Tuesday 29 September 2015

The Itineray was packed! Wednesday

Here, at last, is a wee snapshot into the London trip. I think I'm just about recovered. Still needed a four hour nanna nap on Sunday afternoon though! 

We caught the 7.38am train. By 7.39am the class were eating sweets and delving into their packed lunches! It's an unwritten rule! They were loud,excited and giggly! They needed the loo by 7.40am! 
The next two and a half hours zoomed by   punctuated with the obligatory 
"How far is it now?" Type questions. Eventually it was 10.12am
Us FF ( I deemed us the Fab Four for this blog post - the adults ) ramped up the teachery voices as our charges were instructed to make sure they had everything, put on their hi-vis jackets and stand in their groups! 
We then set off up the four mile slog up Euston platform. Even though the 28 bladders on legs had been using the train toilet continuously for the past 2 hours we decsended en masse for a FREE wee on the station. It was compulsory. Even those who protested were sent to try. 
We didn't know when we'd be near any facilities. 
We then set off to find the Youth Hostel. I knew we'd be on the deathscalators in a matter of seconds. I was brave and just Got. On. With. It. The FF were chorusing HOLD ON, ONE BEHIND THE OTHER,WATCH WHAT YOU ARE DOING and STAND ON THE RIGHT constantly. 
We got the Jubillee Line to Canada Water where we got off and set off in the wrong direction! Eventually we found the canal and followed it to our destination. What a lovely place Rotherhithe is. Us FF were discussing house prices! The 28 just carried on chattering! Half an hour later ( which should have taken half of that )
we arrived safely at the hostel but they weren't ready for us yet. So we locked all our bags in a secure locker. Took our lunches and set straight back off into London because we were due on the London Eye. We discovered via the Hostel staff that a simple five minute walk straight down the road was the overland station which we could catch to get back to the tube! 
Within five minutes we were on the train and one stop one minute later we were back underground on our way. 
The FF did get a bit stressy and screechy, each of us making sure our 7 fluorescent bodied beings got on and off! But we made it to Jubillee Gardens and ate our lunch in glorious sunshine. 
I didn't take many photos as I basically didn't have the time! Each of the pods were painted with the flags of the countries taking part in the Rugby Workd Cup. Each pod takes a maximum of 28 people, so the class spilt into two - I was in Australia and the others were in England. I've been on the Eye once before. The day was as clear and the views were breathtaking. Again I had to put my crippling fear of heights on the back burner. You know, for the cheeldren, though I did get all screechy when they were carelessly standing near the ( perfectly safe ) doors. 

Once we got off ( me all wobbly legged ) we did 
The. Souvenir. Shop.  Gulp. 

Once safely gathered in we walked along the river, over Westminster Bridge and then down to the bit where we waited for the boat tour. 
The boat guy was illegally handsome and his commentary a tad near the knuckle at time considering we had Other People's Children in our charge... 
He was telling us about the carved stone lions in the walls of the Thames. That they were actually early Flood Warnings. 
If the water was up to their open mouths there was a saying 
"If the lions are drinking, London is sinking"
However if the water rose higher 
"If the lions are ducked, then London is F


Hmmmm. Thankfully the chattering 28 were living up to their name and didn't hear! 
He also told us, and this blew my
Mind, that the London Eye was only supposed to be there for three years, but it's so valuable to the Treasury that it's still here 15 years later ... It takes
Two Hundred And Fifty Thousand Pounds A Day . I'll just let that sink in. 

250k a day!!! Bloody hell! 
So the boat took us to The Tower Of London. We didn't have time to go in so we wandered around outside the walls and we got the 28 an icecream. A few of them needed the loo. 
I had to barter with the loo gods here. 
It was 50p a go!! 
The most I could get was three for a wee for 50p. The attendants were very consciensous toilet nazis and I had to do pleading big style especially with the woman. Ridiculous. 
By now it was rush hour, we had to get back to the hostel for tea. We were cutting it fine as it was. We walked up to the Monument Tube Station and it was a squeeze as we got on and I think we went to Waterloo. Or was it London Bridge? I can't remember now! But it was here where it all went a bit

'Shit what should we do?'

