keeping the legend alive.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Day 236 of 365: Another Kitty Shot, Maybe

I'm beginning to think all the late-night partying and keg-stands is wearing this poor kitty out.

Nice to see he has followed suit to my Saturday.

On a less-boring note...The Sims 3 graced my life today. Sweet JESUS it was fantastic!

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Day 235 of 365: Life in the SAD Lane

I watched nothing less than CRAP tv today. And look...I was even too lazy to turn on a light.


Friday, 22 May 2009

Day 234 of 365: To Late?

You may have to click on the photo to see it clearly, full-size, but this is just silly. If you're going to print a sign, make sure you PROOF-READ before you post it outside. Really grinds my gears, this does...and I have to look at it EVERY DAY coming home from work as I drive through Dudley Port. Morons!

Shortly after snapping that one, however, I saw something pretty neat-O. Look!

Couldn't resist!

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Day 233 of 365: News to Me

I can honestly say I only found this out today when one of the nice office ladies brought this sign to my room to be posted on my exit door where the parents collect the children.

Needless to say, I will try my very best to contain my tears and disappointment of my students' 30-minute early dismissal tomorrow afternoon.

Half-term break is upon us...BRING IT!

(Also...I am now OFFICIALLY up-to-date on my 365!!)

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Day 232 of 365: Won't You (NOT) Be My Neighbour

Something tells me Mister Rogers wouldn't be singing that same tune if his neighbour across the hall had his front door sealed up with THIS warning.


Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Day 231 of 365: Addiction Delivered!

Back in action, baby!!

Our Sky router was delivered today...FINALLY!!

Let me just say THANK YOU to the Parcel Force angel! xx

This has been an absolute nightmare trying to get things sorted. They originally dispatched the first router on the 7th, which was ordered the 3rd and when we phoned they claimed it had been delivered. The problem with this is that it wasn't delivered to US as we were still without it. So, they dispatched this one on the 17th and we JUST got it today.

How did I make it through life before this?!

Monday, 18 May 2009

Day 230 of 365: Eve of HMI

They'll* be here tomorrow and I just busted my ass making sure my plans were in order. Let me just say that planning is NOT so easy without internet.

*HMI...see day 228.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Day 229 of 365: Feeling Artistic

I can sum up the numbers on our front door in one word.


I'm thinking they need to be painted...perhaps one Union Jack and one Stars and Stripes.


*hamster wheel turns furiously*

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Day 228 of 365: Year 5 Contraband

In America, I would keep what I called a "June Box." This is where confiscated toys and other distracting items went that were taken off children who were given a warning to put it away or not bring it to school. The idea behind the "June Box" was that the item was placed inside and not to resurface into their possession until June, when school was out for summer. The only exception to this was if the child's parent came in personally to collect it, which was almost never because who wanted to have to admit to their parent that they had something taken off them in class?

Schools in the UK do not have such a long summer break and they don't even finish until towards the end of "July Box" doesn't have that same ring to it. Instead, I keep confiscated items in my top desk drawer...a sacred TEACHER ONLY place.

I was in my classroom today because we have Her Majesty's Inspectors (HMI) coming to our school next week (and yes, I'm certain she sends them herself). I thought I would use this time to get some things tidied in my classroom and bring home anything that I might need for the weekend that I was too lazy to get on Friday.

I opened my top desk drawer to get some blue-tac and was reminded of my growing plethora of WWE paraphernalia.

Have I mentioned I have many BOYS in my class?

Friday, 15 May 2009

Day 227 of 365: So...About Those Posters

The key to one of my classroom cupboards has suddenly gone missing. This isn't much of a problem for me as I don't have anything of value for myself that I keep in here.

The boys in my class feel very differently about this topic.

This is where "The Cleaning Fairy" has stored their posters. (See day 213)


They're plotting the cupboard's demise at this very moment.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Day 226 of 365: Daddy Warbucks

Some packets of info were delivered from the office today about next week being "Walk to School Week." Children are encouraged to have people sponsor them to walk to school with their parents instead of driving in order to raise money for the blind to aid in the training of their seeing-eye dogs. One of the prizes is a trip to the puppy training facility in Leamington Spa or a chance to actually name one of the puppies themselves.

