Monday, 14 October 2019

Weekend WIP

The progress on the crochet is both quicker (because I'm getting better at it) and slower (because the rounds are getting bigger). It looks decidedly Christmassy at the moment because of the red and white, but close stalkers will be aware that my future niece is half Peruvian and will undoubtedly want to fly the flag of her mother's country at all opportunities.


Please excuse my lazy, unedited photograph but it was this or nothing.


Sunday, 13 October 2019

Sunday Selfie

I've spent the weekend on a DofE expedition. This was taken at the end of today. I was voluntarily in this position.


Some wisdom:
1. 3am is not a good time to discover your tent isn't waterproof.
2. Distant, unlocateable raves in the Mendips go on until 8am.
3. If your group says they don't know how to use a compass, save everyone a lot of hassle and fail them before they even start.
4. Take walking shoes even if you're adamant you won't be walking with them.

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Three on Thursday

(I know it's not Thursday, sshhh...I didn't finish it in time)

Three podcasts I can recommend

1. The Joe Rogan podcast - not that he needs any more subscribers. Many of his episodes are interviews with MMA fighters so you'd be forgiven for scrolling right past, but he has interviewed some really interesting people. I particularly liked Megan Phelps-Roper, Bernie Sanders and Louis Theroux. Also I now follow him (and his dog) on Instagram and he seems really grounded and sensible.

2. The 30 for 30 podcast series on Bikram - much as I love the yoga, this was eye-opening. Well-researched and quite fascinating insight into the bikram community - but also quite an interesting look at how people manage to build myths about themselves in order to become wildly successful. A blueprint, if you will.

3. The Mary Portas Work Like a Woman podcast - I have been a fan of Mary Portas for a long time and I can just eat up any content she cares to put out, but this series is also an interesting insight into working practices and comes with advice for improving things at work and elsewhere in life. I'd love to pick up the book, but the number of unread books I've got just makes me sad so I have resisted thus far.

Hopefully something new for you to listen to there. I'm also open to recommendations!

Monday, 7 October 2019

Blue Monday

Something from Durdle Door last week.


Every time I see this place, I'm astonished it exists in this country.

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Sunday Selfie

Featuring Mother Hand this week, because I found a lot of selfies featuring us together from this year, from our various adventures together.


This is from Whitchurch Silk Mill, which we visited in May during a minibreak to do a tour of the Bombay Sapphire Distillery. Really pretty location and lots of ducks.


And this is from the palace gardens in Copenhagen, in the summer.

Weekend WIP

The crochet blanket is beginning to grow.


I'm still struggling with the tensioning and I don't love how it looks, yet, but I am definitely getting the hang of it and splitting the yarn less, which is good because at one point this week I literally screamed at it in frustration. I think I'm on round 6; I'm intending to do 8 of red, 8 of white, 8 of red, or until the red runs out, whichever is sooner. Theoretically, there is about half a ball each of red and white leftover from when I made the Barber Pole top, but it's not in the Smoothie bag so I am going to have to declare it lost.

I think, as it grows, it will look neater. Hopefully.

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Weeknote: 5/10

Knitting:
There hasn't been any knitting this week. There has only been the dark and foul art of crochet. I've made a start on a baby blanket for my incoming niece; I found a tutorial to help me get started and I am not getting into the rhythm of the thing, although I had to pull out about a third of what I accomplished at knitting group today because I can't really see what direction I'm supposed to be working in or where the rows fall. The Smoothie is splitty. I can't hold tension. But - I will persevere.

Going to:
On Monday we had the first of our annual nerdy history teacher meet ups, which ended with a long chat with Lizzy and a sushi take away. Yum.

On Wednesday I went on my first ever Geography field trip as an adult! We went to Swanage and Lulworth Cove, the latter of which I'd been to with a Geology field trip back when I was studying Geology #atmylastschool. We had absolutely stunning weather for the whole day, which happened to be the only day of the week where it didn't pour with rain. WINNING.




On Friday I hung out with my friends Ghaz and Kath, neither of whom I have seen for quite some time. We ate Chinese, learned about VSCO girls and watched Jimmy Kimmel celebrity mad libs. We know how to rock a Friday night.

Entertained by:
Bizarrely, I picked up Malory Towers this week at school and started reading. My brain is feel a little squeezed and it was about all I could manage.

Baking:
Today I made some Levain-style chocolate chip cookies. I don't know who or what Levain is, but a friend posted pictures of some she'd made a few weeks ago and so I had to copy. Here is the original recipe I used, copied here in case it disappears and with the ingredients converted to weights instead of cups.

250g butter, cubed
200g soft brown sugar (I ran out of this so I used molasses sugar today, it added a great depth to the flavour)
100g caster sugar
2 Eggs
200g self-raising flour
200g plain flour
1 teaspoon cornflour
3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
300g dark chocolate, chopped (use chips if you like but, meh)
200g walnuts roughly chopped

Cream together the butter and sugars for 3-4 minutes, until creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate and nuts - I do this by hand to save the mixer and avoid over-mixing. Roll largish handfuls into hockey puck shapes - I get about 15 cookies out of this mixture, but they are super big.
Bake at 210 degrees for 9-12 minutes or until golden brown on the top. Let them rest for at least 10 minutes to set.

Feeling:
Significantly less overwhelmed than I was on Thursday. Time passes. Deadlines loom and pass with no world-ending consequences.
I've got two very busy weekends coming up, but then it is half term, whoop whoop!

Strictly: My Dance of the Night

Really, really hard to choose this week. They were all very entertaining. I especially loved Michelle's quickstep (that woman is goals) and Dev's couple's choice dance to Aladdin (really fun and he nailed the character) but, surprisingly, it was Catherine's rumba that I wanted to watch again first. I'm not much for the rumba. Shirley said it always makes her feel awkward when it is early on in the series; it makes me feel awkward most of the time because it's so contrived, but Catherine and Johannes nailed it and I think that's why it seemed like everyone was crying. I think he's an excellent pro: he looked so proud of himself last week when Motsi complimented his choreography.





Thursday, 3 October 2019

Three on Thursday

A lovely idea from Carole this week - the rose (best bit of your day), the thorn (worst bit) and the bud (something eagerly anticipated).

The Rose:
We had a new parents' evening and met the parents of our first year tutees. One of them told me tutor time was her favourite part of the week and she looked forward to it more than anything else. So cute.

The Thorn:
I spent much of the day chuckling in disbelief at the amount of work I need to get done. It's not even like it's little niggly things, either: it feels like every job is a time-limited, big, meaty, hour plus task, and none of them are fun: data scrutiny. Writing pupil references. Bidding for trip funding. Evidencing last year's targets even though I am not eligible for pay progression. Then, underneath that, the very important business of marking student work and planning lessons. The piles of paper on my desk are starting to mulch and I think it's only going to be a matter of time before somebody tells me it's a fire hazard and tidying it becomes, too, a can't-put-off task. I might just set fire to it myself. It would be quicker.

The Bud:
Well, I am going to bed as soon as I finish this which is quite exciting. But also I'm having Chinese tomorrow night with Gaz and Kath. I haven't seen Kath for 15 months and I haven't seen Gaz for about 2 years so the catch-up is going to be epic. Really looking forward to it.