Friday, 31 December 2010

Happy New Year!

We are now in 2011!
I am noit going to make resolutions that I will break within the first week...what I am going to do is make several promises to myself.
  1. I will try to complete at least 12 large projects over the year. Knitted/cross-stitched or other craft
  2. I will start and complete smaller projects as takes my whim, and yes! I will not leave them unfinished.
  3. I will try my best to keep up-to-date with my blogs.
  4. I WILL definitely make a butterfly for the butterfly effect project, [see button]
  5. This one is the most difficult, I will try to see the positive side of things....for "someone special" has gone back to his "homeland". We are still in touch, but because of network coverage, not as much as I would like. I will remember that we never fell out, he treated me very well, and that I love him very much. He has said he will probably return, but is unsure when.

What we all got for Xmas, but didn't want!

Things are fairly quiet here, as I think we have all had, or got the flu.
What a lovely xmas gift! It certainly wasn't on my letter to Santa, and you can't return it cos you don't want it.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Quiet Boxing day

Yesterday I had a very quiet and fairly tense day.
I was woken by Samantha, and then Oliver brought me breakfast in bed. [A sausage butty]
But then they said that during the night at least one of the dogs had eaten a chocolate reindeer. As the dogs are not that big I was understandably on tenterhooks for the rest of the day.
I suspected it was Shadow who had eaten it, as she is much more mischievous. Also I had woken in the night to her crying, and she was sat at the bottom of the stairs with her chin on the first step.
I carried her up and she seemed happy enough.
When I walked them my suspicions were confirmed, it had been Shadow who had eaten the reindeer, as her muck smelt strongly of chocolate, and there were bits of silver paper in it.
She is still a little subdued today, or was. I just caught her swotting Spark's nose to try to get him to play.
We are usually so careful keeping things the dogs shouldn't eat away from them. It was Oliver's reindeer, I suppose he forgot about moving chocolate from the floor. It was enough to have killed her, and I think if Spark had eaten it I would have had a much worse situation to deal with, as his stomach is quite delicate.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010


My someone special may not be coming back to the UK. If he does he said it will possibly be summer .

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

work..and congestion!

I work locally...and it takes me 15-20 minutes to walk to work...maybe 5-10 if I drive...but it really doesn't do a car any good to be used for short bursts..especially a diesel like I have.

Perhaps if more people walked into work, [or cycled,] where possible..the congestion around Lancaster and Morecambe would ease. The number 2 or 2A service operates every 10 minutes during peak times...and weekly passes are reasonable....if you add the cost of running a car, parking it against a weekly bus pass...I think most would come out winning.,..and the return train fare is less...but I don't know if you can get a weekly pass.

I have no yet..but it would be great if the inherited a planet worth living on.

Friday, 3 December 2010


This article caught my eye.
It made me smile, and reminded me of one of my favourite poems.
Stealing by Carol Ann Duffy. This short film used to illustrate the poem is very atmospheric.
Some background to the poem is found here.
I'm not sure why I love this poem, all I know is that I do.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Is that what the advert is about?

This article caught my eye!
If you watch the advert, unless you know what thew advert is for, you could be excused for thinking it it for "hot pants/short-shorts" or whatever you want to call them.
Obviously the advert was made with the male buyer in mind. You sees all those skimpy shorts and buys a pair of the trainers for his nearest and dearest.
Or am I just being cynical?

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Perhaps this is a good idea?

This story is on the web news today.
I think it may be a good idea. Some people are too lazy to spell correctly.
There are at least three colleagues who work where I do constantly spell "bear" wrong. They send out whole staff e-mails asking the whole staff to "bare with" them. I think we might get into trouble if we follow the literal translation of that particular "bare".
That is not the only word that is repeatedly muddled, the many variations of to, which and there are other victims of poor spellers.
Also many people put too much trust in spellcheckers, which are often set to US English.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

No respect!

Today, I witnessed an unwarranted verbal attack on a colleague.
Afterwards the colleague was very shaken.
The verbal attack should not have happened....IF the person had gone through the correct channels.
But then again, people who think it is OK to verbally attack, and humiliate others, have little regard for correct procedures.
I went to a member of the management to say I had witnessed the incident, and the colleague did nothing to warrant the verbal abuse.
I hope I never see another colleague humiliated and upset in this way again.
School's are supposed to be secure...and visitors should sign in, and obtain visitor badges...they shouldn't just walk in. This security came in after the Dunblane incident. NORMAL people know the correct way......unfortunately the "nutters" don't, and they are the dangerous one's!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Sorry for the quiet

I haven't blogged much lately as I have been rather unhappy.
My "very good friend", [that is how he describes our relationship,] has gone back to his homeland for a while. he did say he would be back, but not when, and contact is very hit and miss.
Apart from that I have had a spate of illness, and now to cap it all the pressure is being heaped on me again at work, not by the departments I work for, but by the management
So! all in all, unless I have a rant, I haven't been my usual self.
I hope normal service will be resumed soon.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Samhain/Bonfire night?

I haven't done all the relevant research ...but think I might have a link....more when I have researched.

Sunday 7th November 2010.
After hunting around a little I have found that there were bonfires around Samhain/Halloween/All Soul' it what you will, BEFORE Guy Fawkes and his companions were arrested.
Taking into consideration James I's clamp-down on anything vaguely "demoniacal", the movement of the bonfires to a week later seems a likely solution.
I think the addition of the "fireworks" possibly dates from 1605 or later, although I find it hard to believe ordinary folk could get their hands on them so long ago.
As I see it, the whole subject area has lots of research possible.
As for me, I prefer the bonfire with "bonfire" food without the fireworks, as they terrify me.
I suppose being pagan the bonfire appeals to me, and a feast is always good fun. :D

Monday, 18 October 2010


Mandlebrot died yesterday....his thinking gave us some wonderful images.
It goes much deeper than that..but put Mandlebrot into an image search and you will get amazing results!

