I don't know if I mentioned in an earlier post (not that much earlier) that Chris was doing a personal trainer course. He has made some progress with his own weight loss, and his blood pressure is down because of the "exercise on prescription" plan that he was recommended for.

Anyway, he recently took his level 2 exam and passed with flying colours - he is now, subject to a practical exam, a certified fitness instructor. So now he is on level 3, which will entitle him to become a personal trainer - good news for me, especially since he has identified my postural difficulties as something called "lordosis", in that my lower spine curves and pushes my bum and stomach out. As I'm nearly 60, this isn't going to be easy to correct! Apparently, the longer I've lived with this postural imperfection, the longer it will take to correct - don't think I'm going to live until I'm 120 years old, though!

I will have to do specialised corrective exercises every other day, and make a point of correcting my posture when I am not exercising. Sitting at a computer is one of the worst things I can do, but I do try to ensure I sit correctly - at home at least. I must take stock at work and see what I can do there.

Anyway, we'll see how it goes.


Our school has been put into special measures by Ofsted, and in consequence is on the way to becoming an academy. It apparently failed its inspection in all five categories, but particularly in safeguarding and behaviour. We now have an Action Plan to get us back on track.

I have a lot to say on the current situation, but I will limit it to this: three weeks into the Action Plan, and I can't see any change for the better. While the same people remain at the top, nothing will change. We are due an interim inspection some time this term, and I doubt they will see any improvements either.

So far, I am not at all impressed with the new Executive Headteacher. He is supposed to have a lot of experience at turning schools around, and I guess I will believe it when I see it.

I have 7 years to go before I retire. I find the current situation frustrating and I don't know whether I will be able to stay at the school for all that time. Chris says he will support my decision to get a new job if I want one and he thinks I have a lot to offer a prospective employer. However, I can't get away from the fact that I am 60 next year, and employers will be reluctant to look past my age. I'd like to give up work now, but we can't afford it.

The situation hasn't been improved by Fiona (Health Point Adviser) being off sick for the last two weeks, and she won't be coming back next week either. I am first port of call for the students if they are ill at school, and I just don't get any of my own work done while I am in First Aid. I get a measly £8 per month for the pleasure of manning health point - the TAs who cover it get paid at Point 17 if they cover HP for an hour. I kind of spat my dummy out last week, and I only have to cover it in the afternoons now, but it is still too much.

Rant over

Heavy, man...

I got on the scales this morning and I nearly fell off again. I have put on a half a stone (7lb) over the summer holidays. I don't know why I am surprised - I know exactly what I have been eating. Anyway, I aim to go carb-free for the next 2 weeks; that should shift those 7lbs and I must, must, MUST find some exercise I can stick to.

And that, my friends, is that.

Development (s)...

I didn't get the "development" post, but I didn't really expect to. I saw my boss on the Monday (deadline was Friday noon) and she apologised that I didn't get an interview: I said I hadn't expected to, just wanted to throw it into the hat that I was up for "development".

Yesterday, she called me into her office - the Attendance Officer has to take some compassionate leave because her son is having an eye operation which will leave him partially sighted for a while, so she has to look after him (he's the same age as my son). My boss wanted me to take over the Attendance Officer job while she is away. So tomorrow, I have to go learn the job so I will be able to do it when she goes on leave.

It's a pretty ropey job, involves calling up parents to find out why students are not in school, but it's a little bit different to mine, and it's another string to my bow. I can't help feeling *deep down* that they are looking for some way to oust the Attendance Officer (she is not at all well-liked, very arrogant, so pity me tomorrow :P) and want someone to cover until they can get someone else.

Then again, I may be totally wrong...

Incidentally, I came clean to Fiona about my application for the House Tutor post, and she was really fine about it. She didn't get it either. The job went to a male member of staff, a cover supervisor. I really liked him when he worked in our department, so I am glad he got it, and so is Fiona. It is only a temporary posting, while they re-advertise, but I know several people in school who have applied for the permanent post and I think Fiona will be hugely miffed if she doesn't get an interview this time!


So here I am, having decided to delete my FB account. Despite its many advantages, I realised that I was getting bogged down by game requests, friend requests from people I didn't know from Adam, just to get extra goodies. I was spending the better part of the evening when I got home from work just vegging on FB games and, frankly, I didn't like the way I was turning out.

Many of the people on FB I will miss very much, but I can't promise myself (and keep it) that I won't get sucked into the gaming again, so it had to go.

In other news, I learned today that Stephen got a Distinction in his Italian AS level - always good to have another language ;)

This weekend Chris is coming home - I haven't seen him since the week before I went back to work. I am trying to catch up on some housework. I am also going swimming on Wednesday evenings - can't remember if I have already mentioned that in a previous post.

Things I want to accomplish this week:

1. Get the stairs vacuumed
2. Go out for a walk
3. Give myself a pedicure.

There's been an opportunity for development at work - one of our new house tutors handed in her notice after one week, and there was an article in our work's magazine asking for names of people interested in applying for "development". My colleague Fiona had done the job for six weeks and she applied when it was advertised at the back end of the summer term. She didn't even get an interview and is very bitter about it. She is even more bitter at finding out that she has effectively to apply for the "development" post.

