Monday, 24 October 2016

Blue Monday

A hazy blue today.

Something from the Grand Tetons, southwest of Yellowstone National Park.

Much less famous than their supervolcanic sexy neighbour, but breathtaking in their own way. We stopped to take these on our way to Yellowstone and I hope that next time we visit, we spend some time in this mountain range as well.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Weekend WIP

Linen: After the love has gone.

This picture is all dark at the top because I was looming over it like Trump over Hillary at that presidential debate. But you can see that I am FINALLY onto the last stripe. I was prevaricating because I didn't have enough yarn to get an even stripe of that dark blue at the bottom, which sent me into a sulk because I thought I had planned it so perfectly.

But, you can see from this picture of two weeks ago that I have made some progress:

This evening I was going to wind the yarn for my next project, but I doggedly stuck with this one. I reckon, if the yarn holds out, I am about 8 rows from finishing the body. I think the neckline and armholes will have to be in the sea green, as I don't have enough left of the others, but I don't think they will take long. Then I can get back to knitting something soft and warm and appropriate to the season.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Blue Monday

Back to the Red Sea: thousands of acres of blue.

Can't believe this was nearly eight years ago.

That reminds me that it must be nearly time to buy a new mattress, since the same writing job paid for that and this trip.

And the underwater camera. I was having way too much fun with it, of course.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Scenes from the Classroom #24

It has been interesting to transition from a school where I worked for 13 years to a new school with a very different student demographic. Not as difficult as I had feared - I haven't needed to spend time (yet) establishing myself because I just behave as though I have always worked there and seem to get away with it.

An interesting difference is in the low-level disruption, and I think it is created by the fact the classroom is now all girls instead of mixed gender. Mixed gender low-level disruption looks like:

  • Swinging on chairs
  • Doing something non-specific with compass/calculator/other equipment
  • Bottle flipping (the latest craze)
  • Fiddling with uniform
  • Chatting
  • Yawning, sneezing or coughing loudly
  • Drumming on desk
Only the uniform continues to be an issue for me. Most of the chatting so far has been about the work (!!)

However, there is a whole new problem that I am going to call, excessive neatness. You may be familiar with the stereotypical girl: likes things to be neat so, like a medieval monk working on a biblical manuscript, starts again if she makes a mistake. I can report that this is more than just a stereotype. The desire to be neat and tidy must be responsible for more lost learning minutes in a day than any other behaviour. It manifests itself thus:
  • Painstakingly cutting, or tearing with the aid of a ruler, the edges off of worksheets and stick-ins until there is no white border and they fit perfectly (but then, paradoxically, sweeping the rubbish straight onto the floor)
  • Using several different colours, or..
  • Being unable to write because of not having the write shade of blue pen
  • Refusing to write down the 'copy and correct' starter until it has been corrected, thus making the starter twice as long as it should be
  • Being reluctant to let me mark the book
  • Tearing pages out and starting again

Thus, I had this conversation with a Y11 the other day...

Me: *turns around just in time to see D rip a page from her book*
Me: D, there was nothing wrong with that
D: It wasn't neat enough
Me: It was fine, and you've done about 10% of today's work - you muct finish it all or you won't have the right notes
D: I just want to write it out again so it is neat
Me: Please don't do that
D: But...
Me: If you want to write it out again, please do it at home. You must have these notes to revise from. It's more important that you have all the notes than that they look neat
D: But if they're not neat, I won't revise from them.

I do understand the extreme desire to be neat, but this is ridiculous.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Tuesday Ten

After many years of prompting us every Tuesday, Carole has decided to go monthly so I am trawling back through her old posts for this one.

Ten words that describe me, that begin with the first letter of my name 

1. Sarcastic. Beats out all other adjectives to describe me by miles, I think.

2. Sassy. As a synonym for bossy: a quality I embrace whole-heartedly.

3. Sensible. I try to always weigh my decisions; but this is relative. I don't think Mr Z would agree with this one, for example.

4. Smart. Really I just have a very good memory, which makes me look smarter than I am.

5. Strident. Hopefully not excessively so, but I do like to press my point, especially when I think I am right (99% of the time, even after a number of embarrassing climb downs have proved otherwise)

6. Strong. I can deadlift my own weight, which is considerable. The first time I did this, I was relieved that I would be able to pull myself out of a hole if necessary (don't point out that this uses different muscles...)

7. Sneezy, especially this time of year. It's like having hayfever several months too late. Apparently it's mould spores, but I now have a running joke with the Head of Geography that it is her I am allergic to.

8. Smiley. I am generally a cheerful person, I think.

9. Sociable. I do enjoy being around other people, although as I get older I find I am slightly less willing to put up with people.

10. Stoical. Something else I work quite hard at: not letting things over which I have no control worry me. It works sometimes.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Blue Monday

I posted a couple of weeks ago about the blue tiled bench from the park in Hanoi. Here's the end of it: something that would be great to recreate in my back garden, albeit in a much miniaturised form.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Weekend WIP

In spite of the fact it is now properly chilly outside and a linen top won't be especially useful until next spring, I have been plugging away at the blue linen timetable I started way back in May.

I've got a bit of a problem, really: I need to set it aside to rest, partly because I'm not enjoying it (and therefore not knitting very much) and partly because I think I'm going to run out of the darkest blue yarn before my plan comes off. But it's chiefly for that second reason that I am doggedly continuing: if I run out I can make plans to buy another skein at Wonderwool next year.

Also, this represents 2000m of yarn towards this year's total and if I don't finish, I will have no hope of surpassing last year's total. This shouldn't be important but it is.

Half term is in two weeks. Traditionally, October half terms spent at home result in a finished sweater, due to the amount of hibernating and TV watching that needs to happen in that week; so I am going to give myself two weeks to get the body of this one done and then at half term I will cast on something fresh. Whether the linen is finished after that will depend on yarn remains and how much there is left to do.