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Why is every UK taxpayer paying for this?

The Pope is here...apparently.
But why are UK taxpayers footing half the bill for his visit?
It's crazy.
If the head of the Muslim faith, Sikh Faith, Hindu faith, Buddhist faith, ooops or even the head of the Jews was to come, would they get half their "visit" paid for by UK taxpayers? I think not, and I resent my tax being used for this. I don't pay much, but do not agree to us footing the bill, even if only half of it.
Vatican City is rich enough to make sure the Pope is secure whilst here.
I am NOT a catholic and object quite strongly. I wonder if there is any way the non catholics can get a tax refund? Shouldn't think so, but what about members of other recognised faiths who might like a visit from their spiritual leader, they have every right to feel annoyed as well.
On paper, I'm C of E, but my actual faith is a personal matter.
I wouldn't mind paying towards the Dali Lama to visit, although, if he was to visit I feel sure he wouldn't want all the ostentatious show that the pope has been shown.
No wonder people turn away from organised western religions with their "Sunday" morning goodness.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Big Brother is watching us all!

Nope, not the waste of space on channel 4 that has finally come to an end. Politics for Novices subject for today.
Everywhere we go today there are CCTV cameras, yet, why aren't they in evidence on the soaps.
For example, someone got into a fight on Coronation Street the other day, outside the Rovers Return, yet there is no CCTV camera. Most pubs have premises CCTV outside them, or nearby these days, and I am sure there are more cameras in Manchester than Morecambe, so the plot line has an unrealistic twist to it.
Similarly, Eastenders seems to have no CCTV cameras, enabling Lucas to bury someone in a public "square" .
Perhaps the script writers should address this oversight. I know "crime" plot lines help with popularity, but REALLY....they should also be relevant.

Monday, 13 September 2010


I started with flu on Thursday last week. Haven't done much apart from sleep, read and sleep some more since then.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

UK versus Australia

No, nothing to do with cricket, rugby or any sport.
I'm thinking about "Come Dine with Me"
Yesterday there was a whole weeks episodes on channel 4, but they were Australian ones, and I'm afraid the whole enjoyment of the programme is for me, the commentators comments, and the Aussie commentator is nowhere near as entertaining as Dave Lamb. I'm not sure if it's his voice, his comments, the banter he seems to share with the week's cooks, just he is far and above more entertaining than his Aussie counterpart.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Butterfly count closed

The Big Butterfly Count closed on 31/8/10, or for anyone who isn't from UK..31st August 2010!
The findings of the count's throughout August are here
Today at work within five minutes I spotted five butterflies, one I have never seen before. What species? soon.
Behind my workplace, a school, are the local allotments. I know one of the allotment keepers has bees, as he works at the school. So despite the school being possibly classed as urban environment, there are the allotments close by.
The butterflies I spotted were small white, 2 tortoiseshell and red admiral.....the fifth..never seen before...the closest to what I saw is the Silver Washed Frittilary...the yellower one.
I'll be was yellow and black, and I know I have never seen one before...and was flying fairly low.
Have enjoyed spotting I need to check if our swifts are where they normally are this time of year...means walking the dogs later, but OK about that...
The bats are still in the alleyway behind my house, am glad to see that..I thought their roost was subject to arson earlier this year, so am happy to see them.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Another butterfly count

Around noon today I decided to do another butterfly count and submit my sightings, as part of the big butterfly count.
There were 28 in 15 minutes.
One I couldn't identify, cos it didn't settle and moved quite fast, and I saw what I think was a Comma butterfly. It's the first time I've seen one of those, so it made me smile.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Dangerous dogs!!! again?

This story is news over here today and yesterday. The puzzling thing I have found is, some "news" reporters say there were 2 dogs, some say 3.
If you are going to run a story about dangerous dogs, or indeed anything, please get you facts right.
Although, to me, even one dog who attacks a child, is one too many. I have dogs of my own, but if either attacked a child I would have to consider the very worst thing a dog owner can possibly entertain.
But to me, the story just shows how lackadaisical are our laws about dogs. Yes, I know that the UK is renowned for it's love of it's pets, but a dangerous dog is just that, and perhaps our laws are not tight enough.

To dig or not to dig?

If you a regular visitor, you will know that I live in "sunny" Morecambe! No joking, it is sunny today, there are loads of people on the prom, there's a free music festival on at The Platform, and has been since Saturday.
The beach had quite a few people on it, families, with children, enjoying the late summer sun, and even braving the water.
It made me smile to see children enjoying the sand, building sandcastles, etc. Then I saw this little kid climb out of a huge hole. The family left the beach, but the kid had a huge smile on his face. I have never dug holes, just for the fun of it, but both my sister and brother would do whenever we went on holiday as children.
So, I wonder if there are life's hole diggers, just because it's fun, like people climb mountains because they are there.
Are you a hole digger, or not? I know I'm not.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

How did the spy die?

This story is current news here.
The authorities are unsure how he met his death.
Taking into consideration he was found in a sports holdall, I'd say that they can rule out suicide.
I might be wrong, but the dead man was a spy, there is no mention of him being an amateur escapologist, so I am pretty sure they can safely rule out suicide.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

What NOT to wear?

