Sunday, 27 November 2011

One Day

I joined an online book club, thinking that I could do with a bit of a challenge, what with my life being so empty and everything.  My friend Ruth has started this blog here, which I read every now and then, and the first virtual meet-up is this evening.  Unfortunately, I'm out tonight, so I thought I'd write a blog post with a review of the book.

I wanted a challenge, and I got one.  I've heard all sorts of opinions about this book, from "Oh my God, it made me cry", to "I flung it in the dustbin and then set fire to it", and so was interested to read it.  The challenge was not in the writing, or the plot, or the characters, it was in finishing the damn thing without heaving it out of the window.  The protagonists are deeply unlikeable for lots of different reasons, and, while I often read things about people I wouldn't have in the house, the writing and the plot are too weak to carry the characters.  It's an easy and light read, I'll give it that, which is good for the brain-dead, but my God, I've never been so cross with myself over literature.  My instinct was that I wouldn't like it, and reading it in the charity shop made me a bit cross, so I don't know why I bothered.  At least I can say that I have read it now, and I am not going to the trouble of watching the film.

For what it's worth, I think he would have had a better book if he'd forgotten he'd written Cold Feet, and missed out the bit that was lifted straight from the telly.  I know you should never waste good material, but bad material can be thrown out. 

The other online book group is more promising - Middlemarch with dovegreyreader.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Mostly about disgusting people

Some days I could just scream and scream and scream, and this is one of them.  I have a proper head cold, all sniffles and snot and headaches but not really ill enough to justify staying in bed for a whole day.  Frustatingly, I caught from the children at school, most of whom have been away in the last couple of weeks. 

My least favourite child is a disgusting ball of snot - today, he spat something out on the carpet; yeuck.  I mentioned him to our childminder - her reaction? I bet he's foreign.  Well, yes, his family is from Sri Lanka, as it happens.  She had once seen an Indian man spit in the streets, and thought of telling him that he should go back to his own country and spit there.  A charming woman.  Can't wait to stop using her.

Today, in more spitting news, the nanny of another child spat on the ground outside our Nursery.  If I see her doing that again, I am going to call her on it, as it is disgusting.  Yeuck, yeuck.  I hate my job sometimes.

What else?  I got a load of Christmas information - lots of money to spend on a night out with my colleagues, I don't THINK so.  I am not going to our Christmas meal as it is just too complicated with the girls schedules, so I will hoy my Secret Santa into the bag and give it a miss.  I could do it if I want to, but I really, really don't. 

Three good things:

I sold a baby grow for a tenner.
My friend has had a baby, and wants a baby grow.
It is nearly Hattie's birthday.  I can't believe it.

Oh golly, I just can't bear it any longer.  I need a new job.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Total fail

I have given up on this NaPloBloMoDo whatsit, mainly because there is only 1 thing I want to write about and I am actually probably not allowed to until the police leave.

Intriguing no?

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Stories about socks

I like to knit socks.  I find them meditative and comfy to wear, and because I like to knit them in the car, I like to make very dull socks, with stripes as the only distraction from round and round and round and round.  I like making the heel, especially now I can make them without a pattern, because I am CLEVER and BRILLIANT, not because once you can make a heel, it is a very easy thing to do.

According to my ravelry page, I have made 15 and a half pairs of socks, with another pair cast on but not worked on for a while, as I lost interested under a shower of baby stuff. 

Isn't knitting wonderful?

Honestly, this is the best I can manage tonight, my brain is totally frazzled.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Contains showing off

So.  The work thing.  My colleague, and job share partner, had a word with the Deputy Head and we've all agreed to keep things like they are, mostly because Lisa is furious about being treated any differently and because, well, you know, it works and we don't want to change something good.  What I have done, as a token effort to make small changes, is change the time we prepare fruit and milk, and to go outside and shout to the children that they can come and play inside if they want.  I feel a right wally doing it, but politics is politics.

Gosh.  How very mindless.

That aside, these are my children:

I think they are adorable.  The baby also thinks that she is a wonderful actress; we have had to watch this clip on the itoy about 7 times tonight.  To be fair to her, the bit with her sister is the favourite bit, and she laughs her little head off every time she sees it.

