5 May 2013

DaffodilsGood morning on what looks like it could be a moderately pleasant day to continue the streak of pleasantly pleasant days we’ve enjoyed over the past week. A bit “parky” at the beginning of the week but the temperatures have become much more tolerable as the week has progressed climbing, so far, to the dizzying heights of 16o Celsius (61o F) in our neighbourhood yesterday. It’s supposed to reach 20o tomorrow, for the May Day Bank Holiday, so here’s hoping.

We had some vistors on Monday which required that I should be on my best behaviour. You may recollect some time ago I mentioned that Ms Playchute had become a Facebook junkie ever since discovering that the school she attended in Kenya in the mid-60s had a Facebook page. Pen soon became a fanatic and thoroughly enjoyed the contact that she was able to make with long-lost schoolmates.

Liz Evans and PennyOne of the “girls” who settled in Australia was planning a three-month long holiday in the UK and Europe visiting friends and family and Pen arranged for her and her husband to call on Monday afternoon, which they did and very pleasant it was too. As they live in Australia, I was instructed to retrieve the barbeque from deep storage and incinerate an offering of Sandy’s Barbequed Side of Salmon with Pesto. Amy potatoes and asparagus rounded out the main course which was followed by the first rhubarb from the garden in the form of Penelope’s famous Strawberry and Rhubarb Crisp with vanilla ice cream. Delicious.

The other “excitement” this week has come in the form of our Molly developing a case of the wobbles! She has developed what the vet thinks is Canine Peripheral Vestibular Syndrome, an inner ear condition which has the effect of knocking out her balance and rendering her essentially immobile. Her back legs give way and, when she is able to stagger to her feet, she walks with her head tilted and a constant list to starboard, her eyes continuously whirling as she tries to make sense of a dizzying world. She spent two nights at the vet’s being dosed on antibiotics and fluids and, although she’s now back home and improving, it’s a sorry sight. As if Penny didn’t have enough on her plate looking after me and her mother – she now has to provide care and affection to the dog as well!

Some of you will know our friend Val Norman, long-time partner and eventual wife of our good friend Dave Stansfield. Val sadly passed away on Thursday. I first met Val in the relatively early days of my teaching career through Dave who was into the use of computers in teaching in the same way that I was. She and Dave both taught at Banbury School and eventually went to work at the International School in Paris where we visited them on a couple of occasions – Dave would invite us out to provide some ICT in-service training for the staff and we would take the opportunity of combining a bit of work with a much greater proportion of pleasure. I remember in those early days being hugely impressed with Val’s willingness to speak her mind, especially when those “in authority” were about to implement something stupid. While I might have muttered under my breath about such stupidity, I was often reluctant to challenge publicly those “in authority” about their idiotic policies.  Now, of course, I an quite happy to rant about most things. We will miss her.

For those of you who will be involved with the XCstravangaza celebrations in the summer, you might want to check out the latest Arrivals and Departure board at the XCstravaganza web site. It has “up to the moment” information about everyone’s arrival and departure dates which may or may not be accurate! I think the only details we are waiting for is from our Adam but he assures me that he will be in attendance for most of the gathering. If I’ve missed you off or if any of the information I have for you is inaccurate, let me know.

A few snippets caught my eye this week. Firstly, an article by a teacher outlining the education secretary’s lack of consistency in his educational policies. How very restrained to categorise them as “inconsistent” – I would have just referred to them as idiotic.

Secondly, and still on a vaguely educational theme, an article from the New York Times outlining how a Georgia school held its first integrated prom. In 2013? Are you kidding me?

And finally, I had no idea that yesterday was Star Wars Day – did you? In hindsight, it’s obvious – May the Fourth be with you!

Star Wars Day

But perhaps even more significantly, yesterday was also World Naked Gardening Day. I did some gardening, how about you?

Happy Cinco de Mayo and much love to you all,



2 thoughts on “5 May 2013”

  1. All I can say is naked gardening at 61 degrees is either very brave or just plain stupid? But, hey….Go Greg! Personally, naked gardening starts here when it’s 80 or better, no matter what the day/date is! 🙂

  2. It’s neither brave nor stupid – you must remember that we are in the UK and 61 degrees is like the height of summer here. The only “problem” I experienced – I mowed the lawns and the flying grass cuttings get everywhere!

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