• Ouch!

    Lockdown Poem

    I was sitting reflecting on my Lockdown (Yes, I’m in it! My town is still in it!) and the stuff I’ve been up to since the 3rd week of March, 2020. I have now reached the point of no return I think. I must have walked my dog about 13,000 miles, baked enough cakes to fatten me up for the next 50 years and sanded enough wood to cover me in a haze of dust 1 metre thick. And now I’ve become irritated to the extreme and have begun to swear at the most trivial things. And what makes it extremely challenging, is that the rest of the country are…

  • Random

    Lesson of the Day / Car Park Vexation

    I lose my car all the time! Yesterday I was panic stricken with it, wandering up and down examining rows and rows of cars, the majority of them the same colour as mine and made a mental note, upon finding it, to never let myself go through this trauma again. Apparently, I am not the only one that experiences this – many friends of mine have this same problem, and it’s quite humorous to observe that you will see countless souls wandering around looking as lost as I do. You might be thinking that only an idiot would overlook the simple process of noting where they left their own car,…

  • Eatables

    Pip’s Beef Cannelloni

    My children have never been particularly forthcoming with praise in regard to anything that requires cooking on a hob or in the oven. This Cannelloni, (I never knew how hard it was to spell this pesky word, 3 n’s and 2 l’s) brings out utterances of pure pleasure from them. Which is saying something, because they are usually monosyllabic until around 5 pm. Drum roll….. Ingredients: 1 tablespoon of oil 400g beef mince 1 large onion 2 garlic cloves 2, 500g cartons or jars of passata 1 dessert spoon of sugar dried cannelloni tubes to line your dish Topping: 50g butter or margarine 50 g plain flour 600ml milk 140g…

  • Tips,  Work

    Learning Resources for Children

    I’ve worked in primary schools for many years; in mainstream classroom settings and supporting children with various special educational needs. Here’s a list of great resources that you can use to aid and educate your children. Snip http://www.snip-newsletter.co.uk/downloads.php.. Look down the list for the ‘Snip Literacy programme part 1’. You can start with this one 🙂 If literacy is your choice, if not, try another. This was developed by two dyslexic tutors, who saw the need to help and address the problems to learning faced by children with learning disabilities and needs. They have developed a range of different techniques to help children to become competent and confident readers. I…

  • Eatables,  Stuff I Like

    Madeira Cake

    After we’d chowed down this Madeira Cake, I had a urge to reaffirm in my middle-aged brain that in fact all of my reasonings on the origin of Madeira Cake were true. That it did originate in Madeira, and I was always correct in my answers to pub quizzes, (oh, the pub! it’s been 18 weeks since I stepped inside one), anyway, I was wrong all along. The cake was named after the Madeira wine from Portugal, which from the 18th century onward, was drank alongside the cake in the afternoon for tea. Hence, the name. So now I know! I love plain things like rich tea biscuits, scones, shortbread…

  • Eatables

    Annarita’s Spaghetti Bolognese

    I have a friend, an Italian friend. In fact, she’s as authentically Italian as you can get. She came from a town in Italy on the heel of the boot. Have a  look on a map for the location of a place called ‘Brindisi’, that’s where she was born. In fact, it looks so beautiful there that at some point in my life, I’d like to go there. So I felt it to be very important, a couple of years back, to ask her a most intelligent question about Italy’s architecture and culture, recipe for spaghetti bolognese. “It’s all to do with slow cooking,” she said, “And celery, you must…