Yearly Archives: 2011


It’s 1am and i’ve only just finished packing. Oh dear.

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Speed Bump

Today Coppell found out where he might be posted when he gets to the end of his six months in the UK: Bombay, and for a year.

My first reaction: Woah. India? Twelve months? Fuuuck.

I’ve always known that he was going to move about for a fair few years – woe betide me if I stand in the way of his ambitions – and have considered whether or not i’d be willing to up sticks and move to be with him. I guess i’m surprised at the location and length of stay- both of these had not figured in my thinking with regards possible futures, which is pretty stupid, but there you go.

I should try not to think too much about this new information i.e. file it towards the back of my mind because:

  • A lot can happen in six months. We could end things. Plans could change.
  • I’m about to be on the same side of the ocean as he is in one-and-a-half days and need to enjoy myself without holding back.
  • A reality check from all the excitement!!! is salutary.
Bed. Patrick. Hugs.
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He’s Just A Love Machine

Tom Jones, 1976.

This man should be made illegal.



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Three days to go now until I flee the country. I’ve finished the buying of things exciting (presents) and boring (anti-histamines), the clothes I need to take are hanging drying post-wash and i’m using up things in the fridge. I’ve checked the weather at LHR, ORD and PIT and all seems well, no snow or high winds. I have no idea on the volcano front however :D

No actual packing has begun – that will happen Thursday night – but i’ve made a big bag of the stuff I need to take that’s ready for sorting out. Tomorrow I think i’ll spend my evening painting my nails and doing more boring stuff, like taking out the recycling, doing some washing up, considering what if anything I need to add to my Clip.

I continue to ponder just how destroyed i’d be if Coppell didn’t pick me up from the airport and disappeared from the face of the planet. I have to look after myself and so although I am VERY EXCITED!!! I know I must have fall back plans in case my invasion doesn’t go as planned. Retreat plan: Credit card and weeping down the phone to my parents. Very mature, i’m sure you’ll agree.

At the same time, I can barely contain my excitement at the thought of being in the same room as him. Falling asleep with him, waking up next to him, laughing at stupid stuff… I am even looking forward to being teased by him (he is highly skilled at keeping a straight face whilst winding me up). Ugh.
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Once Upon A Time

Once Upon A Time
Tony Bennett
from Tony Bennett’s Greatest Hits, Volume III 1963

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Hormonally Challenged

What the fuck is going on with me?

Specifically, my body…

It’s a long story, but to summarise, I came off the Pill earlier on this year as although it regulated my periods I felt that my libido was sort of flattened (yes, the only sex I was having was with someone I love but that’s still important), so I wanted to see what would happen if I came off it.

Anyway, that was back in March. I knew that my body getting used to life without synthetic hormones would likely take many months, but i’m pretty fucking confused as to what exactly is going on. So, off the Pill in March, periods in August and September. Hooray, I think, “normalcy”. No period since then however.

Am I pregnant? THREE tests say no (hello paranoia), so i’m guessing a trip to the GP is on the cards post-Christmas. It’s extra confusing because i’ve hormonal podge, get cramping, have a sore lower back and breasts, am irritable and also extra tired, all the typical menstrual symptoms, but no period. WTF body???

Of course, now i’m actually having some sex – sporadically I will admit (thanks Ocean) – but I don’t want to intervene hormonally or otherwise on the contraception front until either my body gets back onto some sort of even keel or I find out what’s going on.

This gives me a little bit of angst floating around at the back of my mind as i’d rather use something other than a thin layer of latex to hold back on the continuing-my-species front. Not right at the moment, thanks very much.

In the spirit of the scientific method, I feel it’s not wise to change anything until I know more. Anyway, knowing my luck I will finally get my period just as i’m actually breathing the same air as Coppell, which wouldn’t be an issue but i’d rather not have to spend time curled up in pain if I can possibly avoid it :)
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Your Mum

So the wonky girl i’ve a soft spot for who had a falling out with her bestest friend last week was deeply, deeply upset at school today, after what looked like a promising start – her and her buddy were making amends and friendship seemed to be back on the cards.

I took Wonky girl (aged fourteen) into the department’s office where we could talk without the other girls overhearing; I sat her down, fed her some Haribo (it’s medicinal) and asked her what had happened.

