Monday 29 November 2021

Tragedy (trigger warning)

Every now and then something truly horrible happens and teachers have to deal with the aftermath of a tragic event.  School is the one constant for many children and they look to us to help deal with it.

Yesterday one of our wee pupils lost their mum in horrific circumstances.  She was murdered by her partner. Our school community is devastated and our kids are completely bewildered.  Today was a tough day for the adults in our school but we kept it 'business as usual' albeit more gently.

Domestic violence is still part of our lives.  It's 2021 and 2 women a week die in the UK die at the hands of a partner.  This is unacceptable.

Tuesday 23 November 2021

Seeds and sky


My Real Seeds order arrived.  I've added them to my seed tins.  I spent some time over the weekend sorting them out.  I have quite a lot!  I added the the wee moisture absorbers that come in my lateral flow kits. Reuse a free resource!  So hopefully they'll be viable for a few years and my garden and plot will be full of vegetables!

We've sub zero temperatures here in the last few days.  I'm sure there's a great scientific reason but it meant we had a stunning sunset last night.  This is the view from the raised deck in my classroom's garden around 4pm.  Look at those clouds! 😍

And this is the same view from an upstairs classroom where my friend took this photo.  The colours were even more vibrant in real life.  Gorgeous pink/orange/blue/grey colours.  Both photos without filters!

In other news, more positive cases of you-know-what in both P1 classes. *sighs*

Sunday 21 November 2021

Cost of a day/ night out


My son and his girlfriend (who are currently living with me to save money for their house deposit) had a rare day/night out yesterday.  They had a lovely time and were full of chat about what they did.

Today my son told me how much their day/night out cost them.  And frankly I was shocked!!!

They got the train into Edinburgh and went to Murrayfield to watch the rugby, Scotland against Japan.  The tickets were a gift from his dad so were free.  But thanks to Covid rules and security measures (!) they weren't allowed to take in any bags, food or drinks and there was nowhere available to store bags.  Luckily they knew this in advance.  But they were shocked that a 500ml bottle of water was £4 (just over $5 US).

After the match they went for a meal at Bella Pasta, a decent chain restaurant and not too pricey.  They had a meal and a few drinks then they came home.  I had driven them to the train station and picked them up so they didn't need to pay for a taxi.

The total spend for their day/night out was just over £130!!! About $175 US 😲😲😲

That seems like an awful lot of money for a trip into the big city to see a sports event with a bog standard albeit nice meal and a few drinks. Or am I so anti social and out of touch with the cost of going out???

Since lockdown March 2020, I've been 'out out' twice.  Partly circumstances and partly choice.  And I'm not planning on changing that any time soon either!! 

Monday 15 November 2021

Some random stuff


For every problem there is a solution (except death and taxes!) and so the kitchen storage solutions are beginning to take shape.  Plate racks in the cupboard make easier access and have freed up some space.

Boxes with lids for extra pantry essentials storage.

New stool to reach storage boxes!!

The weather here has turned very damp and chilly so Emma and I have been enjoying the wood burner.  I coughed all weekend and I'm pretty sure it's from the dampness.  I did manage outside twice into the garden to clear 3 raised beds and I planted up one with tulips.

These ones from Sarah Raven, called Apricot Beauty Mix.  I don't think I've planted tulips before so fingers crossed they grow!  I also collected some seed heads to dry so I've got a good selection of saved seed from this year.  Real Seeds opened their order books today so I've ordered some squash, tomatillo and tomato seeds.  All heritage varieties that can be used for seed saving.  In fact this wee company actively encourage you to save seeds!! Link HERE for UK customers.

My YouTube wanderings have unearthed a fab channel called The Last Homely House and oh my, I'm loving it!!  Kate sews/knits/spins/writes/cooks and keeps bees/cats/poultry in the North of England.  She sells things on her website and I'm just loving her chatty vlogs.  Do check her out HERE 😊

Tuesday 9 November 2021

More cases


After a quiet lull of a few weeks we've got an outbreak of positive cases in school again.  2 of them in my class.  One of them is a wee one who needs a lot of reassurance and likes cuddles and holding my hand.  Most of my kids were very cuddly yesterday as they'd not seen me for 2 weeks.  I'm being extra careful with my hygiene and doing a daily lateral flow test.

Apparently there was a recent local party where 12 adults have now tested positive and many of their kids are too.  It's not going away.

