Thursday, 27 June 2013

Still Here - Just!!!

More of a 'tweat' than a post....

I've sorted things out with my colleague this week.  It's lovely to feel that we are working more 'as a team' again.  We've had a Parents Evening and two concerts in four days.  Tomorrow night is my niece's Prom and we are providing the transport.  My poor cat thinks his parents don't love him anymore.....

Fortunately the weekend is a little more tranquil!


Sunday, 23 June 2013

Catching up....

Thank you to everyone who left a comment on my last post.  I got back into work last Monday and - sadly - my colleague HAD been up to her disloyal tricks.  However, my line managers were absolutely great and 'took her to task' about her behaviour.  This is quite unusual for my school so I made sure that everyone knew how much I appreciated their support!  Unfortunately I had to take a little break from posting because my back really hurt each evening.  Here are a few rather overdue pictures from last weekend...
The weather forecast for last Sunday wasn't great - so we decided to take Dad and Mum to the Transport Museum at Coventry to celebrate Father's Day.  It worked out really well because there were loads of 'trip down memory lane' exhibits...
Mum remembered going on holiday in a caravan like this...
I remembered Mum cooking on a little stove like this in our trailer tent in the early 70s..

When I was a little girl and the Triumph TR7 was launched I always said that I wanted a white one - just like this...  (I had to wait almost 30 years and compromise on colour... but I did drive a TR7 daily for many happy years!!!!)

There's also a huge display about the land speed record - when they went through the sound barrier for the first time...

.. And, towards the end of the exhibitions, there's this little Metro.
It was Lady Diana Spencer's car in the months before she married Prince Charles.
I couldn't get over how tiny the car was...

We really enjoyed the museum because it focuses as much on the social history of transport as it does on the vehicles themselves.  I loved the section where some old road safety adverts were being played.  There was a hysterical Dad's Army sketch about how to cross the road at the 'new' Pelican crossings and several 'Tufty Club' adverts.
The thing is.... I remembered them clearly!!!
Have a good week.

Friday, 14 June 2013

A 'Letting Off Steam' Post


One way and another I've just come to the end of a really grotty week.  The 'grottiness' didn't just come out of the blue - it's been brewing for several weeks.  Unfortunately once it hit me this week it sort of settled and I'm feeling pretty down.

Basically I have a really dodgy neck. Over the years, I've learnt how to manage it.  I avoid pushing shopping trolleys and packing the food shopping completely (first instance of how I couldn't manage without my lovely husband).  I drive an automatic car.  I do a job that rarely requires me to carry anything and allows me to 'prowl around' - thus keeping my back loose.  I also walk as much as possible the rest of the time for the same reason.  I don't even carry wet washing around (lovely husband again) or do the ironing or vacuum (more lovely husband).

At this point I should point out that Mark is incredible about all of this.  He is my rock - literally!

There are three reasons for this on-going problem.  Firstly I was born with the first vertebrae fused to my skull.  It wouldn't have been an issue, except that I had a major motor-racing accident in 1999.  Reason number two was a full 360 degree barrel roll at racing speed in an Off-Road Racer on the moors above Burnley.  (Hmmm - I should have had more sense!)  Thirdly, in 2005, I tried to picked up an amplifier which was way to big for me.  My poor neck sort of 'gave way' and I had quite a period of time off work.

Anyway, I've been back at work and managing everything for years.  Occasionally I get terrible headaches and painful muscle spasms, but I'm functioning and OK.  Lovely husband has learnt how to massage and manipulate my neck to keep everything moving.  In fact there have been weeks when I haven't need any work on my neck at all.

Then - just before the half-term holiday - Mark was working on my neck and he said that it 'felt different'.  There were huge lumps of muscle knots right up behind my jaw line.  On the left hand side of my face the muscles affected the nerves in my mouth and it felt like I had an abscess.  I couldn't open my mouth properly in the morning and eating was painful.  We slowly worked on the muscles and my mouth finally became less painful (it took about two weeks).  At the end of last week I started to get 'tunnel vision' and all the other symptoms of fainting.  I was also far more emotional than normal, which I recognise as a symptom of muscles and bone pushing and pulling at the back of my skull.

