Friday, July 29, 2011

And Some More Old Fossils

To add to my Old Fossil post the other day, I thought I would collate the suggestions in the comments and add a few more things that came to mind. So ... things my daughters have never known, part two:

  • Reel to reel tape players
  • Super 8 movie cameras and players
  • Elevator / lift operators
  • Electronics with vacuum tubes
  • Yugoslavia
  • Czechoslovakia
  • Rotary phones
  • Trim phones
  • Elvis
  • The Beatles
  • Library card catalogues
  • Floppy disks
  • Half day closing (shops)
  • No shops open on Sundays
  • Chimney sweeps (except in Mary Poppins!)
  • Reliant Robins
  • Pre-decimal money
Pamela - I still use paper maps. Even Google can't quite match Ordnance Survey. No footpaths or bridlepaths on Google maps!

PixieMum - using Yorkshire leaf tea doesn't make you a fossil, it just shows you have good taste!

Ellie - we still have public telephone booths, though less of them and they only take pre-paid cards rather than coins. I think they will be around for some time to come, at least in places that attract tourists, as it can be expensive to use cellphones internationally.  Also, manual (stick shift) cars are still the norm here. According to Mr Google only 18% of cars on British roads are automatic. Personally I don't like driving automatic cars as I don't feel as though I have so much control. 

Missus Wookie - two out of three daughters remember video cassettes and players, so they don't quite make the list!

Monday, July 25, 2011

This Week: 25th July 2011

The weather ... summer! No rain all weekend, sun and temperatures into the 70s. Can it last for a whole week?

I am wearing ... black and white pyjamas.

I am reading ... still archive stuff. I have been doing background reading for an essay.

I am creating ... nearly finished the first sleeve of my winter sweater, and have started a new pair of socks.

I am hearing ... Cherub looking at photos on the iPad and telling me all about them. This is an improvement on playing tunes on an electronic keyboard, which is what she was doing at 6.15am.

I am watching ... the last few episodes of Upstairs Downstairs.

I am enjoying ... Pinterest. Oh my! If you are a creative and / or visual person, you must check out Pinterest. If you would like me to send you an invite, leave a note in the comments. Just make sure you have several hours to spare before you start!

I am planning ... summer holidays. Working in the mornings means I can still do holiday stuff with the girls in the afternoons, which is good - mostly with Cherub these days, but I have some one-on-one time with Angel and Star planned too.

Learning notes ... school is finally finished for the summer.

Cherub ... has suddenly developed a burning desire to learn to swim, but was hugely disgruntled to discover she can't start swimming lessons until September at the earliest (depending on the length of the waiting list).

On the calendar ...
Today: Star is going shopping with a friend; I am planning to take Cherub swimming this afternoon.
Tuesday: maybe going out for a meal with Tevye in the evening (or maybe we will go on Thursday, depending on how I get on with my essay)
Thursday: Angel is meeting me after work, then we are going for lunch and a shopping trip
Saturday: canal festival in town, so may go to that if the weather is reasonable
Sunday: visiting an old friend of Tevye's in London

On the menu ...
Today: Baked potatoes and cauliflower cheese
Tuesday: Pasta bake
Wednesday: Beefburgers
Thursday: Chilli beef kebabs
Friday: Inside out chicken kiev
Saturday: ??
Sunday: Roast lamb?

A picture from last week ... Star ready for her middle school prom. J-Next-Door, who has just started an apprenticeship as a hairdresser, did her hair (curls like that are way beyond my limited hair arranging skills!)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

An Old Fossil Moment

Tevye had a conversation with Cherub this morning during which he tried to explain the Berlin Wall to her (not sure how far they got!). It got me thinking about how many things that were a constant during my childhood and young adulthood are nothing but history to my daughters, ranging from the state of the world to domestic items. For example:

  • the Iron Curtain
  • the Cold War
  • Apartheid
  • Margaret Thatcher
  • miners' strikes
  • coal fires
  • typewriters
  • leaf tea
  • manual chokes in cars
  • refundable deposits on pop bottles
  • petrol pump attendants
  • black and white TVs
  • record players
  • telegrams
  • inkwells in school desks
  • British Rail
I am beginning to feel like an old fossil!

