Monday, 30 November 2009

Monday noises...

This morning I was teaching at 10.40 so walked out the door at 10.20 to drive to school, a 15 minute drive and five minutes to spare. Hmmm.
Problem No. 1: my car was iced up including the windscreen. Deal with that. Drive down lane to main road, come round last bend....
Problem No. 2: a low loader was blocking the lane whilst decanting a caterpillar. All the time in the world they had! Talk about 'no hurry in Africa', there wasn't much hurry in Leitrim either! I suppose the wonder of it was that I was only five minutes late.
In school some of the little people insisted on making odd squeaky noises instead of singing, the same happened after break with 4th class, and now B is emptying the dishwasher with a whole series of squeaks, quacks, squeaky quacking and quacky squeaking. Did I miss something? Is today the Official Funny Noise Monday? Or would it be the effect I have on children....?

Did I mention that the school keyboard plug went up in smoke (literally) last week, so we are now dependant on pianos? As a result I have to keep asking teachers if I can use their room whilst they move their class to another piano-less one. Luckily there are three pianos between eight classes but its getting a bit embarrassing. A new keyboard adaptor plug must be bought!

After school I went over to the folks to catch up on their weekend news. Dad was delighted to have been at the Rugby to see Ireland beat the Springboks! He said if it had been less misty he and bro would have seen more! Mum and the sister went house-hunting in Dublin but it wasn't very successful. They seem to have had a good weekend together, and at least the folks travelled on the train which was running on time, unlike the buses.

Tomorrow my Fiat Punto has its NCT to see whether it is roadworthy for another two years. I have my doubts whether it will pass straight off...there could be a lot of bad words...please cover your ears at about 9.30am tomorrow?

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Advent 2009 Begins

Today is the first Sunday in Advent, the beginning of the new Church Year and a time of anticipation. Our Minister takes Advent each year as a time to assess where we are- to look back at what we have achieved in the year gone by, look forward to what we need to do to improve anything for the future, and to give thanks for where we are right now. We have mid-week Services in different Churches around the Parish which are lovely calm times in the presence of our God and separate to the hurly-burly which the World calls Christmas. For me, in Advent the Church buildings become once more, a haven of tranquil contemplation.

Having an Advent Wreath in Church is not traditional for us, but it helps to think about what it symbolises so each Sunday in Advent two children light another of the candles. Last year one of them almost set the Dean's surplice alight but luckily he can move fast! (all those years of playing rugby I should think!)

The First Candle symbolises Hope, the Hope we have in Christ as well as the Hope the Prophets had in their prophecies of the Messiah.

Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the LORD rises upon you
and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
Isaiah Ch 60 v 1-3

Just as a footnote, this is our traditional way of counting off the days in Advent.

Much as we enjoy Advent Calendars, gift boxes and wreaths, this is the way we do it, usually lighting the candle at supper time when we are all sitting at the table. When the candle burns down to the pin it begins to tilt and it is blown out for another day. To me nothing beats the excitement of watching the candle burn down to the pin!

When you sit watching a candle you can see why the Church used to pagan symbolism of a Lamp for the birth of Jesus, Light of the World. You can also see why so many faiths have Celebrations of Light, Diwali I know from East Africa, but Light in all its symbolism is important to everyone.

I wish the Hope of Advent to you all this week.

In Timeless Treasures I am putting up a Jesse Tree. Please visit?

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Saturday Sisters

What do you do when your sister comes for the weekend?

You make 'yeti foot shaped' pancakes (I quote!) while arguing non-stop and singing all the Disney songs you know!

That is Dilly and B's idea of a good morning!

The last few days I've been working on a doll for a little girl. Its my 'Poppy' pattern, I was going to use the 'Penny' pattern but was afraid the doll would turn out longer than the little girl!

I have so enjoyed doing it- there is a vast difference between making a doll for someone in particular and just making one in the hopes someone will like it. I didn't realise it would make a difference to me as I made her. I don't name my dolls though, that should be the prerogative of the receiver I think. Anyhow, its been very enjoyable and now I have to hide and post her before B steals her! Sos just phoned to say she is on the bus home. Due to the flooding buses are running late with a lot of de-tours, so there's no knowing when she will arrive. Looks like she won't see Dilly after all, which is a shame. She is also missing a post-pancake game of 'Risk'-world domination...perhaps that's a good thing?

