March 2008

This Easter break is short and very early. It does not help that I have a lot of coursework to mark.

The launch of Easter was softened nicely by a day walking in the mountains. Basic stuff, the first time in the hills for the students. It stayed really clear with the cloud base quite high. They could see a lot of the mountains until lunch time when a little of the cloud dropped quickly. Hail, rain and low visibility… a perfect introduction for them.

Today the lovely Sharon pottered about the garden. She weeded, planted, fixed and potted. It really felt like spring. We sat in the garden in the sunny warmth eating freshly baked wheaten and sipping coffee. As she continued to potter all day I kept taking marking breaks to pass judgement on her work and discuss our grand plans to build our own greenhouse.

In between the crisp cold nights the summer is slowly creeping up on us. So much so that we opened a bottle of white wine this evening. White wine? Quite out of character.

This month’s full moon is the worm moon. The ground is warming and the worm casts are appearing on the ground.

Apparently the new thing to do is to rent DVDs by post.  But, it has been the new thing for a while, so it’s not really new any more.  Anyway, I decided to give it a whirl.

First I signed up with amazon as I think they are brilliant and have been with them for years (for books).  I set it all up and created a wanted list.   And waited.  And waited.  The DVDs said “available now”.  No dispatching.  I waited for days.   Then I gave up and cancelled.  Then I signed up with a company I have had loads of issues with… Tesco.  After they insisted that I had to put 10 titles on my wanted list they dispatched the next day.

Where is that postman postperson postalworker.

It’s all very calm here now, but storm johanna is lurking up on us…..

warnings are rumbling

As a teacher you you have a duty to think before you speak.  Think of all possible outcomes of your words.  The lovely Sharon was reminded of this today.  It all started with our quest for culinary strangeness.  For many years we have both been stuck in our ways when it comes to what we eat, being completely unadventurous.  Recently we have been trying to change this by branching out and eating different things.  For example, I used to hate fish, with a passion, and now it is a favourite.  Occasionally, when the situation presents itself, we have tried game meat; wild bore, deer etc.  Recently a friend has been trying to get his hands on some rabbit meat (he is French) and might have acquired a source which he is willing to share.

The French friend confirmed today that le lapin is on its way.  From this conversation the lovely Sharon went to class and shared her excitement with some of her pupils, whom she often discusses food as it is a major component of their course.  As soon as the words left her mouth a flood of thoughts followed as she remembered.  She remembered that one of her students only just lost her rabbit.  A long family pet of 10 years.  A pet that was so highly loved and valued that it had a ceremony.

You can’t take words back.

You have to think of everything.

I am not a person with favourites.  When people ask me questions like, “what is my favourite colour?”  I draw a blank.  I would like to think I enjoy all things.  But, winter is my favourite season.  Does not being a summer person make me not enjoy the summer.  No way!  I love the summer.  The long nights.  Sitting outside (wrapped up warm, as it is northern Ireland).  The fresh salads from the garden.  Oh, and I am a teacher, do the maths.

Even with these beautiful summer thoughts, I cannot escape that winter is my favourite season.  It has more character yet things seem to pause.  Tonight I went for a short walk in a snow flurry, the best time to go.  The snow absorbs the sound and makes me aware of my own warmth.  I wrap up in wool to hold on to my ember.  When the wind dies down  I wandered through pockets of thick peat smells.

Winter is my favourite season.

Last night we had a few friends over for something to eat. Actually we had a lot of people over for a lot to eat. I had put a little thought into where people might park their cars. I drove our cars around the corner to a friend’s house. Ironically, once everybody had arrived, only one person decided to park their car in our drive. ***sigh***

The park/road was full of cars and the neighbours responses were not as I predicted. A couple of them decided to stop a few of our guests as they parked their cars, and insisted that they… park their cars in their driveways. They were taking their cars in and making space for them. Excellent!

Then a very strange thing happened which must have left the neighbours scratching their heads. When the festivities were in full swing, after an hour and a half or so; everybody got in their cars and left. Everybody. Had we offended them all? Had we thrown them all out? Had someone spilled drinks on my copy of newscientist? No. It was a grub crawl. Ours was just the first course in a meal that would take a crowd of 30 people to several houses over several hours, migrating like a heard of hungry wildebeasts