Thursday, 30 November 2006

happy birthday, Dad!

It's my Dad's birthday today. Yay! It's nice to have a chance to celebrate him. (In his job he usually focuses on everyone else.) He's been such a great father-type figure over the years. I love talking to him and sharing ideas with him. He and Mum are so supportive and now great friends also.

Happy birthday, Dad!

Tuesday, 28 November 2006

Christmas cake

Last week I spent an afternoon after school in the cooking classroom with some other teachers making my first Christmas cake. Today I was feeding it a couple of tablespoons of brandy, as I am meant to do a few times a week, apparently. Here it is in all its glory! Actually, I realise it is quite ugly looking. Ah well. They say it will taste good.

PS. I realise my posts have been miniscule lately. Sigh. I will try to make time in the next few days. My days seem so squished full of stuff to do!

Saturday, 25 November 2006

British Airways debate

As I blogged earlier, British Airways was involved in a publicity scandal about an employee who refused to remove her cross from her necklace while working at the check-in counter. She lost her appeal against the airline, but now they have announced that they will be reviewing their religious clothing policy in light of public debate.

weekend away

Ant and I are in Liverpool visiting his family for the weekend. Both sisters are having birthdays this weekend, and we are also celebrating his Nan's seventieth birthday which happens in a couple of weeks. We've brought up our Christmas and birthday gifts (actually we ordered some of them from Amazon to arrive here today). We'll go out to dinner to celebrate Etta's birthday tonight. I'll return home on Sunday and he might stay until Monday.

Monday, 20 November 2006

casino royale

On Saturday Ant and I went out to see the new Bond film with Rob, Emma, and Mark. We went out first to eat at a little Italian place in Chelsea. Our pizzas all came on the same platter. The food was delicious and Rob picked out a lovely bottle of wine (actually we drank two bottles between us). It was brilliant to be out with friends.

The movie had all the requisite Bond components: lots of action, gadgets, fast cars, beautiful people. In addition, there were some great poker scenes and some gruesome torturing (not a plus!). Ant and I both enjoyed it; it was the kind of mindless fun that Bond is great for, with slightly more plot than usual.

Tuesday, 14 November 2006

lovely Ant

I have been extremely busy this week at work with some extra burdens. Fortunately Ant has stepped up to the task of running things at home. He has done oodles of washing up, laundry, and cleaning. He cooked two delicious meals yesterday and today: chicken tikka masala with rice and sausages with mustard and green onion mashed potatoes. How sweet! And today we had slices of a little cheesecake he picked out for me with fresh strawberries on top. Mmm! At least one area of my life is running smoothly.

Sunday, 12 November 2006

capital punishment

Yesterday we spent the evening with Chris and Tamra. We watched Pierrepoint, a movie about a man who was one of Britain's hangmen. What a difficult job he had to exact justice on condemned criminals. The movie was really thought-provoking. He carried out his duties with great dignity, caring for the bodies after the hanging especially tenderly. He said that the executed had paid their price and so they were now innocent and so their bodies deserved proper treatment. He did his job effectively by detaching himself from the people he met. Mr Pierrepoint had difficulties in his marriage since his wife banned him from talking about his work at home. When an execution of someone he knew started to cause him to become emotionally battered he had no one to turn to.

Mr Pierrepoint was involved in executing Nazis after the Neuremburg trials and for this he was hailed as a hero by the people in his town. On the other hand, he was hated at another time because an innocent man was executed. He found that as the years went on it was more and more difficult to do his job as public opinion turned and his emotions became more caught up in the people he executed.

At the end of his life he finally made his opinions about capital punishment known. In his autobiography he wrote: "I have come to the conclusion that executions solve nothing, and are only an antiquated relic of a primitive desire for revenge which takes the easy way and hands over the responsibility for revenge to other people.... The trouble with the death penalty has always been that nobody wanted it for everybody, but everybody differed about who should get off."

Friday, 10 November 2006

staying healthy

I had a lot of sick days last year and I decided that wouldn't happen any more. One thing that has been keeping me healthy lately has been greater job satisfaction. I have also been keeping a closer eye on what I eat. And to ensure it goes well I have started taking multivitamins and omega 3, 6, 9 tablets for about three weeks. Oh, yes, cycling probably helps too! I can really say that I have been feeling a lot better. Today I was reading all about fish oil as I've heard before about how children's concentration is upped dramatically by taking it regularly. I think that my concentration has really increased. Or maybe it's a placebo effect. I've got a 60 day supply of vitamins so I'm hoping that I won't have more than one sick day this half term. Here's hoping.

Wednesday, 1 November 2006

hot and cold

Today I am shivering. But Sunday was a glorious day, and after church we went to Matt and Bree's for a barbeque. You can see that it was lovely and sunny and we all stood out on the roof while Matt cooked up some hamburgers, sausages, corn on the cob, and portabella mushrooms. Alexis and Sandra were there, and Justin, who was visiting for part of the weekend, and Matt's friend Ben.

Today has been such a cold day. Just on Monday I was saying to myself how nice it is that the school is in several buildings since I get some sun and air when I go to the staff room or to the photocopier. But today I wasn't too keen about the fresh air lark. it was frigid. Welcome to November, eh.