Monday, 12 December 2011

without red ...

... I feel naked.  Red is my favourite colour to the point that students at school comment if I'm NOT wearing something red. I never thought of it becoming a 'thing' for me.  I just seemed to develop, over the past year and a half, a large selection of red clothes, shoes and accessories.

However it now seems that there is something in my life lacking in something essential that's red; blood cells.  I found out last week that I'm anaemic (stop reading now if you don't want to know any more about my health situation!).  For about 5 months I've been having a period every other week, and rather heavy ones.  Because I've been so busy; first with my dad, then the move, then the threat of Ofsted, I kind of just got on with it all.  Thinking that it would stop or I'd go to the doctors when I had time.  But I never did.  All the time I was finding myself sleeping for most of the weekend.  Falling asleep as soon as I got in from work.  Feeling low, 'peaky' and having NO energy.  Again, I put this down to everything that's been going on.

I'm naturally very pale; but I realised something was up when people were commenting on how pale I was!  Apparently I was so pale I was looking almost green.  My eyes were sunken and I couldn't feel any sort of energy for anything.

Thankfully last week I decided enough was enough.  I hightailed it to the doctor who commented on how pale I looked (!) and prescribed me high doses of iron tablets.  She's also put me in for an ultrasound and blood tests to find out why I'm having so many periods.

I am starting to feel a bit better.  Within two days I had people saying that I was looking much brighter and perkier (none of them knew about my 'problems') and apparently I don't look like Casper the Friendly Ghost any more.  I'm still really tired and spent most of the weekend asleep or slobbing on the sofa, however, I'm allowing myself to do this.  I'm not pushing myself.  Now that I know I'm anaemic and it's going to take some time to build myself up again, I'm not going to punish myself for constantly being tired.  I'm just going to give into it and hope that I eventually get some red blood cells in my system and get back to the Polly of old.  And before anyone says it ... I'm not going to have a good large steak!  I'm just going to have to nibble on spinach leaves and broccoli!

Friday, 9 December 2011

the day you realise that work is not the be all and end all ...

... I've been so tied up with work recently that I've hardly had a social life.  Friends and family have come second to work, work, work. Yesterday I had a wake-up call.

A very close friend messaged me on FB to tell me that a mutual friend, who was in hospital for an operation, had a complication and we nearly lost her on Monday.  I hadn't even gone to see her after her operation.  I felt terrible.  Yesterday I hi-tailed it, after work, to the Royal National Orthopedic Hospital with a bag of goodies.  She was on the HDU, seeing her so drained really really brought it home to me that work is not the be all and end all of my life.  She's always had troubles with her knee and has had numerous operations.  She's been pulled, prodded and poked for all of her life.  Then they discovered cancer in the bone in her knee - she was actually really happy about it because it meant that they had finally discovered what was wrong and that it could be taken out and the new bionic knee put in.  It should have been a routine operation.  However the cancer had spread to her artery in her leg and was strangling it.  The artery was clipped off and then it basically exploded, nearly killing her. 

On a more personal note, I went to the doctors on Monday.  This is the 5th month that I've had a period every other week, but again, I've been a tad on the busy side and just kept thinking that my body would sort itself out eventually.  However it has now resulted in me being highly anemic.  I thought I was just tired all the time because of work, but now my lack of energy and enthusiasm for anything is at least explained by the lack of iron in my system!  I've got to go for blood tests and an ultra sound to see what's wrong with my body - the doctor even hinted at an early menopause.  I'm only 38!  I can't be going through  my menopause now!

You know how earlier - I was saying that some things are more important than work?  Well, I'm not having my blood test until a week on Monday.  Because I don't want to miss school! I'm an idiot aren't I?

 Well, 4 more days left of work.  We have a half day on Monday and the school closes to the kids on Friday - we have 1 1/2 days of Inset to prepare for the new Ofsted procedures. I don't think I've looked forward to a holiday more than this one. 

I'll try to be a bit perkier on my next post!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Winter Solstice/ Christmas/ Xmas/ Saturnalia/ Holidays ...

it's that time of year again isn't it?  The time when I have to explain to people why I'm a bit of a grinch etc.

I'm an atheist so I don't like to call Christmas 'Christmas'. Afterall the origins of this period have nothing to do with 'Christ'.  However I am not 'anti- Christianity' or any other religion for that matter, I have great respect for peoples' beliefs (although I reserve the right to pick holes in them whenever I can find them!) but what I hate is the amount of people who are professing to be Christian yet using this holiday to max out credit cards and buy lots of tosh, behave like greedy pigs and act definitely non-Christian.