One of the older special needs kids (sixteen years old) who attracted her buddy away had called her buddy a
“Spastic Retard”
to her face, and Wonky girl had stood up for her friend and told her that she couldn’t call her that.
“Why don’t you fuck off?”
came the reply. When Wonky girl objected to being told this and said that she couldn’t say that to her, the older girl said
“Oh, why don’t you go fuck your Mum. Oh, that’s right, you don’t have one, do you?
Wonky girl doesn’t live with her Mum as her mother is unable to look after her (the old incompetent mother but continues to have loads more kids syndrome); instead she lives with an Aunt and sees her Mum every couple of weeks at court-arranged, monitored sessions. And these girls are “friends” with these vulnerable kids.

I told Wonky girl and her buddy,
“I’m not your Mum (all right, i’m your Art Mum) and so I can’t tell you who to be friends with, but these girls are saying the most horrible things to you both, upsetting you and making you feel really really sad. And they’re supposed to be your friends? I can’t tell you who to hang around with, but they are horrible to you and I think you should walk away. You don’t owe them anything, and you deserve to be happy.”
It’s interesting that the vulnerable kids, the ones who are least able to construct and maintain positive friendships, always seem to flock together. The friendships are full of drama with people falling out repeatedly over the smallest things; those least able to cope are the ones most easily hurt.

Anyway, Wonky girl had stopped crying and her buddy seemed happier by the end of my little pep talk. I told them that they were always welcome in the Art department and my classroom (as long at they’re not too bananas) and that i’m going to kick those horrible girls out.


On a happier note, Wonky girl left me a Christmas card stuck to my computer monitor :)
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In The Ghetto
Sammy Davis, Jr.
from Something For Everyone 1970

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The Unexpected Disclosure – Sad Kids

These Are Not The Sweets You're Looking For

visit the troops by photography.andreas [cc]

Fucking hell, the end of term CANNOT come soon enough.

This week as well as actually teaching lessons, i’ve had to deal with one of the members of my form telling me that her Dad has been beating her for years, another of my form is hugely sad because a close family friend is unlikely to make it to Christmas courtesy of cancer and one of my favourite “wonky” vulnerable kids has had a falling out with her closest friend and has been down for days.

A LOT of Haribo has been doled out this week let me tell you. UGH.

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Blahzay Blahzay
from Blah Blah Blah 1996


Look at the high-waisted, stone-washed jeans.

Ah, the Nineties were grand.

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Two Months, Eleven Days


So, as of today me and Coppell have managed to collectively survive two whole months divided by an ocean. Eleven days from today we’ll actually be in the same room.

During our last Skype session I was struck by just how very aesthetically appealing he is to me, which is a bit embarrassing to admit, as i’m not exactly fifteen any more. OMG he iz teh dreamy!!! He makes me go all *squee*.

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Matterhorn Hibernation

Oil on Canvas

Gerhard Richter

I was going to go into Lahndahn tahn today to have lunch at Tate Modern and take in the Gerhard Richter exhibition; as my lazy morning has pootled by i’ve decided to postpone and go next weekend instead and stay in and keep cracking on through Matterhorn (I am really enjoying it).
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Only You

Only You from Portishead 1997 (Video by Chris Cunningham)

Portishead: Their music ruled the early years of my university “education” as I was embroiled in a toxic relationship and coming close to losing my mind on occasion; it’s deep, darkly beautiful stuff that i’d forgotten about until something reminded me of its brilliance and I searched for it at work. I have pretty good speakers in my classroom :)

The phrase “Only You can tear me apart” was something I considered getting tattooed, reversed, onto my shoulder; I printed the “lyric” out (again, backwards) and blu-tacked it to the wall opposite my mirror. The lyric is actually “Only You can TELL me apart” :)

Yes, looking back I was being all Emo – the standard reply these days would be “Ohhh woe is meeeeee!!! Just go cut urself alredy!!!” – to which I could respond with an “Aaaand…? Yeah, cutting already. ThanksSoMuch!”. Today, I can’t even remember the last time I self-harmed. Fuckin’-A.

As was my usual way of coping i’d turn the anger I should have felt towards The Monster inwards, and punished myself by cutting; getting a tattoo I would look at every day and be reminded of how much I hurt inside was along similar lines. I wasn’t happy, and was depressed for months at a time.

My university years were *not* good, but setting my past anguish aside I can appreciate the music anew. Now I tend to agree with the YouTube commenter who mentions how good this trip-hop would be to have sex to :D

A couple more favourites:

Half Day Closing

All Mine (creeeepy little girl alert)
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A good day.

I don’t know exactly how many people turned out (1000+?) but it was a sizeable group representing over thirty different unions; once again there were brilliant speeches and strong feelings of solidarity. Even if it ends up making fuck all difference I am *so* glad that I stood up for what I believe in and what is right.
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Strike II

My second strike tomorrow. There’s not a whole lot to say on the matter that can’t be covered by a few Reality Check articles from the Guardian:
Are public sector pensions fair?