Stay safe everyone! 

Sunday 7 November 2021

Back to work


I'm well enough to go back to school tomorrow.  Not 100% but good enough to handle my class for a day.  Tuesday morning is my non contact time so I can have a long lie and go in at lunchtime.  I'll be upfront with my Headteacher and tell her if I'm not up to it I'll be off again.  My long term health is more important!

Thanks for all your supportive comments on yesterday's post.  I try very hard to live well within my means and feel a wee bit guilty at spending all that precious money on something I don't actually like much.  But I'll make it work in the end! 

So, I decided to just crack on this morning in the kitchen and get meal prepping for the week again.  I had 2 pots of soup on the go.  Lentil on the left (all with grated veg) and a sort of tomato and carrot on the right (made with all sorts of leftover veggies hanging about!)  The tomato and carrot was amazing once it was blitzed with Alpro cream.  

The 2 pots yielded 14 soup mugs and were added to the freezer alongside 2 butternut and apple soup filled mugs already there.  Total 16 mugs of soup, enough for all 3 of us (me, DS and his GF who now lives with us) to have soup every day for lunch if we want.

I made a veggie lasagne that's actually vegan as I used non dairy milk/spread/cheese.  It was delicious and made 6 generous portions.

I baked some potatoes as the oven was already on.

I made sheet pan pancakes.  This is the second batch I've made.  These are a game changer as they're quicker than making a huge batch of them individually.!! They freeze beautifully and are great for breakfast/snack/dessert.  I'm putting the recipe below so I can find it again!  The first time I made them they weren't gluten or dairy free.  This batch were as I used soya milk and gf flour.  They worked just the same!

Everything is portioned up and in the freezer.  I feel very organised!  I am determined to eat healthily ie back on a strict gluten and dairy free eating plan and to stay vegetarian.

While I am looking forward to seeing my kiddos and (some of) my colleagues, there is a bit of me that wishes I didn't have to go back to work 😕

Sheet pan pancakes

Wet ingredients:
4 large eggs
zest and juice of 2 lemons
2tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
3/4 cup sugar

Dry ingredients:
2 and 1/4 cup SR flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt

1 cup of fresh or frozen fruit

Mix wet ingredients and add sifted dry ingredients, mix gently to a batter.
Pour onto a greased sheet pan/baking tray.
Sprinkle fruit on top.
Bake for 10 to 15 mins at 200C.
Cool and cut into squares.


Saturday 6 November 2021

Waste of space aka how not to design a kitchen


I'm really not happy with my kitchen, now that I've lived with it for a wee while.  The design is not a good one.  Despite having more cupboards I've actually got less storage due to several areas of wasted space.  There is a gap of 30cm/12" between the top of the cupboards and the ceiling.  I couldn't get taller units to make better use of the space.

Due to the positioning of the holes for the clips to support the shelves, I've had to take out a shelf (on the right) because it couldn't even accommodate the height of a 1 litre bottle of oil or my salt and pepper mills.  The 'cupboard' above the hob houses the extractor fan but isn't much use and it gets hot when the lights are on.

Also notice in this photo that the tiny glass splashback is so useless there are already splashes on the wall above it.

This space saving caddy is just a gimmick.  This is a double sized cupboard with only 1 door because it's in the corner. And the caddy pulls out so you can reach stuff at the back.  Brilliant except it hardly holds anything and you can't store anything under it because of the huge mechanism.  I can just about fit 2 trays and these chopping mats.

This is the fridge.  There are only 2 door shelves and they only fit in 1 place.  More wasted space.  The vegetable drawer at the bottom is fixed and has 2 flaps on top.  If you put anything on top you have to move it to open the drawer.

They couldn't fit the shelf under the sink as the holes for the shelf support were in the wrong place for it to sit under the waste pipe.

I know this is a bit moany but I used some money I inherited to get something a bit special that I wouldn't normally have splurged on.   I've paid £13,000 (about $17,5000 US) for a quality kitchen and frankly it's not.  It's a very nice kitchen but has so many impractical issues.  I've never installed a kitchen before so went to experts to get their advice.  I spent over 3 hours in total with 2 designers who took my wish list (lots of storage as it's a small kitchen) and created this.  I couldn't actually see some of the things in the showroom (had to use CGI stuff) and was guided by them in my choices.  My chosen  dishwasher and fridge were unavailable at the time of installation so they chose a higher spec substitute for me for the same cost.

