Sunday 25 September 2016

Hunt the pic final day

Today is the last day for submissions. I had started this post yesterday and committed the fatal error of saving it to drafts. Gone.

So this is my second shot at it. 
Here are all the categories and I'd got up to number 8. 

9. THOUGHT - using screenshot photos for this category

This one above makes me laugh.
This one below makes me sad.


I can easily see what I need at a glance.


Rarely am I see outdoors without my anti wrinkle defence system, aka sunglasses, of which I have loads. Tenuous link - spectacle - spectacles! 


Harry on his first day in Year one just three weeks ago. If he can be so successful at school with the little vision he has, then I can do anything.


A pint of cold shandy on a warm, sunny day.

Largest flower arrangement ever? 

16.  GRACE

I bet there have been a few 'Your Grace's' round this posh din table at Castle Howard.

17. WEAKNESS - Oh I have so many! 
Choosing was tricky 
I cannot resist the lure of new wool and a new pattern! Especially at bargain prices. 

The most elegant room in my house! 

The perfume from my Rhapsody in Blue rise in full bloom is sweet and does stop people at my front wall to lean over for a sniff! 

My house all decked up for a cosy Christmas. 

And now fingers crossed, thus post does not do this 

Like it's been doing for ages. I've reposted the photos from Number 13 about six times now! I cannot be bothered to do it again!! 

Lots of love from 

Rachel *fingers crossed it works this time* Radiostar xx 

Tuesday 20 September 2016

Hunt the Pic challenge with Mum

I'm already a day late so completing days 1 and 2 here of

I admit some of these might be a very tenuous link Mum!

Here we go...


This photo represents my dream holiday. In Wales, all four of us together. It's a distant dream now because one has already flown the nest. 


I have SO MANY THINGS that I struggled to choose mainly because as a classic hoarder, ALL the things are my favourite! Also, the rules state you have to hunt the pic not take a new one! Treasured possessions I don't have a photo of include my bloved Nanna's stainless steel teapot, my darling Auntie  Laura's squirrel clothes brush, my Panda bear and Teddy Borbors I had since I was a baby, my superking size bed and hundreds and hundreds of pictures and makes my two have presented me with over the tears! 
But above is the diamond eternity ring presented to me from the HG for 21 years together at Christmas 2013. 


Easy - going to gigs! Especially Muse. That's my passion. 


Last year's dramatic rare sky. Like a magnetic something or other a bit Northern Lighty, it was amazing and I couldn't decide which photo from my selection to show. 


Part of my source, my great Grandfather killed in the First Word War. 


The song is Fat Bottomed Girls by Queen. This is my bike. I am fat bottomed. 
"Get on your bikes and ride
Ooh yeah oh yeah them fat bottomed girls
Fat bottomed girls
Yeah yeah yeah
Alright, ride 'em, c'mon
Fat bottomed girls, yes yes" 

( I was going to post a photo from a different Muse gig when they played my favourite song as it evokes such strong memories but in truth I could probably post a Muse gig photo for ALL of these categories! ) 


Eyes are very precious, so here's one of my favourite photos of Harry. If you are not sure of the link - it's in my side bar xx 


Sliding into a warm hot tub after a day out walking is the best feeling of comfort ever! 
My dithering self couldn't choose really betwixt this and a shot of my roaring coal fire! 

And that's it for now! I'm up to speed with Mum. I've loved looking back at my photos and have felt quite ruthless in honing them down for one to share!! 

Back tomorrow with the next lot. 

Lots of love from 

Rachel *best get ready for work* Radiostar xxx 

Sunday 18 September 2016


This is what I have been this week. TOO HOT. But 'twot' is how it sounds when I'm whinging and whining about it. The HG MENTIONED IT COULD BE. MY. AGE. HOW VERY DARE HE.

it was 26C at 6pm on Wednesday night. 17C at 2am, 3am and 4am when I woke up twot and sweaty. I had cramp in my calf which caused me to Yelp out loud. The HG jumped up demanding to know what was wrong. I couldn't speak through the agony! I never have cramp. I'm putting it down to a lack of salt in my body because I've been sweating so much. It soon passed. It's been so unnaturally hot and humid it's frying my brain! I've cut everything down in the garden, but it's grown like mad again. Last week I mowed the meadow. 15 empties of the lawn mower it took. 

