Saturday, August 25, 2012

Long summer holidays part 1

I usually advocate that teachers dont really get those famed long summer holidays that everyone seems to think they do, that actually all they are doing is working from home, cleaning up their classrooms and grabbing a small bit of much needed destressing time before going back to the fray in September. As a supply teacher though, I dont have to clean up a classroom, make a zillion new labels for drawers, pegs, or books, or  write a terms worth of plans, neither (since most of a teacher's stress comes from the admin and paperwork side of stuff) do I need much in the way of destressing.  So this year I have been able to concentrate on just packing a lot of stuff into those few weeks.

Usually one of the first things I have to do when the holidays start though, is to catch up on all the housework I haven't done during term time. It usually means a deep clean and can take all the first week. This year was really no exception, it still needed doing but we were having builders in to put a new door/window in the front porch, and plaster it. No good cleaning if there was going to be brick dust all over the place.

Instead I spent a lot of time with Finley and Laura (although Laura, as a teacher, was doing all those things I meantioned in the first paragraph) and we did lots of fun stuff.

Here's what we packed in:

Laura and I took Finley to Westgate for his first ever experience of a sandy beach

Whats this strange stuff on my legs?

Why is Nanny burying me?


Ahh! Water, that I understand!

And my verdict?

Of course during August, as a country, we played host to the Olympics. Despite my total disgust at the ticket fiasco, and being adamant that I was not going to support it, I was hooked at the opening ceremony and wished I had got tickets. Kelly and Ollie had managed to get some for the Archery and the football, but despite bidding for just about everything that moved, Laura and Wayne had not won a single ticket. I was pleased to have Finley for them when they managed to get tickets to the Athletics when the gov. forced all the corp. seats to be re-issued and in tears when it turned out to be a 3 British Golds evening for them. 

 They got to explore the Olympic park

and generally have fun

before taking their seats

which offered them a pretty decent veiw of Jessica Ennis celebrating gold in the heptathlon

Gregg Rutherford making the longest jump to gain a gold medal

and best of all Mo Farah making his amazing gold winning  run in the 10,000m

Sunday, August 19, 2012

So far

Since I have not been blogging too much this year I thought now we are about to go into August I would do a quick round up of this year's highlights just to get bloggy back on the right track.

So highlights


*     Spent lots of time with Laura and Finley. He is a delight.

*     I joined the WI and started going to the craft evenings being run by the lovely Jane Dean. So far this year I have tried my hand at cake decorating, card making, scrap-booking, sewing with scraps, as well as meeting some lovely ladies.

Two roses and a lot of grass icing

*     Upgraded Martins car on his 3 year payment plan. 

*     Thanks to my new Collette sewing handbook have got heavily back into sewing my own clothes. Learning lots about fitting stuff properly and altering patterns to my shape/size.

Me made skirt from Colette sewing handbook

*   Went for a not so lovely meal (service and food naff company great) to celebrate Ollie's 30th birthday.  

*     Fed up with signing on as my agency was not giving me any work and hadn't since last September I finally plucked up the courage to sign for another agency. 

*     We had a fair bit of snow this month so Laura and I couldn't spend so much time together

Finley does his first ever snow angel in his snowy garden

My new hat for the snow

*     We went to see Treasure Island, the panto at our local playhouse. V good as always.

*     Desperate to be out and about doing stuff with the little lad, Laura and I took him to Bybrook barn garden centre to see the fish tanks. He was totally besotted.


*     I took up crocheting again and made Finley a blanket

Enjoying his Nan made blankie
*     I spent a morning in Dunelm picking out all new bedding right down to the pillars.

*    Laura and I took Finley to the mother and baby showing at the Odean in Canterbury to see The Tin Tin Movie. He was really good and watched most of it before falling asleep.


*      Got lots of work from my new agency, so much so I was almost working full time, missed Laura and Finn though


*     We had a wonderful mid week break at Centre Parc with Laura Finley and Wayne plus Wayne's parents. We even took the dog. Very relaxing, we did have to make quite a few cups of tea between the lot of us whilst there though. 

*     We discovered that just up the road from us the Hornby company have a museum so we took FInley and Grandad Martin and had a wonderful morning.


*     I got taken to the final Spurs game, being played at home. The last time I went to a league match was way back in the '70's. Things have changed somewhat as now its seats only when before it was all standing. I could actually see the pitch now.
View from my seat at White Hart Lane. At half time I got to see
the great Martin Chivers and Ray Clemence walk onto the pitch

*     Kelly and I got to spend another terrific weekend with the ladies from the Pad at a scrapping weekend at Debden House.

Lots of crafty stuff was happening!


*  Laura and I took young Mr Finley to Wingham Wildlife Park. He had been the week before with his other Nan but I had never been so Laura said she didnt mind a second trip to take me along. Typical, Nan no.1 had brilliant sunshine, we had torrential rain, so bad even the butterfly house had rivers of water flowing through it. But we still had a great day and Finley was so taken with the animals.

That little goat had had a good chew on my skirt as well as escaping into the airlock gates just before this photo was taken.

*     So discussed with the total lack of anything organised for the public happening locally (not even any ticketed events) I decided to hold our own jubilee event at home. 

Look at the VIP's that turned up at our jubilee tea party!

*     On a whim I got my hair cut short (well actually it was seeing just how bad it looked in our Jubilee tea party photos.

*     Laura started back at work, so I thought I would get two days a week looking after Finley. Unfortunately Wayne pulled lots of tendons in his ankle and was off work for 3 weeks while it healed. I still got to childmind Finley for some days and we got to take him to the play park.


*     Finley was christened. A bit of a family do at Herne Church. It was a lovely day and the service was really special, made more so by Wayne also being christened alongside his son. In our usual tradition though, it turned out like another Eastenders Christmas special because no sooner where the final words out of the vicars mouth, than my dad hit the floor in a dead faint!! An ambulance was called while Martin administered first aid, and then dad was hauled off to the hospital for tests to find out why his heart beat and blood pressure were dangerously low.  The spread Laura had put  on back at the house was wonderful and only slightly tainted for us few waiting on news from the hospital but seems dad was ok, it was all caused by his tablets and as soon as he came off them he was fine again. 



A bit of a major month in the life of little Finley.

*     Finley finally mastered the crawling lark - a tad late in life but once he grasped it he was well away and it was baby gates all round!

*   Finley reached his 1 year milestone.  Another lovely Muppet themed party at Laura and Wayne's and lots of pressies for the birthday boy. 

*      We took Finley to watch the Olympic Torch being run through Canterbury. Run being the operative word here, can you see those guys on full sprint? After nearly a 4 hour wait in the road being steped over and pushed and shoved by really rude people, we didnt actually see the torch at all. It was only the split second timing on our cameras that actually caught any action because the torch was past us in literally the blink of an eye as the bearer sped past. I am pretty sure we should have been using him as one of our Olympic middle distance runners!!