Friday, 23 September 2011

Rain Gauge Sends WM Over Egde!!

For the past three weeks I've been drowning in daughter's homework.

9 pieces the first week.

11 pieces the second week.

12 pieces this week.

Surely this is too much for a 7 year old?

I can't bear her sitting at the kitchen table with tears streaming down her face any more.

We can't do the internet based maths one on a Monday because daughter doesn't have access to a computer on Mondays (she does her homework in the car before going to choir, then it's milk and bed when she gets home).

The only way she can fit in all her homework on a Thursday before piano lesson and Brownies is for her to have a picnic tea in the car so she doesn't have to eat at home!

I don't think choir, piano and Brownies is an excessive amount of extra curricular activity during the week, but I'm starting to think something might have to go to accommodate the homework!

And now this weekend's homework has just sent me over the edge.

"Make a rain gauge and record the rainfall every day for a week from this Sunday"

Excuse me?

"All you need is a lemonade bottle and a measuring jug"

Well, we don't drink fizzy drinks in this house and if we did, what are the chances of us having an empty bottle or finishing one within the next 24 hours?

And who has time to measure rainfall every day?!!

I did consider making it up, but they want us to send in a photo of our rain gauge.

Anyone out there got a photo of a rain gauge I can pass off as ours?

Monday, 19 September 2011

The Mystery of the Repelling Cakes

Yesterday, as per the tradition in my department, I made cakes for my birthday to take into work for my colleagues. This year I decided to make two types - chocolate brownie cakes with chocolate cream topping and red velvet cakes with cream cheese topping.

Now, the chocolate brownie cakes I have made before and the chocolate cream topping I had made before, but I thought I would have a go at chocolate transfers. I perused a few designs and then saw the perfect one for a maths department - Curves of Pursuit!! (Yes, I know, only a mathematician would get excited over curve of pursuit transfers). I melted dark chocolate and spread it over the transfer, then, after it had cooled, I cut out circles with a cutter and peeled them off the transfer to reveal perfect decorations:

Then came the red velvet cakes which I hadn't made before. It seemed a standard recipe with buttermilk and white wine vinegar, but I used gluten-free flour since a member of my department is gluten intolerant.

Now here's the mystery.

They looked beautiful when they came out of the oven.

They tasted light, fluffy and velvety (well, I had to try one to make sure!).

But then, as they cooled, the cakes came away from the cake cases!

Now these were Squires Kitchen top quality cake cases which I always use because they never, ever lose their colour. So was it the buttermilk, the vinegar or the gluten free flour? If anyone can tell me why they came away from the cases, and how to avoid it in future, please let me know.

Luckily, I managed to salvage a few:

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Birthday Cake

Today is my birthday and, for the first time ever, husband said he would make me a cake. I gave him a foolproof recipe for a Victoria Sponge, I gave daughter my cake decorating stuff including ready roll icing and cutters and left them to it.

And here's the result:

Best Birthday Cake EVER!!

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Is it half term yet?

Where did that week go?

I've been rushed off my feet with all the new term stuff, including settling daughter into year 3 and pursuading her to do her homework each night. (She's reluctant to read aloud after a summer of reading to herself and she said she couldn't write about "Autumn in my garden" because it isn't autumn yet, see? all the leaves are still green - sometimes she reminds me of that girl on "Outnumbered")

Here's a short version of the week:

Monday; INSET day. Discovered that my personal tolerance for listening to information is about a quarter of the time I had to sit and listen to stuff. Hope I didn't miss anything vital. Also discovered that my interactive whiteboard in my classroom was broken, have to teach without a board.

Tuesday: Pupils back in school and I went back to Chorale; consequently lost my voice half way through the first rehearsal. IT told me that my interactive whiteboard needed a new power thingy (technical term).

Wednesday: Dealt with all the parents' complaints from the first day. (Really, who complains that the lessons are too easy for their child after one day? Of course we start off gently, they can't remember anything after eight weeks' holiday! And, yes, the year 7 text books are used; at £15 a time we try to keep them a while before replacing them! ) IT said they didn't have a power thingy so they've ordered one.

Thursday: Introduced the sixth formers to the library; hoping they remember where it is. IT said power thingy should arrive tomorrow.

Friday: Year 7 Clubs Fair, Dinner Duty and Epipen Training to fit in around teaching lessons. Power thingy will arrive next week. Ready to hit the bottle!

This week is going to be even more hectic as I have an Information Evening to attend and daughter starts singing in a choir and piano lessons.

Oh the joys!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Back to School

Tomorrow I go back to work after my lovely, long summer holiday.

Half way through the summer holiday I started to worry about going back to work, about jumping on the hamster wheel, teaching 130 teenagers a day, suffering from stress and generally being exhuasted all the time.

However, now, I'm ready.

I'm more than ready, I need to go back to work.

How do I know?

Well, I've started watching daytime TV.

I'm addicted to "Come Dine with Me", I'm trying to think of answers on "Pointless" and I'm on the verge of watching "Loose Women".


I definitely need to use my brain again!

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Back to School "Whys?"


Why does daughter need 8 pieces of uniform, but 15 pieces of PE kit?
(I've always had a theory about the megalomania of PE teachers)

Why do school insist on every child having the same PE bag?
(Thus ensuring pupils pick up wrong bag or can't find theirs that has been taken in error)

Why do Clarks not realise that we will all buy school shoes in the last week of August and thus they need to stock accordingly?
(At £40 per pair we won't buy them any earlier in case of growth spurts)

Why do sports shops not sell hockey shin pads in August?
(I know it's not the hockey season, but daughter needs them for PE next week!)

Why did I not realise until I bought her trainers that daughter can't tie shoelaces?

Why does daughter have to provide her own pens, pencils, felt tips, rubber, pencil sharpener, ruler and glue stick (?!) for school when she is only 7 years old?

Just, why??