Monthly Archives: November 2011




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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Not Lemon Drizzle

Le Weekend: Slobbing out, hiding from the drizzly weather where possible, lunch with Leia Ewok Village.

Leia’s Mum has recently been diagnosed with a rare form of alas malignant breast cancer; she and her Mum are waiting to see if the cancer has spread beyond her breast tissue, so things are a little sideways at the moment. A long lunch in Lahndahn tahn can’t right all the problems of the world, however good company can dampen things down a little, for a short while at least.
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Internet Withdrawal

So the internet that’s piped into my building has been totally kaput since Tuesday; today after work I went into town and bought myself some mobile broadband action to tide me over. The building broadband is still not fixed but at least I can lay off checking my email on my phone overly frequently. Grrrrr.
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Boiled To Death

MR T’s temperature gauge warning light flashed up this evening on the way home from work; after aiming and achieving the hard shoulder I peered about under the bonnet and saw the coolant was slowly boiling itself out of the reservoir with the previously fine-and-dandy halfway level a thing of the past. In the lights of passing traffic could see my poor car bleeding onto the tarmac :(

I thought it must be my fault for not clearing that evening’s leaf fall out of the air intakes near the windscreen and I felt like a dumbass because I used to have coolant in the car but had taken it out a while back.

Although I was shivering behind the Armco by the time I was rescued at least it wasn’t raining hurrah. Ryan the lovely RAC man got stuck in traffic from an accident further up from where i’d pulled over so it was an hour ’til he reached me, but after topping the coolant up with water and a quick burst down the A329M I made it home, where he pulled out the thermostat and all seems to be well again. Something cheap to fix. Phew.
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It’s my party I can spend if I want to

Kiss Me Deadly

Vargas panty girdle and Fifi brief and bralet from Kiss Me Deadly

Post-payday, birthday month splurge on underpinnings. Yes, i’m not reaching for justification there, just describing the situation. Honest. In my spending i’m attempting to replace my much loved and now much too small Rago waist cincher (of which M is now the proud owner); I would go for What Katie Did as they’ve been great in the past when i’ve used them, however i’m not a fan of the satin frontage of many of their shapewear pieces. Back to Rago I go.

Kiss Me Deadly have some gorgeous, not too horrifically priced lingerie that i’ve been curious about for many a year, so I figure as it’s November I might as well give them a whirl; i’m searching for just the right suspender belt so fingers crossed and all that.

“But aren’t other people supposed to buy you presents monky?” I hear you ask. Well, I want things and so I get them. Myself. Smaller things can be asked for from friends, but things I am particular over I tend to self-purchase and justify later.

I’m picky, what can I say?
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“I’m going up where the air is fresh and clean”

[Flash 9 is required to listen to audio.]Tom Waits
Straight To The Top (Vegas)
from Frank’s Wild Years 1987
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What I saw between my legs on a seat at a Métro station in August.

How the heck am I?

Good thanks. Not much going on in my life that’s particularly note-worthy. I drag myself into school, I do my usual mix of social work, mediation, paperwork and a bit of actual teaching, then I leave. After school clubs, parents evenings, avoiding marking where I can. The usual. Trip to Kew again next week with the Sixth Form which I am looking forward to (Sixth Formers = Good People). Weekly application of Pilates and lengths in the pool and Hawaii Five-0.

Me and Coppell continue to Skype, call, email and text. Our chats continue to be interesting and we’re both finding out new things about each other, whilst at the same time feeling pretty comfortable. We can spend hours talking about important stuff (e.g. our personal issues) and total crap (e.g. what is the plural of Lego). Actually, the ability to discuss both of those not entirely polar opposites is super important.

I think daily about my upcoming trip to see him, taking trips to imaginary places together whilst wishing I was alongside him in the real world. I stand in the shower and grin randomly as he pops into my head. I imagine curling up with him and feeling the warmth through his clothes. I smile as I think of waking up next to him. Gah. It’s not all rainbows and waterfalls though; I spend time pondering things like “What happens if he doesn’t turn up?” “What if when we kiss it’s not the same?” “What if he doesn’t move to the UK?” “What if i’m allergic to his dog?” Only one of those things can I take medication to allay.

Anyway, I’ve booked tickets to go look around Fallingwater which i’m really looking forward to; I can’t say i’m a particular fan of Frank Lloyd Wright (i’m more of a Richard Neutra gal), but of all his work the house about to tip into the waterfall is the one i’d most like to see. I just hope the weather doesn’t put the kibosh on going.

This is another thing that concerns me- the weather over the next month. From what I can remember over the last few years the snow tends to arrive in the last couple of weeks of term, i.e. around the time i’m due to leave the country. Given how horrendously Heathrow coped with the snow last year I think i’m right to have concerns, but at the same time I have no control over the weather so i’d better just deal.

I’m in the process of organising the annual night of food, booze and dancing to commemorate another year on the planet; really there’s not much to organise other than getting people together. Each year is pretty similar – meet, eat a lovely dinner, drink to excess, dance to Eighties music, drink some more, meet hungover and indeed probably still drunk in the morning for brunch. If it ain’t broke etcetera etcetera. Will be ace to see everyone.

SIX weeks.
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Cecilia Bartoli’s three octave range.

Bizarrely compelling.

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“Elektra’s Favorite Kate Winslet Performance — Romance & Cigarettes”

[via] (Carla Gugino)
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“Take Me To Your Dark Places”

Dia de los Muertos [Flash 9 is required to listen to audio.] Hearts Are Open Graves
Elysian Fields
from Queen of the Meadow (2000)

I’m fucking *loving* this track at the moment; as well as being a very lovely song, as the relationship between me and Coppell develops the lyrics seem particularly apt.

Image: Día de los Muertos by nitrodog [cc]
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