At all times of the year there are fashion hints and tips for the public, on what to wear, what NOT to wear.
This article is very useful in that it tells you what NOT to wear in certain countries, in order not to cause offence, at least, and avoid arrest in the extreme.
However, there really are very few articles on what combinations are bad, or just plain wrong.
I'm not claiming to be a follower of fashion or anything like that here, in fact I have my own style, and it could be considered eccentric at times, but that's just me. And luckily Doc Martens come in lots of lovely colours and patterns these days, as they are the only thing that will accommodate my orthotics, without which I would struggle to walk any distance.
Me aside, in my my docs and long, ethnic skirts, with stripey or plain socks, depending on the boots.
Why was the young woman I saw the other day, with a lovely figure, showing it off in very short shorts and skimpy top wearing Ugg type boots. Not only are they ugly, I believe that is why they have the name Ugg, but I have not yet seen anyone walking correctly in ugg type boots, everyone seems to "scutch", my term for the draggy, slidy walk all ugg type boot wearers adapt.
Living in a seaside resort I do see some rare migrants in strange clothes, but there are people walking the streets who don't seem to be in possession of a mirror, or an honest friend.
Mind you, it all helps brighten up the day.
Oh! and as a postscript, apparently Doc Martens will be one of THE types of footwear to wear over the next fashion season or two, as top models have been seen wearing them.
Yay!...I'm setting the fashion for once! rofl :)

Monday, 23 August 2010

Compared to Beijing, Lancaster has light congestion!

I read this story about congestion in Beijing.
Next time I get delayed sitting in traffic in Lancaster, I will think of this and count myself lucky.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Nice to see there are incompetents in other countries as well.

This story made me laugh.
At least it isn't just the UK transport system that sometimes goes awry. Imagine getting on your train, to Milan, and it's an overnight train, so you settle down to sleep. You have no reason to expect to wake up anywhere other than Milan.
Apparently the train was one of those that gets split at a certain point. The two parts were sent in the wrong directions. The part that should have been going to Zurich was re-routed after the mistake was recognised, so WHY did no-one realise the other part was going to the wrong destination as well?
I think it is ironic that the train was named after a famous surrealist, Salvador Dali. I would guess even he might have thought heading for Milan and ending up in Zurich a little too hard to swallow.
My sympathies are with the travellers, but on the plus side, they may never have been to Zurich before.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Blue's visit [part 2 ]

On the 2nd of August, Blue returned from 13's home in Gloucester. I was to collect her from the railway station at 11.30pm, but I waited until everyone got off the train, and the platform was bare, apart from me and a railway employee. I texted 13 saying that she had not arrived, he texted back that she had been on the train. After an hour Blue arrived in a taxi from Preston, the train she'd been on had been delayed, and it missed the connection at Preston, apparently Preston is notorious for this. In fact I do remember having to collect friends of Sam's from Preston once, when they had missed their connection late at night.
Tuesday, the day was dull and wet, we had planned to go to the South Lakes Wildlife park, but as very little of it is undercover, we made alternate plans, and drove around Pendle, stopping to look at places connected to the Lancashire Witch story. (There are even little brown signs saying "Lancashire Witch Trail").
Wednesday we visited, Lakeside and Haverthwaite railway, so Blue could see a working British steam train, then onto Near Sawrey to visit Beatrix Potter's home, Hilltop, and the village. We had dinner in a pub that features in at least one of her stories, toured the house, gardens and village. we then went on to Hawkshead, which I wandered around whilst, Blue visited the Beatrix Potter gallery there. I found and excellent shop called Relish that sells all sorts pickles, chutneys, herbs, spices, etc. Blue bought a bottle of Hawkshead Beer to take back, as her family has a "Hawkshead" in it's past.
Thursday was a more laid back day, visiting Lancaster firstly, to visit Waterstones....of course! What else would we want to visit
Then after some lunch we went to the market here in Morecambe. Blue bought gifts to take home with her. The evening was again restful as Blue had to pack, and as her train to the airport was early, we had an early night.
I had a holiday in Blue's company, without having to stay in a strange place over night, as many of the things we did, I probably wouldn't have done on my own, apart from visiting the bookshop and driving around Pendle.
There is a whole raft of things still to do, but we'll have to wait until Blue's next visit for those.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Blue's visit [part 1]

Blue landed in the UK on Friday 23rd of July, and arrived in Sunny Morecambe on 24th.
Most of the day we just spent relaxing, and she got to meet my "someone special", yes, he has a name, and she does know it. We had a relaxed day with a roast for tea.
Sunday, Blue and I went to have a belated birthday lunch, for me, at the Hest Bank Hotel, Oliver had come back from Manchester as well to join us. The rest of the day was spent relaxing, chatting and reading.
Monday I drove Blue up to Kirkby Stephen for her chauffeured motorcycle tour of the Dales. I'm so glad she didn't ask me to accompany her, the helmet would have scared me. we wandered around Kirkby Stephen when she returned, then drove home. After a Nice and Spicy for tea we watched Tv and chatted. At 11.30pm I went to Lancaster station to collect another friend, 13.
On the Tuesday we three went to the Falconry Centre near Skipton. The displays were amazing, I took the wrong camera, so didn't get any photos, but I did have a Barn Owl and a young Kestrel land on my hand. Whilst we were there a local Buzzard dropped in for a visit, apparently, it has figured out, if it comes close enough it will be rewarded for it's boldness. The young Kestrel was clearly ill at ease with it though.
Wednesday we explored locally, OK..we walked along the prom and looked at landmarks.
Thursday, I took Blue and 13 to St Patrick's Chapel, whilst I went to the doctor's, then we went into Lancaster, looked around, visited Waterstones, then just before 5pm I said goodbye to them as they both caught the train down to 13s home in Gloucester.

