Saturday, 25 February 2012

Would I be seven again?

Life as a seven year old is harder than you think.

Today I have spent an entire day (or it feels like it) helping daughter to do the following:

  1. Reading
  2. Spellings
  3. Write a report on the visit from the dentist
  4. Music theory
  5. Piano practice
  6. Design a princess dress
I have listened to life in the blitz (reading book), discussed the various spellings of plurals, tortuously tried to elicit from her what happened when the dentist visited school on Friday (she can't remember any of it), helped her to write accidentals into scales, listened to "Green Gravel" and "Rocking Horse" several times and drawn, coloured and glued onto a princess dress design for the Brownies' Diamond Jubilee Challenge.

Now I'm getting her swimming things ready to go extra early in the morning because she's doing her 1000m badge and getting her riding gear ready to go straight on to her riding lesson. We will also have to do more spellings tomorrow and more piano practice!

All I have to do is four lots of washing and mark some tests.

No wonder she goes to bed at 7.30pm!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Wedding Dress Shock for WM

Today I made hubby get my wedding dress down from the loft.


Well, one of the teachers at school had this great idea that we would display our wedding dresses and the pupils can pay a fee to match the dress with the teacher (money going to charity). Well, it makes a change from taking in my baby photo, so I said yes.

It has caused much hilarity at school as we all recalled our meringues with great gales of laughter. Princess Diana had a lot to answer for!

It also was of great interest to a young colleague of mine who is getting married next month. She can't believe she will ever laugh at her dress. Just wait 20 years and you will, believe me.

So today it came out of the loft.

"Bet you can't get in it" said hubby as I pulled it out of the box.

Well, that made me all the more determined.

I put the dress on and held my breath as hubby did it up........

..... just!

It fit!

Okay, I couldn't breath, but it was fastened.

Hubby then promptly whipped out his phone and took a photo to prove it!

Then he sent it to some friends who were at our wedding!


No, I'm definitely not going to post the photo on this blog, but here's one of when the dress fit and I could breath in it:

(If you look closely you can see a second pair of arms either side of my waist - my chief bridesmaid trying to hold the train out of the mud!)

Who'd have thought a 20 year old wedding dress would cause so much laughter!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Finally, something sporty that I can do better than hubby

Hubby is sporty.

I am not.

I have memories of freezing to death on a hockey pitch aged 12 wishing I was anywhere else.

I also have memories of constantly fetching tennis balls from the back of the court whilst never managing to actually hit one back.

I cannot throw, catch, hit, run or jump.

I do not do sport.

I can swim, but hubby trained with a proper squad and cuts through the water like a shark.

I don't get my hair wet.

However, today, I found one thing that I can do that hubby can't.

Ice skating.

We took daughter skating for the first time today.

I say "we".........

... hubby put one foot on the ice and took it off again.

He then spent the whole time on the sidelines watching!

Now, I'm no Katarina Witt, but my mum and dad took me skating ocasionally as a child so I can stay upright and move round the rink.

Although hubby grew up 10 minutes from an ice rink, he never showed any interest and never learned to skate.

I did not know this until today.

Come to think of it, in the 24 years I've known him I've never seen him skate.

Even in New York, he watched the bags and took photos while I skated in Central Park.

The sneaky so and so!

Monday, 13 February 2012

Simply Symphony

It's half term! Yay!

I don't have any plans, just some R & R.

I plan only to bake, lounge about and possibly take daughter ice skating for the first time ever.

Yesterday, however, was a busy, but good day.

I left the house at 9am, got on a coach at 9.30am and was driven to Birmingham where I, along with the rest of the Manchester Chorale, sang at Birmingham Symphony Hall.

I'd never been there before and I was very impressed.

What a beautiful concert hall!

(Although the Bridgewater Hall will always occupy a special place in my heart and cannot be usurped)

We sang, got back on the coach and were driven back to Manchester.

I arrived home at 6.00pm having not had to worry about a single thing all day except singing.


Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Come Dine with Me

Last Summer I knew it was time to get back to work when I got hooked on "Come Dine with Me" and watched five episodes in a row!

If you haven't seen it, the basic idea is that 4 or 5 people are put together to host a dinner party each for the others on 4 or 5 consecutive nights. At the end of each night the guests score the host out of 10 on the evening - food, entertainment, ambience, etc are all taken into account. At the end of the week, the person with the highest score wins £1000.

Before Christmas one of my friends, Emily, suggested we do our own "Come Dine with Me": three couples, three evenings, but no £1000 (unless one of us wins the lottery in the meantime).

"Great!" I said, looking forward to good food and some entertaining evenings and all the ensuing jocularity of judging each other's pastry.

"Great!" said the other friend, Eloise, who we later found out had never seen the programme and thought she was just signing up for three sophisticated dinner parties. I fear Emily and I are about to go down in Eloise's estimations!

Well, last month we did the first evening.

Emily made:

Mushroom, Brown Ale and Lentil Soup
with Crusty Bread Rolls

Salmon Caloubiac
with new potatoes and vegetables

Homemade Berry Ice Cream
in a Tuile Basket
with Berry Coulis

It was a wonderful meal and we played some very amusing games.

After the meal and entertainment we did the scores
(on the little "Show Me" whiteboards I had borrowed from school especially for the purpose; Eloise was horrified!)

Emily got 36/40

The standard has been set!

It's my turn next.

14 April is the date.


Sunday, 5 February 2012

In which a working mum fails to further her career, again.

Well, it was a week with a bombshell; my head of department, who is fantastic in the job, completely on my wavelength, values my ideas and understands what it's like to be a working mum, has, quite deservedly, been promoted to the dizzy heights of Director of Studies. This means that we are advertising for a new head of department.

No, I'm not applying.

Husband is trying to pursuade me to do so, but I know "The Truth about Having it All" - you can't.

I can't take on a job that involves running the largest department in school, being responsible for a department of 13 staff and nearly every child in school (thus liaising with about 1000 sets of parents), whilst being mum to a seven year old. Working full time is hard enough.

I need to be able to leave school at 4.15pm if needs be, to take daughter to choir, Brownies, piano lessons, etc. I need to have time to help her with her homework, listen to her piano practice and generally snuggle up on the sofa to watch "Horrible Histories" together and then do my work after she's gone to bed. I can't be doing 10 hour days at school with work at home as well.

So I won't be applying.

I'll just be crossing my fingers that someone as good as the present incumbent applies.

Or better still, that no one decent does and responsibilities are shared out between current members of the department. I could cope with a bit of responsibility, just not the whole lot.

It's a worrying time.

Friday, 3 February 2012

I'm Margot!

I love "The Good Life". Every time an episode is repeated on the BBC I record it to savour it at a later date. Recently I watched an episode where Margot goes out to a choir rehearsal.

As she leaves, Gerry says "Have a good sing-song"

I fell about laughing.

That's what my husband says to me every Tuesday!