Guided reading with Y2. There are six  groups. The teacher took one group out. Three groups had independant (HA Ha Ha Har Har ) reading activities to be doing silently while I had another group in the classroom. The group that is rapidly becoming 'my' group. Why??? I don't want them!! Y2 children cannot do silent. And

I clearly have been working with celebrity lifestyle offspring. During the guided reading session this week my little charges and I were looking at the weighty tome "A big mess!"
We looked at the front cover to see if we could have a go at deciding what it was about. 

Firstly there ensued a massive argument heightened debate over what the red stuff was. 
Child A it's chilli
Child B it's meatballs
Child A ( a bit louder ) it's chilli 
Child  B ( a bit louder than child A ) it's meatballs
Me to child C - what do you think it is? 
Child C ( who is best friends with Child A ) I think it's chilli too

Child B - slams book on table
Me ( wondering how to apply for a job at Marks and Spencer's ) I think it's the blood spill from a guided reading group massacre. 
Not really!!!

Pause from me to remind the rest of the class that the teacher told them to work in silence and not talk. 
Anyway, we turn to page one and all is revealed. Picture the scene. 
Mum ( naturally ) is stood at the sink, berubber gloved, up to her eyeballs in washing up. Dad is holding a large two handed saucepan with red stuff spilling out. Floppy the dog, with red stuff over his paws, has clearly barged into Dad, causing the spillage, is running out of the kitchen after a cat. Biff, the daughter, is looking angst ridden through the doorway. 

Ahaaa it is chilli delights Child A.
Child C and D together - no it isn't, it's JAM! 
They are correct. There are numerous jars of jam on the side. 
Child A quietly accepts this
Child B asks is it OK if I just say it's meatballs?
Me - no, because it's jam. 
Child B actually huffs at me because of this and argues well I'm going to say it's meatballs. I let my inner 6 year old out and say well you are wrong it's jam. I've turned into child A! 

Pause to quiet the class down again as I realise I'm actually bellowing the words 'IT IS JAM!' at a small child just because I cannot hear my own voice! 

So we settle down to sounding out some words and reading the texts. We use funny voices, we point to the words. We say things like 
Mmmm eh esssssssss then blend it together MESS! 
Me ( wondering what I wanted to escape from Y6 for ) ok let's predict what happens next
Child A confidently shouts they are going to tidy up the mess. Child A is confident because despite being told 150 times by me, has been turning over the page for a look. Childs B, C and D all get a Teacher Award from me because they are doing the right thing and are not turning the page, then they all get an extra award for predicting a likely scenario. Child A sulks. 

Let me tell you people, at this point, Child A is getting RIGHT on my tits. 

Pause again to quieten the table next to us. Clearly the other two tables sensed the danger in my tone last time and were quietly on task. 

Child A has also been reminded umpteen times to sit still, stay in their own space, turn around etc etc. Child A is a totally different kettle of fish to Childs ( I like using this incorrect form of the plural ok? ) B, c and D 
Child B has diagnosed learning difficulties requiring a lot of 1-2-1 attention
Child C has had a terrible start in life, rescued from a dreadful home if you could call it that and is quiet and lacks confidence but has missed huge gaps in a typical upbringing meaning learning is tricky requires 1-2-1 attention
Child D is outstandingly eager to learn but is so clearly dyslexic, that reading is tricky. No diagnosis because the parents cannot fathom this out. Could do with 1-2-1 etc 

Child A is just a hideously spoilt brat. Absolutely ruined by their doting parents and grandparents to the point of ridiculousness. No boundaries have ever been put in place. Child A has never been told No. Child A has no resilience because of this. They've had no broken/repair moments that normal parenting brings about to develop a lovely sweet natured, accepting child. 

There's a proper word to describe this and I cannot just bring it to mind, I want to say reciprocity, but I think that's wrong. 

By this I mean, in its simplest form, imagine a babe in arms, you are gazing into each other's eyes, you look away, the relationship is temporarily broken, the babe could start to panic, you look back, repairing the relationship. Babe is settled. Learns that if you go away, you will come back, all is well. 

It's how you set boundaries. Children learn that if told no, they might not like it, but they will get over it and times won't be bad forever. 

Barry Hymer talked about this -in our Fixed and Growth mindset train g. 

