I’m back!

Well, it’s been FAR TOO LONG.

Just a quick post. So much has happened – in the positive. I’m gearing up to start a new role in September… Head of Geography… Would you believe? I still can’t to be honest.

I’m very much looking forward to the challenges ahead… And running my own department. I feel I have grown an awful lot this year as an individual and as an educator. Too much to go into detail now but I feel fortunate to have been given the opportunities and guidance, and made lifelong friendships to help me through.

Anyway, must sleep.

Mrs C.

Dear Prime Minister….from teachers everywhere. | blondegeography

Echo Chamber Uncut

Dear Prime Minister,

Firstly let me introduce myself, I represent the many – the many teachers who today are worrying about the future of education. I am a newly qualified teacher. I come from a council house background. I have a 2:2 in my degree…and I’m probably not good enough in your eyes to be a teacher.

Mr. Cameron, you only have to glance at Twitter or Facebook and you will see thousands of teachers who today are afraid. Afraid of the future of education. Surely you must be thinking to yourself why? Why are so many teachers today afraid of what the future may hold? I can tell you some…

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Fighting the christmas overindulgence

So Christmas (my favourite time of year) has been & gone. Along with my 32nd birthday and my 2nd wedding anniversary.

I ❤️ Christmas – maybe for all of the above. I love the build up especially – as many of you do! Our tree goes up on the 1st weekend in December and its a ritual I love sharing with one of my very best friends. This weekend also marks the very special “faux christmas” meal that a very lovely group of friends share with us. In some ways I do enjoy the faux Christmas meal a little more than the actual day as were with friends who like to get as drunk as us and have a good laugh. There is also a little less pressure to “get them there sprouts” just right 😜
For the first time this December I fully embraced the seasonal festive activities in Blackpool also and attended my first Christmas concert since I was actually in a band playing myself. It was a lovely evening full of sing along carols and other festive songs – and hats off to Poulton ale Fylde band for a fabulous evening. This is going to become a nice tradition to add to my December calendar I think – I was quite proud of the fact the average age in the theatre must have dropped by a good 30 years when I sat down. Already looking forward to next year!
Christmas Eve was spent doing things I really enjoy doing – baking sausage rolls as an evening treat and cooking/prepping while watching Christmas films. This year was the grinch and Elf. Bliss. Followed by a few drinks out with friends & a Chinese take away 👍
Christmas Day was hosted by us this year – I think it went well and wasn’t half as stressful as people make out – but then that could have been the prosecco – or the amazing help from the hubby? 😃
My birthday meal out was spent at Jamie’s Italian in Manchester. A bit of a change to the “Christmas food” we had been eating. Lush!
All of this has been topped off nicely with a week away in the Yorkshire Dales, Hawes to be exact. I ❤️ this week away. Missing sales shopping, crowds of people, rushing about and being a headless chicken with the last bits of boredom at home before school starts in January. It’s nice at the end of the year to totally relax – completely – not having to wake up, make plans to see anyone and just spend some quality time with my family – well Matt & furry dog child Jack anyway 😜 A few walks, time in the country pubs, wondering about towns/villages and enjoying a slow pace of life…. Perfect! And with that, on the eve of the last night away in relaxation, off to the Crown pub for tea and my last glass of vino of the Christmas holidays. CHEERS 🍷 all the best for 2015.

8 weeks on….

I would love to begin this post by telling you all how absolutely fantastic the allotment is doing, how I have all the winter veg in and the rest of the plot all tidied up…. But I can’t 😳 I have been a very bad allotment owner these past 8 weeks – and with today’s gales it’s probably all blown away!? 🌀☔️

I don’t think I have ever been this tired as a teacher and I can feel myself getting grumpy, like Jack Nicholson in Grumpy old men, and I don’t like it…

I do however, have a lovely half term holiday to look forward to as I’m off on my travels with a very good friend of mine who shares some very similar interests… This thought, and many planning messages forwards and back, has kept me going over the past 2 weeks…. I am excited mostly about 2 things; the first I get to put my new (not so new now I guess) camera to the test in challenging conditions and secondly I get to see the Northern lights (we’ll fingers crossed anyway!). Both will be amazing opportunities and also a chance for a well earned rest to do / see something I enjoy!