I love this time of year because I get a couple of weeks off work, there's an abundance of mulled wine around and I see my family.  On the other hand I find it immensely stressful - yesterday we took the boy into town to see Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park.  It was RAMMED and so very very expensive.  I really don't understand how people with a couple of kids afford this time of year.  All the mobile phone shops had queues outside them and we popped into Harrods (the boy had never been in there) and it was so full that we had to leave.

When I was a child my parents had very little money.  Christmas must have been a very difficult time for them, I wish I'd understood because I usually asked for so much (with page numbers from the catalogues!).  The two Christmases I remember the most were both 'handmade' though. 

When I was four I desperately wanted a Tiny Tears doll so my parents got me one.  However the next year I wanted to put her in a cot etc.  So, along with my grandfather, they made me a cot out of recycled wood they had around the house.  My mum made the mattress and bedding out of stuff we had around the house too.  It was the best cot ever and I loved it.

A few years later I'd grown out of Tiny Tears and I'd moved onto Sindy.  I loved my Sindy doll:   
and I wanted a house for her.  My parents had looked at the Sindy houses on offer and thought they were terrible.  Cheap and nasty.  So what did they do?  They made me one.  The most amazing dolls house ever.  It was stunning.  I really must hunt out the photographs and share them one day because it truly was stunning.  Along with that, my mum created a 'Princess Diana' wedding dress for my Sindy too - WOW!  I loved that house, that dress and that Christmas.  Because my parents had really created something amazing, something that nobody else had.  And it was all handmade.

This year I've already got my present from Mr BL.  We found it yesterday - a G-Plan dressing table.  We had to snap it up when we saw it - £50!!!!! WHAT?  BARGAIN.  I've been after a G-Plan dressing table for ages but they're anything upwards of £150. 
It's quite similar to this:

Although it has a cupboard to the right, not drawers. 
It's being delivered next Saturday - SO excited.  I've never had a dressing table in my life - and now I've got a G-Plan one! Wheeeeeeeeeeeee.  I've asked for nothing from my family.  They are currently skint and there's nothing I really want so I've told my mum to just go in the loft and hunt out all my old Ladybird books - I'll have them!

I don't want anyone to feel pressured.  It's a horrid feeling and I don't want anyone to feel that.  I'd rather make a fuss of people on their birthdays!

What do you think?  Am I being a grinch?

Friday, 2 December 2011

4am watching Bill O'Reilly

Yes, I watch Bill O'Reilly AND Hannity.

It's true ... I watch Fox News because it is just so amazingly appalling.  I know I'm British but I have an unhealthy interest in US politics, well probably not unhealthy, it's a healthy recognition that the USA unfortunately impacts my life on this tiny island way too much.

Thankfully this week is almost over - yesterday was strange.  My boss was off with a crooked back and when he's been off before I've heard nothing from senior management.  It's just been accepted that I'll step up.  However yesterday I got an email from our line manager copied to the headteacher that I'll be 'deputising'.  And yesterday at least three other members of staff asked if I'll be 'stepping up' when he leaves.  ACK.  I've NEVER wanted to be the head of a department - ever.  I really enjoy teaching, I don't enjoy all the paper work and other shite that goes with the job.  However, there is part of me that thinks I should give this a go.  This is what has woken me up at 4am.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

My growing collection of vintage photographs

Well firstly, thank you for still paying attention to our little blog (I say 'our' - Mr BL stays away and just reads what I've been babbling about!), I'm going to pop around in a bit, drop in for a cup of tea and say 'hi' :)  Mine's milk with one sugar thanks.

Today I'm on strike and I was hoping to stand side by side with my fellow teachers in the march - unfortunately our washing machine is broken and I have to wait in for someone to fix it.  SUCKS!  The joy of teaching and Mr BL's crazy hours, we never have time for repairs to be done.

While on the subject of work - it seems that Ofsted will not be coming to our school this side of Christmas now.  They haven't called this week and the next two weeks our Year 11s are on an intensive time-table, which means we'll be teaching a different time-table with lots of different cover/ supply lessons.  Ofsted call for these details before they make their arrangements so it will not be in their interest to come.  Well, what happens now?  Now we have to have training over the next two weeks because Ofsted change the way they do inspections in January.  We've been expecting the 20 minute walk-ins but this will be changing - so we have to rethink everything again.  It's all been so ridiculous, stressful and exhausting.  I feel in good-ish shape though.  I'm virtually marked up to date, I've got 'outstanding' in my last two observations and I know what I'm doing.  On the other hand I still feel stressed because I always want to 'do my best' of course.  Ah well - enough whinging!