Who’s telling the truth in the public sector pension row?

Will the pensions strike really cost the country £500m?
Guardian – List of Unions striking

It’s going to be an interesting day, especially as more than “just” teachers or public sector workers are involved this time. Obviously, it’s down to each individual to decide whether or not they follow the vote of their union, and I understand money is tight, however, i’ve been seriously disappointed at the number of people at school who have chosen to work tomorrow.

In my department I am the only person out of the four of us to withdraw my labour, and all of us are in unions that have voted to strike. Also, no-one has indicated that they’re going to make any sort of donation to the hardship fund to support those that have decided to do so.

Does that mean that if any concessions are won through industrial action, my colleagues will turn down what they didn’t stand up for? It’s going to be a different matter if things progress beyond one day strikes, but I feel a bit disheartened by the lack of solidarity being shown.

Another point of interest is how support for the strikes and against public sector cuts is split when looked at along gender lines: 67% of women questioned support industrial action versus 55% of men; out of the 28% of people who agreed that the government was handling the economy well (who are these people???), 22% of women agreed whereas 34% of men did so.


BBC News – Strike: BBC poll suggests strong support
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Post-Birthday Weekend Two

31 <-- Wine in mugs = a good night out :)

So my “proper” birthday night out was awesome- nearly all of my nearest and dearest in one place, with me :)

Much good food and booze was consumed, and much less-than-good booze imbibed; lots of excellent presents were received. I wore my usual combination of excessively bright colours and went overboard on the eye makeup and found I had actual cleavage thanks to the slipping of my favourite dress and Marks & Spencer’s underpinnings. Wonders.

Leia Ewok Village got us turned away from the local dive bar by her existence seemingly, or at least that’s the only “logic” of the bouncer we could work out; the evening ended pleasingly late, however the brain ache I found i’d accrued the morning after was less welcome.

No molestation took place during the terrible Eighties night but Leia did get mistaken for a hooker on the way back to her hotel. *Delightful*. Anyways, it was super, super awesome to have so many important people in one room, or should I say sticky-floored night club – In alphabetical order Bobby Convey (+ partner who I can’t think of an appropriate nickname for at the moment), Caversham Princess, Flambé, Leia Ewok Village, M and McCy.

Eeeeee! :)
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Soul Psychodelicide…

[Flash 9 is required to listen to audio.] Joy In Repetition
from Graffiti Bridge 1990
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Birthday Weekend Two


Where i’ll be with a few more people tomorrow night…

Reaally looking forward to tomorrow’s night out with my close and intimates; if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it means that the usual combination of cocktails, dinner, booze and dancing will take place. Hurrah.

I’m excited to see everyone and will happily spend tomorrow afternoon painting my nails a rainbow of colours and assessing possible outfits in preparation. I’m thinking semi-Crockett: My white Vice jacket paired with my favourite pink leopard print puffball mini-length strapless dress.

No, it will be better than it sounds. Honest.
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I love my new hair!

AKA I love what the hairdresser did. Not I love the wig I bought.
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Shut the fuck up, you MORON

When will I learn? Why can’t I just sit through a Pastoral Meeting and keep my mouth shut? Just let things slide, pass by without comment…?

When I asked my Year Team (management, senior teachers, colleagues) what I should do about one of my tutees who didn’t agree with the realistic, achievable target I suggested and dug her heels in, insisting upon an unrealistic, unachievable target that set her up for failure, I was told by members of the Senior Leadership Team that I shouldn’t “limit the ceiling of achievement.”


So, as is usual, I sat through the meeting trying to keep my anger internalised, trying hard not to be too flippant when being told to do things I already know how to do and generally not go mental. I wished wished wished I could leave, and I know that yet again I came across as a grumpy motherfucker, which is especially good when senior management are in the room.

More and more was added to our plates (as form tutors) by these senior teachers, under the guise of “ownership” i.e. getting the kids to take responsibility and thus decrease our workload and increase their chances of success. Of course, without the maturity required by the kids it is *us* doing the work with even less expected from the people doing the actual GCSEs.

It will of course be *us* who will be held responsible when these lazy, entitled children don’t achieve.


So, for the first time in a l-o-n-g time, i’m going to have a glass of wine to take the edge off my day. Actually, not even taking the edge off the day, just the last hour of it.

