Sunday 20 May 2012

I've Done It Again

Why oh why,  when questions such as .... "Who'd like to volunteer for ...." arise at meetings, does my arm suffer from an involuntary spasm and shoots upwards ? Is it a hangover from school days when I'd sit, arm higher than everyone's, shouting "Miss , Miss  ... " begging to be asked the answer to a question read aloud ? Can't be, I'd have been sitting on my hands hoping not to be picked. Maybe that's it then . I'm repenting for my lost school youth when I should have been participating rather than hiding behind my desk.

In any event , I find myself on a Sunday having just baked umpteen scones, whipped litres of cream and decanted jars of Robinson's finest, in preparation for my hosting of the  'Jubilee Street Party Bunting Get together ' for all the neighbours.

Now I know it will be fun when we get going but today of all days when I'm trying to fathom the difference between Osmosis and Diffusion , in an attempt to de-mystify eldest teen before his Biology GCSE tomorrow morning. Feel like I've just done a crash course on all 3 sciences and then there's Eng Lit as we used to call it , to wade through tonight ... and the perils of ' unseen poetry' .

My version of an English Lit GCSE would be to ship the whole class off to the Hay Festival to absorb ( by osmosis .... see I do know what it means ) the loveliness of the English Language in all its written glory . But no . The Head Honchos at Edexcel have other ideas, They're gonna make the parents suffer by forcing them to speed read every one of the set books the night before the exam in a vain attempt to explain their contents yo their reluctant teens, the morning of the exam. I'm talking here about my dyslexic and dyspraxic son who will read each book , albeit over the course of a year, thereby forgetting how it started by the end of the 12 months and be none the wiser at the end of the last chapter. Guaranteed to put you off reading for life.

I shouldn't really be wasting time blogging but it's therapy and cheaper than gin. Excuse me whilst I go drag the sewing machine downstairs , dust off the cobwebs and prepare to cut a million little triangles from assorted discarded clothing. This may just put me off bunting for life. When the next Jubilee wheels around in a decade ( pearl ? ruby ? Corgi ? ), I'll have learnt from my mistakes , in theory , and be sitting on my hands when the question " Anyone want to volunteer to make bunting ? " rears its ugly head.

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Looking Out of My Window Today ...

 ... let me see .... we have hailstones , about the size of frozen peas, black skies and what might that be on the horizon , a plague of locusts perhaps ?

But not even the weather can dampen my enthusiasm for what awaits me at about 11.30am on Wednesday the 16th May . Eldest will have completed the second of 2 papers for his Maths IGCSE and I can breathe again. The house will relax back into normality and I can clear away the eggshells we've all been walking on for the past few months.

I hear on the radio this morning that our Educational System's method of assessing and dealing with Special Educational Needs is to have an overhaul. Hurrah ! Now you won't have to prove that you're at least three years behind before you get dragged out of class to learn your vowel sounds with an unqualified assistant , thereby missing another essential lesson back in the classroom in the process, which will probably get you off onto the wrong track in arithmetic or some such.

Apparently lots of children have been 'mislabeled'. What happened there then ? Did they get the wrong barcode or sell by date ? A bunch of experts have been wheeled out to express their views on radio 4 . These range from 'regret' that so many children have fallen through the net , right up to anger that they'll leave school without being able to read. And meanwhile if you want a statement for your child , which still sounds like they're being classified as educationally unsound, rather than failed by the system, unless you can dig deep and hire a barrister to 'defend' your case in court  (.... yes court !) , at eleventy squillion pounds a minute - you're stuffed.

So what's the answer ? More teachers, better qualified, smaller classes and differentiated work for those who can't do quadratic equations by the time they're three. Wouldn't it be lovely if our children could just ... wait for it .... enjoy school rather than endure it ? Poor loves , I wouldn't want to be a schoolchild these days.

Friday 4 May 2012

4 Eyes

I am helpless with laughter. If you haven't tried it yet , go straight to Specsavers website and try out their new gizmo where you upload a photo of yourself which enables you to 'try on' any of their frames.
Trouble is ... I look like a cross between Dame Edna and Eric Morecombe in every single pair.
Still .... worth a good laugh on a Friday night if nothing else.


And talking of Friday night ... what is it about wine O clock on a Friday that still makes me feel like a teenager getting home from school ... childishly excited about the anticipation of the weekend ahead ?

The fridge is bursting with 4 lots of M&S dine in for a tenner meals ... should keep us going until Monday - I have no intention of cooking for the next 3 days . Instead I'll be taking my pick from chargrilled chicken and prawn paella, salmon marinated in soy and ginger, fish pie and pork medallions in a creamy something or other sauce. And that's just the main courses ... wait til you hear the puds - Irish Cream tart slices, trifle, raspberry panna cotta and key lime pie. The 4 bottles of wine alone would have cost £32 which means that the 4 main course, 4 side dishes and 4 puddings came to a grand total of £8.

As they say ... this is not just ordinary food this is ... an absolute bargain.