Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Up-dates and Other Stuff....

First of all, an up-date on D.  X-rays confirmed that he'd been by an air gun pellet.  The pellet 'skimmed' his skull rather than hitting it - which is why there was so much blood.  He came to school on Friday because he didn't want to miss the fun of the last day - brave soul.  Naturally all the adults in his life are horrified by the incident and 'what might have been' - but we are playing it down as a 'lucky escape from an accident' with D.  I understand that the local police are now involved, but I'm going to have to wait until September before I hear anymore because I live too far away to get local news for my school. 

So............... it's the holiday!!  To be honest, it feels a little weird.  I think teachers use so much adrenaline to get to the end of term that the first few days frequently leave you feeling over-tired and deflated.  Don't get me wrong - I'm having a great time.  It's just that my brain hasn't quite caught up with the concept yet!!!

On Sunday I took Mark to Broadway Tower Country Park, about 20 miles to the east of us and on the edge of the Cotswolds.  I'd been planning a return visit ever since I met my friends there in June (see 'Catching Up' post). The weather was still warm but cloudy enough to make walking comfortable.  We parked the car by the visitor centre and pottered off along the lanes.  After a couple of miles we started to cross the lavender fields of 'Cotswold Lavender'.  We stopped at their tea room for a morning coffee and to try their lavender shortbread (seriously nice!).

After another half of mile, we arrived in the tiny village of Snowshill.  It's one of those 'perfect' Cotswold villages where time appears to have stood still.  I imagine that it must be very difficult to live there..

Here's the church, with the pub in the background...

When we got back to the car we spread out a rug the shade of a large tree and enjoyed our picnic lunch.  Then we came to the REAL reason for our visit.  A little past the Tower, in a small compound, is the entrance to a NUCLEAR BUNKER!  It's only open a few days of the year so we'd made a special visit to find out more.  My husband is absolutely fascinated by these types of holes in the ground and the history round them.  The entrance here is the top of a 15 feet 'rung ladder' that leads to the small room, complete with all the artefacts of the period.  Against my better judgement - as I really don't like being in enclosed spaces underground - I was helped down by the guide.  He let me stand at the bottom of the shaft for the 30 minutes presentation.  It helped immensely that I could see the sky and feel a little fresh air on my face, but I would NEVER voluntarily go inside one of these things again!!!!!!

After I'd recovered from the ordeal (ha ha!) we also visited the tower.  There's just three rooms - one on each floor - and they deal with different aspects of the tower's history.  My favourite was the middle room, which explored the links with William Morris.

The room had been restored with a Morris-deign wallpaper and fabrics.....

And then we reached the top of the tower.  After my time underground I particularly enjoyed the fresh air and the panorama.  Unfortunately it wasn't very clear and visibility was limited to about 5 miles.  Nevertheless, it was definitely worth the entry fee and the climb up all the stairs!

Wishing all you fellow teacher+bloggers a very happy holiday!

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Hoping that this was a terrible accident...

As you've probably realised from my previous posts - I am immensely fond of the pupils that I teach.  They make my epic commute bearable through their enthusiasm for my subject and their generally quirky outlooks on life.  In a school full of nice kids, D. has always stood out.  He's a great boy - keen to do well, but still 'one of the lads'.  Earlier today he was in tears because his final performance assessment didn't go perfectly.  He's one of several hundred kids that I'm proud to be associated with.

On the way home from school today, maybe 250 metres from the school gate, there was a loud bang and D. was suddenly bleeding profusely from a head wound.  His friends (he's only 12 years old) and some adult witnesses called the police and the ambulance.  My colleague happened to be passing on her way home.  She saw a group of pupils from our school and stopped.  Once she had sorted out what was happening, she called me and asked me to tell the Senior Management Team that one of pupils had been involved in what appeared to be a serious incident.  As soon as I heard what had happened I went to join them, along with one of the Assistant Heads.

At around 4.30pm D. went by ambulance to the main regional hospital, where someone should be able to determine if he was hit by a bullet.  He's lucky that the wound isn't life-threatening - just a glancing blow.  Again, I'm proud to be associated with these kids and other great people in the community.  A lot of D's blood was on his friends and a person, who lived nearby, invited the boys indoors to clean up.  These two young lads then talked clearly and calmly to the police.

At the moment we have to hope that it was just a terrible accident - maybe involving an air rifle or something else that exploded and caught somehow caught the side of D's head.   It's too terrible to think that some-one would deliberately OR randomly decide to fire at a child's head, in broad daylight on the penultimate night of term.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Lost my 'Mo-Jo'...

What with the heat AND end of term exhaustion, I seem to have lost my blogging 'Mo-Jo' in the last couple of weeks.  Please bear with me - I will be back with a vengeance when my holiday starts on the 19th July!  ("So near and yet so far...!!!")

Tom has been desperately seeking a cool spot since last Friday. 
It's not particularly comfortable on our bedroom windowsill - but he 'gave it a go'..

He stuck his whiskers outside for a while..
but it didn't seem to help much...

Eventually he just gave into exhaustion and crashed out on the landing..

Poor cat - I really feel for him in this heat.
The decent weather has also brought out all the neighbourhood cats.
They all go 'out on manoeuvers' at around 3.00 in the morning.
There's a kind of guerrilla warfare being carried out on the street as each cat tries
to maintain its own space and invade neighbouring territories.
All the cats are very young - maybe 2 years old at the most.
My poor Tom is 13 next birthday but he's out there 'playing the game'!
I'm proud of him - he's not giving in to the young ones!!!!
(Just like his Mum!!!)

Monday, 1 July 2013

A Few Prom Photos

Here's a few photos from my niece's Prom on Friday. 
We offered to drive her to the event in one of the cars a few months ago.
From what I can gather there was a serious case of "Teenage Prom politics"
which meant that a lovely lad from her German class ended up in the second car...
Mark proudly drove his niece in the blue car..
and I was 'chauffeuse' to her friend, N.
It took an hour to get across Worcester in the rush hour and out to
Whitbourne Hall (on the border with Herefordshire).
This beautiful house is divided into flats and was featured on the TV
series 'Country House Rescue' a few years ago. 
They now make money to maintain the building through weddings and Proms.
The grand portico is a fantastic backdrop for photos

It also resonated superbly to the sound of two V8 engines!!!

We parked the cars up and went for a little wander around.
The old Orangery at the back of the picture has seen better days..
but it's still beautiful in the mid-summer light.
The main reception rooms at the front of the picture were laid out for the meal.
The tables looked lovely - but it was hard to get a good image through the glass.

It was my sister's birthday on Thursday -
so we all met up at her house for a curry later in the evening.
I was shattered from the busy week at work but it was a great way to start the weekend!