Saturday, December 30, 2006

Our living room is complete.

Well, we have finally completed our living room :D Just fourteen months after we moved in, we now have all our furniture sorted.

We ordered the shelving, the coffee table, and side table from Argos on December 23rd and had it delivered yesterday morning (December 29th). We are really pleased with it - it makes the living room look much more spacious as it doesn't dominate the room like the other bookcase did.

We moved some books onto the shelving in the bedroom and brought all the photos and knick knacks in here to go on the new unit. The big bookcase went in the craft room, as you can see from the last photo, and it now has all my school stuff on there, so it makes it a craft room cum office. I love our living room now, and I'm so pleased it is done in time for New Year - it was like having a spring clean three months early, but totally worth it :D

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I've been tagged!

And I also haven't posted for about six weeks LOL.

So here is my first ever tag response:

A - Available or taken: Taken by Carlos two and a halfish years ago :wub:
B - Best friend(s): Claire, Euan (if I ever speak to him!!)
C - Cake or pie: Pie - man I lurve the pastry!!
D - Drink of choice: At the moment it's usually a glass of Rose :)
E - Essential item you use every day: an endless supply of pens because kids are incapable of bringing their own to class lol.
F - Favorite colour: Blue...but I also really like purple and pink....and green.
G - Gummy bears or worms: Gummy bears....but not gummi barchen, the freaky german ones with only two colours...they are wierd.
H - Hometown: Currently Gillingham but I was born in Carshalton, Surrey.
I - Indulgence: a whole day scrapping with no thought of work or housework :)
J - January or February: January coz it's my birthday as well as Dolly’s and Tracy's!!!
K - Karma - no idea what the question is disappeared along the line!
L - Life is incomplete without: a cat.
M - Marriage Date: August 2009....will let you know when I've got a specific :D
N - Number of siblings: 2 brothers, one older and one younger.
O - Oranges or Apples: Apples but orange juice.
P - Phobias or Fears: Mirrors in the's all the Candyman's fault.
Q - Fave Quote: “God kills indiscriminately and so shall we, for no creature under God are as we are, none so like him as ourselves" from Interview with the Vampire.
R - Reason to smile: Carl and I laugh at least once a day - even if we have argued - and the reason is just because!
S - Season: Summer, but the early part, before it gets too hot and I have to hibernate or live in sunblock.
T - Tag 3 or 4 people: Claire, J2 and Euan (if you read my blog, that is!)
U - Unknown fact about me: If I haven't spoken to you since the 23rd and/or you haven't been reading UKS - I tried to amputate my left index finger on Saturday but was unsuccessful as my nail got in the way. Refused to waste my time at A&E so am now developing an attractive, Frankenstein's Monster stylee scar....
V - Vegetable you don't like: Artichokes...they are very odd....
W - Worst habit: I sat on my bum for five hours until I was so disgusted with my laziness I made myself work for the next five!
X - x-rays: Only had them on my teeth although I suspect they may have done one after my improvised amputation on Saturday if I'd gone to the hospital...
Y - Your fave food: cheese - with anything but especially brie as a starter or fried mozarella sticks in bread crumbs with marinara sauce....mmmmmmmm
Z - Zodiac sign: Capricorn most of the time...but some astrologers call me Aquarius and on odd occasions they miss me out altogether! Riley: What are you? Buffy: Capricorn, on the cusp of Aquarius. You?
If Buffy were a real person she would be two days older than me :D And we have the same middle name. But slaying vampires is wrong, very wrong.
Ooh, Dracula's on TV this week, yay :D

OMG I'm officially going mad LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL ad infinitum......

Monday, October 16, 2006

History Matters

Just a quick post to let any other bloggers who may be reading know that tomorrow you can join in "the biggest blog in history".

Go to and fill in the details about your day on Tuesday 17th October 2006. I think they want you to explore how you have encountered history during the day but they also want it to be a record of a day in the life of millions of ordinary people (and some who are slightly more extraordinary!). I think the Sunday Times said it was going to go into the National Archives to be preserved forever.

Should be an interesting read for me - I'm teaching Year 8 how to write a persuasive speech tomorrow LOL!!!!

On the plus side some of them (most of them, to be fair) were working well for me in drama today and I am going to observe them in history tomorrow....ooh, how spooky, just found my link methinks lol. Anyhoo, we will see how they are for me in will be last lesson of the day, after all......*rolls eyes*.......

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Year 8 are still awful!

Just need to put my feelings down on (cyber!) paper again.