On television last night was the 'Late Late Toy Show' which is one of the highlights of National TV here, and gives rise to endless discussion. It is meant to be an advertising gimmick but of course this is Ireland so it is seen as entertainment and a source of hilarity. As they cook, the girls are going over the highlights and having a great time! The Irish 'gift of the gab' is alive and well and in my kitchen...

Friday, 27 November 2009

Here and There

This morning I was in school working with the little people- I forget how wriggly they are, and how short their attention span. Still it was useful, and fun to hear how their songs are coming along. Dilly has come home from Dublin for two nights which is lovely. B has a rotten cold after being out late last night singing in a public Concert with the School Choir, and Sos has gone to Dublin for the night with friends to see one of the Ibsen plays she is studying. My folks are in Dublin as Dad is going to the Rugby International with my bro, who is visiting from London for two nights and staying with a sister, unless they fall out! It sounds like one of those long-winded jokes where everyone ends up somewhere else!

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Thankful Thursday

Firstly Happy Thanksgiving to those who are celebrating today! I know it means a lot to many people so I hope its a good day for yez all!

I wondered about skipping the Thankfuls this week as its been difficult and I didn't think I could come up with anything much or honestly mean it, and if I can't be nice I prefer to be silent. But I thought hard and I have managed to come up with five Thankfuls, and, what's more, I feel the better for it. I guess Sonja knew she was doing what God wanted when she started this!

1. I'm thankful for friends who encourage. This week especially, its been you bloggifriends who have helped keep me going. Thank you so much!

2. Thankful that Sos did the washing up last night- since starting College she seems to think chores are for other people so this was major!
3. Thankful for a dry-ish sunny-ish day today- I'd almost forgotton what the hills look like...
4. Thankful for the beauty of the countryside in Winter. It's bleak, but the colours are so beautiful, also the shapes of the trees when there are no leaves.
5. Thankful that we have a freezer and that there is food in it for the evenings I'm too tired or despondant to cook a proper meal. We are lucky to have food stored, many many people don't have that luxury I know.
Is she ever right!

Wednesday, 25 November 2009


Do clocks fly? Or is it just time that flies?
Yesterday I went with the folks to Enniskillen to do the main grocery shop for Christmas. It's better to get it in now before places are too crowded. B and Sos came for an outing and we all had a very productive day with everything being achieved. Quite a feat, I'd say! (All Civil Servants in the Republic were on strike yesterday so no School or College.)

The drive was interesting as the various lakes are so full. In Enniskillen town they had lined one road with sandbags and were pumping the water out so that it was drivable- interesting to watch.

I got some thread and the dinkiest angel! Today I taught Music until lunchtime, combining several classes at a time. One song with disastrous timing was sorted with the help of the oldest class, and for the rest we were working on accurate entrances and melding the different voices together into a unified sound. It was difficult and required intense listening to themselves but the children worked very hard and very successfully, although by 12.30 we all felt like limp rags!

The temperature dropped considerably throughout the day and this evening the wind is cutting. We've had sun, rain, hail, strong winds and more hail. I sound like my sister who is on a trip to Antarctica, and sent a postcard from the Falkland Islands giving us a weather update! Is it perhaps an Irish characteristic to be obsessed with the weather?

Monday, 23 November 2009 planned?

Well so far today has not gone as planned.

At breakfast B decided she was unwell and wouldn't go to school. I decided she was swinging it and that she would. Into the car and by the time we got to the school gate she was crying and in such a state I took her to Mum's to calm down. So she stayed in bed there whilst I went into school for Music, then I collected her afterwards and brought her home. Seven years of dragging one or other reluctant, sometimes fighting, girls to school. I am so tired of it. Had I the choice over I'd definitely go for home-schooling, my children just do not fit in the system. Another three years to go, not counting the next six and a half months. My Mom says not to wish my life away- I'm not, I'm wishing away the school morning fights.