Praise should be given to the effort of learning and not just to the learner. Grrrr is really bugging me what he called it, so much so, when I get to work on Monday I will post in the comments what I'm on about!! 

Anyway, I think we all probably know a child A type. 

If child A doesn't want to, at home, Child A doesn't have to. Child A is the centre of attention at home but is completely hateful. We do not adore Child A like child A is used to. This has caused issues from day 1 in school. The parents do not back up the teachers in front of Child A, which makes discipline pointless. How can any child accept responsibility for their actions if their parents come in and actually insist that the adults in school must be liars because their child is perfect???
When in a good mood, child A is charming. When challenged over behaviour ... An example from earlier this week 

Child A - In what I would call a wheedling voice, Miss, Child D has just been saying really really mean things to me.
Me - oh really? Child D, did you just say mean things to Child A? 
Child D - yes because Child A was just strangling me
Child A - clearly not wanting me to be privy to this bit of information, stands up, sticks fingers in ears, shouts, I hate teachers, blah blah I'm not listening over and over at me! 
I've not even said anything at this point. I'm tending to go with Child D's version of events. 
I say sternly,

Child A did you strangle Child D? Child A blows a raspberry at me, folds their arms, turns their back on me and sticks their bottom out to me!! 
Me - well, I'm not surprised Child D said mean things to you, I would too if you'd strangled me! You are now on Amber because of the way you have tried to get Child D into trouble and because of your rudeness to me.  Child A turns round to shout 'You're stupid' at me! 

The class teacher returns and whisks Child A out of the classroom to cool down! Order is restored. The rest of the class had been enjoying fruit and milk and reading books - child A clearly had had enough of this activity! 
I wish she'd whisked me out of the classroom. 

He did come and apologise later on, very eloquently. Child A has an amazing vocabulary and rapport with adults, because they've only ever had adult attention and conversation. Deemed far too precious for nursery, school was a huge shock to their little over inflated ego and at the start of their third year of school, whilst being nowhere near as awful as Reception, is still the stand out kid that you notice first in a room. And there is nothing academically wrong or noticeable. Just pampered laziness. In my opinion. 

Anyway I've digressed so far from my original story I'll have to go back to see where I was up to! 

Ah yes, a sulking Child A is actively ignored ( something they hate! ) and Childs B,C, and D get on with the task in hand. 
The scene.
Mum is standing with a mop, Dad is on his hands and knees with a rag cleaning up the rug and Floppy is licking the jam. 
So I'm saying to them, point to this word - mop- who can sound it out? 
No one can. 
Ok, I say, let's look at the pictures for clues. What is Mum using to clean up the mmmm eh sssssssss? 
Child D - no hesitation - champagne. 
Me ( kills self laughing inside ) 
Childs B and C - ohhhh my mum has one of those - (pointing to the mmmm oh ppp)
Me - what is is called? Look at the word
Childs B and C - we don't know
Child A it's a Vileda
Me - what sound does Vileda begin with? V Vileda Vuh Vuh Vuh Vileda  look at the word, it's starts with a mmmm sound,  mmmm
Child A goes back to sulk mode ( see above - can't take being told no, even though I didn't use the word no ) 
Me - so you have one of these at home for cleaning the floor, what is it called? 
Nobody knows. I've lost the will to live. I'm flabbergasted. 

Child F at the next table has spilt water everywhere. Child G is playing in the table puddle.Child H is upset because their picture is wet. Child I is picking it's nose. 

Pause to sort the next Tabl out and sit Child F- the water spiller- at the table at the front, on their own. 

I return to chaos at my own table. Child A and B are arguing again over a rubber that neither of them should be fussing over. Childs C and D are awarded a teacher award for sitting waiting patiently and for doing the right thing. The rubber is removed from Child A and both A and B are asked 
Are you sitting still? No
Are you tryin g your best? No
Are you ready to learn? No 
Well, on our behaviour wheels , on green it says "I am on green because I am listening well, I am trying my best and I am ready to learn. 
Well then, unless you fix this RIGHT NOW, B, your peg will be moved to Amber and A you at will be moved down to red. 

DO              YOU            UNDERSTAND.               ME? Yes. 

A at that moment the smiley relaxed teacher came back from her lovely calm quiet reading area with her lovely sweet well behaved independant readers.....time to tidy up!!!! 

