Taizé Service

On Sunday evening there was a Taizé service in the Minster for the Week of Christian Unity, or something, and Meeting had been asked to find some “young people” to light a candle. Toby and Luke and Millie Holman were asked and we all went along.

All the chairs are out of the Minster at the moment , and they had arranged some in a big oval shape in the nave, around some icons and a horizontal wooden cross on the floor. There was some (lots of) Taizé chanting, a reading and then our lot lit the candle.

It was a really high candle, so Toby had a wick on the end of a stick. The first time he tried to light it, he couldn’t see the candle wick and his long wick went out. He came back to relight it, he and Luke barely containing their giggles, and fortunately managed to light it second time round. There was an audible sigh of relief from the congregation.

After that everyone light a little night light they had been given and placed it onto the cross in the middle of the nave, until it had candles right up and down it. Looked lovely.

The Minster was alarmingly cold!

Truck-part 4

Hey everybody my truck is now back to its normal self again, after a few bumpy weeks she is in fully working condition! I was driving her last night around the park and she was going scarily fast! Well as I said last time I was going to go down to the Knavesmire and drive about. I also mentioned letting dad have a go. I should have realised from the beginning that that was a mistake!

O well got her fixed up and she is running smoothly. Going to buy a few parts for her over the next two weeks or so. This time to make sure the truck lasts longer than to get the truck going again!

I’m going to get a new air filter and a fuel filter. This will stop dirt and dust getting into the engine and also keep the engine cool while it is running. I am also going to get a centre skid plate and a fuel tank guard. This will strengthen the truck and help stop things breaking. Overall these four items will cost about £40!!! Oh well its all worth it.

Oh yeah and she still hasn’t had the space to hit top speed. I don’t think I will ever drive her at top speed because you need a really long, straight, flat road to get full power with no cars and you don’t get that in the UK! Oh well I’ll see how fast I can get her going off road though!!!

Chemo Six

Cindy went in today for her sixth chemo in this round. She is fine this evening, but will no doubt get exhaused over the next few days. The side effects of this sort of chemo aren’t too bad though, and because it seems to be having a positive effect Dr Bottomley has suggested that Cindy have a few (2-4) more doses, spaced 3 weeks apart as so far.

Cindy is doing pretty well. She is a lot less short of breath, can get upstairs without needing oxygen or having to pause and generally has more energy than in October/November. As usual, she is amazingly positive, vibrant and full of enthusiam.

Back to School …Soon

I went into school this morning to talk about starting back after the half term holiday. They’ve arranged a “phased return” to work, where I observe and work with small groups during the first week back, gradually do more teaching during the second week, teach 3 days in the third week, 4 days in the forth, and the whole week in the fifth week, which is the last week of term.

I was remarkably worked up just going into school, but of course it was fine, everyone was very nice. I went into my classroom to see my class, and they were pleased to see me, which made me feel great. There are a lot of nice children in the class and I should be able to get back into enjoying teaching, rather than struggling to get through it. I’ve arranged to go in a couple more times before the holiday, just as a helper or to pop in and that’ll also start making it seem more normal. I was surprised to discover how much I enjoyed seeing everyone!

The school have also found a behaviour management course, specifically for NQTs that I’m going to go on. It’s three or four days long scattered through the next term or so.

I’m actually starting to look forward to going back (some of the time!)

Craft & Engineering Afternoon

John has gone off to a birthday party – pizza and then ten pin bowling. We’re having mussels for tea, and he likes them so much he insisted I do him some for his lunch. He didn’t like them at all, he told me, they were absolutely disgusting. As shown by his licked clean plate.

Rose and Cindy have been making clothes for the rag doll that Rose has made. The rag doll is called Jane because it is similar to one that Jane, my sister, had, that Rose has seen at Mary’s. She has got her name embroidered onto her dungarees.

Toby and I have been busy mending his car that I broke last weekend. All gone together now thank goodness. He’s also mended the puncture on his bike that meant he had to walk his paper round a couple of times this week. He even borrowed my bike for one morning – not sure I’m keen on that!

He’s just about to check the car still works – slowly – in the back lane.

Mum and Dad for the weekend

Started our weekend over a cup of tea and cream doughnuts and danish pastries. Caught up on family news while cooking fish pie and peas, helping Toby to fill out his Youth club forms and aid in stapling Rose’s puppet theatre project. Enjoyed a lovely family meal and then sunk into the soft seats for the evening.

Mum came with me to Rose’s dance class and dad had a bit of quiet newspaper reading after we all enjoyed a variety of cooked breakfast goodies. Haven’t watched Rose for several weeks now and could really see that she had improved and they were all able to pick up a dance routine more quickly. Edward took John to his class and he returned home wanting some proper dance shoes.