It's now a couple of hours later (from writing the mind-splurge above) and I'm on the sofa watching a documentary about the mind and money - I'm so glad we have PBS here now - I love NOVA.

So onto my ever-growing collection of vintage photographs:

The wall of the smallest room
For the men to look at (e.g. it's above the toilet!)
Anyhoo - onto what I was going to blather on about.  Our collection of old photographs and what we're doing with them.  I think I mentioned before that the toilet is slowly getting covered in some of these and I thought I'd show you a couple of photos (Hipstamatic I'm afraid) of how it's coming along:

The walls of the smallest room
One of my favourites is the contact sheet to the left - a man had obviously gone for a photo shoot and this is a selection of shots for him to choose from. 
The wall of one of our bathrooms
You can see him better on here!  The little girl next to him is really sweet too!
The smallest room's wall
Really sad to see wedding photographs being dumped - I usually pick them up - they give such a sense of the era as people tend to dress their best at a wedding so you get a real feel of the fashions at the time.

The smallest room's wall
The wedding photo in the middle has now been moved to the landing.  I hate to say it but it features the ugliest family I've ever seen.  I know that's really cruel but seriously - they are.  The groom looks so upset!
The landing and loo
This is the landing leading to the smallest room in the house.

Our upstairs landing landing wall from the other direction
Look at these beautiful women - you couldn't not pick up their photographs and want to preserve them.  The young girl on the left was photographed at the Lafayette Photography Studio in Bond Street.  You can read about the studio on the V&A website. I have a couple of photographs from the same shoot.  You can see it below above the baby.
Our upstairs landing wall
Look at that beard! It's a pity you can't see the small photograph under the large portrait of the woman - the guy in it has the BEST moustache.

So there you go - a little sneak preview of what we're doing with our collection of vintage/ old photographs.  I know some people will balk that I've put my old photos on the wall like this but I just know that they are in a better place than a landfill site.  People can see them and enjoy them :)  I will try and do some better photos with my 'proper camera' when I have the walls finished.

What do you think?

I used the opportunity of an unpaid day off from work to go to my favourite haunt - Deptford Market.  MOST disappointing today - there was NO paper ephemera :(  I was in a massive sulk.  However I did pick up this:
The gang's all here
Snoopy and I

I think he might be circa 1970s maybe even as early as the 60s?  Everything is there - the t-shirt and trousers and there is NOTHING wrong with any of the stitching - a complete SNIP at £2 methinks!  I used to love Snoopy when I was younger so it was a real no-brainer for me.  Also got a few books and records but nothing exciting.  I hope it's better on Saturday!

Friday, 25 November 2011

Well I'm a bit crap aren't I?

but I have an excuse ... I do really.
We've got the 'Ofsted threat' hanging over us, it's been going on since the end of September so the rounds of observations and 'learning walks' has been non-stop.  Constant data checks, paper work checks, blah blah blah.  I've been leaving for work at 5:45am and getting home around 6:30pm every day - so as you can imagine. I've been a tad exhausted.  So exhausted in fact that I came down with something rather nasty.  I tried to go back to work yesterday however my doctor had signed me off for a week so they sent me home again - grrrrr.  I feel fine so now I'm in bed listening to comedy on Radio 4 (iPlayer catchup) and thinking about getting up.

It looks like a beautiful day outside ...

So what's been going on? Not much apart from work to be honest.  We've dealt with a postage thief as we weren't getting any of our mail which was frustrating beyond belief.

I've started filling one of the bathrooms with my strange collection of photographs that I've found on Deptford Market.

Not very interesting is it?  I'll sort myself out and try to post more - I need to go back to having a life.  I don't think Ofsted are turning up this half term and I need to start sorting out my secondhand/ hand made Winter Solstice ;)

Today I am ...
LISTENING: To Feast of Hammers (advanced copy) by Birdeatsbaby - they're playing tonight in London but I can't see them because I'm not well enough.  However after the gig they're staying with us for the weekend as they're filming their video at Mr BL's workplace :)

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

half term at last ...