This book is 5 pages long. We did not finish it this session. It was the first session of the year. They just need re training. My feedback to the class teacher

Next week YOU have my group in here and I will take the top table out into the cosy quiet reading area! 
The teacher did say she heard the noise  and me telling them to be quiet!
I also suggested
Child C and D need to be in a separate group and Child A needs to go to another school far far away from me! 

Anyway I've rambled on for far too long. My next post will be something linking in with another blog! Ooooo the mystery! 

It's another glorious day. I may go out into the garden later if I can dodge the Jurassic Park sized spiders - they are so big. One had a wasp in its web, another had a giant bluebottle and the humongous one near the bins had a sparrow trapped! ( ok one of these might not be entirely true) 

Lots of love from 
Rachel *TWOT* Radiostar xxx 

Saturday 10 September 2016

Pet hates

My last post touched on Pet Names and I had some great comments and reveals! Marlene's comment though led me to thinking about one of my pet hates. 
She mentioned she's enjoying seeing Freddie from afar as she's wary of dogs and doesn't like them bouncing up at her. 
Here's my latest pic from Miss 22. Altogether now 
Hasn't he grown? He's getting a furry tummy and I just love his little spotty paws! 

One of my pet hates ( and I have a list that stretches way way way into the hundreds ) is 
When you are out and about, maybe on a canal, down the river, on the beach, in a park, and there's a great big dog or a little yippy type thing lolloping about miles in front of its owner, OFF the lead and they call out to the dog, which ignores it's master, then they call out to you, 'oh don't worry, he/she's a softy' or ' he won't harm you' etc etc it makes my blood boil. 

Firstly, get your dog on a lead if there are a lot if people about. I don't care how highly trained/sift/friendly you say it is. No one can predict what it might do. Saying 'he's friendly' to a child who is petrified and then not removing your dog is just downright cruel and moronic. You and your dog, however friendly you say it is, should not invade someone else's space. 

Secondly, if it is on a lead, pull it into you if someone is trying to get past. Do not laugh as said mutt is jumping up at the poor hapless passerby and say oh isn't he naughty etc. Especially get your dog on a lead if I am sat on a bench on the canal and your dog has just been swimming. Your dog then comes to me and shakes itself and then please don't laugh as it jumps on me and leaves muddy paw prints on me. You utter moron. 

Thirdly, if it is on one of those retractable leads - please either strangle yourself with said lead or throw it away and get a proper one. Or use it considerately. I've nearly gone over my handlebars on my bike with a stupid woman and her dog on one of those leads. I swore a lot that day. 

Fourthly, if you have a dog, pick up after it because if I see you leaving it you might find it on your own doorstep, returned to you. Your dog, your poo. 

Finally realise you might want to be up close and personal with your dog, but other people might not want to. 

Other people are so annoying aren't they?! 

Lots of love from 

Rachel *going to the bank then will be sewing* Radiostar xx 

Thursday 8 September 2016

A bit of constructive criticism

I'm talking about last night's Great British Bake Off. No spoilers here so don't fret if you have not seen it yet. My complaint, if you will, is that in bread week especially, the times they give them are FAR TOO SHORT. Yes, I know it's a competition designed to put them under pressure. But really, two and a half hours for the signature bake? Ridiculous. I'd rather them have an extra hour and then they can present bread that is actually baked. On the whole, I think this year, the finished results in all if the programmes so far have seemed less impressive than in previous years. Clever editing can still cope if they had a bit more time. I love the programme but admit it's losing its shine for me. Since its switched to BBC1 it's relishing the negative rather than celebrating the positive. And I know I say kind words or no words but The Lipstick woman is really annoying me. She makes me purse my lips mimicking what she looks like. This increases my lip wrinkles. 
I wish that the Jo Brand spin off supporting programme on BBC2 on Friday nights was on longer too. 

Here's some quick bread I made, baked in my casserole pot! Can't recall if you've seen this before! 
Was perfect with some soup for a quick meal. 

I'm all a bit cross patchy today aren't I? I think it's the hideous weather. So humid and oppressive. It's really warm this morning but dark and grey and gloomy.

BUT last night at work, my 'most annoying but I loved them the most'  ex Y6 pupils returned from High School to come see me! They looked so smart and grown up in their ever so slightly large Blazers. One cherub has called in on their way home every night! Makes my day to see them! 