Early start

I woke at around 6.30am this morning, and after lying there listening to music for about 40 minutes I decided to get up.
I'm sure I'm going to meet myself coming back today. I've finished taping all the music I was going to tape, done two lots of washing, caught up ...almost...on blogs, I don't have a photograph of something I made for Edwin, but that can soon be remedied. I've got some meat ready for when my "someone special" returns home, it just needs to be turned on and cooked.
Yesterday, I had a "baking and cooking day". I made tomato and lentil soup, black rye bread, two cakes, and two lots of chocolate chip cookies. I also sewed up the jumper I have just finished knitting, and sewed some of Blue's dressing gown. I SHOULD have been worn out today, I usually am when I've had a busy day, but don't feel the slightest bit tired, despite having been awake since 6.30.
The sun is shining and the wind is blowing, so I wouldn't be at all surprised if the washing is almost dry and ready for ironing.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Sorry butterflies!

Well I've done what I said I would do.
I've cut Bertie Buddleia back
Sorry butterflies!
If I didn't do it, the council would have done, and last time they did it they butchered it. Which is why Bertie went mad ...Buddleias should be cut back when they are dormant, not in their growing period.

Before and after photos show that people can now get past without taking too much away. The top one is the after picture

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Catch up

I have so much stuff to catch up on my blogs
I think I need to set aside a day for catch up.
Since I last blogged on BAA I have read 13 books, and well into the 14th.
I have knitted, and created.
The only thing I haven't done is work on my current UFO
Must remedy that.
Thursday/Friday this week will be my catch up time...but I must trim back the buddleia as it is taking over the alleyway.....I'll take pics before and after trimming.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Another tiny catch up

I've just spent 15 minutes in the yard watching for butterflies, as part of The Big Butterfly Count.
I planted a buddleia several years ago and it attracts butterflies, so I managed to count 26 in 15 minutes, there were also many bumble bees and honey bees drinking the beautiful scented nectar.
Edwin is back from Kendal Calling festival, and is currently showering then getting something to eat.
I have had a lovely restful weekend with my "someone special".

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Catch up time

I suppose summer break from work... is a good time to catch up on blogging?
I have a few weeks rough on the health front, and an extremely busy one this week.
My friend Blue is over from USA, and another friend, 13, came to stay on Monday evening, very late. I have driven further this week than I had in the previous 4 months! I do tend to walk when possible.I think Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday might be just as busy, so I should take this weekend to recharge my batteries, lol!
I'll blog more about the week's activities later.
I have catch ups on various other blogs to do as well. I have read 12 books since I last posted on BAA.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

best pubs?
I wonder if they are really the best pubs in UK?
I do know of two others that could possibly make it onto this list.
One being the Ty Coch Inn at Porth Dinllaen, as it is on the beach!
The other is closer to home, it being The Golden Ball, otherwise known as "Snatchems". It has quite a history, as drinkers can be cut off there at high tide, at certain times of the year. The Press Gang would make it one of their "ports of call" and it is rumoured that they would "recruit" drunks stranded there, and by the time the "recruit" had sobered up the ship would be well at sea as the River Lune is at it's very lowest reaches there, with open sea only a matter of minutes away.
I'm sure there are many more interesting pubs that could make it onto the list.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

New blog

I have set up a new blog.
If you want to take a look, it's called Going to Extremes

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Bullying and suicide

Apparently researchers have found a link between bullying and attempted and actual suicide.
I wonder how much they got paid?
Tiz logical that bullying might lead to suicide attempts, as the victim loses self worth.
It isn't just children who are bullied though, it goes on in all walks of life, and causes stress and depression in adults, as well as children.

That darn horn!

I'm sure it isn't just me who hates the sound of those horns they are blowing at the World Cup matches.
Yes! I know it's called a vuvuzela....and in the right setting it is probably a good instrument. My three all play instruments, but if they played the same note non-stop, it would get annoying. Let's hope this isn't something that catches on over here in the next season.

Friday, 11 June 2010

The sights you see when you don't have your gun!

Tonight, taking the dogs for a walk...I saw someone, female, obviously going out for the night.
She had on a sheer mini taupe or light grey, and she had chosen to wear a black bra and thong under it!?
Perhaps she wants to display what is on offer? I don't know...but feel that she should have taken more care before going out for the night.

Politics at work?

Just a short post.
Apparently one of the departments I work for, want my predecessor back! Why? Cos she is not as contentious as I am, and is quite willing to take a break and chat, rather than do her job! The person in question is lovely, but it hurts that they would want someone less efficient in place of me!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Bad couple of days

Last week the doc said that I didn't need to take one lot of pills I have prescribed if I thought they were ineffectual, but put them on repeat for me just in case.
After a week without them , I have found that they were doing something.
The last two days I have had painful joints, so have started taking them again.
Because of this I haven't been very sociable. Sorry about that. I'm afraid I go into my shell when feeling ill.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Don't know if I agree with this.

This article caught my eye today.
Yes, I've read it.
I don't know if stopping hard working Eastern EU people would make any difference to the supposed "unemployment problem".
The jobs were there before the Eastern Europeans came here, they just weren't being done. The wages that some of the work for I happen to know are less than their UK counterparts, yet they manage to have a good living from the wages.
The "unemployment problem" to my mind has not been made worse by Eastern Europeans immigrating, but by many UK "unemployed" not wanting to work for meagre wages. They don't twig that if they only get basic wage they would qualify for working tax credit, possibly.
My special friend works very hard for his wages, working at least 12 hours/day for the best part of six days of the week, he sleeps in the lorry he drives. HGV drivers have to be qualified to drive HGVs, so they are not unqualified. In fact, he is trained as a civil engineer, specialising in heating.
He and many other immigrants from the Eastern EU are educated to as good, if not better level than their contemporaries in the jobs they do here. Also many of them speak more than one language. Learning to speak English is not an easy task, but, perhaps I should leave that for the subject of another blog?
To my knowledge the country is not in possession of a giant time machine, to go back in time and put right what Ed Balls considers they did wrong, but surely the UK can put measures in place to prevent an influx of poorly educated migrants. However, my argument here is, only the better educated will be willing to risk uprooting themselves for a better standard of living, as we continually see by losing our highly trained UK citizens to better paid posts in foreign countries. And..if we curb immigrants, it would be only right that other countries should curb theirs in response. I believe a lot more thought needs to go into any future potential policies. Perhaps it is a good job that even if Ed Balls becomes leader of his party, he will not immediately be PM, but Shadow PM.
Discussion on important policies is necessary between all parties, and I hope our coalition government continues to implement this proposal.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

guess who I saw?

