Monday, 30 April 2012


Firstly, least said about the Whole School Evaluation, the better. The Inspectors were really horrid and it was even worse than everyone anticipated.

Secondly, oddly enough, I still have a job...

Thirdly, Youngest turned seventeen on Thursday- how unutterably scary is that??
And to celebrate? She and a bunch of her friends went down to the archery range after school on Friday and had a great time, followed by watching 'The Avengers' in the cinema.
Whatever blows their hair back, I guess!!

Fourthly, I've decided to learn French-style cooking, sorta. It was Mom's birthday on Saturday and Dad took her to dinner at the French Restaurant in town, accompanied by Punch and Judy here, of course.(..who in their right mind turns down French Cuisine?) The food was just so good, and we got up from the table feeling sated not stuffed, PLUS it didn't make me ill, so how great is that?

So, French Cooking....since garlic is the only thing growing successfully in the veg patch!!!!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Saturday, 14 April 2012

INVASION of the Teenage Campers!!

Just when I think I've survived the Easter holidays intact, and all that's left to do is to play the organ on Sunday morning before returning to school and starting a new INVASION arrives...
Nine teenagers, friends of Youngest, all set to camp in the garden...night frost, hailstones, rain and wind notwithstanding!

Mad! I tell you! Mad altogether!

They pitched tents (four in total), collected their own kindling from along the bottom lane, had a chat and fed carrots to Mary Horse, chopped logs, lit the fire AND kept it going despite the wind, cooked out (baked beans and skewers- chicken and vegetable) (having prepared the vegetable skewers first at the kitchen table, and wasn't that a laugh!), went for a torch hike, froze, talked for IrelandEnglandScotlandandWales, did some stargazing (someone brought a telescope), retired inside to watch a video and warm up, retired to their tents, and were up at dawn for another hike before landing in the kitchen like a bunch of zombies to cook a massive breakfast which went on for nearly four hours!

I have to admit I get such a kick out of them all, from their attitudes to tent pitching (lying on the grass watching everyone else and offering advice) to trying to keep the fire alight (have you anything else ready to burn?), as well as the snippets of conversations overheard!
...and another thing? Under the direction of Youngest they left the place as neat as a group of teenagers could! Mattresses and bedding all returned upstars, kitchen and garden clean and tidy. MEGA-impressed!

Gotta love teenagers...sometimes!!

And now we are down to the last day before school and the dreaded WSE. Aaaargh!
Oh well, this too will pass...

Friday, 13 April 2012

Blue-Work Tea Cosy

I was reading a new Quiltmania magazine which a friend kindly brought back for me from London, and found something which truly tickled my fancy: in French, the name for a 'tea-cosy' is 'cache-théieres', which translated means 'hide-tea-pot'!! Isn't that brill? I love translations which come out slightly off kilter...for instance, in Kiswahili, the phrase 'trying to get blood from a stone' translates along the lines of 'making the stone live'!
Anyhow, I've been working on making a birthday present for a friend and decided to try out one with blue-work panels which I've been working on in my head recently. (does blue-work have a hyphen, no hyphen, or all one word?)

These are the four panels, designed by moi-meme:
Here's the quilted cosy front, back and wadding (re-cycled fleece edging from a previous quilt):

And the finished cosy:

Apart from the fleece making the cosy too stiff, I'm quite pleased with the way it turned out. Its actually blue fabric too, the unused belt off an old skirt- you'd be amazed how much fabric a belt yields when you unpick the seams!!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Chop and Change

Its been a while since any of you have seen my sewing space in the Hallway, partly because it was so piled up it was invisible under all the junk, and partly because my camera broke back in November...uh well, Dad's camera to be exact. I'm trying to use my phone camera but I don't seem to be able to take ordinary colour photos. Oh well.

 Anyhow, I cleared away some 'stuff' and got Youngest to help me shunt the table around to under the shelves. The main thing I love about the Hallway is how the huge window merges the indoors and outdoors, so I try to avoid having clutter along the window, easier said than done!
However, whilst I was clearing and tidying I opened the skylight to air the Hall, and then, whilst Youngest and I were in the middle of moving the table, with me wedged in the corner and Youngest balancing the tablelegs over a hole in the floor (yes, really), the heavens opened with a deluge of hailstones pouring and bouncing over the Hall floor! Eldest tried to close the skylight but her hands were bad so she just got covered in hail stones too!

Talk about a Mr. Bean moment! Or do I mean Monty Python?

Anyhow, eventually we got it sorted out and now I once again have a good working space!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Quite Quackers

We've had a good bit of rain recently, including a sudden deluge yesterday just before I had to leave the house. Not so surprising in Ireland...its how we stay green, right?

I delivered Youngest to town and was returning home on our usual country road, dodging surface water, puddles, floods, and oncoming vehicles doing similar...when I came around a corner to find THREE DUCKS merrily swimming in a large puddle in the MIDDLE of the road!!

Quite Quackers!

PS. We didn't have duck for dinner, no oranges!
Just joking! I swerved and avoided them, not that they paid me any heed...

Monday, 2 April 2012

Where Have I Been??

Firstly- does anyone know whether its ok to clean the laptop screen with windscreen washer?
Because I just did and now I'm waiting for it to go kaboom or kersploj or whatever screens do when they are really, really annoyed...

Where have I been?

At school, and excessively, manically, completely and frantically busy. Did I mention at the start of March we were informed by the Department of Education that we'd be having a Whole School Inspection in April?
Cue for panic- and extreme indignation all round.

Temporary accommodation ie. prefabs?
Half the contents of each classroom either in storage or in boxes?
Rooms too small to accommodate the usual wide range of class activities?
No display or pin-boards?
No communal meeting area?
Constant statistical problems with lights, water, sewage, leaks, heavy doors, wrong loos, yadda yadda?
All community access to school on hold for 18 months?

Answer 'yes' to all the above and more. The Report from the Inspection will be online for anyone to read for the next ten years or so, and there is no way we will come up shining with all those restrictions. No quarter given from the Inspectors, right pair of bags they are too- we met them.

Not that it has much to do with the Office Witch here, but its the principle of the thing; when you know the staff are good, committed, hardworking teachers and you know the Principal runs a tight ship, and you know that the Report wont do them all justice, well, its enough to make the blood boil so it is.

Term finished on Friday but I went in to the Office today to finish up stuff I hadn't got done, and there were three teachers in working. Wednesday I said I'd be in the Office in case there is anything they can let me do to speed up their own work, and judging from various texts I've received, all the teachers will be there.

Easter Holidays howarya!
Golly to goodness, her sisters have helped Eldest upstairs to get ready together to go the heck do we get her back down again? Piggy back? Don't watch this space, and Please put your fingers in your ears...


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