Had I known, I would have stuck reindeer on the front of my car!

The term was almost over, almost without any great discomfort. Mary had almost finished classes and we were looking forward to spending time together for Christmas. All we had to do was get through Friday and Saturday and we were home and dry. I set off promptly to school on Friday as I needed to stop for fuel, after filling up at the garage I text Mary to say it had snowed a little so go careful. Within 3 minutes of me sending that text, I’d spun around on black ice on the Rhuddlan flyover and crashed my car. What are the chances?

Thankfully, I wasn’t at fault. Just before my spin on the ice I noticed a crash on the side of the road, and two minutes AFTER my crash, another car entered a spin not dissimilar to mine and crashed into a BMW 10ft away from where I did.

As I made the call to my wife to now say go REALLY careful, I was passed by two fire engines, an ambulance and two police cars, a little further down the road a car had spun and landed on its roof. What had happened? Were we in a scene from casualty and didn’t realise it? Or we’re we all just being stupid on the same day? The answer to these questions is no.

The problem was that despite numerous warnings of bad weather, and a 25% increase in salt/grit, the council in its infinite money grabbing, tight-arsed wisdom decided to save the salt for a colder day. The result, the worst black ice I have ever encountered on a road that I’ve been driving on for over ten years! This could all have been avoided had the gritters put a shift in the night before. The good news is no one was hurt. My car has seen better days but it’s drivable with just an unsightly dent in the door. I dread to think what could have happened in different circumstances with a different mix of vehicles.

I got to school in time to see the end of morning registration, and a fun last day was had by all, especially the chocolate consuming pupils. A few hours later I made “the call” to the insurance company, with a bit of luck the weather and no grit combo as well as the fact that there were 4 other crashes within 15 minutes will ensure I don’t get tagged as the guilty party.

The rest of the weekend panned out pretty much as planned and we can now begin to enjoy the run up to Christmas with a very excited little boy. And if anyone wants to stick a new car under my tree I won’t complain ­čśë

Merry Christmas everyone, that’s probably all from me for 2011 so Happy New Year, stay safe and have fun!


Summer so far

Well despite the weather, the summer holidays arrived, and the rain continued to pour into the first weekend of the summer break. A very much needed break however, following a manic finish to the end of term. Getting as much prepared for September was challenging itself, without having to battle with the WJEC about the exemplar material I produced for the Essential Skills Wales. Needless to say, I’m not backing down, they need to realise what does and what does not constitute evidence and understanding, I’ve met them in the middle on some points and thats that. Pack all that with a trip to Llandrindod Wells where I presented a talk on Innovation at Ysgol Bryn Elian and it was a very hectic run in.

Since then we’ve been very busy, we had a journey to Surrey for our friends christening which was lovely, Lincoln was very well behaved all the way there and back, made me very proud. My brother came to stay briefly, probably for the last time in a while as he starts his teacher training in September. We are awaiting a break in the weather so we can visit the zoo, Lincoln has been waiting patiently for over a week and if I hear the words elephants or chimpanzee again, I swear I’ll go crazy.

Anyway, that’s all for now, I’m about to have a rant about the Tottenham riots.

The trials of life!

Its Monday 14th March 2011, 18:30 and I’m just sitting down to update my blog after what has been probably one of the worst weekends of my life. It all started on Friday morning when I received a phone call at school from Lincoln’s nursery saying he had been sick. My wife promptly picked him up and he continued being sick throughout Friday afternoon. Lincoln had seemingly caught some nasty sickness bug. Unfortunately on Saturday, Lincoln had zero energy and didn’t really want to do anything, he looked very ill and very tired. We assumed it was a 24 hour bug and assured ourselves he would be better soon.

Sunday arrived and Lincoln was even worse than the day before, the horrible symptoms of a sickness bug continued, all the while Lincoln was very very lethargic. We called the out of hours doctor yesterday at 6pm as Lincoln once again projectile vomited everywhere. The appointment was quite late in the evening so we took the drastic measure of taking him to A&E.

What are the chances! The night we go to A&E and everyone and his brother is there with everything from a cut eye, to a piece of metal sticking out of a young boys leg! Lincoln all the while is not at his best and as a parent I was getting increasingly frustrated at how long the wait was when you have a small child.

We did eventually get tended to and ended up on the children’s ward where we were seen by a paediatric doctor. Thankfully Lincoln is┬áOK┬á(well, as well as can be expected under the circumstances) but it would appear he has contracted a┬áparticularly┬ánasty stomach bug that could last up to seven days! We brought Lincoln home at 10:30 pm and he┬ácouldn’t┬áwait to go to bed.

