Sunday, March 30, 2008

Hilbre Odyssey

We've lived on the Wirral Peninsula for 19 years now. In that time, we haven't once taken a walk out to Hilbre, the tidal island and nature reserve in the middle of the Dee Estuary. When his Lordship was opening mail for our eldest daughter who is currently 'studying' in Spain, he came across an invitation to celebrate the 25th anniversary of A Rocha, the Christian environmentalist organisation. The day was to consist of a walk to Hilbre followed by presentations in the afternoon. We decided to gatecrash! We wrapped up warm and drove the 10 minute journey to West Kirby. We bought sandwiches en route. I would normally make them but we had nothing in to make them with. I felt uneasy about opening a plastic sandwich pack amongst Christian environmentalists, so in order to not cause offence, I took a roll of tin foil with me. This way, on the car journey I could remove the sandwiches from the offending packs and wrap them in foil. The weather was overcast with rain forecast. Still, off we trudged across the sand, taking a turn at Little Eye. After about 50 mins we reached Hilbre. We saw some grey seals on a sandbank in the distance. We saw some Brent geese and some other purple something something or others. This I know because a very kind man let me look through his binoculars. We had stupidly forgotten to take ours. There were lots of wintering waders for those with eyes (or binoculars) to see and the knowledge to recognise them. I liked the wonderful sandstone which forms the base for the island. The wonderful rich red colour is not captured in the photo above. Finally the bad weather caught up with us and we had to head back. Walking towards Little Eye we found ourselves walking into a strong headwind and sand. As we turned in to the coast of West Kirby and the welcoming sight of Morrisons (?) the rain started in earnest. We got sopping wet, but only down one side. We decided to head home to dry clothes, warmth and food. We got so cosy that sadly we didn't make it back to the presentations. Sorry A Rocha!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Portraits, pole dancing and chocolate shredded wheat cakes.

Almost Easter. I can't believe it. We have only just handed the second assignment in and I've got the third one hovering over me like the Grim Reaper. The only one which has been marked was crap. I got a P2 for it which is like the lowest grade you can get. So God alone knows how I will do in the other two. I really can't be arsed with academic writing - I am too much of a creative (don't laugh, now!). I just hate the artificiality of academic writing and I can't stay awake long enough to do the academic reading. A girl on my course has just, in her mid twenties, had herself deemed dyslexic and is taking all the freebies going, including automatic extension rights. I asked her what her 'symptoms' were. She said she reads things but has forgotten the beginning of a sentence by the time she gets to the end. I'm seriously considering having myself assessed.

We have changed our foundation subject courses in the curriculum studies part of the course. I now do PE, Art and Music instead of Geography, History and RE. I have to grudgingly say that PE isn't as bad as I thought it would be. The PE tutor is off his head, which is fine by me, though I do still find myself doing what I did at school, ie find a corner to stand in and try to look invisible. Sadly, you can't sneak off to the loos for a smoke these days! I wasn't in last week, but the week before I fell over and really hurt my knee playing 'tiger tag'. You shouldn't have to undergo such indignities at my age! I had to sit all evening with a veritable plethora of ice packs on my knee, courtesy of his Lordship, which helped a lot. But the following week, I bent down to clean Alice the hamster's cage and felt a burning sensation go right up the front of my thigh. The next day the same thing happened to my other leg when I was bending down to put my nose in a hula hoop on the floor...don't was cross curricular Spanish in PE. I could barely walk afterwards!

In Art we have been doing portraits of our classmates. The picture here is the lovely Sarah's interpretation of me. I don't think it is bad for a first attempt. My one of her was OK, too. We also did abstract collage portraits of each other. She was off for an interview in her hometown yesterday. Everyone is panicking and applying for jobs at the moment but I just don't feel ready at all. I wonder whether a short stint doing supply would be a bad thing. I refuse to get caught up in the hysteria.

I've just done my third attachment Wednesday at my new school. Another student was doing a session on healthy lifestyles with our Year 2 class today. She was doing a brainstorm of types of exercise (yeah, I know the PC brigade don't like the term 'brainstorm' but who cares what they think?) We had all the usual suggestions. Then this little boy puts his hand up and says, "pole dancing". From the mouths of babes, eh? She looked surprised but they do actually do pole dance exercise classes in some places now so it went up on the board. Apparently another of our 7 year-olds (another boy) was able to enlighten the ignorant that, "that's when you swing around a pole in your knickers and bra." I wondered if we were all a bit confused. Just a few minutes before a boy had asked me if there was any such thing as Polish dancing. I said yes and he asked what it was like. I said I didn't know and he'd have to ask a Polish person. At this he seemed less than enthusiastic, saying that all the Polish people in his school could only say one word of English, that being 'Lewis'. Minutes later, we had the pole dancing suggestion. Surreal.

I decided to stay behind for the healthy club after school. There was a slight oversight on the healthy front in that we were making chocolate shredded wheat nests with mini eggs. Well, they do say that a little of what you fancy does you good!