... and it's already Tuesday! 
This past term has been a slog - hence no blogging.  My summer holiday, being virtually devoid of relaxation, has meant that I have spent the past 6 weeks of the past half term I have been metaphorically climbing a mountain.  We've had the sword of  Damacles Ofsted hanging over our heads and the pressure, intensity and stress has been increasing with each passing day.  Weekends have been spent collapsing in a heap on the sofa and not moving apart from to demand a cup of tea or a couple of biscuits as I tap away creating lesson plan after lesson plan.  Still, it has paid off.  Last week I had an observation and received an OUTSTANDING!  It's strange how happy this makes me.  I'm such a kid at heart - I don't like to just know I'm doing well in my job - I'm conditioned to want to know HOW well I'm doing.  Outstanding isn't easy to get, especially with a class who are ALL EAL (English as Additional Language) and NO teaching assistant in the room.  I must admit I was very very chuffed with myself.
So this all bodes well for the future.  My boss's gf (who is head of another department at the school) is leaving at Christmas and moving away from London - he's obviously going to be following her at some point.  He said he won't until the Summer however I'm sure he'll leave at Easter if he can.  As there are only two of us in the department I'm going to go for the role as HoD.  Which means MORE work - but I guess I should show some sort of ambition.
We shall see - but as you can see - my life is currently being ruled by my job ... YAWN.
I did manage to photograph a couple of things this past few weeks:
Alexander Wolfe 

I love Alex - he's such a humble person and such an amazing performer.  B designed the stage and lighting for this gig and did Alexander proud - it was such a beautiful evening.
I also did a photoshoot for Birdeatsbaby:
I'm not very good at photoshoots - I get panicked because I'm the one in charge of the lighting - unlike a gig where I can always blame the lighting! ha ha - however - they seemed to like the photos.

Hopefully I'll get my shit together this week and manage to actually come round and see you all - hopefully.  I haven't even had time to go to the post office and pick up parcels that are sitting there waiting for me - arghhhhhhhh.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Insomnia stricks again ...

I keep waking around 2am which is great for stumbling and checking out Pinterest, however it's going to be a nightmare for going back to work next week.

It's given me time though to indulge myself in capturing some bits and pieces around the flat as we start to get organised:
Our one organised corner.  The shelves are made out of recycled scaffolding boards by Mr BL, the chair was being thrown out at the theatre he works in, the doll was a present from my best friend and the phone was from the junk market - £5.  Mr BL fixed it - he's so clever!

A couple of old boxes we've picked up at the junk market - the top one is an old Police ammunition box.  Great for hiding away games controllers and wires.  I picked the vase up at the Salvation Army shop for 95p; it's going to be drawn on I think for my Etsy shop.  But for now it's holding some lovely sunflowers :)

So there we go - the ONE corner we have sorted! ha ha.

While I was sorting things out I noticed this weird 'connection':
This box we picked up (where? You've guessed it - Deptford Junk Market) ages ago and it houses more wires and tools. Note the number on the side.

This tea crate was one of two that we found on the street where we used to live.  Note the number on the side! I know it's only a coincidence but a weird one nonetheless.
I thought I'd also share a couple of bizarro purchases from last week before I got sick:
We discovered this weird Kewpie praying Spiderman doll in the Salvation Army shop - really a bizarre mixture of ideas.

Found these 'aura goggles' on the market - £1.  They were produced by the British Metaphysical Society in the 60s and are just fascinating.  The only place I could find something similar was here and they sold for $49.99 - one of our friends wants them - not sure we want to get rid of them.  They're also quite steampunk in a way I guess.
Yesterday my Zuzzle Bind-It-All turned up - the instructions on the disc and the booklet are rubbish so I turned to trusty Youtube and found this awesomely simple tutorial.  I was binding within minutes and only really messed up a couple of times being my usual over-excited self.  I haven't really done anything ground-breaking but I was fairly pleased with my first tries, creating some little 'art journals' for when I feel 'arty'!
Add caption

The covers are vintage bingo cards I picked up on the Market.

Random pages taken from an old scrapbook I found on the market - mostly of playbills and adverts from the 70s and 80s.

I painted some of the pages with oil pastels and water colours.

And finally on another 'crafty' note a new addition to the Belle-Laide collection and a 'second' which ended up being just a test plate that I kind of liked!
Mucha inspired

Just a doodle - I kind of like it though.  I'm really not a very good artist! ha ha.
Well there you go - my little life in a nutshell.  Hope you managed to get to the end of this!