We were trying to get on the Jubillee line back to Canada Water. Trouble was, there'd been issues and trains hadn't arrived and were late and as a result the platforms were just getting fuller and fuller. We were trying to get near the doors, but the masses were just pressing forwards with their own agendas of getting home. When the trains started arriving only three people could even barely squish on at a time. And they were literally crammed in. There was a strange joyful sounding Caribbean lady lilting positive thoughts to us over the tannoy about how they were getting us all
Moving and thanking us for our patience etc. 
No one paid her any heed. 

London, your workers, going home at night are really the most pig ignorant people I've ever had the misfortune to come across. If that was oop North, people would have made way for us and helped the clearly stressed FF out with the children. I know it. 

Anyway, we moved the children back into a slightly less manic area and made the descision to get the bus. 

This actually was a blessing in disguise. Things happen for a reason and the tube situation had happened so we could get to chat to an uber helpful lovely inspector  who told us our day travel cards were valid on all buses and told us which number bus and which bus stop to go to! The lead FF had rung the hostel and explained our predicament. They were fine, they'd sort tea when we got there. 

The bus eventually arrived at the stop and due to the tube situation there were hoards of passengers on it too. The driver sensed the FF were ON THE EDGE and let us on. The bus got 28x more noisy! The passengers were looking alarmed and uncomfortable as our 28 proceeded to ignore the London Rules of PublicTransport, they not only made ( gasp ) eye contact, they spoke to them!!! It kept me smirking. We were stood up and the traffic was horrendous. We were on that hot sweaty bus for an hour ( ok it was mainly me who was hot and sweaty! ) As the London lot got off, our lot got seated. Some of the passengers were lovely including one man who was getting off at our stop and would tell us when that was!! 

When we finally piled of the bus into the cool dark night and waved to our bus companions ( who were probably cheering and doing internal Mexican waves ) we went straight ( the bus stop was right outside the hostel - RIGHT OUTSIDE FOLKS my
Legs and feet have never been so happy ) into the hostel straight for tea. 
The food was delicious and plenty of it. It was now 7.30 - almost 12 hours since we'd set off!! 

We were supposed to go to Greenwich Village after tea but the executive decision was no we were staying put! The 28 wanted to see their rooms and frankly so did we! That wouldn't be for a few hours yet!!! 
We all collected our things and up we went. We'd carefully divided the 28 and the hostel was set out with a nice little landing between the lobbies. Girls were on one side, boys the other. There was only one male FF so he was in charge of the noisy boys! But it took all of us FFF ( female Fab Four ) to deal with the girls! A billion times worse at settling than the boys!! 

The kids were just so giddy. For a few it was their first night away from home so there were a few tears. Then they ramped up the giddy to maximum. The FF were getting fractious! I think it was about 1.30am when the last die hard giddyers gave in and slept! 

All too soon it was Thursday! 

I'm exhausted re writing it! I'll do Thursday next post!! 

For now 
Lots of love from

Rachel *wouldnt change my job for the world* Radiostar xxx 

Sunday 27 September 2015

Back to the North

I made it ! 72 exhausting hours on duty. 4 knackered adults. 28 ruthlessly energetic 10/11 year olds. 
I'll tell you all about it this week when I can keep my eyes open for more than five minutes

Lots of love from
Rachel *absolutely exhausted* Radiostar 
The rugby - EPIC! Get in Wales!!! 

Tuesday 22 September 2015

London Calling!

Well, this time tomorrow I'll have done a full day in London with 28 VERY excited today Year Sixes. There's four staff going. We are going by train and we will be home by tea time on Friday.
We are, in no particular order, going on the London Eye, the TUBE ( quick go read my 'Electronic stairs of death post - 13th February 2012 
and you will understand what a BIG DEAL this is for me ) 
Tower Of London, a boat trip, Greenwich village, Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Downing Street, Matilda and the British Museum!!! 
If I make it, Following this conversation had by a Y6 child and a colleague...

Colleague- are you looking forward to going to London? 
Child - yes! I'm pumped. ( ?!?!?!) I can't wait to go on a train and see the Queen. I can't wait to see a real life terrorist attack.