The other day I was on my way to the doctor's when I couldn't believe my eyes!
I saw the subject of this "toon" crossing the road by the Battery! Cat Face's old lady is not fictitious! She's alive and well and living in Morecambe!
For any of you who aren't sure who I mean, follow this link, to Cat Face's Old Lady.
And YES! I really did see an old lady who looks just like that. Couldn't stop myself laughing

Thursday, 27 May 2010

not been feeling too good

This blood problem I have has been getting me down. It's making my joints ache like mad and today they have been aching so much I have spent the bulk of the day in bed. I hate how I am feeling right now, physically. It's no fun when climbing stair or just walking makes you ache like mad. I'm back at the doctor's on Tuesday, so I'll ask if there is anything that can be done. Ihad a blood test on Wednesday so I'll get the results on Tuesday.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Stick to what you know

Leader's debate, education.
phonic reading? old style stupid...ITA...have to re-learn all over again..unless very bright.

Above are notes I made after watching one of the "leader's debates" before our General Election in May.

I've waited until after the election to air this one.
The winning party seemed to think there would be more literate people if the "phonic style" of reading was returned to. They clearly were unsure what exactly they were talking about.
Children currently learn to read using phonics in the first instance, I know this to be a fact as I have trained as a primary school teacher and also in a scheme that also uses phonics.
I presumed, especially due to the age of the people putting this forward they might have meant ITA, where the words are all written exactly as they are pronounced, this is NOT phonics.
The reason that method was tried in the early 1960s was for just that reason, the "powers that be" thought it would make learning to read and write easier. It did, but what they overlooked was that after learning the ITA method, pupils then had to go on to learn the conventional method. Not everyone found this easy, in fact it has been shown to be one of the reasons there was almost a whole generation who had problems with reading and writing. ITA encourages poor spelling, and when faced with a book written correctly, or any other printed matter, the less intelligent people found great difficulty reading and writing.
Literacy is a subject to the forefront of many educational debates, and sometimes people who know little or nothing about the nuts and bolts of actually teaching people to read and write, debate the subject. [Stick to what you know in a debate, don't be drawn onto a subject you are unsure of.]
If you want proof of this....Take a pencil in your "opposite hand", i.e if right-handed, your left, and vice versa. Then get someone to dictate at a fairly slow speed something they wish you to write. Unless you are lucky enough to be truly ambidextrous, it will look something like a reception age child produces. I know this is true, as during my teacher training, the lecturer had the whole group do this, and out of 40 of us, not one produced anything legible.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not against helping people become literate, at whatever age. But some of the old methods were rejected for very good reasons, and as a pointer, the less time they were used, shows how poor they were at gaining satisfactory results.
For an article about ITA, click here.
I know the debate will carry on, but more specialised help with children learning to read would help the matter. I qualified in a scheme called the Better Reading Programme", and found that it gained satisfactory results, but when all is said and done, the educators can only do their best, and if this is not supported outside of school hours, progress will never be as speedy as some might wish it was.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Election Day

It can't have escaped many people's notice that on Thursday of this week there is going to be a general election in the UK.
I know there are many people who choose not to vote for one reason or another. But...people should remember this....It took a long hard fight from some very gutsy people to obtain the vote for every man, it took the Suffragettes to extremes in the early 20th Century, and as late as some point in the late 1950s, early1960s, for people between 18 and 21 to have the vote.
Figures suggest that sometimes as little of 35% vote during elections. This means 65% abstain from voting.
My point is..if everyone registered to vote did go to the polling station this Thursday, the result could be very different than the usual 2 horse race between Labour and the Conservatives. We owe it to ourselves and the people who campaigned for the vote to use our votes.
After all, if you don't cast your vote, you really have no grounds for complaining when the elected government does things you don't agree with.
Sorry to ramble on, but it is something I feel quite strongly about, even though I would say that I am not over concerned with politics.
A couple of centuries back the government was elected by a select few people who were on the whole landowners, the ordinary citizen did not have a say. We were judged not to be capable of deciding our own destinies, if we don't vote we are equating ourselves with the ordinary people of the past.

Friday, 30 April 2010

What a load of rot!

This article is supposed to give the key to "morning sickness".
If the report is true....babies born of MS Mums will be lower birth weight!
Am just going on my experience, but I suffered more from MS on my second and third pregnancies....This has nothing to do with morning sickness. Mums of second, third, etc babies have another child to consider. I think the sickness is down to the mother of a second child being unable to rest completely.
I know if my second pregnancy had been my first there were things I would not have had "kittens about".
To my mind...parenting is a hard job...and the longer you keep at it...the better your progeny are!

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Damn It!

For the last few weeks my ankle has been giving me some trouble. I am waiting for an appointment with the podiatrist. [She has a long waiting list.] I know my orthotics need replacing, as I am getting pain from the opposite knee and hip to my damaged ankle.
I have an appointment on Thursday, this time I will ask her roughly how long the orthotics are lasting, and then I can judge better when to request new ones.
Ankle and joint pain from this is being made worse at the mo by the blood problem. I won't explain other than calcium is absolutely necessary for joint and muscle function, and other stuff besides.
Sorry to grumble, but when you used to be as active as I was......this takes a lot of getting used to.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Food Nazis!

