Friday, December 29, 2006

How many brain cells does it actually require to work at a refreshment stand?

I went to the cinema this evening with my dad and brothers. Bluewater was packed and apparently everyone had decided to have dinner at the exact same time as us. Most places said there was a 45 minute wait and as we only had an hour and a half till the film, we struggled to find somewhere that was going to feed us quick enough. We ended up at Carluccio's, which was slightly speedier, but we were still pressed for time so my brother Kolin and I went ahead to get popcorn etc while my dad and my other brother stayed to pay the bill.

So we walked up to the counter and queued for a little while before one of the staff called us over to his till. We walked over and I ordered a large popcorn, a bag of Minstrels and a bag of Starburst (Opal Fruits, Opal Fruits, Opal Fruits!!!!) and I then ordered an apple Tango for my dad. I turned to Kol and asked what he wanted. A Pepsi. So I said, "Okay, and two small Pepsis."

Our server, Olly, looked confused. "Do you still want the apple Tango?"

"Yes, and a Diet Pepsi."

"So that's one small apple Tango, two small Pepsis and a Diet Pepsi?"


"Do you know it would be cheaper to get a regular Pepsi, because that's less than two small Pepsis."

"Well, if it's cheaper...." I waited for a moment as what he actually said sinks in. "Wait, no, we need four drinks."

"Oh," he said. "I thought it was just for the two of you."

Yeah, the two of us were going to eat a whole large bag of popcorn and chase it with two entire bags of sweets. Seriously!

A series of Christmas vignettes

I figured that rather than bore you all with the whole "I did this, and then I did that and then I went there..." rendition of Christmas, I would simply highlight for you the most entertaining segments in a series of amusing anecdotes. This may or may not continue for several days, depending on how much I can actually remember!

The one where we ate the cat:
On Boxing day I ate lunch at my friend Ali's the same as I did on Christmas day. Her brother and his girlfriend were there. In an attempt to steer the conversation away from what may have been an inappropriate topic for dinner conversation (I honestly can't remember what), Ali's mum turned to her and said, "How's the cat?"

She was, of course, referring to Tilly, the cat owned by the people Ali (and I, sort of) was housesitting for. Ali's brother, however, in a moment of incredible quick-wittedness that I can only envy, poked the meat on his plate gingerly with his fork, looked up at us with eyes full of concern and said, "The cat?"

The one with the SPLAT!
Boxing day evening Ali and I got the munchies and headed down to the BP garage to stock up on goodies. We were looking at the selection of crisps and trying to make a decision, factoring in several special offers. "Well," I said, "I like Doritos, but if we get Doritos we have to get dip, and I don't like those Doritos dips. Do you think they'll have fresh ones?"

"I doubt it," was Ali's cynical reply.

Well I headed off over to the chiller cabinet and there they were: a selection of 4 dips in little plastic pots, stacked and then surrounded by a cardboard sleeve. "Aha!" I said to Ali. "They do have fresh dips!" And I picked up the cardboard sleeve and brandished the dips at her.

At which point the bottom pot of dip slid out of the cardboard sleeve and landed with a resounding SPLAT on the floor.

After we had recovered from our hysterical laughter, Ali and I grabbed another pack of dips and ran away to pay for them. Yes, I am the type of person who makes a mess in a shop and then pretends to have had nothing to do with it. I'm a bad person.

The one with the song from Friends:
At my mum's I noticed a funny smell. The cat was winding itself around my legs at the time, but I expressed incredulity at the fact that the cat could stink so bad that I could smell it from there. My mum said its teeth are really bad and she should really take it to the vet, that it should have really had yearly checkups, but it hadn't, and now it had the worst cat breath ever.

Later that evening, I caught a whiff of the cat's halitosis again and commented on it, at which point my brother started singing 'Smelly Cat'. I joined in and we sang the song in its entirety. My mum told us to stop, "You'll give him a complex," she said.

"We can't give him a complex, he really does smell," I said. "You won't take him to the vet, he's clearly not your favourite pet."

"Shut up," my mum said, obviously feeling a bit awkward. "We can't afford to take him to the vet."

I looked around at the shiny new cabinets and the gleaming metal of the stainless steel hob. "Well, obviously," I said, "a new kitchen is far more important than your cat's teeth."

