Wednesday 29 June 2016

Taking the rough with the smooth

Something happened at work on Monday that has left me still upset days later and probably forever. At the moment, being in the top class, we are very much in transition mode, getting all thirty cherubs ready for big school. Several cherubs need enhanced transition and I've been working closely with my colleague to bring on an outcome that's best for the pupils. Most of the parents are so supportive and appreciative it's wonderful to work with them. I say most. I'm going to say ALL of them. Except one. 

I've never been made to feel so brushed off and embarrassed and mortified EVER in my whole 147 year career in education. This parent was incredibly rude and dismissive, I'd say to my face, but I wasn't even given eye contact as I was nicely trying to explain how the day was going to pan out. I was talking to their shoulder. I do have a thick skin and hear my colleagues when they say not to take it personally but it's hard. What made this worse is that this rudeness took place in the foyer of the new High School where I'd gone ( out of my way and earlier than I get paid for ) to meet the pupils who were attending. Not only was this rudeness acted out in front of the staff, but in front of the pupils. I was FURIOUS. But, I let it go. I wasn't there for the parent, I was there for the pupil who throughout the time was looking and waving at me for reassurance the whole time. 

Now, if you think I'm overreacting, it gets worse. 

Whilst sat in the hall with the new intake from all of the areas surrounding primary schools, I felt like I was being spoken about. Ok, I may have been left shaken by what had just happened, and could have been experiencing a touch of paranoia, but no, the Deputy, the Head and the SENCO were definitely talking about me. The SENCO asked me to wait behind when all the children were taken to their new formrooms. I felt like a naughty child having to 'See me' 

Turns out, once I'd left the foyer with the pupils, the parent had complained about me, saying that they hated me, ( seems to be true ) and that their child hated me ( completely untrue ) and that they wanted me to have no part in this transition day and didn't want me anywhere near their child. 

I felt horrified. I went with the SENCO to try and answer their questions. I honestly have NO idea why this parent is so hostile. I have never had to speak to them regarding incidents. I have never had a cross word with them. Never. All I have done is support their child for two years. This child can now read independently. This child accesses the curriculum. This child has ways of calming themselves and dealing with social situations. 

I'll say this here n now on my blog, if I did tell this parent what I actually thought of them, then their hatred would be justified. They are useless. In my opinion. I won't go into it here because I think it could possibly tip me over the edge. But I'm still feeling raw. HOW DARE THEY make me out to these other professionals to be a horrible person. 

Fortunately, the High School staff were shocked. Not by my horribleness. But the vileness and spite this parent showed. They reassured me that I was to stay and support the pupil as they were not being dictated to by a parent like that!

 It's the pupil in question I feel sorry for. 

Cut to today. I'm off very shortly escorting another pupil to a different High School. The response, support and genuine appreciation I feel from this parent makes it all worthwhile. I'm not in this game for reward, don't get me wrong. But the genuine gratitude from this parent totally cancels out all of the above. Feeling valued is important. What's also important is to reiterate the fact I don't treat either of these pupils any differently. But to feel like what you do makes a difference to the whole family is just great. 

Anyway, I best get a wriggle on else I'll be late! Big school starts earlier!! 

Lots of love from 

Rachel *worst TA ever/best TA ever* Radiostar xxx 

Tuesday 28 June 2016

Best kids in the world

Belong to me. They really really do. I know, you might think it's your kids that hold the title, however, it's mine!

The reason being 
They only went and bought, for my birthday, tickets to see Wales play rugby at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! < This gross over use of the exclamation mark is me trying to convey how deeply deeply SQUEEEEEEEE I feel about this! 

What thoughtful little cherubs. It's a plus point to having grown up working offspring! 

Thank you one and all for your birthday messages on my last post - I shall away to reply to comments shortly. So, what did I get up to? 