So no shopping: B still needs new school shoes (hers disintegrated in the wet),
no cereal for breakfast (toast again I guess),
no doll stuffing trip to Cliffoney,
nothing to eat either due to a stomach knotted with anxiety over B.

Sure isn't Motherhood great?!

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Who is on the Lord's side?

This morning our Minister spoke about the Kingship of Jesus and our place in the Kingdom. We were missing a number of the congregation as 'Sligo Rovers' were due to play in the FAI Cup Final this afternoon and they had gone to Dublin. The Dean observed that no one is slow to announce their affiliation to sports teams, but do we stand up and yell our support for the Jesus Players? His tag line for this week was- 'Stand up and be counted!' Will we? Can we?

In the words of the old hymn: (one of my favourites)
Who is on the Lord's side?
Who will serve the King?
Who will be His helpers,
Other lives to bring?

Which follows on from some articles I was reading yesterday about being oneself rather than a faint imitation of someone else, finding one's own voice and style, in the words of Shakespeare-
'This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.'
Good advice past, present and future, but not so easy to stick to. I'm trying to find my own style of crafting, and I know I struggle with a 'voice' when I write. Still, something to work on!
This afternoon I found a website to design Banners, so I've been having great fun both on my two blogs and my Etsy shop- have a look! Its a bit like instant jigsaws!

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Old Idea, New Item!

I thought this would amuse some of you-
Its from Christmas '63/'64 (if I've counted the Roman numerals correctly!) and it gets hauled out every Christmas since I was a teenager and began making people's presents! It's older than me, and probably more useful!!!
I spent yesterday afternoon working on these felt gingerbread houses.
It took some rummaging in shoe boxes to find what I think are the right embellishments, and I don't know whether to add more buttons or rick-rack, but the one on the left is as finished as I can do for the moment.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Vintage? Old? Passed down?

This is the front page of 'The Irish Times' today, taken in Galway. Many places in Galway, Clare, the Lee Valley, Cork, Kerry, Longford, Mayo and Leitrim are flooded with numerous people put out of their homes, houses under water, roads closed, hospitals and homes for the elderly under threat of flooding and folks cut off.
Meanwhile 'Concern' and other charities have appeals out for drought victims in Kenya, parts of Australia are suffering their worst drought in a long time,and a great number of places would love some of our rainfall. Things really are topsy turvy and people at both ends of the spectrum need our support.

Yesterday when visiting Ulla's 'Vintage Thursday' I was most entertained to see her dressmaking patterns...which are much the same as the ones of Mum's I'm still using, not just for myself but also my teenage girls! Which made me think, and take a look at the tools I use every day, and the one item which I immediately noticed was my crochet hook.
Just a crochet hook, yes? Well for a start it is made of bone or ivory, and secondly it belonged to my Great-Grandmother who was married in 1903 in her thirties, and already a great knitter by then. Mum thinks she crocheted edgings onto her knitted garments and shawls, of which Mum still has several. I learned to crochet using this hook and it is only recently that I've acquired some other hooks in different sizes. This hook has travelled all over the world with me since I was a child, crochet being such a portable craft!
Although I treasure the hook for its associations it is just one of my tools. Now I've just finished a set of ornaments for the Christmas tree, made using my old crochet hook and about to post them on Etsy. New decorations made from an old tool- I love tradition!
Here's the workshop!
Have a dry day folks, and spare a thought for those enduring both too much water, and too little.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Thankful Thursday!

Yup! You got it! Its Thursday again! And without further ado I wish to present today's Thankful Five!

1. Thankful for Craft Shops- that sounds awfully acquisition-is-ish but really they are full of ideas too. I spent ages in the craft shop this morning and the ideas were pouring in think and fast!

2. Thankful I have two good hands! I can sew, knit, quilt, crochet, play the piano and a lot else. I am so thankful for my hands.

3. You can laugh at this one if you like- but I'm thankful for buttons! I love buttons, ever since I was tiddly, looking, arranging, cutting off old clothes, sewing them onto things, the button display in craft shops, big ones, small ones, shell, wood, plastic, funny shapes.....I LOVE buttons!

