Last week at work was activities week, a week off timetable during which all the Key Stage 3 children (11-13 year olds) try new activities and go on trips while the older children are at work experience or on study leave. I was accompanying the year 9 mixed week and tried a lot of new things with them. On Monday we went to Chessington World of Adventures. While the students and one crazy teacher went on roller coasters, scary or wet rides, a few other teachers and I rode the monorail, which was very calm with a nice view over the park.
Then we walked through the zoo sections of the park. Here is the lion sleeping on top of his hut (the yellow monorails is above him).
We also saw the tigers and gorillas.
There is also a sea life centre at Chessington and I loved that. The fish were all so brightly coloured and the layout of the tanks meant we got to walk through and around all the schools of fish.
On Tuesday I was helping out at one of Matt's maths camps at Imperial. I gave my (apparently famous) topology lecture, containing my favourite maths joke of all time! There's a long build-up while I talk about the Mobius strip and the Klein bottle and explain that I wish someone would give me a Mobius strip scarf and Klein bottle hat for my birthday. Then when I finally get to the joke, I always laugh hysterically and the students look at me with a blank expression. Sigh. (Never heard the funniest maths joke of all time and wonder what it is? See appendix below!)
Afterwards my stint at the maths camp I went across the road for a visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum. I love seeing the fashion, textiles, and design there. For the first time I went through the jewellery exhibition.
Here are some stunning carved stone "windows". These are 19th century window screens made in Agra, India, copied from 17th century designs.
I love the geometric designs in the Islamic art section.
Here is the Ardabil carpet, lit for ten minutes every half hour to preserve its life. It is massive (about 10.5 by 5 metres) and all handmade, of course, since it was completed in 1540.
Last, but not least, I got a hair cut this week. I wasn't planning to get it all chopped off, but my stylist, Victoria, suggested a change. I trust her and so I said yes. I really like it when it's straightened (as in the picture below), but I don't really have the patience to do this all the time. I plan to scrunch it wavy most days and hope that the triangular aspect of it grows out soon.