Sunday, January 30, 2011

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Things I like (parts 1 - 5) by Claire

1. The good, honest tired you get after a loooong day at work.

2. The fact that this time in sixteen days I'll be sipping a cool drink as I settle in to our hotel room in Gran Canaria.

3. Ordering all my clothes for aforementioned holiday online....and finding when they arrived today that they all fit, and are pretty darn cute!

4. March, April, and May visits from friends.

5. Dancing to steel band music with my little badgers!

To be continued....

What do you like, lovelies? What's making you smile today?

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My other blog....

....with many, many co-authors!

For a long time I've been wanting to do a blog with my pupils, to record what we do in class each day, and to share ideas and teaching methods and fun things. To encourage conversation. I also think it's a great way to first introduce the children to the potential of the digital world, and also educate them on how to be safe, and also how to be polite and use the correct 'netiquette'. This year seemed to be the year to try to move this desire forward to something more concrete.

We've been tweeting for a while @MissTsGang, and now if you'd like to you can follow our blog too. I'd love to see you over there!

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Project Life Tuesday: January 18th

So I am enjoying doing Project Life and taking snapshots. I am also having to be creative as both Matthew and I dislike being in photos - thank heavens for photogenic friends, who will feature more and more in these posts! I'm linking up with Jessica's Project Life Tuesdays.

January 8th - January 14th

Saturday, January 8th

On this Saturday I was due to have a girly day with Vixie and Kaz, but I woke up feeling horrible - so this was my den for the day. Matthew was away at the football, so I just camped out in front of E! and dozed off. Felt tonnes better for it, too.

Sunday, January 9th

A day of working, emailing, internet silliness, Skyping and blogging. This is me recording a couple of blog posts (I do love my Britney mic!).

Monday, January 10th

The first of many after work walks saw me head down into town and back up to home. I passed Inverness Street, which made me smile as I was flying up to the real Inverness at the weekend.

Tuesday, January 11th

The lovely Eileen and I made plans to go see 'The King's Speech' but it was sold out at the Everyman. So we repaired to Pizza Express and feasted (fairly sensibly) on Leggera pizza and wine. Good times!

Wednesday, January 12th

A late-ish night for Matthew equalled history reading, a skinny vanilla latte and the new Lakeland catalogue for me! I also had a fun evening of baking and cooking - therapeutic and enjoyable, cheered me up on a grey and dreary day!

Thursday, January 13th

A day of culture! I took some of my boys to go and see a student production of 'Cinderella' and the Central School of Speech and Drama. My colleague Margot had been the brains of organising it, but she couldn't make it, alas. In the evening Miss Eileen and I headed off to see 'The King's Speech'. At last!

Friday, January 14th

A loooooooong day at work! My class were lovely as ever, but some attitude from some other students and a huge pile of marking made it more trying than most days! Add in the fact that I didn't leave till eight, and you definitely feel a bit stressed!

Looking forward to checking out some other Project Life posts later!

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cool online things (a.k.a. a StumbleUpon post)

I've become rather attached to StumbleUpon recently. When I have a spare half hour on a weekend or evening I love zipping through and finding cool things. I also enjoy just mooching around the net when I have time, or following up recommendations from friends. So I thought I'd share some recent favourites here:

Cat vs Internet: I will always love The Oatmeal.

They Draw and Cook: lovingly illustrated recipes. Just beautiful to look at!

100 inspirational quotes: You guys know I love a good quote. Lots of great ones here.

Colour quiz: I love a good online quiz.

Ball Droppings: Actually addictive.

Lyrics: This one shot made me giggle and giggle. Like a G6 indeed.

Breathing Earth: This blows my much information, lovingly rendered.

Love Letters Project: This is odd and arty and fabulous, in almost equal measure.

Happy clicking, all! Do any of you use StumbleUpon?

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Saturday, January 15, 2011

A few of my favourite things...(15th Jan)

Because you know how I love to count blessings!

* Starbucks skinny vanilla lattes.

* Friends who crack me up, challenge me and make me smile.

