School Niggles

Sometimes school can be really annoying.  They do what suits them and not what suits you and your child or even sometimes the whole class.  Sometimes it feels like a bit of a dictatorship.  Yes you could go in and challenge things you don’t like, but in reality most of the time you don’t.  I tend to pick my battles and have only really gone into fight once in 5 years.

This week the children were going to be out of school all afternoon and into the evening for a big concert.  We’d been asked to provide a packed tea.  Fine – I had no problem with that.  But, a few days before the event, they changed it.  Yes, they were still going to the concert, but they were going to go into the town centre earlier to represent the school at a religious service.

I could see the logic from the school’s perspective.  Why send in two lots of kids when you can send in one to kill two birds with one stone?

The thing is that it turned a long day into an even longer one in some ways with the two events to attend.  Then there was the fact that they would no longer be at school for lunch, so they would need a packed lunch as well as packed tea.  So two cold meals for these children then?

School seemed to be concerned by the lack of a hot meal, so they sent a note home suggesting a cooked breakfast.  J leapt upon that idea.  So this morning I have made 2 packed meals as well as cooking a breakfast. Then I need to feed myself too.  At this rate I’ll never get out of the kitchen.  School if you were so keen on the cooked breakfast idea, you should have provided one.

Styles of Driving

I’d often noticed it myself that the driving style of an area a couple of miles away was very different to the one I am more used to.  It’s a more aggressive style of motoring with a disregard for politeness.  When it comes to parking too, there are many that seem to feel double yellows don’t apply to them and double parking while you wait for someone is acceptable even if it holds loads of people up.  I didn’t know that other people had noticed it too though until the other day.

On the way back from school, we saw a woman reversing out of her drive and a man seemingly moving towards her turning right out of the junction opposite.  Two of us were worried that he hadn’t seen her and the other said no he’s seen her, he’s just doing some ‘—- Road’ driving.  I knew exactly what she meant.

In fact, the driver had seen the woman reversing, he was just trying to block the carriageway so that he could get out after her.  It’s a tricky junction and I avoid turning right out of it, but that said I’m not sure the traffic flow on the road really justified the aggressive style of driving.   It didn’t sit well with driving in our area anyway: this type of behaviour seemed to clearly belong with ‘— Road’.

Then the conversation turned onto to how some areas of the city were even worse for driving styles that ‘— Road’.  They aren’t areas I visit that often, so I’d not really noticed that they were any worse than say ‘—Road’, but who knows it might be the case.  I do think though that we would all be a little less stressed both on the roads and in our lives with a more relaxed driving style.  More and more I try to leave more time for my journeys, so that things aren’t too frantic.

Ready To Pack Christmas Away?

ChristmasPart of me loves to see the Christmas decorations up after the big day and part of me wants to clear them away and move on.  I’ve always resisted the idea of taking them down before New Year, but this year I might think about getting rid of them earlier.

It feels like it’s time to leave Christmas behind and move on.  The tree and the cards and the decorations take up extra space.  It’s difficult to clean properly with all that stuff in the way.  I’m keen to get it all back up to the loft, where it belongs, and move on.

I think it’s partly because for one reason or another I didn’t feel particularly Christmassy this year and not really in the festive mood.  I felt I was going through the motions a little for the sake of my son who is now 9.  He didn’t seem to get into it as much as usual this year either.  The advent calendars didn’t seem too popular.  He gave up on getting the little penguin books out of the one calendar and I don’t think Joseph, Mary or the baby Jesus made it to the nativity scene either.  I think the magic has gone a little now that he no longer believes in Father Christmas.  That said, I think he was still pretty excited about getting his presents and his stocking gifts seemed to go down very well.

It seems a little sad not to have some magic though and I think next year I’ll try to revive it a little and maybe create some new traditions that are fun.

How was your Christmas?  Do you have any tips for bringing the magic back into the festive season?  What do you do with older children to keep some of the magic alive?

Ready For Christmas

It’s been a really tricky sort of Christmas this year.  It’s kind of stolen up on me too which hasn’t helped.  More presents than ever to get on my side of the family: there’ll be even more next year too as there is another pregnancy.  Buying for my brother’s step children is a new one this year and that’s been a bit odd (especially as I’ve only met them once so far and I’ve been told to buy them vouchers – they are teenagers).

The last few presents were bought yesterday.  I spent an hour and a half on a concerted effort and got home to have the final Amazon parcel delivered too.  I’ve bought some gift bags to help with the wrapping – I’m a hopeless wrapper-upper and I think I’m good to go now.  How are you doing?  Are you nearly ready now?

Every year I swear I’ll start earlier and this year I did get off to a good start. Somewhere it went wrong along the way – I blame October.  October was a fun month, but it was insanely busy and I know quite a few things slipped then.  Since then I’ve been playing catch up and I still haven’t quite got there, but the end is nearly in sight.

The Christmas cards still need writing and posting for the most part.  There’s food shopping to do too.  At least the bird is ordered from the butcher.  I’ve still got all the wrapping to do and there will still be quite a lot of it, even with some help from the gift bags.  Then there are all the special events at school.  They started today.  There’s something to remember every day from now on: Christmas jumpers, Christmas dinner, Christmas party bag, Christmas carol concert the list goes on and on.

Fed Up Of Flakiness

Recently I’ve been trying some new things in my professional blogging life that have involved joining some specialist groups and ‘tribes’ with a view to increasing interaction.  Up front people are asked to only join if they are committed or active and the idea usually is that people get involved daily or near daily.  It’s quite a commitment, but it can be worth it if people take part.

Part of the problem is that the groups need to be small to be workable, but that is also problematic if people don’t pull their weight as there aren’t enough involved to carry a lot of slack.  I know sometimes something unexpected comes up and takes over your life and I know that everyone needs a break now and again.  That’s not really been the problem in these groups though.

People seem to have signed up to doing something and then almost immediately failed to do it.  This leaves the few who are doing the necessary feeling a bit stranded.  You either carry on the group with the dead weight in it or you start to (nicely) manage them out and find some new participants.  Sometimes though there just aren’t enough active members of the group to do that and everything just fizzles out.

One of my groups, one that I was quite excited about, has done just that.  I’ve given up posting in the group because no one else was and my posts were just sitting there unliked.  The frustrating thing with that one is that group members are posting elsewhere, so it’s not clear why they didn’t in this group.

Another one seems to be dying.  The organiser is trying new things trying to inject some light into it, but it’s really only me and her posting regularly.  A few others dip in and out, but no one else seems very committed.

Maybe I’m a bit old-fashioned, but I’m a bit ‘my word is my bond’ and I will endeavour to meet my commitments if I put myself forward for something.  Sadly not everyone seems to think the same way.