Monday, 28 June 2010


Congratulations, England, for winning yesterday!

There is nothing better than beating your long-standing rivals in sport, nothing better than securing victory over the age-old foe.

I offer you my heartiest congratulations!

What? You didn't see that?
Have a look here...

Monday, 21 June 2010

There are reasons why I haven't blogged about the house renovation for a while. Principally because this:

... now looks like this ...

It doesn't feel like much of a change. It is not that the builders aren't working (they have an August deadline) but that the bits they are doing are not the instant-destruction phase nor the gloss-and-glam phase. They are putting in insulation, doing the first fix electrics and plumbing, they are laying the underfloor heating and treating the external woodwork. It is all vital to the finished product, and still requires a million decisions being made by us, but overall not very exciting to talk about.

I am constantly being asked how it is going and can only say that, to the best of my knowledge, it is going fine. No-one is (yet!) indicating that it will run late. I'm not having to make too many wildly expensive additions to the budget (note: this is not the same as there being no wildly expensive additions...). I am beginning to think about the finishing touches, which is rather exciting, and thinking about the practicalities of moving back in, which isn't.

Still, there are only six weeks left! The tiling of the roof should finish this week and the windows can't be far off. I've ordered hundreds of pounds of bathroom fittings and taps. I'm going to take a big deep breath and fork out a small fortune to boost the water pressure. I am anticipating a schedule of what I need to buy for when: tiles, flooring, fitted wardrobe, shelving, light fittings, etc. etc. Hopefully over the next few weeks I can begin to show some completed work.

The one thing I cling on to is that the kitchen is ordered. If nothing else arrives or works, at least we should be able to eat!

Thursday, 17 June 2010

How many teachers does it take to get sound from a computer?

This morning, five.

For a long time we had the pictures but no sound.
We got sound if we played the disc through the DVD player rather than the computer, but it was formatted for the computer so looked and sounded terrible.
We tried using the iPod plugs, to no avail.
We got a hint of sound if the plug was only half in.

The fifth teacher solved the problem. Use a different computer programme...

Having spent all morning locating (or rather, not locating) the original film and then working out how to burn the video onto disc again (husband did it before: how am I supposed to know whether to use PAL or NTSC formatting? I just want it to play!) it was a relief when we finally worked it out. By then all the children were in the hall and 'quietly chatting' amongst themselves. Talk about stress!

I don't know how teachers work and remain sane. My 15 minute presentation drained me completely, whereas they stand up in front of classes for 6 hours a day, five days a week. I stumbled over words, I said the wrong things, I probably used words that are far too complicated, I forgot important facts. It is a good job I am not in charge of anyone's education!

I am in utter awe of teachers... however many it takes to get sound from a computer!

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Nations together for football

As I write England’s World Cup challenge is underway. This is my first and, probably, last post about it – possibly about football at all, given my general lack of interest. Yet every four years the World Cup sets a nation alight. There is so much hype that to have no knowledge of what is going on probably makes you socially less acceptable than sporting dandruff-covered shoulders or having professional triangle lessons. Thus I follow what is going on so that I don’t embarrass my son (or, indeed, myself).

Perhaps unusually, though, I am watching (yes, at the same time as writing this blog!) in church. Some bright spark had the idea of showing the match on the ‘big screen’ usually used to bring up the hymn words. We’re all here, although I think my daughter would be as happy at home having a bath and bed. My husband is busy designing the bathrooms for our house, calculating how many tiles we’ll need. My son has brought his best friend along as well, so they are happily ensconced with bowls of crisps, soaking up the patriotism that reigns supreme.

We have England flags galore, plenty of red and white emblazoned across the room. The popcorn is popped; the cans are opened. A dozen families have settled in for the evening. Out come the teams. Some stand for the national anthem, some sing. All are jocular, excited, full of anticipation.

Then trouble arrives. In walks our minister.

Collective breaths are drawn. How would he react to this English posse? Is this display of patriotism really allowed in church? Can you eat crisps and lemonade in the sanctuary?

He marches down the aisle as the Stars and Stripes is sung. In his hand is a small flag that he waves; on his cheek is painted the same flag; indeed it is emblazoned across his trainers and shirt. He begins singing loudly.

He is American. Bizarrely, he’s not supporting the same team as everyone else. (And he’s less happy that anyone else with the score after the first five minutes…) Thankfully he makes nearly as much noise in support of his team as everyone else in the room put together. (By half-time he’s cheered up a lot!)

South Africa, the rainbow nation, is hosting a magnificent world event. Let's hope every match can be supported with as much good humour and friendliness as this.

Final edit: At the start of church on Sunday morning our minister revealed the power of prayer. He was afraid that no-one would come to his service if the USA won so he’d prayed for a draw…

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Peeow! You're dead!

"Peeow! You're dead!"

Thus rings out the merry cheer of half-term at our house... usually followed by...

"No! I'm not dead!"

"Yes you are!"

"No I'm not!"

"Yes you are. I shot you."

"No, I shot you first."

"Peeow! You're dead! Got you this time!"

"But you were already dead so you can't shoot me."

The conversation carries on like this until their mother is on the verge of madness and cries out for them to stop.

Not that their parents are immune to being shot. Their father, however, usually responds along the lines of:

"You didn't shoot me. In that millisecond that you shot, I super-laser-zapped my head and it split in two down the middle, your shot missed and then my head stuck back together again."


"You couldn't see it but I time-travelled for a short while, so I wasn't here when the shot was fired and so can't have been killed."

My reaction? Usually:

"I'm dead? Oh."

And then I get on with clearing the dishes, hoovering the floor, putting the washing out ... well, life really.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...