Presentation evening

Last night was Beth’s presentation evening at her old school and she came back from Coventry especially for it. She wasn’t going to come but she found out that she was getting an award as well as her certificates so she came back – I met her there.

She was awarded the Headteacher’s award for service to the school in recognition of the fact that she was Deputy Head Girl during her final year. She joked that she didn’t want an award for that she wanted one for being clever!

When the time came to go up and get her award the teacher who was reading out the names mispronounced hers and she mumbled “You’d think after 7 years here they’d know how to say it”

Her name was in the program 4 times – once for the award, then for her A-Levels. She was also listed for getting the Community Sports Leadership award and finally to say she had gone on to University.

She pointed out that out of all of her cohorts she had gone to the university furthest away from home. In fact there were few who had gone much further than the local universities and colleges.

Key to the Highway (slight return)

Following on from the blog entry the other week where we spent an hour and a half searching for the car key which Ben had hidden in the oven glove, we have just spent 45 minutes searching for Sarah’s bus pass that she had left on her bedside table.

Curiously it was eventually found in Ben’s room…..wonder how it got there!

Stay and Play

Today was stay and play day at Ben’s school. I’d been in last week when they were making Christmas decorations but that didn’t stop Ben giving me the grand tour once again. Last week he proudly showed me a picture on the board which he had drawn and written his name on, but then he had looked slightly crest fallen as he added “But I forgot to draw the arms”

Today he didn’t know what he wanted to do and he ended up showing me exactly the same things as he had last week – here’s where we put our book bags, here’s my peg etc etc. Eventually his teacher suggested he do this board thing where you make patterns with thread by pushing it into holes on the board. His first attempt was a Pelicans beak! I made a car, a train, a bus and a birthday cake (although doing the candles was a bit tricky!

Then he decided he wanted to draw a picture so he got a piece of paper and a pencil and started to draw. “What are you going to draw Ben?” “I’m going to draw myself but this time I will remember the arms. When he had finished he showed one of the staff and he was rewarded with a sticker. We decided to take it home so we could stick it up on the wall.

ben drawing

When we went back to pick him up tonight he showed me where the book bags were kept.

“I know” Said I “You showed me this morning”

“I know I did” he replied ” But I thought I’d show you again in case you forgot!”

R.I.P. Woody

tag and woody 2

No sooner than I had blogged about the cats then the most awful thing happened – Woody was knocked down and killed right outside our front door yesterday morning in front of Sarah.

We were just leaving for work and Ben and I were already in the car and I saw Sarah come out of the house. I saw her turn and then she gestured to me. Woody had been sitting under the car and as she came out he stepped out and was hit by a taxi that was steaming down our road.

He was lying on the side of the road when I got there and when I picked him up I feared the worst. We dashed him to the vets but he was dead when we got there – poor little thing.

The taxi stopped briefly, presumably to see what he had hit but drove off without even coming back to see if Sarah was ok – heartless bastard! He could at least have got out and maybe apologised.

tag and woody

We are worried about Tag now in case she starts to pine for him. She seems a bit lost and has taken to sitting on the stairs which she has never done before. I must say that I will miss the double act that was Tag and Woody and feeding time will never be the same.

Further education

As I said yesterday Beth is back from University and while she was back she popped round to look after Ben while we took Bex to an open day at the local college. Bex wants to study engineering at University so we wanted to look into courses that might be better for her than simply taking A Levels. Also we are so totally unhappy with her school that we really don’t think staying on there into 6th form is such a good idea.

When we finally tracked down the right person to talk to he asked bex what she thought she would get in her GCSE’s. She told him that she had already taken her Science GSCE’s and had got A’s and A*’s for the four units she had taken. When she then told him that her predicted grades for Maths and English were all A*/A/B’s his little eyes lit up!

He called her a genius and told her the best course for her would be the advanced diploma in engineering which is a two year course and counts as between 3.5 and 4.5 A levels. He outlined what they would cover in the course and as he did it was the turn of Becky’s eyes to light up!

She was so keen in fact that we went down to the refectory and took advantage of our free drinks vouchers and sat and filled in the application form there and then. I fully expect that her school will try and talk her out of it when they get the reference request – probably while extoling the virtues of the International Baccalaureate that they are trying to force all of year 11 into.

Apparently the Course tutor is a woman and she is very keen to get girls like Bex onto the course and has been running a recruitment drive to do so – Hopefully that will mean a touch of positive discrimination will go on!

The trouble with cats!

We’ve got 3 cats – one white one and two black ones. The white one we have had for a couple of years but the black ones are recent additions. All of them came from Freecycle!

Diesel -the white one is huge and fluffy and very laid back. He is all white except for a couple of markings on his head and this huge fluffy tail. The fluffiness can cause problems and we have had to bath him on a couple of occasions and shave fur off that has formed into dreadlocks on others.

Diesel Cat

His life was all peaceful until it was shattered by the arrival of two manic black shapes. He took an instant dislike to them and hissed at them especially the male one whenever they came anywhere near him. He just about tolerates them now except when they try to eat his food!

tag and woody

Tag and Woody came as a pair. Tag is Woody’s mum even though she is much smaller than him. They are very energetic and tend to travel in a pair weaving their way around each other as they run. Compared to Diesel they are very demanding and you usually know they are there. When you open the back door for example the pair of them will be waiting there and in before you know where you are. You then have to shout for Diesel and you usually see him running along the neighbours walls and over the roof of the shed.

Nothing illustrates the differences better than feeding time. Last night for example all three cats were in the living room. Any movement towards the door is usually interpreted by all three of them as a sign that you are going to feed them, as is the opening of any can in the kitchen.

Last night as soon as I picked up the fork Tag and Woody where there; wrapping themselves around my feet as I tried to make my way to the utility room to get a can of food. I went to put my foot down and it met some squashy resistance which turned out to be Tag! I returned with the food and headed into the bathroom to put it in their bowls. I had to pick up the bowls so I could get to them and meanwhile Tag and Woody jumped from floor to bath to sink to floor to bath to sink. I had to push Woody away twice before I managed to fill both bowls. I put one down and both of them nosedived into it! After putting the second bowl down I had to pick up one of them and move them to the other bowl. they ate like it was going out of fashion……

…..meanwhile Diesel had been sitting patiently outside the door. As I left he followed me to the utility room where his bowl is. he patiently sat and waited till I had finished putting the food in the bowl and then ate it. I closed the door so that Woody wouldn’t pile in and try and nick his food!