You go to Adsa...or most supermarkets these days...and you can't buy regular own brand soft drinks. :(
Flaming food Nazis!...I'd rather my teeth rotted than I had the non sugar option....which is usually saccharin sweetened....that has been proved in the past to be a carcinogen!
Some of the sweetener additives are not good for people who have asthma either.
Perhaps I should just drink water?

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Are opinion polls worth it?

The latest poll shows some surprising results!
If the poll is anything to go by...unexpected parties have gained ground! However... because of the ways that votes are counted...this might not be enough
When I go to "cast" my vote...I thought it counted as one vote...recently...I have found out that in certain areas one vote cast does not equal one....but a fraction of one?
This is no way to encourage people to vote..although some people will not access this source...and not know how ineffectual their vote is!
one person voting should equal one positive vote....for what ever party
Until this problem is ironed out I can't see the government in this country being truly representative of the electorate!

A bit of a mistake!

Here is a very good reason NEVER to trust the spellchecker on a PC. :)
Surely human proof readers should be used to spot mistakes like the one in the story. The article implies that human proof readers have been used, but reliance on final proof reading has been left with the PC.
A spellchecker only checks the spelling of the words, and the grammar. What it doesn't check is if the word is the correct one, PCs don't think for themselves. Just try it.
If you put in "it was reigning cats and dogs" the spellchecker would not query it as all the words are spelt correctly, but the wrong word has been used.

Thursday, 15 April 2010


I hope over the next couple of weeks it becomes apparent who is standing against our current MP.
I have looked up her record, and she is an effective MP, who has local matters in mind as much as national ones.
To date I have only seen local posters asking people to vote for her, I don't think for one minute she is standing unopposed.
Time will tell.
One thing does bother me though, do you vote for the candidate who you know has the locality close to their heart, even if they are from a party you do not align yourself with, or vote for the person who belongs to the party whose policies you identify with most?

No flying over UK

I know some people are complaining about this, but it is a sensible measure. After the volcano eruption in Iceland yesterday the high atmosphere is said to be full of volcanic ash. You can't see it, but apparently it will destroy an aeroplane engine. To me it is a sensible precaution, I think the people complaining would not like to be in flight and suddenly their plane turns into a rock! And the force of gravity is reminding the plane that it's heavier than air.

Here are some amazing pictures of the eruption. The force of nature at work there is awesome.

Friday, 9 April 2010

cycle friendly? and around where I live there have been measures taken to make the whole area "cycle friendly".
On the surface this is a good thing...being as the bulk of the area is fairly flat...but..the local county council have gone one more step.....At most of the traffic lights in the area there are now cycle lanes and cycle priority lanes. Thus restricting, at many junctions...the past flow of two lanes of traffic down to one,
The traffic lights nearest me are a good illustration!
before the alterations....there were rarely tail backs from the they regularly extend at least half a mile back from the junction! With Easter break they have been much worse.
I am on the side of cyclists having safe areas to ride...but this is is stopping the jerks who still insist on riding the wrong way down one way streets...or cycling on a footpath ...when there is a recognised cycle path only a maximum of 10 feet away
Cycling is a cleaner..more environmentally better way to get around...but cyclists should abide by the highway code. One way means one way for all wheeled vehicles...footpath..means on foot. If you want to use these short should respect them..and dismount!"

Monday, 5 April 2010


Why does a person get hiccups...afterwards?

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Easter...or Ostara?

I gave my three chocolate eggs!
It is their choice what path they want to follow!
I miss my lover..but for him today has great religious significance!.........even though he doesn't care a jot for tradition!
He knows I appreciate the differences!

BUT...until I searched today...I didn't know that "stay at home" mum's from different cultures had same respect as UK born Mum's to be

Sunday, 28 March 2010

A quick explanation

After re-reading yesterday's post, I realised that there might be people who do not know how to play cheat. So I had a look for instructions, and found these on BBCs H2G2 webpage.
What it doesn't say though is if only two people play, it is a good idea to randomly discard a few cards, because an intelligent player will be able to work out what the other person is holding, as they have half the pack each, if the suggested precaution isn't followed.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Edwin's birthday, and other stuff

Today, 27th March is Edwin's birthday. He has friends around, they have calmed down now, and are playing cheat. One of them is falling asleep.
Oliver is back from University for Easter, and I saw my love this morning. So all in all today is a good day.
Colleagues have been upset at work this week by the highest tier of management. If they carry on as they are doing they will alienate 99% of the staff, and when they leave...NO ONE will miss them!
One of the incidents was a very public denunciation of a member of staff, for organising a "staff association"...Senior management are never asked to these meetings. Yet the organiser was told they were not allowed to do that?
One rule for them, another for us? Senior management have regular meetings which none of the other staff are invited. Usually if senior management want to meet with a member of is best to take your union rep along.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Blood test!

first thing tomorrow I have a blood test!
I hate blood does not will stop mid-flow for no obvious reason...that is why I can no longer "donate" blood
To me..this is very annoying!
I know my Mum, and my sister are exactly same blood type as I am..maybe some of our children are!
If it ever came to it...I would give my blood for a younger generation to continue.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Questions just pop into my head.

The last few evenings I have noticed the nights are getting milder, and I wondered where the bats go in winter?
So tonight I decided to find out. I put bats into the search box and came up with this link, it was the first in the list. It's a very useful site if you are interested in bats. Although I live in the middle of a town we get bats flying around at night, and I know that spring is here, and summer on it's way when I see bats.

Insurance again!