Not much else happening here really.

Monday, 7 November 2011

But we always do it like that

Or, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

I am a Nursery teacher in a fairly good school in a pretty challenging part of Ealing - ie it isn't as nice as where we live, but it's hardly Acton, and the kids tend not to have one or other of their parents in jail.  We have an above average proportion of children with English as their second language; to put it into context, I have 25 children in my Nursery class, 4 of them have English as a first language, and 3 others have excellent English, and don't count them as EAL.  The area has gone from being all fields, with a massive brewery in the middle to urban sprawl with no heart or soul, as the land is part owned by Brent and part by Ealing.  We take kids from both boroughs, although we are officially Ealing.  It is, as I say, an interesting mix.

Some of my colleagues have been at the school for over 20 years.  They have seen the changes in the area, as the white working class have mostly been priced out, and have dug their heels in and refused to change anything.  Any inovation is met by my favourite phrase in all the world, the one that makes me want to kill people, "But we always do it like that".  Until today.  Today the Deputy Head, 25 years in the same school, came in to Nursery, realised that I was on my own with a child who was not allowed to be outside (biting) and that Lisa, the Nursery Nurse, was outside on her own with the other children.  I was told that this wasn't right, that she wasn't paid to have the entire class on her own (she is), that I was paid more than her therefore I should have the bulk of the children (I am, and frankly it is a disgrace, she is expected to do lots more than the TAs and she doesn't get much more cash than they do) and that Lisa is PREGNANT and therefore should not be allowed to sit outside and keep an eye on the mixed infants.  I pointed out that it was free choice, the children were allowed to be in or out depending on their inclination and that they had chosen to be outside as it wasn't raining/snowing/miserable.  Apparently, this is not in the Early Years curriculum (it is).  Apparently, free choice should be half the children being allowed to play outside while the other half play inside.  Apparently, free choice means anything but.  We are already told that we don't provide a truly child led curriculum, as every day there are at least two activities that the children more or less have to do - such terrible things as name writing! counting! learning to cut with scissors! drawing! gluing! colouring in! - and now we have to moderate our practice yet again.

Lisa and I discussed this.  She has been in the Nursery for about 10 years.  She knows what she's doing.  She runs the Nursery with a rod of iron.  She has decided that we are doing it just fine; we don't need to change anything, and our DH can just bugger off.  I will be putting this arguement to her tomorrow: we provide a free choice, and while we are subscribed to that, one person needs to be inside and the other outside and sometimes it makes more sense for it to be me, and at other times it will be Lisa.  This arrangement has worked very successfully for the last 10 years at least, and while I can see that there is potential for it to change, it would be a shame to change something that works well for something that may or may not be successful.  Also, with regards to Lisa's pregnancy, should she feel at all uncomfortable, unwell or otherwise distressed about any aspect of her job, I will immediately do all in my power to make sure that she isn't inconvenienced for long; she knows this, and is a bit annoyed that it is being brought up as an issue.  In conclusion,  "but we always do it like that", and f-off.

Good God, I need a new job.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Ain't no party like a Rainbows party

Two posts in one day to make up for missing out yesterday; cheating?  Who gives a damn?
Despite not having really enjoyed Girl Guides when I was a child, I've started helping out at our local-ish Rainbows group.  It's been really good fun, and the week after next I'm going to run the activity myself, and I've got a brilliant penguin based craft thing to do, which I'm hoping will be engaging enough for Lucy and Elsie (3 and nearly 3) and for 20 Rainbows (5 and 6) to enjoy. 

The unit my friend Sarah runs was founded 18 years ago, so we had a party today for the 2 packs in the very nice (expensive) bit of Ealing.  These are, therefore, nice little girls, priviledged, English speakers, at good, often private, schools, and behave as such.  So a couple of tears from the one who always cries, a sulk from the one who always sulks and doesn't like to join in, a lot of shocked faces when told that they have to be quiet and listen to their Rainbow Owl but generally a good time was had by all, even Lucy.

I have a severe headache, however, and had to have a little sleep on the sofa when I just couldn't take it anymore.

Pass the wine.