Friday, 23 September 2011

I am the only person in the world I should like to know thoroughly.

However I do like being nosy - and I'm sure Mr Wilde did too (for the title is a quote from the ever quotable Mr Wilde)

This is me me me me me ... I saw this on Lakota's awesome blog and thought at this ridiculous early hour of the morning I would indulge my obsession with myself! 

Ahhh start with a good one eh?  38 unfortunately.  Somedays I look beyond 40, others I get ID'd in Wales to buy tobacco - TWICE! No joke.  B, who is 5 years younger than me, could buy it ... I couldn't :( So ridiculous. I guess I should have been flattered but I KNOW I don't look 17!
my family had strange living habits
This photo really looks like I bloody love myself!

B-Bed size:
eh?  Weird one. It's a double - hand made by B out of scaffolding poles and as hench as a hench thing. 

C-Chore that you hate:
Hoovering - I hate hoovering.  It makes me wheezy and we haven't got a very good hoover and a high pile rug which makes hoovering a nightmare.  Can't wait to get a Henry.

I was brought up with a beautiful Boxer dog called Amber.  She died of throat cancer (she should have given up that 20 Woodbines a day habit) and broke my heart.  We then had a crazy Jack Russell called Clyde (the cat was called Bonnie! - I wanted to name then Morten and Mags - no prizes for guessing which Scandinavian popular rock combo I loved in the 90s).  If I could have a dog it would most definitely be a mutt, discarded and unloved by another.  Although Huskys ARE adorable (but mad - B has a great story about a friend's husky jumping over his owner's back fence and killing the nearest poodle).

E-Essential start to your day:
Used to be a couple of rollies (licorice papers) and a coffee.  Now I am no longer a smoker and am trying to cut down on caffeine it's a Berocca multi-vit effervescent drinkie.

F-Favourite Colour:
Black and red.  Our palette is very 'white stripes' stylee - I'm well know by students in the school who are not taught by me that I'm the teacher who always wears red and black.  It was never planned however it just developed that way before I even noticed.

G-Gold or silver:
Silver silver silver - can't do gold - I'm too pale it looks weird on me.


I-Instruments you play:
The pink oboe - sorry - couldn't resist.  As a child I played the keyboard (self-taught), guitar and flute.  I can still play a mean version of The Entertainer on the recorder!  However I have no musical bones and leave that to the boy!

J-Job title:

None.  I've never wanted children - despite absolutely adoring them; my nephew is the most important person in my life.  I have my friends' children around and my second-cousins to wear me out when I need it! However the thought of my own doesn't appeal.  Sometimes I get broody and the thought that someone will never call me 'mum' does make tears leap to my eyes - however - that's not a reason to have a child. And I don't need to hear 'oh you might change your mind, you've still got time' - yes I know I might, and yes I do, but I'm old enough and ugly enough to know when I've made a decision.

Sarf-East Landan

M-Mother's name:
Shirley - crazy woman, cake baker extraordinaire, hoarder and my mum.  (photo of my mum, me (not wearing red for once), my big sis and my nephew)

N- Nickname
Polstar, Pogs, Pol

O-Overnight hospital stays:
Loads - loads and loads.  The worst was when I had to be resuscitated after an asthma attack.  Dying was interesting!

P-Pet peeves:
Oh god - I'm such a grumpy old woman I have too many.  Like Lakota I hate people who use apostrophes incorrectly; I'm a total grammar Nazi.  Incorrect spellings of homophones like their/ they're and there, or you're / your - grrrrr.  However I do expect the apostrophe and these common homophones to eventually disappear from our vernacular!  I absolutely DESPISE poor customer service - I unleash my middle-class rage on anyone who dares to give me bad customer service!  I worked in shops all through University and for a few years afterwards and I was never rude to a customer.  Along the same line, I hate shop assistants who have those stupidly long nails.  I always end up putting as much change as flat on the counter as possible just to see them try and pick them up.  They remind me of cats bemoaning the fact that they don't have posable thumbs.
Also - I hate evangelical Christians who harrass me along the streets - who try to convert me by telling me incorrect information from the Bible.  I'm convinced that most atheists know the Bible better than most Christians.  I have the upmost respect for peoples' religious beliefs, seriously, I think faith is an amazing thing, however I can't stand organised religion and people who are ill-informed about the religion they're trying to enforce upon me (and yes - they have tried to enforce it upon me by following me down the road and shouting irrelevant Bible verses at me and shouting, in public, that they will pray for my soul). 
One more - you may have gathered from above - I also hate people who think that I will change my mind about having children.  I might - but that's not for you to say - but at the age of 38 I think I'm pretty much set in my ways.

