Saturday 31 March 2012

A Jumper Is Born

I made friends with a lovely girl whilst I was busily trying not to croak it, when I was in hospital last August. Her name is Laura and she was in with the same complaint as me but like 2 months earlier on in the stages of the disease. She had been diagnosed with Gallstones when she was six months pregnant, but they couldn't do anything because obviously it would harm the baby. Her baby had been born and she'd been caught up in the same waiting list fiasco as I.
 So, here she was so so upset at having to leave her baby at home and be incarcerated with me. Not being incarcerated WITH me per se - I mean just the being in hospital bit.  We quickly struck up a conversation - as I have gotten older - my shyness is dissipating and my true gregarious nature comes out moe and more - AKA I am super nosy.

During one conversation, we were discussing knitting. Whilst I was ill I didn't have the energy to lift my needles, let alone concentrate on it. Now, looking back it is quite difficult to actually remember what I WAS like. Laura disclosed that she loved home knitted garments and someone had knit baby Alfie something when he was new born and she loved it.

So when I learned it was his birthday in early February I thought I would knit him something. I trawled through all my patterns and thought I'd do an Aran. This one looked quite cute and it had an element that I'd never tried before - saddle shoulders.
This is the pattern pictured in the book.

So I took up my needles as his first birthday fast approached and here's a brief snapshot of how it went!
OOO look at that roaring fire in the background. Here we are first cast on and back rib! Not too hard yet!

Beginning of a pattern!

Coming along nicely now!
Was getting too cocky - can  you see the mistake?

It's ok - panic ye not - I pulled it back ( PET HATE ) and fixed it!

So much frantic knitting ensued. Alfie's birthday was not far away! I kinda like working to deadlines!

The front was now nearly done - it was about to get interesting!

A bit of casting off for the neckline.....

Back and fronts done - they are the same length I promise!
Sleeves - I'll need two I suppose!
 The saddle top. I wondered how that would look!


Back 15 minutes later after an egg butty and a slurp of water!

Now it was going to be interesting. I had to lay the saddle shoulders in place and stitch them in before I could then pick up and knit a zillion stitches around the neckline to make the roll neck. Deep Breath - I'm going in!

Here is the saddle laid in place, just the shoulder seams to join now. I've become quite goodish at Mattress stitch - it really is quite the invisible join.

The joining is done with the two pices to be joined laid right sides up. You insert a needle into the knitting into the loop that you find between the stitches. keeping it even .
You will create 'ladders' ( it's alternative name ) between the two pieces, I always wait till I have about 5, before I pull the needle wool taught, thus drawing the two pieces of knitting together.

Here you can see the ladders run perpendicular to the stocking stitch.

Then pull the wool neatly and firmly to make the seam.  And repeat!

Can you see the join?! ( If you can - please keep quiet, don't burst my bubble!)

Here's the back and the saddle in place.

Then I joined parts of the sleeve seams, parts of the side seams - even though the pattern did not instruct me to! I know, what a rebel. But I find it easier this way to begin the finishing bit!

Then began the hideously complicated bit of counting and picking up the required amounts of stitches from side necks, front necks, shoulders etc to form the neck. Much swearing, huffing and puffing, putting down of needles, picking up of needles, counting, picking up the pattern, reading bits of it aloud, more counting and more counting, then some more counting took place at this stage in the proceedings.

Knitting the roll neck.

Finally, the back done with some little mother of pearl buttons.

Roll neck done!

Ta DAAAAA! A Jumper is born! In the next photo you see a highly unimpressed with my hard work Alfie wearing his lovely, new snuggy warm jumper. Cost about £2 for the wool. I wonder what it'd cost to buy one of these from a craft shop?

Well Summer was lovely

The beginning of this week brought the sunshine. It also brought news of a Pasty tax, a hike in the price of stamps and or own stupid government urging it's own stupid people to panic buy fuel. Cunning Plan really. Who knew what a cash strapped Government might do - mega sales of a heavily taxed resource might help.

The end of the week brought about the 12 month anniversary of our living with Harry's Cancer. I saw him yesterday and he was giggling his head off as he tried to sink his gleamiing gnashers into my finger, the cheeky monkey. This time of year also is tinged with personal sadness for me.

BUT I am finally free of work, for two whole lovely weeks. I know I am very lucky to be employed and that there are folks who would kill to be in work. But for those who do not work in a school and claim that teachers and school staff have it easy with our ample holidays - well we sodding well need them. Otherwise mass pupilicide and parenticide might just occur.

This week holds mass pottering anf faffing, another visit to a Uni, huge amounts of socialising and relaxing! Bring it on :)

Saturday 24 March 2012

Today may have just been that know the one.

It was hot in the jungle, the stampede had passed and it was lonely and quiet in the glade.
Three hyenas stalked, mean faced, with their cubs in tow. Their  innocent quarry set firmly in their sights.
They approached and once the victim was cornered, they bared their fangs and let rip.
Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest

" We want a word about stuff  what you just said to our darling precious butter wouldn't
 melt in her mouth Princess and her two henchprincesses"

The victim didn't even have time to draw breath before she was set upon.