Being that I am big on philanthropy and getting kids involved, I decided to share this right away with my class. I explained how all our school needed to do as a whole was raise £250 and that it wasn't even that difficult for our class alone to raise that amount as we would just need 10 people to collect £25 each by getting 5 people to sponsor them a fiver.

The class seemed to be quite enthusiastic about this and they began guessing who could have their money in first. One little girl in particular said that she could just have her dad GIVE her £250. At this, I'm thinking perhaps daddy is quite well-off, as doubtful as it seemed, so to be certain, I asked her how she was so sure he could just GIVE her this much money.

Without cracking even the smallest grin and with the most serious look, she replied, "I know he can give me £250 because he writes cheques."

Aw, bless! Such innocence.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Day 225 of 365: Ginger Kitty

Matt's car is in for its MOT this week and as I was sat waiting just inside the gates for him to finish up, this cutie kitty came by. I tried to coax him into the car to come home with us, but I suppose I wasn't convincing enough. In fact, judging by his stance on the OTHER side of the gate, he may have sensed I was in fact THE crazy cat lady.

Damn, my cover has been blown!

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Day 224 of 365: Homeland Security

Yay...a new, non-plaster-covered, completely functional intercom system!!

You all should know by doesn't take much.

Ring my bell.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Day 223 of 365: Something's A-Brewin'

SATs (not to be confused with S.A.T.'s) are England's version of EOG's or Proficiency Tests. They're invasive to daily routines and stressful for all children and teachers involved.

The extreme wind was proof that today was only the beginning.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Day 222 of 365: Comfy, Are We?

Aww, Myst is trying out our fancy new bed linens.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Day 221 of 365: Two For Joy

They may be a bit difficult to see, but there were a couple magpie birdies out front this afternoon. There is a little rhyme Matt told me about that goes...

One for sorrow, Two for joy.
Three for a girl, Four for a boy.
Five for silver, Six for gold,
Seven for a secret never to be told.
Eight for a wish, Nine for a kiss,
Ten for a letter,
Eleven for worse, and Twelve for better.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Day 220 of 365: Dandelion Whispy

I literally watched this fly in through the top window of our room and gently float down onto the table near my desk.

It's a slow day.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Day 219 of 365: Interactive White Board Genius

Yes, you should be very jealous of Year 5's Data Handling skills in Numeracy.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Day 218 of 365: The Regular

I walked in to Greggs today to get my usual and the woman behind the counter saw me walk in the door and called out "Ham Salad Baguette, Love?"

I have now become a regular.

So I shook things up a bit and threw in a packet of salt & vinegar crisps. Look out!

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Day 217 of 365: Dish House?

One of the results from our trip to IKEA. It houses all our dishes and mugs and although we have an itty bitty kitchen, it fits in perfect.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Day 216 of 365: I Love You, Bank Holiday!

No FABULOUS is that?!

(And yes, I was keeping track of my blogging days whilst I was internet-less.)

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Day 215 of 365: Now You're Cookin'

This one is a bit of a cheat, I suppose, since I don't remember exactly when this was installed in our kitchen and I'm now updating weeks of posts from our time without internet.

Suffice it to say, the in-laws are life-savers and generously passed on their cooker to us. The old place had gas and this flat is electric only, so we needed an electric cooker. Now we have one, and it is FANTASTIC!!

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Day 214 of 365: Last!

A home isn't complete without net curtains.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Day 213 of 365: ...Or What?!

This was discovered in the boys' poster corner. They're very territorial despite the obvious majority of boys vs. girls in my class. I think this is a sign that they're feeling quite threatened.

The funny part (to me) is that although they have been warned recently to make their area tidy before they leave, they have failed to do so. This means they got a visit from "The Cleaning Fairy" (I have proof...she left a note) and all of their posters were confiscated on the condition that they will earn back one poster a day as long as they clean up after themselves in their corner.

We'll see how this goes.