Year 8 absolutely wore me out again yesterday. They are so completely and utterly childish, they make stupid noises and complain when I give them one minute to write down one short sentence.

I kept 17 of them into lunchtime to repeat the classwork they did on Friday as it was awful. Most of them improved but two girls walked out after having written in their books how much they hate me! I don't really care if they hate me - I'm just trying to make them learn that they won't get away with doing nothing in my classes, no matter how hard they try. They waste my time in class, I waste their time at lunch and after school. I put those two girls in department detention for next week and got through to one of the parents who was totally supportive and said her daughter has a similarly bad attitude at home, which was good to hear. Am hoping to speak to the other one today. I think if they are still being awful at the end of the week I might call all the parents en masse about it, play the "I'm worried about your son/daughter falling behind" card, as well as inviting them in to sit with the child and observe their behaviour!

Have decided with Julia (fellow Enlish and Drama-ite) that I need to introduce some routine into their lessons, so we're going to go through the Master Your SPellings books on Wednesday with a view to using them as a starter every lesson for ten minutes. They need the practise on their spellings anyway, and I was going to do a spelling rule with the whole class once a week, but this way they can use the books that are tailored to their individual spelling ages.

Well, I've rambled on and on - thanks if you're still with me! At least today I don't have to teach them and I've already planned tomorrow's lesson. for them. Today I get to work with my lovely Year 7s and film them doing their circus acts, which look like they could be really good fun :D

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Year 8 - EURGH!!

Lol, sorry for the title! My Year 8 English class are just the most lazy kids I have come across in my life and they are incapable of doing anything for themselves. I set a homework task, due in tomorrow, that they were to spend half an hour on (they get English homework once a week). The complaints were incredible!! Half the class left without taking their prompt sheet with them so I'm expecting their efforts to be outstanding.....we really are breeding generations of children who expect not to have to work or compete for anything.

I'm also knackered as I had duty today and my free lesson got taken for a Year 9 maths cover - no toilet break from 9.45 til

Anyway, I thought I'd have a go at today's blog prompt to cheer me up, after my little rant of course! It was to list five things that make me happy, so here they are:

  1. Being challenged in my job - after four years of boredom I don't know where my days disappear to now.
  2. Knowing that Carl loves me and knowing my family love me - the fact that I have such a good relationship with my mum these days really makes me smile.
  3. Coming home, putting on a cosy cardie or jumper, and drinking a cup of jasmine tea before I even contemplate doing anymore work.
  4. Having my cat sitting on my lap while I use the computer or watch the TV.
  5. Thinking of the wonderful memories I've already made and those that are yet to come.

Well, that was all very sappy but it has certainly made me feel better inside :D Don't get me wrong, I love my job, but I'm shattered and ending the day with Year 8 was not much fun lol!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Somewhere That's Green

Wow - what a hectic two weeks!!

I'm sitting here listening to Little Shop as today we had the recalls for the principal roles at school. Now I'm sure the kids involved don't read here but I still can't let it out who's got the parts til it goes "public" on Monday! I'm so excited though, the kids are great and will really get the best out of their parts. Oh, and Jon, if you're reading this, I was showing photos of our Little Shop to the drama department today!

I have now survived my first full week in school. Last week didn't count so much as it was only three teaching days. It has been the biggest challenge of my life - the earlier part of the week didn't go so well, after a promising start in week one. But I took lots of advice on strategies for getting the kids to behave - adopted the cool, calm and collected approach and don't let them know if things are getting to me, and it seems to work.

The two worst girls in my Year 10 English class took themselves off to work in another teacher's classroom (where Year 12 was being taught) and got lots done. They actually said they were sorry and they didn't want to cause disruption in my lesson (for the first time) and I was able to see how well the rest of the class worked without their "Vicky Pollard" style influence - the difference was incredible, and they are now getting in to the text, which is Willy Russell's Our Day Out. I love the play and finally my enthusiasm is coming through and becoming infectious. I also got kudos for my ability to do a great Liverpool accent, and my attempts at the Jamaican, Texan and Cockney of the starter activity went down well too, though my attempts at Ali G were pretty laughable lol!

So I'm looking forward to spending the day at Scrapbook Sisters' crop tomorrow, meeting new people and getting some scrapping done for the first time since the holidays. Right now I'm off to soak my tired feet in the bath and drink my second cheap Italian beer :D

Thursday, August 31, 2006

I love my cardies!

Today's prompt on UKS was asking what/where is your comfort? I pondered this for a while and couldn't really think what it was. Then I realised I was wearing it!