Q-Quote from a film:
I'm consistently quoting from films, so much so that the phrases have sneaked into my everyday speech.
As teens we were obsessed with John Hughes films:
"You're nothing but a neomaxizoomdweebie."
The Breakfast Club
"I'm off like a dirty shirt."
Pretty In Pink
" I feel like a pig shat in my head. "
Withnail & I 
I think the worst thing is that I have integrated a lot of film quotes so much into my everyday life that I can't remember which are quotes and which aren't.
R-Right or left handed:

Older sister, T, she's a mum of one and a step-mum of 3.  We've had our ups and downs but have grown closer in the past couple of years.

T-Time you wake up:
At the moment 2:30am.  Usually 5:30 for work.

Erm, yes.  I wear it.

V-Vegetable you hate:
Depends on how it's prepared but I generally love all veg.

W-What makes you run late:
Loss of travel card, keys, sunglasses/ umbrella, generally being unorganised.  However, I have only ever been late a couple of times in my life, I really don't like tardiness! ha ha

X-X rays you've had:
YAWN - chest, broken rib, broken wrist, broken ankle, teeth.

Y-Yummy food that you make:
Not the greatest cook in the world - I do make a lovely vegetarian chilli.

Z-Zoo animal:
Depends on the zoo!  Any sort of ape or primate usually does it for me.

Wow - don't you feel like you know me SO much better?

On another note expect an update later today.  My Bind-It-All should be arriving at some point today so there will be lots of shouting and hollaring as I try and bind random shizzle together in a binding frenzy.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

and breathe ... albeit with a wheeze

Hello!  Well - where do I start? 

At the end of the summer hols my dad went in for his bronchoscopy (sp?) - as I picked up my nephew from the station my sister got the text - it was BENIGN :)  honestly - it just didn't sink in for days.  After waking every morning worrying about my father, nightmares, stress, depression - all of that weight and worry dropped off.  I woke the next morning with the word 'benign' simply echoing through my brain.

Then - I had my nephew stay with me for 3 days - he didn't know what was going on or why my sister and I had burst into tears at the station and started hugging each other insanely.  I think he's guessed, he's far from stupid, however the poor little love had to put up with my mood swings (from no sleep and stress about the move) and migraines.

We then moved - two days of lugging stuff down 3 flights of stairs then lugging up 4 flights of stairs.  I'm so lucky that B's a theatre tech and we have theatre techs for friends.  They're used to lugging and packing vans.  When we next move we are getting movers in - but hopefully that won't happen for a while!  The flat is coming on lovely.

I've been back to work 2 1/2 weeks and I'm off sick.  I have a stonking chest and sinus infection and am on sh!t-hot anti-biotics; 500mg 3 times a day and steroids.  Yesterday work phoned and said that I've got a meeting with the Head next week.  Seriously - I hoped I wouldn't be sick this year and now I am, and I'm so angry.  I need to be in my classes, teaching my students, helping them progress.  And now I have more stress about my job.  I think everything has just gotten on top of me and my body is making me flop - WHY NOW? Why not wait for half term?

But enough of whinging.  My dad is well and the tumor is BENIGN :) The flat is awesome and can't wait to post photos.  I have a job (for now).  Things are good :)

I'm now going to come around and see you all xxxxx

ps: while I've been trying to deal with things and get better I've done a bit more 'doodling' on ceramics:

All are available on etsy here - I did sell the teapot but then the woman messed me around severely so it's now relisted.  I've got to go and get some more meds today so I'm hoping I've got enough energy to go to a charity shop and get some more bits to draw on.  However walking from the car to the docs to Boots yesterday knackered me out.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Putting things in perspective ...

Firstly can I thank you all for your absolutely lovely comments - really - meant so much to me.  I will answer each of you individually because your kind thoughts and words really made me feel so much better.

I've taken the past couple of days off from packing, went out with some friends yesterday afternoon and have really started to put things in perspective.  My sister is taking my parents to their GP's today; she used to be a nurse on a cancer ward and wants to see the report and get an understanding of the severity (or not) of the situation. We've discussed that it could be pleurisy or even pneumonia - and that worrying about the worst possible situation isn't going to help anyone.  So I'm a more positive Polly today!