..... I'm hoping I DO make it, I'll no doubt have some interesting anecdotes for the blog by weekend!! 

Lots of love from 
Rachel *pray for me on the DEATHSCALATORS* Radiostar xxx 

Saturday 19 September 2015

As requested by CT

In my last action packed posts ( HA ) I mentioned I went for a 'look' in our local fabric emporium. The jolly lovely CT from Countryside Tales wanted to see the extent of my 'look'.... 

First I looked at some remnants 

Then I looked at some fat quarters 

Next I went back to look at some more remnants 
( Although I looked at a whole metre of the white polka instead ) 
I then looked through the knitting patterns 
The dress patterns were half marked price and it would have been rude of me to leave without looking. 

And apart from 2m of black satin ribbon for my shoes I left without looking at anything else!! 

The Rugby World Cup began last night. You should know the team I follow is my beloved Wales. So they're the games I'm looking forward to most of all. Today though the South Africa v Japan game was ON FIRE!! I'm now also rooting for Japan!

This week has been lovely and sunny and should it continue tomorrow I'm planning on going in the garden. There's weeds cropped up taller than a toddler in some places and I have some pets to rehome. 

!£)(()?(;(KING caterpillars!! 
Dunno what this is but it cheered me up after Caterpillargeddon 

Last but not least, I made my first buttonhole on Brenda. ( Brenda Brother ) 
 I've washed the little dress I made and will show you tomorrow when I've ironed it! 

That's it for now, I've knitting to do! 

Lots of love from

Rachel * Royal Caterpillars for sale* Radiostar xx 

Wednesday 16 September 2015

Hamster Search Squad can stand down!

Of course after my initial ranty rage post I was worried for little Theo. my house is a dangerous place for a little hamster! 
We put piles of food down in rooms and closed the doors so tomorrow we could perhaps see where he'd been. There was the worry that He'd be upstairs, yet all the food would be gone downstairs....
( whispers 'mice' ) 

No need! I found him by almost stepping on him. Upstairs. On my landing which is a big step up from Miss 21's landing. Up a big step that Miss 21 claimed he couldn't climb! He wasn't there when I walked into my room, yet two minutes later when I reopened the door with an armful of clean towels to put away in the landing cupboard, Theo appeared as if from nowhere!! Miss 21 was hollered and she came and scooped him up to safety! Where he was was a very big drop through the banisters down to the hall. It doesn't bear thinking about!! 
I'm so relieved we got him back! 
Here he is having a reward of a fresh spinach leaf. His reward is that he was found! Me? I'm up for mother of the year!! Miss 21 lives to try n make it to 22!!! 
Lots of love from 
A MUCH happier 
Rachel * will sleep easy now * Radiostar! 

Ps only I would have ever found him this way as there's only me who know the secret to putting the clean towels in the cupboard! Everyone else in the house must think the elves do it!  


There maybe daughtericide here this evening. Miss 21 has had her hamster upstairs in her bedroom.And lost him.  I am fighting the urge to type this in capital letters as I feel very shouty. I also feel very strangley. 

Rachel *there maybe newspaper headlines tomorrow* Radiostar 

None of this is Theo's fault. If you see him, let me know. He's very cute. 
Have you seen this hamster? 

Sunday 13 September 2015

8.10pm and it's almost dark

I quite like the dark nights. Once my curtains are closed. All cosy in the house.  
What I cannot stand, is the dark mornings. I just can't wake up and get going! It's so depressing to wake up and there's no chink of light through the curtains. 
Not to mind, only 16 Friday's until Christmas!! 

I've had such a non stop busy week at work getting absolutely nothing done!! The weekend has been much the same! 
Yesterday I walked into town with the HG to the fabric shop for a look. 

Let's just leave it there shall we? ( I'll take a photo of the goodies that I managed to 'look' off the shelves another time! ) 

There was a first time for something too. As Madonna sang I was 
" Like a virgin, touched by smoked mackerel for the very first time,"
As Katy Perry sang, 
"I ate smoked mackerel and I liked it! "

What did I do on such a historic occasion? I tweeted Nigel Slater of course!! He naturally was seduced by my witty allure ( and faint tangy odour ) and replied!! 