* Houseguests who come and entertain me, and don't even mind the dust badgers too much.

* Phone calls and letters.

* Sunday mornings, when even the traffic on our busy street dies down and the world is still.

* Project Life - I'm so enjoying documenting the's making me aspire to be more social and work centric too, if only to avoid it all being pictures of books, signs and random (that'll be next week, then).

* That wonderful mellow feeling you get after a long walk in the cold, when you come home and feel worked out and relaxed and chilled and blissful.

* Homemade veggie soup with homemade wholemeal bread.

* Sparkpeople - educating me and keeping me sane!

*Jack Daniels, hot water, and honey. The ultimate hot toddy.

* The comfy green hoodie of awesome (TM).

* The crazy birds outside our window, who are always singing, it seems.

How about you, lovelies? What's making your heart sing?

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Friday, January 14, 2011


Life's been busy. The start of a new term is always busy and this has been no inspection. Tie that in with my desire to work harder, see more of my friends, and work out more and you have a recipe for a tired yet happy Claire. Tomorrow Matthew and I fly up north to see my family for a day - it's a long journey but will be so worth it to see them!

So, what else have I been into lately?

I've been getting back into my walking, and actually training. It's dawning on me that this time in 4 months I will be walking a marathon! This means lots of 5, 7.5, and 10 mile walks during January and February, with a view to ramp it up again in the 10 to twelve weeks before the big day. If you would like to sponsor me (I'm raising money for breast cancer charities), please go here (huge thanks in advance!).
I am reading up a lot of food and what is and isn't good for you. A friend of mine recommended the book 'Real Food' by Nina Planck. It's an interesting read, and while I don't fully agree with everything she says (well, certainly not with further research and or cross-referencing), there is a lot of great stuff. I particularly like her stance on sustainable, small scale farming.

Fun fact: Nina Planck founded the farmer's market around the corner from my school!

Yesterday Eileen and I went to see 'The King's Speech' (after trying and failing to do so on Tuesday - it seems to be selling out everywhere!). Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush were both sublime.
Lots of baking and cooking (but not too much eating!) is keeping me sane during this busy period. On Wednesday I made a soup, and some muffins using my own made up recipes, and also made cake for my boys....they were all thrilled when the 'extra work' I gave them yesterday turned out to be eating a slice of Victoria sponge!
The UK series of 'The Biggest Loser' has just started and I'm already hooked. It's trash TV, but it's got it all - drama, pathos, staggering highs. I must admit to being a little jealous - at the current time the idea of being able to go away and workout as much as you like sounds amazing. I'm fitting classes and the gym and walks around work and it's knackering!
I'm working through '30 Rock' from the very start on DVD. It's timings here in the UK have always been a little odd, so it's been great following it through and catching all the episodes I missed first time round!

What have you been up to lately?

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Project Life Tuesday

So I am enjoying doing Project Life and taking snapshots...I'm linking up with Jessica's Project Life Tuesdays.

January 1st - January 7th

Saturday, January 1st

Matthew wasn't well, so I headed out for my first walk of the year on my own. It was a grey, damp, rainy day, but it was lovely to be out in the fresh air! I went to Hampstead Heath and climbed Parliament Hill for the first time. I want to go back next time on a clearer day.

Sunday, January 2nd

Siobhán and I are becoming quite the movie junkies....we went to see 'It's A Wonderful Life' after Christmas, and this is us going to see 'Roman Holiday'. The BFI show all kinds of classics on the big screen - great fun!

Monday, January 3rd

For most of the UK, Bank Holiday Monday was a time of rest. For me, it was a time of admin. The lovely Matthew was very sweet and kept me stocked with tea and cuddles as I wrote many, many schemes of work and timetables!

Tuesday, January 4th

This manic grin is what happens when you go all the way into work a day early, and realise you can't work because someone else is using your classroom. Cue an impromptu 'Gilmore Girls' and 'Dawson's Creek' fest! I *heart* our sofa.