On Tuesday I gave up and phoned in sick.  I went to the Docs to confirm that it was nothing more sinister then have spent the last three days trying to find a functioning level again.  I'm so annoyed because I'd worked so hard to get rid of the 'Teacher with the Dodgy Neck' label.  My immediate (and much younger) colleague is quietly horrible about stuff like this.  She plays the martyr to the Senior Staff - one of those people who really knows how to work a situation.

Reading through this, I know that I'm doing the right thing by staying at home, taking the pain killers and following a programme of stretching exercises that will get me back on my feet.  It's just the unpleasantness of my school that upsets me.  The only person to ring and check on me was the lady in the office who does all my admin.  She's lovely and very kind.  Otherwise it would be fair to say that my school doesn't care at all.

Rant over.....!

Monday, 10 June 2013

9 Miles by the Severn

On Sunday morning we parked 'BJ' the Discovery in the free car park near Ribbesford church and walked up the river Severn from Bewdley to Areley.  The pretty Georgian town of Bewdley was full of people enjoying the lovely weather....
Before long we came to bridge that supports the Elan Valley Aquaduct. 
The water in these pipes is travelling all the way from Wales to Birmingham by gravity. 
An incredible feat of Victorian engineering...
A little further along the river we saw this swan with a cygnet on her back.
The current is very powerful here and the young bird didn't stand a chance of swimming up stream...

Shortly before the hamlet of Areley the Severn Valley Railway crosses the river.
It was a nice moment to remember my friend John - who's ashes were scattered from this bridge (via the firebox of a steam loco) a couple of years ago...

This was a our lunch stop - a little tea garden above the river at Areley..

On the way back down the river we made a small detour via the Trimpley reservoirs..

At this point the Severn Valley Railway is on a level with the footpath.
Here's one of engines steaming through the trees...

By early afternoon we were back in Bewdley...

I suggested that we went to look through the bookshelves of one of the charity shops near the museum.  This 'knitted' bike was parked outside.....

By the time we got back to the car we'd walked about 9 miles.
Not bad for a Sunday stroll!!!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

A Garden Open for Charity...

A few weeks ago I picked up the Worcestershire booklet for the National Gardens Scheme - Open for Charity.  The entry for a garden on the Herefordshire border really caught my eye and I planned to get over there as soon as possible.  Yesterday they had their second opening of the year and we were there almost as soon as they opened!  It was a perfect day for wandering around and admiring some-one else's hard work (and indulging in a bit of 'fantasy gardening' along the way....!)
We had to park 'BJ' up on the 'main road'..
We walked down a steep track for a couple of hundred metres and
were greeted by this glorious view..

The creator of this beautiful space popped out of the door to take our entry fee.
He and his wife have lived in this house since 1967.  They started working on the gardens in 1980.
There are 20 acres of woodland.  It took us over an hour to follow all the little way-marked paths.
There are 3 acres of 'formal' gardens, wrapped around the house.
It was a perfect time of year to admire all the blossoms...

The huge borders are colour-themed. 
I particularly liked this pale lilac border just below the house..

This is the rose garden. 
It's really established and will be a riot of colour in a few weeks time..

..And here's the back of the house.
What a great place to live in ...and to garden!

Before we left we sat at the back of the house with a cup of tea and a piece of cake.
The views were incredible.  I don't think I'd ever do any housework - I'd just be
constantly distracted by the changing colours of this lovely landscape!

Have a good week.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Catching Up......

A flavour of my half-term...

Early morning sunshine in the conservatory -
(please don't look at my smudgy windows!!!)

A day's walking on the Mortimer trail near Ludlow...

Lovely views on local walks...

Finally getting round to taking a photo of this local milestone...
There are plenty of plain concrete ones in the area - this is the only one that's painted

Meeting up with some friends at Broadway Tower
(on the edge of The Cotswolds)

The fabulous view from the tower down towards Evesham and
Breedon Hill...

Coffee and lunch at the tea-rooms near the tower..

Catching sight of this little copper racing car at Shelsey Walsh Hill Climb..

...and watching the real cars on the track.

Enjoying all the motor sport atmosphere in the 'pits'...

..then sneaking away to take pictures of the beautiful old buildings by the track.

It's SO lovely to have my laptop back!!!!