That was my bait when I went fishing!! AND I got a bite! 
Kate is one of the first people I used to tweet :-) and she is like a pro at blogging and is jolly lovely. 

And get me! 

I bloody love Nigel Slater, he's awesome! 
Other things I have done today is 
Knitted a bootee
Made cottage pies for tomorrow and the freezer. 
Made Indian chicken curry and I had that new fangled cauliflower rice the Internet was going crazy for about six months ago pre coconut water crazy. It was so easy, if a little messy to make. FYI whizzed up cauliflower florets act EXACTLY like those teeny polystyrene balls and they stick and fly everywhere. But it actually didn't taste like whizzed up cauliflower! It made a nice bland rice substitute and as I'm trying to be slender of silhouette again like 2013 I recommend it! 
I also totally cancelled out any goodness by making a jam roly poly for pudding! 

My caterpillar patch is coming on in leaps and bounds. Who am I to deny God's creatures my cavelo nero? 

And on that note, I've completely forgotten what else I was going to tell you! 

Play nice folks
Lots of love from 

Rachel *will be grumpy about dark mornings for a long time* Radiostar xxx

Wednesday 9 September 2015

So far this week

written the sentence 
'Child X was being gangbanged by everyone' in regards to an incident at playtime!!! 

Diagnosed impetigo

Fixed a broken zip on a pencil case

Sorted out numerous lists and admin jobs

Walked into the wrong classroom at least once a day

Spoke to a few parents

Worked jolly hard at Maths and English

Committed serious fraud*

Found a 1cm silvery/grey diameter nut from a scooter wheel on the massive gravel/concrete/silvery grey playground

Helped a colleague with their new role in school by offering up all my resources ( that no one did for me by the way )

Made a full Roast Beef dinner on a school night

Soothed a little soul at school undergoing massive change in their life

Implemented our new school 'Growth Mindset' ethos - the inset was brilliant - I'll prattle on about it another time , as much as I can 

Spent £65 last night in Asda on tuna. Skipjack. Three tins. Line caught. In brine. 

Eaten about five bananas, five plums, two apples, broccoli, spinach and sprouts. No unrefined sugar has passed my lips ( since Monday) 

Been on the rowing machine for five minutes

Completed 2 online jigsaws ( not whilst on the rowing machine! )

Laughed my head off at back to back episodes of Impractical Jokers

Tuned the new digital radio ( thankfully ) eventually from Radio 1 to Radio 2

Been appaulled and upset by the continuing plight of the desperate situation facing the people fleeing Syria

Enjoyed the bloggy adventures of the people on my reading list

Been fast asleep well before 10pm most nights

Woke up at 3am for a wee every night- all the bloody water I'm drinking!

Used dry shampoo one day

Washed my hair the day after

*Pretended to be Miss 21.Phoned EE, phoned Apple, went to the EE store, phoned Apple, emailed proof of purchase, was told that wasn't enough, we needed a receipt, phoned EE, went back to EE store, had confirmation of the fact the phone had indeed been sourced online and not instore ( LIKE WE ALREADY FLIPPING WELL KNEW ) so no such receipt was available, phoned Apple, phoned EE, phoned Apple, FINALLY FINALLY spoke to a lovely Apple Person who talked me down errrr I mean talked me through resetting the iPhone that Miss 21 has locked herself out of. 

Got giddy because I remembered it's Bake Off tonight.

Posted this post!! 

Lots of love from 
Rachel * must get on with my knitting* Radiostar xx 

Sunday 6 September 2015


Oh folks, thank you for your hilarious replies to my last post ! Alas I still have been heard to utter many f type words this weekend! 

I have devoted every sodding minute this weekend to Miss 21 and her sodding iPhone. 
To cut a very long, ranty, sweary story short, she's somehow managed to security lock herself out of her phone. 
We needed to prove proof of purchase. After a long wait both in store and on the phone, and then in a queue, Apple declared my proof of purchase email a possible fake. So back I went to customer services who sent us back into the shop who couldn't help etc etcetc round and round we go!!! 
The HG provides (d) this phone for when she was at uni for her to keep in touch ( which wasn't often!! Bloody kids) and its on his account. The contract isn't up til May when she will be providing her own phone and paying for it! 
As it stands I have to contact EE customer services again and relay all the info again. My head is bashed!! 