Whenever I'm feeling down, lonely, or insecure, I put on one of my chunky, cosy cardies. Something about the way they envelope me, like a big hug when there is no one around to give you a proper hug, makes me feel much more secure again. It helps me to hide my fears until I'm with someone and can talk them through.

When I worked at S Water and was having a bad day, I pulled on my cardie. My colleague used to wonder about how cold I got (I do get quite cold, more than most people - no idea why, the doctor couldn't find any reason for it!) but then she sussed that it was also my comforter. I guess it is an extension of having a "blankey" or suchlike as a child, although I don't remember ever having had one....I'll have to ask my mum! But I do know I have ALWAYS had chunky cardigans - and when I was much younger they were always the ones that had been hand-knitted by my grandma :).

And the only thing that makes me cardie more comforting is having a huge mug of tea, some biscuits to dunk, and a good book, which always makes me feel better, especially when imagining what it must have been like to live during the time of Jane Austen and Anne Bronte when a woman had to be married off with the best possible prospects, regardless of whether she would be happy in the match! In case you're wondering where that came from, I read The Tenant of Wildfell Hall last week and am almost finished reading Pride and Prejudice lol!

Now this entry has GOT to be a LO in my BOM.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Dancing is Love's Perfect Exercise

I love these photos of Mark and Sophie dancing with no music at the end of their wedding reception - although they were both a bit tipsy there is no doubting the love they have for each other and how pleased they were to now be married. I thought the quote was so apt and the Kelly Panacci papers just screamed out to be used - I think I'm going to have a job not using her papers for most of the wedding LOs I want to do!

Now, from one party to's UKS blog prompt is who would I invite to my imaginary ultimatee dinner party? I've never really thought about this before but I've heard lots of ideas from other people!
The first two would be Anne Rice and Bram Stoker - obviously I would get to have lots of conversation about vampires and gothic literature and I'd love to hear why they chose their different interpretations of the vampire character and their storytelling techniques.
The next two would be musical guests. Stephen Sondheim, as I am intrigued by his creative process - what drives him to create his work, how does he lean towards such diverse subjects and what does he see himself composing in the future? Then I would also have Elton John. I love Elton's music and he has also been more and more involved in the world of musical theatre lately. I would want him to play some tracks from the ill fated musical version of The Vampire Lestat and ask him whether he would rework it, whether it might come to London in the future. This also ties in nicely with having Anne Rice there!

My fifth and final guest would have to be Carl - I can't imagine hosting a dinner party without my soulmate there. He probably wouldn't say that much at first but I hope he would soon become engrossed in the conversation and contribute to it as well.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

There should be a law..

OK, today I'm using the prompt from UKS. It's asking us to state our five pet peeves:

  1. Bad drivers!! The people who sit in the middle lane or, even worse, the people who seem intent on filling the gap you leave between your car and the car in front. Chris Moyles was talking about the exact same thing this morning and I agreed with every word he said! Finally, I hate drivers who don't use their indicators - I'm not psychic, end of story.
  2. People who patronise me because they think I'm younger than I am. I may not look it, but I'm 25. I may wear scruffy clothes in my free time but professionally I'm about to become a teacher. This has bugged me since my time at KFC, when parents would say to their children, "Now, you must work hard at school so you don't end up with a job like this," in full hearing! Well, excuse me, but I was studying for four A-levels at the time, predicted A-grades in all of them, and hoping to go to one of the top five universities in the country. I worked at KFC because I understood the value of money and would much prefer to live off my own earnings than those of my mum and dad.
  3. People who treat their pets badly - sorry, there is just no excuse. If you can't take care of the pet, or cope with its behaviour, you shouldn't have got it in the first place - it isn't the fault of the animal.
  4. People who park in disabled spaces when they don't need to. It's just selfish and, more to the point, lazy. You have a body that works - be grateful for it because there are others who don't have that luxury.
  5. Wow, I got to five quickly! Finally I hate people who impress their opinions on you because they believe they are totally right and you are wrong. If our opinions differ, I'm happy to agree to disagree, just don't push me and treat my views as inferior.

I now feel a whole lot better having got that off my chest lol!

Now, what else have I been upto this weekend? Well, I did two single LOs (very pleased with those) and, finally, a double LO of Sasha but it just doesn't seem finished....I think I'll go back to it in a few days and it may have become clearer what it needs.

And today I have been doing the research for my first lessons teaching Willy Russell's Our Day Out. The SOW suggests taking the pupils to the computer room but, as it is not recommended to do that til you've known them at least six weeks so I've altered it to handouts from the recommended websites that they can do the research from instead!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I wish.....