"Kolin," my mum said to my brother. "What would you like for dessert, because Laura's not getting any now."

The one with the reminiscent vomit:
We were talking, for some reason, about my mum's ex-boyfriend and my brother reminisced about the time he threw up all down himself whilst they had been staying at my mum's then-boyfriend's.

"I think it was the first time I smoked puff. I'd been drinking and then all [ex-boyfriend's kids] friends were there offering me this joint, so I was all, what the hell, why not. And then I was sick. A lot."

"You really were," my mum interrupted. "We had to put all your clothes in a plastic bag to take them home because they were so covered in sick."

"Yeah," said my brother. "And I was only 6 years old, mother, what kind of parent are you." He paused for effect and my mum gave him a look. "Not really, I think I was fourteen."

Thursday, December 28, 2006

I'm back....

Well, it's been a hectic few days. but mostly enjoyable nontheless. There is lots and lots to talk about, but I just drove back from my mum's so I'm pretty much feeling like putting my pjs on and sitting in bed reading my new Lemony Snicket books, so you'll have to wait for a more updatey update.

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas and is looking forward to a great new year. I'll be back soon with lots of Christmasy stories to share.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Now 75% less Grinch-like

Well, it seems things are pretty much dead in blog world and I'm guessing they'll stay that way til the 27th. I've come down with a lovely cold, just in time for the festivities. Thank you, immune system.

I've got almost all my presents now. Still don't know what to get for my dad, but I'm not seeing him til late next week so will have a chance to pop in somewhere after the mayhem is over. (At least, after one lot of mayhem is over, because surely another lot of mayhem will commence with the January sales that now seem to start on Boxing Day!)

I'm off to a Christmas Ball tonight, which should be a great evening. Wine and I are still not on speaking terms, so I shall be incredibly sober, though I'm not driving. Then I've got church in the morning and afterwards I'm heading over to my friend's for the festivities to really begin. It all still seems a bit crazy and I can't quite believe that tomorrow is Christmas Eve.

I may post a quick note tomorrow if something especially exciting happens at the ball, but if not, have a merry Christmas everyone and I'll catch up with you all next week.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Broadcast from the department of the obvious:

Four glasses of wine on an almost empty stomach is not a good plan. No matter how many packets of salt and vinegar McCoys you eat after the second glass.

I spent a great evening with my friend Kath (Hi Kath!) but drank faaaaarrrr too much and boy am I feeling it today. I'm not really a big drinker anymore. At most I tend to have a couple of glasses and that's it. Mostly I'm driving, so don't drink. Last night that was not the case.

It's 1pm and I'm still in my dressing gown, still not making any sudden moves because my body can't cope with the vertigo of moving too quickly and the excess of visual input. I can't even remember the last time I had a hangover like this. So much for productivity huh? Alcohol is bad!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Distracted McSidetracked

Yes, that is my new name, you may all address me as such. I am the most unfocussed person in the world today. All I am trying to do is give my flat a bit of a spring (winter) clean and yet I just can't seem to stay on task. I flit from one job to another and then wander back to the computer or TV and think, "I'll just sit down for 5 minutes......."

In fairness my bathroom now looks pretty good (if you ignore the mountain of washing that is clearly multiplying at a cellular level and oh-so-eager to escape the confines of the laundry basket) and I've done a fair bit of washing up and generally moved piles of stuff from one room to another....

Yeah it really is quite pathetic. And now I sit here, the queen of procrastination, writing in my blog and refreshing my Bloglines feeds every few minutes. Right, well I'm off to do more housework, to be a productive member of society.

I might just check Bloglines one last time.....

Friday, December 15, 2006

It's that time again

As you know, I do check my stats from time to time. It's how I discovered my stalkers. Hi stalkers! *waves* Who, by the way, are still reading. And logging in from work. Tut tut. It's understandable really that they'd want to keep coming back, after all, I am just that entertaining.

