Monday, January 09, 2012


On days like this, one looks back fondly on the calm waters of a teaching day. One is completely deluded, of course. One has just forgotten temporarily the horrors of classes which are too big for the rooms and for the numbers of chairs provided, of photocopiers that eat one's carefully-prepared handouts, of students who announce at the beginning of class that they have a visual handicap and really need all handouts double sized and printed on blue paper, of nervous students who need to sit next to the door at all times... .

But today - well, today I phoned the fence chap about coming to fix the second of Mum's fences that have blown down in the gale. Then I phoned her upstairs neighbour about the continuing saga of the roof repairers who do not come to repair the roof. Then I phoned the dishwasher repairer for the second time to ask him to come and look at the dishwasher that he repaired two weeks ago and that has now broken down again. (Guess whether he's got back to me. Oh, you think he won't. Hmm.)

And then in the afternoon the aerial chap came to improve our television pictures and he was here for AGES, in the three rooms that the cats usually inhabit, and they were NOT HAPPY. Whenever he went into the room in which they'd taken refuge, they fled. They did that creeping thing, stomachs brushing the carpet, towards the door and then sprinted into another room. And then he would follow them and they had to do it all again. And he kept telling me stuff that I didn't understand. "I've just put a splitter on it and spliced the groyner to the dibber... etc etc." Oh, the stress. And my mum kept asking me questions about her roof and her fence and her next Probus meeting and so on while the chap was giving me "simple" instructions on how to use the telly. Gah.

The picture above illustrates how Mr Life plans to spend his retirement. A model railway layout and cats, possibly not simultaneously.

And now I must go and do my piano practice because I have my first lesson tomorrow. Argh.


  1. Of course, you know, the highlight of this post is the fact that you used the word "Gah"! You're too funny. Good Luck at your piano lesson tomorrow -- I hope you love it!

  2. Isabelle, you need to write a book. :) Fingers crossed tomorrow will be a better day.

  3. They say music soothes the soul - much luck and have lots of fun!
    BTW- I thought you might enjoy this quote I found by Henry Van Dyke
    "Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those who sang the best."

    Lovely thought, isn't it?

  4. Isabelle, tomorrow will be a better day.....repeat after me, tomorrow will be a better day......

  5. I can imagine the stress ( and the slinking scaredy cats as the Workman dares to invade their Private Rooms)!

    Enjoy your first piano lesson.

  6. Hope you enjoy the piano lesson, I find that playing piano makes me forget lots of things I don't want to think about.
    Where we live now is the first place we ever lived where delivery people, repairmen, bug spayers, satellite dish people actually come when they say they will. It took us a while to get used to that. We were so use to people being late that the first couple of years here people would find us still in bed because we didn't believe they'd come at 8 in the morning or in the rain.

  7. You don't know how to splice a groyner to a dibber? Where did you go to school????

  8. Never 'look back fondly on the clam waters of a teaching day'! You are deluded - schools seem to be getting madder and madder. Still jumping on bandwagons and jumping through hoops. I have only been back 2 days - and I am counting the days to half term. I keep telling myself 'it's a vocation'!!!!!

  9. Wow! Retirement sounds exhausting. At least I get respite from "work" while I'm at work.

    Yes - write a book and then you'll have an excuse to shut the door on the lot of them!! Although then you wouldn't have any material...hmmm....

    Oh, and wasn't there something about "excellence" to be found today? Tee hee....

    Lesley xx