 The Hyenas, snapped and snarled all at once , even rising up onto their hind legs to look even more menacing, pointing and jabbing with their chavvly manicured paws. Their velour tracksuited heckles were well risen, the anger rising right to the tip of their yellow then dark brown fur.

The victim drew herself together and calmy asked what was the matter?
More finger pointing and stabbing as they verbally aggressively squared up and let the accusations fly.......

YOU said our brat  (sic) was the worst one in the class and that you are sick of her.
( I hadn't )
YOU said my two were the most unkind in the class
( I hadn't)   {even though they are }

Its disgusting that YOU singled out our precious ones like this and we are not having it.

Finally the victim interjected.

The lesson was about ways we can be kinder and ways we can be friendlier. The class teacher had agreed this was a good idea because there had been  daily issues and incidents in the whole class.
I told them I'd found some work we had done last year and we were going to review it and see if we actually acted on our ideas and could we come up with some new ones? Very right on, very beans and lentils, very let's talk about our feelings. ( I didn't say this last bit obviously! )

Blah blah blah blah blah ( getting louder and louder )

Well, said head Hyena, our cub came out in floods of tears so upset that you said you and ALL the staff were sick of her.
I said
NO! What I DID say was the staff were sick and tired of having to sort out issues about friendship day in day out where the falling outees then are best friends the next day etc. I did not say any names - it was a general statement. ( the class teacher had told them this  - as a class ) the day before. We said we were fed up with the amount of time it took to sort all their behaviour out every day. 

Meanwhile as I was explaining this the cub was so smugly looking at me saying 'she did mum, she did say it mum'.
How I didn't laugh out loud as the Hyena made the utterly monstrous claim that her cub did not lie. That is like saying her cub was an elephant!!
Anyway as I was trying to explain the head of the Jungle came along to see what all the noise was. "Have you come to view your cub's books?" she politely asked. Her reply was spat at her how they's come in to sort me out for saying such mean things to their princessess.

I then reiterated what I'd said - ALL THE WHILE WANTING TO SCREAM WELL THE TRUTH HURTS DON'T IT!!! None of the other children who were equally as guilty of unfriendly and unkind behaviour were crying or dragging their parents in!!!!! Clearly they took the moral of the lesson to heart because YES YES YES IT WAS AIMED AT THEM!!!!!! But in no way had it been delivered such. I would never ever do that .

I HAD said to one of the girls - maybe you could try some of the things on your list especially after this lunchtime. - At lunchtime the girl had viciously and bitchily sent another one to coventry bc she was wearing the wrong headband! - The whole class knew what had gone on because the lunchtime staff had dealt with it!!

Anyway, clearly not content with the fact that they hadn't been able to get their pound of flesh, one of them sneered,
" Well YOU didn't get on with <insert name of older sibling here>"
The head and I looked confused.
" Don't give me that, you had me in once for his/her behaviour"

Once, when it had warranted it. Mum had been totally on board then. It had been to stop low level disruption and it was as a warning to try and stop things before they got out of hand.

The Head said that is ridiculous. At this point, one of the cubs tried to speak - but was soon given short thrift AND reminded that their behaviour at lunch time had been unacceptable!!

The Hyenas turned to slink away. The Head repeated her earlier question.
"Are you going to come and look at your children's work? It is the parent's veiwing afternoon after all"

Guess what?

Did they turn around and come and look at something that really matters? Did they fuck.

All of this took place AFTER I had stopped being paid, ie on MY time. I was shaking as it was a very intimidating sitauation. I was miffed that it had been allowed to happen again - where by parents can gain access to staff and then be intimidating. Also I was pissed off that my head hadn't said to these parents that their behaviour towards me was unacceptcable in any way shape or form. Grrrrrr

 Now don't get me wrong - I  DO TOTALLY ,UTTERLY and COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND the mama bear feelings, it is natural to want to come and deal with who/what has upset them. Sometimes it is necessary and actually applicable. BUT there should be a system inplace whereby it is done in a controlled manner. One day I truly fear for my physical safety.

Interesting facts.
1. All of these children joined our school from TWO other schools
2. They came to our school because their parents were sick of the way their children had been bullied at their first school.
3. Do they think that schools don't talk to each other as their initials schools put the effing flags out when they left
4. It only took about two weeks for us to figure out that THEY infact were the perpetrators
5. Yes the older child had been spoken to about behaviour - after that there were no memorable problems - it was years ago.
6. All of last year, the three princesses caused problems after problems and it's carried on into this year and their parents have been brought in time after time.
7. NONE of the strategies that we put into place and try to work with the girls on ( LIKE MY EFFIN LESSON) are working and getting through. Nor do parents come to engage with our family liasion officer who runs courses and after school activities. They only ever come in if asked or to complain.
8. These girls have been asked to leave outside clubs out of school hours because of their behaviour
9. Are the parents not twigging by now that they are rasing MONSTERS? Which is a shame because on rare occasions, they have been lovely.
10. They are the Gripper Stetsons of our school. We can only do so much....