Anyway, to actually get to the point, I do check my stats, and realised I haven't done a 'Googled' post in a while although I have some classic hits. So, without further ado, on with the show!

the advert were a man is on a chair and then is blown away by alot of hai - I can only assume that this sentence finished with the word hair and that the Google text box wasn't long enough to contain it all. But even then, I have no idea what this is about. Are you sure you didn't dream it?

love squishie - is this some bizarre term of endearment?

apathy, lack of emotion, poor or nonexistant social functioning - ahhh, so someone read my lonely hearts ad! Hehe.

doctor laura nude photos - well, I'm afraid I can't help you with that, and having visited Doctor Laura's website I'm not too sure why you would want nude photos. I can, however, direct you to her talking action figure, with its selection of phrases you can click to listen to. But seriously, check out the scary plastic smile! (And I'm not even talking about the action figure.)

lay back lie back gramma - what is it with people doing searches about my grandmother? Unless they actually meant grammar. In which case I will just quietly pity them. Hehe.

jiggling man boobs - none of those here. Thank the Lord!

making out with joseph gordon levitt -

multiple personality drama queen - hey, someone else who saw my lonely hearts ad! ;)

what's my story morning glory? write it for me - write your own flipping story, lazy arse!

can laura have some lunch please - yes, can she? Which of you miscreants is willing to feed me?

picture of a man farting out lava and near a volcano - can you fart lava? I mean, obviously not as you would die if your bowels were filled with lava. But surely 'fart' implies gas? And yet 'lava' implies liquid. I think a more appropriate word is necessary here.

If I never see another staple it'll be too soon

Today's been good so far. It's only just gone three, there is still room for it to get better. Firstly I just want to say, if you didn't see the video I posted about on Wednesday, you really should. And so I will link it again here because it is seriously funny (well, I think so anyway, and it's all about me don't ya know).

Anyway, I got to school just before nine today, only to discover that the training session (on how to use Adobe Contribute to edit the school website. Joy!) didn't start til ten. Only the head hadn't thought to tell everyone yesterday!

So I spent a good half hour or so pulling staples out of the wall. Fun fun fun. Then we had the training session which actually lasted only an hour, so that was good. My teacher is not very technically minded so I said she could call me anytime to help her out with her class' page.

Afterwards she had to write my report so I pulled more staples out of the wall (OMG the mind-numbing boringness of pulling staples out of the wall. It is boring let me tell you!) until she was done. Then four of us went out for lunch. I left school clutching my final report, a packet of pink wafers and half a box of chocolate chip cake bars - the latter two scrounged from the leftovers of the kids' Christmas parties yesterday - and followed the other two cars down the road. Unfortunately there was a lot of traffic and I lost sight of them not long after we left. I had a vague idea where we were going and it wasn't far. Thankfully I ended up at the right place.

They are a really nice bunch of girls, all about my age, and we had a right laugh. My teacher said I'm welcome to come back and see the kids any time I want, which is great. We ate well and chatted for quite a while and I got home just before three. Now, apart from having to sort out the washing that has been sitting in my washing machine for more days than I'd care to mention, I can sit back, relax and maybe even crack open a bottle of wine.... Life is pretty good.

(Just don't mention the C word. You have been warned!)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

School's out!

So, it was the last day of school today. The kids had their Christmas party and were absolutely climbing the walls with excitement all morning. I had them making photo frames with the obligatory heavy sprinkling of glitter and we took their pictures and printed them out to put inside (ahh, the wonders of the digital age). They looked so cute.

The party went well. The kids danced, played games and ate food, much of which ended up ground into the carpet along with several tons of glitter. I read Charlier and the Chocolate Factory to them for the last time (we left off about 2 chapters from the end, how frustrating is that?) and then gave them the cards and gifts I'd bought for them. They had made me a huge card and each of them had drawn a little self portrait on coloured card which had been cut out and stuck inside. It was really cute. They also gave me a bunch of flowers. In addition to this some of them gave me Christmas presents. I am going to be so fat by Christmas I swear! They gave me two boxes of Maltesers, a box of Belgian chocolate truffles and a box of rum truffles. I also got a massive Belgian chocolate shell from my 'secret santa' at the staff lunch yesterday. One child gave me something I eyed suspiciously, as it appeared to be a rather tacky looking wallet, but it turned out to be a manicure set, which is not totally useless. Anyway, it's the thought that counts, isn't it. One of the boxes of Maltesers came with a women's weekly mag and a couple of tea bags. Hehe. I guess the underlying message was that I could relax now the placement's over, but it made me chuckle a little.

