About Me

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Worcester, Worcestershire, United Kingdom
Born in the year of the Coronation, I'm a Baby Boomer. In April of this year I decided I too would have a Diamond Jubilee celebration and completely change my life and that of my Husband's in the process

Monday, 28 January 2008


Time is a commodity I’m very short of lately.

Friday, we were called into an unexpected staff meeting. We’d had the call. OFSTED are coming to inspect us again on Wednesday & Thursday of this week. We only had the LEA in doing the same about two months ago! Could we please be allowed to get on with our job? Rather than keep preparing for these blessed inspections. We now only get three working days notice of an OFSTED inspection. The teacher I work with was supposed to be going to Devon for the weekend but had to cancel that and come into school to make sure everything was tidy and up to date. Bloody ridiculous if you ask me.

So I am making sure we are unrealistically tidy and organised, so the inspectors can see us as they would like to see us rather than how we really are. Don’t they realise we are working with real children? Real children don’t conform to tidy!!!!

My daughter, as previously mentioned lost one of her cats on Christmas Eve.

A week ago Saturday they were coming home from town and saw, in the headlights a cat scavenging from a bag of rubbish that had blown into the road. Catherine was sure it was Milly and jumped out to see. But the cat ran away. It then started to pour with rain. Later, when it had stopped raining, she went out with a bowl of food.

At first one of the local cats came to see the food, then , a small, black cat came nervously towards her. Catherine could see the collar with the gold bell and knew it was Milly. Gradually , Milly edged towards her, until Catherine was able to grab her.

Milly is now under house arrest. She had been missing for almost four weeks, had a head full of ticks and is as thin as a rake. But she is happy to be home and doesn’t seem too interested in going outside.

Our darling Harper died just over a year ago and as I said, last entry, we have been thinking of getting a new dog.

I became very aware that I needed to re-home a dog, rather than go out and buy a puppy bred just to make some breeder a lot of money. I’d thought through all the possibilities and decided an older dog, that no one else wanted was what I wanted.

I’ve been trawling the Re-Homing websites for weeks now. I was starting to feel like some sort of voyeuristic perv, looking at all the dogs that were available. Suddenly, there was THE ONE. Had had the worst name ever for a dog his height and shape, CHUNKY.

But we could get him to change that.


We went to see him on Friday. He was the only quiet dog amongst all the others he was with. He’s been in a kennel since October.

The price of moving in with us was having his Family Jewels removed, which happened today. They also took all his tangles off, which means he looks bloody awful at present. And he stinks. So as soon as he’s healed up, he’s off for a beauty treatment at the local Dog Salon.

I love him, so I really hope things work out.

Must go now and see how he’s getting on with his new bed and the cats.

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Someone’s Not Trying Hard Enough!

(Lot's of photos, so you may have to be patient while they download)

I didn’t go to school today. I haven’t felt right since the sickness thing at Christmas and today saw me running off to the loo again. So I decided a day of rest would be best and if I have something contagious it would be best not to pass it on. (even though I probably caught it there from the little dears in the first place)

By early afternoon the chickens were announcing to the world that they wanted to be let out, which is what I did. While I was there I collected the eggs.



Three chickens, three eggs. Hmmmm! I wonder who didn’t earn their dinner today? Chicken casserole next week? LOL!


While I was photographing the eggs, I remembered I had been asked for some photos of my new kitchen. So here are a few.


Here’s an oddity.


Strangely his colours seem to match the tiling and in a funny way we’ve become quite attached to him. I’ll explain.

At school I work as part of a team of ten Teaching Assistants. Three years ago we decided, rather than all go out buying each other Christmas presents, we would all trawl through the Charity Shops and find the most awful thing we could find for under Three Pounds. Then, on the day we broke up, we would put these wrapped items in a box and draw lots. We then have to open our present, which reduces us to knicker wetting hysteria. OMG, what you can get in Charity Shops beggars belief LOL! And this is the little darling I had this year.

The rule is, the present has to be kept on display in our house until next December, then we bring them all in to school and put them on the White Elephant Stall at the school Christmas Fayre.

At any time during the year, one of our friends may call round and do an ‘On the Spot Inspection’ to make sure it is on public display. I can’t understand how this monstrosity goes so well with the new kitchen but somehow he does.

Last Saturday we had lunch with Mum, Wilf, Catherine, Flo and Isabella. (Mum’s treat) They have these Thai friends who bought a local country pub and  they do the most divine food. The girls, who wait table, barely speak English but the moment we get there, they scoop Isabella up and take her off to play. I wish I had taken some photos of them together but with the language barrier it worries me that I may be intruding without their approval. Their dark beauty and traditional dress with little Isabella’s fair, pearlescent complexion make a wonderful contrast.

The food is wonderful but the presentation is art on a plate.


Isabella enjoying her lunch.





I was flicking through the channels last night and couldn’t see much I wanted to watch. There was something about the new Relocation, Relocation, that caught my eye but I couldn’t think what is was. So I went back for another look.

I will be the first to admit that through Mike’s job we have eaten in some spectacular places, I suppose St James Palace for lunch has to be the grandest. Eating and drinking with The Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and a list as long as two arms of celebrities from screen, stage, sports and politics, all these things have been wonderfully exciting. But I am always aware that when I see someone on telly, that we have met and chatted to, it has all been down to Mike’s job.

So how strange on Thursday night to see someone that I knew, through MY work, on the telly.

This was a man, now approaching 40, who was wanting a flat in London and a house in Harrogate. Combined budget of £750,000. Poor dears, obviously on the bread-line!

