Monday, 26 March 2012

Busy packing ...

We are busy getting ready for our next trip to France. When we first bought in France the idea was that we would be able to ‘travel light’. Needless to say this hasn’t ever happened!

Our apartment in Thollon-les-Memises was about the size of the guest apartment we currently have in the sous sol at Le Petit Pressigny. Our buyers were very insistent that we also sell them our furniture, which was of typical chalet style. After a millisecond of deliberation we agreed! It would have been the worst kind of nightmare to even contemplate moving the furniture down in the lift from the third floor, let alone half way across France. Little did we know then that we would be dragging even more furniture from the UK!

Our trusty old Discovery (220,000 miles on the same engine and gear box) towed out the contents of our house with the help of a hired trailer, through the course of five return journeys. In retrospect a removal van from the UK may have been more cost effective, but we have never liked to take the easy option!

Our current car is smaller and whenever we travel we are packed to the gunnels – whatever they are! Packing usually stresses Tim, so my preferred stress-buster is to pile up everything I think we need and a bit more besides. I then set off for work, leaving Tim to pack the car in my absence!

Watch this space for more news of our loading for the coming holiday ...

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Remind me again ...

Why it is that the Government think people who earn hundreds of thousand pounds a year and more need the incentive and motivation to work hard and not avoid paying tax, whereas people on far less are told that since we are all in this together we must all pay more?

Lower rate threshold moved up, higher rate threshold moved down, top rate of tax lowered. Sounds like a squeezed middle to me.

This isn’t meant to be a political statement and I don’t want to lose any friends. I’m sure that whatever colour the Government there were painful decisions to be taken.

We all want to be rid of benefit cheats and tax dodgers, but we shouldn't demonise people in receipt of benefits nor higher earners. 

Sometimes I wonder whether we really are all in this together …

Monday, 19 March 2012

Remind me ....

What it’s called when on a sunny but cold Sunday afternoon you carefully unwrap the standard bay trees, which have spent the winter insulated, only to be followed on Sunday night by a ground frost and temperatures of -2┬║C????

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Feeding the birds ....

Tim has been taking some photographs of birds feeding at the bird table and feeders. They were taken through a window so are a bit hazy, but I like them.

Who invited the pesky squirrel to the party?

P.S. Tim thinks that before I post any more photographs I need a quick course in photo editing ….

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Next stop, Crewe ...

What we need is a gentle stroll along the canal.

Look out…

Next stop Crewe!


Saturday, 10 March 2012

The time is right ....

My ‘secret’ can now be revealed and although it's a long story I’ll give you the abridged version!

In October my colleague Liz resigned as she was moving with her family to live in Clermont Ferrand. As Liz worked part time, this provided me with an opportunity to ‘step down’ from my responsibilities as head of learning, and directing our specialist status for Science. This would also allow me to work fewer days each week. Not quite retirement, but another step along the way! Suffice to say my request was accepted by the school Governors and this week we appointed my successor to start in September. The decision was a difficult one as there was an excellent field of candidates.

The time is right and I am looking forward to having more time and energy to enjoy life!

The time is also right as I read in yesterday’s Times Educational that the Government plan to reduce the amount of practical work in Science … because it is expensive!

Can you credit it? My whole philosophy is that our scientists, doctors and engineers of the future will come from kids who enjoy science. Reducing the amount of practical work will only serve to turn these kids off.

Yet another own goal for Mr. Gove and his merry band at the Department for Education (or whatever they are calling themselves today).

Yes, the time is right, and I am relieved and content …

Friday, 9 March 2012

Still waiting for the white smoke ...

Thanks to everyone who commented on my post on Wednesday.

To update you with the situation it is true to say that I’m not IRRITATED, ANGRY or WORRIED, although I am SAD but most definitely HAPPY. At the end of the process I may even be a little bit SURPRISED. However, the final decision is yet to be made and we are still awaiting the ‘white smoke’!

I think the overwhelming emotion will be one of RELIEF.

To be continued …

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

A Big Day ....

Today is a BIG day for me and I’m not sure how I’ll be feeling by the end of it.

I’ll let you know later ….

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Dydd Dewi Sant - St David's Day ...

Wishing you all a very happy
St David’s Day!

I love to see daffodils wild in the woods behind our house. However today I will have a bunch on my desk at school.

Just beside the stile into the woods is this plaque, which has been there for about 5 years.

I always wonder who David was, and how he ended up there …