This article caught my eye. It doesn't, however, give one very good tip. mind you seeing as the article is littered by insurance adverts, there's a strong possibility that it might be a sponsored article.
My tip is, before your student child goes to university and lives away from home, by all means make sure that they are covered with insurance for the belongings they take with them. However, what it doesn't say is.....before taking out individual insurance for them, check your own household insurance, as many cover for events like this. Mine does, it gives cover for up to £5,000 worth of belongings in circumstances like this. How do I know this? Because Oliver is in student accommodation, and we checked. I do appreciate not all policies will cover, but as a general rule of thumb, check your household insurance, a good household policy might mean slightly higher premiums, but in the long run could save money, as you won't have to take out several smaller policies, covering individual circumstances.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Visit To Mum and Dad's

Yesterday I went straight from work to Mum and Dad's.
On Sunday, as well as being Mother's Day here in the UK, tiz my Dad's birthday,.
Weekends are crazy for I visited yesterday.
In 1974 we moved from Tintwistle to Catterall. In 1980, Mum and Dad bought their first ever house..of their own...before that we had lived in rented accommodation.
Where Mum and Dad bought their house, has now changed so much. Recent building around has almost doubled the family accommodation, but....the local school has only had one classroom extra built on!
The upshot is..that children from families who have lived in the area for a generation, or more, are being told that their child has to go to another primary school. Why do the county council allow this building without the appropriate facilities?
If you drive from Preston to Lancaster, by way of the A6, there is a school in Bilsborrow, and then the one at Kirkland [aka Churchtown] , the next is in Forton. If you go along the B road into Garstang, yes there are three schools there, but the potential housing is way and above the places available.
Why keep building family homes in an area where the school places are lacking? Garstang High will only have so many places, due to it's location...there is only limited scope for expansion. When will the planners wake up?

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Government dog proposals

The Government have today made a proposal, that all dog owners should have case their dog bites someone, and they should have their dogs chipped.
I'm sorry....but all RESPONSIBLE dog owners have probably already had their dogs chipped, and I am not 100% sure, but I think my household insurance covers this.
Just WHO are the government wanting to target?
The dog owners with dangerous or illegal dogs are hardly likely to visit a vet, have their dog chipped, or even have house why think they will take out pet insurance?
I would love to know what the author of Politics for Novices thinks of this proposal, as I know he is a responsible dog owner.
To me, it is just a way for insurance companies to make more money from the general public. I seriously hope it doesn't become law, as the persons intended to be caught..will escape...9 times out of 10, and it will end up responsible dog owners footing the bill, and out of pocket through unnecessary insurance policies!

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Late Yule celebrations

Yes, you read it correctly.
Last night we eventually managed to have the technician's yule do. We were lacking in numbers, this is why it was so late...every date had a problem. We just went ahead and booked a table at Saffron, an Indian restaurant, for last night.
It ended up only 8 of us, including one technician's girlfriend, but we had a great time, and a good laugh.
I think we should start planning the next Yule do now, then we might get it at the right time of the year.

The other thing of note that has happened since return after half term is ...where I am in the school now. I now work 2 hours in food, 1 in ICT, and 3 in Maths per day. The Maths block is a haven of quiet in a sometimes mad, mad school. Only disrupted at change of lessons.

Monday, 22 February 2010

results from blood tests

Last Tuesday morning I had a blood test. They were after something specific, and because of this couldn't use a tourniquet to help get the blood out. It took the phlebotomist, three goes before she could get any blood.
This afternoon I went to see the doctor about the results. I have something wrong with my parathyroid gland, and I do not have enough calcium in my blood. I have been given bumph to read, and some great big "donkey pills" to take...luckily they are suck or chew, and not too revolting. I have to return for another blood test in 6 weeks, and then return to see doctor, to see where we go from there. The chest pain problem has been put on a back burner until this is sorted out.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Sneezes etc

I am fed up of this winter, I seem to have a cold almost non-stop, have spent this weekend sneezing, eyes watering and taking Beechams powders. At least my knitting was something I didn't have to concentrate on too much, just knit. I suppose I should say that I have almost completed half the scarf I am currently making.

Unsung heroes of the Baftas

I have just been watching the Bafta award ceremony.
At one point the "took some time out" to remember all the film related people who have passed away in the last 12 months.
Most of the names are unknown to most of the viewers, apart from the actors.
One however struck a chord with me.
You may remember back in May 2009 I went to a Jean Michel Jarre concert, this was shortly after his Dad had died. His Dad, Maurice Jarre, is not a name that many will recognise, but if you click on the name, you will be pleasantly surprised. Maurice Jarre was also a composer , of music most people would recognise, but not know the composer's name.
At the concert in May, Jean Michel dedicated one of the tracks?, (is that the correct description?) to his father.
To me they are both brilliant musicians.
I wonder if any of the other "non-actor" names struck a chord?

Tuesday, 16 February 2010


I was just looking through an entry on Yahoo.
It listed ways to reduce the cost of a "big day...aka wedding day".
I loved the last alternative,
If I ever marry again, I want it to be with the most important people in my life around me, and his with him, without involving any extended family.
I did go down this route a few years back when the bloke I was seeing proposed to me. I didn't get a ring, we didn't plan.
I might be bitter, but next time, if there ever is one...I want it to be just US.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Ill and lack of sleep

I'm not in a very good mood today.
I've been cooking up a cold this past week, so much so that it made me have an asthma attack on Friday, so I spent most of Friday and yesterday in bed resting/sleeping.
Last night I was so tired I went to bed early. My youngest had gone out to a party. As luck would have it, it was being held in the flat where my daughter's bf lives. She and Becki brought him home, they rang me just as I'd managed to get to sleep..for around 30 mins.
So then I spent a very fitful night worrying about him and the neighbours....different ones from usual ...had a party that seemed to go on all night. Every so often a noisy bunch would erupt into their front yard, arguing, or just talking very loudly. The Police came to sort something out at 5am-ish, and took one person away in their van. So I had a lousy night, hardly slept, my temperature is all over the place. So, I'm a little bit grumpy at the moment, plus when I was just doing the ironing, Spark walked straight across me, I nearly fell over him, and he nearly knocked my ironing board with the iron on it over.
If I ate chocolate, I'm sure indulging would make me feel better.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Salmon fish finger up-date!