I am actually getting a bit giddy as I type this….. thinking… This time next week… ❄️🐳

#educatingthenorthwest

So…. September is almost complete. My first month at a new school….
What have I discovered so far? Well…. Kids will be kids, whatever their age, background, religious beliefs and attitudes.
It’s always difficult starting at a new school. I have started 3 new schools in 3 years so I have a bit of experience in this area.
I always put myself on an even playing field with the new year 7’s come Sept 1st. It’s all new, you don’t know procedures, people’s names or your way around! The only advantage I feel I have over the new pupils is that they don’t know I’m as new as them so I can get away with pretending. It’s still always a challenge.
The rest of the students always feel that they have an advantage in some way and “try it on”. It’s been a stressful settling in for my GCSE classes. For them it’s the jump from KS3 and an attitude of “it doesn’t matter” to “this is my GCSE and it matters a lot”. It’s a roller coaster of emotions for all in the first few weeks, battles have been fought, behaviour tried on, but I feel I have FINALLY conquered that hill today ❤️ Which is why I am rambling on to you guys.
I feel I’ve learnt a lot in my first few weeks (namely how to count to 10 in Urdu!) and long may this continue. I’m working in a very supportive department with a range of experience which will only help further my career and progressing with my students. So overall a positive start but….. Marking is still a ball ache 🙋

Back to school…

Well, September 1st, a date that ALL (yes all) teachers loath to hear. For me it marks the end of “freedom” and the chance to do things I enjoy regularly – for a good month or 2 at least to get into the swing of things & learn dozens of names 😩

This summer holiday I have really enjoyed travelling and catching up with friends so much it’s made me realise how lazy I have been this past year and throughout 2013. I am making it my personal mission to achieve more of the following this academic year….

Enjoy my friends more! I do miss you all now I have moved away and I do love it when you visit – but I don’t think I visit you enough! So that’s a vow I will be making to stick to.

Secondly I am going to plan the allotment in advance. This year was definitely better planned out than the last but with some more time and drawn plans I feel I could do a better job and make it more efficient at production. We are also going to get a shed. Matt doesn’t quite understand the need for a shed. I see it as somewhere to take shelter in a comfortable (ish) space when it rains – and possibly brew up! I see it as an area for potting up, making sure my newly drawn out plans are visible to remind me of what I would like to achieve and for storage so we don’t have to keep lugging things to and fro.

I want to travel and see more of the world… Ok ok at least the UK to start with! There is so much 🐞 nature to be hugged out there 🐝 and I really appreciated both of my outdoor holidays this year. I want to do this more and see more 🌳 which brings me to my last goal…..

I am going to take more pictures! This was my New Years resolution and for the first half of the year I wasn’t as enthusiastic as I should have been. So I made the decision to sell my DSLR – and opted for just (a very fabulous) compact camera. But I got itchy twitchy photo fingers & upgraded to a new DSLR which I love! In an odd way I am looking forward to this year illuminations to test it out before I get to see some of the most spectacular illuminations in the world… The Aurora Borealis – or Northern Lights for the non geography geeks among us.

So… Here’s to a positive start to this academic year and I hope my enthusiasm continues…. Wish me luck 😍

Runny jam…

So it would seem I am actually rubbish at making jam!

Last nights effort included the rest of the plums (there is only so much fruit gin you can make) and some rhubarb.

Great I thought – fab flavours for jam! So my helper & I set to work! Halving and deseeding the plums and cutting rhubarb into 2cm cubes.

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Fruit & water on a simmer for 5 minutes to soften. No problems so far! While that was simmering we measured out the sugar. We just used soft brown and caster sugar. Add them to the fruit and bring to a rapid rolling boil.

The temperature we were aiming for was 104 degrees. This was confirmed by my friends mum who is a master jam maker!

Well somewhere In-between here and setting point 45 minutes later we clearly went wrong! What we have produced are 3 jars of very sweet tasting runny compote style “jam”

It tastes good none the less – and I’m sure will be ok on toast. I’ll go back to the drawing board & try again for a more traditional “set” jam!

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Bank holiday harvest….

So today is bank holiday monday and for once it hasn’t rained!

As we’ve been away it’s the first time we have visited the allotment for over a week – and my it must have rained while we were away!

Produce

Plenty of veg to come home to which is brilliant – however it all takes a lot of processing also! BUT as I love our new kitchen it shouldn’t be such a chore 😉

So far I have podded all of the borolotti beans ready for blanching and freezing (good in a nice chilli con carne!) and there was also a bag of plums (not in the pic!)

I have recently taken to a spot of gin drinking and found a recipe for plum gin – which should be ready for christmas day! (good timing or what!?) So that’s been started in my newely purchased Kilner jars! Maybe I am a geek??

Gin

We shall see how that goes! Tomorrow will be mostly making tomato sauce and finding something else to do with courgettes!

TTFN!

Starting a blog…..

Well, starting a blog is something i’ve always wanted to have a try with…. not too sure how many people will even want to read!? I don’t have anything in particular to impart with you all – apart from the fact my husband thinks i’m a geek for wanting to do this??

I will be mostly blogging about everyday life, my recipes (failures and successes), allotment, holidays and of course – Jack!

If you want to follow or read please do – if not – no offence taken!

So let’s see if I can get this started?!

Thoughts and ramblings of a nature lover