In other news I experienced The Big Write in Y2 yesterday. TBW is a whole school approach to creative writing. The whole school write about the same thing once a week. It's a really good way of seeing progress. With my group in Y2, TBW seemed more to be about how MASSIVE you can write! My goal for them is to fit more than one word on a page! 
Our new Reception class start school today. Here is a shot of Miss 22 on her first day. Doesn't seem two minutes ago! Ahhhh my little baby girl! Rang her Dad yesterday to say she's going to Iceland in January to go Whale watching! She's a brilliant human being and I'm super proud of her. My nickname for her when she was little was Diddle Dumpling! For the minute I cannot recall what I used to call Mr 19 but I know he had one. Damn you rubbish failing memory. Did you/do you have pet names for your cherubs? 

Lots of love from 

Rachel *happiest when strolling down memory lane* Radiostar xx 

Wednesday 7 September 2016

Things I always knew deep down

1. Y6 is an absolute DODDLE compared to Y2
2. Y2 are way cuter and biddable than your average Y6 person
3. Counting to 20 is as hard as long division
4. Yesterday I witnessed a child start writing a sentence with their left and and finish writing it with their right hand! Never seen this before in all my decades in the classroom!
5. I love my job!

Love from
Rachel *when's it Half Term???* Radiostar xxx

Monday 5 September 2016


I spent most of my Sunday sorting stuff out. It wasn't a hard task though because it was lovely stuff in my craft room. The HG has been showering me with gifts lately, just nice little cheap surprises. Cheap because they've been heavily discounted, not tacky cheap! 

All neat and tidy and in one space where I can lay my hands on what I want without emptying them all out of my sewing box. 

This box cantilevers revealing useful trays underneath. Most of this stuff has been Hunter Gathered by the HG! A lot of it has been with me though since my days of O'Level needlework. 

I love ribbon! 

They are now all tidily away on their shelves so I've everything to hand next time I sew! It drives me mad having to spend ages finding things before you start! Also, sorting is very cathartic for me. It soothes. 
I've picked these two fabrics to be a fabric basket for my craft room. I'vhad them in for a while. I LOVE  the cotton reel one. I know I've shown you it before. 

I got these navy themed fabrics from Dunelm and they are going to make a couple of tote/shopping/sewing project bags. 
Again a present from the HG! 

These ones I bought myself! 
Who can't resist pretty bundles of fabric when they are tied up with ribbon? Er that'd be me! And look at this GORGEOUS biscuit material! I have ZERO idea at the mo with what it's for but it was 50p and I had to have it! They only had one piece though, boo, hiss. 

The unopened bundle! Cute penguins. Again no idea what this is for but I'm open to ideas! It's a tad Christmassy I think. 

Well, my first day at work proper, I've not faffing about with INSET, staff room catch up and Display, but with real children! The six and seven year olds! Gulp. Wow what an eye opener! It's been over 15 years since I worked in y2, about 8 since I taught them as HLTA which I must have wiped from my memory! Today I've mostly been counting to 20 with the little group of sweethearts who need extra help with their maths! The bonus in Y2,  that you don't get from being in Y6, is being hugged for no reason and told that you are beautiful and loved! I can't wait to see who loves me tomorrow! 

Before my eyes close and I fall asleep, here's a little teaser - I stole this photo of Freddie and his brothers and sisters. It's a brilliant shot. But here's the thing. Can you spot Freddie? 

Answers on a postcard! 

Lots of love from 

Rachel * is taping Cold Feet because she's too knackered to stay up and watch it* Radiostar xx 

Friday 2 September 2016

Back to school

Well I went back to school for the 17th ( or is it the 18th?? Hang on, nooo I think I started working at my current school in 2004, or was it 2003?? I can't remember ) I'm going with 2004 for sure so it is definitely AT LEAST my 16th but probably 17th September start at the school where I will work until I retire or die! Whichever is sooner, but I do see myself on playground duty on a motorised scooter as an old lady. Waving my stick, you, young man, stop doing that! In a crinkly old lady voice. 