So on that note I'd like to share a couple of finds with you today and what I've been doing to avoid thinking ;)

 A blank set of Matryoshka dolls for £2.95 - really nice condition and I'm currently scribbling in pencil on them to flesh out a design.
A cute espresso cup and saucer for 95p - you'll see why I'm buying white crockery next!

I also managed to get Season 3 and 4 of Peep Show for £3.00 - WHOOP :) love that show.

So what am I doing with white crockery at the moment?  I'm scribbling on it.  Here are my first batch of designs:
 Another little espresso cup - the design goes right round it and I'm really pleased with it.  The photo really doesn't do it much justice but the battery in my camera has run out so I'm left with the trusty iphone!
A tea cup with another design on it that is placed around it.

And these are the ones that are now on Etsy:

Be honest - what do you think?  I know they're just doodles and I doubt anyone would want to buy them but for 20c a listing I thought I'd give it a go :)  They're all named after the music I was listening to as I was doodling. 

Well - there you go - a more positive Polly and a more creative Polly.  Going to pop round and see you all later tonight as I'm going to do a bit of tidying first.

OOOH forgot - I also finally got my tattoo started.  After 3 1/2 hours this is the result:

This was just after it was done and before it was wrapped in cling-film.  She's so pretty - I love her!   I've got to go back at the beginning of September to get the colour put in but I'm so pleased already with her :)

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away ...

So yesterday I was all raring to go - I thought that I was starting to pull myself out of the quagmire that had been the past month or so - then our phone rang.

A shadow has been found on my father's lung.  He's a life-time smoker. 

B and I will have to drive him to his hospital appointment on his 70th birthday from our family holiday in Kent.  We had booked a week away with my mum, dad, sister and nephew and now one day's going to be spent in a hospital.  I tried to talk to my sister yesterday and she was just so unreasonable.  She thinks they're being selfish wanting to go to the appointment.  That leaving it another week won't make any difference.  I tried to make her understand that they're scared.

I'm petrified.  I know it could be pneumonia - he's had a chest infection recently.  However, with his history I can't help worrying.  It's not just that, it's my parents, they're obviously scared.  My sister isn't helping (she used to be a nurse - she's not got the best 'bedside manner') and I feel selfish being here in London trying to sort the move out while they're worrying back in Ipswich with just my sister there.

Part of me is feeling selfish - why now?  I was hoping for a week away from the stress of moving.  But now we're going to be driving for 8 hours back and forth to Suffolk.  And I hate myself for being selfish.  I just want a break.  I can't sleep properly, I feel sick and I just want to hold my dad and tell him that everything's going to be alright.

Sorry - I'm back and miserable - but I needed to just get this written down.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Hello again, hello ...

Hey there - thanks so much to those of you who contacted me - very sweet of you.  I've been ok I guess, just so much going on and not enough time to settle down and actually write something. 

It's finally the summer hols - YAY I hear you cry.  Well yes, it IS bloody fantastic however we've decided to make it a bit less relaxing.  Near the end of term I was having a look at properties available to rent around here, we currently rent a TINY 2-bed flat.  We now need 3 bedrooms due to a change in circumstances (NO, I am NOT having a baby!) and I found a HUGE flat for a fairly decent price.  We're now waiting for all our references to go through (should be no problem with that) and I'm currently packing every hour I can.  This will serve me right for hoarding so much weird shit - I've got to pack the bloody stuff now!  We're having a bit of a holiday later on so I'm trying to get everything packed now.  We have NO room anywhere and I'm getting a wee bit stressed by it all.  Not a good state really.  I hate packing, I get angry with myself for being such a hoarder and stressed by my inability to throw anything away.

Anyway - I doubt there will be much 'second-hand living' for the next few weeks as we're holding onto our £ and also not adding to the boxes of stuff - however I vow to post some bits and pieces I find on the web and also to come around and visit all of you.


