Friday, 29 January 2016


I started this with comments on how the blue Monday wasn't very blue for me but then Monday got harder, I planned to pick it up on Tuesday, and that too, didn't happen, Wednesday was out of office day and much manual work got done. Thursday I had half a day with a local primary class, a composite class of P1-3 with 5 P1's and 12 or 13 pupils in total! So only a half day at my desk and I have a meeting later today, but for a few minutes I will have a break and rest!

Finding time to be properly reflective gets hard when work keeps coming at you. I find writing this blog helps me get a perspective back on my world and work.

Again I have got to a Friday and a blog post and again I am a week behind my last note, this is my last working day in January! where did the month go! I have plans for the next three weeks at least so I am nearly at the end of February already mentally. My plans of the new year and getting things completed have gone up in smoke, and I am needing to do lists to get the basics of my world completed on time.

The power is flickering, I may end up finishing this on yet another day :-)

I have heard this recently which had me giggling and sharing to everywhere (and now here) which is a parody of the song Hello by Adele, but re written as Snow by Mary Morris.
I love my job, and find much to enjoy every day and week. I do get out of bed and head to work with only basic moans about being up and nothing to do with going to work. I miss my desk even when I am busy at meetings and out for a afternoon or two but even saying this I am totally onside with this song :-)  watch and enjoy.

We had our latest meeting for the north branch of Cilip Scotland this week just gone. Despite using a mix of platforms including one that was new to us and the UHI we all got connected and had a productive and pleasant meeting, from the Western Isles to Caithness to Inverness and beyond we all got connected fine. Technology is the only reason we can run this group as the area we cover is just too diverse to allow us to meet face to face. With this in mind we have set up a facebook group to help get more connected and we have plans to run a blog, one of the things we suffer form in the highland is our geographical distance. My nearest colleague is 20 plus miles, then 60 plus and then 70 plus! we all work days and esp when the school is in, so getting together is hard! just chatting is impossible unless we have the channels to chat already open. But we must start somewhere.

Spent part of my week out meeting primary ones again, refreshing their memories and reading the 3 award books for the Scottish book awards, I get to read Wanted, Ralphy rabbit, never tickle a tiger and mouse first night at midnight school. I have found each one has its own voice and fun, I know as an adult I love the never tickle a tiger as the language used is very emotive and the story very real, but then Ralphy is about libraries which are fun and the back grounds are fun too, but the first night touches on the little ones first day at school! so I have no idea who would win! My own pupils have been putting in reviews and choosing which of the older titles they like and I am finding that hard too!

I am off to write myself some info for the North Group Blog and hopefully the facebook there :-) have a nice blowy weekend in the teeth of the gale!

Monday, 11 January 2016

Book challenge

At the local Book group on Saturday I was asked if I had taken the challenge? Bemused I asked for more information and they mentioned the Good Reads Challenge where you keep track of what you have read and what you want to read. The folk asking had both set 25 or more for their books to be read in a year, their argument being they read one per book group and that is 12 a year and then one extra per month and a holiday book or two so 25 should be doable.

My local book group has been so much fun, I was very cautious and nervous, what if every one was great and frequent readers and I do not get time? what if they are not great readers, and they feel I am talking too high or having to dumb down for it? what if there were too many or too few! Well yes there are 'great' readers who are much more articulate and literate than me, and yes some are much less of a reader than me and ask 'basic' questions and make me rethink what I assumed about things. The first meeting had more than 40 folk at it and we had to share books and keep in contact to get the titles passed round, one meeting was me and the guy who runs it! Sometimes I sit and listen and am amazed, other times I feel I don't stop chatting, but never have I not been welcome and we are getting to know each others interests and reading levels. 

I have set my challenge to 20 in 2016, I read some of the books and am reading the book award books at the moment too, I should get this done by mid summer but I have set it low to allow me to succeed, I am all about succeeding at the moment. I did see this fab Video from a lass I follow called Maeva about her new years challenges.
She has put some very big challenges out there but does finish by saying she knows she wont get all of them done but needs the aims in life :-).

I am currently reading Isabel Allende The sum of our days, which I hope by noting here will inspire me to do more than open the cover occasionally, and is my first challenge book for the new year. One of my other titles to challenge me is Visible Learning into Action by John Hattie, which is the current drive in education through my school, much harder to read cover to cover but should help me support teaching and learning better.

Currently we are suffering the rains that have been so heavy up and down the country, so far our county has been very lucky with the odd house in the area being flooded and the roads have been very very wet with rivers out of their banks.

The river out at Watten makes for scary watching, this clip is form a local Reporter based in the county who writes for the John O Groat Journal. Will Clark @NOSN_WClark worth following to get local stories up here.

Two posts in short succession, and no worry about frequency from me :-) May have some Pictures for next time as we are due Snow this week.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

New Year, New Start?

I always have great plans for new year resolutions, I have in recent years made smaller but still promising ones, the high of the new year carries me to around the end of January if I am lucky and then I am left adrift in my failure and just want to hibernate, last year I had plans on getting my world organised and doing much in my work all of which fell over.

During the early summer I stumbled on am american website that was supposed to de-clutter your home, and get your life on track. I may add that my shelves are full of how to organise and get going type books, and my computer is full of book marks of how to save time and how to get things done. I am very scathing of folk who always find another to blame their issues on, I know that any solution has to start and finish with me, but if there was a quick way! Back to my american website, this has a few home truths that I know but was nice to see up front, only you can do your own work, only works if you do it and not just plan it, and my fave was get off your bottom and do it now. I would like to say it has sorted my whole house out for me, but in reality it has given my the tools to sort my own house and life out. I am getting there, some areas are now clutter free and I have stopped the trying to buy my way out of clutter that had just about sunk me. If your interested it is The Flylady but while it is working for me it may not for others :-).

I have got half way through the couch to 5K but then lost the impetus, which is part of my keep going problem. I joined a crochet along to make a blanket, had great plans to make a double, then chose to keep it simple and stuck to the single, and yes you guessed it, the group came, did and finished and I am still getting through the blanket, I need some time to just sit, but that has been harder to find than ever. I think I need a timetable, so I do not just plud at home, I do not just work through my day and get no extras out. I am finding the joy of getting up and doing things from the de-cluttering I now need to apply this to the rest of my life. Easy.

Work is getting myself sorted for my first fellowship meeting with my mentor, which despite knowing them is kinda scary, been trying to get my paperwork sorted out but again I run into time issues, so I will be organising bits better and allowing my sedentary habits only limited space to spread. I have not had to write a CV in years and I am not getting it very well sorted, but The My World of Work has been well worth using as a tool to help bring out what I need to use. The website is aimed at kids and students but has increasing info for the professional user and a great CV builder.

To start my year off I have a new phone, sadly I do not have the right SIM, which just goes to show there is too much ICT to keep up with all of it :-) I will just keep using my old phone till the new card arrives. This does allow me a little longer to enjoy the pictures I took over Christmas.

 The ice rink at Somerset house.

 Crossing the Thames on the Woolwich Ferry.

Happy New year and hope your attempt at resolutions goes better than mine :-).