This man, Johnny, or just plain John when I knew him in Cardiff, is now the MD of an International Insurance Company, with an office near to Tower Bridge, London.

When I knew him, he was an office junior, who used to do my renewal quotes for me. The last time I saw him was the morning after my leaving do, never, ever have I seen redder eyes. In fact I got called in to one of the Director’s offices, to be told off for destroying the work force by my leaving party (some hadn't made it in). .....Moi?.... As if. LOL!

I could tell you some tales from that time! In fact,as he is now so obviously rich and in a high position, I wonder if a little blackmail.........?

Life is quieter these days but I suppose, as grandparents, it’s befitting.

Looks like we escaped being flooded this time, although I don’t think the threat has passed. I’m hoping for some drier weather so we can get the allotment started but that could be a week or so yet.

Still looking for a dog, there are plenty out there but I want ‘The Right One’

Linda. x



Saturday, 12 January 2008


Life seems to be settling back to the usual routine, after a rather odd month, which started in mid December with the manic rush to complete everything for the school Carol Concert in Worcester Cathedral.

Worcester Cathedral is amongst the oldest in the country and to me, has a very special feel, it’s soaring arches defy gravity and to hear it’s colossal organ being played, is to be mentally transported to a higher plane, the bass notes reverberate through your entire body, making you feel part of the music.

The Carol Concert was just over an hour in length and Carols and Readings were punctuated by a four minute ‘performance’ by each year group, even the Nursery Class, how cute were they!

There were over a thousand people there including the Mayor of Worcester and other local dignitaries and celebrities , Mike being one, LOL!

It was a wonderful success, enjoyed by everyone. While she was getting everything set up, The Head was approached by a visitor to the Cathedral and on hearing what was about to happen, he decided to stay and watch. We had a lovely letter from him saying how much he’d enjoyed it. Praise indeed, as he was formerly the Head of Drama at a large University.

Once the Concert was over, my time was taken with completing end of term tasks and wrapping 60 small presents for all the children in my year group.

My last entry covers the time from when we broke up until after Christmas.

New Year’s Eve we had a small, late Christmas, with Catherine, Flo and Isabella. We had dinner, with crackers and opened all our presents to each other. Catherine had wanted to wait until I was well and we could make an occasion of it and Isabella had already been overwhelmed with presents.


Isabella was so funny as she came here a few times between Christmas and New Year, she would look at all the presents under the tree, point to them and then look at me with a questioning smile on her face and said “More?” I’m sure she thought I hadn’t noticed there were still some lying there and she obviously found present unwrapping a fun thing to do.

New Year over I then had to start thinking about returning to school but mainly I had a quiet time, trying to get my strength back after being ill. I have to say, I still don’t feel 100% but I’m getting there.

I’ve spent a lot of time at home and it has been a period of reflection, there are certain areas of my life I’m not happy with, either due to my own inaction, or from pressures caused by other people. I often think I will make changes but this time I know I will. I’m getting too old to spend my life making compromises. I’m going to start doing what I want and people can like it, or, do the other thing.

We are seriously looking into getting another dog, I know it will be a tie but we do miss having the company of a doggie person and walking is something I need to do, to help keep me fit. I find Mike is usually booked for work for most of my school holidays and now Sundays will be a lonely day, as Mike has just been given a contract to do a Breakfast programme in Shropshire, then he returns to do an Afternoon programme in Worcester. I’m not going to be inclined to go walking on my own but a doggie companion will give me the incentive to go out.

Catherine, myself and a dear friend will be starting on our allotment soon and I’m really looking forward to that. We decided to wait until the New Year to get started, as over wintering vegetables doesn’t seem to have any great advantage.

I won’t name the friend, but I would like to say, she had an awful shock before Christmas. Without warning, her husband had a Stroke. Luckily, he appears to be making a good recovery but he was typical of so many men, he never felt it necessary to get himself checked out at the Doctor’s. He felt fit, so what could possibly be wrong? As it turned out, quite a bit. Hypertension, known as the silent killer, doesn’t usually show any symptoms until it’s too late. So if your husband is of a ‘certain age’ and is being stubborn about going to the Doctor’s, you can buy an excellent, easy to use monitor from Lloyd’s Chemist for £9.99. I’ve bought one myself as I suffer from ‘White Coat Syndrome’, which means whenever I have mine checked, it’s an artificially high reading. So with my Doctor’s agreement, we checked I was using it properly and I am taking it daily and keeping a dairy. Veryinteresting, it’s actually quite low when I take it here. What was really interesting is that I started drinking decaff coffee about two years ago. If I go out and have a Latte with Catherine in town, I feel really queer afterwards. This never used to happen but I started thinking I must be reacting to the caffeine.

I’ve found that if I test my blood pressure after a real coffee, the reading will be really high and that lasts for a few hours. So, you real coffee drinkers, let that be a warning to you. (Dawn, this means you. LOL!)

My father suffered a devastating stroke in his mid sixties, so this a problem I feel very strongly about.

We should be going out to lunch today with Mum, Wilf, Catherine Flo and Isabella, only after the torrential rain yesterday, I’m not sure if the roads are passable, last night it was flooded just before the pub we are going to. Hopefully things have cleared now and fingers crossed, I think we’ve escaped a visit from the brook, it’s just managed to remain in its banks this time, although the flood barriers have been erected alongside the river. Worcester can be a very wet place sometimes.

I’d better go and let the chickens out now, they had to stay in their Ark all day yesterday due to the weather and they are clucking their displeasure, loudly, which might annoy the neighbours.

It’s a bit late but Happy New Year!