Friday, 22 May 2009

Cow Parsley Jousting

Half term!  I am so grateful.  It gets tiring at the end of the academic year.  This week my class have had their SATs tests.  I don't mind the preparation for the tests, but the marking, data-entry and analysis is mind-numbing.  

Last time we did practice SATs an eccentric girl in my class wrote the line

'we cud get drssed up and danse aboot like a weerd owl'.  

I am not sure why, as she was supposed to be describing her favourite playground game.  In this test (3 months later), amazingly, she included the exact same line!  This time in a story about a treasure hunt.  I asked her about it.  She shrugged.

'Well, I like weird owls Miss Underscore, don't you?'

Anyway, Pompous Pilate has let us down again.  At School of Hard Knocks us teachers are desperate to find out which year groups and classes we have been allocated for next year.  There are some classes full of total ne're-do-wells that we are all desperate to avoid. I fear if I am given Year 6 I will have a breakdown. Pompous P promised us he would let us know this week.  He has not. He said something that really irritated me though.  He retorted that I have the 'easiest' class in the school.  This is in terms of behaviour.  In truth, there are classes with many more issues than mine. But, if the behaviour is good in my class it is because I (and my teaching assistant) work tirelessly to maintain a calm and disciplined environment. 

I am adoring these soft, summery evenings.  When I get home from school Hetty and I go for a stroll round my local park.  It is not a park of twee municipal planting.  There are no gaudy primula displays or bowling greens here.  It is rambling, undulating and natural, full of wild flowers and feathery grasses.  Hetty bounces through the bluebells and frothy cow parsley like a young goat. She is a lovely dog to walk, so biddable and friendly to every dog she meets.  My other dog, Kipper the Dalmatian, by comparison was a complete thug on his walks. He was full of testosterone and swagger,  Liam Gallagher with spots.  I cherish my half an hour of peace and fresh air in the park with happy Hetty. It is a lovely way to blow away the grime and frenzy of a day at the School of Hard Knocks.

My walk today reminded me of my dad.  When I was little my dad and I invented a game called cow parsley jousting.  By July/ August the flowers will be 5 feet high, the stems are dried, brown and brittle.  We would snap them off and fence with each other. At the moment, in the park, the cow parsley is still delicate and feathery.  I have said it before, May is my favourite month, everything is so fresh and clean.

Tomorrow I shall head off to our local 'antiques' market.  I am in search of a sunny, embroidered vintage table-cloth for the kitchen and maybe some flowery china plates to display on my dresser. I love a rummage through junk. I can't resist 50s handbags and costume jewellery, powder compacts, china, old feather eiderdowns and linen.  I shall then sort out my recently decorated kitchen.  It is now a warm buttercup yellow.  I am conflicted about it.  I love the colour, but I am not sure it works in my kitchen. I can't get used to it.

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