Wednesday, 22 June 2011

On a hiatus

Some things have come up and I am totally worn out.  Just about managing to get myself into work each day and function.
Nothing serious just over tired  and too busy.
Will be back with a vengeance this weekend.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Weekend restrospectives #2

Everyone meet Blueue.  Yes he's only got one eye.  Yes his fur is worn and battered.  Yes his nose is on all squint but I love this teddy bear.
Blueue came into my life when I was about 3 years old - he was sitting on a table at a jumble sale at my sister's primary school.  I wanted him, my mum bought him for me and he's been with me ever since [35 years later!].  A child called out 'that's my teddy' as I walked away with him - I always wonder whether his own mother had told him that his teddy was being sent to the jumble sale.  Believe me - I don't think that little boy would have loved Blueue as much and as long as I have.
A short while after Blueue came into my life I had to spend some time in hospital.  A bout of measles had rendered me deaf and I had to have operations to restore my hearing.  Blueue accompanied me in all of my hospital visits.  In fact until about 15 years ago I still had the hospital arm band that they'd given me for him!

I think because he was my constant companion through operations and hospital visits he has remained the same into my adult life.  I am slightly embarrassed to say that as an adult when I have had to visit hospital he's come with me. 

In fact Blueue has been such a part of my life that an ex-boyfriend even threatened to burn him when I said I was leaving him!  I had to hide the teddy bear to stop him from exacting his threat.

Today I cuddled Blueue for the first time in ages - I've had a stonking cold, bad belly and on-off migraines all weekend.  This morning I was in tears because I was determined to go to work but I can't seem to leave the toilet and I keep getting my fractals in the corner of my eye threatening more migraines.

So I'm going now and leaving you with this quote:

"In a world where everyone seems to be larger and louder than yourself, it is very comforting to have a small, quiet companion."
-Peter Gray (don't know who he is but it's a great quote!)

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Upcycled Fridays #2 : What to do with old newspapers and magazines

This week has been super crazy - hence the late posting of Upcycled Friday which is actually being posted on Saturday - BAD POLLY.
We had a 'pre-Ofsted Audit' this week to prepare our school for Ofsted in the Autumn term.  I wasn't seen on Tuesday however I got a phone-call from the Head Teacher on Tuesday evening.  Apparently the Inspectors hadn't seen enough 'good' or 'outstanding' lessons and asked to be directed to teachers who would show them this.  So I KNEW I was being seen on the Wednesday and had to pull out a great lesson.  It was thankfully - not outstanding because my class are over enthusiastic and however hard I tried I could NOT get them to hold their hands up without calling out.  The Inspector was really impressed with my lesson though - he told me that I'm an extremely skilled teacher who is enthusiastic and engaging.  Apparently I'm 'peppy' - whatever that means.  However I just need to work on my classroom management skills.  That's ALWAYS been my problem.  I find it very hard to keep classes quiet and not because they're off task - they're always trying to answer the questions that I'm asking.
Anyway - after that - my body has kind of collapsed in on me and decided that I need to sleep sleep and sleep as well as make my nose run faster than an Olympic sprinter and create a hacking cough that is waking me up.  I slept from about 5:30pm to 9pm last night - went to bed and slept solidly through to 4am.   That's a lot of sleep.

Right - enough background to why I'm so useless - here's this week's Upcycled Friday - and what to do with those old newspapers you have collecting up.  I tend not to have many newspapers lying around as I read most of my news online - however I do love my magazines and I have piles of them all over the place.
This idea was influenced by this dress:
This was designed by a young girl called Yuliya Kyrpo who I am proud to say I know!  When I taught at a school in South-East London she was in my tutor group and in my English class - in fact I was her tutor for about 4 years. She is a lovely young lady and ridiculously talented and driven.  This dress won a competition for recycling the Metro newspaper - a free newspaper in London.  Gorgeous isn't it?

Make some wood:

This is designed by Mieke Meijer and looks pretty sturdy to me.  You can see designs created from this here , and I think this should be the way forward with old newspapers!

Make a gorgeous winged origami bowl - created by the awesome talents of Francene Levinson - all from upcycled magazines.

Turn headlines into art - great work by A J Bocchino.

Make some cute little gift bags - I'm totally making these because I hate buying wrapping paper but I think wrapping presents in newspaper sometimes doesn't look that great.  So making gift bags looks a lot more thoughtful - this blog post from What-cha-ma-craft-it includes a really great tutorial.

So do you have any ideas to share?
What are you up to this weekend?  I'm off to Deptford Market in a few hours (in the rain by the looks of things) then photographing Arun Ghosh and Dimbleby & Capper tonight.  I know both performers and to see them on the same bill is so exciting.  Both are so ridiculously talented and I feel very proud to know them - cannae wait.  Just hope I have some energy later.