Some of the kids hugged me and said they'd miss me. A couple said I was "the best teacher ever" (kids are so fickle, they will say this to ANYBODY!). It was sweet and I will really miss them. It didn't really occur to me until quite late in the day that I won't see them again and it does make me feel a little sad. They are lovely kids.

I have to go in tomorrow from 9 til 12 for an INSET day. (Don't ask me what it stands for, I'm sure it stands for something as it's always capitalised, but I do not have a clue.) Afterwards, my class teacher and I (and any other teachers who want to tag along) are going to go for lunch, which will be a really nice way to round off the placement.

I did love it, I loved the kids, but I am SO GLAD it's over now. I can actually, like, sleep, and do housework and.....relax!

Mullet: revealed!

I finally managed to get a picture of the kid with the mullet today! Yay! I will post more later about the last day but for now I leave you with "Conrad".

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Random update

I figured I should do a bit of a random update, especially as I just discovered a couple of pictures on my phone that I totally forgot I took (see previous post - brain definitely on hiatus) and I had to share them with you.

On Saturday I went out for a meal with my family for my Grandad's 80th birthday. It was a pretty posh restaurant and the food was REALLY good. But my brother's bread and butter pudding came with a load of orange rind - I guess as decoration, although who knows, maybe you were supposed to eat it. Anyway, my brother piled all of his peel on top of the peel on my cousin's plate, creating a small mountain of the stuff. After some discussion of the message this would send the chef when the plates were removed, my brother decided to remove all ambiguity from said message:

Needless to say, the wine had been somewhat flowing. Just another shining example of the weird and random exploits of my family.

Anyway, there are a couple of other pictures from the weekend that can be viewed on my Flickr

I also had a funny evening Monday night, when I went to see The Holiday with Ali. The film was pretty good, although it was quite long and man, I didn't get home til after midnight! But we had a fun evening as always. Much hilarity.

We went into a bar before the film started and moaned like the old people we clearly are about the volume of the music television in there. But who can blame us in the face of such musical genius as Jibbs' Chain Hang Low. I mean someone has written a song to the tune of "Do your ears hang low?" (let's keep it clean here people), only incorporated the amazing lyrics:

Do your chain hang low

Do it wobble to da flo

Do it shine in the light

Is it platinum is it gold

Could you throw it over ya shoulder

If ya hot it make ya cold

Simply inspiring!

Unfortunately the sound quality on this video sucks, but the skinny white boys made me laugh!

Unauthorised absence

Dear Brain,

Please get a grip. I know you are tired, although God knows why as all you seem to do at the moment is sleep - particularly whilst I'm awake. There is only one more day of school to get through so please return from whatever corner of my skull you have chosen to hide yourself and get with the programme.

It is not helpful that you tell me all day that I have a choir rehearsal tonight when it is, in fact, tomorrow night. I can only be thankful that your absence is recent and you previously had the wherwithal to WRITE THINGS DOWN, because otherwise I would have looked a mighty fool at 8pm, standing around outside an empty building wondering 'Where is everybody?' like the giraffe on that old British Airways advert.

It is a point of fact, dearest Brain, that this absence is quite unacceptable. You are - unfortunately - quite indispensible and irreplaceable as I tend to need you in order to form coherent sentences and hopefully avoid that gut-clenching feeling of social inadequacy.

I know that hours upon hours of wrapping up brightly coloured pencils for the children in my class may well cause you to slip into a trance-like state of sheer, unadulterated boredom, but I'm afraid it can't be helped. There will be time to sleep next week, and to think about nothing more strenuous than what to have for lunch, but until then I must insist that you return to full functionality immediately.

So here's the deal, Brain, let's get through the next couple of days and then you can relax, maybe even take a holiday, on full pay of course. Just don't abandon me yet.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Blah blah tired blah

I know. I'm totally slacking. But do you have any idea how tired I am? Man, I feel like I could sleep for a week! I slept really badly Saturday night and was just too exhausted to get any work done on Sunday, so I ended up going to bed at 6:30PM!! I set my alarm for 4:30 so I could get up early and get my work done then - which I did. But even getting up at 4:30 gave me, like, 10 hours sleep. And I am still exhausted and drifted off in front of The Simpsons tonight. What is wrong with me?