I'm going to name the company as Wren.  I chose them because their units were factory built and not flat packed.  But so many things came damaged I don't think that's necessarily a plus.  And they've STILL not come back to fix the things I mentioned previously HERE

So, I'm taking control of it myself and will work on it to get something close to the fabulous kitchen I thought I was getting.  I've ordered posh storage boxes and plate racks to maximise space.  I'm removing the stupid caddy thing and the glass splashback.  I'm tiling behind the hob.  I'm putting up some open shelving, then I'm going to decorate it in pink and black 😎 and put down a lovely floor.

There's still 50% of the 'extra installation costs' to be paid.  If they don't come back soon they can whistle for it!!!

Wednesday 3 November 2021



Regular blog readers will know I'm a member of the Scottish Green Party and like to do my bit for the environment.  I'm not overtly political and this isn't a political post AT ALL.  But as COP26 is taking place 30 mins from where I live it's hard to ignore especially as there are major travel issues for the whole Central belt of Scotland.

I do find it ironic that all these world leaders and celebrities like Leonardo De Capri have flown into Glasgow and Edinburgh airports in private jets.  400 of them apparently ✈ I also read that 3 private jets flew from Prestwick to Glasgow which must have taken them about 5 mins!!! The train takes 53 mins 🚄

The US President is actually staying in Edinburgh and travels to Glasgow in a huge motorcade down a closed motorway.  Fair enough due to security etc.  But I did laugh heartily (then coughed for 5 mins!!) when I saw this headline Large Naked Man 😂

I also laughed when my youngest son sent me a message telling me that the hospital in Glasgow where he works had sent an email warning all staff that protesters have been attempting to block and close the motorway.  This would disrupt his journey to work. In all seriousness he asked me "Any word on your groups if there are motorway protests planned?"  I think he thinks I'm way cooler than I am belonging to some radical groups!! 😂😂 My local Extinction Rebellion group (mostly students and retired folks) unfurled banners on a bridge.  That's as radical as it gets round here! But don't tell him that 😉

Tuesday 2 November 2021

The Perfect Mug


It's a bit daft but I truly believe that tea and coffee taste better from the 'right' mug.  Over the years I've had the perfect mugs for my brews but when my last perfect mug broke (as mugs inevitably do) I've spent the last year looking for it's replacement.  It has proved rather elusive and a wee bit expensive!

I regularly get given mugs as gifts from kids and colleagues.  I've bought a few from Etsy, trying to support small businesses.  But mostly they've been too small (capacity wise) or just too chunky.  I even bought a lovely Emma Bridgewater large teacup recently (it was a second) but it's too 'dribbly' and the wide mouth cools the liquid too quickly.

But my £2.50 mug from Te$co may be my current perfect mug.  It's big enough and not too chunky.  I've tried tea, hot juice and a herbal tea and it's all good.  When I'm feeling better and can stand the taste of coffee again it will face the ultimate test.

I have high hopes!!☕

Monday 1 November 2021


A few versions of this have popped up on my FB feed today.  I quite like it.  I'm getting better at saying no to things that drain me in some way but it's a work in progress.  I managed to speak to the Advanced Practitioner Nurse at my GP surgery today (it's practically impossible to get a Dr appt) and I'm now on antibiotics for a chest infection.  I've also been signed off work for another week.  Although she did say if I make a remarkable recovery I could go back earlier if I wanted.

I updated my Headteacher and Occupational Health but actually just said No I won't be back this week.  It felt good to know I've got time to fully recover 😊 I love my job but I need to be well to do it properly.

I popped down to the Pharmacy at Te$co to collect my prescription.  I had to wait for 10 mins so had a wee look at the magazines and the Homeware section.  I'm always on the lookout for the perfect mug (that's a long story) and found one costing only £2.50.

It's big, has a fine rim and is easily cleaned.  Looks perfect so I'll be testing it tonight!

I had 4 items so was rather shocked that my total came to £21!!!  I knew my Probiotic supplement was a tenner but the £5.99 was for the BBC Good Food's Vegetarian Christmas magazine!! It better have some amazing ideas!

It's been a while since I just browsed in a supermarket.  Obviously I need to practise saying no to myself when I pick things up!!!!