Firstly, I was up with the larks. I opened my cards and presents. Hyperventilated ( see above ). I received loads of gorgeous cards this year, especially the best cards off the BKITW. I was showered with gifts from the HG. He bought me too much, I'm such a spoilt brat. As well as a fancy pants new bird feeder and fancy pants seed feeders to hang off it - my Dad, interestingly, told me my neighbours would be getting an ABSO on me if I feed any more birds!! ( This is a true story about a man with mental health issues feeding giant flocks of pigeons - his neighbours got him slapped with an ABSO ) I only have two turkey sized wood pigeons who come clean up the mess the coal tits and starlings leave. My Dad is funny!
The HG also bought me a quilting foot for my machine, a set of feet - some of which I have no idea what they are for - so I'm covered for all footwork! ( I mostly use my J does it all foot but it's the thought that counts! ) I got books, and a Clarisonic electronic facial brush - like an electric toothbrush, but for the face. It's supposed to buff, exfoliate and leave me with glowing skin! He also bought me a whopper bottle of perfume. Julia Roberts made it for LancĂ´me apparently- I can just imagine her in the lab, in a white coat, mixing essential oils! It's a sweet light perfume and just in time as I've run out and f one of my favourites- Prada Candy. I say my favourites- I don't really wear the stuff, only if I'm going out! This bottle will last me till you m 60! He gave me money which I've spent in the Hobbycraft  sale, mainly on thread and some Nordic Walking Poles are on their way. I told you I was a spoilt brat! 
Presents off friends included a bottle of posh prosecco and two glasses, a gorgeous garden candle, two fancy buckets planted with purple flowering plants, some cider and from my sister and mostly my niece, tons of girly presents from accessorise! Fancy bejewelled flipflops, a matching bracelet, nail varnish and little fancy hair clips! Apparently Madeleeny ( my nickname for her ) wanted to wrap all of them separately so I'd have 1000s of presents to open! 
Plus this message from Harrychops if I can get it to work... 

How cute! 

The birthday day out was epic. We went to Fountains Abbey and the Studley Royal Water Gardens. It was a lovely hot sunny day. It didn't cost us a bean to get in. Had we not been English Heritage members, I'd have shelled out £13 each. Though to be honest, it was worth it. It's a World Heritage Site. But, not as I learned on the Guided Tour, for the sprawling ruined Abbey that Henry Viii destroyed. It was for the water gardens. 

Careful planting and design ensured different shades in the water. Waterfalls ensure movement. They were quite against the norm for garden design. The Abbey was acquired by the family in the 18th Centuary when it was fashionable to have a ruined castle/abbey in your garden as a feature! 
This was taken from a folly known as Anne Boleyn's Love seat. Anne B's bum never graced such a seat! 
Totally got my come uppance though when taking this shot above. When I rocked up there was a bloke standing at the water's edge taking the same shot down the valley, however, I wanted the grass in the foreground so I waited, and waited and waited. I then tutted and waited. I hand gestured to the HG who had given up waiting and had walked on. Finally this man moved out of my shot and walked to the bench where the HG was stood....with the man's family on the bench. They'd all witnessed and heard my impatience ( honest to goodness he was blooming ages ) and as I got to the HG, MY FOOT WENT DOWN THE EDGE OF THE PATH AND I WENT ARSE OVER TIT, BUT SIDEWAYS, MOST UNGAINLY right at the bloke's feet!!!! 
 Oh dear!! I went pink and stumbled slowly away laughing my head off!! 

Who wouldn't want an abbey in the garden?! 

We were there for five hours. I tracked over 17000 steps! We walked miles! We didn't even see it all. It's really steep in parts and just as we were beginning the ascent back into the modern world the first raindrops fell. It was full on stinging fat raindrops monsoon by the time we got to the top. Soaked but happy! 
Called in to Nelson's Inn on Skipton road on the way home for tea. We were STARVING. We both had chicken liver pate to start, asking for extra bread. It was divine. Main was thick bacon, egg and chips. Yum yum. Then a free pudding. The HG opted for apple crumble and custard. I had the biggest sherry trifle I've ever had! It was like a family sized portion! It was the best trifle I've ever had. 

I had a lovely mocktail and we rolled out of the pub to come home! Soooo full, Christmas Day full! 