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Unidentified tree at Kew

Four weeks to go until I flee the country and probably weeping with happy stumble into the (hopefully waiting) arms of Coppell.

It’s so close now that the desire to be with him seems all the stronger, and so i’m missing him more than I have over the last month and three-quarters. This makes no sense, as we’ve passed the half-way point and so our Christmas rendezvous is actually close to happening.

I’m probably just feeling it a bit more because i’m tired. The “end” is in sight and so I just need to chill and let the time pass without getting angst-y about it; when I do go it’s only going to be for ten days before we’re separated again. Le sigh.

I just want the end of term to hurry the fuck up!
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Birthday Weekend One

My birthday weekend with my family went rather well – I didn’t get too cross with my Dad, I got lots of good presents and ate some super tasty food. Hurrah. Coppell called me and my parents seemed positive towards the whole “situation”. Next up is the weekend of drunken shenanigans with friends. WOOOO.
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Yummy… Insects

Some sort of sticky plant that is not a Sundew, and Sarracinia leucophylla (Pitcher Plant).

Sorry, research fail.

I bought a Sarracenia from Kew to decorate my desk at home; it is most pleasing in its fly-acidal glory. Evolution is grand.

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Cheetah TeezeMay I present: Pleaser USA’s Bordello Teeze line.

Fuck me in fishnets. Look at these shoes!

I am now imagining an alternate life where I spend time hoovering whilst wearing these babies, before flopping down on my chaise longue for a Cosmopolitan before my Darling Man gets home from a hard day at the office.

Dinner is doing nicely in the oven and I can barely stand without falling over. My stocking seams are totally skewed. The shame.


Attitude Clothing – Cheetah Bow Teeze
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Autumn Crocus

Colchicum autumnale

Colchicum autumnale (autumn crocus, meadow saffron or naked lady)

Yesterday in the November sun at Kew; for once straight off the camera, no post-processing. Well done old little Nikon!

Colchicum autumnale

Colchicum autumnale

Colchicum autumnale
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“I’m not just another chick…”

I’m His Girl

Really like this track; as well as a good beat to dance around the classroom to, the words have a certain amusing appeal at the moment…

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One Month
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Bathroom Porn

As is usual on my Sunday evening, I have been using the powers of the internet to escape my cramped existence and fly away in my head to destinations far removed from reality. This evening i’ve chosen to spend about two hours or so feeding my fantasies with hotels that factor large on wet rooms, deep soaking baths and panoramic bathing. Money is of course not an issue when i’m holidaying in my brain :)

I’ve a particular love of the fancy hotel bathroom; I like to think about what I could get up to whilst the possibility of getting wet is on offer. Yes, bathroom porn.

I love it.

In no particular order:

Hotel on Rivington, New York

Rivington bathrooms

Rivington bathroomsLook at these fucking bathrooms. LOOK AT THEM: Wet rooms, tiling, deep-soak Japanese-style baths, semi-exposed showers. Bright colours to make me happy. *Amazing* view. Slick, modern, minimal.

Downsides: Bright colours not so good early in the morning. Lots of sharp edges to slip and hit your head upon. Flip-flops needed.

Mesa View suites at the Amangiri, Utah

Amangiri bathroomFuck me sideways: Here my love of fancy hotel bathrooms and deserts is magnificently combined.

Sweet Jesus I-don’t-believe-in this is a pretty place.

I can imagine after spending a l-o-n-g time in the bath staring out the window I would then slip on a bathrobe and sl-o-w-l-y sip something alcoholic as I watched night crawl across the desert outside the bedroom. Look at that vista.

Amangiri view

Then I think i’d put some socks on and head outside to the “Sky Lounge” to stargaze at the blanket of constellations above.


Post Ranch Inn Cliff House and Pacific Suite at the Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur

Look at the timelapse on the front page – what a beautiful place…

Post Ranch Inn Post Ranch Inn

Hotel Le GermainHotel Le Germain, Toronto

I saw this little beauty when I was researching fancy-pants hotels for a night of debauchery with Coppell; I *love* the combination of the shower and bath being viewable from the bedroom, indeed from the bed itself. What an awesome combination.

You can shut the blinds if you’d rather have some privacy of course, but the integration of the shower into the room is pretty cool.

Bay Forest and Oak Creek Lodges at the Calistoga Ranch, Napa

CalistogaPrivate outdoor hot tub. What more do I need to say.

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I am dork

How is it Coppell can still make me go all *SQUEE* with excitement with a phone call?
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“I know what the senator wants…”

“…The senator wants a blow job”

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks
from Minor Traffic

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