What have I missed?

Monday, July 18, 2011

This Week: 18th July 2011

The weather ...ugh! I spent a significant chunk of the weekend playing the trombone in the rain. Enough said.

I am wearing ... pyjamas and snuggly blue dressing gown.

I am reading ... only archive related reading at the moment.

I am creating ... my winter sweater - the body and neckline are done and I am just starting the sleeves. I also need a pair of socks to knit on the train.

I am hearing ... a collared dove calling and distant traffic.

I am watching watched ... the last Harry Potter movie on Friday. I started reading the first book to Angel ten year ago. After seven books and eight movies our Harry Potter years are over.

I am enjoying ... work!

I am planning ... not so much planning, as trying to put plans into operation and adjust to new routines.

Learning notes ... I have set aside this week to work on one of my final assignments. My first (a report) is already drafted, and if I can get the second (an essay) drafted next weekend I will be rolling gently to the finish line for this module over the following three weeks.

Cherub ... is tired. Now she is into the last couple of weeks of her first term of full time school her energy is flagging. Adding a run of birthday parties at weekends hasn't helped. What she needs now is lots of summer holiday downtime.

On the calendar ...
Monday: Year 1 transition meeting at Cherub's school (for parents of children moving up from Reception to Year 1)
Thursday: Jungle themed picnic for Cherub's class (parents invited); Year 8 leavers's party for Star
Friday: Last day for school for Star and Cherub
Sunday: Cherub has yet another birthday party on the calendar; Star may be going to a car boot sale with my brother.

On the menu ...
Mon: Baked potatoes and chilli
Tue: Spaghetti with tomato sauce and meatballs
Wed: Honey mustard chicken and penne
Thu: Chicken steaks in breadcrumbs and chips
Fri: Garlic and herb chicken thighs with roasted vegetables
Sat: Pizza
Sun: Roast chicken

On my to-do list ... not much this week (so far!)

A picture from last week ...  the only pictures I took were the train photos I have already posted.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

From the Train Window

And therefore a bit blurry due to movement and marks on the window. Also taken on my phone trying not avoid pointing towards the sun.

My station. Two tiny platforms, one on either side of a road.

A house at the end of a platform. Anyone want to buy it? Only two trains an hour, none at night or on Sundays.

One of several level crossings (British for a train track crossing a road)

Green countryside

Flat Bedfordshire wheat fields

A disused brickworks (this is only a small part of it)

A major road, about to link into the M1 motorway (the main north-south arterial road). Lots of lorries!

And part of a gigantic distribution centre - the headquarters of Amazon UK. I couldn't get a picture of the sign as it was partially hidden behind trees.

Friday, July 15, 2011

1. So this has been my first full week at work. I am doing well with fitting work into my life, just not there with working and blogging yet!

2. First impressions? Very good indeed. I have a lovely job share partner, a great boss, and everyone seems very friendly. Getting to grips with the documents I will be cataloguing is interesting, and I think they will turn out to be more varied than I expected. I am clambering up a steep learning curve this week, but I think it will start to get easier within another week or two. 

3. I love my little train. I haven't quite adjusted to how small the trains are (sometimes a single carriage) and how quiet the line is - very much a railway backwater. It makes "rush hour" relaxing though! 

4. Combining a short drive with the train is working beautifully. I can get from home to the platform in 15 minutes or less, there is a short, easy walk at the other end, and 30 minutes relaxing on the train in the middle. Overall it is taking me about an hour door to door. Driving would take 45 minutes, but be much more tiring and stressful. 

5. Cherub went to breakfast club at school for the first time on Wednesday. After looking forward to it for weeks, she had a last minute wobble and panic at the prospect of doing something new. I dropped off a crestfallen, sad little person - then when I picked her up after school she said it was great fun and when could she go again! Phew! Nerves overcome.

6. & 7. I am out of time. I have a train to catch!