4. This is an odd one too- I'm thankful for the National Geographic Magazines which have been landing on my mat every month since January 1985! Through them I travel to fascinating places, meet great people, learn about this great planet we live on, gasp, sigh, gaze, admire. And over the years I have used them to teach from in schools too. To me these magazines constantly remind me of the diversity and bounty of this world- who could ever become blase about that? In fact, and you can gasp at my daftness for this if you like!, when we returned from living in East Africa I couldn't bear to part from my Nat Geogs and packed up all 15 years worth to bring home! They are muddy, torn, battered, students have written in them and traced from them...I look at back issues and I remember taking this one on safari to Lake Magadi, that one to the Coast, this one into class to amaze my students. I so enjoy these magazines.
5. I am thankful for my dog-people. They're not pedigree or beautiful or well-trained, but they love me unconditionally and on my worst days they are there for me when everyone else fails. They very often literally hold me together, and yes, they are completely mad in the head- like everyone else in this household!

So there you are- this week's Thankfuls.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Out of Context

I saw this picture on eBay-isn't it hilarious?
This morning in School was good. The children are enjoying preparing the Christmas Music and classes almost sing themselves. This is the good time, when they are excited, and before they become too tired. The weather continues to be terrible so music and art projects are particularly popular just now.
Earlier in class one of the children asked a question and another teacher looked at him as though he had two heads. It made me think about things said during Class and how, taken out of context, some comments appear really bizarre. Here are a few examples:
Will we breathe?
Who is counting?
Will we start at the beginning?
I've lost my volume control!
Somebody ate my sheet!
Sorry but we forgot to stop.
I think I swallowed my word endings.
Do we need our pencils to sing?
(this last is my favourite, I forget what its called grammatically, but it arose from me not allowing them to write on their music sheets in Biro!)

Aren't they great? Sometimes School is such a tonic!

By the way, I just noticed that this is my 100th post! If I'd noticed earlier I might have had a celebration. I'll think of something for another significant number!

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Creativity...or messivity?

Yesterday evening I noticed the light changing so I rushed out with the camera and was just in time for the sunset!

Now a multiple choice question:- if you walked into a kitchen which looked like this would you-
a) exclaim 'Wow! What a creative person you are today!'
b) shriek 'Goodness! Was there an accident?'
c) ask politely 'Are you moving house?'
d) remark sarcastically 'I guess we're eating off our knees tonight.'
e) turn right around and walk out with the comment 'I'll come back when you've tidied up.'
'a' would be the correct response. Thank you very much all of you who answered correctly!
(Actually, if you want the truth, when I stopped for a minute yesterday evening and saw the mess I'd created, even I was a bit shocked...)

Monday, 16 November 2009

Singing in the Rain?

In School this morning it really was a bit like this! Four classes of children had to be moved into the General Purpose Room for an hour of Singing but there were two problems:
1. the School Inspector was in the Junior Infant room and
2. it was lashing rain!

The school was built in the '70's with five rooms linked together in a circle, and the six newer classrooms are in a separate line of single prefabs. One class had to hurry from a prefab, and the other three had to take the long way round inside, avoiding the JI room- all 112 children carrying chairs as the floor is tiled in the GP room! It was quite funny actually, and apart from the Inspector everyone is used to working with weather restrictions. At least only one room is leaking rain at present...Don'cha love Schools? and Ministers for Education?

Now I'm home with the stove lit and about to start working on some more decorations! Yummee!

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Curiosity killed the...whoops!