I see Fiona socially (Book Club) and I have to get round to telling her that I put my name into the hat when the offer of "development" came along. I have been unhappy with my current job for some time and, although I don't expect to get an interview, or even make it to the shortlist, I wanted it on record that I am up for more of a challenge. I hope she doesn't see me as being disloyal - I really think she should get the job, but in my own interests, I have to make the people at the top see that I need more.

So we'll see how that one pans out!!


I've always tried to be a loving mum to my kids, physically as well as emotionally. When they were babies, I loved to hold and rock them; as toddlers and young children they would get lots of cuddles, and even in their teens I have always hugged them. Mostly in a laughing, teasing sort of way, rather than fierce and possessive.

I kind of got my reward a couple of days ago. Granted, they wanted me to get ice cream, but I like to think it wasn't entirely cupboard love, and, again, it was in a laughing, teasing way.

So I was sitting at my computer in my study when Stephen came in, distraught because there was no Oreo cookie ice cream left. He pleaded with me to go out and get more... I hummed and hawed, and Grace came in and added her twopennyworth. Again, I hesitated - it was getting quite late, I didn't really want to be driving to Tesco to buy ice cream - which was when they both launched themselves at me in a group hug, sending my office chair skidding across the room. As they are both taller than me, I was engulfed! I guess you had to be there, but I can tell you, I couldn't speak for laughing for a good five minutes.

And I didn't give in and go and get ice cream - though I did put it on my list for the next weekly shop.

As an aside, I did a quiz on FB to see what kind of parent I was. I don't really take much notice of the results of these quizzes, but I was proud to come out as "Laid Back and Progressive". No finer compliment to my mothering skills, really.

Whoops!! Big time fail :(

I just remembered I have a livejournal account!! Because, obviously, I have a life outside livejournal. *snort*

I don't want to make this a mega-long entry, mainly because I can't remember what has happened in my life in the last 8-9 months. Yes, that's how long it is since my last entry. So, bullet-point update coming up:

- Chris didn't get the job in Shrewsbury. He didn't get the job in Birmingham either, which came up around March. So he is still at London. He had a bout of gastro-enteritis in February for which he was hospitalised for a week. The National Health Service wanted to find out why he got it, and scheduled a colonoscopy, which didn't happen until last week. Doh. Naturally, by this time, whatever bugs were in his intestines were loooong gone.

- Stephen got his results for his AS levels last week. He got 2 As and a B, plus a D in chemistry, which he is dropping. We visited Birmingham university in July, and it is a good set-up, so he wants to go there. Since he has changed his mind several times about his first choice university, I am not holding my breath. His cousin Chrisi, who is the same age as Stephen and is touted (by her family) as the brains of the Maple family, came out with a B and two Cs. I shouldn't be smug (her mother is the Odious Angela) but I am. Sue me.

- Grace has continued to be both wonderful and exasperating. She got pregnant in March and, after much soul-searching, decided on a termination. She is still working as a waitress, but is on track for promotion to front-of-house and, ultimately, management.

- As for me, I am still hating my job, but there are changes going ahead in September when I go back to work after the summer holidays. I will get my old boss back after breaking in two new bosses over four years. I have new responsibilities in addition to the old ones, but I am losing a couple of jobs that irked me big time, so it all balances out.

All in all, I would say my life is marginally better than it was the same time last year, so cause for celebration. Thanks to Grace's contribution to the household expenses, money is not quite as tight as it was but, like the recession in Britain, we are cautiously optimistic. What happens next year when Stephen goes off to university will be interesting. But that's a whole other story, and not for this update.

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Just over 24 hours until we break for the Christmas holidays. I have been organised this year, and (touch wood) don't seem to have any last-minute rushes to get stuff out. I have a couple of reports that need to go and, after the detention letters, that should be it.

As far as Christmas prep goes, I am more or less on top of it, which makes a huge change as I am usually wrapping presents on Christmas Eve. On Saturday I need to do the Christmas food shop and buy one more present. I won't see Chris until Christmas Eve and, as he is bringing a couple of presents back with him, it looks like I WILL be wrapping presents on Christmas Eve!! Only two, though, whereas I am usually wrapping about ten :P

Grace got her braces off yesterday and she had 24 hours of freedom and then they hit her with the retainers. She needs to wear them full time (except for eating, drinking and sleeping) for 6 weeks, then at night. She says she feels really self-conscious about them because, although they are clear, they make her teeth look shiny. Honestly, she does make me laugh. Stephen has to wait until January for his appointment, but I don't think his braces are ready to come off yet. However, I am not an orthodontist, so what do I know??

Chris has an interview at Shrewsbury Hospital tomorrow. I hope it goes well - I like Shrewsbury. So when Stephen has finished at 6th Form and goes to University, we can move down there. It's about 170 miles away and is a really lovely part of England. I won't speculate though - he hasn't got the job yet and, on current form, probably won't. :(

Anyway, watch this space ;)

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So I just got home from work, and did some chores, thinking all the time I needed to turn on my computer because there was something I needed to look up on the internet.

By the time I actually got to turning the computer on, I had completely forgotten what it was I was supposed to be looking up. Doh! Old age sucks :(