Saturday, 30 June 2007

celebration weekend

And in celebration of my newly earned status, Ant purchased me a dress today. It's from Oliver Bonas, the store where any man can be assured of finding something to please his lady.

Justin was with us today, hosting a Canada Day gathering. We were small in number but we enjoyed poutine, hamburgers, veggies with dill dip, apple maple crisp, and rainbow vanilla cake.

Sonya is famous

Amherst, Nova Scotia is now famous. It's been featured on the Places to See Before You Die website. And it's all down to Sonya! She took a lovely picture and submitted some facts about Amherst Marsh. So, there you have it, folks. Get yourself down to the marsh ASAP.

Friday, 29 June 2007


I received the letter yesterday telling me I have passed the QTS assessment and also the Induction standards. Yay!

Benefits to me:

I learned a lot from all that reading! I spent so much time lately thinking about meeting the needs of SEN (special educational needs) pupils, EAL (English as an additional language) pupils and G&T (gifted and talented) pupils. I enjoyed a few of the maths assessment papers as well.

My job will be renewed since the contract stated that I had to gain QTS this year for me to remain in my post.

My pay will go up in September! I have been on the unqualified teacher pay scale this year and I am looking forward to getting onto the main scale now.

I have a lot more time now (theoretically) since that portfolio is out of the way.

weekend activities

* sleeping a bit more
* marking 50 exams
* watching the Grand Prix qualifying and race
* choosing Sunday's songs
* hosting a Canada Day gathering with Justin
* cleaning the flat for aforementioned gathering
* shopping for gathering
* making food for gathering

Sunday, 24 June 2007

PT's church

When I was in Cambridge two weeks ago visiting Micah and Anna, we happened by a church (Emmanuel United Reformed) with a rummage sale on. Anna and I popped in and met a few very nice parishioners who were just packing up their sale. Anna got to chatting and I found this plaque showing their previous ministers. Of interest to me is PT Forsyth, a congregational theologian that my Dad wrote about for his PhD. I heard loads about Forsyth during the five years my Dad was concertedly studying him and his ideas of God's holy love.

The only Forsyth I can say I have read (besides what I took in due to the PhD) is part of The Soul of Prayer. "He is the Giver not only of the answer, but first of the prayer itself." I think Forsyth may also be the author of Dad's comment that when you don't feel like praying, you need to pray until you feel like praying.

By the way, Dad, the Wikipedia article on Forsyth is still just a stub. Maybe you should contribute!

Saturday, 23 June 2007

qts weekend

I have been in to work today during the school's opening hours (10am-4pm). Well, I think my portfolio is officially finished now, with the exception of printing off a few pictures that I took today of my displays.

So tonight's job is marking a set of books and tomorrow's job is planning my two observed lessons for Monday. One of them is pretty much done--planned within an inch of its life, I believe. The other lesson is still wide open. What to do, what to do?\

As a sidebar, I just need to say how refreshing it was to cycle home through the torrential downpour that began just before 4:00 and finished just after I got home.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007


Well, now that I joined, it only took one night to become addicted! Shocking. Find me.

Monday, 18 June 2007

this week's tasks

-QTS portfolio

wedding weekend

I am a bit jet lagged and off to bed soon. But here are a few pictures from my weekend.

At Rich and Karen's wedding I saw Sonya and Kevin and my Mum stole Claire for the service.

Rich and Karen had a really touching service, which included a foot washing. The reception was at Pier 21, where the food was great. It was also the only wedding I've been at where we composed haikus and did sudoku.

Next we went to Grandad's birthday lobster dinner. Yum, yum, lobster, yum.

Sara and John's wedding was next. Their service was more formal and their reception was a dessert buffet with a dance.

Sara and John are now off to Quebec City (which, incidentally, is where Ant and I took our honeymoon) and Rich and Karen were on my flight this morning on their way to France. (I only found Rich about an hour before we landed.)

Saturday, 16 June 2007


I have arrived in Halifax and now I am up very early.

Yesterday Paul played with my camera phone. Then he showed me all his adverts. Then I went to visit Sara briefly before her wedding rehearsal. I had a lovely meal with Mum, Dad and Paul. I went to bed early (10pm) or late (2am) depending on your point of view. And I woke up very early.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007


Ant and I are completely incompatible in (only) a few areas. One is temperature. He is a living furnace and I am an ice cube. I hate winter and he loves to snowboard. My favourite temperature is 25 degrees and he would like to hide in the cellar through July and August. We were talking with Micah and Anna tonight about coming to visit them in Sydney next summer, which would be winter in Australia. (Sidebar: it's currently "turned wintry" in Sydney, according to Si.) So here's Ant's master plan: buy a house in Australia as well as one in the northern hemisphere. Then, in his words, "I would have my winter home, and I've have my winter home." Arggh. What I am supposed to do then? On the upside, then I would have two summer homes. Just not at the same time as Ant.