As I was saying, why is it always cats which are bumped off by curiosity? I'm sure Ben-dog sticks his nose into just as many things so why is there no proverb for him?
Look! The packet I won at Paulette's place arrived in Friday's post! Isn't it lovely? The red braid is about to go on some little Christmas decorations I'm making, and the pattern is wriggling about trying to get out of the bag and be stitched....or is that me wriggling....? Thank you so much Paulette!
This afternoon the Hub spent an hour moving the computer from the Ice Box (sorry, spare room) to the kitchen so that I can carry on blogging now the cold weather has hit. We only heat the girls' bedrooms evenings, and the sitting room fire stove has to heat the sitting room and kitchen, so spending time on the computer was inviting frost-bite! So a big round of applause to a helpful Hub!
These are some new tree decorations I designed and made last week; I put buttons on opposite corners so one could string them together as a banner or hanging either. I'm about to post them on eBay before the girls swipe them for their friends! I love 'Redwork' and especially at Christmas.This morning in Church we had a visiting Male Voice Choir from the Dublin area who sang four pieces as part of our Service, including the 'Our Father'. It was just wonderful to have that Music this morning. And due to their volume I was able to use the Cornucopean Pipe on the organ in the final hymn, which made the rafters of our old Church reverberate! Isn't good Music amazing?

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Thankful Thursday!

Its been an up and down sort of week, in my head mostly! But here are this week's five 'Thankfuls'!

1. Thankful I won a prize on Paulette's Draw last week- its SO exciting as I seldom win anything! I won No. 4!!!! A packet from Canada!!

2. Thankful for friends who are prepared for my 'good' days for lunch and company, and understand that much of the time I have trouble going out. Lunch on Tuesday was great fun!

3. Thankful the Rayburn man came to service our stove so heating, cooking and hot water will continue over the winter!

4. You can laugh at this one as its really obvious; but every morning I am thankful for a hot shower, and even more so now the weather has turned cold! Bliss!

5. And this one might be a bit odd but...Thankful for cartoon artists and their quirky take on life. Every one has different humour but there is probably a cartoon for everyone out there, and we need all the humour we can get! The friend I was at lunch with on Tuesday showed me her newly 'decorated' downstairs loo- a whole wall covered in cutouts of all the cartoons and funny cards she could find! What FUN!

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Busy Tuesday

This was the sunrise from the kitchen window yesterday morning- it went pink in between, but I wasn't quick enough with the camera!

On Sunday evening I finished a small quilt top using scraps from 'the trunk that time forgot'! The yellow border is new fabric but everything else is from the trunk. I think it turned out surprisingly alright considering the dodgy taste of fabric! Now I'm looking for a piece of backing, but firstly had to tidy the hall as my store cupboard was blocked with Dilly's theater props! So yesterday, instead of tidying, I made this little hanging, or mat, from some scraps I also found in 'the trunk that time forgot' ('ttttf').
Now I have sorted the hall but started crocheting Christmas tree decorations! Talk about scatty! I managed to knock over the clivea pot and a geranium yesterday whilst tidying the hall and there was soil and petals all over the floor. Panic of hoovering and clearing before the Hub got home and saw the mess. He doesn't like mess- I think if he'd known me better he likely would never have married me, as I am VERY untidy...
The folks returned safely from their week in Tenerife, last night. They said it was 28 degrees there on Sunday, and they returned to 7 degrees here. Its continued so wet here that I am beginning to feel like Fungus the Bogeyman, with mould growing between my toes!
I stopped to put petrol in the car on the way back from town after the school run this morning. The tank holds 45 litres...I put in 44.12...does 'a wing and a prayer' spring to mind here?

At 11o'c the man is coming to service the Rayburn. Its two months overdue because of B needing two new pairs of glasses back in September, which was of more importance at the time. But now the cold is settling, and since the Rayburn runs our heating, winter hot water and cooking it's a bit essential that it is in full working order.
And then at 12.30 I turn into a Lady Who Lunches and am heading off to eat with a friend. She's tagging lambs this the wet...I'm making bread so I can take her a hot loaf as I think she'll need it after that!
Phone call from the Rayburn man- he took the wrong turn and was temporarily lost...oh the joys of the lanes of western Ireland!

Friday, 6 November 2009

Bits and Bobs!