Wednesday, January 5th

As I traveled into school I passed this Christmas tree removal spot. By the time I walked back at 7, it was five times as large. The end of Christmas always makes me a little sad....but also makes me want to start planning for next year!

Thursday, January 6th

The first day back to school...and the day the decorations came down! Matthew was a darling and did about 90% of the work. This is Dave getting packed away.

Friday, January 7th

Most of my Friday was spent right here, at my desk. The going back to school is always a shock to the system. Never more so than on days like this when I wake up at 7.50 am.

My class arrive at 8.

So that's my first week. It's been a learning curve - I need to have my camera with me at all times, and I know I need more pictures of people! I'm enjoying it though, and will enjoy having the book to look back on in years to come - it should be a real snapshot of a particular time in my life.

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Sunday, January 09, 2011

A quote for a Sunday morning

Found here.

Made me smile. And think.

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Thursday, January 06, 2011

That back-to-school feeling....

As I write this it is the night before the first day of the spring term. I've been in school for most of today planning, organising and having meetings, and tomorrow the badgers return...

I am quite looking forward to it!

Christmas break has been wonderful, exactly what I needed - relaxed and fun and filled with happy times, but now I know it's time to get back to school and get things done. This part of the year is one of my favourites - we all know each other, I "get" each boy in my class and they understand my quirky ways, so we can just get on with the very busy business of learning. And having a fine old time, of course!

So wish me luck and stay tuned, lovelies. By the time this posts tomorrow the gang and I will be sat in assembly, and the crazy rollercoaster will start off again!

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PS Realised something cool today (I always do doodles and calculations in meetings when I feel my attention waning - helps me to focus!) - 38 days till Matthew and I go on holibobs! Yay!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Swans on the swimming lake at Hampstead Heath. I am a little scared of swans and that water is icy, but come summer I'd love to try swimming in the ponds! Who's with me? ;)

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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Project Life Tuesday: January 4th

All last year I have thoroughly enjoyed reading through the lovely Jessica's 'Project Life' posts.

Project Life is a really cool scrapbooking idea cooked up by a lady called Becky Higgins. It has elements of project 365 in that you take a picture each day, and then you scrapbook it, either manually or digitally. In 2011 I have signed up to do the digital scrapbooking and am enjoying it so far - it's fun to learn a new skill, it's making me take more photos (one of my new year's ambitions! ;)), and at the end of the year I will be mailed a beautiful book, full of memories of 2011. I love this idea.

Every Tuesday Jessica hosts a blog hop called Project Life Tuesday, where people doing project life can share their work as they go. As often as I can I'll be joining in, to give you all a glimpse into my silly little life. :)

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Saturday, January 01, 2011

New Year's Ambitions....

Welcome to 2011!

Yep, it's that time of year again, when resolutions or ambitions are made. For the whole of my thirties I've now set up a 43 things list, following on from the list project I started here in 2007. But my main goals for this year are:

1. Appreciate more; look for the joy in things. I've always been quite good at this, but for some reason I felt a little ground down during 2010. I want to get this back. A very cool blogger called Sarah did a very cool project back in December called #100joys, where she documented the many joys her life is filled with - I'll be doing lots of updates like this throughout the year.

2. Sleep more. I need to get 7 to 8 hours a night to be healthy, to feel right, and to lose weight. I need to make this a priority. Plus, sleep is awesome.

3. Explore my local area. I live in such a nice spot, but sometimes I'm too tired to go out. I need to change this.

4. Let go of things.

5. Be less afraid.

6. Watch more movies (this year my lovefilm subscription shall earn its keep!), read more books (the Kindle is already helping with this), take more pictures (I've signed up to do Project Life, which should help with this), write more posts (I'm going to aim for 5 or more a week).

7. Lose 25 pounds.

8. Work on my homemaking skills.

9. Learn Latin.

10. Spend more time on people.

So those are the ambitions - how about you? Do you make ambitions or resolutions? Are you looking forward to anything special in 2011? I'll be keeping an eye on these ambitions and my 43things too and letting you know how I get on!

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