Sleep deprived

So Friday night Lucy had a bad dream, and the result was that I ended up "sleeping" in her bed for about an hour between 3 and 4am.  I hoped vainly that this might result in her sleeping in a bit, but no such luck, and I was up again at 6:30 with both of them wide awake and ready to play. 

Saturday passed in something of a blur; my sleep deprived state meant that I thought it would be a good idea to take Harriet into Oxford Street to go to John Lewis when it opened. Apart from the inescapable horror of train journies with a very active baby determined to practise standing and shouting at all times, it was very civilised.  Apparently, no one in Ealing gets up before 10, so the train was empty, and although there were slightly more people in town, it was still pretty empty.  I got to both JL and Liberty when they opened, and spent a long time petting the Rowan in both shops, looking for a substitute for something I thought I had plenty of, but which I only had a tiny amount.  In the end, interestingly enough, I've decided to go for a major design change, which will result in the garment either looking fantastic or utterly rubbish.

I bought a small amount of wool for a Paper Dolls jumper, and will start it before the end of the month; my small contribution to Wovember.  I've also decided on the yarn for a Sarah Lund jumper, and found a pattern of sorts that I can make without crying, stamping, throwing or basically being an arse.  Anyway, hopefully I will make a start on both of these next week, after I've cleared the sewing mountain.

We went to Ealing Cricket Club fireworks on Saturday, and guess who had a major, major meltdown, and who thought they were the best thing ever, and MumMumMum look?  Lucy's sleepless night caught up with her, and she was distressed at being kept up past her bedtime, whereas Hattie's two naps of an hour and two hours meant that she was wide awake and very, very excited.  I slung her for the first time in ages.  Let us say that there is a reason that I am not a baby-wearing mamma, and it is that my children seem to be on the larger side of normal. 

Roll on the working week, it's bound to be more relaxing than the weekend.

Friday, 4 November 2011

No time like the present

I've just got a copy of Stephanie Pearl-Mcphee's new book, All Wound Up, and so far have only been able to read the first chapter.  It is all about those people who look at you pityingly and say "I wish I had time to knit", when what they are really saying is "surely, surely you have something better to do with your life?" 

Anyway, I don't have the time or inclination to reproduce SPM's answer to that - basically, she says "Do one" - but I will add that people always have time to do the things they want to do, and if I am saying that I don't have the time to blog, it means that I don't want to write anything.  But I do want to complete this nablopomo whatsit.  Hence this.

I also feel very queasy, which I hope is due to the pizza and not to the bug that has been floating around school for the past couple of weeks.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Total fail

I don't think I have anything nice to say.  So in the best primary school tradition, I'm not going to say anything at all.

Let's hope for a better tomorrow really.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

I can, you know

I have a child in my class who is exactly the same age as Lucy, possibly even to the minute, and I was very worried in case he turned out to be a genius, being able to count, read, sit quietly on the carpet listening to a story, putting his hand up when he wants to ask a question, translate from English to French and put his shoes on the right feet.  Fortunately, Lucy can do all of these things, and he cannot.  He isn't ready for Nursery yet; he needs another month or so; unfortunately for him, we are so oversubscribed that his place would be gone in a flash.  What he can do is scream and scream and scream.  It is heartrending, although less so when he screams and screams and screams until he is sick.  I really hoped I was done with sick for the time being, after my washout of a half term.

Lucy, on the other hand, bounces into Nursery, laughing with joy and hugging all the staff members.  While it's not really been a choice, putting her in a "pre-school", as I've had to go back to work to fund the Waitrose lifestyle, it's been absolutely the best thing for her, and she's really enjoyed herself.

In Wovember news, read this:

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Knitting with one needle

I've been back at work for a month.  Least said, soonest mended.

Half term came and went in a bit of a blur; the girls and Simon were all sick, I was the only strong one with nerves/guts of steel, so spent a lot of time cleaning up and doing the washing.  Fun it wasn't.

I want to do this NaBloPoMo thing - ie write in the blog every day for a month - mostly as a way to get myself doing some more writing and as a way to vent my real frustrations surrounding my job. 

Also, this month I am growing a moustache.  Or only wearing wool.  I forget which.