I thought you would like to see yesterday's rainbow? It was lovely, and if you knew the amount of rain we've had this week you'd be thankful for God's promise not to flood the earth again too!
The Hub lit the stove yesterday morning so the house was lovely and warm when I returned from school. The singing went fine, it was the first session this term with all four senior classes- 112 children. Its always exciting for them and me when we start getting eveyone together and yesterday was no exception.
D'you remember the children's cartoon 'The Land that Time Forgot'? I think it was about dinosaurs though I never actually saw it since we didn't have TV in East Africa; well this is some fabric from 'The Trunk that Time Forgot'!
Some of it is truly awful, and its only '80's fabric, not even '70's! And to think I just loved the garments which Mom made me, AND thought I was the bee's knees - the orange check was a dress with flared skirt, blue striped flannel was pyjamas, blue flowery was harem pants (~+>#<~+!), tie dye was a duvet cover I believe, muzzy brown a circular skirt, and those fluorescent jobs were shorts...and in case you are very charitably thinking 'well I'm sure she had a smaller bum back then', its very kind of you but you're WRONG! I've always had an outsize backside and likely to continue so!
Have you noticed that the Christmas Charity and Donations ad.s have begun on TV? Last night we were watching one about sponsoring a dog so I asked Ben and Bertie what they thought? Ben-dog said that he wasn't interested unless it was a sponsored Stone Throwing contest, honestly! Talk about disinterest!
I had to watch it twice and I laughed until I cried!
Yesterday in the Staffroom I was successfully wound up two new members of staff- I wonder whether the Principal includes it in the fine print of their contract because very rarely does anyone stop me, and frequently they join in! One teacher commented that I was drinking water and I insisted it was vodka until she began to wonder and someone else had to soothe her!
The the new Learning Support teacher (who happens to be Canadian) was asking how the Swimming Sessions worked because today will be the first one. The Principal told him he would be expected to go with the children and I could see he thought the Principal meant 'go swimming' as opposed to 'go supervise'. I'm sorry to say I leaped into the breach and told him he'd need his wet-suit rather than togs because they didn't go swimming in the Sports Complex any more but out at Rosses Point. The beach? sez he. Oh no, sez I, the pool, haven't you seen it, there's an old tidal swimming pool which is used. Another teacher added that due to the Recession, parents decided to cut the swimming costs.
Well we had the poor guy fairly going, not knowing what to think, before the Principal burst out laughing and gave away the game!
Yeah! yeah! I know! But he's a good sport- and five minutes later I heard another teacher telling him that this awful weather was all coming from Canada! Anyone coming to teach would need to be well able for us! And most are, luckily!

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Thankful Thursday back again!

'In all things give thanks.'

Here's a funny to start: Last night I was seasoning the soup for supper when the top flew off the jar of chillies. There wasn't much I could do so I added a few more potatoes and hoped for the best...served family had their heads blown off! Aaagh! We are still in orbit, and that's from one spoonful each!
So if you hear tell of a nuclear incident in the west of Ireland it was just me making supper!

And now for this week's thankfuls- I've struggled a bit to find five since the week has come hard to me:

1. Thankful there's been no damage to the house after two storms this week. At the weekend the winds were blowing gale force ten apparently.

2. Thankful the school children are excited about starting the Nativity songs. They are so 'into' it they have organised their music themselves and are even excited about learning song-words for homework! Miracles do happen!

3. Thankful for a weather-proof, warm and comfortable house to live in. It hasn't always been so for us so we are all so thankful for the comfort.

4. Thankful for several bids on the eBay items I've made. That may sound silly but it matters to me.

5. Thankful for the fun yesterday with the Music classes I taught, the children are really keeping me going at the moment. One of the songs has a high-ish note some of the older boys were struggling with yesterday so one of them suggested that breathing helium might help! Another classroom became really stuffy so I opened a window, to see three seagulls on the rail of the bridge outside watching us. The children thought that was really funny, and even funnier when four more seagulls arrived, so they sang the whole song to the seagulls! A whole new meaning to 'for the birds'?

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Alas Poor Kettle, Gale Forecast and an Ace Idea!

It's very sad, our electric kettle gave up the ghost two days ago. Its been a good and faithful friend for the last three years, and if you only knew how much tea I drink you'd be sending it 'rest in peace' cards!

