Monday, June 19, 2006

Progress, hills and ducklings - life is never dull!

Lily from Australia (goes under the blog name of Cascade) made me smile when she commented on my last posting about how hot could it be in the UK?

I have to say that probably compared with the southern states of the US or Australia not really that hot but the thought of dragging the kids after four solid hours of hot shopping up the hill you can see in the picture at 2pm in the afternoon in the height of the British summer i.e. 28/29 degrees C and fairly humid was not appealing - cries of 'It's too hot Mum, can we go home and watch the football Mum?' were echoing in our ears so discretion being the better part of valour we hightailed it off home instead - we'll save the Tor for a cooler Spring or Autumn day I think.

I have a mega complex week work wise this week. I am juggling two separate schools, spending some part of each of Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at both schools and then Wednesday at one of them too - not much time to slip in some swimming there then, although we were there when they opened the doors at 6am today - have we taken leave of our senses I can hear you cry!

I'm having to think long and hard before I answer the telephone so I say the correct school name (or don't say any school name at all on the home phone!) - and also trying very hard to remember which bit of post I've opened where as well - just the ticket to fry your brain eh?

So it was lovely to come home this afternoon and just sneak out an odd half hour to arrange and stitch a few more quadrants onto Sarah's bullseye (still want to call it bulldog - no idea why) quilt top. I'm really pleased with how it's coming together now and the overall wavy line effect

This afternoon at work I had to smile - I felt a little like Dr Doolittle. The school is in a very rural area and one of the classroom assistants had brought in her sister's orphan duckling for the children to meet. The little thing was as tame as you like and followed her about like Mary's Little Lamb. The children all came into the hall in groups and sat down in a big circle on the floor. The duck was then allowed to wander freely in the middle of the circle to go and 'talk' to them all. As you can imagine this was just delightful and I'm sure will stick in those childrens memories long after they leave school and go out into the big bad world of work in years to come. Glad I didn't have to wipe up the whoopsies but fortunately it was a vinyl floor and not carpet.

Once all the classes had met the duckling whose name I never actually discovered - we were never formally introduced you understand - he was put back into a travelling cage and left in the head's empty office. Well he really didn't like this at all being all alone and cried pitifully to such an extent that the lady who'd brought him in asked if she could put him in my office for a little company. Honestly - the things you have to do!

So I duckling-sat for the afternoon.

At one point though I had to move a box on the office floor and revealed a huge spider (ok we're talking by UK standards here so probably not the sort you'd get in Oz or anything but big enough to make me shudder!) who then proceeded to try and manhandle her huge eggsack to safety.

Now usually with spiders of those proportions my reaction is to stamp first and ask questions later, but I felt so sorry for her trying so valiantly to save her babies to be that I felt a rescue was in order.

No matter how much empathy I may feel for an arachnid mum-to-be I just couldn't bring myself to pick her up in my hands so out came the old glass and piece of paper trick.

Of course just as I had the family safely off the office floor I realised that due to security I had to press a switch above head level (out of childrens reach you understand) to open the door to the great outdoors in order to liberate her.

So I juggled the glass and paper arrangement in one hand hoping above hope that the paper wouldn't bend and let her out and up my sleeve (involuntary shudder here as I write this) and pressed the button to be faced with my saviour - a delivery man bringing some books who pulled open the door for me.

He looked at my burden with some distaste (obviously not a spider fan either) and commented ' My that's a big spider you've got there!'

I just couldn't resist - my retort just had to be ..............

'If you think the spider's big you should see the size of my duckling!!!' Ta Da!!!!!

Never a dull moment in a school office - bet they don't get excitement like that in dull County Hall jobs


KCQuilter said...

Oh, Anne, did you ever bring back memories of my teaching days!!! The highlight of the week in second grade was "Show and Tell" when the kiddoes could, well, show something or tell about something! Many a critter came to visit for Show and Tell--puppies, kittens, rabbits, turtles, frogs, anoles, gerbils, hamsters, etc.--but never a duckling! And way to go with the spider ordeal!

Judy said...

Sorry, but spiders and me don't mix..babies or not. Only one thing worse in my book and I can't even type the name it's so gross.

I am loving your bullseye configuration instead of them in a circle. It looks wonderful!!

Patty said...

How fun to duck sit for a day. We have raised ducks many times and I just love ducklings.
Love the photos you shared. The quilt is so pretty.
We have lots of spiders in Texas, but I am not a fan of them. But we take them outside rather than smoosh them.

Fiona said...

The bulldog quilt is looking good! Thinking about your week ahead is making me stressed out already.

Screen Door said...

Love your piecework - spiders give me the willies -- Thanks for your comment. Made me feel better on a bad day....

The Calico Cat said...

Love the blue quilt! how is the Liverpool quilt coming?