Monday, October 27, 2008


So here I am again. I just read the last bit over and I stopped mid post to go and watch TV. Never came back up that evening and carried on with another full week. The following Thursday evening, it would be October 16th, we got the news that we were having a new style OfSTED inspection. OfSTED is the Office for Standards in Education and is the Government Agency in the UK that inspects Schools. As is now normal we were given about 5 days notice that they were coming in.

They will jus wander into classrooms to observe lessons as the mood takes them. So everyone has to plan detailed lesson plans for every lesson in those two days. I was convinced that they would see me this time as the last time we were inspected nobody came to see me. The GCSE exam results for my calss were not too good last year so I was convinced they would come to see me. 

I had good lessons planned. They went well. The students were attentive. Nobody came near. Not into one lesson on those two days.

It left me feeling really down, despite various people saying, "But it is random" "Not seeing you implies nothing." But I really did feel down when I was not inspected. As is normal with me I got really grouchy about it. I'm really not a very nice person I guess. 

Anyway, the school was declared to be good. Which I could have told you before, but they have to check it out for themselves. But it still feels vaguely that it isn't me who was declared to be good, or even OK. Ho Hum.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

And so we visited Chatsworth again.....

We went to Chatsworth about two or three weeks ago. I think I mentioned in the Blog that we had Moses, our Parish Worker, from Church, for Dinner and we took him to Chatsworth.

They had an exhibition of Sculptures on show, part of a Sotheby's Exhibition, but I didn't have my camera. Moses had his phone and he let me have two or three photos, but I wanted more. So we have been saying that we would return to Chatsworth ever since. However, to do that you have to have a day free, and you had to have decent weather.

The weather forecast on Thursday suggested that the weekend was going to be nice, so we decided to go, as long as the weather stayed nice, on Saturday, because we were both free of commitments on that day.

Saturday dawned grey, iron clad, but the weather forecast suggested that it would be okay. So we decided to go for it. Chatsworth is about an hour's drive away, so we set off at just before 11 am and got there after a very pleasant drive, just before noon. I must admit that, having decided not to shell out for the visit to the House again, I was just a bit amazed to be charged thirteen pounds to go into the gardens, but it was well worth it.

The picture above shows my favourite sculpture. It is not part of the Sothebys exhibition. I assume that it belongs to the Chatsworth estate and for me it shows remarkably good taste. I love it. I call it the Dancing Hare, though I have no idea what it is called.

If you want to have a look at my photographs, you can find them in my online photo- album which is on Picasa. Just follow the link below. It currently features a rather snazzy piece which is supposed to look like Mao Tse Tung (Or is it Zedong nowadays) Jacket, but made out of rusty steel for some reason. I may try to change to picture for another one that works a bit better, but we'll see how we get on first.
Chatsworth on 11th October 2008
I have to admit that I was very taken by some of these artworks, while others left me rather cold. I think my favourite of the Sothebys pieces is the one called "Le Tres Grand Ours", or to put it in English "The Bloody Big Teddy Bear". Now just let me see if I can include a picture of Theodore Bear in this blog at this point. How do we do this....... You know, looking at this I don't think that looks too bad. The thing that you cannot see from these photographs, is the way that these pieces fit their suuroundings so very well. The Big Bear, for example, is the highest up the slope of any of the pieces. So you walk up this quite steep hill and you come out at the top by the side of a mirror pool. You'll see that in some of the photographs. It has a pagoda style building overlooking it. At the right hand end of the mirror pool is a stand of evergreen trees, and the bear is standing right in the middle of them. He looks so very much at home. I must admit that I sent an email to Chatsworth suggesting that they keep Big Ted because he looks perfect in place.

By the way the mad dancing hare is at the opposite end of the mirror pool to Big Ted. I wonder what they get up to at night.

What else did I like. I loved the Horse, but I'm not really sure that my photos of the Horse do him justice because he is bang in the middle of a path running through the wood and it was quite dark there. I did my best. I'm not going to put a picture of Horse in here, you'll have to go to the gallery to see him.

At this point I shall stop and go and watch the results show of Strictly Come Dancing.

So, till I get back to the blog, here is something to be going on with.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Week in View

I don't need to worry about not writing things in here for a week at a time. Unless there is a tool that I have not found, I have no evidence that anyone at all is reading this, aside from D who sends me a regular email, and my dear wife who reads it when she thinks about it. So I can treat this as an entirely private diary that I can write in once a week and be fairly certain that no one else in the world gives a damn.

So this week. Well, the high point has to be going to see Nurse Pippa for my blood test results on Tuesday to discover that everything that can be high is above what it should possibly be. So I was immediately signed up for more blood tests to see what is going wrong. I could have told them that. I am very, very, very obese, grossly fat and slovenly. I am greedy and lazy. So what am I going to do about it.

I AM GOING TO LOSE WEIGHT, THAT's A PROMISE. Well, it's lose weight or die and I have no intention of dying just yet.

Thursday Night should have been a night out with the boys, but some stupid person had chopped through the gas pipe so we had no heat and no food which meant that our meeting was cut down to just 40 minutes and then we all went home. British Gas we love you.

Friday was a training day when we looked at something called the "PEEL" chain. I'm not sure I understand it, and I doubt if it would interest you the none existent reader, so I will ignore it. But it was the first training day for a long time where I really felt that we got something useful out of the training.

I also went to the School Gym after the day ended to be inducted onto the Gym Machines. They are marvellous, better than I expected, really professional machines. So it's just getting up the enthusiasm to start using them after school. Remember, Kevin, you have promised to do something about that vast bulk you call a body, so get going.

On Saturday I spent 2 hours cleaning out the detritus in the old 17th Century Hearse House at Church. What I was cleaning out was mostly bits of rock and dust from the last repointing. Still. I had fun, and I do mean that.

Then we went book shopping at the big Borders Store in Stockport. Between us, the apple of my eye and me spent £80 on books. Got some nice ones. I bought a SciFi book I enjoyed years ago and lost, a new SciFi book that sounded as if it had some mileage and the book I really went for.

Henry Allingham is now 112 years old and is one of the last survivors of World War I. He has written, with help, his autobiography, called The Last of Kitchener's Volunteers. I shall save it for half term as I want to be able to get my head into that book properly.

Today is Sunday, I spent most of the afternoon marking and planning.

Tomorrow Evening is Monday and I must spend most of that evening planning one lesson. Our Executive Head is coming to watch me teach on Wednesday and I must be ready for him.

I shall let you know how I get on. Love for now.

Oh yes, by the way, an old student told me, this week, that lol means Laugh Out Loud. Oh well.

See you all soon, all NONE of you.

Lots of love!