I don't have much interesting to say. Only two more days of school and then it's the holidays. I will be SO relieved and may just sleep for a week. Except for that pesky task of Christmas shopping that really has to be done at some point.

The kid's Christmas play went well. They looked really cute. Tomorrow we are decorating Christmas tree shaped boxes and making finger puppets. Aww. There's no real teaching to be done from this point on, so it should be a laugh. And we have our staff Christmas lunch tomorrow, which I'm looking forward to.

Hopefully I'll have something more interesting to say then...

Saturday, December 09, 2006

In which logic loses out to blind panic

Thursday night. I go to bed early as I'm still not 100%. I've been asleep just over an hour when I'm awoken by the buzzer on my entry phone. I roll over and look at the time. 11:45pm. I freeze. The buzzing continues.

I lie in bed, paralysed by fear, unable to even get out of bed because the only person who would buzz my door at quarter to midnight? Would have to be an axe murderer. (Did I mention I was ill? That possibly, I wasn't thinking 100% straight?) Because obviously, axe murderers will buzz your entry phone when they want to come in and kill you.

*BUZZZZZZ* "Oh, hi, sorry to bother you at this time of night. I'm a crazy axe-wielding maniac and just wondered if you'd buzz me in so I can chop you up into little bits and store your remains in my freezer."

Yeah, okay Laura.

Anyway, after what seemed like FOREVER, the buzzing stopped and my heart slowly returned to its natural pace. I lay there, silent, lights still off so no crazy axe murderers would know I was home, and wondered who on earth would have been buzzing my door at midnight.

A few more minutes pass and MY PHONE STARTS TO RING! It's a local number, not a mobile, and one I don't recognise. Why would the crazy axe murderer, having got no answer from my front door, go home and then ring my mobile? Why would a crazy axe murderer HAVE my mobile number? (This is what it is like inside my head. Are you scared yet? Are you already dialling for the men in white coats to come and take me away? Can I just repeat the fact that I was still running a bit of a fever? Thank you.)

Eventually, after my phone had rung several times, the crazy axe murderer left a message on my voicemail and I picked it up.

It was J. She had decided to come visit me, knowing that usually I'm still wide awake at midnight. Her mobile was out of battery so she was calling from a phone box.

You know what? That actually makes a LOT more sense than an axe wielding maniac who happens to have both my address and phone number.


Beka tagged me for this. You have to take a photo of yourself as you are right this second, no chance to straighten your hair or do your makeup....this will teach me to read blogs the second I get out of the bath. Haha. Voila!

Me looking rough!

I now tag Fiona, Nat and Kristen.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

And who would have thought, it figures

Irony can kiss my butt.

Why on the day that I post about having not missed a single day of school do I end up with my head down the toilet? It's just not right.

I am sick. (In case that last paragraph did not make that clear.) So I should try to go to bed and hope I don't throw up again. Great!

Decisively undecided...

Dinner last night was cool. Ali and I went to an Italian place and ate far too much. We arrived there to discover that there was live opera!! We sat and chatted and were interrupted by random arias. It was an interesting evening.

The cinema trip today was excellent. There wasn't enough room on the coach for all the adults, so on the way to Bluewater I got to go in a car with some of the other staff. We got there wayyyyyyy before the coaches as they somehow got stuck in horrendous traffic, so we sat in Krispy Kreme and had donuts. It was so good!

Then the kids turned up and we walked them through to the cinema, making sure they all went to the toilet. We had a whole screen booked out for the school, which was great and felt really special. Flushed Away is really funny although my viewing was slightly interrupted by the frequent trips to the toilet. Despite the fact that they all had the option to go before the film started, and were offered the chance again every time I took one of them to the loo, I still had to leave the screen about 4 times for various different children who couldn't apparently sit through an hour and a half of movie without their bladders exploding. Maybe it was all the watery, sewer scenes that did it.

We got back to school and had about 45 minutes for lunch and then I took a DT lesson whilst the few of them that had to finished off their letters to Jamie Oliver. The rest of them made pop up Christmas cards with me. I found myself the only adult in the room, which was a little overwhelming for such a practical lesson.