Right I'll leave you with a pic of the rhubarb and custard cakes I experimented with before the school fair next week. I've filled them with stewed rhubarb and its custard flavoured frosting. I made it too soft so will watch out for that me time. Also, they could do with different sprinkles! Also they actually can stand to have a lot more filling! 

Lots of love from 
Rachel *BKITW* Radiostar xx 

Saturday 25 June 2016

Birthday No. 45

Here I am, up at crack o dawn celebrating being eternally 28! The truth is in the title and when you round me to the nearest ten I'm in fact 50! But I don't actually care anymore about getting older or aging. It's quite liberating! I've already had several little gifts from the HG but I've yet to open any cards and prezzies. 

We are going off to Fountains Abbey today.  Whilst it is a National Trust property, it's also one of the few places that us English Heritage members can get in free to. The sun is out. Today's going to be a good day! 

I'll just share some purple floweryness from the garden before I go get ready. 

From the top 
Campunala - a big one
Blue geranium
Rhapsody in blue rose
Campunala - a medium sized one
Campunala - a miniature one
And a purple flower ( type unknown to me! ) 

Four of my Delphs in flower. 

Bee and Spider

In my head I'm shrieking BASILLLL like Mrs Fawlty!!! 

That's it for today. I'm off to be spoilt and indulged for the day! Hope the 25th June 2016 is marvellous for you all too! 
Plus it's only 6 months till Christmas and as my Dad likes to point out, the nights are drawing in now!!! 

Lots of love from 

Rachel *real age = 9 x 5, bloggy age = 4 x 7, mindset age = a prime number, 19* Radiostar xxx 

Wednesday 22 June 2016


Bye Bye Bingo Wings. 
Not bragging or owt, but I just completed a five minute arm workout. It's an app. 
It's day one, but ya know, eventually I might have slender lean toned upper arms..... 
Whilst I still have the strength in my arms, for tomorrow I probably won't be able to move them, I thought I'd type up some ramblings from my day to day non adventures. 

I'm so so so so sorry to all the lovely folks whose blogs I read and comment upon for my abandonment of late! Please don't feel bereft and neglected. I just don't seem to have the time to do Any Thing lately. Work is draining every mental drop of anything out of me right now. 

The weekend with Miss 22 was great. We lit the BBQ on Sunday for the first time this year. There were a few drops of rain. We ignored it. We are British. We carried on. The ensuing monsoon put out the BBQ and things were cooked indoors so the feast carried on! The HG and I sent a good six hours in the garden on Saturday. I decided that I didn't want my pots on the border where I put them last year!

We'd been plant shopping the week before as I needed to replace three of the Delphs. 
This is just some of my haul. I got five new Delphs for £10. The total boot full of plants ( I look for purple flowering perennials)  cost me £20 
Which I think was fantastic value for money. I got some herbs too not in shot. The dahlias were free! 
Last year. The 
This year.
 I replanted my delph border, I split and replanted my irises, I ripped out the pink wild geranium and replanted a purple one in its place. I, for the first time EVER, dug out all the spring bulbs and put them to dry. I think this means I'm officially a grown up! I'm keeping my blue pots and am using them dotted about the garden this year! The eagle eye amongst you may notice I've moved the chimney pot and replanted and turned the rabbit! 
The bed does go all the way along to the back gate. My peonies are down that back bit and some big bushy grass thing that comes back year on year, also inherited from his Grandma. I need to get some new lanterns and put my twinkly lights out.( purple of course ) Once all the plants get going and fill in the gaps it'll look splendid! It doesn't look like six hours of work, but the soil was dug over and riddled. So far so good NDFC wise. 

And now a sad bit of news. I've had to say goodbye to a faithful pair of friends that I've had for nigh on 15 years. 

RIP lovely, comfy, foot slimming best flip flops in the world. 
I got these from Clarks and they've served me well. They are now, sadly, ex flip flops. These flip flops are no more. They turned on me. Death traps is what they are. The sole almost split in two. But 
Do not despair. New footwear has been purchased. And they are so comfy. I've done what I always say but never do " I should have bought two pairs they are so gorgeous/comfy/perfect etc 

I've got them in black
I've got them in blue! I might even get them in red! 