Yesterday I pulled out the scrap trunk from under my bed with an idea to making a few scrap quilts, but I got sidelined with trying out a patchwork drawstring laundry bag instead. I'll show you when its done as at present I'm trying to figure how to make a circular base which fits the tube I've assembled- Maths was NEVER my strong point, as my Dad will despairingly attest (he had to coach me through all my school Maths classes!)
I also thought I'd try out the triangular ruler I got last Thursday. As you can see the line is a bit wonky, but I'm on the third one now and its significantly straighter!
And then I had this GREAT IDEA! Someone brought a box of chocolates for B's party and I was looking at the cover and illustrations and I thought- hows about a Chocolate Box Quilt? I expect it's been done before, I'm not looking to be original here, just fun. Look at these illustrations, they could be individual squares...
...this could be squirly border applique...
...and here is the layout for the squares and patches within the quilt itself!
Of course, making it will be another story!
This evening there is a gale warning out and certainly the wind is pretty ferocious. Something is rattling around outside and I'm getting up the courage to investigate. Last weekend we had winds up to gale force ten, and its at least seven at present I'd say, and you get to be a fairly accurate judge of wind speed if you live any time in the West .
Better hold our hats on tonight, but at least we still have electricity!

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Sunny Spells and Scattered Showers

Some eejit left her car window open last night, during which it lashed with rain. The fields are flooded this morning and I have a mobile swimming pool- anyone who fancies doing a few laps before lunch is welcome to come on over before I begin bailing it out! Slight exaggeration, but I've a very wet bum!

As usual I've managed to get the photos in reverse order- the flooded field was meant to be first, then the tree against the sky and then the amazing sky-scape after the next paragraph: oh well!
There's long been a joke in Ireland that when the RTE News and Weather people aren't sure what to forecast they just say 'There'll be sunny spells and scattered showers.' However the joke is frequently on us because its amazing just how many days in the year that forecast describes! Today is one of them, and in between the lashing rain there is beautiful sparkly sunshine.
Mary Black sang a song called 'Sunny Spells and Scattered Showers' though I can't remember who wrote it. Anyhow my sister was at a Concert of Mary Black's in England several years ago and she said that when she sang that song she brought the house down there were so many Irish people in the house!

I was in School this morning doing the photocopying for tomorrow's teaching, and handing round timetables and suchlike- even if everything gets changed around later, I find it's easier to have times and places down on paper first. The Principal was laughing at me with all the bits of paper, including copies of the songs I decided on for the Little People, who are taught by two other teachers.
Yesterday's comments were really kind, and interesting too if you want to look. As a sort of general answer, here's the background to the Music 'thing'!

I trained as a primary school teacher, with Music as my main subject, which in England, is pretty much like doing two degrees simultaneously- one in Education, and one in your main subject. I've taught on and off over the years as a Primary Class teacher, a Secondary school English teacher, and an all-over-the-place Class Music teacher. I have to admit that whatever I've begun as in any school I've always somehow ended up doing quite a lot of Music.

Over the years as my health (mental and physical) has gone down the tube I've had to give up general teaching, but I have clung to the Music. Since there is no provision in this country for part-time or subject teachers within the primary system I now teach Music on a voluntary basis in a local National School. The Principal is a school friend (the retired Principal remembers us both since we were five years old, and occasionally has the heebie-jeebies at what we are doing to her school!) and gives me a fairly free hand with the Music, and BOY! do I enjoy the ensuing chaos! I do chaos really well!!!

So once a week I go in to play the hymn for Assembly and teach the upper classes, and then scattered through the year I work them toward performances. From now until Christmas I'll be teaching two or three mornings a week preparing the children for the Carol Service, and later taking groups to sing at some of the Churches in town. I see it also as an opportunity to make Christianity alive for the children and for singing and Church to be a regular part of their lives. I love it, most of the time, but just now I am wrestling the 'black beast' so it comes harder to get on with my commitments.

Anyhow, there you have it. Photocopies of lists all over the place and working from three Music books. I typed up everything last night so am feeling terribly well organised...don't worry it's temporary!


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