Hollywood Tower Hotel
Originally uploaded by Scrap_Vamp.
I made this LO a couple of months ago, finally getting a chance to use some of the heritage style stash that I acquired when I first started scrapping. I turned the photo to Sepia, and the subject fo the delapidated hotel in the background, with the romance in the foreground, just seemed to shout Heritage at me!

It just makes me wish I had more true heritage photos to scrap. I'm sure both my surviving grandparents have piles of photographs sitting in their lofts or cupboards but I don't know that I'll have a chance to look at them or get them scanned in while they're still which point it will mean I'm not able to ask them about the people/places/occasions from the photos. Mind you, grandad's memory is so erratic I'm not sure whether he would remember much about them himself now?

When Amelia was born, Robin got annoyed with me for taking lots of photos of her. Four months down the line he realised that he and Row didn't have any photos of her that they'd taken themselves, apart from those they took on the day she was born. I was able to make a disc of all the photos I had taken over the first four months of her life, with all the photos dated by the camera, and Rob and Row were very grateful for this.

I think Robin is also starting to understand why I scrap. I like to try and do it in the moment - when Carl and I got back from Forida I filled an entire 12x12 album, and an 8x8 album, within the first six weeks of being home - I want to record the memories while they are still fresh.

Only yesterday I was with mum, Row and Millie, and we got to talking about fireguards for when Millie starts crawling. This led to reminiscing about how Mark used to be put behind the fireguard (not when the fire was on, obviously!) to play games, which in turn led to memories about how he used to curl up inside cupboards and other small spaces. Mum asked if I actually remembered all these things, or if was just from seeing the photos. I must admit, the photos are the main trigger - my real memories are very faint. But at the moment I have my mum and dad to fill in the blanks. Once recorded, we will be able to show our grandchildren what we got up to when we were their age, not having to worry about relying on sketchy stories, passed through generations - they will be recorded permanently.

And so, after all that rambling, this is the real reason why I scrapbook, and the reason so many others do it as well. Maybe no-one will be interested in looking at them in the future but I wish I had more knowledge about my late grandma when she was my age - I never asked her enough questions while she was still here. Hopefully I can foresee the questions people might want to ask of me and my family in the future and, in this way, leave them the answers.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

My Art

So I thought I'd just put some pics up of recent LOs for those not in the know ;)

I'm using a lot of sketches lately - the top LO was based on a sketch by Mary Anne Walters, taken from Scrapbook Inspirations magazine, and the other three are based on page maps by Becky Fleck.

Mark got married and I'm a Teacher...

Well, I finally figured I'd get one of these.....not that I have a clue what I'm doing lol!

So, the big news in the family is that Mark and Sophie got married on July 29th - it was all absolutely gorgeous, and I got to wear a glam dress and have my hair and make up done - all a big bonus and making for nice photos of me (for a change!). Judge for yourself! Admittedly I'm a bit hidden in that first one. As I'm uploading these photos I have no idea what part of the page they are going to end up on....ah, there they are. OK, I'm now hidden in the last one, and the first one is me with Nadine (Sophie's half sister)!!

I made them a canvas as a wedding present and they loved it (along with many other people who now all want one....can I have some extra hours in my day please?!) but stupidly forgot to take a photo. If I remember my camera next time I go round there I'll photograph it! I have already done one LO about the wedding (actually, two, as I've done one about Sophie's bouquet), not sure if I can change where these photos appear....hmmm!

Oh, I should explain - for all those who haven't seen me in a while, I am now a Scrapper (Scrapbooker) and a LO is my form of art :D

And onto the other exciting news - a school is letting me teach - not only that, they are throwing me in at the deep end with my own classes in September, eek!! I have no idea how to lesson plan (thank goodness for super detailed schemes of work!) or what exactly I have to do on my GTP - I only know I'm supposed to be starting that in January but haven't had any confirmation....or a contract for that matter! I am alternately feeling confident and happy that I finally have an actual career, and feeling absolutely terrified that I'm going to be totally awful! You know, that irrational side that tells me I'm rubbish even when other people clearly think I'm capable!

Oh, and finally, a proud moment - my only singing/drama boy pupil (who was on the Disney Trivial Pursuit TV ad!) is playing John in Peter Pan this Christmas, opposite Michael Greco (HAHAHAHA!) as Captain Hook. Anyway, I'm very pleased for him, he's going to do a fabby job!

Well, that was all bizarrely disjointed and incoherent.....mind you, that's me all over!