So, that's me already behind now in my quest to get some housework done before work. I will come by your blogs soon. I promise I have not abandoned you! 21st July is on its way. It can't come soon enough! Just so much to do between now n then. And I don't even have to write reports anymore. I think that would have broken me, if I'd have had to do that. I'm mentally drained and operating at about 'entering Y2' standard. 

Lots of love from 

Rachel *BBBW* Radiostar xxx 

Friday 17 June 2016

Miss 21 turns 22!

Oh, I'm all huffy now because I started this blog post, full of wittiness and excellent sentence structure and it vanished whilst I was away dredging up, finding this post for you. If you are squeamish I would advise tread carefully!

( please note that Mr R in this post IS the HG - it's from when my blog was just being created really )

Whilst you are reading there, I'm going to try to remember what I just wrote! Hang on!

I was droning on  chattering away about how Miss 22 is having her first, officially out from under the jurisdiction of my roof, grown up birthday!

Pause for me to rent my heart out!

 She started work on Monday in a proper career path job. Starting out as a trainee Optical assistant for Boots ( with its fantastic perks of the job discounts ) and eventually leading to be an Optemetrist and maybe Optician. I admit it's a zillion miles from what I assumed she'd go for but after saying they'd contact her at the end of the week, they rang on the same day as her interview to offer her the job, it's what she wants! She started on Monday and loves it so far!

She's coming home tomorrow so I've had to buy an emergency blow up bed that she'll be sleeping on in my craft room! She's doing the race for life in Preston on Sunday. Then she'll have to go back because of work! It's such a thrill to say that! I think her and the beau will have booked a holiday already! They were thinking of Mexico. I've not even booked ours yet. We are thinking of Cornwall!
She's also doing The Great North Run in September. I'm positive she takes after me with all this running.......
( ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha )

Not even sure if she wants a cake as she's in training! I'll ask her later and will bake or not tomorrow.

Right, I've been in my archives again.

Here you'll be able to learn Miss 22's name! I just re read my post - I think I need to do some sugarcraft soon. I do enjoy it.

And now I've totally forgotten what else I was going to write about so I'll share some gorgeous flowery to finish off my post for my gorgeous girl. My third and final peony has flowered. The blooms are bigger than my hand! So heavy too they need to be staked up. 

Lots of love from 

Rachel * my daughter is only 6 years younger than my blog age now * Radiostar xx 

Monday 6 June 2016

Useless Git!

Now then, before you think this is going to be a ranty post, hold yer horses, or should that be hosses? 

Our long weekend - which now seems forever ago- away was fantastic, just what the doctor would have ordered, had I been to the doctors! 
I'm going to share a little bit of knowledge I gained on my visit to the Black Country Living Museum. 

On our way round, we happened upon this chap...

And he makes these

He was so engaging I didn't take as many photos as I normally would have. But basically, one makes an impression of the brass one wants to make in sand. One grooves a pouring channel with one's thumb. One then heats brass - which is a combination on copper ( which burns at 1000F ) and zinc which burns at gas mark 600, up to about 1400F . Slightly warmer than your average slow cooker! 
One then pours the molten metal from its crucible using massive sugar tongs into one's cast one made earlier! One then lets it go cold. Once set, one 'breaks the mould' and one plunges the newly forged brass into a bucket of cold water. 

The metal that has set along the pouring channel is called the 'git'. This is unwanted and goes back into the crucible because there is no further use for it. Hence, 'useless git'. 

Depending on my mood, I am able to interpret the arrow's direction accordingly!!! 

Now back to the edjucayshun.(sic) 

Hands up if you thought horse brasses were invented to hang by the side of your Grandma's fire. Elderly Aunties especially in the 1970s may also apply. Well guess what! You'd be wrong! 

If you look on my carefully borrowed google images picture you can see the horse brasses on the 'hosses' which is how the man above pronounced it. 