After lunch Toby and Edward went off to the Knavesmire to drive Toby’s truck and the rest of us headed out for the Railway Museum. Mum and Dad have not been here for several years and Dad was especially interested to see the Japanese Bullet train. Certainly nice to sink into the Bullet’s comfy seats fort 5 minutes and catch our breath from train viewing.
Back home it was useful not having to cook as Mum had brought a beef stew and a couple of fruit pies.

Card playing after tea accompanied with a bottle of wine and chocs.

Edward and children off to Meeting for the Christmas social on Sunday while Mum, Dad and I went to the Castle Museum. Have not been here without children before and it was really nice to take time and be able to read the information. Did have to avoid a rather eccentric couple who were engaging evrybody in conversation as they moved around the museum. The woman even shared her bottom wiping experience with me as we looked at rolls of ancient loo paper……..is it somthing about my face?!!! Super cheese scones in the cafe and then a very quick whip round the second half as the parking time was running out and we could see a traffic warden in the car park from the cafe window.

Scrummy roast beef (Mum again) followed by meringues with raspberries from Jean’s allotment for supper. Mum and Dad then had to set off for the long five hour drive back. John is very pleased with his dance tape from Nanny and it is doubtful that the oversized fur coat will make it out of the house as John and Rose are having far too much fun with it. It seems to be doubling up as a bath robe at the moment.


Don Giovanni

We went to the opera last night with Keith and Judy. Before it started, we went for a meal at Fruits and Shoots, a vegetarian restaurant which is just round the corner from the Grand Theatre.

I really enjoyed the opera – the costumes seemed a bit of a hotch-potch, most in sort of 30s style, and one not at all. The singing and playing though were excellent – I particularly liked Leporello’s voice.

Not particularly knowing the opera, I couldn’t see how they were going to have a second half – as they caught Don Giovanni and were just about to have their revenge, when… he escaped! The second half was a bit bizarre, with an invitation to a meal issued to the statue of a dead man – who then turned up and took Don Giovanni down to hell.

The final bit of singing, which sounds very joyful when sung in Italian, turns out to mean “All sinners will go to hell.” Odd.

I suppose you don’t particularly go to opera for the coherence of the plot.

Knitting Bee

Enjoyed a lovely day at Carol Gilham’s knitting bee held to celebrate her birthday. Arrived in good time to enjoy morning coffee and delicious biscuits. Sock knitting seemed to be the order of the day especially as Carol is a bit of a sock guru and carries the pattern around in her head. Annabel and Vivienne were knitting with a sock kit that includes pre dyed wool that knits into a pattern resulting in something that makes you look a lot more skilful than you actually are……this will be the kit for me! Jo was being skillful, however, and was half way through an enormous pair of tradiditional Norweigan socks -this was desrvedly awarded Corol’s project of the day.

Ruth Cory was up to the armhole shaping on a garment she described as a flak jacket. Fabulous construction in hand spun wool. I was amused to hear how Ruth started hand spinning on salvaging a couple of fleeces from a farmyard that she couldn’t bear to see go to waste. Also chatted with her about ‘Vera Drake’ that we had both seen and agreed was absolutely fabulous both as a piece of cinema and as a comment on women and abortion.

We moved into the subject of the importannce of choice and understanding others points of view and somehow into the animal rights campaigners in particular the appalling treatment meted out to anybody who has contact with the guinea pig farm raising animals for medical experimentation.

Lunch was scrummy: homemade lentil soup with breads and cheeses from Caroline’s Good Food shop served in the kitchen where Claire was encouraging us all to eat plenty as there was plenty more on hand.

Brenda offered up spare circular needles and cable needles of which I claimed some so I will definitely have to expand my knitting skills. Brenda was reknitting a cuff on a much loved cardigan-how’s that for economy.(Chatted to my mum about this and she used to do the same with our school jumpers also extending the length as we all got bigger. I can also recall mum talking about turning a well worn coat, this was also touched upon in Vera Drake. Can’t imagine that charity shops would have access to much stock in the 50’s)

And I have been knitting a jumper in Rowan kidsilkhaze(shades 582 and 605) pattern design number 23 ‘Glint’ by Kim Hargreaves in Rowan knitting magazine number 30. Simple roundneck striped jumper with edging in Rowan Lurex Shimmer (shade 339). Thinking that after this I will go for something more challenging.

I left in time to pick up John and Rose after a quick cup of tea and fruit bread. Knitters were still arriving. So if you are reading this Carol thankyou for a really lovely day and I look forward to more bees.