Monday, 11 June 2007

Sunday happenings

Yesterday I cooked salmon and rice for lunch. I pan fried the salmon in butter and garlic. The rice (left overs) I mixed with some steamed asparagus and shredded carrot. Add olive oil and some mixed spices and a meal is born. The spices were from Micah and Anna, bought on one of their church-tastic trips to a monastery. The new plates are also from Micah and Anna. They are downsizing before their move to Sydney this summer, via Portugal, Italy, Halifax, and Toronto.

We were eating our salmon while watching the Canadian Grand Prix. It was full of thrills and spills this year. The safety car had to come out four (four!) times. There were crashes when drivers touched. There was a crash when all four wheels got torn off after a driver (Kubica) hit a wall and then had to be taken to hospital. (He was discharged today with a sprained ankle and concussion.) Once while the safety car was out, Luizzi pitted, and then came out of the pits and started racing to catch up with the snake following the safety car at the other end of the track. In his haste he crashed into a wall entirely on his own! Massa and Fisichella were disqualified for running a light in the pit lane. Button didn't even start because his car couldn't find first gear and he had to be pushed off the starting grid. But to top it all, British driver Anthony Davidson had to make an unexpected pit stop because he hit a beaver! Final result after all this craziness was that rookie British driver Lewis Hamilton won his first race and everyone else finished out of position.

Friday, 8 June 2007

what's this all about?

Look at the weather! Micah commented (below) that he will miss spring when he leaves the UK. I am with him on that. I love how the weather here is so warm already. I cycled home today in my T-shirt and shorts.

I am going to Canada next weekend (next weekend!) for two weddings and I am unsure whether (haha) to pack a summery dress or not. I love the summer!

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

half term plans

How did I do last week with my half term plans? Here's the list.

-arrange my books--nope. But I did read some of my book club book.

-Canadian meet-up group with Justin--yep. On the Queen Mary 2, a pub boat floating on the Thames. I had to look outside periodically to avoid queasiness.

-do some London city walks--not so much. Although I did go to King's Road in Chelsea with my friend Sarah from work.

-go to work (two days) to sort out my portfolio--I ended up going to for three days (two of which were only half days, thankfully). I sorted out about half my portfolio. My big assessment is on June 25.

-lie in bed a lot--oh, yes. I slept loads.

-make some salads for the church anniversary lunch--I made a bulgar and beetroot salad not unlike that pictured below and a sweet potato salad.

-map out a party--no, but it was a nice idea.

-play backgammon with Chris and Tam--On Monday Ant and I went over and drank tea and played backgammon and checkers while it poured with rain outside. It was shivery cold but we were inside with friends and then we cooked a nice meal.

-post pictures and more blog entries--Judge for yourself!

-see Sarah (whom I knew from our Budapest days)--We spent two wonderful days together.

-talk on the phone more--err. Maybe.

-visit Micah and Anna in Cambridge--It's been put off until this coming weekend.

Sunday, 3 June 2007

tog ratings

1 tog--the warmth rating of a suit

4 or 5 tog--a summer duvet

7 or 8 tog--a medium warm duvet

13 to 15 tog--a warm duvet for winter

13.5 tog--the duvet I just bought thinking it was a summer one

Saturday, 2 June 2007

bike riding

Sarah and I went on an amazing bike ride today. We cycled to Tooting on an errand and then over to Richmond Park, the largest open space in London. They even have deer living there! What's good about it is that it is preserved woodlands and meadows rather than a planned common. It feels a lot more natural and relaxing.

We cycled around the inner loop road of the park, which gave us great views of the city over the trees. Our trip back home involved some weaving cycle paths and also a few really big roads. All in all we think we cycled 15 miles.

Upon returning and resting our tired legs and bottoms, we cooked this very colourful meal: herby griddled haloumi cheese on a beetroot and bulgar salad with deviled eggs. Yum, yum. Ant's meal made a person who needed a portrait taken.

Friday, 1 June 2007

snob food

On Time Out's recommendation, my friend Sarah from work and I went to Napket yesterday, a cute little cafe. We were getting tired from a long session of intense window shopping on King's Road in Chelsea. Their website gives you an idea of why their tag line "snob food" is so appropriate. There was even black toilet paper! How snazzy is that? Here's a shot of the wash basin.

Sarah and I each had slices of cake and fancy tea. There were iPod nanos set into the table tops with headphones at each designer chair so we could have made our own music mixes. I tried to surreptitiously take some more photos but failed dramatically.

Now today Sarah (my other friend from the US) is here and we are headed out after a brief nap.