Tomorrow I am being observed during geography. The kids are colouring in and labelling countries on a world map and going out in groups to do a treasure hunt. I need to get some bags of chocolate coins this evening to use as the treasure.

If I can just get through tomorrow I know I can relax a little bit, although my class teacher is doing her final observation of me in numeracy on Thursday. Tomorrow I get a free lunch as it's school Christmas dinner, but I'm worrying I won't even have time to eat it as I'll be careering round the school like a headless chicken trying to ensure everything is set up for geography. My link tutor this year seems much harder to please than the one I had last year and I feel a bit like nothing is ever good enough, which is frustrating when I have worked so much harder at my placement this year, despite personal circumstances that are different but still as stressful as what I was going through during placement last year. I haven't missed one day of school this year and I am proud of that. I missed quite a few days of my last placement due to combinations of a battered immune system (that I constantly seem to have) and stress (that I also constantly seem to have!).

I have to make sure my folder is up to scratch for tomorrow, although the link tutor won't completely sign me off until the placement has finished and I have my final report from my class teacher, but I'm still going out tonight. I think if I were to stay home I'd get the work done fairly quickly and then have the rest of the evening to stress myself out or procrastinate for hours and get it done around 11:30, having stressed myself out for the entire evening up to that point because I hadn't got it done. If I go out, I have to get it done beforehand and then can spend a couple of hours chilling with some friends (in the house I've been invited to move into! YIKES!).

Yeah, I'm still freaking out about that because I HAVE ENOUGH TO THINK ABOUT ALREADY. SERIOUSLY!

Ali invited me to spend Christmas with her and her family, which sounds like quite a good plan. Part of me would still rather ignore Christmas altogether, but I know I can't really do that and probably would end up feeling totally miserable. Which is not embracing the Christmas spirit.

I guess I still have a few decisions to make... Watch this space.

Monday, December 04, 2006

I don't know where my brain is either, Emmett

This morning Johnny came in late. He sat down during the register and the teacher said, "Don't you have something to say to me, Johnny?"

"Packed lunch, please Miss L," Johnny replied.

The teacher looked at him with raised eyebrows.

"Sorry I'm late," I hiss at him.

"Oh. Sorry I'm late, Miss L," said Johnny.

"Don't think your brain's quite in gear yet this morning, is it Johnny?" Asked the teacher.

Johnny looked sheepish.

Emmett piped up. "My brain's gone somewhere."

It's not been a bad day. While the kids rehearsed their Christmas play, I finished off my display on 'What's in the news'.

I was very proud. The gaps at the top are annoying me, so I'm going to put in photos of the kids doing the treasure hunt I'm planning for them on Wednesday.

The kids had a literacy assessment to do today, which involved writing a letter to Jamie Oliver about how great his healthy school dinners are. Some kids really threw themselves into it and got the rough draft and the final copy done quite quickly. Others....not so much.

Emmett only had about two lines written while most kids were finishing off their rough drafts. I went over to try and encourage him to write more. He wasn't having it. He told me he had a headache. I told him to get a drink of water and then try again. Then he told me he couldn't write any more because the pencil was making his thumb thinner!!

In the end we sent him over to the round table to sit with the classroom assistant while he worked. He had still hardly written anything by the end of the day and Miss L shouted at him. About 5 minutes later I wandered back over and he'd written quite a bit. However, this is what it said:

"I don't like healthy food. I hate it. It's not nice. It's stupid. I don't want vegetables. I hate fruit. It stinks. I don't want healthy food."

The classroom assistant said, "Emmett, were you actually listening during the talk on the carpet?"

He scowled. "He knows exactly what he's supposed to write," I said. "He's just written this because he's having a strop."

He's not booked in on the cinema trip tomorrow to see Flushed Away so he'll have to do it then. Poor kid - double whammy!

I'm off out tonight to see my friend Ali. Yay! Maybe I will come back with another photo of a bowl of rejected olives.....who knows!

Friday, December 01, 2006

The things kids say

Heard yesterday, but then forgotten about until just now, when it made me chuckle again:

Chef (visiting the school to teach kids about healthy eating): Now, who can tell me what this is? (Holding up a melon)

Taylor: A tango!