But new start, new role, new year all excited. It was a great day learning all about coaching and how to coach! The person who I practiced my new skills on said I was very good at it! And then the bombshell I knew deep down was coming, but I don't really mind. You see, my friend, whose Mum had the brain tumour is my friend because we work together. Sadly her Mum passed away on 12th August so she's quite rightly off work. So I'm temporarily covering some of her hours until her return. And it's in Y2. Which was my wish list age group when asked last year where I wanted to be... It's a LONG time since I've worked properly in Y2. I'd possibly relent to go as low as Y1 as a very very last resort. But Y2 they at least can mostly read and write! They are still very biddable and eager to learn - not like the Y6s who are old and wise. Also generally, Y2 don't answer back or give attitude! I do love Y5/6 though because sometimes you can just 'get on' as you explain what you want them to do, set them off and off they go all independant like and can mostly get through the morning without needing a wee. But a change is as good as a rest and a lot of the souls I'm enabling to learn in my new Pastoral role which will probably begin now after October half term, are actually in Y2 so I can start to forge good relationships and get to work on them in the classroom! Today is another INSET day. We've the killer morning long Domestic Staff Meeting and then after lunch, freedom in classrooms but I'm spending my time unpacking my belongings in my new base not Y2. I admit to being a tinsy bit 'meh' but I quickly got over myself. 

I jus thought I'd quickly show you some of the new bits and bobs I picked up last week in Skipton. This gorgeous wool was £2 a ball. 
It's called, I love this yarn - AND I DO! There's also a free pattern on the bands - for crochet! Which you know I'm rubbish at. I'd originally picked up two balls of each, but decided to go get another of each because I just couldn't leave them in the shop! Also I wanted to make sure I had enough for what I have in mind once the HG's jumper is finished in 2020! Actually I've only one panel to knit now and will cast on the final 136 stitches later tonight. Don't be holding your breaths though for the show and tells, it'll be a couple of weeks yet. 
I also got three more balls of the stripy wool at £1 a ball that I used to knit that little waistcoat I showed you. I love how brightly cheery it knits up. 
 It's great little wool shop. It's round the corner where the big card factory shop is, opposite the milkshake shop, next to a charity shop. The traffic lights that you use to cross over to get to the Fent shop is close too. It is a little gem selling cheap books one side and tons of different wool on the other. If you know it, you'll already love it. I might also have bought some fat quarters from the Fent Shop and then some other bargainous pieces from The Shuttle at Shipley that day too.... I'm such a terrible stasher of yarn and fabric. But I only ever ever buy quality at cheap prices! ( defending my self - I will use this phrase when I'm featuring in a Channel 5 dicumentary on hoarding to ridiculous levels ).

I'm missing little Freddie so much! But a present from the HG made me excited. I don't care if this makes me a tragic middle aged old dear, but it is from Lakeland, so that's a big tick already and it's one of their HEATED CLOTHES AIRERS that I've had my beady eyes on forever. It was on offer and I also got a cover with it ( spoilt brat I know ) but it dries your clothes for around 6p a day! So I don't have to tumble everything - going to work can impede on my pegging out and very quickly my windows of drying opportunities disappear once Autumn kicks in. And it's kicking in already - I can tell by the amount of OMG sized spiders weaving human sized web death traps EVERYWHERE, betwixt EVERYTHING in my garden. I find that at this time of year if one doesn't get one's wash in by 4ish then it goes damp and there's nothing I hate more than a potentially good dry line of towels going damp on said line AND probably having peg spiders on them too by the time I get home just after 5.30pm on a good day. I've written about peg spiders before. For me, they are a year round phenomenon. My next door neighbour leaves her pegs on the line betwixt washes. How can she do this? If I ever leave behind an accidental one - if it's been the IT'S SPITTING dash, the next day, there's a flipping spider living in it. If I leave a full wash set of pegs out, then the lacy webs between said pegs are beautiful but go along the full length of the line with a spider in each pair of pegs. But where do they live when I don't leave my pegs out? She can't be bothered OR indeed have them, because there is no shrieking when she pegs out. It's bizarre. And unfair. So Thank You my darling HG for your gift of heated metal tubes, beautifully dry and spider free washing with no stress during these damp, dank and dark depressing months. 

Look at how smiley and thin  and young this lady is I found on google images using hers. That'll be me in the coming weeks. 

Lots of love from 

Rachel *smug dry washing face* Radiostar xxx