Little Sparkles

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It feels that this week has been sponsored by Bach Rescue Remedy but it definitely wasn’t designed to be! I was reminded of the quote this week that life is what happens when you’re busy making plans. I had organised my diary for the week and although I had added a few extras such as play dates to our routine as I had no big plans for my non work days it seemed a workable and sanity saving plan. That was until, we received notice at work of a mock Ofsted inspection by our School’s Improvement Partner and my free time fizzled away into a list of admin to do. This is what I hate about my job, the inspections and pressure on providing data to prove our strengths. I work with special needs students, success to us is not GCSE grades, its helping a child to communicate, supporting them to develop basic personal care, giving them the skills to stay safe and function in the adult world. What I love about my job is the work we do and the positive difference we can make. How can I put into figures the amazing work we do? It is sadly a necessity in this results driven culture and I spent my time not on the content of the lessons but on figures, graphs, predictions etc.. This is wrong, demoralising and irrelevant. Judge us by the passion and spark you see in the classroom, look at our curriculum, our extracurricular opportunities not figures and graphs. Of course, despite the extra work, I was not observed on the morning I was teaching during the 2 day inspection, too much time is spent analysing data and not in the classroom. We will receive feedback next week and I will reserve judgement until then…

Away from the additional stress from work, this week has been full of some lovely little sparkles all bathed in some periods of warm sunshine which helps to make us all a little happier.

READ

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I really enjoyed the Saturday Times LFW edition of their magazine last Saturday. I got to sit in the sunshine watching the children play in the garden and read it in relative peace. There were two articles which were brilliant, interviews with the designer, Diana Von Furstenberg and the Vogue photographer, Grace Coddington both strong, determined and talented professionals. Both made comments I could really relate to, the first from DVF that she always knew the type of woman she wanted to be and the way she explains it is not the job she wanted to do, but the characteristics, attitude, lifestyle she wanted to have. Coddington argued about the danger of being attached to one’s phone and missing life, so true.

LISTENED

I do love Woman’s Hour but thought it was a standout programme on Thursday. A piece on fashion with Jane Shepherdson appealed it was not about high end fashion but on sustainable fashion. I loved the can you wear it 30 times rule? There was also an interview with JoJo Moyes on the sequel to Me Before You, which was a brilliant book and I’m looking forward to reading After You. There was also an informative piece on Nell Gwynne and then a brilliant cooking piece with Lorraine Pascal. Her enthusiasm was infectious and she made me smile trying to answer questions whilst nibbling on the mixture. Today’s episode was one where you would just love to join the women for lunch!

WATCHED

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Hidden under the splash is the crocodile boat. It was a very wet experience.

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I watched the children have lots of fun in the late season sunshine. We returned to the Aquarium on Sunday, as when we went earlier in the summer we were given free return tickets for September. It was another great day out. The animals were quite animated, probably enjoying the sunshine too and we had lots of fun on the rides too. There is a great water flume there and we went on it lots of times, we shrieked a lot and got soaked but as we dried quickly in the sun, it was all in good humour.

There’s been lots of play in the garden too, the children are great at creating new games. Little Man’s play date was on a bright and warm afternoon so they played happily in the garden which creates less mess than indoors!

MADE

Our food shopping and menus have been frustrating me for a while. We have tended to do one big monthly shop complemented by weekly fresh pickups as needed. Mr S is often in charge of the food shop and I dislike the weighting of convenience foods to fresh ingredients. So, I have made a plan for fortnightly shops and have planned menus so we know what we are having and shop accordingly. This has been working well, Mr S has conceded that he is preferring our meals and the fresh food, I enjoy cooking and I think in the long term it will be more cost effective. This week’s menu has included a pie, stir fry, curry, omelette and casserole and herby dumplings all made from scratch. I have also been looking at the children’s tea choices, they have a hot meal at school but as the cold evenings draw in, I am looking at more soups, toasted snacks etc.. the challenge is to fit the food in around their busy schedules.

I also made my first Christmas order this week and wrote my first Christmas lists detailing presents bought and ideas.   I like being this organised it helps me enjoy Christmas and all the preparation.

WORE

Shorts and sunglasses, thanks to the sunshine. It’s a lovely feeling being able to wear my shorts so late in the year. Part of the culture of living at the seaside is that our clothing reflects our coastal lives and sunshine is beach time and appropriate clothes, eg shorts! I’m not sure if I wore shorts in an urban town that it would be so acceptable. I love my shorts and flip flops so am happy to extend summer as long as possible.

Next week the diary is looking organised and manageable and I’m hoping for a trip to ‘big’ town for some much needed shopping. I am also hoping to start the Sketchbook course created by Jennie Maizels , I’ve downloaded my first module on houses and am very inspired.

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