My dear long suffering other half who has to listen to me ranting on calmy says why don't you just tell them to FUCK OFF.

 I would get the sack. That's why.

But it's OK, I have to stand the abuse, the wilful disobedience and the total lack of respect - they are free to come and do this as they please.

So you know that straw? Well it was some straw that the Hyenas had been lying in and it well and truly broke the camel. So I am looking for a new job. One that you get paid to have a jolly nice day, with no angst, no backchat, one where if you have to give instructions, they are followed promptly. So anyone looking for such an employee?
 Or I will have to win the lottery!
SO, I was

Saturday 17 March 2012

The good news and then the bad news - why must they always come in a pair?

The good news - well unfortunately I wasn't able to go to Birmingham with Lisa this time as rather selfishly, my numbers have refused to come up on the Lottery, so I still have to go to work every sodding day! Still, it was good news for Harry.

No new growths. Still keeping a close watch on a suspect area over the left optic nerve so the little man has to go back in four weeks but no laser treatment! Yay! . Lisa brough the cherubs round before she left on Sunday so we all shared in squidgey Harry gigglechops cuddles. William was utterly adorable - as he was trying to cadge more crackers off us. Honestly Lisa - would you FEED your kids occasionally!!!!

The Bad News.

The worst kind of news ever. I was contacted by a colleague on the telephone on Tuesday night to tell me that an ex pupil had died suddenly.

The pupil was only 12 years old. I'd only seen the pupil last Friday as they were collecting a younger sibling from school.

I cried so hard. Such a shame. So awful for the family. Every time I closed my eyes that night I could see the little face of the angel.  Due to looking round Universities with my daughter I was not in school the next day and mostly I was glad. I could grieve a little in private. I'm not one for public displays of any kind.

The day after, I returned to school. Obviously the staff were still harrowed by the news, but the children were nonplussed and were getting on with daily school life as if nothing ever happened. There you go. No matter how cruel. Life does go on and the world keeps turning.

RIP little one xxxxxxx

Saturday 3 March 2012

Toddler Tales

I worte this as a comment on one of my friend's blogs as she filled me with sad laughter at her supermarket trip from hell post.
I can laugh about this now. But only just....16 years on!

"Hey sweetie - you know the BEST kids in the world are the window lickers right?!
Once, when my Darling daughter was 2 and a half and I was 38 weeks pregnant, therefore hippo sized with my dear son, my beloved other half and I ventured into town. My two year old was a darling. Well behaved ergo I could take her anywhere.
An old woman at the market must have cast a demon inside her . It's the only obvious explanation.
So begins my bag hell.
We went into a swanky newsagents and bought the girl a comic for being a good girl. The nice shop lady put the comic in a bag. I had already got some packages, so I compacted then down into comic bag. Daddy had wandered to the front of the shop and something else caught my eye so was still at the back of the store.
" Mummy, please may I carry the bag?" asked my sweet toddler. Smily mummy said no, it was too heavy.
I want my bag said the devil.

I want MY BAGGGGGGGG. The devil repeated with a touch of demon voice added in for good measure and there began a tug of war stand off ( BECAUSE I NEVER EVER BACK DOWN)
I'm saying no , come along now as my possessed exorcist brat is flinging itself on the floor repeating the I want my bag mantra over and over. I'm close to pregnancy hormone tears. Where is my knight in shining armour to come rid me of this beast?
He's only gone and FUCKED OFF OUT THe SHOP.
The child is nipping my ankles and only because there were other people around I was not drop kickking her into touch!!
 A snotty stuck up bitch looked me up and down and said what that child needs is a good slap. I calmly said what YOU need is a smack in the face  you old cow.  To this day I am PROUD that I did that!

Somewhere I gathered the strength and flexability to bend down and grab the child in a roll of carpet under the arm move and march out the shop.
Fortunately, she had stopped worrying about carrying the bag. She was now more concerned with letting the world , his wife and their distant relatives in Australia know that
I wasn't actually meaning to but I had to grab her to keep her from falling and her skin must have been pinching.
When I got outside  I was all ...
" Where have you been I needed you in there etc" to her dad.
He said I could HEAR her from the front of the shop so I walked out so embrarrassed!!!!!!
I did 'rageironing' for days in steely silence.

We have been together nearly 20 years. I was nearly doing 20 years for killing him !!!!!! Bloody men! - Going to use this epic comment as a blog post!
You are my favourite chunky mama in the world! I love you!
Go pay her a visit!Brilliant Bloggy Read

Friday 2 March 2012

Mum of Three .....for a week!

Well, after an approximate wait of nine months, my new son was delivered to me on Monday night. The laborious  ( see what I did there?!  ) journey from his home town of Rendsberg in Germany was completed without forceps or an epidural. It was a multiple birth. But the coach doors were fully dilated in minutes and delivery was smooth. To be honest, it was easy. No afterpains, stitches or anything!