Monday, 25 March 2013

I am gleeful....!

It's fair to say that this particular teacher - even though she loves her job - loves an unexpected off as much as the next kid!

The heating has been shut down due to a gas leak.  As a result - NO SCHOOL!  Woop, woop!!

Sadly the decision to close the school was taken after I'd started the commute with Mark.  As a result I had to take him to work, then drive the 30-odd miles back home again.  This afternoon I'll have to drive back over there to get him.  Expensive and time consuming - but there's nothing else I could do really.

So what am I going to do with my unexpected day of freedom...
  • I went to my parent's house and had a second breakfast with them.
  • I've caught up on all your news.
  • I'm going to do some paperwork that would otherwise hang over into the 'holidays' - probably some Year 9 reports.
  • I'm going to finished reading this months 'Handmade with Love' and spend some time on the internet seeing if I can source the 'Washi Tape' that they're raving about.
  • I'm going to do some more work on my 'Spring Flowers'-themed crochet project.
  • I'm going to select photos to go in a collage for the back bedroom. (A job I've been putting off but now needs to be done - my M-i-L is arriving on Saturday and she bought me the frame for Christmas!!!)
  • I'm going to finish sorting the Easter eggs and presents for next weekend - probably on the way out this afternoon.
Sounds like a plan...!  My only worry is that this closure may last longer.  Basically we were only doing a three day week anyway and I had epic amounts of Btec paperwork to do in a fairly short space of time.  I also intended to go into school on Thursday, just to keep up and get ahead a little for the summer term (when Ofsted WILL land). 

Mark has suggested that - should the school be closed for longer - we go and collect all these folders on the way home tonight.  I don't think he realises the scale of the problem.  All the coursework from 62 candidates is more than a couple of carrier bags!!!!

Oh well - I think I'm just going to have stop being such a control freak and 'chill and enjoy' for the moment.  What will be, will be....!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Mark's gone mad....

Introducing Conrad.
This 'not so little fella' joined my bear collection yesterday.
He's 80 cm tall and filled with pellets - so he can stand anywhere he likes.
(I've had to use a picture from the internet because my laptop doesn't seem to
want to up-load my photos this afternoon)
At the moment he's stood at the end of the sofa so he can watch TV.
This afternoon he was stood out in the sunlight - meeting
my bear-loving next door neighbour!
Mark bought him for me because he knew that I would never buy him for myself.
My husband is prone to these lovely, generous, grand (and immensely impractical!)
gestures every once in a while.
When I was stranded in Geneva by the Icelandic ash cloud a couple of years ago,
Mark drove all the way across France to rescue me.
He's also the guy who hid a bottle of Chanel No 5 in a Milk Tray Easter Egg.
He painstakingly undid all the wrapping, popped in the perfume and wrapped it up again
so it looked completely untouched.
These lovely mad moments of Mark have become part of our family's folklore.
Do you have similar tales from your family....

Saturday, 9 March 2013

A Tale of Two Cities...

...... Not Dicken's classic this time, but a reference to my plans for the Easter holidays.  Work is dreadful AND time-consuming at the moment - not a great way to spend my days!  Anyway -

The first city I'm going to visit is Edinburgh.  Mark has never been there and I have only visited once (at the age of 11).  We are going with the specific intention of visiting a special exhibition of material from the Bartholomew Map Company archives.  I found out that the exhibition was on when I was doing some research on Mark's latest map purchase the other week.  I'm just in the process of booking hotels and generally sorting the trip.

The second city I'm going to is Geneva.  I'm flying with Easyjet from Birmingham and going to stay with my oldest friend.  We became friends when I first arrived in Worcester in the early 1990s.  Such is the small world of music, we'd actually met a few times in 1989 when she was going out with a lad on my teacher training course.  By the time we met up again we were both working as secondary school music teachers.  I was one of her 'Matrons of Honour' when she got married in Worcester Cathedral!

Our friendship has survived the best part of 20 years and the fact that her husband's job took them abroad shortly after they got married.  I cried buckets when they left for Poland, but her expat life has given me the chance to catch up with them in some really lovely locations.   I've been to Geneva a few times and, while it sounds glamorous, it's probably my least favourite of all their 'postings'. 

The funny thing is - we could be meeting up anywhere in the world and it wouldn't matter to us.  When C. and I meet it's all about TALKING.  Her poor family have to accept that we don't stop - from the moment I step off the plane to the drop off at the airport again.  We've never fallen out or irritated each other.  I don't have this kind of relationship with anyone else in the world (Mark is only a close second!).  She is truely my best friend and I can't wait to see her again!!!!

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

A walk through Benthall Woods

The weather was far too nice Saturday to do anything other than a lovely long walk.  We took ourselves off to the Ironbridge Gorge, near Telford.  We are particularly fond of this section of the River Severn, as it makes its way from Shropshire into North Worcestershire.  On Saturday we decided to create a walk up-river and out of the Gorge.  We parked the car in the cheap car park on the far side of the famous bridge, walked a short distance along the old railway track, then started the climb up the hill-side on the 'Shropshire Way'...
When we got to the top the views over the Shropshire countryside were worth all the effort.  This is the view back toward Much Wenlock and the beginning of Wenlock Edge...

It was lovely to walk on dry paths for a change.....

Before long we arrived at Benthall Hall (a National Trust property).  It's a 16th Century House and I'm sure it's very interesting - but National Trust entry prices are a bit steep if you're not members so we 'gave it a miss'...

I was more interested in this fascinating little church in the grounds..
It has loads of really quirky features and I was desperate to get a view of the inside....

Sadly it was locked (Grrr!).... so we plodded on across the common towards Broseley.

Eventually we picked up some sandwiches from a supermarket in Broseley and sat outside the Victorian parish church.  There's a bench in a sheltered corner by the porch and it was a lovely tranquil place to eat some lunch... 

After lunch we retraced our steps for a while, until we got back to the woods.  We then decided to follow an alternative path through the old limestone quarries.  There are lots of remains of the old access roads and tramways - which makes navigation through this section a little tricky.  The OS Map seems to bear little relationship to the tracks we found on the ground!

Eventually we reached the view point above our starting point in Ironbridge.  From here there were hundreds of steps down to the river bank.  I was glad to be going down this way, rather than up, but the steps were big enough to be something of a killer for our knees!
Thanks to Jo for my recent award nomination.
As you can see from one of the photos - Mark is back safely!
The return journey was a major saga, which culminated in arriving at Birmingham International station just as thousands of teenage girls were leaving the area after the Justin Bieber concert ("Horrific" was the work he used!)
I hope that you are all having a good week.