But if you are now thinking that hoss brasses are necklaces for hosses, you'd also be wrong! 
They were the original 'sign on the dotted line contract agreements.' The different designs were important too. Each design was actually a pub, inn, or a tavern. It was in fact like the first ever SAT NAV!  Going in order from the bottom, the driver would 'read' the brasses and would recognise the symbol from the pub! ( side note - a lot of folks couldn't read in the black and white days before the flipping Victorians stuck their oar in and invented schools for all children to go to.) 
The driver would then drop off the barrels at the pub, the publican would sample the ale. If he liked it, the hoss brass was detached and given to him. This acceptance of the brass indicated the fact that he had bought the beer on contract. Later on in the day, the brewery would send the money collectors round, take payment and collect the brass. It was also like a receipt! 

Sorry if you already knew this but I positively was fizzing with this new information! 

We also went downt pit. We also went on a canal cruise in the amazing man built caverns that run under Dudley. I've never ever been/seen anything like this before. It was fascinating. We didn't have the chips, although they smelt amazing. This was because we'd stuffed our faces at the hotel's amazing breakfast buffet! We were full to bursting! We did sample a shandy of the old fashioned ale though. It was a gorgeous day and I was glad we got there for it opening. Payment gets you year round passes, so we will definitely put in a return trip later on in the year. Even if it's just for the chips! What a great place! 

We also fit in a trip to Kennilworth Castle. Beautiful place. The Earl of Dudley romanced Elizabeth 1st by building her a whopping great fancy pants addition to the castel original built in the 1200s. She still turned him down! 
View from the car park. 
We, as English Heritage members always know it's a good one when non members have to pay £11 to get in!!! 

This circular feature was a where a massive cauldron would be with a great fire lit beneath it. It was so huge, the servants had to climb the steps to the right and you can see how they've worn away! Not only by the servants, or eager castle buffs like myself but by ( and I love this ) tourists from 100 + years ago! Charles Dickens himself wrote about his day out to Kennilworth! 

Our way home was long and hot. 

Right, best get a wriggle on. First week almost done! Six to go! I will bob round your blogs and comment backwards through your posts over the weekend. The waistcoat was a bit too small, so it's going to someone else and I'm on with another bigger one for the original 'customer'! 

Lots of love from 

Rachel *hands up if you spotted she's got a new photo doodle app thingy* Radiostar xx 

Friday 3 June 2016

GASP! A finished thing!

Well, I've actually gone and finished something! No, not the HG jumper, which is slow to grow- and very green. I was yearning to start something new! So I did. 

In Skipton I bought a couple of balls of wool for £1 each. They were brightly coloured and my eye was drawn to them. I had a pattern in mind. A little summery waistcoat for a little girl. I started it on WEDNESDAY and finished it last night. It's unheard of! It's also such a quick straight pattern. 
The wool is Katia monkey. Online it's anything up to £6 a ball! Isn't it sunny! Actually this knit has a lot of sunshine knit into it. The pattern also called for beads which I didn't have. I was going to make teeny Pom Poms instead. However, a mercy dash to my friends yielded some perfect beadery. 
It was completed at about 11.30pm last night! I needed to finish it because it's for the daughter of a friend we are seeing tomorrow. The HG and I are off to the Midlands for the weekend, something I've been looking forward to for ages. Today we are off to Kennilworth castle and then tomorrow the biggie- The Black Country Museum. I have wanted to go there for ages. I've been to Beamish a few times and loved it. I've seen the BCM on telly and it looks great. 
Anyway Ta dahhhhhh

My friend has two girls but I need to check which size to knit the other one. So extra presents will be bought in case one is distraught at not receiving her knitted gift from me! 
I hope they like it! And it's not " Oh how lovely, you really shouldn't have!" said in *that* voice which means no, you REALLY shouldn't have. 

Right, going to get a move on and check I've got everything! 
Oops forgot the photos of Barnard Castle ...
View from the castle. 
More next post X 

Lots of love from 
Rachel *Judith Chalmers* Radiostar xxx