I have just returned from Asda.
The salmon fish fingers that I have previously blogged about are "on offer" at £1/pack,[10 fingers]. Even at this price they are still over priced, as the haddock fish fingers made from fillet are roughly £1/10 fingers, made from "whitefish"...they are considerably cheaper. While the idea was not silly, it hasn't really taken off. People obviously would rather buy a salmon fillet.

The other thing that is puzzling me, is why do all of Asda's own brand cereals seem to be disappearing?

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Salmon fish fingers!

This is a recent "development" in the fish finger "line", and one I think I could live without. Fish fingers are normally around £1.00-ish for 10. These beauties were £2.49 for 10...However, despite being a pretty pink, I really don't think salmon is meant to be fish fingers, or toes, or any other extremities. I think, in future, I'll stick to normal fish fingers, and have my salmon in a recognisable piece. After all, I could have bought nearly two salmon portions for slightly more money, around £3, and would have enjoyed it much more.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Why? Again!

Why is it news that a bobsleigh team person's "bodysuit" split?
Are we so short of real news that sensationalist crap makes the headlines?
Only pervy people would wish to watch video footage of this.
Are the "News" reporters getting to close to their stories? Who knows?
I for one am against "sensational" reporting...after all...there could be several reasons behind any story..but we are just supplied the most sensational, and it is repeated so many times that the general public begin to think it should/must be true..otherwise the news media would not report it.

In defense of the bobsleigh team member...perhaps the bodysuit was well worn...thread eventually becomes weak.
After all most people have had a pair of trousers split on them...when they would really rather they hadn't.
News is NOT idle chatter...real news is significant events that affect a country or the whole world.
All the bodysuit splitting report probably did was embarrass the bobsleigh team member,.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Ice and falls

yesterday I walked down to voice therapy.
We don't have much snow here, just compacted ice, which is very tricky to walk on. I slipped a couple of times but didn't go over, then with no reason I fell. It must have looked comic, as my legs shot out to my right, and I landed heavily on my left hand side.
Today I have huge bruises on my left elbow and hip, and curiously around where my boot comes up to, which illustrates the force with which I fell.
I ache, and sleeping last night was not easy, as I tend to lie on my left side.
I think I'll have to use some arnica or something before I go to bed tonight.

Friday, 8 January 2010

New Trend?

I have just read this "news" story.I'm sorry, but all us "fidgetters" know that knitting is unique, likewise sewing. That is why we sew, knit crochet, etc. In order to produce clothing and other items that are unique, as even if two people use the same knitting pattern, nine times out of ten they will select different yarns, so get different looking results.One other thing, us "fidgetters" are more likely to experiment and create something completely unique.I'm sorry, but just because a "celebrity" picks up a pair of knitting needles we hear about it, bet we don't hear about their mistakes!Can we please have some real news for a change, after all, will it make the front page if Madonna drops a stitch?

I have posted this post on here and on Fidgetty Fingers, my craft blog.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Extreme weather?

On the surface it looks like we have got off with it lightly here. At first glance ...less than an inch of snow!
However, since last Friday night, we had a very hard frost, followed by hail, then rain, then a freeze! All before Saturday 10am-ish. Temperatures did not climb at all.
However, the views across the bay are fantastic.

All week it has been thawing slightly, just to freeze again, creating layers of ice and compacted snow.
Walking is very difficult due to the solid ice on top of the pavements.
Unfortunately, my new camera doesn't like the cold, and switched off when I tried to zoom in for a closer shot of the Lakeland Fells.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

What happened to the snow ploughs?

Everywhere is saying that they are running out of grit........
Hold on!!!!!
When I was young I used to live where it knew how to snow...and did do EVERY winter!
Before the roads were gritted the snow ploughs would be used to clear most of the standing snow on the roads, and then they would grit the ploughed roads.
A few years back..I said in jest that perhaps the drivers didn't know how to attach the snowploughs to the vehicles, now I'm not so sure!
Perhaps they don't even know what the curved pieces of metal...that look a little like bulldozer buckets, are for.
I don't really understand why this snow has caused such a problem. I remember, very distantly, some very cold snowy winters, but I also remember that the roads were cleared quite soon.
Is it that the snowploughs have been lost, or are we more reliant on our "family cars" these days. After all...when I was young you were "posh" if you had a car, and most freight went by rail for the bulk of its journey. Now catching a bus , train, or walking is looked upon as a "poor man's" mode of transport....if you have a car and choose to walk you are eccentric....ok that's me...what is everyone else's excuse?

Snow Day

I've heard of these but never experienced one before.
I got into work just before eight, only to be told that the school was closing for the day due to the snow.
When I was little I remember walking to school through the snow, ok, only about 10 of us turned up. We had to drink ALL the milk. lol!
But back then teachers lived closer to where they actually worked, so getting to work wasn't a problem.
We don't have so much snow here, but it has started snowing more, and many of the teachers live a fair distance away, in areas where it is snowing more.
As I look out of the window now, I can see the flakes are getting bigger, and dancing in the air as they fall.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Peaceful start

Ok, I didn't get up until nearly 1pm, and have sat and knitted most of today.
I did walk the dogs twice, and both times I was surprised how quiet it was outdoors.