Read more quick takes at Conversion Diary

Friday, July 08, 2011

7 Quick Takes: 8th July 2011

1. Yesterday was my last day at the archive where I have been volunteering for the last year. I am going to miss it. The people were lovely - very encouraging and always willing to answer my random selection of questions. I am looking forward to getting started on my new job, though. I went on Wednesday to meet my job share partner and go through all the general introductory stuff. Today I am going back for a workshop on cleaning paper and mending small tears, and to meet some of the volunteers who are helping with the project. Then on Monday get properly started on cataloguing.

2. Cherub came home with her first ever school report yesterday. Clearly it has been apparent just how much she has enjoyed this year - they described her as a little ray of sunshine, busy and enthusiastic. I hope next year will be as good for her. She spent Wednesday morning in her new class and was very happy with it.

3. Jennifer at Conversion Diary asked yesterday for birth story haikus.  I apologise in advance for the lack of poetic merit in these, but I am never one to turn down a bizarre challenge:

First time excitement
Grinds to a halt. Dazed. Confused.
Birth plan? What birth plan!

4. Star
Waters break, slow start
Birthing pool, gas and air, then
Wow! Three hour labour

5. Cherub
Baby in distress
Emergency! C-section
Tiny little girl

6. This week's minor drama ...

Star's fingers after a close encounter with the hair straighteners and a visit to the minor injuries clinic at A and E. The dressings came off yesterday and the fingers are doing well - a couple of nasty blisters, but not sore any more.

7. And this was Cherub's artistic impression of Star's fingers on the iPad

Read more quick takes at Conversion Diary

Monday, July 04, 2011

This Week: 4th July 2011

The weather ... all over the place. We have had a two day heatwave, thunderstorms, cool dampness, and warm hazy sun over the last week. This week is supposed to start warm and go downhill.

I am wearing ... black and white pyjama bottoms with grey vest top.

I am reading ... still reading When the Lights Went Out, which is interesting enough to hang in with, but not gripping enough to read quickly. Also not much time for reading due to studying so progress is sloooowwwww.

I am creating ... an unseasonally warm sweater as I had yarn stashed and wanted some mindless knitting to do while I study. I finished my cotton socks, and have just put the finishing touches to a cotton cardigan.

I am hearing ... Cherub rattling plastic play food and CBeebies on the TV. Star has already left for school, Tevye is at work and Angel is still asleep, so the rest of the house is quiet.

I am watching ... well into the final series of Upstairs, Downstairs now, and caught up with The Apprentice.

I am enjoying ... Google Plus. Could it become bigger than Facebook? I am not sure whether you need an invite to join, or whether it just gives you priority. If you want me to invite you, please leave a note in the comments.

I am planning ... a revised study plan for the rest of the summer. I decided it would be better to tackle the final assignments for this module sooner rather than later as I have already done the relevant sections of the course.

Learning notes ... Angel absolutely loved her Sixth Form induction days last week and can't wait to get started properly. So far she is very happy with her subject choices (English language, media studies, product design and photography).  Star has a taster day at her new school for September on Wednesday.

Cherub ... was busy making paper flower jewelry yesterday so that she could dress up as a "flaminco" dancer (inspired by a picture in a children's magazine)

On the calendar ...
Tuesday: Meeting for First Communion catechists in the evening
Wednesday: Star's taster day at upper school
Thursday: No orchestra - finished for the summer after last Saturday's concert
Friday: Sitting in on a workshop for volunteers at the archive (the new one, where I will be working once all the paperwork gets sorted out!)
Sunday: Cherub's social whirl continues with yet another birthday party, and Star is dancing at a festival in the evening

On the menu ...
Mon: *Asparagus, egg and new potato salad
Tue: *Chicken and egg fried rice
Wed: *Sun-dried tomato and olive chicken
Thu: *Sausage and lentils
Fri: *Chunky haddock fingers, wedges and mushy peas
Sat: French bread / baked potatoes
Sun: Roast chicken   
(* from Spoonfed Suppers)

On my to-do list ... send off my old mobile phone (I am selling it on one of the used phone sites for exactly the amount I had to pay up front for my iPhone!); organise a visit to a different archive (have to do this as part of my course)

A picture from last week ...  Angel ready for her prom (I couldn't get the lighting right due to low bright sun and impatient daughter!)