Thankfully, Lincoln slept all night undisturbed by any nastiness, only for it to return the very next morning. So as it stands right now, I’ve spent the day at school worrying about him, and he is now in bed, still not well. My main problem is, as a habitual problem solver I feel complete and utter abject failure that I can’t make him better. As any parent would, I would swap places with him now just to make him feel better. It breaks my heart when he is asking for food and we can only give him very small amounts right now.

So, as far as being a parent is concerned, don’t let anyone tell you it’s easy because it’s not. There are many moments of joy, laughter and happiness and for sure they far outweigh the bad, but when your child is ill and there’s nothing you can do, its the most heartbreaking thing in the world. I’m hopeful that my poorly little boy may turn the corner tomorrow.

Putting it all into perspective, Lincoln has a stomach bug (albeit a very nasty one) and will no doubt be back to his chatty, playful self in the very near future, the news is on the TV in front of me, and the scenes in Japan are devastating, what has happened there has literally shook the world to its very core, thousands have lost their lives. No doubt there are whole families that have perished or parents that have lost their children, either way, Japan certainly will not be the same in the short term or even the long term. It’s easy to forget what matters and just as easy to take what you have for granted. I am thankful for what I have, and grateful for every day I can spend with my family.

Fingers crossed for a sick-less night for Lincoln and a bright fresh start in the morning.

The huge cat that wasn’t a cat!

So the last time I blogged, I mentioned a funny story that I forgot to tell. It may turn out that it was only funny to me and my wife but i’ll let you judge.

I was at home about to make a cup of tea like I normally do around 9pm, so off I go into the kitchen to make it. As I am stood in the kitchen I begin to potter around, filling the kettle, getting the cups ready etc, I then get this weird feeling that something is behind me.

At this point you should know that I have a cat (Lilo) and every night when I make a cuppa, I also give Lilo some cat treats called Dreamies, she loves them. The point to this bit is that I am consciously aware that Lilo may be in the kitchen with me and as a result, at some point she is going to Miaow or brush up against me to get my attention so I give her said Dreamies.

Anyway, getting back to the feeling of something behind me, I was taking the sugar container out of the cupboard and decide to turn around to see what it is. I am obviously expecting to look around and see my cat, however, when I turned around it was my wife, but because I was expecting to see my cat, in a split second of madness I thought the tall figure behind me was my Lilo, I then get totally freaked out thinking the hand of my wife on my shoulder is the cats paw and she’s somehow turned huge and is lurking behind me for these treats she is hooked on. At this point, reactions took over only for me to shout out a low dull “Brrrrr” and proceed to SLAM the sugar down on the kitchen surface. My wife, who was oblivious to the inner workings of my head burst into laughing at my rather odd reaction to her entering the kitchen. We have since recalled the story to my wife’s delight where she takes great pleasure in listening to me recall how I imagined this HUGE cat lurking over my shoulder.

I can honestly say that it was THE most terrified I’ve been in ages all because I thought some huge freaky cat was pawing my shoulder!!!!

From now on I’m going to make sure I know where everyone is before I make a cuppa!

New look blog!

In recent weeks, blogging has caused me some  significant stress. Mainly in the form of using Blogger with my students who already have a Googlemail account as we utilise this system at school. Unfortunately Google were asking for a phone number to verify student accounts. As students are encouraged not to enter personal details in anything on the Internet, we had some issues.

To top it off, Blogger messed me around as you know from an earlier post, so I decided to take the WordPress plunge. Its been in my head for some time now but finding time to sort it all out is not easy. Then half term arrived.

So as you can see it’s a little bit different around here, thanks to a good friend who hooked me up with some tidy hosting and a source for a theme, a lot of the pain was taken out of the process.

For pupils reading this, you will still find various homeworks on here from time to time, as well as on the school VLE (link at bottom of the page!) For my web design students you will also see I have added a nice accessibility feature at the bottom, to translate the site into many languages. Accessibility is one of those topics that has plagued us lately and this should iron out some of the issues.

Aside from using it as a teaching resource, I can also exhibit my photography. Hopefully I will get a lot more done this year than last year now Lincoln is a little older. I plan to go out a little at Easter wth Lincoln and Mary, and a lot in summer, so I am anticipating that I will be able to share some nice work.

Right now i’m thinking about going back to school tomorrow, looking forward to the remainder of the year (the business end of the academic year), its like the run up to the end of the football season. Lot’s to do and lot’s of pupils to “gee up” to get thier coursework finished.

I’ve just remembered a really funny story that I will have to share with you in the near future, I should have blogged it last week but have been busy.

Watch this space,.