On the upside, the hunt for the missing receipt ( which, as it turns out is highly unlikely to even exist as we got it online ) means 
I've had a reet good sort out and tidy up of EVERY SINGLE place I stash paperwork and the like! The recycling bin is overflowing now. The HG has also had a major clear out. So everywhere is a lot tidier! 

I've had 3 loads of washing dry on the line today and it's a big joint of roast beef for tea. 

Hello to my lovely new followers, Debbie, Nanny Anny and Cheryl. I promise I'm not usually this sweary!! 

I really could do with a week off!! The last three days at school really ate into my time!! But life really eats into the bank account, so early bath and bed for me! 

Lots of love from 

Rachel *is going to reply to all her comments now* Radiostar xx 

Ps here is a photo of the steps up to Tintagel Castle - birthplace of King Arthur etc.. 
I got to the 3rd one and my legs went to jelly! I was too frightened to go any higher! ( we were already really high up) so I waited at the bottom!! 
It's making my stomach churn just looking at it! This is the other side but it gives you a sense of how high it is!! 

Friday 4 September 2015


Friday - first day at work with the cherubs. It was
FAB! I'd
Forgotten how
Funny they are. It took my mind off the
Fact I'd lost a
Filling this morning, so an extra trip to the dentist tomorrow is on the cards. That'll cost me
Fifty quid!
Still, that's nothing compared to the pain that Miss 21 ( aka the uni one ) is causing me all down to her broken
Fone. ( please don't correct me because I'm a woman right on the
Flipping edge!! ) if I started telling you it would be a
Five hour rant.......

Fanx for listening

Love from
Rachel * may have said 'FFS' a few times today* Radiostar xxx

Wednesday 2 September 2015

Summer Ho - oh, it's over

I'm sorry folks, I'm a bit Mel Gibson this morning. 
Ya know 
'They cannae tek ma frrrreedom' whilst being dragged off to be hung, drawn and quartered. 

Yes, a tad over dramatic but it's how I feel! 

We have two scintillating days of INSET before the cherubs descend on Friday!  

Oh you know me, I LOVE my job and my work chums! It's actually great catching up with everyone, setting up the classroom, everything all new, clean and tidy! I'm looking forward to seeing my little clan on Friday - I've missed them! 

It's also a bit strange not to be getting a child up for school! He's still applying for apprentice accountancy positions. Fingers crossed someone takes him on and gives him a chance. 

Before we went away, my washing machine, which is only three years old, started showing me distressing pictures on its fancy pants LED display. It wouldn't drain, telling me there was a blockage and I'd to check the drainage hose/filter thingy which we duly did. It got a good clean too but refused to work! I was covered by insurance but the engineer couldn't come till Tuesday ( yesterday ). 

He rang at 9am to say he'd be here betwixt 4 and 6. I spent the day pottering around in house and garden. 
At 4.30pm he turned up. All 6ft 8" of him!! He'd brought a new pump with him. He was rather bemused though. 

His paperwork said house no.18 ( I live nextdoor to No. 18!!!! )

He knocked. The door opened and he was talked at non stop. He couldn't get a word in. He was taken right through the house to the outside shed. He was wearing a T Shirt with the words 


He managed to interject with. 
"No, I'm here to look at a washing machine."
My neighbour said no, my washer is fine, you are here to look at my shed 
door !!! 
He had quite a discussion with her over it! 

He was glad to get away!! She is a bit nuts whole hazelnuts, but lovely with it. It made me laugh though! Things that didn't make me laugh was the absolutely rank sewer like smell radiating from my washer as he fixed it!! It was pungent. It'd been sat for a week mind but I will make more of an effort to do the Tub Clean cycle more often! 

These are just a few more of the bulbs I bought with my birthday money. I'll be planting them at the weekend. I love a bit of spring colour! 

Are you lot 'back to' anything this week? 
Lots of love from 
Rachel *Braveheart* Radiostar xxx